Second Temple

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Second Temple
Herod's Temple
בית־המקדש השני
Jerusalem Modell BW 3.JPG
Model of Herod's Temple (a renovation of the Second Temple) in the Israel Museum, created in 1966 as part of the Holyland Model of Jerusalem. The model was inspired by the writings of Josephus.
Religion
Deity Yahweh
Location
Location Herodian Temple Mount, Jerusalem
Location map Jerusalem.png
Red pog.svg
Shown within Jerusalem
Geographic coordinates 31°46′41″N35°14′07″E / 31.778013°N 35.235367°E / 31.778013; 35.235367
Architecture
CreatorLikely Zerubbabel, largely renovated by Herod the Great.
Destroyed 70 CE
Specifications
Height (max)45.72 metres (150.0 ft)
Materials local limestone
Parent listingSecond Temple
History
Foundedc. 537–516 BCE (construction)
Site notes
Excavation dates1930, 1967, 1968, 1970–1978, 1996–1999, 2007
Archaeologists Charles Warren, Benjamin Mazar, Ronny Reich, Eli Shukron, Yaakov Billig
ConditionRuin, archaeological park
OwnershipDisputed, currently managed by the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf
Public accessYes (limited)

The Second Temple (בֵּית־הַמִּקְדָּשׁ הַשֵּׁנִי, Beit HaMikdash HaSheni ) was the Jewish holy temple which stood on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem during the Second Temple period, between 516 BCE and 70 CE. It replaced Solomon's Temple (the First Temple), [1] which was destroyed by the Neo-Babylonian Empire in 586 BCE, when Jerusalem was conquered and part of the population of the Kingdom of Judah was taken into exile to Babylon.

Temple in Jerusalem one of a series of structures which were located on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem

The Temple in Jerusalem was any of a series of structures which were located on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem, the current site of the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque. These successive temples stood at this location and functioned as a site of ancient Israelite and later Jewish worship. It is also called the Holy Temple.

Temple Mount religious site in the Old City of Jerusalem

The Temple Mount, known to Muslims as the Haram esh-Sharif and the Al Aqsa Compound is a hill located in the Old City of Jerusalem that for thousands of years has been venerated as a holy site, in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam alike.

Jerusalem City in the Middle East

Jerusalem is a city in the Middle East, located on a plateau in the Judaean Mountains between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea. It is one of the oldest cities in the world, and is considered holy to the three major Abrahamic religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Both Israel and the Palestinian Authority claim Jerusalem as their capital, as Israel maintains its primary governmental institutions there and the State of Palestine ultimately foresees it as its seat of power; however, neither claim is widely recognized internationally.

Contents

The Second Temple was originally a rather modest structure constructed by a number of Jewish exile groups returning to the Levant from Babylon under the Achaemenid-appointed governor Zerubbabel. However, during the reign of Herod the Great, the Second Temple was completely refurbished, and the original structure was totally overhauled into the large and magnificent edifices and facades that are more recognizable. Much as the Babylonians destroyed the First Temple, the Romans destroyed the Second Temple and Jerusalem in 70 CE as retaliation for an ongoing Jewish revolt. The second temple lasted for a total of 585 years. (516 BC to 70 CE) [2] [3]

Levant Geographic and cultural region consisting of the eastern Mediterranean between Anatolia and Egypt

The Levant is an approximate historical geographical term referring to a large area in the Eastern Mediterranean, primarily in Western Asia. In its narrowest sense, it is equivalent to the historical region of Syria. In its widest historical sense, the Levant included all of the eastern Mediterranean with its islands; that is, it included all of the countries along the Eastern Mediterranean shores, extending from Greece to Cyrenaica.

Babylon Kingdom in ancient Mesopotamia from the 18th to 6th centuries BC

Babylon was a key kingdom in ancient Mesopotamia from the 18th to 6th centuries BC. The name-giving capital city was built on the Euphrates river and divided in equal parts along its left and right banks, with steep embankments to contain the river's seasonal floods. Babylon was originally a small Akkadian town dating from the period of the Akkadian Empire c. 2300 BC.

Zerubbabel Biblical character; governor of the Persian Province of Judah; grandson of Jehoiachin, King of Judah; rebuilt the temple (Hag 2:23, Zech 4:6–10, Ezra 2:2, 3:2, 3:8, 4:2, 4:3, 5:2, Neh. 12:1, 1 Chr 3:19)

According to the biblical narrative, Zerubbabel was a governor of the Achaemenid Empire's province Yehud Medinata and the grandson of Jeconiah, penultimate king of Judah. Zerubbabel led the first group of Jews, numbering 42,360, who returned from the Babylonian captivity in the first year of Cyrus the Great, the king of the Achaemenid Empire. The date is generally thought to have been between 538 and 520 BC. Zerubbabel also laid the foundation of the Second Temple in Jerusalem soon after.

Jewish eschatology includes a belief that the Second Temple will be replaced by a future Third Temple.

Jewish eschatology Area of Jewish theology and philosophy concerned with events that will happen in the end of days and related concepts

Jewish eschatology is the area of Jewish philosophy and theology concerned with events that will happen in the end of days and related concepts, according to the Hebrew Bible and Jewish thought. This includes the ingathering of the exiled diaspora, the coming of a Jewish Messiah, afterlife, and the revival of the dead Tzadikim. In Judaism, the end times are usually called the "end of days", a phrase that appears several times in the Tanakh.

The Third Temple would be the third Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, after Solomon's Temple and the rebuilt Second Temple.

Biblical narrative

Rebuilding of the Temple (illustration by Gustave Dore from the 1866 La Sainte Bible) 105.The Rebuilding of the Temple Is Begun.jpg
Rebuilding of the Temple (illustration by Gustave Doré from the 1866 La Sainte Bible)

The accession of Cyrus the Great of the Achaemenid Empire in 559 BCE made the re-establishment of the city of Jerusalem and the rebuilding of the Temple possible. [4] [5] Some rudimentary ritual sacrifice had continued at the site of the first temple following its destruction. [6] According to the closing verses of the second book of Chronicles and the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, when the Jewish exiles returned to Jerusalem following a decree from Cyrus the Great ( Ezra 1:1–4 , 2 Chron 36:22–23 ), construction started at the original site of the altar of Solomon's Temple. [1] After a relatively brief halt due to opposition from peoples who had filled the vacuum during the Jewish captivity ( Ezra 4 ), work resumed c. 521 BCE under Darius I ( Ezra 5 ) and was completed during the sixth year of his reign (c. 516 BCE), with the temple dedication taking place the following year.[ citation needed ]

Cyrus the Great King and founder of the Achaemenid Empire

Cyrus II of Persia, commonly known as Cyrus the Great, and also called Cyrus the Elder by the Greeks, was the founder of the Achaemenid Empire, the first Persian Empire. Under his rule, the empire embraced all the previous civilized states of the ancient Near East, expanded vastly and eventually conquered most of Western Asia and much of Central Asia. From the Mediterranean Sea and Hellespont in the west to the Indus River in the east, Cyrus the Great created the largest empire the world had yet seen. Under his successors, the empire eventually stretched at its maximum extent from parts of the Balkans and Eastern Europe proper in the west, to the Indus Valley in the east. His regal titles in full were The Great King, King of Persia, King of Anshan, King of Media, King of Babylon, King of Sumer and Akkad, and King of the Four Corners of the World. The Nabonidus Chronicle notes the change in his title from simply "King of Anshan", a city, to "King of Persia". Assyriologist François Vallat wrote that "When Astyages marched against Cyrus, Cyrus is called 'King of Anshan', but when Cyrus crosses the Tigris on his way to Lydia, he is 'King of Persia'. The coup therefore took place between these two events."

Achaemenid Empire first Persian Empire founded by Cyrus the Great

The Achaemenid Empire, also called the First Persian Empire, was an ancient Iranian empire based in Western Asia founded by Cyrus the Great. Ranging at its greatest extent from the Balkans and Eastern Europe proper in the west to the Indus Valley in the east, it was larger than any previous empire in history, spanning 5.5 million square kilometers. Incorporating various peoples of different origins and faiths, it is notable for its successful model of a centralised, bureaucratic administration, for building infrastructure such as road systems and a postal system, the use of an official language across its territories, and the development of civil services and a large professional army. The empire's successes inspired similar systems in later empires.

Books of Chronicles the final books of the Jewish bible

The Book of Chronicles is a Hebrew prose work constituting part of Jewish and Christian scripture. It contains a genealogy from the first human being, Adam, and a narrative of the history of ancient Judah and Israel until the proclamation of King Cyrus the Great.

These events represent the final section in the historical narrative of the Hebrew Bible. [4]

Hebrew Bible Canonical collection of Hebrew scripture

The Hebrew Bible, also called the Tanakh or Mikra, is the canonical collection of Hebrew scripture, the textual source for the Christian Old Testament. These texts are almost exclusively in Biblical Hebrew, except for some Biblical Aramaic passages in the books of Daniel and Ezra. The form of this text that is authoritative for Rabbinic Judaism is known as the Masoretic Text (MT) and it consists of 24 books, while the translations divide essentially the same material into 39 books for the Protestant Bible, and into 46 books for the Catholic Bible.

The original core of the book of Nehemiah, the first-person memoir, may have been combined with the core of the Book of Ezra around 400 BCE. Further editing probably continued into the Hellenistic era. [7]

Ezra–Nehemiah Jewish Book of Ezra

Ezra–Nehemiah is a book in the Hebrew Bible found in the Ketuvim section, originally with the Hebrew title of Ezra. The book covers the period from the fall of Babylon in 539 BC to the second half of the 5th century BC, and tells of the successive missions to Jerusalem of Zerubbabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah, and their efforts to restore the worship of the God of Israel and to create a purified Jewish community.

Book of Ezra book of the Bible

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 early 16th century, following late medieval Latin Christian tradition. Its subject is the Return to Zion following the close of the Babylonian captivity, and it is divided into two parts, the first telling the story of the first return of exiles in the first year of Cyrus the Great (538 BC) and the completion and dedication of the new Temple in Jerusalem in the sixth year of Darius I (515 BC), the second telling of the subsequent mission of Ezra to Jerusalem and his struggle to purify the Jews from marriage with non-Jews. Together with the Book of Nehemiah, it represents the final chapter in the historical narrative of the Hebrew Bible.

The book tells how Nehemiah, at the court of the king in Susa, is informed that Jerusalem is without walls and resolves to restore them. The king appoints him as governor of the province Yehud Medinata and he travels to Jerusalem. There he rebuilds the walls, despite the opposition of Israel's enemies, and reforms the community in conformity with the law of Moses. After 12 years in Jerusalem, he returns to Susa but subsequently revisits Jerusalem. He finds that the Israelites have been backsliding and taking non-Jewish wives, and he stays in Jerusalem to enforce the Law.

Based on the biblical account, after the return from Babylonian captivity, arrangements were immediately made to reorganize the desolated Yehud Province after the demise of the Kingdom of Judah seventy years earlier. The body of pilgrims, forming a band of 42,360, [8] having completed the long and dreary journey of some four months, from the banks of the Euphrates to Jerusalem, were animated in all their proceedings by a strong religious impulse, and therefore one of their first concerns was to restore their ancient house of worship by rebuilding their destroyed Temple [9] and reinstituting the sacrificial rituals known as the korbanot .

On the invitation of Zerubbabel, the governor, who showed them a remarkable example of liberality by contributing personally 1,000 golden darics, besides other gifts, the people poured their gifts into the sacred treasury with great enthusiasm. [10] First they erected and dedicated the altar of God on the exact spot where it had formerly stood, and they then cleared away the charred heaps of debris which occupied the site of the old temple; and in the second month of the second year (535 BCE), amid great public excitement and rejoicing, the foundations of the Second Temple were laid. A wide interest was felt in this great movement, although it was regarded with mixed feelings by the spectators (Haggai 2:3, Zechariah 4:10). [9]

The Samaritans wanted to help with this work but Zerubbabel and the elders declined such cooperation, feeling that the Jews must build the Temple unaided. Immediately evil reports were spread regarding the Jews. According to Ezra 4:5 , the Samaritans sought to "frustrate their purpose" and sent messengers to Ecbatana and Susa, with the result that the work was suspended. [9]

Seven years later, Cyrus the Great, who allowed the Jews to return to their homeland and rebuild the Temple, died (2 Chronicles 36:22–23) and was succeeded by his son Cambyses. On his death, the "false Smerdis", an impostor, occupied the throne for some seven or eight months, and then Darius became king (522 BCE). In the second year of his rule the work of rebuilding the temple was resumed and carried forward to its completion (Ezra 5:6–6:15), under the stimulus of the earnest counsels and admonitions of the prophets Haggai and Zechariah. It was ready for consecration in the spring of 516 BCE, more than twenty years after the return from captivity. The Temple was completed on the third day of the month Adar, in the sixth year of the reign of Darius, amid great rejoicings on the part of all the people (Ezra 6:15,16), although it was evident that the Jews were no longer an independent people, but were subject to a foreign power. The Book of Haggai includes a prediction that the glory of the second temple would be greater than that of the first (Haggai 2:9). [9]

Some of the original artifacts from the Temple of Solomon are not mentioned in the sources after its destruction in 597 BCE, and are presumed lost. The Second Temple lacked the following holy articles:

In the Second Temple, the Kodesh Hakodashim (Holy of Holies) was separated by curtains rather than a wall as in the First Temple. Still, as in the Tabernacle, the Second Temple included:

According to the Mishnah ( Middot iii. 6), the "Foundation Stone" stood where the Ark used to be, and the High Priest put his censer on it on Yom Kippur. [5]

The Second Temple also included many of the original vessels of gold that had been taken by the Babylonians but restored by Cyrus the Great. [9] [12] According to the Babylonian Talmud ( Yoma 21b), [5] however, the Temple lacked the Shekinah , the dwelling or settling divine presence of God, and the Ruach HaKodesh , the Spirit of Holiness, present in the first.

Rabbinical literature

Traditional rabbinic literature state that the Second Temple stood for 420 years and based on the 2nd-century work Seder Olam Rabbah , placed construction in 350 BCE (3408 AM), 166 years later than secular estimates, and destruction in 70 CE (3829 AM). [13]

The fifth order, or division, of the Mishnah, known as Kodashim, provides detailed descriptions and discussions of the religious laws connected with Temple service including the sacrifices, 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 and the guilt offering, and the laws of misappropriation of sacred property. In addition, the order contains a description of the Second Temple (tractate Middot), and a description and rules about the daily sacrifice service in the Temple (tractate Tamid). [14] [15] [16]

Rededication by the Maccabees

Following the conquest of Judea by Alexander the Great, it became part of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt until 200 BCE, when the Seleucid king Antiochus III the Great of Syria defeated Pharaoh Ptolemy V Epiphanes at the Battle of Paneion. [17] Judea became at that moment part of the Seleucid Empire. When the Second Temple in Jerusalem was looted and its religious services stopped, Judaism was effectively outlawed.

In 167 BCE, Antiochus IV Epiphanes ordered an altar to Zeus erected in the Temple. He also banned circumcision and ordered pigs to be sacrificed at the altar of the Temple. [18]

Following the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid empire, the Second Temple was rededicated and became the religious pillar of the Jewish Hasmonean Kingdom, as well as culturally associated with the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah.

Hasmonean dynasty and Roman conquest

There is some evidence from archaeology that further changes to the structure of the Temple and its surroundings were made during the Hasmonean rule. Salome Alexandra, the queen of Hasmonean Kingdom appointed her elder son Hyrcanus II as the high priest of Judaea. Her younger son Aristobulus II was determined to have the throne, and as soon as she died he seized the throne. Hyrcanus, who was in line to be the king, agreed to be contented with being the high priest. Antipater, the governor of Idumæa, encouraged Hyrcanus not to give up his throne. Eventually Hyrcanus fled to Aretas III, king of the Nabateans, and returned with an army to take back the throne. He defeated Aristobulus and besieged Jerusalem. The Roman general Pompey, who was in Syria fighting against the Armenians in the Third Mithridatic War, sent his lieutenant to investigate the conflict in Judaea. Both Hyrcanus and Aristobulus appealed to him for support. Pompey was not diligent in making a decision about this which caused Aristobulus to march off. He was pursued by Pompey and surrendered but his followers closed Jerusalem to Pompey's forces. The Romans besieged and took the city in 63 BCE. The priests continued with the religious practices inside the Temple during the siege. The temple was not looted or harmed by the Romans. Pompey himself, perhaps inadvertently, went into the Holy of Holies and the next day ordered the priests to repurify the Temple and resume the religious practices. [19]

Solomon's Temple which was on the site prior to the building of the Second Temple; at bottom center looking south east to Northwest Bible manual. Introductory course on the Bible, for teachers training classes and Bible classes (1922) (14749899816).jpg
Solomon's Temple which was on the site prior to the building of the Second Temple; at bottom center looking south east to Northwest

Herod's Temple

This picture shows the temple as imagined in 1966 in the Holyland Model of Jerusalem; east at the bottom. Jerusalem Modell BW 2.JPG
This picture shows the temple as imagined in 1966 in the Holyland Model of Jerusalem; east at the bottom.
August 18, 2013 view of the Temple Mount with east at the bottom WikiAir IL-13-06 037 - Temple Mount.JPG
August 18, 2013 view of the Temple Mount with east at the bottom

Reconstruction of the temple under Herod began with a massive expansion of the Temple Mount. [20] Religious worship and temple rituals continued during the construction process. [21] When the Roman emperor Caligula planned to place his own statue inside the temple, Herod's grandson Agrippa I was able to intervene and convince him against this.

Construction

Herod's Temple was one of the larger construction projects of the 1st century BCE. [22] Josephus records that Herod was interested in perpetuating his name through building projects, that his construction programs were extensive and paid for by heavy taxes, but that his masterpiece was the Temple of Jerusalem. [22]

The old temple built by Zerubbabel was replaced by a magnificent edifice. An agreement was made between Herod and the Jewish religious authorities: the sacrificial rituals, called offerings, were to be continued unabated for the entire time of construction, and the Temple itself would be constructed by the priests. Later the Exodus 30:13 sanctuary shekel was reinstituted to support the temple as the temple tax.

Platform

Mt. Moriah had a plateau at the northern end, and steeply declined on the southern slope. It was Herod's plan that the entire mountain be turned into a giant square platform. The Temple Mount was originally intended to be 1600 feet wide by 900 feet broad by 9 stories high, with walls up to 16 feet thick, but had never been finished. To complete it, a trench was dug around the mountain, and huge stone "bricks" were laid. Some of these weighed well over 100 tons, the largest measuring 44.6 feet by 11 feet by 16.5 feet and weighing approximately 567 to 628 tons, [23] [24] while most were in the range of 2.5 by 3.5 by 15 feet (approximately 28 tons). King Herod had architects from Greece, Rome and Egypt plan the construction. The blocks were presumably quarried by using pickaxes to create channels. Then they hammered in wooden beams and flushed them with water to force them out. Once they were removed, they were carved into precise squares and numbered at the quarry to show where they would be installed. The final carving would have been done by using harder stones to grind or chisel them to create precise joints. They would have been transported using oxen and specialized carts. Since the quarry was uphill from the temple they had gravity on their side but care needed to be taken to control the descent. Final installation would have been done using pulleys or cranes. Roman pulleys and cranes weren't strong enough to lift the blocks alone so they may have used multiple cranes and levers to position them. [25] As the mountainside began to rise, the western side was carved away to a vertical wall and bricks were carved to create a virtual continuation of the brick face, which was continued for a while until the northern slope reached ground level. Part of the Antonian hill to the north of Moriah was annexed to the complex and the area between was filled up with landfill.

The project began with the building of giant underground vaults upon which the temple would be built so it could be larger than the small flat area on top of Mount Moriah. Ground level at the time was at least 20 ft. (6m) below the current level, as can be seen by walking the Western Wall tunnels. Legend has it that the construction of the entire complex lasted only three years, but other sources such as Josephus say that it took far longer, although the Temple itself may have taken that long. During a Passover visit by Jesus the Jews replied that it had been under construction for 46 years. [26] It is possible that the complex was only a few years completed when the future Emperor Titus destroyed the Temple in 70 CE.

Court of the Gentiles

This area was primarily a bazaar, with vendors selling souvenirs, sacrificial animals, food, as well as currency changers, exchanging Roman for Tyrian money because the Jews were not allowed to coin their own money and they viewed Roman currency as an abomination to the Lord, [27] as also mentioned in the New Testament account of Jesus and the Money Changers when Jerusalem was packed with Jews who had come for Passover, perhaps numbering 300,000 to 400,000 pilgrims. [28] [29] Guides that provided tours of the premises were also available. Jewish males had the unique opportunity to be shown inside the temple itself.

The priests, in their white linen robes and tubular hats, were everywhere, directing pilgrims and advising them on what kinds of sacrifices were to be performed.

Behind them, as they entered the Court of the Gentiles from the south through the Huldah Gates, was the Royal Porch, which contained a marketplace, administrative quarters, and a synagogue. On the upper floors, the great Jewish sages held court, priests and Levites performed various chores, and from there, tourists were able to observe the events. The Royal Porch is widely accepted to be part of Herod's work; however, recent archaeological finds in the Western Wall tunnels suggest that it was built in the first century during the reign of Agripas, as opposed to the first century BCE, [30] while the theory that Herod began the extension and the Royal Porch is based mainly on Josephus's possibly politically motivated claim. During Herod's reign the porch was not yet open to the public.

To the east of the court was Solomon's Porch, and to the north, the soreg, the "middle wall of separation", [31] a stone wall separating the public area from the inner sanctuary where only Jews could enter, described as being 3 cubits high by Josephus (Wars 5.5.2 [3b] 6.2.4).

Pinnacle

The accounts of the temptation of Christ in the gospels of Matthew and Luke both suggest that the Second Temple had one or more 'pinnacles':

Then he [ Satan ] brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here." [32]

The Greek word used is πτερυγιον (pterugion), which literally means a tower, rampart, or pinnacle. [33] According to Strong's Concordance , it can mean little wing, or by extension anything like a wing such as a battlement or parapet. [34] The archaeologist Benjamin Mazar thought it referred to the southeast corner of the Temple overlooking the Kidron Valley. [35]

Inside the Soreg

According to Josephus, there were ten entrances into the inner courts, four on the south, four on the north, one on the east and one leading east to west from the Court of Women to the court of the Israelites, named the Nicanor Gate. [36] The gates were: On the south side (going from west to east) the Fuel Gate, the Firstling Gate, the Water Gate. On the north side, from west to east, are the Jeconiah Gate, the Offering Gate, the Women's Gate and the Song Gate. On the Eastern side, the Nicanor gate, which is where most Jewish visitors entered. A few pieces of the Soreg have survived to the present day.

Within this area was the Court of the Women, open to all Jews, male and female. Even a ritually unclean Cohen could enter to perform various housekeeping duties. There was also a place for lepers (considered ritually unclean), as well as a ritual barbershop for Nazirites. In this, the largest of the temple courts, one could see constant dancing, singing and music.

Only men were allowed to enter the Court of the Israelites, where they could observe sacrifices of the high priest in the Court of the Priests. The Court of the Priests was reserved for Levite priests.

Temple sanctuary

The Foundation Stone under the Dome of the Rock, a possible historical location for the Kodesh Hakodashim The rock of the Dome of the Rock Corrected.jpg
The Foundation Stone under the Dome of the Rock, a possible historical location for the Kodesh Hakodashim

Between the entrance of the building and the curtain veiling the Holy of Holies were the famous vessels of the temple: the menorah, the incense-burning altar, and various other implements.

Pilgrimages

Jews from distant parts of the Roman Empire would arrive by boat at the port of Jaffa (now part of Tel Aviv), where they would join a caravan for the three-day trek to the Holy City and would then find lodgings in one of the many hotels or hostelries. Then they changed some of their money from the profane standard Greek and Roman currency for Jewish and Tyrian money, the latter two considered religious. [37] [38] The pilgrims would purchase sacrificial animals, usually a pigeon or a lamb, in preparation for the following day's events.

The first thing pilgrims would do would be to approach the public entrance on the south side of the Temple Mount complex. They would check their animals, then visit a mikveh, where they would ritually cleanse and purify themselves. The pilgrims would then retrieve their sacrificial animals, and head to the Huldah gates. After ascending a staircase three stories in height, and passing through the gate, the pilgrims would find themselves in the Court of the Gentiles.

Destruction

Siege and Destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans (1850 painting by David Roberts). Looking southwest Roberts Siege and Destruction of Jerusalem.jpg
Siege and Destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans (1850 painting by David Roberts). Looking southwest
View of Temple Mount looking southwest Temple Mount (Aerial view, 2007) 03.jpg
View of Temple Mount looking southwest

In 66 CE the Jewish population rebelled against the Roman Empire. Four years later, on 4 August 70 CE [39] (Tisha B'Av – 9th Day of Av) or 30 August 70 CE, [40] Roman legions under Titus retook and destroyed much of Jerusalem and the Second Temple. The Arch of Titus, in Rome and built to commemorate Titus's victory in Judea, depicts a Roman victory procession with soldiers carrying spoils from the Temple, including the Menorah. According to an inscription on the Colosseum, Emperor Vespasian built the Colosseum with war spoils in 79 CE—possibly from the spoils of the Second Temple. [41]

The sects of Judaism that had their base in the Temple dwindled in importance, including the priesthood and the Sadducees. [42]

The destruction date according to the Hebrew calendar was the 9th of Av, also known as Tisha B'Av. [43] The Temple was on the site of what today is the Dome of the Rock. The gates let out close to Al-Aqsa Mosque (which came much later). [21] Although Jews continued to inhabit the destroyed city, Emperor Hadrian established a new city called Aelia Capitolina. At the end of the Bar Kokhba revolt in 135 CE, many of the Jewish communities were massacred and Jews were banned from living inside Jerusalem. A pagan Roman temple was set up on the former site of Herod's Temple. [19]

Archaeology

In 1871, a hewn stone measuring 60 × 90 cm. and engraved with Greek uncials was discovered near a court on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and identified by Charles Simon Clermont-Ganneau as being the Temple Warning inscription. The stone inscription outlined the prohibition extended unto those who were not of the Jewish nation to proceed beyond the soreg separating the larger Court of the Gentiles and the inner courts. The inscription read in seven lines:

ΜΗΟΕΝΑΑΛΛΟΓΕΝΗΕΙΣΠΟ
ΡΕΥΕΣΟΑΙΕΝΤΟΣΤΟΥΠΕ
ΡΙΤΟΙΕΡΟΝΤΡΥΦΑΚΤΟΥΚΑΙ
ΠΕΡΙΒΟΛΟΥΟΣΔΑΝΛΗ
ΦΘΗΕΑΥΤΩΙΑΙΤΙΟΣΕΣ
ΤΑΙΔΙΑΤΟΕΞΑΚΟΛΟΥ
ΘΕΙΝΘΑΝΑΤΟΝ

Translation: "Let no foreigner enter within the parapet and the partition which surrounds the Temple precincts. Anyone caught [violating] will be held accountable for his ensuing death." Today, the stone is preserved in Istanbul's Museum of Antiquities.

In 1936 a fragment of a similar Temple warning inscription was found.

After 1967, archaeologists found that the wall extended all the way around the Temple Mount and is part of the city wall near the Lions' Gate. Thus, the Western Wall is not the only remaining part of the Temple Mount. Currently, Robinson's Arch (named after American Edward Robinson) remains as the beginning of an arch that spanned the gap between the top of the platform and the higher ground farther away. This had been used by the priests as an entrance. Commoners had entered through the still-extant, but now plugged, gates on the southern side which led through colonnades to the top of the platform. One of these colonnades is still extant and reachable through the Temple Mount. The Southern wall was designed as a grand entrance. Recent archeological digs have found thousands of mikvehs (ceremonial bathtubs) for the ritual purification of the worshipers, and a grand stairway leading to the now blocked entrance. Inside the walls, the platform was supported by a series of vaulted archways, now called Solomon's Stables, which still exist and whose current renovation by the Waqf is extremely controversial. The temple was constructed of imported white marble that gleamed in the daylight.

On September 25, 2007, Yuval Baruch, archaeologist with the Israeli Antiquities Authority announced the discovery of a quarry compound which may have provided King Herod with the stones to build his Temple on the Temple Mount. Coins, pottery and an iron stake found proved the date of the quarrying to be about 19 BCE. Archaeologist Ehud Netzer confirmed that the large outlines of the stone cuts is evidence that it was a massive public project worked by hundreds of slaves. [44]

The Magdala stone is thought to be a representation of the Second Temple carved before its destruction in the year 70. [45]

Second Temple Judaism

The period between the construction of the Second Temple in 515 BCE and its destruction by the Romans in 70 CE witnessed major historical upheavals and significant religious changes that would affect most subsequent Abrahamic religions. The origins of the authority of scripture, of the centrality of law and morality in religion, of the synagogue and of apocalyptic expectations for the future all developed in the Judaism of this period.

See also

Related Research Articles

Herod the Great Roman client king of Judea.

Herod, also known as Herod the Great and Herod I, was a Roman client king of Judea, referred to as the Herodian kingdom. The history of his legacy has polarized opinion, as he is known for his colossal building projects throughout Judea, including his expansion of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, the construction of the port at Caesarea Maritima, the fortress at Masada, and Herodium. Vital details of his life are recorded in the works of the 1st century CE Roman–Jewish historian Josephus. Herod also appears in the Christian Gospel of Matthew as the ruler of Judea who orders the Massacre of the Innocents at the time of the birth of Jesus. Despite his successes, including singlehandedly forging a new aristocracy from practically nothing, he has still garnered criticism from various historians. His reign polarizes opinion amongst scholars and historians, some viewing his legacy as evidence of success, and some as a reminder of his tyrannical rule.

The Pharisees were a social movement and a school of thought in the Holy Land during the time of Second Temple Judaism. After the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE, Pharisaic beliefs became the foundational, liturgical and ritualistic basis for Rabbinic Judaism.

Hasmonean dynasty dynasty

The Hasmonean dynasty was a ruling dynasty of Judea and surrounding regions during classical antiquity. Between c. 140 and c. 116 BCE the dynasty ruled Judea semi-autonomously from the Seleucids. From 110 BCE, with the Seleucid Empire disintegrating, the dynasty became fully independent, expanded into the neighbouring regions of Samaria, Galilee, Iturea, Perea, and Idumea, and took the title "basileus". Some modern scholars refer to this period as an independent kingdom of Israel.

The Sadducees were a sect or group of Jews that were active in Judea during the Second Temple period, starting from the second century BC through the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD. The sect was identified by Josephus with the upper social and economic echelon of Judean society. As a whole, the sect fulfilled various political, social, and religious roles, including maintaining the Temple. The Sadducees are often compared to other contemporaneous sects, including the Pharisees and the Essenes. Their sect is believed to have become extinct some time after the destruction of Herod's Temple in Jerusalem in 70 AD, but it has been speculated that the later Karaites may have had some roots in—or connections with—Sadducaic views.

First Jewish–Roman War The first of three major rebellions by the Jews against the Roman Empire

The First Jewish–Roman War, sometimes called the Great Revolt, or The Jewish War, was the first of three major rebellions by the Jews against the Roman Empire, fought in Roman-controlled Judea, resulting in the destruction of Jewish towns, the displacement of its people and the appropriation of land for Roman military usage, besides the destruction of the Jewish Temple and polity.

Holy of Holies term in the Hebrew Bible

The Holy of Holies is a term in the Hebrew Bible which refers to the inner sanctuary of the Tabernacle where God's presence appeared. The area was defined by four pillars which held up the veil of the covering, under which the Ark of the Covenant was held above the floor. The Ark according to Hebrew Scripture contained the Ten Commandments, which were given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai. King Solomon built the Temple in Jerusalem, where the Ark of the Covenant was supposed to be kept.

John Hyrcanus Hasmonean ruler

John Hyrcanus was a Hasmonean (Maccabeean) leader and Jewish high priest of the 2nd century BCE. In rabbinic literature he is often referred to as Yoḥanan Cohen Gadol, "John the High Priest".

Judea (Roman province) Roman province

The Roman province of Judea, sometimes spelled in its original Latin forms of Iudæa or Iudaea to distinguish it from the geographical region of Judea, incorporated the regions of Judea, Samaria and Idumea, and extended over parts of the former regions of the Hasmonean and Herodian kingdoms of Judea. It was named after Herod Archelaus's Tetrarchy of Judea, but the Roman province encompassed a much larger territory. The name "Judea" was derived from the Kingdom of Judah of the 6th century BCE.

Solomon's Porch, Portico or Colonnade, was a colonnade, or cloister, located on the eastern side of the Temple's Outer Court in Jerusalem, named after Solomon, King of Israel, and not to be confused with the Royal Stoa, which was on the southern side of Herod's Temple.

Middot (Talmud) Tractate of the Talmud and the Mishnah.

Tractate Middot is the tenth tractate of Seder Kodashim of the Mishnah and of the Talmud. This tractate describes the dimensions and the arrangement of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, and the Second Temple buildings and courtyards, various gates, the altar of sacrifice and its surroundings, and the places where the Priests and Levites kept watch in the Temple.

Hellenistic Judaism was a form of Judaism in classical antiquity that combined Jewish religious tradition with elements of Greek culture. Until the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the early Muslim conquests of the eastern Mediterranean, the main centers of Hellenistic Judaism were Alexandria, Egypt and Antioch, the two main Greek urban settlements of the Middle East and North Africa area, both founded at the end of the fourth century BCE in the wake of the conquests of Alexander the Great. Hellenistic Judaism also existed in Jerusalem during the Second Temple Period, where there was conflict between Hellenizers and traditionalists.

The Second Temple period in Jewish history lasted between 516 BCE and 70 CE, when the Second Temple of Jerusalem existed. The sects of Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, Zealots and Nazarenes were formed during this period. The Second Temple period ended with the First Jewish–Roman War and the Roman destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple.

Jerusalem during the Second Temple Period

Jerusalem during the Second Temple period describes the history of the city from the return to Zion under Cyrus the Great to the 70 CE siege of Jerusalem by Titus during the First Jewish–Roman War, which saw both region and city change hands several times. It was the center of religious life for all Jews, even those who lived in the diaspora prayed towards Jerusalem on a daily basis and made pilgrimages during religious festivals. The Pharisees of Second Temple Judaism developed into the Tannaim and Judaism's post-Exilic religious identity as it continues today, and the Hebrew Bible was perhaps canonized, although exactly when this occurred remains disputed. It was also in Jerusalem during the later stages of this period that Christianity was born.

Robinsons Arch

Robinson's Arch is the name given to a monumental staircase carried by an unusually wide stone arch, which once stood at the southwestern corner of the Temple Mount. It was built as part of the expansion of the Second Temple initiated by Herod the Great at the end of the 1st century BCE. Recent findings suggest that it may not have been completed until at least 20 years after his death. The massive stone span was constructed along with the retaining walls of the Temple Mount. It carried traffic up from ancient Jerusalem's Lower Market area and over the Tyropoeon street to the Royal Stoa complex on the esplanade of the Mount. The overpass was destroyed during the Great Jewish Revolt, only a few decades after its completion.

Walls of Jerusalem the walls which surround the Old City of Jerusalem

The Walls of Jerusalem surround the Old City of Jerusalem. In 1535, when Jerusalem was part of the Ottoman Empire, Sultan Suleiman I ordered the ruined city walls to be rebuilt. The work took some four years, between 1537 and 1541.

Royal Stoa (Jerusalem) Ancient basilica constructed by Herod the Great

The Royal Stoa was an ancient basilica constructed by Herod the Great during his renovation of the Temple Mount at the end of the 1st century BCE. Probably Herod's most magnificent secular construction, the three-aisled structure was described by Josephus as deserving "to be mentioned better than any other under the sun." A center of public and commercial activity, the Royal Stoa was the likely location of Jesus' Cleansing of the Temple. The Royal Stoa overlooked Jerusalem's residential and commercial quarters, and at its southwestern corner was the place from which a ram's horn was blown to announce the start of holy days.

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Judaism:

 This is a part of Hebrew literature
The earliest known precursor to Hebrew is an inscription in Ancient Hebrew is the Khirbet Qeiyafa Inscription, if it can indeed be considered Hebrew at that early a stage. By far the most varied, extensive and historically significant body of literature written in the old Classical Hebrew is the canon of the Hebrew Bible, but certain other works have survived as well. It was not unusual for ancient narratives, poetry and rules to have been transmitted orally for several generations before being committed to writing. Before the Aramaic-derived modern Hebrew alphabet was adopted circa the 5th century BCE, the Phoenician-derived Paleo-Hebrew script was used instead for writing, and a derivative of the script still survives to this day in the form of the Samaritan script.

References

  1. 1 2 Understanding Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism, KTAV Publishing House, Lawrence H. Schiffman, page 48–49
  2. Ezra 6:15,16
  3. Based on regnal years of Darius I, brought down in Richard Parker & Waldo Dubberstein's Babylonian Chronology, 626 B.C.–A.D. 75, Brown University Press: Providence 1956, p. 30. However, Jewish tradition avers that the Second Temple stood for only four-hundred and twenty years, i.e. from 352 BCE – 68 CE. See: Maimonides' Questions & Responsa, responsum # 389, Jerusalem 1960 (Hebrew)
  4. 1 2 Albright, William (1963). The Biblical Period from Abraham to Ezra: An Historical Survey. HarperCollins College Division. ISBN   0-06-130102-7.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 PD-icon.svg   Singer, Isidore; et al., eds. (1901–1906). "Temple, The Second". The Jewish Encyclopedia . New York: Funk & Wagnalls.
  6. The Hebrew Bible: New Insights and Scholarship, New York University Press, chapter by Ziony Zevit, page 166
  7. Paul Cartledge, Peter Garnsey, Erich S. Gruen (editors), Hellenistic Constructs: Essays In Culture, History, and Historiography, p. 92 (University of California Press, 1997). ISBN   0-520-20676-2
  8. Ezra 2:65
  9. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Wikisource-logo.svg   Easton, Matthew George (1897). "Temple, the Second"  . Easton's Bible Dictionary (New and revised ed.). T. Nelson and Sons.
  10. Ezra 2
  11. Maimonides. "Mishneh Torah, Sefer Avodah, Beis Habechirah, Chapter 4, Halacha 1" . Retrieved 2013-05-20.
  12. Ezra 1:7–11
  13. Goldwurm, Hersh. History of the Jewish people: the Second Temple era, Mesorah Publications, 1982. Appendix: Year of the Destruction, p. 213. ISBN   0-89906-454-X
  14. Birnbaum, Philip (1975). "Kodashim". A Book of Jewish Concepts. New York, NY: Hebrew Publishing Company. pp. 541–542. ISBN   088482876X.
  15. Epstein, Isidore, ed. (1948). "Introduction to Seder Kodashim". The Babylonian Talmud. vol. 5. Singer, M.H. (translator). London: The Soncino Press. pp. xvii–xxi.
  16. Arzi, Abraham (1978). "Kodashim". Encyclopedia Judaica. 10 (1st ed.). Jerusalem, Israel: Keter Publishing House Ltd. pp. 1126–1127.
  17. De Bellis Antiquitatis (DBA) The Battle of Panion (200 BC) Archived 2009-12-23 at the Wayback Machine
  18. Flavius Josephus, The Wars of the Jews Jewish War i. 34
  19. 1 2 Lester L. Grabbe (2010). An Introduction to Second Temple Judaism: History and Religion of the Jews in the Time of Nehemiah, the Maccabees, Hillel, and Jesus. A&C Black. pp. 19–20, 26–29. ISBN   9780567552488.
  20. Herod's work on the Temple is generally dated from 20/19 BCE until 12/11 or 10 BCE. Mahieu (Between Rome and Jerusalem, OLA 208, Leuven: Peeters, 2012, pp. 147–165) begins the work on the Temple enclosures in 25 BCE, that on the Temple building in 19 BCE, and situates the dedication of both in November 18 BCE.
  21. 1 2 Secrets of Jerusalem's Temple Mount, Leen Ritmeyer, Kathleen Ritmeyer, 1998
  22. 1 2 Flavius Josephus: The Jewish War
  23. The History Channel cited the 16.5 depth 567 ton estimate in "Lost Worlds of King Herod"
  24. Dan Bahat: Touching the Stones of our Heritage, Israeli ministry of Religious Affairs, 2002
  25. Modern Marvels: Bible tech, History channel
  26. Gospel of John 2:20
  27. Beasley-Murray, G. (1999). Word Biblical Commentary: John (2 ed., Vol. 36). Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson.
  28. Sanders, E. P. The Historical Figure of Jesus. Penguin, 1993. p. 249
  29. Funk, Robert W. and the Jesus Seminar. The Acts of Jesus: The Search for the Authentic Deeds of Jesus. HarperSanFrancisco. 1998.
  30. "Israel Antiquities Authority".
  31. In verse 14 of Ephesians 2:11–18
  32. Luke 4:9
  33. Kittel, Gerhard, ed. (1976) [1965]. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament: Volume III. Translated by Bromiley, Geoffrey W. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans. p. 236.
  34. Strong's Concordance 4419
  35. Mazar, Benjamin (1975). The Mountain of the Lord, Doubleday. p. 149.
  36. Josephus, War 5.5.2; 198; m. Mid. 1.4
  37. Sanders, E. P. The Historical Figure of Jesus. Penguin, 1993.
  38. Ehrman, Bart D.. Jesus, Interrupted, HarperCollins, 2009. ISBN   0-06-117393-2
  39. "Hebrew Calendar". www.cgsf.org.
  40. Matthew Bunson A Dictionary of the Roman Empire p.212
  41. Bruce Johnston. "Colosseum 'built with loot from sack of Jerusalem temple'". Telegraph.
  42. Alföldy, Géza (1995). "Eine Bauinschrift aus dem Colosseum". Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik . 109: 195–226. JSTOR   20189648.
  43. Simmons, Shraga. "Tisha B'Av – Ninth of Av" . Retrieved 2013-05-20.
  44. Gaffney, Sean (2007-09-24). "USATODAY.com, Report: Herod's Temple quarry found". USA Today. Retrieved 2013-08-31.
  45. Kershner, Isabel (8 December 2015). "A Carved Stone Block Upends Assumptions About Ancient Judaism". New York Times . Retrieved 9 December 2015.

Further reading