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Temple Mount Overview

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Temple Mount Overview Places of Interest

Places of Interest

Temple Mount Overview




1. The Temple Mount is located on the eastern side of Old City Jerusalem


2. It occupies 1/6 of the current city.


3. It is 35 acres (14 hectares) in size, the equivalent of 35 football fields.


Historical Background


1. The Temple Mount has played a “center stage” role for much of Israel’s history and has functioned as the center of God’s dwelling place and ministry on this earth.


2. It will also play a key part during the Millennial Reign of Christ on the earth.


3. God has chosen to focus His presence and attention there like a laser beam from heaven like no other place.


4. First Temple: the temple Solomon built. It was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC.


5. Second Temple: the temple Zerubbabel oversaw after the deportation and return of the Jews. It was finished and dedicated in 515 BC.


6. King Herod’s Temple: This was a delicate project since it would involve the complete demolition of Zerubbabel’s temple and the rapid construction of the new temple. In consultation with religious leaders, Herod first prepared all the necessary materials for this temple to assure the Jews that he would build the new temple after demolishing the old one. Construction of Herod's temple was begun in 20 BC.

7. The term "Second Temple" is a designation used for both Zerubbabel and Herod’s temples. When Herod rebuilt the temple, it was considered a re-establishing and remodeling of the existing temple established by Zerubbabel. Thus, it was considered part of the Second Temple rather than a different building.

8. The temple itself was built in a year and a half, and the surrounding porticos and courtyards in eight years. However, construction on the whole complex continued for more than eighty years from the time it was begun and was only completed in 63 AD.

9. Herod's temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.

10. Interestingly, both temples were destroyed on the same day (the 9th of Av, normally mid-August). This date is observed today by the Jews and entails fasting, prayer, deprivation, and mourning.

11. According to the Mishnah, Herod’s temple was 100 cubits (172 feet/52.5 meters) long, wide, and high (Middot 4.6) and, like Solomon’s temple, divided into three rooms: the porch, the Holy Place, and the Holy of Holies.

The Dome of the Rock measures approximately 20 meters (66 feet) in diameter and 35 meters (115 feet) in height.

12. According to biblical law (Exodus 23, 34, and Deuteronomy 16), all Jewish males were required to appear “before the Lord” (i.e., at the temple) three times a year. The three festivals are Passover, Shavuot (Weeks/Pentecost), and Tabernacles (Booths).

13. The most solemn yearly festival celebrated at the temple was the Day of Atonement, described in Leviticus 16. This festival was held on the tenth day of the seventh month, which began with Rosh Hashanah, initiating the fall of the new year, four days before the Feast of Tabernacles.

14. The temple is a central feature in the Gospel narratives of the life and ministry of Jesus. The Gospel of Luke opens in the temple with the appearance of the angel Gabriel to the priest Zacharias as he was officiating at the incense altar in the Holy Place (Luke 1:5–24), and the Gospel of Luke ends with a note that the disciples of Jesus, after his ascension “were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God” (Luke 24:53).

15. The Gospel of John specifically portrays Jesus as a fulfillment of some of the symbols of the temple and its festivals. A passage at the beginning of John describes Jesus as the Tabernacle when it says, “and the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:14).

Places of Interest


1. Temple Mount


2. Archaeological, historical, and eyewitness accounts place the location of the first and second temples directly on top of the Dome of the Rock.

3. Original Altar Location

4. Muslim Platform

5. Solomon's Porticos

6. Northwestern Corner of Original Temple Platform

7. Bend in the Wall: Hasmonean Addition to Platform

8. Seam in the Wall: Herod Addition to Platform

9. Western Wall


10. Eastern Gate


11. Southern Stairs


12. Antonia Fortress

13. Holes in the Rock Face Where Beams were Attached for Portico

14. Royal Stoa – Location close to where Pentecost likely took place.

The Temple Mount in the Bible


1. The Temple Mount is also called Mount Moriah and was the place where Abraham was to sacrifice his son Isaac to God.
Genesis 22:1–2: After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here am I." 2 He said, "Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you."


2. King David purchased the original Temple Mount when it was a threshing floor in order to build an altar to the Lord.
1 Chronicles 21:18: Now the angel of the LORD had commanded Gad to say to David that David should go up and raise an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Ornan [also called Araunah] the Jebusite.


3. King Solomon then built the Temple in this exact location.
2 Chronicles 3:1: Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the LORD had appeared to David his father, at the place that David had appointed, on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.


4. During the dedication of Solomon’s temple, the glory of the Lord filled it in such a way that the priests had to suspend their activities until God’s glory subsided.
1 Kings 8:10–11: And when the priests came out of the Holy Place, a cloud filled the house of the LORD, 11 so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD. 


5. The prophets spoke to the nation of Israel from the Temple Mount.


6. The first temple was destroyed in 586 BC by Babylon because of Israel’s continued disobedience to God.
2 Kings 24:10: At that time the servants of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up to Jerusalem, and the city was besieged.


7. The temple was rebuilt again from 535-515 BC under Zerubbabel.
Ezra 6:3: In the first year of Cyrus the king, Cyrus the king issued a decree: Concerning the house of God at Jerusalem, let the house be rebuilt, the place where sacrifices were offered, and let its foundations be retained. Its height shall be sixty cubits and its breadth sixty cubits.


8. Nehemiah rebuilt the wall of Jerusalem in 444 BC.
Nehemiah 2:17: Then I said to them, "You see the trouble we are in, how Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burned. Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer suffer derision.


9. The Temple Mount was enlarged enormously by King Herod in 19 BC to the size it is today.
God, in His sovereignty, made the Temple Mount large enough to handle the crowds Jesus would teach, the 3,000 saved at Pentecost, the 5,000 saved in Acts 4, and a place the Early Church could meet and grow in.


10. Herod also made the temple more beautiful than any before it, and it was three times bigger than the current Dome of the Rock.  


11. Zachariah received the vision of having a son, John the Baptist, while serving at the temple.
Luke 1:13: But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.”


12. Jesus was dedicated to the Lord at the temple.
Luke 2:22: And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord.


13. At the age of 12, Jesus appeared and dialogued with the religious leaders at the temple. 
Luke 2:46–47: After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.


14. The temple was where Christ was tempted by the Devil to throw himself down headlong.
Luke 4:9–12: And he took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, 10 for it is written, "'He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,' 11 and "'On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'" 12 And Jesus answered him, "It is said, 'You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'"


15. Christ taught at the temple on a frequent basis.
Luke 19:47: And he was teaching daily in the temple.


16. Christ drove out the moneychangers on the Temple Mount.
Mark 11:15–17: And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. 16 And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. 17 And he was teaching them and saying to them, "Is it not written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations'? But you have made it a den of robbers."


17. Christ was tried before Pilate next to the Temple Mount at the Antonia Fortress.


18. Next to the Temple Mount, at the Southern Stairs, is the likely place where Pentecost took place, 3,000 were saved, and the Early Church was born.
Acts 2:41: Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.


19. A lame man was healed on the Temple Mount by Peter and John, causing 5,000 men to be saved.  
Acts 3:1–8: Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. 2 And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms of those entering the temple. 3 Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms. 4 And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, "Look at us." 5 And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. 6 But Peter said, "I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!" 7 And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. 8 And leaping up he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.


Acts 4:4: But many of those who had heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand. 


20. The Temple Mount became the meeting place of the Early Church.
Acts 2:46–47: And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.


21. Close-by to the Temple Mount, Stephen was martyred (Acts 7).


22. Because of Israel’s rejection of Christ their Messiah, Jerusalem, and the Temple Mount were destroyed in 70 AD by the Romans.
Luke 19:41–44: And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, 42 saying, "Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side 44 and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.


23. The Anti-Christ will commit the abomination of desolation on the Temple Mount during the middle of the Tribulation Period.
2 Thessalonians 2:3–4: Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.


24. Christ will reign from the Temple Mount (along with believers) for 1,000 years after the Tribulation Period.
Revelation 20:6: Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.  


Faith Lesson from the Temple Mount


1. In the Old Testament, the temple was a focal place where God dwelt. In the New Testament, believers are now the temple in which God dwells.


1 Corinthians 3:16–17: Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple.


2. What kind of temple are we?


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