All posts tagged: Jewish Temple

The Temple Mount Credit: Ben and Ash/Flickr/Creative Commons

Discovery of three small coins confirms the Jews ancient connection to the Temple Mount

Archaeologists working on the remains from the Temple Mount have discovered five small coins that speak of an incredible time of religious freedom in Israel’s history. Though only three of the coins are legible, they are dated to the fourth century. This puts them at the time when King Cyrus of Persia allowed the Jews to return their homeland from their Babylonian captivity and rebuild Jerusalem and the Jewish temple in 538 BC. The archaeologists believe the other two similarly sized undecipherable coins are from the same set. Seven millimeters wide, the coins have an image of a barn owl on one side. The Jews basically copied the Athenian Abol, a Greek coin used in ancient times. It is curious that they used the owl because it was considered unclean under Jewish law and it also represented the goddess Athena to the Greeks. Instead of having the Greek letters ΑΘΕ used to signify Athens, the three legible coins had the Aramaic word YHD. According to an article on ynetnews, this is the shortened version of …

The Muslim Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem Credit: Patrick McKay/Flickr/Creative Commons

Why did Israel’s Sanhedrin ask the Arab world to help build the third Jewish Temple?

Breaking Israel News recently reported on a letter written by Israel’s nascent Sanhedrin asking the Arab world to join in building the third Jewish temple in Jerusalem. The court sent its request in English, Hebrew and Arabic. The nascent Sanhedrin is a Jewish court made up of 71 elders. A similar court has historically provided spiritual and sometimes political guidance to Israel through out its history. It was the Sanhedrin that asked the Romans to crucify Christ. So why did they ask the Muslims for help? Certainly expediency is one of the reasons. Orthodox Jews believe that God wants them to rebuild the Temple. However, the Temple Mount is now controlled by the Jordanian government and under the current political arrangement, Orthodox Jews would probably need Jordan’s permission to build. It is traditionally believed that the Muslims built the Dome of the Rock on the location of the second Jewish Temple the Romans destroyed in 70 AD. I don’t think the Jews believe Muslims would be willing to destroy the Dome of the Rock, Islam’s …

The Temple Mount in Jerusalem Credit: David Ortmann/Flickr/Creative Commons

Did God want King David to build a temple?

In his sermon that ultimately led to his martyrdom, Stephen knew he was speaking to a hostile crowd, and just before his death he called into question the construction of the temple: 46 David found favor in God’s sight, and asked that he might find a dwelling place for the God of Jacob. 47 But it was Solomon who built a house for Him. 48 However, the Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands; as the prophet says: (Acts 7:46-48 NASV) Stephen said the Temple was made of human hands and it was not where God dwells. Was Stephen referring to the fact, that the Temple in Jesus’s day was paid for and constructed by the reprobate King Herod? Or was Stephen talking about the fact the Ark of the Covenant on which the presence of God dwelt had disappeared centuries earlier and the Holy of Holies in Herod’s temple was empty? Or was he talking about something else? There were three religious structures that ancient Israel built to house the …

View of the Dome of the Rock and Western Wall. Many believe the Muslim Dome of the Rock is built on the original site of the Jewish Temple destroyed in 70 AD. Credit: Boris G/Flickr/Creative Commons

Will God allow a third Jewish temple to be built?

Many orthodox Jews and Evangelical Christians are looking forward to the day when Jews build a third temple in Jerusalem, replacing the one destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD during the Bar Kokhba Jewish revolt. Both groups believe its construction would fulfill Biblical prophecy. And recent events in Jerusalem added to the excitement. According to Breaking Israel News (BIN), the Jewish Sanhedrin reenacted the Jewish Passover on Thursday, April 5, 2017 near the site of the original Jewish Temple. This was the fifteenth year that they held the Passover in Jerusalem that included building an altar and the actual sacrifice of a lamb using Jewish Priests. According to BIN, this year’s Passover was held closer to the Temple’s location than it had been in earlier years.  In order to accommodate a sacrifice this close to the Temple Mount, the Sanhedrin used the courts to get police protection. Jewish priests performed the sacrifice with instruments, utensils and clothing provided by the Temple Institute an organization dedicated to rebuilding the Jewish Temple. Attendance at the Passover …

Dome of the Rock is a Muslim shrine, not a mosque. Credit: Monidas De Mon/Flickr/Creative Commons

More trouble on the Temple Mount

WND.com is reporting a confrontation with Muslim authorities that happened November 17, 2016 on the Temple Mount. WND.com editor Joseph Farrah along with Jonathan Cahn — a Messianic rabbi most famous for his New York Times‘ best seller, The Harbinger — were co-leading a group of 406 people on a visit to Israel. Part of this trip included a visit to the 40-acre Temple Mount located in the heart of Jerusalem. It was the original site of the First and Second Jewish Temples. The Romans destroyed the second temple used in Jesus’ day in 70AD. Today, the site is home to two Muslim buildings — the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque. Though Israeli government controls  the site, it has given the Jordanian Waqf, essentially an Islamic police force, considerable leeway on controlling the Temple Mount. Among other things, the Waqf monitors dress and ensures that Jews and Christians don’t pray on the site. That latter provision has forced the Jews to pray at the Western Wall down below. As part of the trip to …

Celebrating the Feast of Silvester in Burserberg, Austria. The feast which falls on December 31st marks the death of Pope Sylvester I who died on that day in 335 AD. The feast is celebrated in many European nations. Photo: BRainy Photography/Flickr/Creative Commons

Top ten stories of 2015

It has been an eventful year, so what were the top most read stories on opentheword.org?  From first to tenth, actually eleventh due to a virtual tie for last place, here they are: Did the Bible predict beheadings by Muslim extremists? With gruesome stories coming out of the Middle East about ISIS beheading Christians, it is not surprising many Christians are wondering if this was mentioned at all in the Bible particularly as it related to the end times. Not surprisingly it does. This story topped the list with 7,868 reads in 2015. Sir Isaac Newton predicted world would end in 2060 AD End times events are on many people’s minds these days. Researchers studying the writings of Sir Isaac Newton, who died in 1727 AD, stumbled upon his prediction when Christ would return. Newton studied the Bible and particularly end time events. Why did he date Christ’s return to centuries later — in our day?   One more thing, from his study Newton also determined that Israel had to be restored back to the Promised …

Did you know that at one time, there were two Jewish Temples: The Elephantine Temple

[by Dean Smith] Even though there is no Jewish Temple today, at one point there were actually two temples in operation at the same time and it caused some conflict. In the late 1800s, ancient papyri showed up in Middle East antiquity markets that intrigued archaeologists. Written in Aramaic, the Jewish documents referred to a temple, but incredibly not the temple in Jerusalem, but a second one built hundreds of miles away in Egypt. Archaeologists finally tracked it down to Elephantine Island on the Nile River. Egypt’s dry climate slows papyri deterioration and further work at the temple site uncovered dozens more papyri including divorce documents, legal documents and letters.

Another end-times event? The Temple Institute has built the Jewish altar

UPDATED MARCH 23, 2015: [by Dean Smith] Israel’s Temple Institute, based in Jerusalem, just announced it had finished constructing the Altar of the Lord (also called the altar of burnt offering) this past December. The altar would be used for animal sacrifices if a new Jewish Temple is built in Jerusalem. The Romans destroyed the last temple in 70 AD. There were two altars in the original temple — the altar of burnt offering — which was just built and the smaller altar of incense. The Institute built the new altar according to the strict measurements and conditions laid out in the Old Testament. The media originally reported it stood 5 meters high (16 feet), however according to information just released by the Temple Institute, the altar is actually five amot high (a Biblical measurement) which works out to 7.7 feet and 24.5 feet wide. It comes complete with a ramp that allows for easy access to the top of the altar where the sacrifices took place.

Is the Muslim Dome of the Rock really sitting on the original site of the Jewish Temple?

[by Dean Smith] The Muslim’s Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem has been a source of conflict between Muslims and Jews for years. In a video at the end of this article, you will see a confrontation between a group of Muslim agitators and US senator Dennis Ross when he recently visited the Dome. According to tradition, the Dome of the Rock sits on the original site of the Jewish Temple before the Romans destroyed it in 70 AD. The Dome, built in 691 AD, is considered one of Islam’s oldest buildings. The State of Jordan operates and manages the Dome, which is probably Jerusalem’s most notable land mark. But recently some are suggesting the Dome of the Rock was not the original site of the Jewish Temple.

Does the “Sandwich theory” help us understand a puzzling Bible story?

[by Dean Smith] In Matthew 21:18-22, we have the strange story of the fig tree. Jesus who was hungry saw a lone fig tree by the road and went to it looking for figs. When He found no figs, Jesus cursed the tree and it withered and died. The disciples were shocked by what happened and Jesus gave them a brief teaching on faith and they continued their journey into Jerusalem. However, what makes the story a bit odd is that it was not the season for the fig tree to produce fruit — which Mark notes (Mark 11:13). Jesus and the disciples knew this and in this odd statement we realize one thing — the story is not about the fig tree.

Was the Dome on the Rock originally built for the Jews?

The Dome of the Rock has dominated the Jerusalem landscape for centuries. The Muslims use the Dome, built on the Temple mount between 689 – 691 AD, as a mosque. However, at the time of its construction, it was actually patterned off Byzantine churches in the area and evidence suggests it was originally intended as a Jewish building, not a Muslim one. The Dome, which is maintained by the Jordan government, is probably the most recognizable building in Jerusalem. Though Muslims allow limited visits to the Dome, they do not allow any type of religious expression to take place, other than Islam. As a result,  Jews have taken to praying at the wall.