The First Holy Temple was built on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem, also known as the Temple Mount, by King Solomon, based on plans and preparations made by his father, King David.
In the four hundred and eightieth year after the Israelites left the land of Egypt, in the month of Ziv—that is, the second month—in the fourth year of his reign over Yisrael, Shlomo began to build the House of Hashem. Kings 6:1
The First Temple stood for over 400 years and was destroyed in 586 BCE (approximately 2600 years ago) by Nebuchadnezzar II, King of Babylon.
When some of the Jews who were exiled to Babylon after the destruction of the First Temple returned to Jerusalem, they built the Second Holy Temple with permission from Kings Cyrus and Darius. The Second Temple stood on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem for 585 years, until it too was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE.
In the first year of King Cyrus, King Cyrus issued an order concerning the House of Hashem in Yerushalayim: ‘Let the house be rebuilt, a place for offering sacrifices, with a base built up high. Let it be sixty amot high and sixty amot wide, Ezra 6:3
The Bible speaks of a third and final Temple which will be built at the End of Days, never to be destroyed.
Third Temple Today
The Temple Mount, the future home of the Third Temple, is a hotly contested area. Currently under the care of the Islamic Waqf, the Temple Mount’s Muslim caretakers regularly supress archeological evidence about the previous Jewish presence on the Temple Mount.
Additionally, clashes between Jewish and Muslim visitors are routine and the rights of Jewish worshippers are frequently compromised.
On the positive side, the presence of a kosher red heifer is closely connected to the Third Temple and the restoration of sacrifices in the Temple. This is why Israel365 News reports on every story of a red heifer born in our day that is potentially eligible to be used as a sacrifice.
US President Donald Trump is considered by some to have a role in the rebuilding of the Third Temple.
The nascent Sanhedrin occasionally reenacts Temple services in preparation for the reestablishment of sacrifices in the Third Temple. In Israel’s last election, the rebuilding of the Temple was even a campaign issue. And the Temple Institute continues its preparations for the Third Temple by, among other things, training Jewish men eligible to serve as priests in the future Third Temple.
Third Temple in Prophecy
Twenty-five years after the destruction of the First Temple, during the Babylonian exile, the prophet Ezekiel was shown a vision of the Third Temple.
In the twenty-fifth year of our exile, the fourteenth year after the city had fallen, at the beginning of the year, the tenth day of the month—on that very day—the hand of Hashem came upon me, and He brought me there. He brought me, in visions of Hashem, to the Land of Yisrael, and He set me down on a very high mountain on which there seemed to be the outline of a city on the south. Ezekiel 40:1-2
The details of the prophecy related to the building of the Third Temple are found in Ezekiel 40-48. Although many of the details in Ezekiel’s prophecy are currently vague, we do know certain things about the structure of the Third Temple from his prophetic vision.
Jewish tradition teaches that the Third Temple will be significantly bigger than the first two Temples, in part to allow for the presence of the Nations to witness the Temple services.
And the many peoples shall go and say: “Come, Let us go up to the Mount of Hashem, To the House of the God of Yaakov; That He may instruct us in His ways, And that we may walk in His paths.” For instruction shall come forth from Tzion, The word of Hashem from Yerushalayim. Isaiah 2:3
In addition, although the use of iron was forbidden in the construction of the first two Temples…
When the House was built, only finished stones cut at the quarry were used, so that no hammer or ax or any iron tool was heard in the House while it was being built. Kings 6:7
…because iron is associated with instruments of war, in the era of the Third Temple, peace will reign and the prohibition against the use of iron won’t apply any longer.
Finally, in Jewish thought, the building of the Third Temple is closely connected to the arrival of Moshiach, the messianic redeemer. In rabbinic thought, there is a dispute about whether the Third Temple will be built by human hands or whether it will descend from Heaven in its final form.
Although the establishment of the Third Temple contains secrets that have yet to be revealed, it is clear that we are closer to rebuilding it every day.