The Tabernacle in the Wilderness

God gave Noah a blueprint for building the ark, He also gave Moses a divine design for building a sanctuary on earth. “According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so you shall make it” Exodus 25:9

Solomon's Temple

Long after the Israelites had settled in the Promised Land, King David desired to build a more imposing, permanent, and magnificent sanctuary structure. But because David was a man of war, God chose his son Solomon to build it (See 1 Chronicles 28:1–6 ). It was much larger and more elaborately decorated. The pieces of furniture were also larger and more numerous.

Solomon's Temple
586 B.C.

Solomon's Temple and Jerusalem Destroyed

This temple stood for about 400 years and was eventually destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C.

Ezekiel's Temple

This temple was never built but was rather described in vision by the prophet Ezekiel. (See Ezekiel chapters 40–42.) It was intended to be built after God’s people returned from Babylonian captivity, but it never fully materialized because they never met God’s requirements. Interestingly, archaeologists have uncovered several gates in ancient Judean cities that match the gates described in Ezekiel’s vision

Ezekiel's Temple
Zerubbabel's Temple

The Second Temple or Zerubbabel's Temple

After the Babylonian captivity, the Jews who returned to Jerusalem built a humbler version of Solomon’s temple. (See Ezra chapters 4, 5.) They were met with resistance by nearby enemies, but Zerubbabel, the governor, eventually succeeded in erecting a new building of lesser quality than Solomon’s. Moreover, the Most Holy Place was empty, for the ark of the covenant was—according to some sources—hidden away in a cave near Jerusalem, not to be found. This temple, sometimes referred to as the Second Temple, stood for about 500 years until the time of Herod.

Herod's Temple

During the reign of Herod the Great (circa 73–4 bc), a Roman client king of Judea, the Second Temple was refurbished and expanded. Considered a masterpiece of Herod’s grand construction projects, the expansion was built on the Temple Mount, a plaza that covered 144,000 square meters—the equivalent of 29 American football fields.

Herod's Temple
70 A.D.

Herod's Temple and Jerusalem Destroyed

In AD 70, Roman legions under the command of Titus besieged and captured Jerusalem. They destroyed the city and the Second Temple, as Jesus had predicted