All posts tagged: Temple

The main hindrance to constructing the Third Jewish Temple is the Muslim Dome of the Rock that Orthodox Jews believe sits on the original site of the Jewish Temple. Credit: Davit Ortmann/Flickr/Creative Commons

Jewish Sanhedrin re-introduces the half-shekel Temple Tax

A report in Breaking Israel News (BIN) says the nascent Sanhedrin has introduced an official half-shekel temple tax. Referred to as the mitzvah or commandment, the money will be dedicated to operating a third Jewish temple if it is ever built. The half-shekel tax was first set up under Moses to help fund the tabernacle. Jews paid it when Israel conducted a national census (Exodus 30:15). The Jewish leadership then introduced a one-third temple tax during the rebuilding of the temple under Ezra and Nehemiah (Nehemiah 10:32; Ezra 6:8). It was collected annually. The tax was re-introduced when Herod built the second temple in 20 BC. The half-shekel tax, worth about $4 today, was collected three times a year during annual pilgrimages to the temple. They had actual tax collectors whose job was to collect the tax. We even have an account of Jesus and Peter paying the temple tax (Matthew 17). However, it is clear that Jesus felt no obligation to pay the mitzvah (verses 25-26). So why did Jesus pay it? He agreed …

The Temple Mount and Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem seen from the Mount of Olives. Photo: Boris G./Flickr/Creative Commons

If you want to be a Temple priest in Israel, make sure you weren’t born in a hospital

Jerusalem’s Temple Institute has just announced it is accepting applications for priests to serve in a yet to be built Jewish Temple. The Institute, which started in 1987, is dedicated to seeing a third temple built in Jerusalem replacing the Temple destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. Over the years, it has completed a number of items in preparation for this third Temple. This includes constructing 70 pieces of temple furniture part of which one is a massive altar, that can be taken apart and moved to the Temple once it is constructed. Everything was meticulously prepared according to Biblical instructions.  They have also ordered the architectural drawings for a third temple. This is a tricky task because it must meet Biblical specifications as well as modern building practices. The Institute is even creating a herd of red cattle using imported embryos from red Angus beef in America. An unblemished red heifer is necessary for some of the Temple sacrifices. Recently the Temple Institute announced it is now accepting applications for positions of Temple …

Jesus cleansing the temple by Giovanni Paolo Panini (1691-1765)

The problem of the Jewish Messiah and the Temple

As they did in Jesus day, many Orthodox Jews reject Jesus as the Jewish Messiah. Even today they still await their Messiah’s coming. In the Old Testament, there were a number of prophecies that spoke of the Messiah and Jesus fulfilled them all including being born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2) and even riding on a donkey (Zechariah 9:9). But there is one prophecy from the Book of Daniel that is very problematic for the Jews and it involved a prophecy about the Messiah and the Temple. In some ways it explains the love hate relationship Jesus had with the Temple. On one hand Jesus cleansed the Temple by taking a whip and driving out the money changers claiming it was supposed to be a House of prayer (Matthew 21:12-17). But Jesus also prophesied the Temple’s destruction telling His disciples that not even one stone would be left standing on another (Matthew 24:1-2). In the end, it would be Jesus’ public statements about the Temple that got Him into trouble with the ruling class. After Jesus …

Orthodox Jews praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Photo: Nico_/Flickr

VICTORY: Palestinian Authority drops resolution to have UN declare Jerusalem’s Western Wall a Muslim holy site

UPDATE: It is now being reported that the Palestinian Authority (PA) has withdrawn its resolution that the UN designate the Western Wall a Muslim holy site.  It is being called a rare victory for Israel at the UN. Apparently the public backlash against this claim forced the Palestinian group to change its mind. The organization still wants the UN to designate Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem and Hebron’s Tomb of the Patriarchs as Muslim sites. Israel said it will continue to aggressively fight these ludicrous claims. The Palestinian Authority put forward a motion via UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, to have the UN declare Jerusalem’s Western Wall a Muslim religious site earlier this week. It was expected to go to a vote on October 21, 2015. PA claims it is part of an old wall surrounding the al-Aqsa mosque built on the Temple Mount. The Jews have prayed at the Western Wall for centuries believing it is the last remains of the outer wall of the Jewish Temple destroyed by the Romans …

Architectural plans ordered for a new Jewish Temple

The Temple Institute, based in the Jewish area of Old Jerusalem, just announced it has ordered production of architectural plans necessary to build a Jewish temple. If constructed, this would be Israel’s third temple, with the previous two destroyed in 70 AD and 167 BC. It follows a year-long campaign to raise finances for the plans. The video above shows the preliminary design of the new Temple. Started in 1987, The Temple Institute (TI) is a non-profit religious organization established to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. Initially it set out to “rekindle the flame of the Holy Temple” in the hearts of the Israeli people with the goal of ultimately rebuilding the temple. It has already constructed much of the necessary furniture. TI made the announcement of the plans on Sunday July 26, 2015 — the Tisha B’Av holiday — a day on which the Jews traditionally fast and mourn the destruction of the last two temples. It is considered by many as the “saddest day” on Israel’s calendar. Israeli police broke up a plot …

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.