So after all that work we heard about in last week’s haftorah building the Temple (with the throngs of 80,000 men, 3,300 managers, and tons of stone and lumber), we find Ezekiel describing his vision of the third Holy Temple and dedication.
Third!? Wait, what?
Solomon’s Temple (the First Temple, or Holy Temple, in ancient Jerusalem on the Temple Mount ) that we heard about last week, was purportedly sieged by the Babylonians around 587 BCE. Rabbinic literature suggests this temple stood just over 400 years, which would put it between 832-422 BCE (later than secular estimates). The exact history is murky between biblical accounts and archaeological inferences, not in any small part due to the lack of permitted archaeological excavations of the Temple Mount in modern times.
A Second Temple, about 516 BCE to 70 CE followed the return of the Jewish exiles to Jerusalem under a decree from Cyrus the [Read more…]