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The Jerusalem Temple 1
a summary history of its site, structure, service and abuse
The oldest site for the worship of God at Jerusalem is referred to when David, its first Jewish king,
evacuated his troops from that city as Absalom marched against it –
 "...when David came to the top of the ascent, אשׁר ישׁתחוה שׁם לאלהים [of Olivet/Mount of Olives] where God was worshipped [aforetime]..."
(2 Samuel 15:32).
Some translators fudge their translation by assuming that King David is being referred to,
but the worship reference is in the past tense at the time when David is described as at the summit in the present tense.
That is, it had been a place of worship prior to David's time, whose own place of worship was located at Gihon Spring where he had placed the Ark of the Covenant on the opposite side of the valley. It is most probable therefore that this Mount of Olives site was the place where Melchizedek led his people in worship as it is higher than Zion and catches the morning sunrise first, and it is no coincidence that it was from here that the Christ ascended and to here that He will return.
Most probably where faithful Amorite king Melchizedek led worship to God as the highpriest of the people of Salem city. This is therefore the place from which the Christ of God ascended to the Father, and also the place to which He will come again.
(Zech.14:4; Ac.1:12).
King MELCHI-ZEDEK of Salem supplies food and drink to the troops of ABRAM and his Amorite Allies, after their military action to free LOT.
ABRAM honours MELCHI-ZEDEK with ten percent of their plunder of the Eastern Alliance armies (Gen.14) as an act of submission/homage (according to Abraham's Mesopotamian custom background).
10% as per the temple-tax tradition
of Abram's ancient Mesopotamia.
ABRAHAM takes ISAAC (about 15-year-old) from Beersheba to the mountains of Moriah, at Salem, to offer him as a sacrifice (Gen.22:2). (Most probably to the mount north of Zion where Jebusite Ornan later develops his threshing floor and David offers sacrifice.)
See: 3-Days-of-Pain
later, the correspondence between Canaanite city-kings and Egypt during the time of Israel's Judges refers to the king of Jerusalem by a name which honours the pagan goddess Astarte.
King DAVID unites Israel and conquers Jebusite Jerusalem.
ZADOK (a Jebusite name, indicating inter-marriage with the God-fearing Israelites) and AHIMELECH are Israel's high priests.
DAVID brings the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem (Zion).
The tented Ark, near the Gihon spring on the eastern slope of Zion facing the Mount of Olives, becomes the principle place of public worship to orchestral accompaniment, taking the place of the old worship site on the top of the Mount of Olives (2 Sam.15:32) that was probably used in Melchizedek's time.
(The Tabernacle of Moses in which the Ark had been housed had been destroyed by the Philistines many years before).
rejected from being the Temple's builder, DAVID is inspired to design the Temple and the order of its services to replace the Tabernacle of Moses (1 Chron.28:11-19). During his reign he accumulates for its construction – c.100 metric tons of pure gold, c. 240 metric tons of pure silver, plus large quantities of bronze, iron, wood, and precious stones (1Chron.29).
Sanctuary and Service
ZADOK becomes sole high priest, restoring ELEAZAR's line (as God had promised to PHINEAS, see 1410 BC) (1Kg.2:27,35).
Month 2 (April/May): King SOLOMON begins to build the Temple 480 years after the Exodus (1Kg.6:1).
Solomon builds worship sites for the gods of Zidon, Moab, and Ammon, on the three hills of the Mount of Olives in view of its tradition as a place of worship, which although destroyed by Hezekiah are only finally defiled (made unusable) by Josiah, 400 years later. (2Kgs.23:13)
Month 8: SOLOMON completes the Temple in Jerusalem (1Kg.6:38).
But the Ark of the Covenant contains only MOSES' two tablets of stone –
"There was nothing in the Ark except the two stone tablets that Moses had placed in it at Horeb ..."
(1Kg.8:9; 2Chron.5:10).
Pharaoh SHESHONK I of Egypt plunders Jerusalem, taking away the gold of SOLOMON's Temple and of the king's palace (1Kgs.14:26). (Alternate dates range 945-929BC).
AMARIAH is high priest in the reign of JEHOSHAPHAT (2Chron.19:11).
AHAB's daughter ATHALIAH marries JEHORAM (JEHOSHAPHAT's son).
Athaliah uses God's Temple for Baal worship
High Priest JEHOIADA is regent of Judah for child-king JOASH (son of AHAZIAH), who was saved from Queen ATHALIAH by the high priest's wife JEHOSHEBA.
After High Priest JEHOIADA's death King JOASH abandons the Temple service. High Priest ZECHARIAH (son of JEHOIADA) prophesies in a public rebuke in the Temple courts. King JOASH has ZECHARIAH publicly stoned to death in the Temple (2 Chron.24:17-27).
The Temple is used for Baal worship again
King AMAZIAH (son of JOASH) of Judah (having defeated Edom) challenges King JEHOAHAZ of Israel to do battle. JEHOAHAZ is not willing but AMAZIAH persists in his challenge for supremacy. JEHOAHAZ defeats Judah, takes AMAZIAH prisoner, partly demolishes Jerusalem's defences, and strips the Temple of all its gold, silver, and precious articles (2 Kings 14:12-14).
King UZZIAH (AZARIAH) of Judah violates the Temple, is struck with skin disease, quarantined, relieved of responsibilities, and his son JOTHAM rules in his place (2 Kings 15:5; 2 Chron.26:16-20).
AZARIAH is high priest.
JOTHAM builds the Upper Gate of the Temple (2 Chron.27:3).
ISAIAH's ministry begins with a vision in the Temple (Isaiah 6:1).
AHAZ becomes king of Judah but does not believe ISAIAH's prophecy (Isa.7).
He corrupts Judah, remodels the Temple according to Syrian fashion because it so impressed the king of Assyria (Tiglath-Pileser), and eventually loots and closes down the Temple itself. (2 Chron.28:3,24; 2 Kings 16:10-18).
King HEZEKIAH re-opens the Temple, refurbishes and rededicates it.
"In the first month" (Abib/Nisan) "of the first year of his reign, he opened the doors of the Temple of the Lord and repaired them." (2 Chron.29:3).
Zadokite AZARIAH is its high priest (31:10). The rededication is so wholeheartedly supported by the people that Levites are temporarily enlisted to join the Priests in preparing the people's sacrifices (29:34).
The Passover is thus celebrated a month late and the rest of the 12 tribes are invited to join its celebration (2 Chron.30,31).
HEZEKIAH prayed: "'May the Lord, who is good, pardon everyone who sets his heart on seeking God - the Lord, the God of his fathers – even if he is not clean according to the rules of the Sanctuary.'
And the Lord heard Hezekiah and healed the people."
HEZEKIAH writes psalms for the Temple service to commemorate the 'ten-degree' sign (which had drawn international attention, 2 Chron.32:31) that confirmed the fifteen years added to his life, and appoints scribes to collect the sayings of SOLOMON (Is.38; Prov.25:1).
It is probable that the 15 'songs of degrees' in Psalms (120 to 134) for Temple use were arranged as part of this commemoration in which HEZEKIAH's compositions are shown as the ten anonymous.
MANASSEH erects a carved idol in the Temple sanctuary (2 Chron.33:7), is taken hostage to Babylon by the Assyrians (2 Chron.33:11).
In prison he repents toward God and is released back to Jerusalem as its king.
He cleanses and restores the Temple and its service.
King JOSIAH (age 16) – "began to seek the God of his father David" (2 Chron.34:3).
King JOSIAH (age 20) – "he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem" (2 Chron.34:3-7).
HILKIAH, the high priest, discovers the scroll of the Law of the Lord (the Torah) in the Temple, initiating a spiritual renewal under King JOSIAH. (God had instructed Moses that the master copy always be kept  in the Sanctuary).
The Ark of the Covenant is returned to the Temple (2 Chron.35:3), and the greatest Passover since the prophet SAMUEL is celebrated in Jerusalem (2 Chron. 34:14-33; 35:18).
King JEHOIAKIM becomes a vassal of Babylon, young DANIEL and many others are deported there, and part of the "vessels of the House of the Lord" are placed in NEBUCHADNEZZAR's palace in Babylon.
April 22: JEHOIACHIN and family are deported to Babylon with 10 000 others, including the prophet EZEKIEL and KISH, the great grandfather of MORDECAI (Esther 2:5-6).
All gold (including all gold furniture such as the Ark of the covenant) is stripped and the gold is shipped to Babylon (2 Kg.24:13) as well as "the precious vessels of the House of the Lord" (2 Chron.36:10).
September 17:  EZEKIEL sees the vision of abominations in the Temple and the departure of God's presence from it (Ez.8-11).
August 15 to 18: NEBUCHADNEZZAR's captain of the guard, NEBUZARADAN, burns Jerusalem and the Temple (including the Ark of the Covenant, Jer.3:16; Is.64:11), and carries off remaining Temple treasures.
"What was of gold the captain of the guard took away as gold,
and what was of silver, as silver."
He brings SERAIAH the high priest and other leaders to NEBUCHADNEZZAR at Riblah for execution (2Kg.25:8-21). But Jeremiah prophesies –
"The Lord has stirred up the spirit of the kings of the Medes, because His purpose concerning Babylon is to destroy it, for that is the vengeance of the Lord, the vegeance for His Temple."
April 28: EZEKIEL sees his vision of the Messianic Temple.
SHESHBAZZAR (probably SHENAZZAR, the fourth son of JEHOIACHIN) receives the return of some of the Temple treasure and leads some of the Exile returnees home (Ezr.1:8).
DANIEL's Seventy-Sevens vision: that is, ((70x7) x360) days (176 400 days) from the Decree to re-build Jerusalem's military defenses until Israel's full national religious restoration (Dan.9:1).
Exiles return under ZERUBABBEL (nephew of SHESHBAZZAR). JOSHUA is high priest (son of JOSADEK and grandson of the grandson of HILKIAH).
The high priest's guidance-stones of his sacred breast-piece, the Urim and Thummim, have been lost (Ezra 2:63).
October 5: The returned Exiles set up an Altar in Jerusalem (Ez.3:6).
Foundation of ZERUBBABEL's Temple is laid with great celebration (Ez.3:8-13).
DANIEL's final vision (Dan.10:1).
Work on the Jerusalem Temple stops due to intense opposition from Israel's neighbours (Ezra 4:1-5).
August 29: The prophet HAGGAI exhorts the Jews to resume work on their Temple (Hag.1:1-11).
September 20: Temple work recommences under governor ZERUBBABEL and high priest JOSHUA (Hag.1:12-15; Ezra 5:1-2).
October 17:  HAGGAI exhorts again (Hag.2:1-9).
December 18:  HAGGAI again encourages the people and promises ZERUBBABEL great blessing (Hag.2:10-23).
"The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the LORD of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, declares the LORD of hosts.'"
February 14: The young prophet  ZECHARIAH sees the eight vision prophecy for Israel (Zec.1:7-6:8), and he crowns high priest JOSHUA to symbolize the future combination of the political and religious leadership in one man, the future messiah, the 'BRANCH' (Zec.6:9-14; from Isa.11:1).
ZERUBBABEL completes and dedicates the second Temple. (or March 516 or 515?) (Ez.6:14-22).
The prophesied 2300-evening-and-mornings period begins! (See Daniel 8:14).
Priest MENELAUS bribes Seleucid king ANTIOCHUS IV 'EPIPHANES' to appoint him as high priest in the place of JASON (175-172).
Legitimate high priest ONIAS III is murdered (at instigation of Jewish priest MENELAUS), and the forced Hellenization of the Jewish people starts. (See Daniel 11:22).
ANTIOCHUS IV enters the Jerusalem Temple and takes away some of the sacred vessels.
Ousted Jewish high priest JASON attacks and conquers Jerusalem (except for the citadel, Acra), and then massacres his opponents.
ANTIOCHUS IV 'EPIHANES' re-conquers Jerusalem (at the request of Jewish priest MENELAUS), plunders and burns it. The city forfeits its privileges and is permanently garrisoned by Syrian/Seleucid soldiers (See prophecy - Zech.9:13).
He then forbids all Jewish religious practices, such as –  
1. Observance of the Sabbath and of all traditional feasts
2. All religious sacrifices
3. Reading of the Law, and ordered the burning of all copies
4. Circumcision
December 25: ANTIOCHUS IV arrogantly –
  enters the Temple Sanctuary as Zeus incarnate,
sets up and dedicates a statue of himself as 'Zeus Olympios' in the Holy of Holies,
sacrifices a sow on the great altar to his own statue,
sends the holy Temple Veil of the Holy of Holies as tribute to the temple of Zeus (45-foot-high ivory seated-statue by Phidias) at Olympia in Greece, and
builds a fortress overlooking the Temple area from the South to supervise its use.
The elderly priest MATTATHIAS (great grandson of HASMON) in the village of Modein northwest of Jerusalem, raises the banner of revolt by attacking a Jew about to sacrifice to the new gods and killing the king's officer present.
He flees to the hills with his five sons –
Many join him in the hills, especially the Hasidim who refuse to fight on the Sabbath and promptly loose a thousand men in the conflict.
MATTATHIAS attacks all degrees of Jewish collaborators with the same bitterness as he does the Syrian troops of ANTIOCHUS, engendering civil war in some Jewish communities.
MATTATHIAS dies urging his sons to "show zeal for the law, and give your lives for the Covenant of our fathers" (1 Mac.2:50).
And so is fulfilled the prophecy of Zechariah –
"I will bend Judah as I bend My bow, and fill it with Ephraim.
I will rouse your sons, O Zion, against your sons, O Greece,
and make you like a warrior's sword."
His third son JUDAS becomes leader of the guerrilla war. JUDAH sees himself as successor to JOSHUA and GIDEON, leads his fighters in spiritual devotions, and justifies his massacres of non-combatants on the basis of JOSHUA's holocaust of certain Canaanite cities. 
December (Kislev 25): JUDAS 'MACCABAEUS' cleanses and rededicates the Temple.
MENELAUS is still high priest. (This event is celebrated annually in December at the festival of Chanukah).
ANTIOCHUS V reoccupies Jerusalem, appoints a legitimate high priest, and grants religious freedom, but JUDAS MACCABAEUS (of the priestly Hasmonean family) continues the war. The Hasidim ('Pious Ones', early Pharisees) disapprove of the nationalist war.
ALCIMUS, the last Hellenizing High Priest, dies of a stroke.  The high priesthood remains officially 'vacant' for 7 years until 152 BC, but some priest officiated on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) as high priest.
The so-called "Teacher of Righteousness" becomes a leader among the Hasidim, and prophet to their ultra-conservative Qumran community.
ONIAS IV obtains PTOLEMY PHILOMETOR of Egypt's support for a Jewish temple at Leontopolis in the Heliopolis district of Egypt on the basis of Isaiah 19:18,19. This temple is in Jewish use until 73 AD (Jos. Wars 7.10).
JONATHAN MACCABAEUS appoints himself (although not a Zadokite) as high priest (152-143) backed by ALEXANDER BALAS the new Seleucid ruler.
Probable withdrawal of 'Teacher of Righteousness' to Qumran.
The Syrian garrison is removed from Jerusalem and SIMON MACCABAEUS demolishes their fortress overlooking the Temple from the south, and the hill on which it stood.
JASON of Cyrene's Jewish history is written (summarized as the book of 'II Maccabees' and later included in the Christian Apocrypha of the Bible), glorifying the Jerusalem Temple and attacking Jewish Hellenizers.
ONIAS the Just is stoned to death by the Jewish people because he would not take sides in prayer as they, under HYRCANUS, besiege ARISTOBULUS in the Temple.

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