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A drawing of Ezekiel's Visionary Temple, as described in the Book of Ezekiel, chapters 40-47

Model of Ezekiel's Visionary Temple, as described in the Book of Ezekiel, chapters 40-42, drawn as literally as possible by the Dutch architect Bartelmeüs Reinders (1893-1979)

Since the destruction of the Second Temple in AD 70, religious Jewish people have expressed their desire to see the building of a Third Temple on the Temple Mount. Prayer for this cause has been a formal part of the Jewish tradition thrice daily Jewish prayer services. Though it remains unbuilt, the notion of and desire for a Third Temple is sacred in Judaism, particularly Orthodox Judaism, as an unrealized place of worship. The prophets in the Tanakh called for its construction, to be fulfilled in the Messianic era.

The scenario of a rebuilding of the Third Temple also plays a major role with-in Christian Eschatology[1]

Unused ancient Jewish floor plans for a Temple exist in various sources, notably in Chapters 40-47 of Ezekiel (Ezekiel's vision pre-dates the Second Temple) and in the Temple Scroll discovered at Qumran among the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Role in Orthodox Judaism

Destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem, by Francesco Hayez

Orthodox Judaism believes in the rebuilding of a Third Temple (or Fourth Temple [Solomon's Temple, Zerubbabel's Temple, Herod's Temple]) and the resumption of sacrificial worship, although there is disagreement about how rebuilding should take place or exactly what kind of worship will occur. Orthodox authorities generally believe that rebuilding should occur in the era of the Jewish Messiah at the hand of Divine Providence, although a minority position, following the opinion of Maimonides, holds that Jews should endeavor to rebuild the temple themselves, whenever possible.[2] Orthodox authorities generally predict the resumption of the complete traditional system of sacrifices, but some authorities have disagreed. It has traditionally been assumed that some sort of animal sacrifices would be reinstituted, in accord with the rules in Leviticus and the Talmud. This belief is embedded in Orthodox liturgy. Every Orthodox prayer service contains prayers for the Temple's restoration and for sacrificial worship's resumption, and every day there is a recitation of the order of the day's sacrifices and the psalms the Levites would have sung that day.

The generally accepted position among Orthodox Jews is that the full order of the sacrifices will be resumed upon the building of the Temple. Although Maimonides wrote in his early work "A Guide for the Perplexed" "that God deliberately has moved Jews away from sacrifices towards prayer, as prayer is a higher form of worship," his definitive book "The Mishneh Torah" - which is considered by some to have the force of law - states that animal sacrifices will take place in the third temple, and details how they will be carried out. Some attribute to Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, the first chief rabbi of the Jewish community in Palestine, the view that animal sacrifices will not be reinstituted. It should be noted that Rav Kook's views on the Temple service are sometimes misconstrued (for example, in Olat Re'ayah, commenting on the prophecy of Malachi ("Then the grain-offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to God as in the days of old and as in former years" [Malachi 3:4]), he indicates that only grain offerings will be offered in the reinstated Temple service, while in a related essay from Otzarot Hare'ayah he suggests otherwise).

Role in prayer

Orthodox Jewish prayers include, in every prayer service, a prayer for the reconstruction of the Temple and resumption of sacrifices. The morning prayer service also includes a study session of the daily Temple ritual and offerings as a reminder, including detailed study of the animal sacrifices and incense offerings. The service also contains the daily and special-occasion psalms the Levites used to sing in the Temple. Following the weekday Torah reading there is a prayer to "restore the House of our lives and to cause the Shekhinah (Divine Presence) to dwell among us", and the Amidah contains prayers for acceptance of "the fire-offerings of Israel" and ends with a meditation for the restoration of the Temple. ("And may the grain-offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasing, as in former days and ancient times" (Malachi 3:4). In addition, the theological and poetic language of Hebrew is filled with words with dual connotations, which are both literal references to elements of Temple architecture or ritual, and also have metaphorical theological and poetic meanings regarding the relationship between the worshipper and God. Translations and commentary on prayers with this language tend to discuss both meanings in Orthodox Judaism. (Examples of dual-meaning words: deshen refers to both the ashes left after a burnt-offering, and also means "acceptance with favor"; kodesh refers to "the Holy", i.e. the Sanctuary portion of the Temple, and also means "holy" generally; and chatzrot refers to the courtyards of the Temple, and also connotes nearness to God; "korban" means both "sacrifice" and "drawing near".)

Preservation of Kohanim and Levi'im

Orthodox Judaism preserves the Kohanim, descendants of the priestly family of Aaron, within the tribe of Levi, and Levi'im (Levites), descendants of the tribe of Levi, intact for future service in a restored Temple. Kohanim and Levites are regarded as still being dedicated to divine service and obligated to report for duty for service in the Temple, at any moment, should it be rebuilt. Kohanim are still subject to Biblical purity restrictions including a prohibition on marrying a divorcee or proselyte and restrictions on entering cemeteries.

Preservation of daily cycle

Orthodox Judaism's required daily prayers must be said at the times when corresponding sacrifices would have been offered in the Temple.

Preservation of rules of tumah

The Temple had elaborate rules of ritual purity forbidding entry to people with Tumah, ritual impurity, arising from contact with the dead, seminal emissions and menstrual blood, contact with non-kosher (unclean) animals, certain diseases, and a number of other sources. While many of the original purification ceremonies involved (such as the Red Heifer ceremony) became impossible in the absence of the Temple and its rites, Rabbinic Judaism, and later Orthodox Judaism, considered Jews obligated to observe such laws of ritual purity as are possible, and retained a large number of the rules as principles for ordinary life. The laws of "family purity" are directly based, in function and terminology, on the Temple rules. A number of other requirements, such as the practices of immersing in a mikvah before Yom Kippur, washing the hands in the morning, before meals, and after a funeral, derive from these principles. Many contemporary and seemingly unconnected rules for ordinary living are intimately linked with these Temple rituals and rules. For example, the Shema Yisrael prayer is said at the time of day when Kohanim who were Tamei completed a portion of their purification ritual, and the kind of plant material that can be put on the roof of a contemporary Sukkah is the kind that is not susceptible to Tumah. In addition, authorities who permit Jews to ascend the Temple Mount require observance of a larger set of ritual purity rules than have been retained in daily life, such as a requirement of immersion following a seminal emission.

Role in Conservative Judaism

Conservative Judaism believes in a Messiah and in a rebuilt Temple, but does not believe in the restoration of sacrifices. Accordingly, Conservative Judaism's Committee on Jewish Law and Standards has modified the prayers. Conservative prayerbooks call for the restoration of Temple, but do not ask for resumption of sacrifices. The Orthodox study session on sacrifices in the daily morning service has been replaced with the Talmudic passages teaching that deeds of loving-kindness now atone for sin. In the daily Amidah prayer, the central prayer in Jewish services, the petitions to accept the "fire offerings of Israel" and "the grain-offering of Judah and Jerusalem" (Malachi 3:4) are removed. In the special Mussaf Amidah prayer said on Shabbat and Jewish holidays, the Hebrew phrase na'ase ve'nakriv (we will present and sacrifice) is modified to read to asu ve'hikrivu (they presented and sacrificed), implying that sacrifices are a thing of the past. The prayer for the restoration of "the House of our lives" and the Shekhinah to dwell "among us" in the weekday Torah reading service is retained in Conservative prayer books, although not all Conservative services say it. In Conservative prayer books, words and phrases that have dual meaning, referring to both Temple features and theological or poetic concepts, are generally retained. Translations and commentaries, however, generally refer to the poetic or theological meanings only. Conservative Judaism also takes an intermediate position on Kohanim and Levites, preserving patrilineal tribal descent and some aspects of their roles, but lifting restrictions on whom Kohanim are permitted to marry.

In 2006, the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards adapted a series of responsa on the subject of the role of Niddah in Conservative Judaism, in which it discussed Conservative Judaism's view of the role of Temple-related concepts of ritual purity in contemporary Judaism. One responsum adopted by a majority of the Committee held that concepts of ritual purity relevant to entry into the Temple are no longer applicable to contemporary Judaism and accepted a proposal to change the term "family purity" to "family holiness" and to explain the continuing observance of Niddah on a different basis from continuity with Temple practices.[3][4] Another responsum, also adopted by a majority of the Committee, called for retaining existing observances, terminology, and rationale, and held that these Temple-related observances and concepts continued to have contemporary impact and meaning.[5] Thus, consistent with Conservative Judaism's philosophy of pluralism, both views of the continuing relevance of Temple-related concepts of ritual purity are permissible Conservative views.

Role in Reform and Reconstructionist Judaism

Reform and Reconstructionist Judaism do not believe in the rebuilding of a central Temple or a restoration of Temple sacrifices or worship. They regard the Temple and sacrificial era as a period of a more primitive form of ritual which Judaism (in their view) has evolved out of and should not return to. They also believe a special role for Kohanim and Levites represents a caste system incompatible with modern principles of egalitarianism, and do not preserve these roles. Furthermore, there is a Reform view that the shul or synagogue is a modern Temple; hence, "Temple" appears in numerous congregation names in Reform Judaism. Indeed, the re-designation of the synagogue as "temple" was one of the hallmarks of early Reform in 19th century Germany, when Berlin was declared the new Jerusalem, and Reform Jewry sought to demonstrate their staunch German nationalism. The Anti-Zionism that characterized Reform Judaism throughout much of its history subsided somewhat with the Holocaust in Europe and the later successes of the modern state of Israel. As of yet, however, the belief in the return of the Jews to the Temple in Jerusalem is not part of mainstream Reform Judaism.

Ancient attempts at rebuilding

The Bar Kochba revolt

The forces of Shimon ben Kosiba, more commonly known as Simon bar Kokhba, captured Jerusalem from the Romans in AD 132, and construction of a new temple began, as well as renewed temple services. The failure of this revolt led to the writing of the Mishna, as the religious leaders believed that the next attempt to rebuild the temple might be centuries away and memory of the practices and ceremonies would otherwise be lost.

Julian's Roman "Third Temple"

There was an aborted project by the Roman emperor Julian (361-363) to allow the Jews to build a "Third Temple", part of Julian's empire-wide program of restoring/strengthening local religious cults. Rabbi Hilkiyah, one of the leading rabbis of the time, spurned Julian's money, arguing that gentiles should play no part in the rebuilding of the temple.

According to various sources of that time, including Sozomen (c. 400–450) in his Historia Ecclesiastica and the pagan historian and close friend of Julian, Ammianus Marcellinus,[6] the project of rebuilding the temple was aborted because each time the workers were trying to build the temple, using the existing substructure, they were burned by terrible flames coming from inside the earth and an earthquake negated what work was made: Template:Long quotation

The failure to rebuild the Temple has been ascribed to the Galilee earthquake of 363, and to the Jews' ambivalence about the project. Sabotage is a possibility, as is an accidental fire. Divine intervention was the common view among Christian historians of the time.[7] Shortly thereafter, Julian was killed in battle, and the Christians reasserted control over the empire.

The Sassanid vassal state

In 610, Sassanid Empire drove the Byzantine Empire out of the Middle East, giving the Jews control of Jerusalem for the first time in centuries. The new rulers soon ordered the restart of animal sacrifice for the first time since the time of Bar Kochba. Shortly before the Byzantines took the area back, the Persians gave control to the Christian population, who tore down the partly built edifice and turned it into a garbage dump,[8] which is what it was when the Caliph Omar took the city in the 630s.

Situation in medieval times

In 1267 Nahmanides wrote a letter to his son. It contained the following references to the land and the Temple:

What shall I say of this land . . . The more holy the place the greater the desolation. Jerusalem is the most desolate of all . . . There are about 2,000 inhabitants . . . but there are no Jews, "for after the arrival of the Tartars, the Jews fled, and some were killed by the sword. There are now only two brothers, dyers, who buy their dyes from the government. At their place a quorum of worshippers meets on the Sabbath, and we encourage them, and found a ruined house, built on pillars, with a beautiful dome, and made it into a synagogue . . . People regularly come to Jerusalem, men and women from Damascus and from Aleppo and from all parts of the country, to see the Temple and weep over it. And may He who deemed us worthy to see Jerusalem in her ruins, grant us to see her rebuilt and restored, and the honor of the Divine Presence returned.

Current efforts to rebuild the Temple

Although in mainstream Orthodox Judaism the rebuilding of the Temple is generally left to the coming of the Jewish Messiah and to Divine Providence, a number of organizations, generally representing a small minority of even Orthodox Jews, have been formed with the objective of realizing the immediate construction of a Third Temple in present times. These organizations include:

Organizations involved

  • The Temple Institute states that its goal is to build the Third Temple on Mount Moriah. The Temple Institute has already made several items to be used in the Third Temple.
  • Recently an organization known as Revava, ambitious to build the Third Temple, has planned numerous ascensions of the Temple Mount. Revava last held a rally at the Western Wall on April 10, 2005 after it announced plans to bring 10,000 Jews to the Mount. This prompted counter-protests by Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza and on the Temple Mount, and by more than 100,000 Muslims in Indonesia and several other Muslim countries. An estimated 200 Jewish protesters were allowed past intense security during the Revava rally, and they did not ascend the Mount.

Obstacles to realization

The most immediate and obvious obstacle to realization of these goals is the fact that two historic Islamic structures which are 13 centuries old, namely the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, are built on top of the Temple Mount. The Dome of the Rock is regarded as occupying the actual space where the Temple once stood, and Israel has undertaken to preserve access to these buildings as part of international obligations. Any efforts to damage or reduce access to these sites, or to build Jewish structures within, between, on, or instead of them, would lead to severe international conflicts, given the association of the Muslim world with these holy places. However, some 20th and 21st century scholars believe that the Dome of the Rock is not the actual location of the First and Second Temples, and that the Temples were actually located either just north of or just south of the Dome of the Rock.[9] The most recent theory would put the temple in between The Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa Mosque.[9]

In addition, most Jewish-Orthodox scholars reject any attempts to build the Temple before the coming of Messiah. This is because there are many doubts as to the exact location in which it is required to be built. For example, while measurements are given in cubits, there exists a controversy whether this unit of measurement equals approximately 1.5 feet or 2 feet. (For the most part, however, even those who advocate the 2-ft. interpretation do so only as a stringency, and accept the 1-1/2 ft. understanding as normative.) Without exact knowledge of the size of a cubit, the altar could not be built. Indeed, the Talmud recounts that the building of the second Temple was only possible under the direct prophetic guidance of Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. Without valid prophetic revelation, it would be impossible to rebuild the Temple, even if the mosques no longer occupy its location.

Status of Temple Mount

Israel currently restricts access by Jews to the Temple Mount on both religious and political grounds. Many religious authorities, including the Chief Rabbinate, interpret halakha (Jewish law) as prohibiting entering the area to prevent inadvertently entering and desecrating forbidden areas (such as the Kadosh Kadoshim), as the Temple area is regarded as still retaining its full sanctity and restrictions. Moreover, political authorities, concerned about past violent clashes at the Temple Mount including one which inaugurated the Palestinian Intifada, seek to reduce the likelihood of further violent confrontations between Jewish religious activists and Muslims worshipping at the mosques, which could further damage the area's delicate archeological and political fabric.[10]

During the Sukkot festival in 2006 Uri Ariel, a National Union member of the Knesset, ascended the Mount [1] and said that he is preparing a plan where a synagogue will be built on the Mount. His suggested synagogue won't be built instead of the mosques but in a separate area in accordance with rulings of the prominent rabbis. He said he believed that this will be correcting an historical injustice and that it is an opportunity for the Muslim world to prove that it is tolerant to all faiths.

Christian views

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While there are a number of differing views amongst Christianity with regard to the significance or the requirement of a third temple being built in Jerusalem, most believe that the New Covenant (spoken of in Jeremiah 31:31-34) is marked by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the believer (Ezekiel 36:26-27) and that, as such, the body is the temple, or that the temple has been superseded. Paul illustrates this concept in his letter to the believers at Corinth:

What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you and which ye have from God, and that ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 KJV)

This idea is related to the belief that Christ himself, having claimed to be and do what the temple was and did, is the new temple (John 2:19), and that his people, as a part of the "body of Christ" (meaning the church), are part of this temple as well (2 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 2:19–22; 1 Peter 2:4–5). The result, according to N. T. Wright, is that the earthly temple (along with the city of Jerusalem and the Land of Israel) is no longer of any spiritual significance:

[Paul] refers to the church, and indeed to individual Christians, as the ‘temple of the living God’ (1 Cor. 3:16, 6:19). To Western Christians, thinking anachronistically of the temple as simply the Jewish equivalent of a cathedral, the image is simply one metaphor among many and without much apparent significance. For a first-century Jew, however, the Temple had an enormous significance; as a result, when Paul uses such an image within twenty-five years of the Crucifixion (with the actual temple still standing), it is a striking index of the immense change that has taken place in his thought. The Temple had been superseded by the Church. If this is so for the Temple, and in Romans 4 for the Land, then it must a fortiori be the case for Jerusalem, which formed the concentric circle in between those two in the normal Jewish worldview.[11]

In the teaching of both Jesus and Paul, then, according to Wright,

God’s house in Jerusalem was meant to be a ‘place of prayer for all the nations’ (Isaiah 56:7; Mark 11:17); but God would now achieve this though the new temple, which was Jesus himself and his people.[11]

Ben F. Meyer, also, argued that Jesus applied prophecy regarding Zion and temple to himself and his followers:

[Jesus] affirmed the prophecies of salvation with their end-time imagery Zion and the temple—belonging to the eschatological themes that the "pilgimage of the peoples" evoked. But contrary to the common expectation of his contemporaries, Jesus expected the destruction of the temple in the coming eschatological ordeal (Mark 13:2=Matt 24:2=Luke 21:6). The combination seems contradictory. How could he simultaneously predict the ruin of the temple in the ordeal and affirm the end-time fulfillment of promise and prophecy on Zion and temple? The paradox is irresolvable until one takes note of another trait of Jesus' words on the imagery of Zion and temple, namely, the consistent application to his own disciples of Zion- and temple-imagery: the city on the mountain (Matt 5:14; cf. Thomas, 32), the cosmic rock (Matt 16:18; cf. John 1:42), the new sanctuary (Mark 14:58; Matt 26:61). The mass of promise and prophecy will come to fulfillment in this eschatological and messianic circle of believers.[12]

Some would therefore see the need for a third temple as being diminished, redundant, or entirely foreclosed, while others take a position that the building of the third temple is an integral part of end-time prophecy. The various perspectives on the significance of the building of a third temple within Christianity are therefore generally linked to a number of factors including: the level of literal or spiritual interpretation applied to what is taken to be "end-time" prophecy; the perceived relationships between various scriptures such as Daniel, the Olivet discourse, 2 Thessalonians and Ezekiel (amongst others); whether or not a dual-covenant is considered to be in place; and whether Old Testament promises of the restoration of Israel remain unfulfilled or have all come true in the Messiah (2 Corinthians 1:20). Such factors determine, for example, whether Daniel 9:27 or 2 Thessalonians 2:4 are read as referring to a still-future physically restored third temple.

A number of these perspectives are illustrated below.

Protestant views

Mainstream Protestant view

The dominant view within Protestant Christianity is that animal sacrifices within the Temple were a foreshadowing of the sacrifice Jesus made for the sins of the world through his crucifixion and shedding of his blood on the first day of Passover. The Epistle to the Hebrews is often cited in support of this view: the temple sacrifices are described as being imperfect, since they require repeating (ch. 10:1-4), and as belonging to a covenant that was "becoming obsolete and growing old" and was "ready to vanish away" (ch. 8:13, ESV). Christ's crucifixion, being a sacrifice which dealt with sin once and for all, negated any need for further animal sacrifice. Christ himself is compared to the High Priest who was always standing and performing rituals and sacrifices. Christ, however, having performed his sacrifice, "sat down" — perfection having been finally attained (ch. 10:11-14,18). Further, the veil or curtain to the Holy of Holies is seen as having been torn asunder at the crucifixion - figuratively in connection with this theology (Ch 10:19-21), and literally according to the Gospel of Matthew (ch 27:50-51). For these reasons, a third temple, whose partial purpose would be the re-institution of animal sacrifices, is seen as unnecessary.

Additionally Jesus himself stated when asked where to worship, "neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem... But in spirit and in truth". He stated of the Herodian temple, "Not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down" - John 4:21, Luke 21:6.

Dispensationalist Protestant view

"Ground Plan of Ezekiel's Temple" by dispensationalist author A. C. Gaebelein

Those Protestants who do believe in the importance of a future rebuilt temple (viz., some dispensationalists) hold that the importance of the sacrificial system shifts to a Memorial of the Cross, given the text of Ezekiel Chapters 39 and following (in addition to Millennial references to the Temple in other Old Testament passages); since Ezekiel explains at length the construction and nature of the Millennial temple, in which Jews will once again hold the priesthood; some others hold that perhaps it was not completely eliminated with Jesus' sacrifice for sin, but is a ceremonial object lesson for confession and forgiveness (somewhat like water baptism and Communion are today); and that such animal sacrifices would still be appropriate for ritual cleansing and for acts of celebration and thanksgiving toward God. Some dispensationalists believe this will be the case with the Second Coming of Christ when Jesus reigns over earth from the city of New Jerusalem.[specify] interprets a passage in the Book of Daniel, Daniel 12:11, as a prophecy that the end of this age will occur shortly after sacrifices are ended in the newly rebuilt temple.

Dispensational Evangelical view

Many Evangelical Christians believe that New Testament prophecies associated with the Jewish Temple, such as Matthew 24-25 and 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12, were not completely fulfilled during the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 (a belief of Full Preterism) and that these prophecies refer to a future temple. This view is a core part of Dispensationalism, an interpretative framework of the Bible that stresses Biblical literalism and asserts that the Jews remain God's chosen people. According to Dispensationalist theologians, such as Hal Lindsey and Tim LaHaye, the Third Temple will be rebuilt when the Anti-Christ, often identified as the political leader of a trans-national alliance such as the European Union or the United Nations, secures a peace treaty between the modern nation of Israel and its Muslim neighbors following a war in which Russia and the United States are destroyed or crippled as the result of a nuclear war and/or the Rapture. The Anti-Christ later uses the temple as a venue for proclaiming himself as God and the long-awaited Messiah, demanding worship from humanity.[13] Dispensationalism is rejected by Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and mainline Protestant churches, as well as by many Evangelical pastors and theologians.

Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox view

The Catholic and Orthodox churches believe that the Eucharist, which they hold to be one in substance with the one self-sacrifice of Christ on the Cross, is a far superior offering when compared with the merely preparatory temple sacrifices, as explained in the Epistle to the Hebrews. They also believe that Christ Himself is the New Temple, as spoken of in the Book of Revelation and that Revelations can best be understood as the Eucharist, heaven on earth. Their church buildings are meant to model Solomon's Temple, with the Tabernacle, containing the Eucharist, being considered the new "Holy of Holies." Therefore, they do not attach any significance to a possible future rebuilding of the Jerusalem Temple. The Orthodox also quote Daniel 9:27 ("he shall cause the sacrifice and the offering to cease") to show that the sacrifices would stop with the arrival of the Messiah, and mention that according to Jesus, St. Paul and the Holy Fathers, the temple will only be rebuilt at the times of the Antichrist. (Quotations: Matthew 24:15, "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)"; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4: "...that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God".)

Hal Lindsey view

According to American evangelical author Hal Lindsey, the Third Temple could be built right next to the Dome of the Rock. [2] He believes, based on the theory of Dr. Asher Kaufman regarding the location of the Eastern Gate, that the Dome of the Rock was built on what the Bible refers to as the Court of the Gentiles. He states that according to Revelation 11:1-2, the rebuilding of the Third Temple was not to include the section of the temple mount known as The Court of the Gentiles. Therefore, he believes that the Third Temple and the Dome of the Rock could stand side by side.

Muslim view

As previously mentioned, most Muslims view the movement for the building of a Third Temple on the Temple Mount as an affront to Islam due to the presence of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock in the stead of the former Temple edifice. Today the area is regarded by the majority of Muslims as the third holiest site in Islam. Furthermore, the mosque and the shrine have been on the mountain longer than the Temples were.[14] This being the case, Muslims are resolute in calling for recognition of their exclusive rights over the site and demand that it be wholly transferred over to Muslim sovereignty; furthermore, some Muslims deny any association with the Mount to the former Jewish Temples which stood at the site.[15][16] Calls for violent reaction against any presence of non-Muslims on the site have often been made by Muslim fundamentalists since East Jerusalem was annexed by Israeli authorities.

Bahá'í view

In the Bahá'í view the prophecy of the Third Temple was fulfilled with the writing of the Súriy-i-Haykal by Bahá'u'lláh in pentacle form.[17] The Súriy-i-Haykal or Tablet of the Temple, is a composite work which consists of a tablet followed by five messages addressed to world leaders; shortly after its completion, Bahá'u'lláh instructed the tablet be written in the form of a pentacle, symbolizing the human temple and added to it the conclusion:[18]

Thus have We built the Temple with the hands of power and might, could ye but know it. This is the Temple promised unto you in the Book. Draw ye nigh unto it. This is that which profiteth you, could ye but comprehend it. Be fair, O peoples of the earth! Which is preferable, this, or a temple which is built of clay? Set your faces towards it. Thus have ye been commanded by God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.[19]

Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith, explained that this verse refers to the prophecy in the Hebrew Bible where Zechariah had promised the rebuilding of the Temple in the End Times as fulfilled in the return of the Manifestation of God, Bahá'u'lláh, in a human temple.[18][20] Throughout the tablet, Bahá'u'lláh addresses the Temple (himself) and explains the glory which is invested in it allowing all the nations of the world to find redemption.[17][21] In the tablet, Bahá'u'lláh states that the Manifestation of God is a pure mirror that reflects the sovereignty of God and manifests God's beauty and grandeur to mankind.[17] In essence, Bahá'u'lláh explains that the Manifestation of God is a "Living Temple" and Bahá'u'lláh addresses the organs and limbs of the human body and bids each to focus on God and not the earthly world.[17]

See also


  2. Reb Chaim HaQoton: Building the Third Holy Temple
  3. Rabbi Susan Grossman, MIKVEH AND THE SANCTITY OF BEING CREATED HUMAN, Committee on Jewish Law and Standards, Rabbinical Assembly, December 6, 2006
  4. Rabbi Miriam Berkowitz, RESHAPING THE LAWS OF FAMILY PURITY FOR THE MODERN WORLD, Committee on Jewish Law and Standards, Rabbinical Assembly, December 6, 2006
  5. Rabbi Avram Reisner, OBSERVING NIDDAH IN OUR DAY: AN INQUIRY ON THE STATUS OF PURITY AND THE PROHIBITION OF SEXUAL ACTIVITY WITH A MENSTRUANT, Committee on Jewish Law and Standards, Rabbinical Assembly, December 6, 2006
  6. See Britannica Deluxe 2002 and Stewart Henry Perowne
  7. See "Julian and the Jews 361–363 CE" and "Julian the Apostate and the Holy Temple".
  8. Karmi, Ghada (1997). Jerusalem Today: What Future for the Peace Process?. Garnet & Ithaca Press. p. 116. ISBN 0863722261. 
  9. 9.0 9.1
  11. 11.0 11.1 N. T. Wright, "Jerusalem in the New Testament" (1994)
  12. Ben F. Meyer, "The Temple at the Navel of the Earth," in Christus Faber: the master builder and the house of God, Princeton Theological Monograph Series no. 29 (Allison Park, Pa.: Pickwick Publications, 1992) 217, 261.
  13. For a summation of dispensationalist beliefs, see Prophecy News Watch,
  14. The First Temple lasted 373 years (960BC-586BC); the Second lasted 585 years (516BC-70AD). The Dome of the Rock has been on the Temple Mount for 1318 years. The current Al-Aqsa Mosque is 976 years old.
  15. Fendel, Hillel (November 6, 2006). "Israeli Sheikh: Temple Mount is Entirely Islamic". Arutz Sheva. Retrieved 2006-11-12. 
  16. Sheikh Salah: Western Wall belongs to Muslims, February 18, 2007
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 Taherzadeh, Adib (1984). The Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, Volume 3: `Akka, The Early Years 1868-77. Oxford, UK: George Ronald. p. 133. ISBN 0-85398-144-2. 
  18. 18.0 18.1 Universal House of Justice (2002). "Introduction". The Summons of the Lord of Hosts. Haifa Israel: Bahá'í World Centre. p. 1. ISBN 0-85398-976-1. 
  19. Bahá'u'lláh (2002). The Summons of the Lord of Hosts. Haifa Israel: Bahá'í World Centre. p. 137. ISBN 0-85398-976-1. 
  20. Effendi, Shoghi (1996). Promised Day is Come. Wilmette, Illinois, USA: Bahá'í Publishing Trust. pp. 47–48. ISBN 0-87743-244-9. 
  21. Shawamreh, Cynthia C. (1998-12). "Comparison of the Suriy-i-Haykal and the Prophecies of Zechariah". Retrieved 2006-09-30. 

Further reading

  • Gorenberg, Gershom. The End of Days : Fundamentalism and the Struggle for the Temple Mount. Free Press, 2000. ISBN 0-684-87179-3 (Journalist's view)
  • Ha'Ivri, David. Reclaiming the Temple Mount. HaMeir L'David, 2006. ISBN 965-90509-6-8 (Advocacy of immediate rebuilding of a Third Temple)
  • Grant R. Jeffrey. The New Temple and The Second Coming. WaterBrook Press, 2007. ISBN 978-1-4000-7107-4
  • N. T. Wright, "Jerusalem in the New Testament" (1994) (Jesus claimed to do and be what the Temple was and did)
  • Ben F. Meyer. "The Temple at the Navel of the Earth," in Christus Faber: the master builder and the house of God. Princeton Theological Monograph Series no. 29. Allison Park, Pa.: Pickwick Publications, 1992. (Arguing that, for Jesus, the real referents of the imagery of biblical promise—Zion, or cosmic rock and, on it, God's gleaming temple of the end of days—were himself and his messianic remnant of believers.)

External links

ar:الهيكل الثالث gl:Terceiro Templo de Xerusalén ru:Третий Храм sv:Jerusalems tredje tempel zh:第三圣殿