Rebuilding the Temple in Jerusalem

In this board’s long tradition of asking Jewish questions just as the Sabbath is starting, I have one.

There’s a list of criteria that must be fulfilled to properly rebuild the Temple. From what I’ve read, it’s generally considered impossible, or something only the Messiah can accomplish.

But the Temple was rebuilt once before. How was that accomplished? Why was the rebuilder at that time not consider the Messiah?

I’ve read through several Wikipedia articles, but they don’t answer these theological questions.

Here is my bit, from Wiki:

Let’s home some more knowledgeable than I shows up before it gets dark. :slight_smile:

Here’s what I know.

The Second Temple was built after the Babylonian exile. Most of the Hebrew Scriptures were written (or at least claims to have been written) before that time. So any biblical reference to a third temple coming in the messianic period would have to have been written in one of the few books written after the rebuilding of the temple (I’m only aware of Daniel fitting this criterion, the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical books are not accepted by the Jews).

The Second Temple remained standing from its completion to its destruction in 70AD. In the second century BC, the temple was desecrated by the Greeks and had to be rededicated.

The concept that the Messiah will build a third temple seems to have come from the commentary Laws of Kings, Ch 11, law 4, but I can’t trace it any further.

Well, one significant issue is that there is one particular site on which the Temple would, AFAIK, need to be (re-)built, and that site is holy to Muslims for a quite separate reason (it’s the earthly point whence Mohammed ascended to Heaven, according to their teachings, the which is commemorated by the Dome of the Rock, second only to the Qa’aba among Islamic holy places). This places a large practical barrier in the way.

A couple of questions for knowledgeable Jews: 1. Is He Who Restores the Temple ipso facto the Messiah according to Jewish eschatologocial thought? 2. Also according to Jewish eschatology, what are the prerequisites for restoration of the Temple?

No, rebuilding the temple is just one of the requirements to be declared the Messiah. The Messiah has to:

  1. Be a king
  2. Be of David’s line
  3. Study the Torah
  4. Observe the commandments
  5. Make the nation observe the commandments
  6. Fight wars for God against the enemies of God

If he does those, he’s the presumed Messiah. Then, there are four more requirements for the presumed Messiah.

  1. He has to be successful in the wars
  2. He has to defeat all of Israel’s neighbors
  3. He has to build the temple.
  4. He has to bring the Jews around the world back to Israel.

If he does all of those things, then he’s the Messiah.

I was wondering about the various Leviticus requirements, like having someone who can plausibly claim to be a Levite serve as priest, the red heifer necessary to be a proper sacrifice, etc.

They can identify members of the tribe of Levi by how many folks named “Levy” have similar DNA.

Hmm- does the modern State of Israel have a contingency for kingship?

“He’s not the Messiah; he’s a very naughty boy!”

No. But the modern State of Israel was founded by non-religious secular Jewish socialists who didn’t see any use of waiting patiently for some sort of future divinely ordained king.

Isn’t anyone from the house of David qualified to be king?

Any Jew in the male line from David, yes.

Mrs. Plant points out that to be King, one must be anointed by a prophet. There can be no prophets because there is no temple. There can be no temple until mashiach builds it. There can be no mashiach until he is annointed King…

This is referred to as Catch-Kaph-Beth in the Talmud of Yossarian. :slight_smile:

Don’t forget, American ranchers are hard at work on thatflawless red heifer.

Ah, yes, the Yossarian Talmud. Definitely Reform.

How does one determine whether or not he’s descended from the Davidian line?

What, you want to run for King already?

One traces his genealogy back to David, or back to somebody who can trace his geneology back to David.

Although, there’s also a tradition that Elijah will come back and identify him.

Yeah, it sounds like a pretty good job. Besides, I think if I quit this advertising gig I’ve got going on to be King, my dad would understand.

Also, cool hats.

I’ve got a friend named Elijah who I think will vouch for me. Think that’ll count?
I’d need a full accounting of the required scriptural components (excluding all traditional or cultural ones) to becoming the Messiah before I can determine whether or not I can determine a reasonable scenario under which all the requirements can be filled (either by me, or an individual which I was to put into that position). This may be a task next at hand.