Beginning with King Solomon, we know that God approved of him building the 2nd Temple in Jerusalem, as can be deduced by God’s promise to Solomon and by the Spirit of God taking up residence in the newly built structure:
1 Kings 6:11-13 “Now the word of the Lord came to Solomon, “Concerning this house that you are building, if you will walk in my statutes and obey my rules and keep all my commandments and walk in them, then I will establish my word with you, which I spoke to David your father. And I will dwell among the children of Israel and will not forsake my people Israel.”
1 Kings 8:1 “Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, the leaders of the fathers 'houses of the people of Israel, before King Solomon in Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord out of the city of David, which is Zion.”
Now drop down to 1 Kings 8:10, 11 “And when the priests came out of the Holy Place, a cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord.” This seems to me to signal God's "approval" in the matter.
Also, Solomon’s prayer to God confirms that Jerusalem is the very spot that God approved of: 1 Kings 8:44, 45 ““If your people go out to battle against their enemy, by whatever way you shall send them, and they pray to the Lord toward the city that you have chosen and the house that I have built for your name, then hear in heaven their prayer and their plea, and maintain their cause.””
That the 3rd Temple building will likely be built in the exact same spot as the 2nd Temple in Jerusalem (the one that was destroyed in 70 AD), can be strongly assumed by looking at a few New Testament scripture passages:
Matt 24:1, 2 “Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”
Now skip down to the future prophecy of Matt 24:15, 16 ““So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.”
I believe the “holy place” Yeshua (Jesus) spoke of was the very same Temple reference in the opening verses of this chapter. Likewise, Paul referenced Yeshua’s very prophecy when he stated in 2 Thess 2:1-4 “Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so- called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.”
Finally, although in a vision, John the Revelator nevertheless also spoke of a 3rd Temple in Jerusalem (the holy city) in his prophecy of Rev 11:1, 2 “Then I was given a measuring rod like a staff, and I was told, “Rise and measure the temple of God and the altar and those who worship there, but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty- two months.” Revelation was penned in the mid 90’s so the 2nd Temple had already been destroyed some 20 years prior.
In conclusion, while I cannot be dogmatic since there is no scripture stating this explicitly (the Revelation passage mentioned probably comes closest), nevertheless, I think a very strong case can me made for the 3rd Temple being built on the exact spot where the 2nd Temple stood.
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