Wasn't Herod's Temple considered to be the 3rd Temple, so the next temple will be the 4th Temple?

Email Received:

I hear people talking about plans to build the 3rd Temple in Jerusalem. Yet, there already have been these:

Therefore, isn't Herod's Temple considered to be the 3rd Temple, so the next temple to come will be the 4th Temple?

Ted's Response:

The period of the Second Temple, built by Zerubbabel, is considered to be 516 BC to 70 AD. Some might regard the Second Temple to have become a Third Temple under Herod, when he directed in 19 BC that work would be started to expand the standing temple.

However, the latter essentially was a restoration, transformation, and enhancement of the Second Temple, which officially is recognized to have been destroyed in 70 AD by the Romans. More details can be found in Rebuilding the Second Temple and the Second Temple.

I know that many believe another manmade temple will be built prior to Jesus' return. They will cite the prophecy that sacrifice and offering will be stopped in the midst of the 70th Week (Daniel 9:27) as one major piece of evidence for this.

However, sacrifices and offerings were made on an altar even before the foundation of the Second Temple had been laid (Ezra 3:1-6). Therefore, there does not have to be another manmade temple standing, in which sacrifices and offerings will take place and then are stopped, for Daniel's prophecy to be fulfilled.

Many also will cite the term "temple" in 2 Thessalonians 2:4 and Revelation 11:1 as an indication that another manmade temple will stand in Jerusalem. The word commonly translated as "temple" in those two verses is more correctly translated as "shrine." I have addressed this issue in the following email response to someone who asked about it: Doesn't the word "temple" in 2 Thessalonians 2:4 and Revelation 11:1 indicate that the Third Temple will stand on the Temple Mount for the last 42 months of the final seven years?

I am not convinced that another temple necessarily will stand in Jerusalem until after the return of Jesus back to earth. At that time, He will build the millennial Temple.

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