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The Temple in Jerusalem, or alternatively the Holy Temple (; , ), refers to the two now-destroyed religious structures that served as the central places of worship for
Israelites The Israelites (; , , ) were a group of Semitic-speaking tribes in the ancient Near East who, during the Iron Age, inhabited a part of Canaan. The earliest recorded evidence of a people by the name of Israel appears in the Merneptah Stele o ...
and
Jews Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים, , ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation originating from the Israelites Israelite origins and kingdom: "The first act in the long drama of Jewish history is the age of the Israelites""The ...
on the modern-day
Temple Mount The Temple Mount ( hbo, הַר הַבַּיִת, translit=Har haBayīt, label=Hebrew, lit=Mount of the House f the Holy}), also known as al-Ḥaram al-Sharīf (Arabic: الحرم الشريف, lit. 'The Noble Sanctuary'), al-Aqsa Mosque compou ...
in the Old City of Jerusalem. According to the
Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (;"Tanach"
''
First Temple was built in the 10th century BCE, during the reign of
Solomon Solomon (; , ),, ; ar, سُلَيْمَان, ', , ; el, Σολομών, ; la, Salomon also called Jedidiah ( Hebrew: , Modern: , Tiberian: ''Yăḏīḏăyāh'', "beloved of Yah"), was a monarch of ancient Israel and the son and succ ...
over the United Kingdom of Israel. It stood until , when it was destroyed during the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem. Almost a century later, the First Temple was replaced by the
Second Temple The Second Temple (, , ), later known as Herod's Temple, was the reconstructed Temple in Jerusalem between and 70 CE. It replaced Solomon's Temple, which had been built at the same location in the United Kingdom of Israel before being inherite ...
, which was built after the
Neo-Babylonian Empire The Neo-Babylonian Empire or Second Babylonian Empire, historically known as the Chaldean Empire, was the last polity ruled by monarchs native to Mesopotamia. Beginning with the coronation of Nabopolassar as the King of Babylon in 626 BC and bei ...
was conquered by the
Achaemenid Persian Empire The Achaemenid Empire or Achaemenian Empire (; peo, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, , ), also called the First Persian Empire, was an ancient Iranian empire founded by Cyrus the Great in 550 BC. Based in Western Asia, it was contemporarily the largest emp ...
. While the Second Temple stood for a longer period of time than the First Temple, it was likewise destroyed during the Roman siege of Jerusalem in 70 CE. Projects to build the hypothetical "
Third Temple The "Third Temple" ( he, , , ) refers to a hypothetical rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem. It would succeed Solomon's Temple and the Second Temple, the former having been destroyed during the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem in and the latter havin ...
" have not come to fruition in the modern era, though the Temple in Jerusalem still features prominently in Judaism. Today, the Temple Mount is the site of the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque, with the latter having a high level of significance as the third-holiest site in Islam.


Etymology

The Hebrew name given in the
Hebrew Bible The Hebrew Bible or Tanakh (;"Tanach"
''
rabbinic literature Rabbinic literature, in its broadest sense, is the entire spectrum of rabbinic writings throughout Jewish history. However, the term often refers specifically to literature from the Talmudic era, as opposed to medieval and modern rabbinic writ ...
, the temple sanctuary is ''Beit HaMikdash'' (), meaning, "The Holy House", and only the Temple in Jerusalem is referred to by this name. In classic English texts, however, the word "Temple" is used interchangeably, sometimes having the strict connotation of the Temple precincts, with its courts ( gr, ἱερὸν), while at other times having the strict connotation of the Temple Sanctuary ( gr, ναός). While Greek and Hebrew texts make this distinction, English texts do not always do so. Jewish rabbi and philosopher Moses Maimonides gave the following definition of "Temple" in his ''
Mishne Torah The ''Mishneh Torah'' ( he, מִשְׁנֵה תּוֹרָה, , repetition of the Torah), also known as ''Sefer Yad ha-Hazaka'' ( he, ספר יד החזקה, , book of the strong hand, label=none), is a code of Rabbinic Jewish religious law ('' ...
'' (Hil. ''Beit Ha-Bechirah''):
They are enjoined to make, in what concerns it (i.e. the building of the Temple), a holy site and an inner-sanctum, and where there is positioned in front of the holy site a certain place that is called a 'Hall' (). The three of these places are called 'Sanctuary' (). They are lsoenjoined to make a different partition surrounding the Sanctuary, distant from it, similar to the screen-like hangings of the court that were in the wilderness. All that which is surrounded by this partition, which, as noted, is like the court of the Tabernacle, is called 'Courtyard' (), whereas all of it together is called 'Temple' () [].


First Temple

The Hebrew Bible says that the First Temple was built by
King Solomon King is the title given to a male monarch in a variety of contexts. The female equivalent is queen, which title is also given to the consort of a king. *In the context of prehistory, antiquity and contemporary indigenous peoples, the ti ...
,"Temple, the." Cross, F. L., ed. ''The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church.'' New York: Oxford University Press. 2005 completed in 957 BCE. According to the
Book of Deuteronomy Deuteronomy ( grc, Δευτερονόμιον, Deuteronómion, second law) is the fifth and last book of the Torah (in Judaism), where it is called (Hebrew: hbo, , Dəḇārīm, hewords Moses.html"_;"title="f_Moses">f_Moseslabel=none)_and_th ...
, as the sole place of Israelite ''
korban In Judaism, the korban ( ''qorbān''), also spelled ''qorban'' or ''corban'', is any of a variety of sacrificial offerings described and commanded in the Torah. The plural form is korbanot, korbanoth or korbans. The term Korban primarily re ...
'' (sacrifice), the Temple replaced the Tabernacle constructed in the
Sinai Sinai commonly refers to: * Sinai Peninsula, Egypt * Mount Sinai, a mountain in the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt * Biblical Mount Sinai, the site in the Bible where Moses received the Law of God Sinai may also refer to: * Sinai, South Dakota, a place ...
under the auspices of
Moses Moses hbo, מֹשֶׁה, Mōše; also known as Moshe or Moshe Rabbeinu (Mishnaic Hebrew: מֹשֶׁה רַבֵּינוּ, ); syr, ܡܘܫܐ, Mūše; ar, موسى, Mūsā; grc, Mωϋσῆς, Mōÿsēs () is considered the most important pro ...
, as well as local sanctuaries, and altars in the hills. This Temple was sacked a few decades later by
Shoshenq I Hedjkheperre Setepenre Shoshenq I ( Egyptian ''ššnq''; reigned c. 943–922 BC)—also known as Shashank or Sheshonk or Sheshonq Ifor discussion of the spelling, see Shoshenq—was a pharaoh of ancient Egypt and the founder of the Twenty-seco ...
,
Pharaoh Pharaoh (, ; Egyptian: '' pr ꜥꜣ''; cop, , Pǝrro; Biblical Hebrew: ''Parʿō'') is the vernacular term often used by modern authors for the kings of ancient Egypt who ruled as monarchs from the First Dynasty (c. 3150 BC) until the ...
of
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مصر , ), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia via a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. It is bordered by the Mediter ...
. Although efforts were made at partial reconstruction, it was only in 835 BCE when Jehoash, King of Judah, in the second year of his reign invested considerable sums in reconstruction, only to have it stripped again for
Sennacherib Sennacherib ( Neo-Assyrian cuneiform: or , meaning " Sîn has replaced the brothers") was the king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire from the death of his father Sargon II in 705BC to his own death in 681BC. The second king of the Sargonid dyna ...
, King of Assyria c. 700 BCE. The First Temple was totally destroyed in the Siege of Jerusalem by the
Neo-Babylonian Empire The Neo-Babylonian Empire or Second Babylonian Empire, historically known as the Chaldean Empire, was the last polity ruled by monarchs native to Mesopotamia. Beginning with the coronation of Nabopolassar as the King of Babylon in 626 BC and bei ...
in 586 BCE.


Second Temple

According to the
Book of Ezra The Book of Ezra is a book of the Hebrew Bible; which formerly included the Book of Nehemiah in a single book, commonly distinguished in scholarship as Ezra–Nehemiah. The two became separated with the first printed rabbinic bibles of the ear ...
, construction of the Second Temple was called for by
Cyrus the Great Cyrus II of Persia (; peo, 𐎤𐎢𐎽𐎢𐏁 ), commonly known as Cyrus the Great, was the founder of the Achaemenid Empire, the first Persian empire. Schmitt Achaemenid dynasty (i. The clan and dynasty) Under his rule, the empire embraced ...
and began in 538 BCE, after the fall of the
Neo-Babylonian Empire The Neo-Babylonian Empire or Second Babylonian Empire, historically known as the Chaldean Empire, was the last polity ruled by monarchs native to Mesopotamia. Beginning with the coronation of Nabopolassar as the King of Babylon in 626 BC and bei ...
the year before. According to some 19th-century calculations, work started later, in April 536 BCE (), and was completed on the 21st of February, 515 BCE, 21 years after the start of the construction. This date is obtained by coordinating Ezra 3:8–10 (the third day of
Adar Adar ( he, אֲדָר ; from Akkadian ''adaru'') is the sixth month of the civil year and the twelfth month of the religious year on the Hebrew calendar, roughly corresponding to the month of March in the Gregorian calendar. It is a month of 29 ...
, in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the Great) with historical sources. The accuracy of these dates is contested by some modern researchers, who consider the biblical text to be of later date and based on a combination of historical records and religious considerations, leading to contradictions between different books of the Bible and making the dates unreliable. The new temple was dedicated by the Jewish governor
Zerubbabel According to the biblical narrative, Zerubbabel, ; la, Zorobabel; Akkadian: 𒆰𒆍𒀭𒊏𒆠 ''Zērubābili'' was a governor of the Achaemenid Empire's province Yehud Medinata and the grandson of Jeconiah, penultimate king of Judah. Zeru ...
. However, with a full reading of the Book of Ezra and the
Book of Nehemiah The Book of Nehemiah in the Hebrew Bible, largely takes the form of a first-person memoir concerning the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem after the Babylonian exile by Nehemiah, a Jew who is a high official at the Persian court, and the ded ...
, there were four edicts to build the Second Temple, which were issued by three kings: Cyrus in 536 BCE (Ezra ch. 1),
Darius I Darius I ( peo, 𐎭𐎠𐎼𐎹𐎺𐎢𐏁 ; grc-gre, Δαρεῖος ; – 486 BCE), commonly known as Darius the Great, was a Persian ruler who served as the third King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire, reigning from 522 BCE until his d ...
of Persia in 519 BCE (ch. 6), and
Artaxerxes I of Persia Artaxerxes I (, peo, 𐎠𐎼𐎫𐎧𐏁𐏂𐎠 ; grc-gre, Ἀρταξέρξης) was the fifth King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire, from 465 to December 424 BC. He was the third son of Xerxes I. He may have been the " Artas ...
in 457 BCE (ch. 7), and finally by Artaxerxes again in 444 BCE (Nehemiah ch. 2). According to classical Jewish sources, another demolition of the Temple was narrowly avoided in 332 BCE when the Jews refused to acknowledge the deification of
Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon ( grc, Ἀλέξανδρος, Alexandros; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon. He succeeded his father Philip II to ...
of Macedonia, but Alexander was placated at the last minute by astute diplomacy and flattery. After the death of Alexander on 13 June 323 BCE, and the dismembering of his empire, the
Ptolemies The Ptolemaic dynasty (; grc, Πτολεμαῖοι, ''Ptolemaioi''), sometimes referred to as the Lagid dynasty (Λαγίδαι, ''Lagidae;'' after Ptolemy I's father, Lagus), was a Macedonian Greek royal dynasty which ruled the Ptolemaic ...
came to rule over Judea and the Temple. Under the Ptolemies, the Jews were given many civil liberties and lived content under their rule. However, when the Ptolemaic army was defeated at Panium by
Antiochus III Antiochus III the Great (; grc-gre, Ἀντίoχoς Μέγας ; c. 2413 July 187 BC) was a Greek Hellenistic king and the 6th ruler of the Seleucid Empire, reigning from 222 to 187 BC. He ruled over the region of Syria and large parts of the r ...
of the Seleucids in 200 BCE, this policy changed. Antiochus wanted to Hellenise the Jews, attempting to introduce the Greek pantheon into the temple. Moreover, a rebellion ensued and was brutally crushed, but no further action by Antiochus was taken, and when Antiochus died in 187 BCE at Luristan, his son
Seleucus IV Philopator Seleucus IV Philopator (Greek: Σέλευκος Φιλοπάτωρ; c. 218 – 3 September 175 BC), ruler of the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire, reigned from 187 BC to 175 BC over a realm consisting of Syria (now including Cilicia and Judea), Mesop ...
succeeded him. However, his policies never took effect in Judea, since he was assassinated the year after his ascension. Antiochus IV Epiphanes succeeded his older brother to the Seleucid throne and immediately adopted his father's previous policy of universal Hellenisation. The Jews rebelled again and Antiochus, in a rage, retaliated in force. Considering the previous episodes of discontent, the Jews became incensed when the religious observances of
Sabbath In Abrahamic religions, the Sabbath () or Shabbat (from Hebrew ) is a day set aside for rest and worship. According to the Book of Exodus, the Sabbath is a day of rest on the seventh day, commanded by God to be kept as a holy day of rest, ...
and
circumcision Circumcision is a procedure that removes the foreskin from the human penis. In the most common form of the operation, the foreskin is extended with forceps, then a circumcision device may be placed, after which the foreskin is excised. Top ...
were officially outlawed. When Antiochus erected a statue of
Zeus Zeus or , , ; grc, Δῐός, ''Diós'', label= genitive Boeotian Aeolic and Laconian grc-dor, Δεύς, Deús ; grc, Δέος, ''Déos'', label= genitive el, Δίας, ''Días'' () is the sky and thunder god in ancient Greek religi ...
in their temple and Hellenic priests began sacrificing
pig The pig (''Sus domesticus''), often called swine, hog, or domestic pig when distinguishing from other members of the genus '' Sus'', is an omnivorous, domesticated, even-toed, hoofed mammal. It is variously considered a subspecies of ''Sus ...
s (the usual sacrifice offered to the
Greek god The following is a list of gods, goddesses, and many other divine and semi-divine figures from ancient Greek mythology and ancient Greek religion. Immortals The Greeks created images of their deities for many purposes. A temple would house the ...
s in the Hellenic religion), their anger began to spiral. When a Greek official ordered a Jewish priest to perform a Hellenic sacrifice, the priest (
Mattathias Mattathias ben Johanan ( he, מַתִּתְיָהוּ הַכֹּהֵן בֶּן יוֹחָנָן, ''Mattīṯyāhū haKōhēn ben Yōḥānān''; died 166–165 BCE) was a Kohen (Jewish priest) who helped spark the Maccabean Revolt against t ...
) killed him. In 167 BCE, the Jews rose up en masse behind Mattathias and his five sons to fight and won their freedom from Seleucid authority. Mattathias' son Judah Maccabee, now called "The Hammer", re-dedicated the temple in 165 BCE and the Jews celebrate this event to this day as the central theme of the non-biblical festival of
Hanukkah or English translation: 'Establishing' or 'Dedication' (of the Temple in Jerusalem) , nickname = , observedby = Jews , begins = 25 Kislev , ends = 2 Tevet or 3 Tevet , celebrations = Lighting candles each nigh ...
. The temple was rededicated under Judah Maccabee in 164 BCE. During the Roman era,
Pompey Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (; 29 September 106 BC – 28 September 48 BC), known in English as Pompey or Pompey the Great, was a leading Roman general and statesman. He played a significant role in the transformation of ...
entered (and thereby desecrated) the
Holy of Holies The Holy of Holies (Hebrew: ''Qōḏeš haqQŏḏāšīm'' or ''Kodesh HaKodashim''; also הַדְּבִיר ''haDəḇīr'', 'the Sanctuary') is a term in the Hebrew Bible that refers to the inner sanctuary of the Tabernacle, where God's prese ...
in 63 BCE, but left the Temple intact. In 54 BCE,
Crassus Marcus Licinius Crassus (; 115 – 53 BC) was a Roman general and statesman who played a key role in the transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire. He is often called "the richest man in Rome." Wallechinsky, David & Wallace, ...
looted the Temple treasury. Around 20 BCE, the building was renovated and expanded by
Herod the Great Herod I (; ; grc-gre, ; c. 72 – 4 or 1 BCE), also known as Herod the Great, was a Roman Jewish client king of Judea, referred to as the Herodian kingdom. He is known for his colossal building projects throughout Judea, including his ren ...
, and became known as
Herod's Temple The Second Temple (, , ), later known as Herod's Temple, was the reconstructed Temple in Jerusalem between and 70 CE. It replaced Solomon's Temple, which had been built at the same location in the United Kingdom of Israel before being inherit ...
. It was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE during the Siege of Jerusalem. During the
Bar Kokhba revolt The Bar Kokhba revolt ( he, , links=yes, ''Mereḏ Bar Kōḵḇāʾ‎''), or the 'Jewish Expedition' as the Romans named it ( la, Expeditio Judaica), was a rebellion by the Jews of the Roman province of Judea, led by Simon bar Kokhba, ag ...
against the Romans in 132–135 CE,
Simon bar Kokhba Simon ben Koseba or Cosiba ( he, שִׁמְעוֹן בַּר כֹסֵבָא, translit= Šīmʾōn bar Ḵōsēḇaʾ‎ ; died 135 CE), commonly known as Bar Kokhba ( he, שִׁמְעוֹן בַּר כּוֹכְבָא‎, translit=Šīmʾōn bar ...
and
Rabbi Akiva Akiva ben Yosef (Mishnaic Hebrew: ''ʿĂqīvāʾ ben Yōsēf''; – 28 September 135 CE), also known as Rabbi Akiva (), was a leading Jewish scholar and sage, a '' tanna'' of the latter part of the first century and the beginning of the second c ...
wanted to rebuild the Temple, but bar Kokhba's revolt failed and the Jews were banned from Jerusalem (except for
Tisha B'Av Tisha B'Av ( he, תִּשְׁעָה בְּאָב ''Tīšʿā Bəʾāv''; , ) is an annual fast day in Judaism, on which a number of disasters in Jewish history occurred, primarily the destruction of both Solomon's Temple by the Neo-Babylonian ...
) by the Roman Empire. The emperor
Julian Julian may refer to: People * Julian (emperor) (331–363), Roman emperor from 361 to 363 * Julian (Rome), referring to the Roman gens Julia, with imperial dynasty offshoots * Saint Julian (disambiguation), several Christian saints * Julian (gi ...
allowed the Temple to be rebuilt, but the Galilee earthquake of 363 ended all attempts ever since. After the Muslim conquest of Jerusalem in the 7th century,
Umayyad The Umayyad Caliphate (661–750 CE; , ; ar, ٱلْخِلَافَة ٱلْأُمَوِيَّة, al-Khilāfah al-ʾUmawīyah) was the second of the four major caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. The caliphate was ruled by the ...
Caliph
Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan ibn al-Hakam ( ar, عبد الملك ابن مروان ابن الحكم, ʿAbd al-Malik ibn Marwān ibn al-Ḥakam; July/August 644 or June/July 647 – 9 October 705) was the fifth Umayyad caliph, ruling from April 685 ...
ordered the construction of an
Islamic Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion centred primarily around the Quran, a religious text considered by Muslims to be the direct word of God (or ''Allah'') as it was revealed to Muhammad, the ma ...
shrine, the Dome of the Rock, on the Temple Mount. The shrine has stood on the mount since 691 CE; the Jami Al-Aqsa, from roughly the same period, also stands in what used to be the Temple courtyard.


Archaeological evidence

Archaeological excavations have found remnants of both the First Temple and Second Temple. Among the artifacts of the First Temple are dozens of ritual immersion or baptismal pools in this area surrounding the
Temple Mount The Temple Mount ( hbo, הַר הַבַּיִת, translit=Har haBayīt, label=Hebrew, lit=Mount of the House f the Holy}), also known as al-Ḥaram al-Sharīf (Arabic: الحرم الشريف, lit. 'The Noble Sanctuary'), al-Aqsa Mosque compou ...
, as well as a large square platform identified by architectural archaeologist Leen Ritmeyer as likely being built by King
Hezekiah Hezekiah (; hbo, , Ḥīzqīyyahū), or Ezekias); grc, Ἐζεκίας 'Ezekías; la, Ezechias; also transliterated as or ; meaning " Yah shall strengthen" (born , sole ruler ), was the son of Ahaz and the 13th king of Judah according to ...
c. 700 BCE as a gathering area in front of the Temple. Concrete finds from the Second Temple include the
Temple Warning inscription The Temple Warning inscription, also known as the Temple Balustrade inscription or the Soreg inscription, is an inscription that hung along the balustrade outside the Sanctuary of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. Two of these tablets have been fou ...
s and the Trumpeting Place inscription, two surviving pieces of the Herodian expansion of the Temple Mount. The Temple Warning inscriptions forbid the entry of pagans to the Temple, a prohibition also mentioned by the 1st century CE historian
Josephus Flavius Josephus (; grc-gre, Ἰώσηπος, ; 37 – 100) was a first-century Romano-Jewish historian and military leader, best known for '' The Jewish War'', who was born in Jerusalem—then part of Roman Judea—to a father of priestly ...
. These inscriptions were on the wall that surrounded the Temple and prevented non-Jews from entering the temple's courtyard. The Trumpeting Place inscription was found at the southwest corner of Temple Mount, and is believed to mark the site where the priests used to declare the advent of Shabbat and other Jewish holidays. Ritual objects used in the temple service were carried off and many are likely located in museum collections, in particular, that of the Vatican Museums.


Location

There are three main theories as to where the Temple stood: where the Dome of the Rock is now located, to the north of the Dome of the Rock (Professor Asher Kaufman), or to the east of the Dome of the Rock (Professor Joseph Patrich of the
Hebrew University The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HUJI; he, הַאוּנִיבֶרְסִיטָה הַעִבְרִית בִּירוּשָׁלַיִם) is a public research university based in Jerusalem, Israel. Co-founded by Albert Einstein and Dr. Chaim We ...
). The exact location of the Temple is a contentious issue, as questioning the exact placement of the Temple is often associated with Temple denial. Since the
Holy of Holies The Holy of Holies (Hebrew: ''Qōḏeš haqQŏḏāšīm'' or ''Kodesh HaKodashim''; also הַדְּבִיר ''haDəḇīr'', 'the Sanctuary') is a term in the Hebrew Bible that refers to the inner sanctuary of the Tabernacle, where God's prese ...
lay at the center of the complex as a whole, the Temple's location is dependent on the location of the Holy of Holies. The location of the Holy of Holies was even a question less than 150 years after the Second Temple's destruction, as detailed in the
Talmud The Talmud (; he, , Talmūḏ) is the central text of Rabbinic Judaism and the primary source of Jewish religious law ('' halakha'') and Jewish theology. Until the advent of modernity, in nearly all Jewish communities, the Talmud was the cent ...
. Chapter 54 of the Tractate Berakhot states that the Holy of Holies was directly aligned with the Golden Gate, which would have placed the Temple slightly to the north of the Dome of the Rock, as Kaufman postulated. However, chapter 54 of the Tractate Yoma and chapter 26 of the Tractate Sanhedrin assert that the Holy of Holies stood directly on the
Foundation Stone The cornerstone (or foundation stone or setting stone) is the first stone set in the construction of a masonry foundation. All other stones will be set in reference to this stone, thus determining the position of the entire structure. Over time ...
, which agrees with the traditional view that the Dome of the Rock stands on the Temple's location.


Physical layout


First Temple

The
Temple of Solomon Solomon's Temple, also known as the First Temple (, , ), was the Temple in Jerusalem between the 10th century BC and . According to the Hebrew Bible, it was commissioned by Solomon in the United Kingdom of Israel before being inherited by the ...
or First Temple consisted of four main elements: *the Great or Outer Court, where people assembled to worship; *the Inner Court or Court of the Priests; :and the Temple building itself, with *the larger Holy Place (''hekhal''), called the "greater house" and the "temple" and *the smaller "inner sanctum", known as the
Holy of Holies The Holy of Holies (Hebrew: ''Qōḏeš haqQŏḏāšīm'' or ''Kodesh HaKodashim''; also הַדְּבִיר ''haDəḇīr'', 'the Sanctuary') is a term in the Hebrew Bible that refers to the inner sanctuary of the Tabernacle, where God's prese ...
or ''Kodesh HaKodashim''.


Second Temple

In the case of the last and most elaborate structure, the Herodian Temple, the structure consisted of the wider Temple precinct, the restricted Temple courts, and the Temple building itself: *Temple precinct, located on the extended Temple Mount platform, and including the Court of the Gentiles * Court of the Women or ''Ezrat HaNashim'' *Court of the Israelites, reserved for ritually pure Jewish men *Court of the Priests, whose relation to the Temple Court is interpreted in different ways by scholars *Temple Court or ''Azarah'', with the Brazen Laver (''kiyor''), the Altar of Burnt Offerings (''mizbe'ah''), the Place of Slaughtering, and the Temple building itself The Temple edifice had three distinct chambers: *Temple vestibule or porch (''ulam'') *Temple sanctuary ( ''hekhal'' or ''heikal''), the main part of the building *
Holy of Holies The Holy of Holies (Hebrew: ''Qōḏeš haqQŏḏāšīm'' or ''Kodesh HaKodashim''; also הַדְּבִיר ''haDəḇīr'', 'the Sanctuary') is a term in the Hebrew Bible that refers to the inner sanctuary of the Tabernacle, where God's prese ...
(''Kodesh HaKodashim'' or ''debir''), the innermost chamber According to the
Talmud The Talmud (; he, , Talmūḏ) is the central text of Rabbinic Judaism and the primary source of Jewish religious law ('' halakha'') and Jewish theology. Until the advent of modernity, in nearly all Jewish communities, the Talmud was the cent ...
, the Women's Court was to the east and the main area of the Temple to the west. The main area contained the butchering area for the sacrifices and the Outer Altar on which portions of most offerings were burned. An edifice contained the ''ulam'' (antechamber), the ''
hekhal Solomon's Temple, also known as the First Temple (, , ), was the Temple in Jerusalem between the 10th century BC and . According to the Hebrew Bible, it was commissioned by Solomon in the United Kingdom of Israel before being inherited by the ...
'' (the "sanctuary"), and the
Holy of Holies The Holy of Holies (Hebrew: ''Qōḏeš haqQŏḏāšīm'' or ''Kodesh HaKodashim''; also הַדְּבִיר ''haDəḇīr'', 'the Sanctuary') is a term in the Hebrew Bible that refers to the inner sanctuary of the Tabernacle, where God's prese ...
. The sanctuary and the Holy of Holies were separated by a wall in the First Temple and by two curtains in the Second Temple. The sanctuary contained the seven branched candlestick, the table of
showbread Showbread ( he, לחם הפנים ''Leḥem haPānīm'', literally: "Bread of the Faces"), in the King James Version: shewbread, in a biblical or Jewish context, refers to the cakes or loaves of bread which were always present, on a specially-d ...
and the Incense Altar. The main courtyard had thirteen gates. On the south side, beginning with the southwest corner, there were four gates: *The Upper Gate (''Sha'ar HaElyon'') *The Kindling Gate (''Sha'ar HaDelek''), where wood was brought in *The Gate of Firstborns (''Sha'ar HaBechorot''), where people with first-born animal offerings entered *The Water Gate (''Sha'ar HaMayim''), where the Water Libation entered on
Sukkot or ("Booths, Tabernacles") , observedby = Jews, Samaritans, a few Protestant denominations, Messianic Jews, Semitic Neopagans , type = Jewish, Samaritan , begins = 15th day of Tishrei , ends = 21st day of Tishre ...
/the Feast of Tabernacles On the north side, beginning with the northwest corner, there were four gates: *The Gate of Jeconiah (''Sha'ar Yechonyah''), where kings of the Davidic line enter and
Jeconiah Jeconiah ( he, יְכָנְיָה ''Yəḵonəyā'' , meaning " Yah has established"; el, Ιεχονιας; la, Iechonias, Jechonias), also known as Coniah and as Jehoiachin ( he, יְהוֹיָכִין ''Yəhōyāḵīn'' ; la, Ioachin, Joac ...
left for the last time to captivity after being dethroned by the King of Babylon *The Gate of the Offering (''Sha'ar HaKorban''), where priests entered with ''kodshei kodashim'' offerings *The Women's Gate (''Sha'ar HaNashim''), where women entered into the ''Azara'' or main courtyard to perform offerings *The Gate of Song (''Sha'ar HaShir''), where the
Levites Levites (or Levi) (, he, ''Lǝvīyyīm'') are Jewish males who claim patrilineal descent from the Tribe of Levi. The Tribe of Levi descended from Levi, the third son of Jacob and Leah. The surname ''Halevi'', which consists of the Hebrew ...
entered with their musical instruments. The Hall of Hewn Stones (Hebrew: לשכת הגזית ''Lishkat haGazit''), also known as the Chamber of Hewn Stone, was the meeting place, or council-chamber, of the Sanhedrin during the Second Temple period (6th century BCE – 1st century CE). The
Talmud The Talmud (; he, , Talmūḏ) is the central text of Rabbinic Judaism and the primary source of Jewish religious law ('' halakha'') and Jewish theology. Until the advent of modernity, in nearly all Jewish communities, the Talmud was the cent ...
deduces that it was built into the north wall of the Temple in Jerusalem, half inside the sanctuary and half outside, with doors providing access both to the temple and to the outside. The chamber is said to have resembled a
basilica In Ancient Roman architecture, a basilica is a large public building with multiple functions, typically built alongside the town's forum. The basilica was in the Latin West equivalent to a stoa in the Greek East. The building gave its na ...
in appearance, having two entrances: one in the east and one in the west. On the east side was the Gate of Nicanor, between the Women's Courtyard and the main Temple Courtyard, which had two minor doorways, one on its right and one on its left. On the western wall, which was relatively unimportant, there were two gates that did not have any name. The
Mishnah The Mishnah or the Mishna (; he, מִשְׁנָה, "study by repetition", from the verb ''shanah'' , or "to study and review", also "secondary") is the first major written collection of the Jewish oral traditions which is known as the Oral Torah ...
lists concentric circles of holiness surrounding the Temple: Holy of Holies; Sanctuary; Vestibule; Court of the Priests; Court of the Israelites; Court of the Women; Temple Mount; the walled city of Jerusalem; all the walled cities of the
Land of Israel The Land of Israel () is the traditional Jewish name for an area of the Southern Levant. Related biblical, religious and historical English terms include the Land of Canaan, the Promised Land, the Holy Land, and Palestine (see also Isra ...
; and the borders of the Land of Israel. The Talmud speaks also of important presents which Queen Helena of Adiabene gave to the Temple at Jerusalem. "Helena had a golden candlestick made over the door of the Temple," to which statement is added that when the sun rose its rays were reflected from the candlestick and everybody knew that it was the time for reading the Shema'. She also made a golden plate on which was written the passage of the
Pentateuch The Torah (; hbo, ''Tōrā'', "Instruction", "Teaching" or "Law") is the compilation of the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, namely the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. In that sense, Torah means the sa ...
which the Kohen read when a wife suspected of infidelity was brought before him. In the
Jerusalem Talmud The Jerusalem Talmud ( he, תַּלְמוּד יְרוּשַׁלְמִי, translit=Talmud Yerushalmi, often for short), also known as the Palestinian Talmud or Talmud of the Land of Israel, is a collection of rabbinic notes on the second-century ...
, tractate Yoma iii. 8 the candlestick and the plate are confused.


Temple services

The Temple was the place where offerings described in the course of the Hebrew Bible were carried out, including daily morning and afternoon offerings and special offerings on
Sabbath In Abrahamic religions, the Sabbath () or Shabbat (from Hebrew ) is a day set aside for rest and worship. According to the Book of Exodus, the Sabbath is a day of rest on the seventh day, commanded by God to be kept as a holy day of rest, ...
and
Jewish holidays Jewish holidays, also known as Jewish festivals or ''Yamim Tovim'' ( he, ימים טובים, , Good Days, or singular , in transliterated Hebrew []), are holidays observed in Judaism and by JewsThis article focuses on practices of mainstr ...
.
Levites Levites (or Levi) (, he, ''Lǝvīyyīm'') are Jewish males who claim patrilineal descent from the Tribe of Levi. The Tribe of Levi descended from Levi, the third son of Jacob and Leah. The surname ''Halevi'', which consists of the Hebrew ...
recited
Psalms The Book of Psalms ( or ; he, תְּהִלִּים, , lit. "praises"), also known as the Psalms, or the Psalter, is the first book of the ("Writings"), the third section of the Tanakh, and a book of the Old Testament. The title is derived ...
at appropriate moments during the offerings, including the Psalm of the Day, special psalms for the new month, and other occasions, the
Hallel Hallel ( he, הַלֵּל, "Praise") is a Jewish prayer, a verbatim recitation from Psalms which is recited by observant Jews on Jewish holidays as an act of praise and thanksgiving. Holy days Hallel consists of six Psalms (113–118), whic ...
during major Jewish holidays, and psalms for special sacrifices such as the "Psalm for the Thanksgiving Offering" (
Psalm The Book of Psalms ( or ; he, תְּהִלִּים, , lit. "praises"), also known as the Psalms, or the Psalter, is the first book of the ("Writings"), the third section of the Tanakh, and a book of the Old Testament. The title is derived f ...
100). As part of the daily offering, a prayer service was performed in the Temple which was used as the basis of the traditional Jewish (morning) service recited to this day, including well-known prayers such as the
Shema ''Shema Yisrael'' (''Shema Israel'' or ''Sh'ma Yisrael''; he , שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל ''Šəmaʿ Yīsrāʾēl'', "Hear, O Israel") is a Jewish prayer (known as the Shema) that serves as a centerpiece of the morning and evening Jewi ...
, and the
Priestly Blessing The Priestly Blessing or priestly benediction, ( he, ברכת כהנים; translit. ''birkat kohanim''), also known in rabbinic literature as raising of the hands (Hebrew ''nesiat kapayim'') or rising to the platform (Hebrew ''aliyah ledukhan'') ...
. The
Mishna The Mishnah or the Mishna (; he, מִשְׁנָה, "study by repetition", from the verb ''shanah'' , or "to study and review", also "secondary") is the first major written collection of the Jewish oral traditions which is known as the Oral Tora ...
describes it as follows:


In the Talmud

Seder
Kodashim 150px, Pidyon haben Kodashim ( he, קדשים, "Holy Things") is the fifth of the six orders, or major divisions, of the Mishnah, Tosefta and the Talmud, and deals largely with the services within the Temple in Jerusalem, its maintenance and d ...
, the fifth order, or division, of the
Mishnah The Mishnah or the Mishna (; he, מִשְׁנָה, "study by repetition", from the verb ''shanah'' , or "to study and review", also "secondary") is the first major written collection of the Jewish oral traditions which is known as the Oral Torah ...
(compiled between 200 and 220 CE), provides detailed descriptions and discussions of the religious laws connected with Temple service including the
sacrifices Sacrifice is the offering of material possessions or the lives of animals or humans to a deity as an act of propitiation or worship. Evidence of ritual animal sacrifice has been seen at least since ancient Hebrews and Greeks, and possibly exis ...
, the Temple and its furnishings, as well as the priests who carried out the duties and ceremonies of its service. Tractates of the order deal with the sacrifices of animals, birds, and meal offerings, the laws of bringing a sacrifice, such as the
sin offering A sin offering ( he, קָרְבַּן חַטָּאת, ''korban ḥatat'', , lit: "purification offering") is a sacrificial offering described and commanded in the Torah (Lev. 4.1-35); it could be fine flour or a proper animal.Leviticus 5:11 A sin ...
and the
guilt offering A guilt offering ( he, אשם, ’āšām, translation=guilt, trespass; plural ), also referred to as a trespass offering ( KJV, 1611), was a type of Biblical sacrifice, specifically a sacrifice made as a compensation payment for unintentional and ...
, and the laws of misappropriation of sacred property. In addition, the order contains a description of the Second Temple (
tractate A tractate is a written work dealing formally and systematically with a subject; the word derives from the Latin ''tractatus'', meaning treatise. One example of its use is in citing a section of the Talmud, when the term ''masekhet'' () is used i ...
Middot), and a description and rules about the daily sacrifice service in the Temple (
tractate A tractate is a written work dealing formally and systematically with a subject; the word derives from the Latin ''tractatus'', meaning treatise. One example of its use is in citing a section of the Talmud, when the term ''masekhet'' () is used i ...
Tamid). In the
Babylonian Talmud The Talmud (; he, , Talmūḏ) is the central text of Rabbinic Judaism and the primary source of Jewish religious law (''halakha'') and Jewish theology. Until the advent of modernity, in nearly all Jewish communities, the Talmud was the cen ...
, all the tractates have
Gemara The Gemara (also transliterated Gemarah, or in Yiddish Gemo(r)re; from Aramaic , from the Semitic root ג-מ-ר ''gamar'', to finish or complete) is the component of the Talmud comprising rabbinical analysis of and commentary on the Mishnah ...
– rabbinical commentary and analysis – for all their chapters; some chapters of Tamid, and none on Middot and Kinnim. The
Jerusalem Talmud The Jerusalem Talmud ( he, תַּלְמוּד יְרוּשַׁלְמִי, translit=Talmud Yerushalmi, often for short), also known as the Palestinian Talmud or Talmud of the Land of Israel, is a collection of rabbinic notes on the second-century ...
has no Gemara on any of the tractates of Kodashim. The Talmud (
Yoma Yoma (Aramaic: יומא, lit. "The Day") is the fifth tractate of '' Seder Moed'' ("Order of Festivals") of the ''Mishnah'' and of the ''Talmud''. It is concerned mainly with the laws of the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur, on which Jews atone for thei ...
9b) describes traditional theological reasons for the destruction: "Why was the first Temple destroyed? Because the three cardinal sins were rampant in society: idol worship, licentiousness, and murder… And why then was the second Temple – wherein the society was involved in Torah, commandments and acts of kindness – destroyed? Because gratuitous hatred was rampant in society."


Role in contemporary Jewish services

Part of the traditional Jewish
morning Morning is the period from sunrise to noon. There are no exact times for when morning begins (also true of evening and night) because it can vary according to one's lifestyle and the hours of daylight at each time of year. However, morning stri ...
service, the part surrounding the
Shema ''Shema Yisrael'' (''Shema Israel'' or ''Sh'ma Yisrael''; he , שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל ''Šəmaʿ Yīsrāʾēl'', "Hear, O Israel") is a Jewish prayer (known as the Shema) that serves as a centerpiece of the morning and evening Jewi ...
prayer, is essentially unchanged from the daily worship service performed in the Temple. In addition, the
Amidah The ''Amidah Amuhduh'' ( he, תפילת העמידה, ''Tefilat HaAmidah'', 'The Standing Prayer'), also called the ''Shemoneh Esreh'' ( 'eighteen'), is the central prayer of the Jewish liturgy. Observant Jews recite the ''Amidah'' at each ...
prayer traditionally replaces the Temple's daily ''tamid'' and special-occasion ''Mussaf'' (additional) offerings (there are separate versions for the different types of
sacrifices Sacrifice is the offering of material possessions or the lives of animals or humans to a deity as an act of propitiation or worship. Evidence of ritual animal sacrifice has been seen at least since ancient Hebrews and Greeks, and possibly exis ...
). They are recited during the times their corresponding offerings were performed in the Temple. The Temple is mentioned extensively in
Orthodox Orthodox, Orthodoxy, or Orthodoxism may refer to: Religion * Orthodoxy, adherence to accepted norms, more specifically adherence to creeds, especially within Christianity and Judaism, but also less commonly in non-Abrahamic religions like Neo-pag ...
services.
Conservative Judaism Conservative Judaism, known as Masorti Judaism outside North America, is a Jewish religious movement which regards the authority of ''halakha'' (Jewish law) and traditions as coming primarily from its people and community through the generati ...
retains mentions of the Temple and its restoration, but removes references to the
sacrifices Sacrifice is the offering of material possessions or the lives of animals or humans to a deity as an act of propitiation or worship. Evidence of ritual animal sacrifice has been seen at least since ancient Hebrews and Greeks, and possibly exis ...
. References to sacrifices on holidays are made in the past tense, and petitions for their restoration are removed. Mentions in Orthodox Jewish services include: *A daily recital of Biblical and Talmudic passages related to the
korbanot In Judaism, the korban ( ''qorbān''), also spelled ''qorban'' or ''corban'', is any of a variety of sacrificial offerings described and commanded in the Torah. The plural form is korbanot, korbanoth or korbans. The term Korban primarily re ...
(sacrifices) performed in the Temple ''(See korbanot in
siddur A siddur ( he, סִדּוּר ; plural siddurim ) is a Jewish prayer book containing a set order of daily prayers. The word comes from the Hebrew root , meaning 'order.' Other terms for prayer books are ''tefillot'' () among Sephardi Jews, ...
)''. *References to the restoration of the Temple and sacrificial worships in the daily
Amidah The ''Amidah Amuhduh'' ( he, תפילת העמידה, ''Tefilat HaAmidah'', 'The Standing Prayer'), also called the ''Shemoneh Esreh'' ( 'eighteen'), is the central prayer of the Jewish liturgy. Observant Jews recite the ''Amidah'' at each ...
prayer, the central prayer in Judaism. *A traditional personal plea for the restoration of the Temple at the end of private recitation of the Amidah. *A prayer for the restoration of the "house of our lives" and the
shekhinah Shekhinah, also spelled Shechinah ( Hebrew: שְׁכִינָה ''Šəḵīnā'', Tiberian: ''Šăḵīnā'') is the English transliteration of a Hebrew word meaning "dwelling" or "settling" and denotes the presence of God, as it were, in a pla ...
(divine presence) "to dwell among us" is recited during the Amidah prayer. *Recitation of the Psalm of the day; the
psalm The Book of Psalms ( or ; he, תְּהִלִּים, , lit. "praises"), also known as the Psalms, or the Psalter, is the first book of the ("Writings"), the third section of the Tanakh, and a book of the Old Testament. The title is derived f ...
sung by the
Levite Levites (or Levi) (, he, ''Lǝvīyyīm'') are Jewish males who claim patrilineal descent from the Tribe of Levi. The Tribe of Levi descended from Levi, the third son of Jacob and Leah. The surname ''Halevi'', which consists of the Hebrew ...
s in the Temple for that day during the daily morning service. *Numerous psalms sung as part of the ordinary service make extensive references to the Temple and Temple worship. *Recitation of the special
Jewish holiday Jewish holidays, also known as Jewish festivals or ''Yamim Tovim'' ( he, ימים טובים, , Good Days, or singular , in transliterated Hebrew []), are holidays observed in Judaism and by JewsThis article focuses on practices of mainstr ...
prayers for the restoration of the Temple and their offering, during the Mussaf services on Jewish holidays. *An extensive recitation of the special Temple service for
Yom Kippur Yom Kippur (; he, יוֹם כִּפּוּר, , , ) is the holiest day in Judaism and Samaritanism. It occurs annually on the 10th of Tishrei, the first month of the Hebrew calendar. Primarily centered on atonement and repentance, the day' ...
during the service for that holiday. *Special services for
Sukkot or ("Booths, Tabernacles") , observedby = Jews, Samaritans, a few Protestant denominations, Messianic Jews, Semitic Neopagans , type = Jewish, Samaritan , begins = 15th day of Tishrei , ends = 21st day of Tishre ...
(Hakafot) contain extensive (but generally obscure) references to the special Temple service performed on that day. The destruction of the Temple is mourned on the Jewish fast day of
Tisha B'Av Tisha B'Av ( he, תִּשְׁעָה בְּאָב ''Tīšʿā Bəʾāv''; , ) is an annual fast day in Judaism, on which a number of disasters in Jewish history occurred, primarily the destruction of both Solomon's Temple by the Neo-Babylonian ...
. Three other minor fasts (Tenth of
Tevet Tevet ( he, טֵבֵת, ''Ṭevet''; ; from Akkadian ) is the fourth month of the civil year and the tenth month of the ecclesiastical year on the Hebrew calendar. It follows Kislev and precedes Shevat. It is a month of 29 days. Tevet usually o ...
, 17th of
Tammuz Dumuzid or Tammuz ( sux, , ''Dumuzid''; akk, Duʾūzu, Dûzu; he, תַּמּוּז, Tammûz),; ar, تمّوز ' known to the Sumerians as Dumuzid the Shepherd ( sux, , ''Dumuzid sipad''), is an ancient Mesopotamian god associated with shep ...
, and Third of
Tishrei Tishrei () or Tishri (; he, ''tīšrē'' or ''tīšrī''; from Akkadian ''tašrītu'' "beginning", from ''šurrû'' "to begin") is the first month of the civil year (which starts on 1 Tishrei) and the seventh month of the ecclesiastical yea ...
), also mourn events leading to or following the destruction of the Temple. There are also mourning practices which are observed at all times, for example, the requirement to leave part of the house unplastered.


Recent history

The Temple Mount, along with the entire Old City of Jerusalem, was captured from Jordan by Israel in 1967 during the Six-Day War, allowing Jews once again to visit the holy site. Jordan had occupied East Jerusalem and the Temple Mount immediately following Israel's declaration of independence on May 14, 1948. Israel officially unified
East Jerusalem East Jerusalem (, ; , ) is the sector of Jerusalem that was held by Jordan during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, as opposed to the western sector of the city, West Jerusalem, which was held by Israel. Jerusalem was envisaged as a sep ...
, including the Temple Mount, with the rest of Jerusalem in 1980 under the
Jerusalem Law The Jerusalem Law (, ar, قانون القدس) is a common name of Basic Law: Jerusalem, Capital of Israel passed by the Knesset on 30 July 1980 (17th Av, 5740). Although the law did not use the term, the Israeli Supreme Court interpreted the ...
, though United Nations Security Council Resolution 478 declared the Jerusalem Law to be in violation of international law. The Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, based in Jordan, has administrative control of the Temple Mount.


In other religions


Christianity

According to Matthew 24:2, Jesus predicts the destruction of the Second Temple. This idea, of the Temple as the
body of Christ In Christian theology, the term Body of Christ () has two main but separate meanings: it may refer to Jesus' words over the bread at the celebration of the Jewish feast of Passover that "This is my body" in (see Last Supper), or it may refer t ...
, became a rich and multi-layered theme in medieval Christian thought (where Temple/body can be the heavenly body of Christ, the
ecclesial An ecclesial community is, in the terminology used by the Catholic Church, a Christian religious group that does not meet the Catholic definition of a "Church". Although the word "ecclesial" itself means "church" or "gathering" in a political sens ...
body of the Church, and the Eucharistic body on the altar).


Islam

The Temple Mount bears significance in Islam as it acted as a sanctuary for the Hebrew prophets and the
Israelites The Israelites (; , , ) were a group of Semitic-speaking tribes in the ancient Near East who, during the Iron Age, inhabited a part of Canaan. The earliest recorded evidence of a people by the name of Israel appears in the Merneptah Stele o ...
. Islamic tradition says that a temple was first built on the Temple Mount by
Solomon Solomon (; , ),, ; ar, سُلَيْمَان, ', , ; el, Σολομών, ; la, Salomon also called Jedidiah ( Hebrew: , Modern: , Tiberian: ''Yăḏīḏăyāh'', "beloved of Yah"), was a monarch of ancient Israel and the son and succ ...
, the son of
David David (; , "beloved one") (traditional spelling), , ''Dāwūd''; grc-koi, Δαυΐδ, Dauíd; la, Davidus, David; gez , ዳዊት, ''Dawit''; xcl, Դաւիթ, ''Dawitʿ''; cu, Давíдъ, ''Davidŭ''; possibly meaning "beloved one". w ...
. After the destruction of the second temple, it was rebuilt by the second Rashidun Caliph,
Omar ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb ( ar, عمر بن الخطاب, also spelled Omar, ) was the second Rashidun caliph, ruling from August 634 until his assassination in 644. He succeeded Abu Bakr () as the second caliph of the Rashidun Caliphate ...
, which stands until today as Al-Aqsa Mosque. Traditionally referred to as the "Farthest Mosque" (''al-masjid al-aqṣa' '' literally "utmost site of bowing (in worship)" though the term now refers specifically to the mosque in the southern wall of the compound which today is known simply as ''al-haram ash-sharīf'' "the noble sanctuary"), the site is seen as the destination of
Muhammad Muhammad ( ar, مُحَمَّد;  570 – 8 June 632 Common Era, CE) was an Arab religious, social, and political leader and the founder of Islam. According to Muhammad in Islam, Islamic doctrine, he was a prophet Divine inspiration, di ...
's
Night Journey The Israʾ and Miʿraj ( ar, الإسراء والمعراج, ') are the two parts of a Night Journey that, according to Islam, the Islamic prophet Muhammad (570–632) took during a single night around the year 621 (1 BH – 0 BH). With ...
, one of the most significant events recounted in the Quran and the place of his ascent heavenwards thereafter (''
Mi'raj The Israʾ and Miʿraj ( ar, الإسراء والمعراج, ') are the two parts of a Night Journey that, according to Islam, the Islamic prophet Muhammad (570–632) took during a single night around the year 621 (1 BH – 0 BH). With ...
''). Muslims view the Temple in Jerusalem as their inheritance, being the followers of the last prophet of God and believers in every prophet sent, including the prophets Moses and Solomon. To Muslims, Al-Aqsa Mosque is not built on top of the temple, rather, it is the Third Temple, and they are the true believers who worship in it, whereas Jews and Christians are disbelievers who do not believe in God's final prophets Jesus and
Muhammad Muhammad ( ar, مُحَمَّد;  570 – 8 June 632 Common Era, CE) was an Arab religious, social, and political leader and the founder of Islam. According to Muhammad in Islam, Islamic doctrine, he was a prophet Divine inspiration, di ...
. In Islam, Muslims are encouraged to visit Jerusalem and pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque. There are over forty
hadith Ḥadīth ( or ; ar, حديث, , , , , , , literally "talk" or "discourse") or Athar ( ar, أثر, , literally "remnant"/"effect") refers to what the majority of Muslims believe to be a record of the words, actions, and the silent approval ...
about Al-Aqsa Mosque and the virtue of visiting and praying in it, or at least sending oil to light its lamps. In a hadith compiled by
Al-Tabarani Abū al-Qāsim Sulaymān ibn Aḥmad ibn Ayyūb ibn Muṭayyir al-Lakhmī al-Shāmī al-Ṭabarānī (Arabic: أبو القاسم سليمان بن أحمد بن أيوب بن مطير اللَّخمي الشامي الطبراني) (AH 260/c. 87 ...
, Bayhaqi, and Suyuti, the Prophet Muhammad said, "A prayer in Makkah (Ka’bah) is worth 1000,000 times (reward), a prayer in my mosque (Madinah) is worth 1,000 times and a prayer in Al-Aqsa Sanctuary is worth 500 times more reward than anywhere else." Another hadith compiled by imams
Muhammad al-Bukhari Muhammad ( ar, مُحَمَّد;  570 – 8 June 632 CE) was an Arab religious, social, and political leader and the founder of Islam. According to Islamic doctrine, he was a prophet divinely inspired to preach and confirm the monoth ...
,
Muslim Muslims ( ar, المسلمون, , ) are people who adhere to Islam, a monotheistic religion belonging to the Abrahamic tradition. They consider the Quran, the foundational religious text of Islam, to be the verbatim word of the God of Abra ...
, and Abu Dawud expounds on the importance of visiting the holy site. In another hadith the prophet Muhammad said, "You should not undertake a special journey to visit any place other than the following three Masjids with the expectations of getting greater reward: the Sacred Masjid of Makkah (Ka’bah), this Masjid of mine (the Prophet’s Masjid in Madinah), and Masjid Al-Aqsa (of Jerusalem)." According to
Seyyed Hossein Nasr Seyyed Hossein Nasr (; fa, سید حسین نصر, born April 7, 1933) is an Iranian philosopher and University Professor of Islamic studies at George Washington University. Born in Tehran, Nasr completed his education in Iran and the United St ...
, professor of Islamic Studies at George Washington University, Jerusalem (i.e., the Temple Mount) has the significance as a holy site/sanctuary ("
haram ''Haram'' (; ar, حَرَام, , ) is an Arabic term meaning 'Forbidden'. This may refer to either something sacred to which access is not allowed to the people who are not in a state of purity or who are not initiated into the sacred know ...
") for Muslims primarily in three ways, the first two being connected to the Temple. First, Muhammad (and his companions) prayed facing the Temple in Jerusalem (referred to as "''Bayt Al-Maqdis''", in the
Hadith Ḥadīth ( or ; ar, حديث, , , , , , , literally "talk" or "discourse") or Athar ( ar, أثر, , literally "remnant"/"effect") refers to what the majority of Muslims believe to be a record of the words, actions, and the silent approval ...
s) similar to the Jews before changing it to the
Kaaba The Kaaba (, ), also spelled Ka'bah or Kabah, sometimes referred to as al-Kaʿbah al-Musharrafah ( ar, ٱلْكَعْبَة ٱلْمُشَرَّفَة, lit=Honored Ka'bah, links=no, translit=al-Kaʿbah al-Musharrafah), is a building at the c ...
in Mecca sixteen months after arriving in
Medina Medina,, ', "the radiant city"; or , ', (), "the city" officially Al Madinah Al Munawwarah (, , Turkish: Medine-i Münevvere) and also commonly simplified as Madīnah or Madinah (, ), is the Holiest sites in Islam, second-holiest city in Islam, ...
following the verses revealed (Sura 2:144, 149–150). Secondly, during the Meccan part of his life, he reported to have been to Jerusalem by night and prayed in the Temple, as the first part of his otherworldly journey (
Isra and Mi'raj The Israʾ and Miʿraj ( ar, الإسراء والمعراج, ') are the two parts of a Night Journey that, according to Islam, the Islamic prophet Muhammad (570–632) took during a single night around the year 621 (1 BH – 0 BH). With ...
). Imam Abdul Hadi Palazzi, leader of Italian Muslim Assembly, quotes the Quran to support Judaism's special connection to the Temple Mount. According to Palazzi, "The most authoritative Islamic sources affirm the Temples". He adds that Jerusalem is sacred to Muslims because of its prior holiness to Jews and its standing as home to the biblical prophets and kings David and Solomon, all of whom he says are sacred figures in Islam. He claims that the Quran "expressly recognizes that Jerusalem plays the same role for Jews that Mecca has for Muslims".


Building a Third Temple

Ever since the Second Temple's destruction, a prayer for the construction of a Third Temple has been a formal and mandatory part of the thrice-daily
Jewish prayer Jewish prayer ( he, תְּפִלָּה, ; plural ; yi, תּפֿלה, tfile , plural ; Yinglish: davening from Yiddish 'pray') is the prayer recitation that forms part of the observance of Rabbinic Judaism. These prayers, often wit ...
services. However, the question of whether and when to construct the Third Temple is disputed both within the Jewish community and without; groups within Judaism argue both for and against construction of a new Temple, while the expansion of
Abrahamic religion The Abrahamic religions are a group of religions centered around worship of the God of Abraham. Abraham, a Hebrew patriarch, is extensively mentioned throughout Abrahamic religious scriptures such as the Bible and the Quran. Jewish tradition ...
since the 1st century CE has made the issue contentious within
Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. The words '' Christ'' and ''Christian'' derive from the Koine Greek title ''Christós'' (Χρ ...
and Islamic thought as well. Furthermore, the complicated political status of Jerusalem makes reconstruction difficult, while Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock have been constructed at the traditional physical location of the Temple. In 363 CE, the Roman emperor
Julian Julian may refer to: People * Julian (emperor) (331–363), Roman emperor from 361 to 363 * Julian (Rome), referring to the Roman gens Julia, with imperial dynasty offshoots * Saint Julian (disambiguation), several Christian saints * Julian (gi ...
had ordered Alypius of Antioch to rebuild the Temple as part of his campaign to strengthen non-Christian religions. The attempt failed, with contemporary accounts mentioning divine fire falling from Heaven but also perhaps due to sabotage, an accidental fire, or an earthquake in Galilee. The
Book of Ezekiel The Book of Ezekiel is the third of the Latter Prophets in the Tanakh and one of the major prophetic books, following Isaiah and Jeremiah. According to the book itself, it records six visions of the prophet Ezekiel, exiled in Babylon, durin ...
prophesies what would be the Third Temple, noting it as an eternal house of prayer and describing it in detail.


In media

A journalistic depiction of the controversies around the Jerusalem Temple was presented in the 2010 documentary ''Lost Temple'' by Serge Grankin. The film contains interviews with religious and academic authorities involved in the issue. German journalist Dirk-Martin Heinzelmann, featured in the film, presents the point of view of Prof. Joseph Patrich (the Hebrew University), stemming from the underground cistern mapping made by
Charles William Wilson Lieutenant-General Sir Charles William Wilson, KCB, KCMG, FRS (14 March 1836 – 25 October 1905) was a British Army officer, geographer and archaeologist. Early life and career He was born in Liverpool on 14 March 1836. He was educated at ...
(1836–1905).


See also

* Jewish Temple at Elephantine (7th? 6th? – mid-4th century BCE) * Jewish Temple of Leontopolis (c. 170 BCE – 73 CE) * Temple of Solomon (São Paulo), a replica built by a Brazil-based church *
Synagogue A synagogue, ', 'house of assembly', or ', "house of prayer"; Yiddish: ''shul'', Ladino: or ' (from synagogue); or ', "community". sometimes referred to as shul, and interchangeably used with the word temple, is a Jewish house of wors ...
* TempleOS, lightweight operating system (OS) designed to be the Third Temple :Similar Iron Age temples from the region * 'Ain Dara temple * Ebla (Temple D) *
Emar ) , image = View_from_the_Byzantine_Tower_at_Meskene,_ancient_Barbalissos.jpg , alt = , caption = View from the Byzantine Tower at Meskene, ancient Barbalissos , map_type = Syria , map_alt = , map_size = 200 ...
temple * Mumbaqat temple *
Tell Tayinat Tell Ta'yinat is a low-lying ancient tell on the east bank at the bend of the Orontes River where it flows through the Amuq valley, in the Hatay province of southeastern Turkey about 25 kilometers south east of Antakya (ancient Antioch), and ...
temple (8th century BCE)


Notes


References


Further reading

*''
Biblical Archaeology Review ''Biblical Archaeology Review'' is a magazine appearing every three months and sometimes referred to as ''BAR'' that seeks to connect the academic study of archaeology to a broad general audience seeking to understand the world of the Bible, the N ...
'', issues: July/August 1983, November/December 1989, March/April 1992, July/August 1999, September/October 1999, March/April 2000, September/October 2005 * Ritmeyer, Leen. ''The Quest: Revealing the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.'' Jerusalem: Carta, 2006. * Hamblin, William and David Seely, ''Solomon's Temple: Myth and History'' (Thames and Hudson, 2007) *Yaron Eliav, ''God's Mountain: The Temple Mount in Time, Place and Memory'' (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2005) *Rachel Elior, ''The Jerusalem Temple: The Representation of the Imperceptible'', ''Studies in Spirituality'' 11 (2001), pp. 126–143


External links


Visit of the Temple Institute Museum in Jerusalem conducted by Rav Israel Ariel
* Rachel Elior, "The Jerusalem Temple – The Representation of the Imperceptible", Studies in Spirituality 11 (2001): 126–143
The Centrality of Covenant Theology to the Islamic FaithA Brief History of the Temple of Jerusalem
{{Authority control Three Pilgrimage Festivals Judaism in Jerusalem