All posts tagged: Second Temple

Model of Herod's Temple at the Israel Museum. Photo: Berthold Werner/Wikipedia

Has the third Jewish temple already been constructed?

In early September, Dr. Ghassan Weshah, an archaeological professor from the Islamic University of Gaza in Palestine told the media that the Biblical references to the Jewish Temple existing on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem are all a complete lie. He made these claims despite the fact the Muslim Koran refers to the temple at least twice, and even refers to King Solomon building the temple (34:13). Another Koranic verse describes the Muslims praying towards Mecca and the Jews towards their temple (Sura 2:145). However, a handful of Islamic scholars try to get around this problem by insisting that Solomon actually built a mosque, even though Islam did not appear on the scene until 1,600 years later. According to the Biblical record, Solomon built the first temple around 1000 BC and it was destroyed in 586 BC by the Babylonians who them promptly hauled thousands of Jews into captivity. Ezra constructed what is called the second Temple around 520 BC when the Persians who had defeated the Babylonians allowed the Jews to return to Jerusalem. …

Workers sifting through the 400 truckloads of dirt hauled out of the Temple Mount as part of the Temple Mount Sifting Project. Photo: Zachi Dvira Pikiwiki Israel

Ancient flooring from Herod’s Temple discovered?

Archaeologists with the Temple Mount Sifting Project believe they have discovered the floor that made up the court-yard of Herod’s temple. This was the floor Jesus walked on when He visited the temple in the Gospels. They made the announcement at a news conference today. The first Jewish Temple built by King Solomon was destroyed by Babylonian emperor Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC, who then sent most of the Jews into captivity. After Persia’s King Cyrus conquered Babylon, he allowed the Jews under Zerubbabel, Ezra and Nehemiah to return to Israel and rebuild Jerusalem and the temple. The construction of the smaller second temple started around 538 BC and was eventually completed in 515 BC (Ezra 6). Though it survived near destruction in 332 BC, after quelling a Jewish rebellion Antiochus IV Epiphanes (215 BC – 164 BC) desecrated this second temple by setting us an idol of Zeus inside it and sacrificing a pig. But the temple continued and it was this version that King Herod restored and expanded in 20 BC.  The transformation was …