Ark of the Covenant - Bible History Online

Bible History Online

Sub Categories
Archaeology
Court of Israel
Court of the Gentiles
Court of the Priests
Court of the Women
Destruction
Dome of the Rock
Fortress of Antonia
Gates of the Temple
Historical Sources
History
Moneychangers
Paintings and Illustrations
Passover
Porches, Halls, & Arches
Rich and Poor
Solomon's Porch
Solomons Temple
Stones and Marble
Temple Model
Temple of Zerubbabel
The Altar of Burnt Offering
The Colonnades
The Golden Gate
The Holy of Holies
The Holy Place
The Inner Courts
The Laver of Cleansing
The National Treasury
The Priests
The Temple and Jesus
The Temple Mount
The Temple of Herod
The Veil
Western Wall

Back to Categories

December 15    Scripture

Second Temple: The Temple of Herod
In 19 BC Herod the Great undertook the massive building project of rebuilding the Temple in Jerusalem.

Initiation of the Work of Herod's Temple ISBE Herod became king de facto by the capture of Jerusalem in 37 BC. Some years later he built the fortress Antonia to the North of the temple (before 31 BC). Midway in his reign, assigning a religious motive for his purpose, he formed the project of rebuilding the temple itself on a grander scale (Josephus gives conflicting dates; in Ant, XV, xi, 1, he says "in his 18th year"; in BJ, I, xxi, 1, he names his 15th year; the latter date, as Schurer suggests (GJV4, I 369), may refer to the extensive preparations). To allay the distrust of his subjects, he undertook that the materials for the new building should be collected before the old was taken down; he likewise trained 1,000 priests to be masons and carpenters for work upon the sanctuary; 10,000 skilled workmen altogether were employed upon the task. The building was commenced in 20-19 BC. The naos, or temple proper, was finished in a year and a half, but it took 8 years to complete the courts and cloisters. The total erection occupied a much longer time (compare Jn 2:20, "Forty and six years," etc.); indeed the work was not entirely completed till 64 AD-6 years before its destruction by the Romans.
http://www.bible-history.com/isbe/T/TEMPLE%2C+A2/


Brief Description of Herod's Temple by Easton Several remains of Herod's stately temple have by recent explorations been brought to light. It had two courts, one intended for the Israelites only, and the other, a large outer court, called "the court of the Gentiles," intended for the use of strangers of all nations. These two courts were separated by a low wall, as Josephus states, some 4 1/2 feet high, with thirteen openings. Along the top of this dividing wall, at regular intervals, were placed pillars bearing in Greek an inscription to the effect that no stranger was, on the pain of death, to pass from the court of the Gentiles into that of the Jews. At the entrance to a graveyard at the north-western angle of the Haram wall, a stone was discovered by M. Ganneau in 1871, built into the wall, bearing the following inscription in Greek capitals: "No stranger is to enter within the partition wall and enclosure around the sanctuary. Whoever is caught will be responsible to himself for his death, which will ensue." There can be no doubt that the stone thus discovered was one of those originally placed on the boundary wall which separated the Jews from the Gentiles, of which Josephus speaks. It is of importance to notice that the word rendered "sanctuary" in the inscription was used in a specific sense of the inner court, the court of the Israelites, and is the word rendered "temple" in John 2:15 and Acts 21:28, 29. When Paul speaks of the middle wall of partition (Eph. 2:14), he probably makes allusion to this dividing wall. Within this partition wall stood the temple proper, consisting of, (1) the court of the women, 8 feet higher than the outer court; (2) 10 feet higher than this court was the court of Israel; (3) the court of the priests, again 3 feet higher; and lastly (4) the temple floor, 8 feet above that; thus in all 29 feet above the level of the outer court. The summit of Mount Moriah, on which the temple stood, is now occupied by the Haram esh-Sherif, i.e., "the sacred enclosure." This enclosure is about 1,500 feet from north to south, with a breadth of about 1,000 feet, covering in all a space of about 35 acres. About the centre of the enclosure is a raised platform, 16 feet above the surrounding space, and paved with large stone slabs, on which stands the Mohammedan mosque called Kubbet es-Sahkra i.e., the "Dome of the Rock," or the Mosque of Omar. This mosque covers the site of Solomon's temple. In the centre of the dome there is a bare, projecting rock, the highest part of Moriah (q.v.), measuring 60 feet by 40, standing 6 feet above the floor of the mosque, called the sahkra, i.e., "rock." Over this rock the altar of burnt-offerings stood. It was the threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite. The exact position on this "sacred enclosure" which the temple occupied has not been yet definitely ascertained. Some affirm that Herod's temple covered the site of Solomon's temple and palace, and in addition enclosed a square of 300 feet at the south-western angle. The temple courts thus are supposed to have occupied the southern portion of the "enclosure," forming in all a square of more than 900 feet. It is argued by others that Herod's temple occupied a square of 600 feet at the south-west of the "enclosure."
http://www.bible-history.com/eastons/T/Temple%2C+Herod%27s/


First Century Jerusalem Temple Herod's finest achievement, the Temple in Jerusalem. "One of His disciples said to Him, 'Look, Teacher what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings." (Mk 13:1) When Herod the Great rebuilt Jerusalem's Temple in 19 BC, he erected a great retaining wall to extend the Temple's base. Taking thousands of workers many years to build, the huge wall was made of limestone blocks (some of them over 30 feet long and 25 feet thick) hauled from a quarry on rollers and hoisted aloft by wooden cranes. [Jerusalem Temple Image]
http://www.bible-history.com/jerusalem/firstcenturyjerusalem_jerusalem_temple.html


Herod's Temple in Easton's Bible Dictionary The temple erected by the exiles on their return from Babylon had stood for about five hundred years, when Herod the Great became king of Judea. The building had suffered considerably from natural decay as well as from the assaults of hostile armies, and Herod, desirous of gaining the favour of the Jews, proposed to rebuild it. This offer was accepted, and the work was begun (B.C. 18), and carried out at great labour and expense, and on a scale of surpassing splendour. The main part of the building was completed in ten years, but the erection of the outer courts and the embellishment of the whole were carried on during the entire period of our Lord's life on earth (John 2:16,19-21), and the temple was completed only A.D. 65. But it was not long permitted to exist. Within forty years after our Lord's crucifixion, his prediction of its overthrow was accomplished (Luke 19:: 4144-44). The Roman legions took the city of Jerusalem by storm, and notwithstanding the strenuous efforts Titus made to preserve the temple, his soldiers set fire to it in several places, and it was utterly destroyed (A.D. 70), and was never rebuilt. Several remains of Herod's stately temple have by recent explorations been brought to light. It had two courts, one intended for the Israelites only, and the other, a large outer court, called "the court of the Gentiles," intended for the use of strangers of all nations. These two courts were separated by a low wall, as Josephus states, some 4 1/2 feet high, with thirteen openings. Along the top of this dividing wall, at regular intervals, were placed pillars bearing in Greek an inscription to the effect that no stranger was, on the pain of death, to pass from the court of the Gentiles into that of the Jews. At the entrance to a graveyard at the north-western angle of the Haram wall, a stone was discovered by M. Ganneau in 1871, built into the wall, bearing the following inscription in Greek capitals: "No stranger is to enter within the partition wall and enclosure around the sanctuary. Whoever is caught will be responsible to himself for his death, which will ensue." There can be no doubt that the stone thus discovered was one of those originally placed on the boundary wall which separated the Jews from the Gentiles, of which Josephus speaks. It is of importance to notice that the word rendered "sanctuary" in the inscription was used in a specific sense of the inner court, the court of the Israelites, and is the word rendered "temple" in John 2:15 and Acts 21:28,29. When Paul speaks of the middle wall of partition (Ephesians 2:14), he probably makes allusion to this dividing wall. Within this partition wall stood the temple proper, consisting of, (1) the court of the women, 8 feet higher than the outer court; (2) 10 feet higher than this court was the court of Israel; (3) the court of the priests, again 3 feet higher; and lastly (4) the temple floor, 8 feet above that; thus in all 29 feet above the level of the outer court. The summit of Mount Moriah, on which the temple stood, is now occupied by the Haram esh-Sherif, i.e., "the sacred enclosure." This enclosure is about 1,500 feet from north to south, with a breadth of about 1,000 feet, covering in all a space of about 35 acres. About the centre of the enclosure is a raised platform, 16 feet above the surrounding space, and paved with large stone slabs, on which stands the Mohammedan mosque called Kubbet es-Sahkra i.e., the "Dome of the Rock," or the Mosque of Omar. This mosque covers the site of Solomon's temple. In the centre of the dome there is a bare, projecting rock, the highest part of Moriah (q.v.), measuring 60 feet by 40, standing 6 feet above the floor of the mosque, called the sahkra, i.e., "rock." Over this rock the altar of burnt-offerings stood. It was the threshing-floor of Araunah the Jebusite. The exact position on this "sacred enclosure" which the temple occupied has not been yet definitely ascertained. Some affirm that Herod's temple covered the site of Solomon's temple and palace, and in addition enclosed a square of 300 feet at the south-western angle. The temple courts thus are supposed to have occupied the southern portion of the "enclosure," forming in all a square of more than 900 feet. It is argued by others that Herod's temple occupied a square of 600 feet at the south-west of the "enclosure."
http://www.bible-history.com/jewishtemple/JEWISH_TEMPLEEastons_Bible_Dictionary.htm


Herod's Temple in Unger's Bible Dictionary The Temple as it existed after the captivity was not such as would satisfy a man as vain and fond of display as Herod the Great; and he accordingly undertook the task of rebuilding it on a grander scale. Although the reconstruction was practically equivalent to an entire rebuilding, still this Temple cannot be spoken of as a third one, for Herod himself said, in so many words, that it was only intended to be regarded as an enlarging and further beautifying of that of Zerubbabel. After the necessary preparation the work of building was begun in the eighteenth year of Herod's reign ( 20 or 21 B.C.). The Temple proper, in which priests and Levites were employed, was finished in a year and a half, and the courts in the course of eight years. Subsidiary buildings were gradually erected, added to through the reigns of his successors, so that the entire undertaking was not completed till the time of Agrippa II and the procurator Albinus (A.D. 64 AD). For our knowledge of the last and greatest of the Jewish Temples we are indebted almost wholly to the works of Josephus, with an occasional hint from the Talmud. The Bible unfortunately contains nothing to assist in this respect. The Temple and its courts occupied an area of 1 stadium (Josephus), or 500 cubits (Talmud). They were arranged in terrace form, one court being higher than another, and the Temple highest of all, so as to be easily seen from any part of the city or vicinity, thus presenting an imposing appearance (Mark 13:2-3).
http://www.bible-history.com/jewishtemple/JEWISH_TEMPLEUngers_Bible_Dictionary__Herods_.htm


Measurements of Herod's Temple ISBE Differences of opinion continue as to the sacred cubit. A. R. S. Kennedy thinks the cubit can be definitely fixed at 17,6 inches. (Expostory Times, XX, 24 ff); G. A. Smith reckons it at 20,67 inches. (Jerusalem, II, 504); T. Witton Davies estimates it at about 18 in. (HDB, IV, 713), etc. W. S. Caldecott takes the cubit of Josephus and the Middoth to be 1 1/5 ft. It will suffice in this sketch to treat the cubit, as before, as approximately equivalent to 18 inches.
http://www.bible-history.com/isbe/T/TEMPLE%2C+A2/


Overview of the Temple of Herod The Temple Jesus knew was the Temple renovated, enlarged and beautified by Herod the Great. Architecturally it was new; religiously it was still Zerubbabel's Temple, rebuilt after the Jews returned from the Babylonian exile. The six centuries between the return from exile and the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD are known in Jewish history as the age of the second Temple. Even though the synagogue was the commonplace of local Jewish life and worship, the Jerusalem temple was the commonplace of national Jewish life and worship. The Jewish Temple in Jerusalem told the world the fact that there is only one God. The synagogue was mainly a place of instruction, yet the Temple differed greatly, being a place of sacrifice. Jews within Israel, and those who lived outside Israel (the Diaspora), saw the Temple as the symbol of unity. Every year, Jews throughout the world send large contributions to the Temple, and most Jews longed for the opportunity to visit the Temple at least once in their lifetime. The Temple courts were always crowded, and Temple worship and sacrifices happened every morning and every evening.
http://www.bible-history.com/jewishtemple/JEWISH_TEMPLEOverview.htm


Solomon's Temple Solomon's Temple had stood on the site of Mount Moriah for over 350 years before the Babylonians destroyed it in 586 BC beyond the possibility of repair. Solomon built the temple on the east side of Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, "where the Lord had appeared to his father David, at the place that David had prepared on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite" (1 Chron 21:28; 2 Chron 3:1). King David was forbidden to build Godís house: "But the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 'You have shed much blood, and have waged great wars; you shall not build a house to My name, because you have shed so much blood on the earth before Me'" (1 Chron 22:8). But Davidís son Solomon was a man of peace and began the project of constructing God a house of worship. To secure an adequate site for the Temple and its courts, an area of at least 600 by 300 feet was required. The summit of the hill had to be leveled and slightly enlarged by means of fill and retaining walls built on the sides. The construction was completed in the eleventh year of Solomon's reign, (in seven and a half years, 953 BC). Chron 22:9-10 Behold, a son shall be born to you, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies all around. His name shall be Solomon, for I will give peace and quietness to Israel in his days. He shall build a house for My name, and he shall be My son, and I will be his Father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.' The highest part of Mount Moriah is now the site of the building called The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. The Destruction of Solomonís Temple Jer 52:12-14 "Now in the fifth month, on the tenth day of the month (which was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon), Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, who served the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem. He burned the house of the LORD and the king's house; all the houses of Jerusalem, that is, all the houses of the great, he burned with fire. And all the army of the Chaldeans who were with the captain of the guard broke down all the walls of Jerusalem all around."
http://www.bible-history.com/jewishtemple/JEWISH_TEMPLESolomons_Temple.htm


Temple of Herod Devotional Bible Study The Temple and itís sacrifices provided a stage whereby a story was told, of a Supreme sacrifice that would be paid for the sins of mankind. Though built by Herod, Jesus called it "my fatherís house." Itís grandeur was immense, itís beauty could be seen glimmering in the sun from miles away. It housed the continuing worship of God, by the Levitical system of vicarious atonement through blood sacrifice, declaring to the world, the immensity of itís sin, and the power of Godís grace. The Son of God entered itís hallowed grounds, and cleansed it of corrupt profiteering on the part of the religious leaders at the beginning of His ministry, and once again nearing itís end, preserving itís message of justice and mercy by the righteous and loving Creator. The pinnacle of the temple provided a location for the devil to tempt the Lord into taking His authority prematurely, unwisely, and pridefully, against the nature and character of the Father. The courts of the gentiles provided an awe inspiring backdrop for the Messiah to teach the multitudes who gathered to experience His glory and unparalleled wisdom. The courts of the temple provided a location for a lesson on giving, as Jesus pointed out that the widow who gave 2 mites, offered more than all the wealthy put together, because it cost her more, giving all she had. But as beautiful and holy as the Jerusalem Temple was, it was still only a building, whoís ultimate meaning was in teaching that humanity was indeed enslaved within a sinful nature, and manís approach to God was not automatic or cost free. The Holy God had provided a means, and the temple declared that the means was through a vicarious payment for manís sins. The Passover lambs, the scapegoats, the blood taken into the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement, all testified that manís sinfulness exacted a terrible price, and the price must be paid. Yet, the writer of Hebrews realized by the Holy Spirit, that the blood of bulls and goats could not take away sins permanently. They were but checks, that would have to be covered by the blood in the bank account of the True Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. (Heb. 10:4) After the unspeakable gift of Christís sacrifice upon a Roman cross paid for the sins of the world, the temple no longer provided that vicarious access to God. Itís veil, which separated man from the very Presence of God Himself, was miraculously torn in two, from top to bottom, declaring that the way of approach to God was no longer found inside this granite and marble structure, but now was open to all, who would enter by the sacrifice once for all given, by Jesus Christ. (Mat 27:51) The new abode of God, was each individual who accepts this sacrifice on their behalf, becomes filled with the Holy Spirit, and thus becomes a glorious individual temple of God. As we understand the majesties of the Jerusalem Temple, we must realize that by accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior, we by far outshine the former temple in our value to God, who loves us, and paid the supreme price for our redemption.
http://www.bible-history.com/jewishtemple/JEWISH_TEMPLEConclusion.htm


The Grandeur of Herod's Temple ISBE Built of white marble, covered with heavy plates of gold in front and rising high above its marble-cloistered courts--themselves a succession of terraces--the temple, compared by Josephus to a snow-covered mountain (BJ, V, v, 6), was a conspicuous and dazzling object from every side. The general structure is succinctly described by G. A. Smith: "Herod's temple consisted of a house divided like its predecessor into the Holy of Holies, and the Holy Place; a porch; an immediate fore-court with an altar of burnt offering; a Court of Israel; in front of this a Court of Women; and round the whole of the preceding, a Court of the Gentiles" (Jerusalem, II, 502). On the "four courts," compare Josephus, Apion, II, viii.
http://www.bible-history.com/isbe/T/TEMPLE%2C+A2/


Zerubbabel's Temple About 70 years after the destruction of Solomonís Temple and the Jewish deportation an entirely new Temple was built on Mount Moriah, by a decree of the Persian king. The new Temple was dedicated on March 12, 515 BC, some very old people who could remember Solomon's Temple regarded it a poor thing in comparison with the splendor of the original Temple. Yet their prophet Haggai predicted far greater glory for it in days to come (Haggai 2:3-9). Hag 2:3-9 "'Who is left among you who saw this temple in its former glory? And how do you see it now? In comparison with it, is this not in your eyes as nothing? Yet now be strong, Zerubbabel,' says the LORD; 'and be strong, Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest; and be strong, all you people of the land,' says the LORD, 'and work; for I am with you,' says the LORD of hosts. 'According to the word that I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt, so My Spirit remains among you; do not fear!' "For thus says the LORD of hosts:' Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,' says the LORD of hosts. 'The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,' says the LORD of hosts. 'The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,' says the LORD of hosts. 'And in this place I will give peace,' says the LORD of hosts." The high priesthood in the new Temple remained for nearly 350 years in the family of Zadok, which had filled the chief priests in Solomon's Temple from its dedication onwards. The Temple was repaired and enlarged at various times between Zerubbabel and Herod.
http://www.bible-history.com/jewishtemple/JEWISH_TEMPLEZerubbabels_Temple.htm


If you notice a broken link or any error PLEASE report it by clicking HERE
© 1995-2017 Bible History Online





More Bible History