Chapter 9

The Rebuilt Temple

The major Biblical prophecies relevant to the Tribulation indicate that there will be a Temple in Jerusalem, at least by the middle of the seven year tribulation period. In this chapter we will discuss the history of the Temple and consider what would be necessary to rebuild the structure in the near future.

Background: Jerusalem

When the sons of Noah spread out, Shem, the father of all the Semitic people may well have gone to the area we now call Jerusalem. The earliest mention of the area was when Abraham was returning from a battle with Sodom (Genesis chapter 14). He met Melchizedek, King of Salem. Salem is the oldest name for the city. The root word means "peace." Melchizedek means "king of righteousness." So this is probably a title rather than a proper name. Melchizedek is important also because the dual offices of King and Priest of El Elyon ("God Most High") were resident in this one man.

The priesthood Jesus Christ would later institute for His church is modeled after Melchizedek as the book of Hebrews tells us. During Israel's history the office of king and priest were always separate. But Zechariah the prophet looked forward to a future day when these offices will be combined in Messiah.

It may be demonstrated from the life-spans and genealogies in Genesis that Shem should still have been living at that time. Some scholars believe that Melchizedek was actually Shem.
All of Noah's sons and their wives were believers in the One true God (or they would not have been saved on the Ark). In one or two generations most of their offspring had already "forgotten" about God and gone their own way following a rebellion against the rule of God championed by Nimrod (Genesis 10:8-12).

Remaining a godly, wise follower of Yahweh, Shem lived to the age of 600 years and surely would have been the most revered of the ancient fathers at that time.

Jewish legends claim that God stood on the Foundation Stone of what later would be the Holy of Holies of Jerusalem's temples when He created the world. Eden, these rabbis remind us, was to the East, so Adam was probably formed of the clay of the ground in what is now Eretz Israel. In any case Jerusalem was already a center for the worship of the Lord under the leadership of Melchizedek.

Jerusalem seems to have been chosen by God long before the Jewish people came into existence. It is mentioned by name nearly 800 times in the Bible! In the Psalms God is said to dwell (present tense) in that city, and a number of Psalms highlight the central importance of the "City of Peace" in God's eternal plans for mankind.

Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people both now and forevermore. The scepter of the wicked will not remain over the land allotted to the righteous, for then the righteous might use their hands to do evil. Do good, O LORD, to those who are good, to those who are upright in heart. But those who turn to crooked ways the LORD will banish with the evildoers. Peace be upon Israel. (Psalm 125)

The city, also called Jebus (Joshua 18:28; Judges 19:10; 1Chronicles 11:4), had become a pagan city by the time of the occupation of the land by the Hebrews under the leadership of Joshua when they returned from Egypt.

There is reason to suspect that source documents existed from before the Flood of Noah--perhaps "Adam's Diary" and the records of his sons in the line of Seth down to Noah. It is possible that these records were preserved on the Ark by Noah and handed down to Noah's son Shem for safekeeping. Perhaps Shem left these ancient documents in the care of Melchizedek? We simply do not know, but the speculation is interesting, because when we first meet Abram in Genesis he is 70 years old and living in Ur of the Chaldees. His father and his family had evidently lapsed into the idolatry of the region and God had to call him back so that he was restored into the godly line of Shem--the promised line of descent which would lead to Messiah.

Did Melchizedek transmit to Abraham ancient written documents or carefully preserved oral legends that eventually were handed by Abraham's descendants on down to Moses? Did Moses write the Pentateuch with the help of some source documents of which we are now unaware? No one knows. We will have to ask Moses when we meet him!

The Tabernacle

The Tabernacle was the precursor of the Temple. Detailed information about the Tabernacle is found in Exodus chapters 25 through 27.

Instruction for the Tabernacle was given to Moses at the same time as the giving of the Ten Commandments. It was a portable place of worship which would serve as the place where God met with his people. It was small but very lavish, with gold and silver work, and elaborate hangings and curtains, some of which were woven with beautiful patterns. It was completely portable, so that it could be broken down on short notice and moved with the nation as they followed the Lord.

All of the articles of the Tabernacle are types or pre-figures of Christ.

The Outer Court

The Brazen Altar is a picture of Christ's sacrifice as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

The Laver is symbolic of confession and regular spiritual cleansing.

The Holy Place

The Golden Lampstand pictures Jesus as the Light of the World.

The Table of Shewbread is symbolic of Jesus as the Bread of Life.

The Altar of Incense (drawing attention to the importance of prayer), reminds us that Jesus is our intercessor and Great High Priest.

The Holy of Holies

The Ark of The Covenant is a type of Jesus as the presence of God with us.

The History of The Temple

Solomon's Temple

This first temple was built in the 10th century BC. right after Solomon became king. David had wanted to build it, but was not allowed by God because of the bloodshed in his past. Nevertheless, he collected all the materials for the Temple, so that, as soon as his son Solomon became king, he could construct it. It was erected on the property bought by David from Araunah ( 2 Samuel 24). The site had been a threshing floor, a place where grain was winnowed by tossing it up into the air. The wind would carry the chaff away while the heavier grain would fall back down. Eventually there would be a pile of grain in the center and a large section of chaff further away. The chaff could be raked up and burned, and the grain could be put into baskets. This threshing floor was probably on a higher part of Mount Moriah where the winds were strongest. Here, a thousand years earlier, Abraham had demonstrated his faith by being willing to offer Isaac, though he was not required to carry it out (Genesis 22). This is a beautiful preview of the willingness of our Heavenly Father to sacrifice His own son, Jesus, for the sins of the world

What is especially remarkable is the connection between Mount Moriah and the Temple Mount with the hill of Calvary where Jesus was crucified. When Solomon built the Temple, stones were quarried from the western side of the same mountain, and from underneath the mountain. at the North end The stones quarried to build the temple cut a large gorge, leaving the northernmost portion of the mountain standing alone. In Jesus' day this portion was called Golgotha, "the place of the skull"! Even today if you visit Jerusalem, the visitor can see the high steep cliff where the bedrock of the mountain was cut away. There is a man-made valley between that cliff and Golgotha, about two blocks away. Damascus Street, the old Damascus Road passes through this cut just outside the North wall of the Old City.

Solomon's Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC.

The Second Temple

This modest structure was built by Zerubbabel with encouragement of the prophets Haggai and Zechariah near the end of the 6th century BC. The books of Ezra and Nehemiah recount the drama of the return of a Jewish remnant from Persia and the rebuilding of the Temple as well as the city of Jerusalem. These are great stories of courage and dedication, but the Temple was smaller and much less beautiful that the original. It is said that some who remembered the original temple wept when they saw it. (Ezra 3:12) This Second Temple was desecrated by Antiochus IV (Epiphanes), the Seleucid ruler who had a pig slaughtered on the altar, and set up an image of a pagan god in the Holy of Holies. This is the event which triggered the rise of the Hasmonean family of the Maccabees. They eventually took Jerusalem and the Temple back and ruled there independently for a few years. The Jewish celebration of Hanukkah comes from this time of restoration and renewal in their national history.

Herod's Temple

The reconstruction of the second temple was begun by Herod the Great about 20 BC. It was an enhancement of the Second Temple. Herod was an ungodly foreigner, an Edomite (Idumean), who had been given the kingship by the Romans. He was the greatest builder in the world during that period of time. Herod built seven palaces and forts, and the work on the Temple was truly magnificent. The stones (ashlars) used were huge, and every one had a border (embossing) carved around it. The work on the temple and courts continued long after his death until it was finished in 63 AD. It was about twice the size of the Second Temple. Some call it the Third Temple, but Jews do not think of it as other than their Second Temple. It had already been 46 years in the rebuilding process when Jesus ministered there (John 2:19). Neither Herod nor most of the Jewish leaders were at all godly during this period. The Temple was built for show and for political reasons, but a faithful remnant of priests and Jews worshiped Yahweh there nevertheless, in accordance with the teachings of the Torah.

The Gospels tell us of a few godly priests and citizens at the Temple during the childhood of Jesus and give us brief glimpses of temple life in that day, and Jesus' involvement there:

On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived. When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, "Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord"), and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: "a pair of doves or two young pigeons."

Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Christ. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: "Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel."

The child's father and mother marveled at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: "This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too."

There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
(Luke 2:21-38)

Every year Jesus' parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up to the Feast, according to the custom. After the Feast was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him.

After the Feast was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you." "Why were you searching for me?" he asked. "Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house? But they did not understand what he was saying to them. Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. (Luke 2:43-51)

Herod's Temple evidently did not have God's blessing

Expressing His grave displeasure at the desecrating of the Temple, Jesus cast out the money changers on two occasions--at the beginning of his ministry and again at the start of his final week in the city before his death. On that second occasion Mark tells us He would not allow anything to be carried in or out of the Temple. Thus He also stopped the continual temple sacrifices, in effect declaring them null and void. Within a few days, at Passover, the true Lamb of God would die one death for all, offering himself as the foreordained perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world. All the temple sacrifices were but shadows. Indeed, when Jesus died, the veil of the Temple was torn from the top to the bottom (Matthew 27:51) thus signifying that Jesus had made a way for all men to come into the holiest place of intimate presence with God because of His perfect sacrifice (Hebrews 9).

The Destruction of The Temple

The destruction of the Temple was prophesied by Jesus.

And while some were talking about the temple, that it was adorned with beautiful stones and votive gifts, He said, "As for these things which you are looking at, the days will come in which there will not be left one stone upon another which will not be torn down." (Luke 21:5-6)

Herod's Temple was destroyed in 70 AD. It was torn down by four Roman legions under the command of Titus. The Jewish people have not been able to practice animal sacrifices since that time, although the Muslims do so every year in Mecca! The Temple was burned, so the gold melted and ran into the cracks in the stones. That is why the destruction was so great. The conquerors literally removed every possible stone in order to find all the gold.

From that time until the present, the Temple Mount and all of Jerusalem has been under the control of various people. The Romans built a temple to a pagan god there. Later a Christian church was built. When the Moslems took control they built a mosque.

The Temple Mount Today

The 35 acre site is under the control of The Supreme Moslem Council--the Waqf, under the Hussein family of Jordan. Even though Israel took all of Jerusalem in 1967, this concession was made by Moshe Dyan to keep peace.

Jews are not allowed on the Temple Mount by either their laws or by the Moslems.

Two Moslem Holy Places

The Dome Of The Rock

This is sometimes called The Mosque of Omar. It isn't really a mosque, but a shrine, built over the rock venerated by the Moslems. The rock under the dome is called as-Sakhra. It is where Mohammed is said to have ascended to heaven on his "Night Journey". Actually Mohammed was never there, but in the Koran, in the seventeenth Sura a dream or vision is recorded in which he was carried from the temple in Mecca to the one in Jerusalem.

It is possible that this rock is the place where the Holy of Holies was located. As shown below, there are other theories about the location of this most sacred portion of the Temple which held the Ark of the Covenant.

Al Aqsa Mosque

It's name means "the distant place." It is Islam's third most holy place, after Mecca and Medina. This is the building where the Moslems actually worship.

The Western Wall

The Western Wall, formerly called "The Wailing Wall" is the one part of the old Temple area that is still standing, and that is only because it is a retaining wall. This wall was not part of the Temple itself, so it is not a violation of the prophecy that these stones still stand. This is considered the holiest place on the earth to Jewish People today. They are allowed to worship there, but are prohibited by their own rabbinical rulings and by the Moslems to go onto the Temple Mount itself.

The Rabbinical Tunnel opened recently to tourism allows one to walk under the city Northward from the Western Wall prayer area (Ha Kotel). In this tunnel, at the walled-off entrance to Cistern 30, devout Jews who believe the Temple stood where the Dome of the Rock now stands, can get somewhat closer to their favorite Temple site. Therefore a small synagogue area has been placed there.

The Dome of the Tablets / Dome of the Spirit

This neglected portion of the Temple Mount is covered by a simple cupola, without a sign or anything that would indicate its importance, but, as can be seen by the discussion below about the future location of the Temple, it may well be the location of the Holy of Holies! The Arabic name does suggest both the Tablets of Moses which were placed within the Ark, or the Shekinah, or Spirit of God.

Necessity for a Temple

There are at least two reasons why we expect the Temple to be built again:

Because of Israel's Desires

Jewish law requires the Temple be rebuilt where it once was. One third of the Torah's 613 commandments involve rituals that require the Temple be rebuilt.

Because of Bible Prophecy

The Man of Sin will desecrate the Temple at mid-point of The Tribulation. This subject is explored more fully in the section about The Mark of The Beast.

Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains; let him who is on the housetop not go down to get the things out that are in his house; and let him who is in the field not turn back to get his cloak. (Matthew 24:15-18)

And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate. (Daniel 9:27)

This is part of Daniel's vision about a period of time described as "seventy sevens" (or weeks), which amounts to 490 years. The first 483 years (69 times 7) were fulfilled exactly on the day that Jesus entered the City of Jerusalem riding on a donkey, and offering Himself as king . According to Daniel's vision, there is yet to come a seventieth week, the last seven years, which is separated from the others. The Man of Sin, who is called the "ruler who will come" in Daniel 9:26, will make a treaty with Israel to protect her for seven years, but will break the covenant in the middle of the treaty.

Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 NAS)

New Testament References to the Future Temple

In addition to Jesus' mentioning the future desecration of a temple in Jerusalem at the end of the age in which we now live (Matthew 24, Luke 21), the Apostle Paul speaks of this same event in his Second letter to the Thessalonian church. Paul calls the desecrator "the man of sin." Thirdly, seeing ahead into the distant future, the aged Apostle John wrote about this same Third Temple which has never yet been built:

I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, "Go and measure the temple of God and the altar, and count the worshipers there. But exclude the outer court; do not measure it, because it has been given to the Gentiles. They will trample on the holy city for 42 months. (Revelation 11:1-2)

As a side note, a very large temple is described in great detail in the closing chapters of the book of Ezekiel. This building and its courts has never yet been built and is too large to fit on the present Temple Mount site. For a description of Ezekiel's temple and a discussion of when and why it will be built see Messiah's Coming Temple: Ezekiel's Prophetic Vision of the Future Temple by John W. Schmitt and J. Carl Laney.

Location of The Future Temple

Since the Bible teaches that the Temple will be rebuilt, and it is obvious that it must be in the general area of the Temple Mount, there is much speculation about exactly where the Temple might be situated. There are several possibilities for the place where the Temple will be rebuilt. Here are the main theories, summarized briefly. (Detailed information on all these theories is found on the Temple Mount web site.)

Where The Dome Of The Rock stands

That the First and Second Temples stood where the Dome of the Rock now stands is is the traditional, conventional view. Former Jerusalem District Archaeologist Dan Bahat represents this point of view with considerable authority and knowledge. Everyone used to assume that the Dome of The Rock had to be torn down before the Temple could be built, because the rock was thought to be either the place of the Holy of Holies or of the Altar of Sacrifice. However, it is unthinkable to Muslims to have anyone harm or destroy this shrine without bringing the greatest of all jihads, or "holy wars" by all of Israel's Muslim neighbors.

North of The Dome of the Rock

This theory, proposed by Physicist Asher Kauffman, suggests that the new Temple could be built north of the Dome of The Rock without tearing it down. Asher Kaufman is a faculty member in physics at Hebrew University and a devout observant Jew who was born in Scotland. He has explored the Temple Mount more than 100 times since 1974.

This view is based on the known location of the Eastern Gate ("The Golden Gate"), the location of the Dome of the Tablets, and various alignments of ancient stones on the Mount. Due East of the Dome of the Tablets is the Eastern Gate which may have been the very gate Jesus entered when He offered Himself as Messiah and was ultimately rejected by the religious authorities of Jerusalem. It is thought to be the gate of the future coming of Messiah into Jerusalem, so the Turkish Muslims walled it up completely in the hopes of keeping this prophecy from being fulfilled. Verification of the ancient position of the Eastern Gate was made recently with the discovery of an arch from an older gate directly below the existing one. The older gate may even date back to the time of Solomon. The Dome of The Tablets is a cupola, also called Dome of the Spirits in Arabic.

Whether or not there are other ancient gates in the East wall is not known because of the depth of the rubble in the area, and a Muslim cemetery conveniently located along the Eastern wall, both to stop excavation there and to deter a holy priest such as Messiah from entering the area from that direction. Muslim, Christian and Jewish cemeteries are found all along the Kidron Valley and up the adjacent Mount of Olives. All three religions have legends about the resurrection of the dead and the last judgment being located there.

Joel Chapter 3 vividly describes that Great Day,

'In those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will enter into judgment against them concerning my inheritance, my people Israel, for they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land. They cast lots for my people and traded boys for prostitutes; they sold girls for wine that they might drink.

'Now what have you against me, O Tyre and Sidon and all you regions of Philistia? Are you repaying me for something I have done? If you are paying me back, I will swiftly and speedily return on your own heads what you have done. For you took my silver and my gold and carried off my finest treasures to your temples. You sold the people of Judah and Jerusalem to the Greeks, that you might send them far from their homeland.

'See, I am going to rouse them out of the places to which you sold them, and I will return on your own heads what you have done. I will sell your sons and daughters to the people of Judah, and they will sell them to the Sabeans, a nation far away.' The LORD has spoken. Proclaim this among the nations: Prepare for war! Rouse the warriors! Let all the fighting men draw near and attack. Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears. Let the weakling say, 'I am strong!'

Come quickly, all you nations from every side, and assemble there. Bring down your warriors, O LORD! 'Let the nations be roused; let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for there I will sit to judge all the nations on every side. Swing the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, trample the grapes, for the winepress is full and the vats overflow--so great is their wickedness!' Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. The sun and moon will be darkened, and the stars no longer shine.

The LORD will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem; the earth and the sky will tremble. But the LORD will be a refuge for his people, a stronghold for the people of Israel. 'Then you will know that I, the LORD your God, dwell in Zion, my holy hill. Jerusalem will be holy; never again will foreigners invade her.

'In that day the mountains will drip new wine, and the hills will flow with milk; all the ravines of Judah will run with water. A fountain will flow out of the LORD's house and will water the valley of acacias. But Egypt will be desolate, Edom a desert waste, because of violence done to the people of Judah, in whose land they shed innocent blood.

Judah will be inhabited forever and Jerusalem through all generations. Their bloodguilt, which I have not pardoned, I will pardon.' The LORD dwells in Zion!
{Joel 3:1-21)

The newly discovered Western Gate, underneath the present city is also interesting since it is on the same basic line which could be drawn through the temple area.

This theory would place the Dome of The Rock in the outer court, the Court of The Gentiles. Perhaps this is why Revelation 11:1-2 says:

And there was given me a measuring rod like a staff; and someone said, "Rise and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and those who worship in it. And leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the nations; and they will tread under foot the holy city for forty-two months.

This could be the key to peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Both want Jerusalem for their capitals. Both want control of the Temple area. If an agreement could be made to allow the Palestinians to have a part of Jerusalem, including the portion of the Temple Mount where their holy places stand, and Israel would have the rest of Jerusalem, including the place where they can build the Temple, the peace process might be completed.

South of The Dome Of The Rock

This view is advocated by Tuvia Sagiv in his paper "The Hidden Secrets of The Temple Mount," 1992. This is Chuck Missler's preferred view now for several reasons.

Ancient accounts that the Temple was visible from certain places, not from others, suggest that it was further south at slightly lower altitude.

The Ark Of The Covenant

There are also several interesting theories about the present location of the Ark of The Covenant. These include:

Under the Temple Mount

Jewish scholars believe that it is quite possible for it to be under the Court of Wood of Solomon's Temple, near the Western Wall ("The Wailing Wall").

In Ethiopia

In an underground Temple beneath the ancient church of Zion in Aksum, northern Ethiopia, it is said that there are seven concentric rings of interior circular walls. The Ark of The Covenant is supposedly in the innermost ring, "The Holy of Holies."

According to Grant Jeffrey, The Ethiopian monarchy is the oldest continual royal dynasty in history. It began with the Queen of Sheba and her son, Menelik I. Menelik I was the offspring of her marriage to King Solomon of Israel. This royal dynasty has lasted for three thousand years. The late Emperor Haile Selassie was part of this dynasty.

Emperor Haile Selassie, in our generation, called himself "The Conquering Lion of Judah."
Ethiopian tradition explains that the Ark of the Covenant was brought to Ethiopia by Prince Menelik, who was raised until he was 16 years old in Jerusalem. Solomon had a copy of the Ark made for Menelik, but he supposedly took the original because of Solomon's apostasy.
The history of both the Ethiopian Jewish community (the Falashas) and the history of the ancient Christian Coptic community in that country are fascinating and certainly go back two or three thousand years.

Mount Nebo

The apocryphal book of II Maccabees says that Jeremiah the prophet hid the Ark in a cave on Mt. Nebo (Jordan) at the time of Nebuchadnezzar's destruction of the City when the prophet was kidnapped by his own countrymen and taken to Egypt. This legend has little else to support it.

Jeremiah 3:16 says that when Messiah returns the Ark will be remembered no more. So it is also possible the Ark was destroyed long centuries ago and does not exist now.

Preparations For The Temple

Some people in Israel are convinced that the Temple will be rebuilt soon, and are preparing to help make it a reality. Here are some of the signs of this preparation:


The Seminary of Aterat HaKohanim (Glory of the Priests) is currently training priests and Levites in priestly rituals and animal sacrifice. Between this seminary and another one, Hal Lindsey says that there are about 200 descendants of Levi in training now.

On March 2, 1998, an ultra-orthodox sect, The Movement To Establish The Temple, issued a call for parents of the Levitical families to place their very young children in a special compound where they can be raised in isolation so that they never come in contact with death. They say that when it is time to begin construction of the new temple, such a person, at least 13 years old, must administer the rites of purification, using the ashes of the Red Heifer.


By 1994 more than 30 of the necessary vessels for animal sacrifice had been made for resumption of animal sacrifice. At that time about 65 still needed to be made.

Robes have been made for the High Priest and many other priests in the exact way prescribed by the Torah, including hand-spun flax.

Ashes of a Red Heifer

According to Numbers 19:1-9, it is necessary to use the sacrificial ashes of a young red cow which has not yet reproduced for ritual cleansing of the Temple.

Until recently, this was considered a serious hurdle to the establishment of a new Temple. There had been some hopes of finding ancient ashes among the Dead Sea Scrolls, but when that no longer seemed likely, representatives of the Temple Institute started looking throughout Europe for pure red cattle. They found that they do exist. There is a breed called the Red Angus, but they were not sure whether or not the existing specimens would be pure enough to qualify.

An American rancher was known to have a herd of these red cattle, which he hoped could be used.

In May of 1997 a shocking announcement was made that a red heifer had been born unexpectedly in Israel! Examination of the animal revealed that, though it was born to parents which were not red, it's features would qualify it to be used in this way when it is of age. In early 1998 a few white hairs developed on its tail, making it no longer acceptable, but there is optimism that a suitable heifer will become available in the near future.

Another interesting twist in this matter is the successful cloning of sheep recently, opening the way for possible genetic engineering of a red heifer if it is necessary.


Using modern building skills, it would not take longer than the 3 1/2 years of the first half of The Tribulation to finish the building. Some Temple advocates have even said the project could be done in less than a year. It is believed that cedar from Lebanon was obtained in the war in 1982 and hidden for future use in building of the Temple.

For more information and latest developments regarding the Temple Mount visit the Temple Mount Web Site.

Next Chapter

 Index Page Prefatory  Chapter 1
  Chapter 2   Chapter 3   Chapter 4
  Chapter 5   Chapter 6   Chapter 7
  Chapter 8   Chapter 9   Chapter 10
 Chapter 11   Chapter 12   Chapter 13
 Chapter 14   Chapter 15  Appendices