Bar Kochba's Temple?

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Kris
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Bar Kochba's Temple?

Post by Kris » Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:27 am

Does anybody think that Bar Kochba may have actually built a temple? I saw this article below and it does seem to provide some interesting "evidence" that may support the thought that he did:


http://www.biblestudytools.com/commenta ... emple.html



What do you think? Does anybody know of any more information on this?

andrewcriddle
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Re: Bar Kochba's Temple?

Post by andrewcriddle » Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:45 am

The Sibylline Oracles passage seems to be a messianic prophecy rather than a reference to (past) historical events.

When Julian refers to the temple as overthrown three times he refers to the events under Nebuchadnezzar Antiochus and Vespasian.

Some of the other material is very late.

Andrew Criddle

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MrMacSon
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Re: Bar Kochba's Temple?

Post by MrMacSon » Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:06 pm

Kris wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:27 am
Does anybody think that Bar Kochba may have actually built a temple? I saw this article below and it does seem to provide some interesting "evidence" that may support the thought that he did:

http://www.biblestudytools.com/commenta ... emple.html

What do you think? Does anybody know of any more information on this?
16.5.6. Bar Kochba’s Temple

It has been suggested from various evidences that the Temple was rebuilt during the Bar Kokhba1 revolt (A.D. 132) and later destroyed by Hadrian (A.D. 135). [Randall] Price mentions the following evidence in support of this possibility:2
  1. A passage in the Sibylline Oracles (5:414-417, 420-422) may suggest this possibility.
  2. A Midrash (Exodus Rabbah 51:5) indicates that Hadrian entered the Holy of Holies which would not have been possible without a rebuilt templea.
  3. The seventh-century Byzantine historian known as Chronicum Paschale records that “Hadrian tore down the Temple of the Jews in Jerusalem” in his History of the Jews.
  4. A fourth-century Roman emperor Julian in his Fragment of a Letter to a Priest, in A.D. 362 records: “What have they [the Jews] to say about their own temple, which was overthrown three times and even now is not being raised up again?” [emphasis added]
  5. Coins minted by Bar Kokhba bear an image of the Holy Temple—an unusual practice for Jews if the Temple had not existedb.
  6. Evidence of the resumption of the sacrificial systemc (Sanhedrin 11b) following the Second Temple’s destruction.
  7. Archaeological measurements of the elevated platform upon which the Dome of the Rock are said to indicate dimensions commensurate with the Messianic Temple of Ezekield rather than the dimensions of the second Temple. Since Bar Kokhba was proclaimed as Messiah and Messiah was expected to build Ezekiel’s Temple, then perhaps the platform is the remains of the Temple of Bar Kokhba.
Although Rabbi Akiva had proclaimed Bar Kokhba as king messiah, this messianic hopeful was eventually killed and the revolt bearing his name was put down and the Temple Mount left without a Jewish Temple.

Notes
1 “His original name was probably Bar Koseva, and it is doubtful whether it was derived from a settlement in the Judean mountains or whether it indicates his father’s name or a general family name. The appellation Bar Kokhba was apparently given to him during the revolt on the basis of the homiletical interpretation, in a reference to messianic expectations, of the verse (Num. Num. 24:17): ‘There shall step forth a star [כּוֹכָב [kôḵāḇ] , kokhav] out of Jacob.’ Bar Kokhba was general midrashic designation for the ‘king messiah’ (see Messiah), and customarily used before the destruction of Jerusalem.”—Geoffrey Wigoder, ed., Encyclopedia Judaica CDROM Edition Version 1.0 (Keter Publishing House, Ltd., 1997), s.v. “BAR KOKHBA.”

2 Randall Price, The Coming Last Days Temple (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1999), 90-96.
a. Hadrian followed at least one religion, the cult of Serapis; he had a Serapium (may people in those days followed more than one; eg. the Imperial Cult, a Roman religion, a mystery religion, etc). Could the term 'Holy of Holies' have also been used in places of worship of religions other than Judaism? or have been later co-opted to refer to other previously non-Jewish religious practices or places?

b. 'Coins minted by Bar Kokhba bear[ing] an image of the Holy Temple' would seem to be significant, as does -

c. 'resumption of the sacrificial system', and

d. 'dimensions [of the elevated platform being] commensurate with the Messianic Temple of Ezekiel'

andrewcriddle
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Re: Bar Kochba's Temple?

Post by andrewcriddle » Sat Jul 22, 2017 1:42 am

MrMacSon wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:06 pm

a. Hadrian followed at least one religion, the cult of Serapis; he had a Serapium (may people in those days followed more than one; eg. the Imperial Cult, a Roman religion, a mystery religion, etc). Could the term 'Holy of Holies' have also been used in places of worship of religions other than Judaism? or have been later co-opted to refer to other previously non-Jewish religious practices or places?

b. 'Coins minted by Bar Kokhba bear[ing] an image of the Holy Temple' would seem to be significant, as does -

c. 'resumption of the sacrificial system', and

d. 'dimensions [of the elevated platform being] commensurate with the Messianic Temple of Ezekiel'
The passage in Exodus Rabbah
R. Simeon b. Yohai said: When Hadrian entered the Holy of Holies, he showed great arrogance and blasphemed God.
must in context refer to the entry of Hadrian into a Jewish Holy of Holies. Hiwever this is a very late work after 1000 CE.

The passage in Sanhedrin 11b in which Rabban Gamaliel writes letters to various Jewish communities assumes that tithes are still being collected. This does not imply that tithes were being brought to a functioning Temple in Jerusalem See Traditions of Rabbis
Judaism

Andrew Criddle

iskander
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Re: Bar Kochba's Temple?

Post by iskander » Sat Jul 22, 2017 3:36 am

Kris wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:27 am
Does anybody think that Bar Kochba may have actually built a temple? I saw this article below and it does seem to provide some interesting "evidence" that may support the thought that he did:


http://www.biblestudytools.com/commenta ... emple.html



What do you think? Does anybody know of any more information on this?

War, massacre, destruction, is all that Kochba ever did:
The Bar Kochba revolt.[6] In this final attempt at forcing the Romans out of
Judea, Bar Kochba and thousands of his loyalists led a massive revolt the devastated the Roman economy for years. Between 132-135 CE, Shimon Bar Kochba (whose real name was Shimon bar Kosiba; he likely changed his name to “Son of a Star” to give himself some messianic mystique)[7] brought major disaster upon the Jews living in Roman Palestine when his rebellion against Rome turned sour and scores of thousands of Jews were killed.
The coins are the product of propaganda fitting the claim of an invincible messiah :
The possibility that Kochba saw himself as an inheritor of the Maccabean tradition is strengthened by the images on his coinage, which included images of the temple and objects associated with the temple, such as trumpets, palm branches, and lyres, and had
the coins inscribed with phrases such as “For the Freedom of Jerusalem.” These images on his own coin were a clear statement that he saw himself as a military figure protected by divine favor.
Uncovering the Truth About Chanukah
Malka Z. Simkovich

http://thetorah.com/uncovering-the-trut ... -chanukah/

neilgodfrey
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Re: Bar Kochba's Temple?

Post by neilgodfrey » Sat Jul 22, 2017 5:16 am

It's an interesting question and I came to the uncertain conclusion that we would learn more about the sympathies and interests of anyone who believed the debatable evidence decided the matter either way than we would learn about what actually happened.

John2
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Re: Bar Kochba's Temple?

Post by John2 » Sat Jul 22, 2017 7:24 pm

Yes, it's a hard (perhaps even impossible) call, but I'm presently leaning towards the idea that Bar Kokhba did not capture Jerusalem (and thus could not have rebuilt the Temple).

As Harkabi writes regarding some of the evidence:
Bar Kokhba had several successes, most preeminently, according to the accepted view, the conquest of Jerusalem. The Jewish sources have no mention of a conquest of Jerusalem nor of a reconquest by the Romans. For such an achievement by Bar Kokhba, the primary evidence has been the coins on which the name Jerusalem is impressed. From numismatic findings, however, we learn that while numerous "Kuzbi coins" (as they were called by the sages) have been discovered in the Hills of Judea and in Hebron, only one from the time of Bar Kokhba was identified among the approximately 15,000 uncovered since 1967 in the excavations of Jerusalem. it seems likely that had there been a garrison from Bar Kokhba's army in Jerusalem, or had Jewish resettlement there commenced, there would remain a quantity of Kuzbi coins. Thus some scholars have proposed that Jerusalem was not conquered and that the expression on the coins, "For the freedom of Jerusalem," served as a slogan in the struggle, a goal to which the Jews aspired.

https://books.google.com/books?id=rb00W ... em&f=false
I cannot find the passage from Exodus Rabbah (51:5) that mentions that Hadrian entered the Holy of Holies, so I can't check the context, but offhand I recall that Hadrian has been mixed up with Titus in rabbinic literature, and I found this interesting comment about that here in a discussion of a poet who also mentions Hadrian entering the Holy of Holies.
Later commentaries on this qinah apply the first line to Titus instead of Hadrian, who when he cut through the curtain of the Holy of Holies and blood burst forth, thought he had killed himself (Mateh Levi, citing a version of the story of Titus found in Bamidbar Rabba 18:22, Tanhuma Huqat 1).

https://www.bc.edu/content/dam/files/re ... -hateh.htm
You can't overlook the lack, Jack, of any other highway to ride, it's got no signs or dividing lines and very few rules to guide.

John2
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Re: Bar Kochba's Temple?

Post by John2 » Sat Jul 22, 2017 8:44 pm

I'm looking for other examples of the confusion of emperors in rabbinic writings while I still have a little time at work and so far I've found only this:
...this statement [in Avot of Rabbi Nathan] confuses Vespasian with Titus, while other passages confound him with Hadrian, or even with Nebuchanezzar.

https://books.google.com/books?id=VDwyA ... sh&f=false


So perhaps something like this is the case in Exodus Rabbah 51:5 as well (and I want to see the entire passage in question).
You can't overlook the lack, Jack, of any other highway to ride, it's got no signs or dividing lines and very few rules to guide.

semiopen
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Re: Bar Kochba's Temple?

Post by semiopen » Sun Jul 23, 2017 7:45 am

Another Jewish Encyclopedia article regarding the historical accuracy of the Talmud - ANTONINUS IN THE TALMUD: http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/artic ... the-talmud
The account in the Talmud is legendary, not historical, and no heed is given to details, or difficulties of a chronological or psychological nature. The traditional religious discussions between Hadrian and Joshua ben Hananiah, between Akiba and Tinnius Rufus, between Shabur I. and Samuel Yarḥinai, as well as the legendary interviews between Alexander the Great and the high priest Simon, or between Ptolemy and the priest Eleazar, may serve as parallels to the various Antonine legends. Jewish folk-lore loved to personify the relations of Judaism with heathendom in the guise of conversations between Jewish sages and heathen potentates.
Figuring that there was no relationship between what was written and reality in relatively contemporaneous events, basing any kind of argument on the historical accuracy of the Talmud is difficult.

I'm not overwhelmed with the intellect of the author of the link in the OP.

Kris
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Re: Bar Kochba's Temple?

Post by Kris » Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:36 am

Does anyone think it is possible that he at least reinstated some sacrifices during his rule (if he ruled?) there seems to be mention of this via Maimonides?

Kris

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