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ON THE PLAN TO BUILD THE THIRD TEMPLE (PART 15): Dome Of Rock—Third Temple Question

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Will building the Third Temple atop Moriah necessitate the destruction of the Dome of the Rock?

Such an action seems impossible at present. To destroy that shrine of Islam would bring immediate, worldwide, Muslim rage and, likely, war against Israel. The question has also been raised: Will the Dome fall as the result of an act of God—i.e., an earthquake or some other even more dramatic event?

A principal authority within the organization said the following:

“God’s Holy Mountain Vision” project hopes to defuse religious strife by showing that Jews’ end-of-days vision could harmoniously accommodate Islam’s present architectural hegemony on the Temple Mount…. This vision of religious shrines in peaceful proximity can transform the Temple Mount from a place of contention to its original sacred role as a place of worship shared by Jews, Muslims and Christians.[i]

The program, including interfaith studies and educational programs of various sorts, is sponsored by the Interfaith Encounter Association at the Mishkenot Sha’ananim’s Konrad Adenauer Conference Center in Jerusalem.

The Dome of the Rock, according to Islam, covers the rock from which Muhammed ascended to Heaven. Jewish tradition has it that the Dome of the Rock now covers the stone on Mount Moriah where the First and Second Temples’ Holy of Holies sat.

Until recently, Jewish tradition held that the Dome of the Rock would have to be somehow removed in order to construct a Third and final Temple in its proper location. However, an alternative position emerged when a young scholar named Frankel presented the idea that Jewish doctrine regarding the rebuilding of the Temple emphasizes the role of a prophet, which puts forth a different option than the traditional. His work was presented in an article that appeared in 2007 in Tehumin, an influential journal of Jewish law.

This prophet would have almost supernatural authority, including the discretion to stipulate exactly where the Temple will be situated. The prophet would have this authority no matter what other Jewish tradition involved in the matter of Temple reconstruction might specify.

Frankel formed this belief based upon a supernatural, holy revelation being given to a genuine prophet saying that the Temple will be rebuilt on the present Temple Mount or extended area that is in peaceful proximity to the Dome of the Rock and other structures of prayer, such as the Aksa Mosque and nearby Christian shrines. Muslims and Jews alike have raised opposition to the idea, however. Founder of the Islamic Movement in Israel, Sheikh Abdulla Nimar Darwish, stated that it was pointless to conjecture about things that would take place when the Mahdi, the Muslim messiah, comes upon the scene (you can learn the important facts regarding Mahdi’s connection to the return of Jesus and the Third Temple in our book The Final Roman Emperor, the Islamic Antichrist, and the Vatican’s Last Crusade).

Darwish said in a telephone interview with the Jerusalem Post: “Why are we taking upon ourselves the responsibility to decide such things? Even Jews believe that it is prohibited to rebuild the Temple until the messiah comes. So what is there to talk about. The mahdi will decide whether or not to rebuild the Temple. If he decides that it should be rebuilt, I will go out to the Temple Mount and help carry the rocks.”

He warned that any attempt to rebuild the Temple before the coming of the Mahdi would mean trouble. “As long as there is a Muslim alive, no Jewish Temple will be built on Al-Haram Al-Sharif [the Temple Mount]. The status quo must be maintained, otherwise there will be bloodshed.”

Perhaps presaging such trouble that would almost certainly arise, Baruch Ben-Yosef, chairman of the Movement to Restore the Temple, minced no words in expressing that the Temple had to be built where the Dome of the Rock presently stands. “Anybody who says anything else simply does not know what he is talking about,” he said. “A prophet does not have the power to change the law which explicitly states the location of the Temple.”

Ben-Yosef rejected the notion that rebuilding of the Temple had to be done by a prophet. “All you need is a Sanhedrin,” he said.

The Temple Mount came under Israeli control in 1967 following the 1967 Six Day War. Mainstream Orthodox rabbis have opposed attempts to rebuild the Temple since that time.    A decree prohibiting Jews from entering the area because of matters involving purity was issued by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. Nonetheless, a number of fervently dedicated organizations have called to take steps to renew the sacrifices on the Temple Mount and rebuild the Temple.

These include such organizations as the Movement to Restore the Temple and outspoken rabbis, like Rabbi Israel Ariel, head of the capital’s Temple Institute and a top cleric within the revived Sanhedrin, whose leader is Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz.

Temple Temperament Grows

Temple intrigues continue to manifest while this generation moves more deeply into times nearer Christ’s return. Conditions surrounding God’s chosen people and His chosen nation are changing moment by moment. Attention of the entire world is drawn on an hourly basis toward the one spot on earth most focal in considering Bible prophecy.

This being the case, it is appropriate to ask: Do the Jewish people notice the lateness of the prophetic hour?

A remnant does, it seems. The following news report makes the point:

On Tuesday, the holiday of the Ninth of Av, a record-breaking 1,300 Jews ascended to the Temple Mount, turning a day of deepest mourning for the destruction of the Temples into a catalyst to bring the beginnings of the Third Temple.

“I know that if there had been an announcement on the radio to go up and build, thousands more Jews were ready for that,” Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, the Chief Rabbi of Hebron told Breaking Israel News of the awe-filled atmosphere on the Mount.[ii]



Gog-Magog Temple Ties

Ezekiel the prophet foretold a coming attack on the nation Israel. Such an assault would have been impossible for the period from AD 70 until 1948. There was no nation called Israel. The Jewish people were once again scattered into the many nations of the world, where they were horrendously persecuted and murdered by the millions.

The matter of this prophesied assault from Israel’s enemies from its north is no longer impossible. As a matter of fact, it is not only possible, it is becoming more probable by the hour. Here again is what Ezekiel predicted for the attack that looks to be shaping up in our time.

And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

 Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,

 And say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:

And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:

Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:

Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.

Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.

After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them. (Ezekiel 38:1–8)

Today’s headlines are filled with descriptions of formidable forces gathering due north of Israel. These forces are almost precisely those given by the Old Testament prophet. The names of antiquity are different, but they are the same nations, populated by Israel-hating people who are progeny of the ancient people about which Ezekiel wrote.

Repeating the Gog-Magog coalition prophesied by Ezekiel, a recent commentary gives some perspective about just how these forces are coming together.

A major leg of the Ezekiel 38–39 Gog-Magog coalition is coming into view. The Turkey leg is now, undeniably in the estimation of many students of prophecy, on the end-times table of Bible prophecy….

Modern-day Turkey covers most of the territory that made up ancient Togarmah. Ezekiel was told to prophesy that the house of Togarmah will be among the horde from the north of Jerusalem that will assault Israel near the time of Christ’s return….

Russia is pared down from its configuration as the nucleus of the former Soviet Union. It more or less once again covers territory that it encompassed during the time of Ezekiel’s giving the Gog-Magog prophecy…

Iran, which is the central-most territory today that once was called Persia, has joined Russia as a close ally–again, just to Israel’s north. Russia’s and Iran’s military assets co-mingle in the region to influence Syria, another end-times player.[iii]

The stage for the Gog-Magog invasion is certainly in the process of being set. Exactly when can’t be determined at this point. God, Himself, indicates that He will be the One who sets the “hook in the jaw” of the demon-driven leader Ezekiel calls Gog.

Ezekiel, it is more than interesting to note, is the very prophet who gives phenomenal details of the Temple that will sit atop Moriah as the end of human history prior to Christ’s Second Advent nears.

This series presents a look at Ezekiel’s Third, and even Fourth Temples, especially in the later entries. We will review here Israel’s history a bit more deeply.

Israel’s story is unique in all of human history. No nation has come close to enduring the vicissitudes the Jewish people have been subjected to. It has been overrun by enemies and destroyed many times—to the point that today some antagonists say that it never really even existed, at least not in places surrounding the Temple Mount.

The Jews have been killed in the most vicious ways imaginable throughout the centuries and removed from their land. Yet they have returned time after time to reclaim that land—always in the face of enemies vowed to murder and remove them again.

The Hebrew way of life should have long ago gone extinct, the people having been absorbed by most every culture on earth. Ancient empires arose to power and either caused them to assimilate or attempted to destroy them entirely. All other such people coming under such maltreatment have disappeared forever. But, the eternal Jew remains indestructible as a race.

Survival of the Jewish culture into modernity has been nothing less than miraculous. The Jews should have been wiped from the face of the earth more than two thousand years ago.

Moses led them from Egyptian bondage about 1447 BC. Any stretch of logic says they should have been eliminated by the powerful Egyptian military forces. If not that, the harsh wilderness life, devoid of any sustenance for human life, should have wiped them out. But, we know the story. God provided and they are again a nation—and, just as prophesied, they are the focus nation and people of the world today in hourly headlines.

Despite seemingly everything God’s enemies had to throw against His chosen people, Israel ultimately regained the land from which they had been scattered. Led by Joshua, they proved God’s promises to Abraham were unbreakable. They were forced to fight enemies blood-vowed to wipe them out for the next four hundred years. The Hittites, Philistines, Amorites, and others had to be defeated in order to bring Israel’s kingdom to its full glory. Their rule became a time of much prosperity, an era during Solomon’s reign about which the Queen of Sheba said that not even half of its magnificence had been told.

Following Solomon’s death, Israel split into two kingdoms, and the people engaged in idolatry and the most egregious types of sinful activity. Eventually, the Assyrian Empire invaded from the north and destroyed Israel, the Northern Kingdom. The final defeat came in 722 BC. The Babylonian Empire assaulted from the west and destroyed the Southern Kingdom of Judah in 587 BC. The Babylonians took captive many Israelites while destroying Jerusalem and ultimately the Temple Solomon built. The Jews remained captive in Babylon for more than seventy years.

Again, logic would have it that the Jews, totally absorbed into the wicked Assyrian and Babylonian cultures, should have assimilated, never to be a distinct people again. God’s promises, however, are never broken. He faithfully preserved His people through their time of captivity and slavery.

The Babylonian Empire finally fell to the Medo-Persian Empire, and the Jews were allowed to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple. Alexander the Great of the Greek Empire conquered the Medo-Persian Empire in 330 BC. Following Alexander’s death, his four generals—Seleucus, Cassander, Lycimachus, and Ptolomy—divided the Greek Empire amongst themselves.

The kingdoms of General Seleucus (Syria) and General Ptolemy (Egypt) fought mightily against each other for greater parts of Alexander’s empire. Israel was caught between these feuding generals. The Greek persecution of the Jews came to a head when General Antiochus Epiphanes, who eventually emerged from the feud, assaulted Jerusalem in 170 BC. He butchered thousands of Jews and defiled the Second Temple by smearing swine blood on the alter and committing other blasphemous atrocities.

The Jews were allowed to resume Temple worship atop Moriah when the Romans conquered the Greek Empire. That ended when the city of Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed in AD 70 exactly as Daniel the prophet and Jesus had prophesied. The destruction was the result of the Jewish revolt when Roman Emperor Vespasian sent his son, General Titus, to put down the uprising.

God’s chosen people were scattered into places in other parts of the world, where they suffered the most terrible sorts of persecution for 1,848 years.

Again, the Jewish people should have disappeared from history, never again to reappear. Their suffering included the terrors of Islam, the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Russian pogroms, the Nazi Holocaust, and other atrocities. But, as noted numerous times, the God of Heaven never reneges on a promise. His faithfulness—and the proof that His prophetic Word is absolute truth—was manifest for all the world to witness when, in 1948, the Jews, who had begun returning in the nineteenth century, reestablished their homeland. The nation was reborn in a single day, just as prophesied in Isaiah 66:7, on May 15, 1948!

History Since Rebirth

Israel has been attacked incessantly by its enemy neighbors since then. These enraged forces are constituted primarily of Arab Islamists. Gamal Abdel Nasser, leader of Egypt, led a coalition against Israel in 1956. He again was leader in 1967, when he gathered forces to attack again. Israel struck preemptively in an action that initiated the Six Day War.

Egypt’s Anwar El Sadat led yet another coalition of Arab nations against Israel in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Israel totally defeated those forces in every case—forces that outnumbered the Jewish military by millions. Truthful observers of those conflicts must acknowledge that the victories were nothing short of miraculous. Israel won tremendous chunks of territory. The United Nations tried in every case to interfere as Israel’s victories became more and more overwhelming. The UN insisted time after time that Israel give back the land they won. That organization is still populated by nations that hate Israel and consider it an “occupier” of land that doesn’t belong to it. It still insists Israel must return land they don’t rightly own.

But, the God who gave it to His chosen people sees it differently. Israel will one day legitimately reside upon vastly greater portions of that Middle Eastern region. Supernatural power has assured the survival of Israel to this point, despite enemies surrounding it who openly declare they will wipe it from the land.

NEXT: The Gog-Magog Attack


[i] Yoav Frankel, director of the initiative, The Interfaith Encounter Association at the Mishkenot Sha’ananim’s Konrad Adenauer Conference Center in Jerusalem.

[ii] Adam Eliyaho Berkowitz, “Redemption in the Air as Record-Breaking 1,300 Jews Ascend Temple Mount on Ninth of Av, Breaking Israel News,

[iii] Terry James, “Turkey on End-times Table,,

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