Temple of the Lord

The Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem, where all Israelite males were commanded to offer sacrifices to the Lord (Exodus 23:14-19; Deuteronomy 16:16-17), underwent several stages of reconstruction and development over hundreds of years. The first Temple was built by King Solomon to replace the aging Tabernacle, and it was constructed on a threshing floor on high ground on the north side of the city (2 Samuel 24; 1 Chronicles 21). Hundreds of years later King Hezekiah expanded the platform surrounding the Temple. When Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians in 586 B.C., the Temple was completely destroyed (2 Kings 25:1-21; 2 Chronicles 36:17-21; Jeremiah 39:1-10; 52:1-30). It was rebuilt in 515 B.C. after a group of Jews returned to Judea from exile in Babylon (Ezra 1:5-6:15; Nehemiah 7:5-65). Herod the Great completely rebuilt and expanded the Temple once again around 20 B.C., making it one of the largest temples in the Roman world. Jesus’ first believers often met together in Solomon’s Colonnade, a columned porch that encircled the Temple Mount, perhaps carrying on a tradition started by Jesus himself (John 10:23; Acts 3:11; 5:12). But Herod’s Temple did not last long: After many Jews revolted against Rome, the Romans eventually recaptured Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple in A.D. 70.

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