The Temple was the holy place of worship located on Mount Moriah. The first Temple was built by King Solomon, after his father King David had acquired most of the materials needed. The construction of the Temple was started in the fourth year of Solomon's reign and completed in the eleventh year.
More than 150,000 men (laborers, stonecutters and foremen) worked in the construction. One room in the Temple was called the Holy of Holies and contained the Ark of the Covenant.
The Babylonians destroyed the Temple in 586 BC. The second Temple was constructed by Zerubbabel, and re-consecrated in 516 BC, but was profaned by the Syrians in 167 BC.
Later on, King Herod the Great restored the second Temple, and it was this Temple that was present during the time of Jesus Christ.
The foundation of the first Temple was 90 feet by 30 feet, the roof was 180 feet high. The space covered by the Temple and its courts was about 585 by 6100 feet. The Holy of Holies measured 30 square feet, and was closed off by a veil of blue and crimson fine spun linen (it was this veil, or curtain, that was torn in half during the Crucifixion of Christ).
The main part of the temple was paneled with cypress wood, plated with pure gold, and engraved with palm trees and chains. Jewels were inlaid into the walls to add to the beauty.
All the walls, beams, doors, and thresholds throughout the Temple were plated with gold, with angels engraved on the walls. The gold, jewels, bronze, and the finest of wood, used in the construction of the Temple and all the accessories, would be priceless today. Foot by foot, it was probably the most beautiful building ever constructed.
It was built to be God's house here on earth. It was the main place of worship for the Israelites.
However, it was destroyed a second time. This time by the Roman army in 70 AD. This time it was completely destroyed, "With not one stone left on top of another" as prophesized by Jesus, in Matthew 24:2.
There is evidence the Jews today are preparing to build a third Temple sometime in the future, on the same area the first two were built. This would be difficult as the Muslim "Dome of the Rock" is presently on that site, or close to it.
Some say the Dome of the Rock is not actually on the original spot the Temple once stood, it's about 100 feet away, and the Temple could be rebuilt without interfering with the Muslim holy site. But as the Bible states, there will be a third Temple, and how or when it is constructed, is not known. Many Christian scholars believe it will be after the Rapture.
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