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The First and Second Temples
Bob Rathbun
(C) 2007

The first temple, the one built during the reign of king Solomon, that
structure which David said must be exceeding magnifical (1 Chronicles
22:5),  was eventually reduced to ashes (2 Kings 25:8-9, 2 Chronicles
36:19).  For in time Judah had shown her spiritual infidelity by
bringing her idolatries even into the temple itself (2 Kings 16:10-16,
21:4-8, 23:4-12, 2 Chronicles 33:4-8, 33:15).  When Solomon had built
the temple, God's glory had filled that holy place (1 Kings 8:6-11, 2
Chronicles 5:7-14), but finally things had gotten so deplorable there
that it was necessary for God to depart the temple (Ezekiel 9:3,
10:18-19, 11:22-23).  Once God vacated the temple, that building really
didn't serve a good and godly purpose, so God allowed it to be burned to
the ground.

The same thing was true of the second temple, the one built after the
Jews returned from their seventy-year captivity in Babylon (Ezra 1:1-4,
6:14-15).*  The animal sacrifices which pointed to the coming Messiah
were offered continually, and the blood flowed from this Jewish altar at
the temple.  When Jesus came and died for the sins of the people (Isaiah
53:5-8, 1 Peter 2:24-25), the animal sacrifices at the temple had served
their purpose and needed to be offered no longer (Hebrews 10:1-14).
Nevertheless, these sacrifices continued to be offered at the temple,
and so God put a stop to that by having the Roman army destroy that
temple in 70 A.D.  Animal sacrifices could only be offered at the temple
at Jerusalem, and since that temple was destroyed in 70 A.D., there has
never been a Jewish temple in Jerusalem.  Thus, the animal sacrifices
have ceased.  For the second time the Jewish temple at Jerusalem had
lost its purpose, and so for the second time, God had it destroyed.

* Jewish tradition seems to indicate that the second temple of Ezra
6:14-15 was remodeled by Herod and subsequently referred to as Herod's

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