The Great Tribulation and the Third Temple
During the first half of the Tribulation, the Jews rebuild the Temple of Solomon according to the exact dimensions described in I Kings, chapter 6. Christ warns the Jews of the “abomination of desolation: spoken of by the prophet Daniel,” indicating the Jewish Temple’s restoration. The abominable act takes place inside the Temple. This desecration prompts the beginning of God’s severe wrath and judgments upon the earth.
Currently, the Dome of the Rock, an Islamic Shrine which houses the foundation stone and a major landmark built in 691 a.d. making it the oldest Islamic building in the world was constructed over the site of the second Jewish Temple destroyed in AD. 70. At present, in Israel a Fundamentalist Jewish movement exists that aims to rebuild the Temple. Within the Israeli government, the right-wing political party, the Temple Mount Faithful, also known as Temple Mount and Eretz Yisrael Faithful Movement wish to relocate the Dome to Mecca and replace it with a third Temple. They intend on constructing the third Temple on the Dome of the Rock and also suggest building a new Temple on the site, in a place that will not interfere with existing buildings. They openly declare that their ultimate goal is the demolition of the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, and the reconstruction on their site of King Solomon’s Temple. The Temple Mount is the holiest site in Jerusalem.
Jeremiah foretold the Temple’s destruction by the Babylonians (26:6-12). Daniel predicted the Temple’s desecration by the Syrian king Antichious Euphrates (Dan. 8:8-12). He also foretold Jerusalem’s restoration and rebuilding by Herod and the Temple’s destruction by the Romans in A.D. 70 (Dan. 9:25). Hosea 3:4-5 foretells the long time the Jews remain without the symbols used in their worship, and without the Temple and how they will return to their God in the latter days. “For the children of Israel shall abide many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred pillar, without ephod or teraphim. Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days.”
Daniel also foretells the desecration of a future third Temple, and the persecution of the Jews by the Antichrist (Dan. 9:25-26)
Before this prophecy will see fulfillment the Jews will erect a new Temple which means that some future event will destroy the mosque and the Dome of the Rock that are on the site. This destruction will either happen from a natural disaster such as an earthquake or by war. Earthquakes have rumbled through the area in the past causing damage to the al-Aqsa mosque.
The Russian and Arab invasion predicted in Ezekiel may destroy the Dome of the Rock located on Mount Moriah. Bible scholars debate the timing of the battle. Some argue the war occurs prior to the Tribulation and others that this conflict takes place during the millennial reign of Christ. Either way we know some event will destroy the existing buildings which will clear the area for the building of the third Temple.
Temple Mount History
• 950 B.C. Solomon completes building the first Temple.
• 587 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon destroys Solomon’s Temple.
• 515 B.C. The book of Ezra records the building of the second modest Temple.
• 161 B.C. A Syrian ruler pillages this second Temple.
• 164 B.C. The Maccabees (an Israeli priest and his five sons) recapture the Temple. (The Jewish holiday Hanukkah celebrates this restoration.)
• 37 B.C. to 4 B.C. Herod, King of Judea, triples the area of the Temple Mount in expanse to accommodate an enlarged Temple and other buildings.
• A.D. 70 Roman armies, in a quest to end Jewish rebellion, storm and dismantle the Temple, and hurl its stones over the parapets of the mount. (Today, a remnant of the Temple complex is a portion of the western retaining wall, named the Wailing Wall.) The Romans forbid Jews from entering the old city of Jerusalem, but eventually permit them to enter once a year “to wail over its stones.”
• A.D. 687 A mosque, the Dome of the Rock, is built there, and remains today. At the southern rim of the platform stands the silver-domed al-Aqsa Mosque. For Muslims, the same place, Haram-al-Sharif, which means Noble Sanctuary, is the third holiest site, after Mecca and Medina . Muslims believe that the prophet Mohammed made a miraculous night journey from Mecca to this place, and from there ascended to heaven.