Do you think the location of Solomon's and Herod's temples could have been other than on the site known today as the "Temple Mount"?

Email Received:

I thought you might be interested in this article on new information on the Temple Mount: It indicates that Solomon's and Herod's temples may have been located some distance away from the Temple Mount we see today. What do you think about this?

Tedís Response:

I am aware of Robert Cornuke's work indicating that the previous temples were located in the City of David and not on the present Temple Mount. However, I also have heard and read technical issues raised that put many of his basic assumptions in question. Overall, I am more convinced that the first two temples stood on the area known today as the Temple Mount.

In my opinion, though, where those temples stood is irrelevant in attempting to figure out where the next presumed manmade temple will stand. This is because I am not at all convinced that another temple will stand in or near Jerusalem until Jesus returns and builds the Millennial Temple. I say this even though I am well aware that the Temple Institute in Jerusalem has all of the vessels, utensils and priestly garments ready to be used in a new temple.

So rather than comment on elements of Matt Leasher's article, I will focus on why I feel that a so-called "tribulation temple" will not be constructed prior to Jesus' return. I understand that it is a foundational tenet of much of Christianity, especially of those who believe in a pre-tribulation rapture (which includes Matt Leasher), that there must be an end-time temple. They feel that approval to build this temple will be part of a 7-year "peace treaty" between Israel and the Palestinians.

Furthermore, they insist that, in the temple, sacrifices and offerings will be put to a stop in the middle of the prophesied 7-year period, according to Daniel 9:27. They also point to the usage of the word "temple" in 2 Thessalonians 2:4 and in Revelation 11:1 as "proof" that this third temple will stand.

Now, the foundation on which theories and beliefs are built must be solid and unshakable. Otherwise, anything built on top of it is in danger of collapsing. I feel that all sections of the aforementioned foundation are not firm at all but, rather, are soft and malleable. This places enough doubt in my mind to question the notion that there has to be another temple standing in or near Jerusalem before Jesus returns.

In the present religious and political tension in the Middle East, including in Jerusalem, the idea of any type of viable "peace treaty" being made seems extremely remote and improbable to me. I do not see the volatile Islamic/Jewish hostility in Israel improving until Jesus returns. The premise that the Jews could build a temple anywhere in or around Jerusalem, as part of such a "peace treaty" and without a severe backlash by Islam and the rest of the world, seems virtually impossible.

As far as another temple being essential for sacrifices and offerings to be made, this is not the case. Following Israel's captivity in Babylon for seventy years, a great many Israelites returned to Jerusalem, settling there and in nearby towns (Ezra 2:1-70). Soon, they built an altar and sacrificed burnt offerings and offered morning and evening sacrifices to the God of Israel (3:2-5). This was done even before the foundation of the second temple had been laid (3:6). So the temple did not have to be standing for the sacrifices and offerings to take place.

Near the end of the age, hypothetically speaking, all that would need to take place is for a rogue orthodox Jewish rabbi to sneak up onto the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, sacrifice a lamb (perhaps on Passover), and offer up some type of burnt offering to the Lord. Presumably, this would create an international incident, a marked escalation of violence of Muslims against Jews, and a subsequent order to cease and desist any further sacrifices and offerings, thereby fulfilling that portion of Daniel 9:27.

Pertaining to the word "temple" in 2 Thessalonians 2:4 and in Revelation 11:1, this actually is a mistranslation of that word from the Greek. The correct translation of that particular word is shrine. Indeed, on the Temple Mount today stands a bonafide shrine, which is the Islamic Dome of the Rock. Through most of history, it has been accepted, particularly by orthodox Jews, that the most holy place of the first and second temples was located here. More details about all of this can be found in another of my email responses: 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?

We know that Satan hates Judaism and all that it stands for. Thus, it would seem to make sense that he would be instrumental in having a structure built at that location on the Temple Mount that would prevent another temple from being built there. That site very well could be the "holy place"óa location always holy to God, regardless of what is standing thereóspoken of by Jesus in Matthew 24:15. If so, it could be that the Antichrist will walk into the Islamic Dome of the Rock and set up the abomination that causes desolation, whatever that turns out to be.

I will comment on something else Matt Leasher wrote with which I adamantly disagree. He shares a common belief with others who adhere to the notion of a pre-tribulation raptureóthat the Gog-Magog war of Ezekiel 38 and 39 will take place between the rapture event and the beginning of the "tribulation" period. On the contrary, I am convinced that the events in Ezekiel 38 and 39 will not commence until well into the final 3Ĺ-year period and that the bloody slaughter of the Gog/Magog hordes will be the winepress that Jesus treads when He returns. My Final Battles commentary goes into great detail about this. This email response provides further details: When does the Gog/Magog battle, described in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39, occur?

I am convinced of a pre-wrath rapture, probably to take place about a year prior to Jesus' return to earth. This is explained in my two-part Rapture commentary.

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