Temple in Jerusalem

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The Temple in Jerusalem or Holy Temple (Hebrew: בֵּית־הַמִּקְדָּשׁ, Beit HaMikdash ; "House of the Holy"; Biblical: Beyth HaMiqdhash), refers to one of a series of structures located on the Temple Mount in the old city of Jerusalem. Historically, two temples of the Jews stood at this location and functioned as the centre of ancient Jewish worship. According to classical Jewish belief, the Temple acted as the figurative "footstool" of God's presence and a Third Temple will be built there in the future.

The Hebrew Bible reports that the First Temple was built in 957 BCE[1] by King Solomon (reigned c.970-c.930 BCE).[2] although no archaeological evidence has been found. As the sole place of Jewish sacrifice, the Temple replaced the portable sanctuary constructed in the Sinai Desert under the auspices of Moses, as well as local sanctuaries, and altars in the hills.[3] The First Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BCE when they sacked the city.[4]

Construction of the Second Temple began in 538 BCE, and it was dedicated 23 years later, in 515. According to the Book of Ezra, rebuilding of the Temple was authorized by Cyrus the Great and ratified by Darius the Great. The Second Temple suffered desecration by Antiochus Epiphanes in 167 BCE but was rededicated under Judas Maccabaeus in 164 BCE.[2] Over a century later in around 20 BCE, the building was renovated by Herod the Great, and became known as Herod's Temple. During the Roman occupation of Judea, the Temple remained under control of the Jewish people. It was later destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE during the Siege of Jerusalem. It is believed that only part of the Western Wall of the complex remains standing. During the last revolt of the Jews against the Romans in 132–135 CE, Simon bar Kokhba and Rabbi Akiva wanted to rebuild the Temple, but bar Kokhba's revolt failed and the Jews were banned from Jerusalem by the Roman Empire. The emperor Julian failed to have the Temple rebuilt in 363 CE.

After the Muslim conquest of Jerusalem in the 7th century, Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan ordered the construction of an Islamic shrine, the Dome of the Rock on the site of the Temple. The shrine has stood on the mount since 691 CE, the al-Aqsa Mosque, from roughly the same period, also stands in the Temple courtyard. The mount bears significance in Islam as it acted as a sanctuary for many Hebrew prophets. Islamic tradition says that a Temple was first built on the Temple Mount by Jacob and later renovated by Solomon, son of David. The Temple Mount, along with the entire Old City of Jerusalem, was recaptured by Jewish forces in 1967 during the Six-Day War. Israel officially annexed East Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount, in 1980 under the Jerusalem Law.[5]

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