The religious structure in Jerusalem that was the center of Israelite national life in the biblical period, beginning with the monarchy (tenth century BCE) and continuing until its final destruction by the Roman legions in 70 CE. It underwent two major reconstructions, one following the exile and the other as part of the enormous building projects carried out by King Herod. The importance of the Temple in the religious life of Israel is as a visible reminder of God’s presence and as the place where authorized sacrifices were offered. The First Temple, built under Solomon, is described in some detail in (1Kgs 6-8) and the parallel account in (2Chr 2-4). Ezekiel also has an extensive Temple section (chaps. 40–46). The Second Temple was built between 520 and 515 BCE as a replacement for Solomon’s Temple, which had been destroyed by the Babylonians (2Kgs 25:8-17). The structure, which apparently lacked splendor (Hag 2:3; Ezra 3:12), was defiled by Antiochus IV Epiphanes. Herod the Great subsequently expanded the Second Temple in significant ways during his reign (37 BCE–4 CE). But Titus and his legions destroyed the edifice in 70 CE.
Solomon Builds the Temple
1In the four hundred eightieth year after the Israelites came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Isr ... View more
Preparations for Building the Temple
1 Solomon decided to build a temple for the name of the Lord, and a royal palace for himself.2 Solomon conscripted seventy ... View more
8In the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month—which was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon—Nebuzaradan, the captain of the bodyg ... View more
3Who is left among you that saw this house in its former glory? How does it look to you now? Is it not in your sight as nothing?
12But many of the priests and Levites and heads of families, old people who had seen the first house on its foundations, wept with a loud voice when they saw th ... View more