Dimensions of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem

The Temple of Jerusalem (Hebrew: בית המקדש, Beit Hamikdash) was the most important sanctuary of the kingdom of Judah, and of Judaism, until its destruction in the year 70.

According to the Bible, it was the only legitimate sanctuary of the Israelite people and contained within it the Ark of the Covenant, an altar of gold, candlesticks of the same metal, a table with sacred bread and other utensils used to carry out the worship of the god Yahweh. It was located on the esplanade of Mount Moriah, in the city of Jerusalem, possibly where the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque are located.

Two successive temples are usually distinguished: the so-called First Temple or Temple of Solomon was built, according to the Bible, by King Solomon to replace the Tabernacle as the only center of worship for the twelve tribes of Israel. Its construction marked a break with the Hebrew tradition according to which the god Yahweh dwelt in a tent, the tabernacle, and not in a house. The historical books of the Bible indicate that it was plundered by Pharaoh Shishak (Sheshonq I) in 925 B.C., desecrated by some of the kings of Judah and destroyed by the Babylonians during the third siege of Nebuchadnezzar II against Jerusalem in 587 B.C. There are no archaeological remains of it.

The Second Temple was completed by Zerubbabel in 515 B.C., when Judea was under Persian sovereignty, during the reign of Darius I and then consecrated by the high priest Ezra. It became the most important building in the city of Jerusalem and Judea, to the point that some authors called the latter a “temple-state”. Place of deposit of great treasures, the Seleucid kings, to whom Judea was subjected, tried to plunder it. In the reign of Antiochus IV Epiphanes it was profaned, becoming a Hellenistic temple possibly consecrated to the god Zeus. After the Maccabean revolt, it was purified and rededicated to the cult of Yahweh by Judas Maccabeus in 165 B.C. At the end of the first century B.C., it was enlarged and rebuilt by King Herod, becoming the focal point of Judaism. In the First Jewish War, it was besieged by the Romans and destroyed by the legions under Titus in 70 A.D. Its main remnant is the Wailing Wall, also known as the Kotel or Western Wall. After a short-lived restoration of Jewish worship during the Bar Kohba revolt in the 2nd century, the area was occupied by a vast complex of Hellenistic sanctuaries built by order of Hadrian, in the city of Aelia Capitolina, which replaced Jerusalem. During the reign of Julian, known as the Apostate by Christians, there was an unsuccessful attempt to rebuild the Temple. In the 7th century, finally and with the city in the hands of the Muslims, the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque were built in the area.

Unveiling of the Historical Tapestry of Jerusalem

Jerusalem, a city steeped in history and sacred significance, stands as a compelling testament to centuries of human civilization. With an intriguing blend of religious, cultural, and historical heritage, Jerusalem has been a focal point for countless civilizations, empires, and faiths. In this article, we will delve into the fascinating history of Jerusalem, exploring its ancient origins, pivotal moments in history, and the enduring appeal that continues to draw visitors from around the world.

The Ancient Origins

Jerusalem’s history can be traced back thousands of years. Archaeological evidence points to human settlements in the region as early as the 4th millennium BC. The city’s strategic location between the Mediterranean Sea and the Dead Sea made it a coveted prize for ancient civilizations, including the Canaanites, Jebusites, and Israelites.

Jerusalem in the Bible

For many, the significance of Jerusalem is deeply intertwined with religious beliefs. The city holds immense importance in the Hebrew Bible, known as the Old Testament, as the site of King Solomon’s Temple and the capital of the ancient kingdom of Israel. Jerusalem is revered as the site of many biblical events, including Abraham’s binding of Isaac, David’s triumph over Goliath, and the construction of the Second Temple.

Jerusalem under Roman rule

Jerusalem’s history took a significant turn with the arrival of the Roman Empire. In 63 BC, the Roman general Pompey conquered Jerusalem, marking the beginning of Roman rule over the region. Jerusalem became a Roman provincial city, and tensions between the Jewish population and the Roman authorities simmered, leading to several uprisings.

Jerusalem’s Crucial Role in Christianity

Jerusalem holds immense significance for Christians around the world. It is widely regarded as the place where Jesus Christ was crucified and resurrected, making it the holiest city in Christianity. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, located in Jerusalem’s Old City, is believed to be the site of Jesus’ crucifixion, burial, and resurrection, and attracts countless pilgrims and worshippers.

Jerusalem’s Islamic Heritage

Jerusalem is also revered as the third holiest city in Islam. The Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, located on the Temple Mount, hold great religious and historical significance for Muslims. According to Islamic tradition, the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven from here during the Night Journey.

Jerusalem through the Ages

Throughout the ages, Jerusalem has witnessed the rise and fall of many empires and civilizations. From Byzantine and Arab rule to the Crusades and the Ottoman Empire, each era left its mark on the city’s architecture, culture, and religious landscape. The diversity of architectural styles, including Byzantine churches, Islamic mosques, and Crusader fortifications, is a testament to Jerusalem’s vibrant past.

The Modern Era

During the 20th century, Jerusalem underwent significant changes. After World War I, the region came under British administration, leading to the establishment of the British Mandate for Palestine. However, the question of Jerusalem’s status remained controversial, with competing claims from Jewish and Arab communities.

Jerusalem today

Today, Jerusalem remains a flashpoint of geopolitical tension and one of the most contested cities in the world. The city is divided into several sectors, including the Old City, East Jerusalem, and West Jerusalem, each with its own distinct character and cultural heritage. Efforts to find a peaceful solution to the complex issues surrounding Jerusalem continue to be a crucial aspect of international diplomacy.

Experiencing Jerusalem

Visiting Jerusalem is a transformative experience for many. The city’s narrow winding streets, bustling markets, and holy sites offer a glimpse into its rich tapestry of history. Whether exploring the Western Wall, walking the Via Dolorosa, or admiring the stunning panoramic views from the Mount of Olives, every corner of Jerusalem is imbued with a sense of awe-inspiring spirituality and historical significance.

Preserving Jerusalem’s Heritage

Preserving Jerusalem’s rich heritage is of paramount importance. Numerous organizations, both local and international, work tirelessly to protect the city’s historic sites, promote interfaith dialogue and foster cultural understanding. Their efforts ensure that future generations will be able to appreciate the timeless appeal of this remarkable city.

The Jewish Religion in Jerusalem

Jerusalem, the holy city of Israel, holds immense significance in the Jewish religion. It is not only the spiritual capital of Judaism, but also a place of historical and cultural significance. In this article, we will explore the rich tapestry of the Jewish religion in Jerusalem, its holy sites, rituals, and the deep connection that Jews have to this revered city.

The Importance of Jerusalem in Judaism

Jerusalem has been a central focus for Jews for thousands of years. It is believed to be the place where God chose to dwell and where the Holy Temple once stood. The Western Wall, also known as the Western Wall or the Kotel, is the holiest site for Jews today. It is a remnant of the ancient Temple and serves as a place of prayer, reflection, and connection to Jewish history and heritage.

The Western Wall: A Place of Prayer and Reflection

The Western Wall is a powerful symbol of Jewish faith and resilience. Jews from around the world come to this holy site to pray, to place written notes in the cracks of the wall, and to find solace in its ancient stones. It is a place where Jews find comfort and connection to their heritage, as well as a symbol of hope and longing for the rebuilding of the Holy Temple.

The Temple Mount: The holiest site in Judaism

The Temple Mount, located in the heart of the Old City of Jerusalem, is the holiest site in Judaism. It is believed to be the place where God’s presence dwells and where the First and Second Temples once stood. However, due to its sensitive political and religious nature, access to the Temple Mount is limited and Jewish prayer is currently restricted. Nevertheless, Jews still visit the site to pay their respects and connect with their spiritual roots.

Synagogues: Places of Worship and Community

Jerusalem is home to numerous synagogues, both ancient and modern, where Jews gather for prayer, study, and fellowship. The Great Synagogue, located in the heart of Jerusalem, is one of the most prominent and largest synagogues in the city. It serves as a place of worship for locals and visitors alike, offering religious services, lectures, and cultural events.

Festivals and Celebrations: Embracing Jewish Tradition

Jerusalem is a city that comes alive with the celebration of Jewish festivals and holidays. During Hanukkah, the city is aglow with lights, and the streets are filled with the joyous sounds of Purim celebrations. Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot are also celebrated with great enthusiasm and reverence.

The Jewish Quarter: A Living Testament to Jewish Heritage

The Jewish Quarter, located in the Old City of Jerusalem, is a vibrant neighborhood that showcases the rich history and heritage of the Jewish people. It is a place where ancient synagogues, archaeological sites and narrow winding streets come together to create a unique atmosphere. Visitors to the Jewish Quarter can explore the Cardo, an ancient Roman marketplace, and visit the Hurva Synagogue, rebuilt after its destruction during the 1948 War of Independence.

Education and Scholarship: Learning in the Holy City

Jerusalem is also a center of Jewish education and scholarship. The city is home to prestigious yeshivas, seminaries, and colleges where students immerse themselves in Jewish texts, traditions, and teachings. These institutions play a vital role in preserving and transmitting Jewish knowledge and ensuring the continuity of Jewish religious and cultural practices.

In Conclusion

A city that has witnessed the rise and fall of empires, the fervor of faith, and the resilience of its people, Jerusalem is a testament to the enduring power of human history and spirituality. Its ancient origins, intertwined religious significance, and complex geopolitical landscape make it a captivating destination for history buffs, pilgrims, and travelers seeking to unravel the mysteries of the past. As Jerusalem continues to face the challenges of the present and embrace its diverse heritage, it remains a beacon of hope, resilience, and unity in an often divided world.


What were the dimensions of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem?

The Temple Mount was originally intended to be 1,600 feet (490 m) wide by 900 feet (270 m) broad by 9 stories high, with walls up to 16 feet (4.9 m) thick, but had never been finished. To complete it, a trench was dug around the mountain, and huge stone “bricks” were laid.

What were the dimensions of the Jewish Temple?

Sanctuary (main chamber)
It measured 40 cubits in length, 20 cubits in width, and 30 cubits in height and contained a candelabrum, a table and a gold-covered altar used for offerings.

What was the layout of the temple in Jerusalem?

It was oblong and consisted of three rooms of equal width: the porch, or vestibule (ʾulam); the main room of religious service, or Holy Place (hekhal); and the Holy of Holies (devir), the sacred room in which the Ark rested. A storehouse (yaẓiʿa) surrounded the Temple except on its front (east) side.

How big was the temple in Jesus day?

forty acres

Herod nearly doubled the size of the Temple Mount from what it was during the period of Solomon, making it in Jesus’ day nearly forty acres.

How large was the Second Temple?

The Second Temple Jerusalem Model recreates the city of 66 CE at the height of its glory; the eve of the great revolt of the Jews against the Romans. The city then stretched over some 450 acres.

How big was the temple Mount?

37 acres

The trapezium shaped platform measures 488 m (1,601 ft) along the west, 470 m (1,540 ft) along the east, 315 m (1,033 ft) along the north and 280 m (920 ft) along the south, giving a total area of approximately 150,000 m2 (37 acres).

What did the temple veil look like?

The veil of the temple was woven from blue, purple, crimson and white thread, and embroidered with cherubim (2 Chron. 3.14); the veil in the tabernacle had been similar, (Exod. 26.31; 36.35), It was a valuable piece of fabric, and both Antiochus and Titus took a veil when they looted the temple (1 Mac.

How tall was the Temple in Jerusalem?

Second Temple

Second Temple Herod’s Temple
Height (max) 45.72 metres (150.0 ft)
Materials Jerusalem limestone
Criteria Second Jewish Temple

What Temple was in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus?

The Herodian temple

The Herodian temple was, as we well know, the chief figure of the city of Jerusalem as Jesus knew it. It was the finest of the three temples which the Jewish nation had possessed.

What happened to the Temple when Jesus was crucified?

The Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 27, mentions that an earthquake coincided with the crucifixion: “And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open.”

How big were the stones in the Second Temple?

The smallest stones weight between 2 to 5 tons and the largest stone of them all – possibly the largest building stone in antiquity – is 13.6 meters long, 4.6 meters thick and 3.3 meters high, and is estimated to weigh 570 tons.

How big were the stones in Solomon’s temple?

The Israel Antiquities Authority said on Sunday experts believe stones as long as 8 meters (24 feet) were extracted from the quarry and then dragged by oxen to building sites in Jerusalem for major projects such as the temple.

Is Solomon’s temple still standing?

No remains from Solomon’s Temple have ever been found. The presumption is that it was destroyed completely and buried during the huge project of building the Second Temple, in Herod’s time.

How many years did Solomon take to build the temple?


Chapter 7 in 1 Kings mentions that Solomon also built a house for himself that took thirteen years to complete, while the temple only took seven.

Is the Second Temple still standing?

Today the Temple Mount, a walled compound within the Old City of Jerusalem, is the site of two magnificent structures: the Dome of the Rock to the north and the Al-Aqsa Mosque to the south. In the southwest stands the Western Wall—a remnant of the Second Temple and the holiest site in Judaism.

What is the rock under the Dome of the Rock?

The Noble Stone‘) is the rock at the center of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. It is also known as the Pierced Stone because it has a small hole on the southeastern corner that enters a cavern beneath the rock, known as the Well of Souls.

Where is the Ark of the Covenant?

Whether it was destroyed, captured, or hidden–nobody knows. One of the most famous claims about the Ark’s whereabouts is that before the Babylonians sacked Jerusalem, it had found its way to Ethiopia, where it still resides in the town of Aksum, in the St. Mary of Zion cathedral.

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