The House of God – Part One
A few weeks ago I wrote about the “Temple Controversy.” In that lesson I attempted to outline the reasons for the “controversy.” Since then I have spent a lot of time studying Scripture and historic documents in an attempt to understand this issue. This, of course, was spurred on by my visit to Israel and the City of David, and by Robert Cornuke’s book Temple.
For centuries it has been assumed that the Temple of God was located on what has become known as the Temple Mount. However, Jesus said that “not one stone would be left on top of another.” (Matthew 24:2) Proponents of the Temple Mount location claim that Jesus was only referring to the buildings when He stated “not one stone will be left on another.” However Eleazar, a Jewish leader, lamented in 73 A.D. to see “the foundations of our holy temple dug up after so profane a manner.” Josephus, The Wars Of The Jews, Book VII, Chapter 8, Paragraph 7.
Today, there is no remaining structural evidence of the Temple of God. It was all leveled. So what basis or documentation can be presented to authenticate the Temple’s location?
For Jews and Christians Scripture tells us, and history confirms, the location of the Temple of God. When reviewing the following information, please remember that Jerusalem (the City of David) at the time of David was the small peninsula-shaped piece of land south of the traditional Temple Mount. It was composed of about twelve acres. It was not the much expanded Jerusalem of today.
“And God sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it: . . . And the angel of the LORD stood by the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of the LORD stand between the earth and the heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem.” - First Chronicles 21:15-16
The angel of the Lord was standing over Jerusalem, the City of David. King David bought that property from Ornan for six hundred shekels of gold by weight. (First Chronicles 21:24-26) Later, Solomon built the House of the Lord at the place where David had prepared, in the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. (Second Chronicles 3:1) Solomon built the Temple of God in the Jerusalem of his day, in what we know as the City of David.
Solomon also built the wall around the Jerusalem of his day. (First Kings 9:15) Josephus describes this place as the hill which Solomon encompassed with a wall. (Flavius Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book XV, Chapter 11, Paragraph 3) Josephus continues; “This hill was walled all round, . . . in the midst of which was the Temple itself.” – ibid. Josephus clearly states that the Temple was in the center of this walled compound in the City of David.
Nehemiah chapter three tells of the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem after the Babylonian destruction. Verses 15 and 16 specifically mention geographic features (e.g. – the Pool of Siloam) that are only located in the City of David. Nehemiah 12:36-37 confirms that the Jerusalem of the time following the Babylonian Captivity was the City of David.
Scripture and the historian Flavius Josephus tell us that the Temple was in the City of David.
In the next lesson we will define the location of the City of David. Until then, praise the Lord for His goodness, mercy, grace and direction.
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