Hebrew Temple Sequence
This set of notes is a memo outlining the Hebrew sacrificial edifices of Jerusalem. Many of the dates are speculative, and some events may be mythical.
Temple 0.0 The Tent of Abraham 2000 BCE
The patriarch Abram departed a settled existence in “Ur of the Chaldees” according to a divine command, and embarked on a nomadic adventure, in which he is regularly described as living in a tent. The virtue of his grandson Isaac is indicated in Genesis 26:27, “Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents.”
Temple 0.1 The Tabernacle of the Covenant 1250 - 960 BCE
The tabernacle was transitional between tent and temple. It was the portable precursor to the Jerusalem temple, and its structure and contents were supposed to have been incorporated into the interior of the temple. It was allegedly first created during the course of the Hebrew exodus from Egypt.
Temple 1.0 Solomon's Temple 960 - 586 BCE
The Biblical scriptures detailed this temple for the benefit of Judean organizers among the Babylonian exiles. The Biblical descriptions make it consistent in plan with various ancient Palestinian (Hebrew and otherwise) temples from the period.
Temple 2.0 Zerubbabel's Temple 537 - 37 BCE
(Desecrated in 167 and reconsecrated in 164 BCE)
A “restoration” of the Hebrew religious edifice by Judeans who had been fortified by the Babylonian exile. It was destroyed in the initial Roman conquest of Jerusalem.
Temple 2.1 Herod's Temple 20 BCE - 70 CE
(Desecrated in 66 CE)
This larger and grander temple was build by Herod to replace the one destroyed by the Roman invasion. It was the “Temple of Jerusalem” whose destruction signalled the end of temple-based Judean religious forms under Roman rule, and thus set the stage for the emergence of Christianity (which had a slight head-start in its adjustment to cataclysm) and synagogue-based Rabbinical Judaism as its successors and offspring.
Temple 3.0 Jesus 4 BCE - 29 CE
“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” –I Corinthians 3:16-17. The most sublime accomplishment of the Gospels as a continuation of the Hebrew sacred literary tradition is the substitution of the corporeal person of Jesus for the entity of the Jerusalem temple, via their superimposed destructions.
One of my longstanding interests concerns the existence of the other temples built on Hebrew sacrificial lines that coexisted with the “Second Temple.” These included a Zadokite temple in Leontopolis, Egypt (where I fancy that Jesus received esoteric instruction after arriving on an ass); and the Samaritan Temple at Mount Gerizem. Both of these temples are referenced by Flavius Josephus.
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