A Chronology of Temple Events
Approx. 2,000 BC: Abraham was sent to the Moriah area to sacrifice Isaac. Jerusalem was later built on the mountain named Moriah.
Approx. 1,000 BC: David captured the Canaanite city of Jebus (2 Sam. 5:6-7) and named it the City of David, which he made his capital (1 Chron. 11:7). He selected the temple site on Mount Moriah, where he built an altar.
Approx. 950 BC: Solomon built the temple on the Mount Moriah site chosen by David. After the Ark of the Covenant, the resting place of God’s presence, was moved into the temple, the people prayed for God’s presence, and God sent fire to consume their sacrifice (2 Chron. 7:1-3).
586 BC: The Babylonians destroyed the temple and took many Israelites captive.
Approx. 500 BC: Cyrus, the king of Persia, decreed that the Israelites could return to Jerusalem. Under Ezra and Nehemiah’s leadership, the temple was rebuilt. Since there was no Ark of the Covenant, the Holy of Holies was left empty. The Jews rejoiced when the Torah was read (Neh. 8:17).
322 BC: Jerusalem became part of Alexander the Great’s empire. Antiochus, king of the Syrians, outlawed the Sabbath, circumcision, and study of the Torah. He defiled the altar by sacrificing pigs on it.
165 BC: The Maccabean revolt against the Greek army brought Jerusalem under Jewish control once again and the menorah was re-lit. Descendants of the Maccabees expanded the Temple Mount.
63 BC:The Romans toook control of Judea.
37-4 BC:Herod the Great, the Roman king of Israel, lavishly expanded the Temple Mount.
Approx. AD 30: The Sadducees had Jesus crucified. The Holy Spirit came to the disciples in the temple courts, and the veil in front of the Holy of Holies tore from top to bottom, symbolizing that all believers now had access to God’s presence through Jesus.
AD 44: Herod Agrippa, grandson of Herod the Great, died. Rebel Jews began to kill Romans and Jews who cooperated with Rome. Roman governors became increasingly cruel, and the temple priesthood became more corrupt as they looked to Romans for security and support.
AD 66: A Gentile offered a “pagan” sacrifice next to the synagogue in Caesarea. Jerusalem authorities decided to end all sacrifices and allowed Roman troops to raid the temple treasury.
When the Jews protested, Florus, the Rome-appointed governor, sent troops who killed innocent civilians. This sparked a Jewish revolt that pushed the Roman troops out of Jerusalem. When the Romans in Caesarea heard what happened, they slaughtered 20,000 Jews in a day’s time.
AD 68: Ultra-nationalistic Jews (Zealots) appointed their own temple priest and slaughtered the Sadducee priests who resisted.
AD 70: Roman troops destroyed Jerusalem and burned the temple. Over a million Jews were executed, sold into slavery, or captured for games in the arena.
AD 131: A second Jewish revolt began.
AD 135: Rome squashed the second revolt and outlawed the Jewish religion. The Jews became a people without a country.
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