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Basic Worldview:
314 End Times Prophecy (Eschatology)

Premillennial Temple Study

Premillennial Temple Study Part 1
Premillennial Temple Study Part 2
Premillennial Temple Study Part 3
Premillennial Temple Study Part 4
Premillennial Temple Study Part 5
Premillennial Temple Study Part 6
Premillennial Temple Study Part 7
Premillennial Temple Study Part 8
Premillennial Temple Study Part 9
Premillennial Temple Study Part 10
Premillennial Temple Study Part 11
Premillennial Temple Study Part 12
Premillennial Temple Study Part 13
Premillennial Temple Study Part 14
Premillennial Temple Study Part 15


Fourth Century Attempts to Rebuild the Temple


Isaac ben Joseph, Rabbi Ahimaaz, and Benjamin of Tudela clearly indicate that the wall venerated by Jews (prior to the seventeenth century) was a wall of the Temple building itself. But the Romans completely destroyed the first century Jewish Temple along with the walls of the entire complex. So, what wall were medeival Jews interested in?


During the fourth century AD, attempts to rebuild the Temple occurred during the reigns of Constantine and Julian the Apostate. The western wall discussed in medieval Jewish sources are referring to the western wall of this partially constructed, fourth century Temple.


The attempt to rebuild the Temple under the Roman Emperor Julian the Apostate is fairly well known.


Julian the ApostateAttempt to rebuild the Jewish TempleIn 363, not long before Julian left Antioch to launch his campaign against Persia, in keeping with his effort to foster religions other than Christianity, he ordered the Temple rebuilt.[93] A personal friend of his, Ammianus Marcellinus, wrote this about the effort: Julian thought to rebuild at an extravagant expense the proud Temple once at Jerusalem, and committed this task to Alypius of Antioch. Alypius set vigorously to work, and was seconded by the governor of the province; when fearful balls of fire, breaking out near the foundations, continued their attacks, till the workmen, after repeated scorchings, could approach no more: and he gave up the attempt.The failure to rebuild the Temple has been ascribed to the Galilee earthquake of 363, and to the Jews' ambivalence about the project. Sabotage is a possibility, as is an accidental fire. Divine intervention was the common view among Christian historians of the time.[94] Julian's support of Jews, coming after the hostility of many earlier Emperors, meant that Jews called him Julian the Hellene.[95] - wikipedia.org


Temple Mount – In 363, Emperor Julian II, on his way to engage Persia, stopped at the ruins of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. In keeping with his effort to foster religions other than Christianity, Julian ordered the Temple rebuilt. Sozomen (c. 400–450) in his Historia Ecclesiastica wrote this about the effort as did a personal friend of his, Ammianus Marcellinus: "Julian thought to rebuild at an extravagant expense the proud Temple once at Jerusalem, and committed this task to Alypius of Antioch. Alypius set vigorously to work, and was seconded by the governor of the province; when fearful balls of fire, breaking out near the foundations, continued their attacks, till the workmen, after repeated scorchings, could approach no more: and he gave up the attempt." – wikipedia.org


Charles Warren, the famous English explorer who excavated archeological sites in the area of the Moriah Platform and Davidic Jerusalem, reported that a partial Temple enclosure from the time of Julian was also reported by the Bordeaux Pilgrim. 


The attempt of the Emperor Julian to rebuild the Jerusalem Temple in the fourth century failed entirely; in 333 A.D. the enclosure was found still in ruins by the Bordeaux Pilgrim.http://templemount.org/warren1.html, Excerpts from The Survey of Western Palestine, by Col. Sir Charles Warren, K.C.M.G., R.E., and Capt. Claude Reigner Conder, R.E.; The Committe of the Palestine Exploration Fund, Inc 1, Adam Street, Adelphi, London, WC., England, 1884. ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY OF JERUSALEM.


However, the attempt to rebuild the Temple under Emperor Julian was begun at around 363 AD while the Bordeaux Pilgrim wrote his chronicle of Jerusalem thirty years earlier at around 333 AD.


Itinerarium Burdigalense – The Itinerarium Burdigalense (also known as the Itinerarium Hierosolymitanum) is the oldest known Itinerarium, written by an anonymous pilgrim from Burdigala (present-day Bordeaux). It tells of the writer's journey to the Holy Land in 333-4… – wikipedia.org


The attempt to rebuild the Temple under Constantine is somewhat lesser known than that of Julian. However, it is a fact that Jews had another opportunity to begin reconstruction on their Temple even earlier in the fourth century. This opportunity came by way of the Edict of Milan issued by Constantine in 313 AD.


Constantine I – Constantine reversed the persecutions of his predecessor, Diocletian, and issued (with his co-emperor Licinius) the Edict of Milan in 313, which proclaimed religious toleration throughout the empire. – wikipedia.org


The text of the Edict of Milan was written by both Constantine and Licinius. The edict clearly states Constantine’s provision that not only Christianity, but all religions could be freely practiced.


When I, Constantine Augustus, as well as I, Licinius Augustus, fortunately met near Mediolanurn (Milan), and were considering everything that pertained to the public welfare and security, we thought, among other things which we saw would be for the good of many, those regulations pertaining to the reverence of the Divinity ought certainly to be made first, so that we might grant to the Christians and others full authority to observe that religion which each preferred; whence any Divinity whatsoever in the seat of the heavens may be propitious and kindly disposed to us and all who are placed under our rule. And thus by this wholesome counsel and most upright provision we thought to arrange that no one whatsoever should be denied the opportunity to give his heart to the observance of the Christian religion, of that religion which he should think best for himself, so that the Supreme Deity, to whose worship we freely yield our hearts) may show in all things His usual favor and benevolence. Therefore, your Worship should know that it has pleased us to remove all conditions whatsoever, which were in the rescripts formerly given to you officially, concerning the Christians and now any one of these who wishes to observe Christian religion may do so freely and openly, without molestation. We thought it fit to commend these things most fully to your care that you may know that we have given to those Christians free and unrestricted opportunity of religious worship. When you see that this has been granted to them by us, your Worship will know that we have also conceded to other religions the right of open and free observance of their worship for the sake of the peace of our times, that each one may have the free opportunity to worship as he pleases; this regulation is made we that we may not seem to detract from any dignity or any religion. – From Lactantius, De Mort. Pers., ch. 48. opera, ed. 0. F. Fritzsche, II, p 288 sq. (Bibl Patr. Ecc. Lat. XI). Translated in University of Pennsylvania. Dept. of History: Translations and Reprints from the Original Sources of European history, (Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press [1897?-1907?]), Vol 4:, 1, pp. 28-30. This text is in the public domain. http://gbgm-umc.org/...


Chapter V.--Copies of Imperial Laws. [2915]

1. Let us finally subjoin the translations from the Roman tongue of the imperial decrees of Constantine and Licinius. Copy of imperial decrees translated from the Roman tongue. [2916]

2. Perceiving long ago that religious liberty ought not to be denied, but that it ought to be granted to the judgment and desire of each individual to perform his religious duties according to his own choice, we had given orders that every man, Christians as well as others, should preserve the faith of his own sect and religion. [2917]

3. But since in that rescript, in which such liberty was granted them, many and various conditions [2918] seemed clearly added, some of them, it may be, after a little retired from such observance.

4. When I, Constantine Augustus, and I, Licinius Augustus, came under favorable auspices to Milan and took under consideration everything which pertained to the common weal and prosperity, we resolved among other things, or rather first of all, to make such decrees as seemed in many respects for the benefit of every one; namely, such as should preserve reverence and piety toward the deity. We resolved, that is, to grant both to the Christians and to all men freedom to follow the religion which they choose, that whatever heavenly divinity exists [2919] may be propitious to us and to all that live under our government.

5. We have, therefore, determined, with sound and upright purpose, that liberty is to be denied to no one, to choose and to follow the religious observances of the Christians, but that to each one freedom is to be given to devote his mind to that religion which he may think adapted to himself, [2920] in order that the Deity may exhibit to us in all things his accustomed care and favor.

6. It was fitting that we should write that this is our pleasure, that those conditions [2921] being entirely left out which were contained in our former letter concerning the Christians which was sent to your devotedness, everything that seemed very severe and foreign to our mildness may be annulled, and that now every one who has the same

desire to observe the religion of the Christians may do so without molestation.

7. We have resolved to communicate this most fully to thy care, in order that thou mayest know that we have granted to these same Christians freedom and full liberty to observe their own religion.

8. Since this has been granted freely by us to them, thy devotedness perceives that liberty is granted to others also who may wish to follow their own religious observances; it being clearly in accordance with the tranquillity of our times, that each one should have the liberty of choosing and worshiping whatever deity he pleases. This has been done by us in order that we might not seem in any way to discriminate against any rank or religion. [2922]

– Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, Book X, Chapter V, sections 2-14., http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf201.txt


As the last section of the following excerpt clearly indicates, these statements granting universal religious freedom specifically included permission for the construction of religious buildings.


Copy of the edict of the tyrant in behalf of the Christians, translated from the Roman tongue.

7. "The Emperor Caesar Caius Valerius Maximinus, Germanicus, Sarmaticus, Pius, Felix, Invictus, Augustus. We believe it manifest that no one is ignorant, but that every man who looks back over the past knows and is conscious that in every way we care continually for the good of our provincials, and wish to furnish them with those things

which are of especial advantage to all, and for the common benefit and profit, and whatever contributes to the public welfare and is agreeable to the views of each.

8. When, therefore, before this, it became clear to our mind that under pretext of the command of our parents, the most divine Diocletian and Maximianus, which enjoined that the meetings of the Christians should be abolished, many extortions [2786] and spoliations had been practiced by officials; and that those evils were continually increasing, to the detriment of our provincials toward whom we are especially anxious to

exercise proper care, and that their possessions were in consequence perishing, letters were sent last year [2787] to the governors of each province, in which we decreed that, if any one wished to follow such a practice or to observe this same religion, he should be permitted without hindrance to pursue his purpose and should be impeded and prevented by no one, and that all should have liberty to do without any

fear or suspicion that which each preferred.

9. But even now we cannot help perceiving that some of the judges have mistaken our commands, and have given our people reason to doubt the meaning of our ordinances, and have caused them to proceed too reluctantly to the observance of those religious rites which are pleasing to them.

10. In order, therefore, that in the future every suspicion of fearful doubt may be taken away, we have commanded that this decree be published, so that it may be clear to all that whoever wishes to embrace this sect and religion is permitted to do so by virtue of this grant of ours; and that each one, as he wishes or as is pleasing to him, is permitted to practice this religion which he has chosen to observe according to his custom. It is also granted them to build Lord's houses. – Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, Book IX, Chapter X, sections 7-11, http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf201.txt


Even more clearly, Eusebius records a statement from Constantine to the peoples of the eastern provinces (which included Judea) hastening them to restore the most holy dwelling place. This decree was issued in 324 AD, eleven years after the Edict of Milan, when Constantine had conquered Licinius and become the sole ruler of the Roman Empire.


And now I beseech thee, most mighty God, to be merciful and gracious to thine Eastern nations, to thy people in these provinces, worn as they are by protracted miseries; and grant them healing through thy servant. Not without cause, O holy God, do I prefer this prayer to thee, the Lord of all. Under thy guidance have I devised and accomplished

measures fraught with blessings: preceded by thy sacred sign I have led thy armies to victory: and still, on each occasion of public danger, I follow the same symbol of thy perfections while advancing to meet the foe. Therefore have I dedicated to thy service a soul duly attempered by love and fear. For thy name I truly love, while I regard with

reverence that power of which thou hast given abundant proofs, to the confirmation and increase of my faith. I hasten, then, to devote all my powers to the restoration of thy most holy dwelling-place, which those profane and impious men have defiled by the contamination of violence. – Eusebius, Life of Constantine, Book II, Chapter 55, http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf201.txt


In the following quote, Eusebius records Constantine’s statement that this religious liberty included permission for non-Christian peoples (such as the Jews) to have their temples.


My own desire is, for the common good of the world and the advantage of all mankind, that thy people should enjoy a life of peace and undisturbed concord. Let those, therefore, who still delight in error, be made welcome to the same degree of peace and tranquillity which they have who believe. For it may be that this restoration of equal privileges to all will prevail to lead them into the straight path. Let no one molest another, but let every one do as his soul desires. Only let men of sound judgment be assured of this, that those only can live a life of holiness and purity, whom thou callest to a reliance on thy

holy laws. With regard to those who will hold themselves aloof from us, let them have, if they please, their temples [3202] of lies: we have the glorious edifice of thy truth, which thou hast given us as our native home. [3203] We pray, however, that they too may receive the same blessing, and thus experience that heartfelt joy which unity of

sentiment inspires. – Eusebius, Life of Constantine, Book II, Chapter 56, http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf201.txt


Clearly, the Jews understood that they too had been given religious freedom in this atmosphere of universal spiritual liberty. They concluded that these imperial decrees permitted them to reconstruct their sacred house (the Temple) and reinstitute Temple worship. Historical reports make it clear that in the eleven years between the Edict of Milan and Constantine’s statement that eastern nations could build the most holy dwelling place, the Jews of Jerusalem had indeed undertaken to rebuild the Temple.


John Chrysostom reports on these developments in his fifth homily Against Judaizing.


Saint John ChrysostomSaint John Chrysostom (c. 347–407), Archbishop of Constantinople, was an important Early Church Father….Chrysostom is known in Christianity chiefly as a preacher, theologian and liturgist, particularly in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Among his sermons, eight directed against Judaizing Christians… – wikipedia.org


In the quote below Chrysostom first discusses the efforts of the Jews under Emperor Hadrian to go back to their old way of life.


After the destruction which occurred under Vespasian and Titus, these Jews rebelled during the reign of Hadrian and tried to go back to the old commonwealth and way of life… – John Chrysostom, Homily V, Section XI, http://www.fordham.edu/...


The chief goals of the Jewish Bar Kochba revolt against Hadrian were to liberate Jerusalem from the Romans and rebuild the Temple.


The Third TempleThe Bar Kochba revolt – The forces of Shimon ben Kosiba, more commonly known as Simon bar Kokhba, captured Jerusalem from the Romans in 132, and construction of a new temple began, as well as renewed temple services. – wikipedia.org


The very first recorded attempt to rebuild the Holy Temple occurred just a few short years after the destruction of the Second Temple, in the era of Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Chananya: "In the time of Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Chananya, the evil empire (the Caesar Hadrian) decreed that the Temple may be rebuilt. Two wealthy Jews, Papus and Lilianus were appointed to finance the project. They accompanied the exiles along the way from Acre until Antioch, supplying them with silver, gold and all their needs." "Meanwhile, the Samaritans went to the Emperor and lied. They said: 'Know, O King, that the Jews are rebelling against you! When they rebuild the Temple, they will cease to pay the royal taxes.`' Hadrian replied, 'What shall I do? I have already authorized the decree!'" "They responded; 'All you need do is send a message to them saying, 'Change the location of the Temple just a bit - or, add on another five cubits to the site." Then they will withdraw of their own accord.'" "The whole nation had gathered in the valley of Beit Ramon when the Emperor's edict arrived. They began to wail and cry." "They considered rebelling against Hadrian, but Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Chananya rose and spoke before them. 'It is enough that we have escaped from these people with our lives,' he said. The Jews dispersed and each man returned to his home." (Bereshit Rabbah 64) – templemount.org, http://www.templeinstitute.org/build.htm, The Holy Temple: Its Destruction and Subsequent Attempts to Rebuild It, 70 CE - Today


(See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bar_Kochba for images of Bar Kochba shekels. The caption beneath the coins reads: Bar Kochba silver Shekel/tetradrachm. Obverse: the Jewish Temple facade with the rising star, surrounded by "Shimon". Reverse: A lulav, the text reads: "to the freedom of Jerusalem")


At the end of this section of his homily, John Chrysostom discusses the Jewish efforts under Emperor Julian to rebuild the Temple. About midway through the quote Chrysostom acknowledges that the work had gotten far enough to have constructed the sacred altar.


(4) But what I am going to tell you is clear and obvious even to the very young. For it did not happen in the time of Hadrian or Constantine, but during our own lifetime, in the reign of the Emperor of twenty years ago. Julian, who surpassed all the emperors in irreligion, invited the Jews to sacrifice to idols in an attempt to drag them to his own level of ungodliness. He used their old way of sacrifice as an excuse and said: "In the days of your ancestors, God was worshipped in this way." (5) They refused his invitation, but, at that time, they did admit to the very things I just lately proved to you, namely, that they were not allowed to offer their sacrifices outside Jerusalem. Their answer was that those who offered any sacrifice whatsoever in a foreign land were violating the Law. So they said to the Emperor: "If you wish to see us offer sacrifices, give us back Jerusalem, rebuild the temple, show us the holy of holies, restore the altar, and we will offer sacrifices again just as we did before." (6) These abominable and shameless men had the impudence to ask these firings from an impious pagan and to invite him to rebuild their sanctuary with his polluted hands….. What God has reared up and wishes to remain, no man can tear down. In the same way, what he has destroyed and wishes to stay destroyed, no man can rebuild. (7) I grant you that the Emperor did give you Jews back your temple and did build you an altar,….(8) Nonetheless, these Jews, who were blind to all things, called on the Emperor for help and begged him to aid them in undertaking to rebuild the temple. The Emperor, for his part, spared no expense, sent engineers from all over the empire to oversee the work, summoned craftsmen from every land; he left nothing undone, nothing untried. He overlooked nothing but worked quietly and a little at a time to bring the Jews to offer sacrifice; in this way he expected that it would be easy for them to go from sacrifice to the worship of idols…(9) They started to work in earnest on that forbidden task, they removed a great mound of earth and began to lay bare the foundations. They were just about to start building when suddenly fire leaped forth from the foundations and completely consumed not only a great number of the workmen but even the stones piled up there to support the structure. This put a stop to the untimely obstinacy of those who had undertaken the project. Many of the Jews, too, who had seen what had happened, were astonished and struck with shame. The Emperor Julian had been madly eager to finish the work. But when he heard what had happened, he was afraid that, if he went on with it, he might call down the fire on his own head. So he and the whole Jewish people withdrew in defeat. (10) Even today, if you go into Jerusalem, you will see the bare foundation, if you ask why this is so, you will hear no explanation other than the one I gave. We are all witnesses to this, for it happened not long ago but in our own time. – John Chrysostom, Homily V, Section XI, http://www.fordham.edu/...


In between his discussion of these efforts to rebuild the Temple under Hadrian and Julian, Chrysostom also refers to a similar endeavor during the time of Constantine.


After the destruction which occurred under Vespasian and Titus, these Jews rebelled during the reign of Hadrian and tried to go back to the old commonwealth and way of life….(3)…Now look at the next. They tried the same thing in the time of Constantine. But the Emperor saw what they tried to do, cut off their ears, and left on their bodies this mark of their disobedience. He then had them led around everywhere, like runaway slaves and scoundrels, so all might see their mutilated bodies and always think twice before ever attempting such a revolt…(4) But what I am going to tell you is clear and obvious even to the very young. For it did not happen in the time of Hadrian or Constantine, but during our own lifetime, in the reign of the Emperor of twenty years ago. Julian,  – John Chrysostom, Homily V, Section XI, http://www.fordham.edu/...


So, we can see that the fourth century saw two attempts to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. The second occurred during the time of Emperor Julian (Julian the Apostate). The first began under Constantine after the Edict of Milan in 313 AD. It was this earlier attempt to rebuild the Temple that was recorded by the Bordeaux Pilgrim in 333-334 AD.


However, Constantine ultimately put a stop to this earlier attempt although some construction had already been accomplished. Later, Julian directly endorsed a return to this work only to have a series of natural disasters (including fires and earthquakes) bring an end to the task.


Julian the Apostate – Attempt to rebuilt the Jewish Temple – In 363, not long before Julian left Antioch to launch his campaign against Persia, in keeping with his effort to foster religions other than Christianity, he ordered the Temple rebuilt. [95] A personal friend of his, Ammianus Marcellinus, wrote this about the effort: “ Julian thought to rebuild at an extravagant expense the proud Temple once at Jerusalem, and committed this task to Alypius of Antioch. Alypius set vigorously to work, and was seconded by the governor of the province; when fearful balls of fire, breaking out near the foundations, continued their attacks, till the workmen, after repeated scorchings, could approach no more: and he gave up the attempt.” The failure to rebuild the Temple has been ascribed to the Galilee earthquake of 363 – wikipedia.org


We can see from these reports that at the time of Julian, the Jews had built the sacred altar and were beginning construction on the larger Temple complex when their effort came to a halt.


The Third TempleJulian's Roman "Third Temple" – There was an aborted project by the Roman emperor Julian (361-363) to allow the Jews to build a "Third Temple", part of Julian's empire-wide program of restoring/strengthening local religious cults. Rabbi Hilkiyah, one of the leading rabbis of the time, spurned Julian's money, arguing that gentiles should play no part in the rebuilding of the temple. According to various sources of that time (including the pagan historian and close friend of Julian, Ammianus Marcellinus[4]) the project of rebuilding the temple was aborted because each time the workers were trying to build the temple, using the existing substructure, they were burned by terrible flames that were coming from inside the earth and an earthquake negated what work was made. Shortly thereafter, Julian was killed in battle, and the Christians reasserted control over the empire. – wikipedia.org


At the beginning of the fifth century, the historian Sozomen similarly reports on the end of these endeavors. The “former building” whose “ruins” the Jews “removed” was the partially completed structure begun under Constantine forty years earlier.


Sozomen – Salminius Hermias Sozomenus[1] (c. 400 - c. 450) was a historian of the Christian church….Sozomen wrote two works on church history, of which only the second one is extant. – wikipedia.org


Chapter XXII.--From Aversion to the Christians, Julian granted Permission to the Jews to rebuild the Temple at Jerusalem; in every Endeavor to put their Hands to the Work, Fire sprang upward and killed Many. About the Sign of the Cross which appeared on the Clothing of those who had exerted themselves in this Work. Though the emperor [1423] hated and oppressed the Christians, he manifested benevolence and humanity towards the Jews. He wrote [1424] to the Jewish patriarchs and leaders, as well as to the people, requesting them to pray for him, and for the prosperity of the empire. In taking this step he was not actuated, I am convinced, by any respect for their religion; for he was aware that it is, so to speak, the mother of the Christian religion, and he knew that both religions rest upon the authority of the patriarchs and the prophets; but he thought to grieve the Christians by favoring the Jews, who are their most inveterate enemies. But perhaps he also calculated upon persuading the Jews to embrace paganism and sacrifices; for they were only acquainted with the mere letter of Scripture, and could not, like the Christians and a few of the wisest among the Hebrews, discern the hidden meaning. Events proved that this was his real motive; for he sent for some of the chiefs of the race and exhorted them to return to the observance of the laws of Moses and the customs of their fathers. On their replying that because the temple in Jerusalem was overturned, it was neither lawful nor ancestral to do this in another place than the metropolis out of which they had been cast, he gave them public money, commanded them to rebuild the temple, and to practice the cult similar to that of their ancestors, by sacrificing after the ancient way. The Jews entered upon the undertaking, without reflecting that, according to the prediction of the holy prophets, it could not be accomplished. They sought for the most skillful artisans, collected materials, cleared the ground, and entered so earnestly upon the task, that even the women carried heaps of earth, and brought their necklaces and other female ornaments towards defraying the expense. The emperor, the other pagans, and all the Jews, regarded every other undertaking as secondary in importance to this. Although the pagans were not well-disposed towards the Jews, yet they assisted them in this enterprise, because they reckoned upon its ultimate success, and hoped by this means to falsify the prophecies of Christ. Besides this motive, the Jews themselves were impelled by the consideration that the time had arrived for rebuilding their temple. When they had removed the ruins of the former building, they dug up the ground and cleared away its foundation; it is said that on the following day when they were about to lay the first foundation, a great earthquake occurred, and by the violent agitation of the earth, stones were thrown up from the depths, by which those of the Jews who were engaged in the work were wounded, as likewise those who were merely looking on. The houses and public porticos, near the site of the temple, in which they had diverted themselves, were suddenly thrown down; many were caught thereby, some perished immediately, others were found half dead and mutilated of hands or legs, others were injured in other parts of the body. When God caused the earthquake to cease, the

workmen who survived again returned to their task, partly because such was the edict of the emperor, and partly because they were themselves interested in the undertaking. Men often, in endeavoring to gratify their own passions, seek what is injurious to them, reject what would be truly advantageous, and are deluded by the idea that nothing is really useful except what is agreeable to them. When once led astray by this error, they are no longer able to act in a manner conducive to their own interests, or to take warning by the calamities which are visited upon them. – Sozomen, History, Book V, section 22, http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf202.txt


The result of these incomplete fourth century efforts was that the remains of a partially constructed Jewish Temple stood in Jerusalem. By the time of Umar in the seventh century all that remained was a single wall. Apparently, it was the western wall of what would have been the Temple building itself. It was this wall, which no longer exists today, that was the subject of Jewish attention and prayer prior to the seventeenth century.


In the 4th century, Christian sources reveal that the Jews encountered great difficulty in buying the right to pray near the Western Wall, at least on the 9th of Av. - wikipedia.org


The western wall of the Moriah Platform is not the same as this free-standing, lone fourth century Temple wall. Instead, the western wall of the Moriah Platform has only been the site of Jewish prayer since around the time of Suleiman the Great in the seventeenth century.


And it means that the Wailing Wall, what we see, the Wailing Wall, where Jews are praying here, has nothing to do with the Jewish Temple. – Tuvia Sagiv, The Southern Location of the Temples, 47 minutes and 38 seconds,


The western wall is about five hundred meters. From all these five hundred meters, the Jews are praying in the last four hundred years in this area…. There is no sources. Nothing is written about it. We are praying it.  – Tuvia Sugiv, 1995, The Coming Temple, Presentation 2, Koinonia House, 1 hour, 4 minutes, and 13 seconds, http://store.khouse.org/...


Western Wall – Ottoman period 1517–1917 – In the second half of the 16th century, Suleiman the Magnificent gave the Jews rights to worship at the Western Wall and had his court architect Sinan build an oratory for them there.[25][26] In 1625 arranged prayers at the Wall are mentioned for the first time by a scholar whose name has not been preserved. Rabbi Gedaliah of Semitizi, who went to Jerusalem in the year 1699, writes that scrolls of the Law were brought to the Wall on occasions of public distress and calamity.[27] - wikipedia.org




The Fourth Century Jewish Temple Was Not on the Moriah Platform


The fourth century partial reconstructions of the Temple were contemporary with Byzantine churches on the Moriah Platform. Those churches were built by Constantine and his mother. This is decisive evidence that the fourth century Temple was not built at the Dome of the Rock on the Moriah Platform.


Patriarch Eutychius of Alexandria Eutychius or Sa'id ibn Batriq or Bitriq, born 10 September 877, d. 12 May 940[1] was one of the first Arabic Christian writers. He is most famous for the extensive chronicle that he compiled. – wikipedia.org


Helena, the mother of Constantine built the churches of Jerusalem. The place of the rock and the area around it were deserted ruins and they poured dirt over the rock so that great was the filth above it. The Byzantines, however, neglected it and did not hold it in veneration, nor did they build a church over it because Christ our Lord said in his Holy Gospel ‘Not a stone will be left upon a stone which will not be ruined and devasted.’ For this reason, the Christian left it as a ruin and did not build a church over it. – Eutychius, translated by F.E. Peters, Jerusalem, pp.189-190, citing frm D. Baldi, Enchiridion Locoum Sanctorum, pp.447-8, quoted by Earnest L. Martin, The Temples that Jerusalem Forgot, p. 123, Footnote, 16


Temple Mount About 325 it is believed that Constantine's mother, St. Helena, built a small church on the Mount in the 4th century, calling it the Church of St. Cyrus and St. John, later on enlarged and called the Church of the Holy Wisdom. The church was later destroyed and on its ruins the Dome of the Rock was built.[9] Since it is known that Helena ordered the Temple of Venus to the west of the Temple Mount to be torn down to construct the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, presumably she also ordered the Temple of Jupiter on the Temple Mount to be torn down to construct the Church of St. Cyrus and St. John. – wikipedia.org


Cyril of Jerusalem refers to the fourth century Byzantine churches and the incomplete and failed attempts to rebuild the Temple. He states that the Jewish Temple was opposite to the Christian churches. Cyril’s remarks clearly indicate that the Jewish Temple did not occupy the site of the Byzantine churches, which were on the Temple mount and at the site of the Dome of the Rock.


Cyril of JerusalemCyril of Jerusalem was a distinguished theologian of the early Church (ca. 313[1] – 386). – wikipedia.org


The Temple of the Jews opposite to us is fallen. – Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, Lecture X, Paragraph 11, quoted by Earnest L. Martin, The Temples that Jerusalem Forgot, p. 210


Elsewhere in his Catechetical Lectures, Cyril mentions the existence of the incomplete fourth-century Temple when he contrasts his time to a time when not one stone will be left on another in the Jewish Temple. This means that during his own time, some stones had been erected at the Temple site. This is despite the complete destruction of the first century Temple that is universally reported by earlier Jewish, Christian, and Roman writer. To name a few, Josephus, Eleazar, Justin Martyr, and Eusebius all record that the Herodian Temple building itself was completely demolished by the Romans. According to such writers, the Temple building and the rest of the first century Temple complex was dug up to its foundations so that no trace of it could be found.


However, the Romans ventured to make a sally out of the place, and a terrible battle ensued; wherein, though it is true the Romans beat their adversaries, yet were not the Jews daunted in their resolutions, even when they had the sight of that terrible slaughter that was made of them; but they went round about, and got upon those cloisters which encompassed the outer court of the temple, where a great fight was still continued, and they cast stones at the Romans, partly with their hands, and partly with slings, as being much used to those exercises. All the archers also in array did the Romans a great deal of mischief, because they used their hands dexterously from a place superior to the others, and because the others were at an utter loss what to do; for when they tried to shoot their arrows against the Jews upwards, these arrows could not reach them, insomuch that the Jews were easily too hard for their enemies. And this sort of fight lasted a great while, till at last the Romans, who were greatly distressed by what was done, set fire to the cloisters so privately, that those that were gotten upon them did not perceive it. This fire (15) being fed by a great deal of combustible matter, caught hold immediately on the roof of the cloisters; so the wood, which was full of pitch and wax, and whose gold was laid on it with wax, yielded to the flame presently, and those vast works, which were of the highest value and esteem, were destroyed utterly, while those that were on the roof unexpectedly perished at the same time; for as the roof tumbled down, some of these men tumbled down with it, and others of them were killed by their enemies who encompassed them. There was a great number more, who, out of despair of saving their lives, and out of astonishment at the misery that surrounded them, did either cast themselves into the fire, or threw themselves upon their swords, and so got out of their misery. But as to those that retired behind the same way by which they ascended, and thereby escaped, they were all killed by the Romans, as being unarmed men, and their courage failing them; their wild fury being now not able to help them, because they were destitute of armor, insomuch that of those that went up to the top of the roof, not one escaped. The Romans also rushed through the fire, where it gave them room so to do, and seized on that treasure where the sacred money was reposited; a great part of which was stolen by the soldiers, and Sabinus got openly four hundred talents. – Josephus, Antiquities, Book 17, Chapter 10


And where is now that great city, the metropolis of the Jewish nation, which vas fortified by so many walls round about, which had so many fortresses and large towers to defend it, which could hardly contain the instruments prepared for the war, and which had so many ten thousands of men to fight for it? Where is this city that was believed to have God himself inhabiting therein? It is now demolished to the very foundations, and hath nothing but that monument of it preserved, I mean the camp of those that hath destroyed it, which still dwells upon its ruins; some unfortunate old men also lie upon the ashes of the temple, and a few women are there preserved alive by the enemy, for our bitter shame and reproach. Now who is there that revolves these things in his mind, and yet is able to bear the sight of the sun, though he might live out of danger? Who is there so much his country's enemy, or so unmanly, and so desirous of living, as not to repent that he is still alive? And I cannot but wish that we had all died before we had seen that holy city demolished by the hands of our enemies, or the foundations of our holy temple dug up after so profane a manner. – Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book 7, Chapter 8, Paragraph 7


The city of Thy holiness has become desolate. Zion has become as a wilderness, Jerusalem a curse; the house, our holiness, and the glory which our fathers blessed, has been burned with fire; and all the glorious nations have fallen along with it….Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, Chapter 25.


Are not these things come to pass? Are not the things announced by thee fulfilled? Is not their country, Judea, desolate? Is not the holy place burned with fire? Are not their walls cast down? – Hippolytus, Works, Part II.30, Ante-Nicene Fathers


[I will explain] how their royal metropolis would be burned with fire, their venerable and holy altar undergo the flames and extreme desolation, their city be inhabited no longer by its old possessors but by races of other stock. – Eusebius, Proof of the Gospel, Book 1, Chapter 1, Section 6


…has been left as a tent in a vineyard, as a hut in a garden of cucumbers, or as anything that is more desolate than these. And strangers devour the land before their eyes, now exacting tax and tribute, and now appropriating for themselves the land that belonged of old to the Jews. Yea, and the beauteous Temple of their mother city was laid low [it no longer stands] being cast down by alien peoples, and their cities were burned with fire, and Jerusalem became truly a besieged city. – Eusebius, Proof of the Gospel, Book 1, Chapter 3, Section 64


The lamentation and wailing was predicted for the Jews, and the burning of the Temple and its utter destruction, can also be seen even now to have occurred according to the prediction. – Eusebius, Proof of the Gospel, Chapter 4, Section 412

burned the truly divine sanctuary of God with fire, and profaned to the ground the Tabernacle of His name. Then they buried the miserable one with heaps of earth, that destroyed every hope of deliverance. – Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, Book X., 4, 58.

Mount Sion was burned and left utterly desolate, and the Mount of the House of God became as a grove of wood. If our own observation has any value, we have seen in our own time Sion once so famous ploughed with yokes of oxen by the Romans and utterly devastated, and Jerusalem as the oracle says, deserted like a lodge. – Eusebius, Proof of the Gospel, Book VI, Chapter 7, Section 265

…through the siege that attacked Jerusalem after our Savior’s advent, for the Temple was burned with fire not long after, and was reduced to extreme desolation and the city was encircled by the chariots and camps of the enemy….we see with our own eyes the fulfillment of holy oracles. – Eusebius, Proof of the Gospel, Book VI, Chapter 13, Section 273

…after its burning by the Babylonians, it was not burned again till in the time of Titus and Vespasian, the Roman emperors, it was utterly destroyed by fire. – Eusebius, Proof of the Gospel, Book VIII, Chapter 4, Section 411

Our holy and our beautify house, where our fathers praised thee, is burned up with fire; and all our pleasant things are laid waste’: and the Temple which earned reverence throughout the world has become the refuse dump of the new city whose founder [Hadrian] called it Aelia [that is, Hadrian called his new city Aelia Capitolina]. – Moshe Gil in A History of Palestine 634-1099, p.67, n.70.


Cyril goes on to discuss a future collapse of the Temple structures that existed in his time (during the fourth century). He likewise, points to the fact that in his day some aspect of the inner shrine or Temple building itself stood (undoubtedly the result of Julian’s efforts, undoubtedly the Temple wall that Umar promised to preserve, and undoubtedly the wall where Jews had begun to pray by the eleventh century).


15. And again he says, Who opposeth and exalteth himself against all that is called God, or that is worshipped; (against every God; Antichrist forsooth will abhor the idols,) so that he seateth himself in the temple of God [1878]. What temple then?  He means, the Temple of the Jews which has been destroyed. For God forbid that it should be the one in which we are! Why say we this? That we may not be supposed to favour ourselves. For if he comes to the Jews as Christ, and desires to be worshipped by the Jews, he will make great account of the Temple, that he may more completely beguile them; making it supposed that he is the man of the race of David, who shall build up the Temple which was erected by Solomon [1879] .  And Antichrist will come at the time when there shall not be left one stone upon another in the Temple of the Jews, according to the doom pronounced by our Saviour [1880]; for when, either decay of time, or demolition ensuing on pretence of new buildings, or from any other causes, shall have overthrown all the stones, I mean not merely of the outer circuit, but of the inner shrine also, where the Cherubim were, then shall he come with all signs and lying wonders, exalting himself against all idols; at first indeed making a pretence of benevolence, but afterwards displaying his relentless temper, and that chiefly against the Saints of God. For he says, I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints [1881] ; and again elsewhere, there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation upon earth, even to that same time [1882]. Dreadful is that beast, a mighty dragon, unconquerable by man, ready to devour; concerning whom though we have more things to speak out of the divine Scriptures, yet we will content ourselves at present with thus much, in order to keep within compass. – Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures, Lecture XV, Paragraph 15, http://www.ccel.org/...


Cyril’s comments parallel those of Rabbi Ahimaaz who referred to the existence of this wall of the inner sanctuary in the eleventh century.


Ahimaaz ben PaltielAhimaaz ben Paltiel was an Italian-Jewish liturgical poet and author of a family chronicle. He was born in Capua, Italy, in 1017 and died about 1060 in Oria. – wikipedia.org


Western WallThe Scroll of Ahimaaz, written in 1050 CE, distinctly describes the Western Wall as a place of prayer for the Jews. - wikipedia.org


At that time there was a Jew named Rabbi Ahima’as who went up to Jerusalem, the glorious city, three times with his vowed offerings. Each time he went, he took with him 100 pieces of gold, as he had vowed to the Rock of his salvation, to aid those who were engaged in Torah Study and for those who mourned the ruined House of His Glory– Ahima’as 1924: 65, translated by R. Harari, in Peters, Jerusalem, p.224, quoted by Earnest L. Martin, The Temples that Jerusalem Forgot, p. 234


oil for the inner altar of the Sanctuary at the Western Wall; and for the synagogues and communities, far and near: and for those who were mourning the loss of the Temple, those who grieved and mourned for Zion; and for the teachers and their students in the Yeshiva and for the scholars of Babylon in the Yeshiva of the Geonim. – Ahima’as 1924: 95-97, translated by R. Harari, in Peters, Jerusalem, p.224, quoted by Earnest L. Martin, The Temples that Jerusalem Forgot, p. 234


From these historical documents we can see that at some point during the Middle Ages several erroneous traditions became accepted by Jews, Muslims, and Christians regarding Jerusalem and the Temple. The first was the mistaken belief that Davidic Jerusalem was on the western ridge. The second was the equally mistaken belief that the western wall of the Moriah Platform was somehow connected to the Herodian Temple. Neither of these beliefs was historically valid. Instead, Davidic Jerusalem was on the southern portion of the Moriah ridge east of the Tyropoeon Valley. And the western wall of earlier Jewish reports was an actual wall from the fourth century Temple building itself. It was not a retaining wall on the western side of the Moriah Platform.


As we close this section, there is one final point that can be noted. The design of the Mosaic tabernacle and the later Temples was given by God.


Exodus 26:30 And thou shalt rear up the tabernacle according to the fashion thereof which was shewed thee in the mount.


Hebrews 8:5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.


1 Chronicles 28:11 Then David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the porch, and of the houses thereof, and of the treasuries thereof, and of the upper chambers thereof, and of the inner parlours thereof, and of the place of the mercy seat…19 All this, said David, the LORD made me understand in writing by his hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern.


In the tabernacle and in each of the reconstructions of the Temple, the Temple building itself was in the western section of the Temple complex. It was entered into from the east. This arrangement was contrary to pagan religious traditions in which the sun was worshipped by facing east. In the Jewish Temples, to face God in worship was to face west. From this we can see that the concept of Jews worshipping God facing eastward (as is done at the Western or Wailing Wall) runs contrary to the divine mandate of Jewish Temple design.


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