There are many theories challenging the location of the First Temple, completed by King Solomon ~966BC, with lots of friendly Lebanese help from Huram, sent by King Hiram of Tyre, for his expert knowledge and skills. (2 Chron 2:11-14) The traditional site is said to be on what is known as the Temple Mount, located in the Old City of Jerusalem, in the Biblical “East” Jerusalem. This is the holiest site to the Jewish people, and virtually everyone goes to the Western Wall (not an actual wall of the Second Temple itself) to see, if not to pray there.
Some of the more recent theories claim that the Temples were instead located in the City of David, situated below the Temple Mount, and also identified as Zion. There are, of course, other suggested locations, some without any connection to either of these prime areas.
As I was reading the Scriptures today, two verses written by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, spoke to me that satisfies my belief that the Word of God is true, and decides any dispute: 2 Chron 3:1; and, 2 Chron 5:2. These verses describe the beginning and the end of the construction of the first House of YHVH, probably the most magnificent structure ever built by man.
The first verse says that the House of YHVH was built on Mount Moriah, which is also in the place where Abraham went up to from Beer Sheva in willing obedience with faith to offer up his only beloved son, Isaac, as a sacrifice to YHVH. (Gen 22:1-19; Heb 11:17-19)
The second verse from 2Chron states that Solomon called for the Ark of the Covenant of YHVH to be brought up from the City of David, which is Zion. In other words, the Temple was not in the City of David, which is below the mount. (Zion has several connotations.)
King Cyrus of Persia issued the decree, prophesied by YHVH through Isaiah (Is 44:28; Ezra 1:1-4; 4:12; 9:9; 2 Chron 36:22-23), enabling those Jewish people taken into captivity for 70 years by the Babylonians under King Nebuchadnezzar, whose hearts were willing, to return to Jerusalem and to rebuild the House of YHVH in Jerusalem at the same location as Solomon had built on, the place of the threshing floor that King David had purchased from Araunah/Ornan, the Jebusite. (2Sam 24:15-25; 1Chron 21:14-30) This Second Temple was built and completed ~488BC (the first 7 weeks=49 years of the prophecy in Dan 9:24-27, from the year of Cyrus’ decree) by a Jewish remnant led by Zerubbabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah. Herod the Great greatly enlarged this Temple from about 20BC until 25AD.
Another dimension of the spiritual warfare involved, and the deception of the enemy, can be seen by the fact that the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosque are both located on the Temple Mount. Today, even though Israel has de jure sovereignty over the mount ever since the capture of Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War, the Muslim Waqf has de facto control. Islamic authorities refuse to allow Jewish people to freely visit the site, and allow no visible indications of prayer by any people other than Muslims.
The LORD spoke through the Prophet Isaiah about the king of Babylon in words that went beyond the earthly king to speak in terms that apply to Lucifer, now the Devil, and personified as the Assyrian, a descriptive of the future Antichrist. (Is 14:1-4, 12-15, 24-27) Notice in v. 13-14 that the thoughts of Lucifer’s heart is exposed by YHVH, and reveals that he covets to sit and be worshipped as if he were the Most High God. And… that he would sit on the mount of the congregation. YHVH has His throne above the heavens, but on Earth He has chosen Jerusalem as the City of the Great King. And within this holy city, He has chosen Mount Moriah as the place where His earthly throne — the Throne of David — would be established forever. (Ps 132:11-14; Mt 25:31-32; Acts 2:29-36; 2Chron 6:6; Zech 3:1-2)
Isn’t it telling that the Fourth Kingdom and Fourth Beast, as described in the Book of Daniel, has chosen to sit in usurpation upon the mount in Jerusalem of the God of Israel, the God of the whole Earth?! Jerusalem is still being trampled by the Gentiles, until the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled. (Lk 21:20-24; Rev 11) Even so, Come, Lord Jesus!
This article originally appeared on Streams in the Negev, May 14, 2020, and reposted with permission.