Christogenea Euro Forum Call 04-07-11

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Cyrus took Babylon and issued permission for the rebuilding of the temple at Jerusalem circa 538 BC.

The Judaeans with Zorobabel were hindered in the reign of Cambyses, 529-522 BC, unto the second year of Darius who ascended to the throne in 521 BC. 

Second temple completed in the 6th year of Darius, Ezra 6:5.

Therefore it took no more than 24 years to build the temple of Zorobabel, commonly referred to as the second temple.

46 years to build the temple that stood in time of Christ - John 2:20. This can only refer to the temple of Herod - which must be considered the third temple!

Below is Flavius Josephus' description of "Herod's" temple, which he rebuilt from the foundations. We at Christogenea do not see how such a huge undertaking could be considered a mere "renovation", as some call it, when it is clear that Herod completely rebuilt Zorobabel's temple, in essence creating a "third temple":

Josephus, Antiquities of the Judaeans, 15.11.3 (15:391-402):

391 So Herod took away the old foundations, and laid others, and erected the temple upon them, being in length a hundred cubits, and in height twenty additional cubits, which [twenty], upon the sinking of their foundations {b} fell down; and this part it was that we resolved to raise again in the days of Nero.
392 Now the temple was built of stones that were white and strong, and each of their length was twenty-five cubits, their height was eight, and their breadth about twelve;
393 and the whole structure, as also the structure of the royal cloister, was on each side much lower, but the middle was much higher, till they were visible to those who dwelt in the country for a great many miles, but chiefly to such as lived opposite them, and those who approached to them.
394 The temple had doors also at the entrance, and lintels over them, of the same height with the temple itself. They were adorned with embroidered veils, with their flowers of purple, and pillars interwoven;
395 and over these, but under the crown work, was spread out a golden vine, with its branches hanging down from a great height, the size and fine workmanship of which was a surprising sight to the spectators, to see what vast materials there were, and with what great skill the workmanship was done.
396 He also surrounded the entire temple with very large cloisters, contriving them to be in a due proportion thereto; and he laid out larger sums of money upon them than had been done before him, till it seemed that no one else had so greatly adorned the temple as he had done. There was a large wall to both the cloisters; which wall was itself the most prodigious work that was ever heard of by man.
397 The hill was a rocky ascent, that declined by degrees toward the east parts of the city, till it came to an elevated level.
398 This hill it was which Solomon, who was the first of our kings, by divine revelation, surrounded with a wall; it was of excellent workmanship upwards, and round the top of it. He also built a wall below, beginning at the bottom, which was surrounded by a deep valley; and, at the south side he laid rocks together, and bound them one to another with lead, and included some of the inner parts, till it proceeded to a great height,
399 and till both the size of the square edifice and its height were immense, and till the vastness of the stones in the front were plainly visible on the outside, yet so that the inward parts were fastened together with iron, and preserved the joints immovable for all future times.
400 When this work [for the foundation] was done in this manner, and joined together as part of the hill itself to the very top of it, he wrought it all into one outward surface, and filled up the hollow places which were about the wall, and made it a level on the external upper surface, and a smooth level also. This hill was walled all around, and in length half a mile, [the distance of] each angle containing in length an eighth of a mile:
401 but within this wall, and on the very top of all, there ran another wall of stone also, having, on the east quarter, a double cloister, of the same length with the wall; in the midst of which was the temple itself. This cloister looked to the gates of the temple; and it had been adorned by many kings in former times;
402 and around the entire temple were fixed the spoils taken from barbarous nations; all these had been dedicated to the temple by Herod, with the addition of those he had taken from the Arabians.

Josephus, Antiquities of the Judaeans, 15.11.4 (15:403-409):

403 Now, on the north side [of the temple] was built a citadel, whose walls were square, and strong, and of extraordinary firmness. This citadel was built by the kings of the Asamonean family, who were also high priests before Herod, and they called it the Tower, in which were deposited the vestments of the high priest, which the high priest only put on at the time when he was to offer sacrifice.
404 These vestments King Herod kept in that place; and after his death they were under the power of the Romans, until the time of Tiberius Caesar;
405 under whose reign Vitellius, the governor of Syria, when he once came to Jerusalem, and had been most magnificently received by the multitude, he had a mind to make them some requital for the kindness they had shown him; so, upon their petition to have those holy vestments in their own power, he wrote about them to Tiberius Caesar, who granted his request; and this their power over the sacerdotal vestments continued with the Jews till the death of King Agrippa;
406 but after that, Cassius Longinus, who was governor of Syria, and Cuspius Fadus, who was procurator of Judea, enjoined the Jews to deposit those vestments in the Tower of Antonia,
407 for that they ought to have them in their power, as they formerly had. However, the Jews sent ambassadors to Claudius Caesar, to intercede with him for them; upon whose coming, King Agrippa, junior, being then at Rome, asked for and obtained the power over them from the emperor; who gave command to Vitellius, who was then commander in Syria, to give it to them accordingly.
408 Before that time, they were kept under the seal of the high priest, and of the treasurers of the temple; which treasurers, the day before a festival, went up to the Roman captain of the temple guards, and viewed their own seal, and received the vestments; and again when the festival was over, they brought it to the same place, and showed the captain of the temple guards their seal, which corresponded with his seal, and deposited them there.
409 And that these things were so, the afflictions that happened to us afterward [about them] are sufficient evidence; but for the tower itself, when Herod, the king of the Jews, had fortified it more firmly than before, in order to secure and guard the temple, he gratified Antony, who was his friend, and the Roman ruler, and then gave it the name of the Tower of Antonia.

Josephus, Antiquities of the Judaeans, 15.11.5 (15:410-420):

410 Now, in the western quarters of the enclosure of the temple there were four gates; the first led to the king's palace, and went to a passage over the intermediate valley; two more led to the suburbs of the city; and the last led to the other city, where the road descended down into the valley by a great number of steps, and there up again by the ascent; for the city lay opposite the temple in the manner of a theatre, and was surrounded with a deep valley along the entire south quarter;
411 but the fourth front of the temple, which was southward, had indeed itself gates in its middle, as also it had the royal cloisters, with three walks, which reached in length from the east valley to that on the west, for it was impossible it should reach any farther:
412 and this cloister deserves to be mentioned better than any other under the sun; for while the valley was very deep, and its bottom could not be seen, if you looked from above into the depth, this further vastly high elevation of the cloister stood upon that height, insomuch, that if anyone looked down from the top of the battlements, or down both those heights, he would be giddy, while his sight could not reach to such an immense depth.
413 This cloister had pillars that stood in four rows, one opposite the other all along, for the fourth row was interwoven into the wall, [which also was built of stone;] and the thickness of each pillar was such, that three men might, with their arms extended, fathom it round, and join their hands again, while its length was twenty-seven feet, with a double spiral at its basis;
414 and the number of all the pillars [in that court] was a hundred and sixty-two. Their capitals were made with sculptures after the Corinthian order, and caused an amazement [to the spectators], by reason of the grandeur of the whole.
415 These four rows of pillars included three intervals for walking in the middle of this cloister; two of which walks were made parallel to each other, and were contrived after the same manner; the breadth of each of them was thirty feet, the length was about six hundred feet, and the height fifty feet; but the breadth of the middle part of the cloister was one and a half of the other, and the height was double, for it was much higher than those on each side;
416 but the roofs were adorned with deep sculptures in wood, representing many sorts of figures. The middle was much higher than the rest, and the wall of the front was adorned with beams, resting upon pillars, that were interwoven into it, and that front was all of polished stone, insomuch that its fineness, to such as had not seen it, was incredible, and to such as had seen it, was greatly amazing.
417 Thus was the first enclosure. In the midst of which, and not far from it, was the second, to be gone up to by a few steps: this was surrounded by a stone wall for a partition, with an inscription, which forbade any foreigner to go in under pain of death.
418 Now this inner enclosure had on its southern and northern quarters three gates [equally] distant one from another; but on the east quarter, toward the sunrising, there was one large gate through which such as were pure came in, together with their wives;
419 but the temple further inward in that gate, was not allowed to the women; but still more inward was there a third [court of the] temple, whereinto it was not lawful for any but the priests alone to enter. The temple itself was within this; and before that temple was the altar, upon which we offer our sacrifices and burnt offerings to God.
420 Into none of these three did King Herod enter, {c} for he was forbidden, because he was not a priest. However, he took care of the cloisters and the outer enclosures, and these he built in eight years.
Josephus, Antiquities of the Judaeans, 15.11.6 (15:421-423):

421 But the temple itself was built by the priests in a year and six months, upon which all the people were full of joy; and presently they returned thanks, in the first place, to God; and, in the next place, for the alacrity the king had showed. They feasted and celebrated this rebuilding of the temple:
422 and for the king, he sacrificed three hundred oxen to God, as did the rest, everyone according to his ability: the number of which sacrifices is not possible to set down; for it cannot be that we should truly relate it;
423 for at the same time with this celebration for the work about the temple fell also the day of the king's inauguration, which he kept of an old custom as a festival, and it now coincided with the other, which coincidence of them both made the festival most illustrious.
Josephus, Antiquities of the Judaeans, 15.11.7 (15:424-425):

424 There was also an occult passage built for the king: it led from Antonia to the inner temple, at its eastern gate; over which he also erected for himself a tower, that he might have the opportunity of a subterranean ascent to the temple, in order to guard against any sedition which might be made by the people against their kings.
425 It is also reported, {d} that during the time that the temple was building, it did not rain in the daytime, but that the showers fell in the nights, so that the work was not hindered. And this our fathers have delivered to us; nor is it incredible, if anyone have regard to the manifestations of God. And thus was performed the work of the rebuilding of the temple.

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