Historic Attempts to Rebuild
Not Concurrent with God’s Timing
Bar Kochba Revolt
Only forty years after the destruction of the Second Temple, the Jews attempted to rebuild it – with the permission of the Roman government. The Emperor at the time was Trajan and they negotiated with him at length to rebuild the Temple. Trajan, however, refused to let them rebuild on the site of the second Temple and construction never proceeded. On August 8, 117 the Roman Emperor Trajan died from illness. His sucessor, Hadrian, also entertained ideas of allowing the Jews to rebuild the Temple and have a measure of autonomy. Initially he granted permission to rebuild the temple but then changed his mind. This is said to have led to the Bar Kokhba revolt (A.D. 132).
The forces of Simon bar Kokhba captured Jerusalem from the Romans in 132 CE, and there is much evidence that he rebuilt the Jewish Temple at that time. A Midrash (Exodus Rabbah 51:5) indicates that Hadrian entered the Holy of Holies which would not have been possible without a rebuilt temple. The seventh-century Byzantine historian known as Chronicum Paschale records that “Hadrian tore down the Temple of the Jews in Jerusalem” in his History of the Jews. This, once again, an indication that there had to be a Temple for Hadrian to tear down. The fourth-century Roman emperor Julian the Apostate, in his Fragment of a Letter to a Priest, in A.D. 362 records: “What have they [the Jews] to say about their own temple, which was overthrown three times and even now is not being raised up again?”
So destroyed was the site of the former Temple and the Mount of the Temple, that Jerome in the late fourth century said that Hadrian had turned the site into the city dump for his new city called Aelia. Note what Jerome recorded in his Commentary on Isaiah 64: 11 where he first quoted the verse, then gave his comments.
“Our holy and our beautiful 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].”
The failure of Simon bar Kokhba’s revolt led to the writing of the Mishna, as the religious leaders believed that the next attempt to rebuild the temple might be centuries away and memory of the practices and ceremonies would otherwise be lost. As punishment for the revolt, the Romans renamed the city Aelia Capitolina and the province to Syria Palaestina and Jews were prohibited in the city except for the day of Tisha B’av when they would fast and mourn the destruction of Solomon.s Temple and the Second Temple.
The Bordeaux Pilgrim, in Itinerarium Burdigalense, records seeing the ruins of this Temple in 333 and 334 A.D.
Our pilgrim approaches Jerusalem from the northeast corner of what traditionalists call the Temple Mount and proceeds south down the valley of Jehoshaphat entering the Holy City somewhat south of its southeast corner of the traditionalists Temple Mount by turning west. As he proceeds west toward the Sion Gate it is obvious he first describes seeing the site of the Temple and the pools that are on either side of it: “There are in Jerusalem two large pools at the side of the temple, that is, one upon the right hand, and one upon the left, which were made by Solomon…” So as he turns west and enters the environs of Jerusalem he sees apparently sees the ruins of the Bar Kochba Temple. History tells us that after Emperor Hadrian had destroyed the Jewish the Temple he erected a statue of himself on the site of the Holy of Holies. Our pilgrim records “There are two statues of Hadrian, and not far from the statues there is a perforated stone, to which the Jews come every year and anoint it, bewail themselves with groans, rend their garments, and so depart.” The occasion they are aloud in to Jerusalem was Tisha B’av. Yes – he sees the remains of the Bar Kochba Temple, the Statues of Hadrian and they are not on what traditionalists refer to as the Temple Mount. They are directly south of that location.
Julian the Apostate
There was an aborted project under Roman emperor Julian (361–363 CE) to rebuild the Temple. Julian is traditionally called Julian the Apostate due to his policy of reversing Emperor Constantine’s Christianization campaign across the Empire. Shortly after taking office, he proclaimed universal religious toleration and ordered the reopening of pagan temples and the resumption of worship of pagan gods. He issued a number of edicts damaging to Christianity, both economically and theologically. It was as part of this policy, Julian permitted the Jews to build a Third Temple.
In a letter written from Antioch in 362 A.D. he wrote the following to the Community of the Jews:
“In times past, by far the most burdensome thing in the yoke of your slavery has been the fact that you were subjected to unauthorized ordinances and had to contribute an untold amount of money to the accounts of the treasury. Of this I used to see many instances with my own eyes, and I have learned of more, by finding the records which are preserved against you. Moreover, when a tax was about to be levied on you again I prevented it, and compelled the impiety of such obloquy to cease here; and I threw into the fire the records against you that were stored in my desks; so that it is no longer possible for anyone to aim at you such a reproach of impiety…No one is any longer to have the power to oppress the masses of your people by such exactions; so that everywhere, during my reign, you may have security of mind, and in the enjoyment of peace may offer more fervid prayers for my reign to the Most High God, the Creator, who has deigned to crown me with his own immaculate right hand…When I have successfully concluded the war with Persia, I may rebuild by my own efforts the sacred city of Jerusalem, which for so many years you have longed to see inhabited, and may bring settlers there, and together with you, may glorify the Most High God therein.”
Julian in this letter did not specifically mention rebuilding the Temple here, he did in another letter, the surviving Fragment of a Letter to a [pagan] Priest: “I myself…intended to restore it [the Jerusalem Temple], in honor of the god whose name has been associated with it.” In addition, he was quoted by a sixth-century historian named Lydus as saying, “I raise with the utmost zeal the Temple of the Highest God.”
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. According to the church father Gregory of Nazianzus, writing in Asia Minor within a year of the project, the Jews “in large number and with great zeal set about the work – women contributed precious ornaments and carried dirt in their gowns.”
The failure to rebuild the Temple has been ascribed to the Galilee earthquake of 363 A.D., and to the Jewish rabbis ambivalence about the project. The Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus reported that “terrifying balls of flame kept bursting forth near the foundations of the Temple,” burning some of the workers to death and putting a stop to the enterprise. Sabotage is a possibility, as is an accidental fire. Divine intervention was the common view among Christian historians of the time. When Julian was killed in battle after a reign of less than three years, the Christians reasserted control over the empire, and the opportunity to rebuild the Temple ended.
Sassanid Vassal State
In 610 CE, the Sassanid Empire drove the Byzantine Empire out of the Middle East, giving the Jews control of Jerusalem for the first time in centuries. The new rulers soon ordered the restart of animal sacrifice for the first time since the time of Bar Kochba. Shortly, before the Byzantines took the area back, the Persians gave control to the Christian population, who tore down the partly built edifice, and turned it into a garbage dump, which is what it was when the Caliph Omar took the city in the 630s.
Modern Day Planning to Rebuild
Heading in the right direction just needed to recognize actual site of the First and Second Temple and get on with building it.
The Temple Institute
The Temple Institute (in Hebrew, Machon HaMikdash), founded in 1987, is a non-profit educational and religious organization located in the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City. The Institute is dedicated to every aspect of the Biblical commandment to build the Holy Temple of G-d on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem. Our short-term goal is to rekindle the flame of the Holy Temple in the hearts of mankind through education. Our long-term goal is to do all in our limited power to bring about the building of the Holy Temple in our time. Thus, the Institute’s efforts include raising public awareness about the Holy Temple, and the central role that it occupies in the spiritual life of mankind. The many areas of activities conducted by the Institute combine research, seminars, publications, and conferences, as well as the production of educational materials.
The major focus of the Institute is its efforts towards the beginning of the actual rebuilding of the Holy Temple. Towards this end, the Institute has begun to restore and construct the sacred vessels for the service of the Holy Temple. These vessels, which G-d commanded Israel to create, can be seen today at our exhibition in Jerusalem’s Old City Jewish Quarter. They are made according to the exact specifications of the Bible, and have been constructed from the original source materials, such as gold, copper, silver and wood. These are authentic, accurate vessels, not merely replicas or models. All of these items are fit and ready for use in the service of the Holy Temple. Among the many items featured in the exhibition are musical instruments played by the Levitical choir, the golden crown of the High Priest, and gold and silver vessels used in the incense and sacrificial services. After many years of effort and toil, the Institute has completed the three most important and central vessels of the Divine service: the seven-branched candelabra, or Menorah, made of pure gold; the golden Incense Altar, and the golden Table of the Showbread. To view a video showing the menora being moved to its current location, please click here. To see photographs of the kiyor – the copper laver currently under construction, please click here.
The Institute has completed the sacred uniform of the Kohen Gadol, the High Priest. This project was the culmination of years of study and research. The High Priest’s Choshen (Breastplate) and Ephod have been completed. To learn more about these garments and how they were created, and to view photos and illustrations, click here. Most recently, the tzitz – golden crown of the High Priest has been completed. To view a short video about the tzitz, click here.
The Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement
The Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement was founded in the year 1967 after the godly and miraculous Six Days War in order to answer the call of the G‑d of Israel to His people to build the Third Holy Temple on the Holy Temple Mount in Jerusalem with no delay. The victorious war brought the liberation of the Holy Temple Mount by the G‑d and people of Israel and proclaimed G‑d’s expectation that the time for His people Israel to rebuild His Holy House was at hand! The rebuilding of the Holy Temple will allow the people of Israel to fulfill the call of G‑d to be ‘a kingdom of priests, a holy nation and a light to the nations’ (Exodus 19:5, 6; Isaiah 42:6; Isaiah 49:6). The Faithful Movement has conducted many activities in order to achieve this goal. One of the most important activities of the Faithful Movement that began in the year 1990 and continues until today and will continue in the near future was the preparation of the cornerstone to be laid on the Holy Temple Mount in the same location as the First and Second Holy Temples, which will start the major process of the building of the Third Holy Temple. It was an act that opened a new age in the end-time history of Israel and the entire world. When this major project of the Movement is completed by the rebuilding of the Holy Temple, it will change the face of all humanity when G‑d reigns from Jerusalem and His Shekinah (divine presence) will affect all mankind and the world with His just and moral standards and the right way of living for every human being.
The Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement, under the leadership of Gershon Salomon, is one of the most active of these groups. They believe that God “expects Israel to re-liberate the Temple Mount from the pagan Arab worshippers” (see “Temple Mount Fanatics Foment a New Thirty Years’ War,” Executive Intelligence Review, Nov. 3, 2000). Their goal, as stated in their newsletters, is “the building of the Third Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem in our lifetime.”
They vowed in their newsletters that “we shall do everything to save the Temple Mount from the terrible abomination (Daniel 11:31) which is done today by foreigners and enemies (Arabs) and to purify the Temple Mount … exactly as our forefathers did when they liberated the Temple Mount from foreign occupation and abomination” — presumably an allusion to the wars of the Maccabees in the second century B.C. (see “Secret and Suppressed II: Banned Ideas and Hidden History Into the 21st Century” edited by Adam Parfrey and Kenn Thomas, p. 91
Cry for Zion
WHAT IS CRY FOR ZION?
Cry For Zion is a movement of Jews and Christians that supports the Jewish people’s rights to sovereignty over Mt Zion—the Temple Mount—guaranteeing Jewish rights and freedoms on their most holy place.
We seek to accomplish our goal in two main ways: through education and support.
Cry For Zion is a movement that educates about the historic and future importance of Mount Zion—God’s Holy Mountain, where He declared that His name will be forever. We produce professional quality resources to raise awareness worldwide on one of the most important subjects of our time. We create educational films, books, and articles which we spread via social media, interviews, events, and presentations.
The objective of our education is to effect change, dispel misconceptions, and motivate people to take action.
The Cry For Zion movement garners support for Jewish sovereignty on the Temple Mount, taking action through a petition to put an end to discrimination and the violation of the Human Rights of Jews on their most holy place. You can support the movement in one of several ways:
- Take action by joining the prayers of the Jewish people to be restored to their holiest place.
- Take action by joining events, actively showing your support on location, in Jerusalem.
- Take action by supporting our movement financially, giving a donation to the cause.
- Become an activist and raise awareness in your area, using our films, books, articles, and promotional material, available on our website.
- You can also show your support by arranging an event and inviting a Cry For Zion representative to come and speak in your city, synagogue, or church.
Cry for Zion’s push for Israeli control over the Temple Mount contradicts the Israeli government position, which backs the Waqf’s authority there in order to avoid inflaming tensions with the Palestinians and also Jordan, which controls and funds the Waqf. But Cry for Zion aims to disrupt the current state of affairs, contending that Christians who believe in the Bible should act on God’s promise to the Jewish people, even if the Israeli government won’t.
The Jerusalem Islamic Waqf is an Islamic religious trust best known for controlling and managing the current Islamic edifices on and around the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem, including the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. Some form or another of the waqf has governed access to the Haram esh-Sharif since the Muslim reconquest of the Kingdom of Jerusalem in 1187.
Israel occupied the Old City of Jerusalem during the Six-Day War of June 1967. After the end of hostilities, Israel allowed the Waqf to retain authority over the Temple Mount (Haram esh-Sharif).
 Julian, To the Community of the Jews, Works, vol. 3, pp. 177–181. Julian the Apostate, Letters (1923) Works vol. 3, pp.2-235. [Translated by W. C. Wright]
 Julian, Fragment of a Letter to a Priest, Works, vol. 2., pp. 297–339.
 Lydus, De Mensibus, in Julian, Works, vol. 3, pp. 301–302.
 Gregory of Nazianzus, Oratio V contra Julianum, 4, in C.W. King, trans., Julian the Emperor (London: George Bell and Sons, 1888).
 Ammianus Marcellinus, 23.1,3.