Bar Kochba's Temple?

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semiopen
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Re: Bar Kochba's Temple?

Post by semiopen » Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:51 am

A quick search for Bar Kokhba, Maimonides and sacrifices didn't yield anything.

This book looks interesting - The Image of Bar Kokhba in Traditional Jewish Literature: False Messiah and National Hero - https://books.google.com/books?id=-pQzV ... ce&f=false

Nothing about sacrifices.

My buddies at Chabad give this - Laws Concerning Kings and the Messiah http://www.chabad.org/library/moshiach/ ... essiah.htm
Do not think that the Messianic King will have to perform signs and wonders and bring about novel things in the world, or resurrect the dead, and other such things. It is not so.18 This is seen from the fact that Rabbi Akiva was a great sage, of the sages of the Mishnah, and he was an armor-bearer of King Bar Koziba19 and said of him that he is the Messianic King: [R. Akiva] and all the wise men of his generation considered him to be the Messianic King until [Bar Koziba] was killed because of sins, and when he was killed they realized that he was not;20 but the sages had not asked him for any sign or wonder.
One really has to wonder how much of the Rabbi Akiba stories are bullshit. Take the Ten_Martyrs for example:
This poem is best known as part of the Yom Kippur mussaf recital in the Ashkenazi ritual. This was made part of these services because of the impact losing so many pillars of Judaism would have to the masses. As such, it has become one of the 'highlights' of the day, marking a point when the congregation should reflect on their own lives and the sacrifices that were made for their sake.
Rabbi Akiba is one of the martyrs so one might think there is some relationship of the story to the Bar_Kokhba_revolt.
According to a Rabbinic midrash, in addition to Bar Kokhba himself, the Romans executed eight leading members of the Sanhedrin (The list of Ten Martyrs include two earlier Rabbis): R. Akiva; R. Hanania ben Teradion; the interpreter of the Sanhedrin, R. Huspith; R. Eliezer ben Shamua; R. Hanina ben Hakinai; R. Jeshbab the Scribe; R. Yehuda ben Dama; and R. Yehuda ben Baba. The Rabbinic account describes agonizing tortures: R. Akiva was flayed with iron combs, R. Ishmael had the skin of his head pulled off slowly, and R. Hanania was burned at a stake, with wet wool held by a Torah scroll wrapped around his body to prolong his death.[49]
Guess that means that there is a small possibility that 80% of the story is true - at least as far as the victim list goes. The Jewish Encyclopedia doesn't mention Bar Kokhba in their article on this -

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/artic ... rs-the-ten

There are many fascinating aspects to Bar Kokhba, seems like the third temple is not one of them.

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DCHindley
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Re: Bar Kochba's Temple?

Post by DCHindley » Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:34 pm

semi,

Christians have that little (OK, looong) speech of the martyr Stephen in Acts 7:2-50, which seems to be based upon a work that reasoned that Israelites really did not need a temple, since a portable shrine under a tent was sufficient until David's (supposed) time. Vs. 51 is pure hate directed by a Christian towards Judeans, but vss. 2-50 are rather respectful to traditional Israelite history, and I really don't detect anything overtly "Christian" about it.

For a good while I just figured this passage was a Christian rationalization for the loss of a temple so central to Judean worship, almost a brag that Christians have transcended the need for such a thing. Yet, I am not fully convinced. I'd almost entertain the idea that perhaps Bar Kochba never tried to rebuild a temple, or at least was content to have a tent shrine/alter until they were in a position to build a proper one.

But he issued coins with a temple image on them. Maybe G-d was going to supply it from heaven once the battle was won.

DCH

John2
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Re: Bar Kochba's Temple?

Post by John2 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:36 pm

I found something about Maimonides, Bar Kokhba and the Temple here:
And the NInth of Av: five things happened to [Israel]. The decree was issued upon Israel in the wilderness that it should not enter the Land. The Temple was destroyed the first and second times. A great city named Betar was captured, and in it were thousands and myriads of Israelites, and they had a great king (melekh gadol) whom all Israel and the sages thought was the King Messiah, but he fell into the hands of the Romans and all of them were slain, and it was a calamity as great as the destruction of the Temple. And on that day destined for misfortune, Turnus Rufus the Wicked plowed up the Temple and it's surroundings, in fulfillment of what was said: Zion shall be plowed as a field (Micah 3:12; Jer. 26:18).

https://books.google.com/books?id=a0q3v ... le&f=false
As Marks notes about this, "Although Maimonides does not name the "great king" of Betar, the reference to Ben Koziva is obvious."

And the reference to Turnus Rufus plowing up the Temple and its surroundings is curious, since he is said to have been governor during the time of the Bar Kokhba war, and someone named Rufus is said to have been governor during the first century CE who plowed the Temple after the 66-70 CE war.
Governor of Judea in the first century of the common era. Jerome, on Zech. viii. 16, has "T. Annius Rufus," and the editor, Vallarsi, conjectures that the full prænomen is "Tyrannius," a name which would correspond to the of Jewish tradition. Rufus was governor at the time of the outbreak of the Bar Kokba war (Eusebius, "Hist. Eccl." iv. 6, § 1; idem, "Chronicon," ed. Schoene, ii. 166). The course of this struggle is described under Bar Kokba; it is, therefore, only necessary to mention here the fact that Rufus took a prominent part in the conflict, as appears from the works of Eusebius. He was unable, however, to withstand the vigorous onslaught of the Jews, so that Publicius Marcellus, the governor of Syria, and later Julius Severus, the most prominent Roman general of the time, had to be sent against them.

Rufus is not mentioned again until the suppression of the insurrection, when it is said (Eusebius, "Hist. Eccl." iv. 6, § 1) that on the plea of martial law he cleared the land of the Jews of its inhabitants. An insult to Judaism which left a deep impression on the minds of the survivors was the plowing up of the Temple mount, which is expressly designated as the deed of Rufus (Ta'an. iv. 6; comp. Baraita Ta'an. 29a; Jerome on Zech. viii. 19: "aratum templum in ignominiam gentis oppressæ a T. Annio Rufo").

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/artic ... us-tineius
According to the Jewish historian Josephus, a certain Terentius Rufus (sic) was left to command the Roman army in Jerusalem after the Romans had sacked the city in 68 CE, during the First Jewish Revolt. When the arch-enemy Simon bar Giora was eventually caught and brought to him after hiding in an underground cavern in Jerusalem's Temple Mount, Terentius Rufus ordered that the Temple Mount be ploughed up in hopes of discovering other hideaways from the war. Whether this Terentius Rufus refers to the same Quintus Tineius Rufus who was made Consul suffectus some 59 years later is reasonably doubted.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quintus_T ... onsul_127)
So that's a head scratcher. I suppose if they were separate people and Rambam is referring to the latter one, then this could be evidence (however late) that Bar Kokhba rebuilt the Temple. In any event, Jerusalem is said to have been plowed after the 66-70 CE war according to Josephus and again after the Bar Kokhba war according to other sources (both times, apparently, by somebody named Rufus).
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Re: Bar Kochba's Temple?

Post by John2 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:06 pm

I don't see any reference in Josephus to a Rufus plowing up the Temple (maybe I missed it), but one is said to have been "left to command the army" in Jerusalem in War 7.2.1, just after the description of the destruction of Jerusalem in chapter 1. And to make things more confusing, Whiston's footnote for him says:
This Tereutius Rufus, as Reland in part observes here, is the same person whom the Talmudists call Turnus Rufus; of whom they relate, that "he ploughed up Sion as a field, and made Jerusalem become as heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high Idaces of a forest;" which was long before foretold by the prophet Micah, ch. 3:12, and quoted from him in the prophecies of Jeremiah, ch. 26:18.


So maybe we are back in the Rabbinic land of confusion again (or maybe Rambam is referring to the earlier Rufus).
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Re: Bar Kochba's Temple?

Post by John2 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:36 pm

I need to check the Rabbinic sources about Rufus, but in favor of the latter option is Makkot 24b, which cites Micah 3:12 in reference to the site of the Temple being in ruins when Rabbi Akiba visited Jerusulem before the Bar Kokhba war.
The Gemara relates another incident involving those Sages. On another occasion they were ascending to Jerusalem after the destruction of the Temple. When they arrived at Mount Scopus and saw the site of the Temple, they rent their garments in mourning, in keeping with halakhic practice. When they arrived at the Temple Mount, they saw a fox that emerged from the site of the Holy of Holies. They began weeping, and Rabbi Akiva was laughing. They said to him: For what reason are you laughing? Rabbi Akiva said to them: For what reason are you weeping? They said to him: This is the place concerning which it is written: “And the non-priest who approaches shall die” (Numbers 1:51), and now foxes walk in it; and shall we not weep?

Rabbi Akiva said to them: That is why I am laughing, as it is written, when God revealed the future to the prophet Isaiah: “And I will take to Me faithful witnesses to attest: Uriah the priest, and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah” (Isaiah 8:2). Now what is the connection between Uriah and Zechariah? He clarifies the difficulty: Uriah prophesied during the First Temple period, and Zechariah prophesied during the Second Temple period, as he was among those who returned to Zion from Babylonia. Rather, the verse established that fulfillment of the prophecy of Zechariah is dependent on fulfillment of the prophecy of Uriah.

In the prophecy of Uriah it is written: “Therefore, for your sake Zion shall be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become rubble, and the Temple Mount as the high places of a forest” (Micah 3:12), where foxes are found. There is a rabbinic tradition that this was prophesied by Uriah. In the prophecy of Zechariah it is written: “There shall yet be elderly men and elderly women sitting in the streets of Jerusalem” (Zechariah 8:4). Until the prophecy of Uriah with regard to the destruction of the city was fulfilled I was afraid that the prophecy of Zechariah would not be fulfilled, as the two prophecies are linked. Now that the prophecy of Uriah was fulfilled, it is evident that the prophecy of Zechariah remains valid. The Gemara adds: The Sages said to him, employing this formulation: Akiva, you have comforted us; Akiva, you have comforted us.

https://www.sefaria.org/Makkot.24b.5?la ... l&lang2=en
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semiopen
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Re: Bar Kochba's Temple?

Post by semiopen » Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:22 am

John2 wrote:
Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:36 pm
I found something about Maimonides, Bar Kokhba and the Temple here:
And the NInth of Av: five things happened to [Israel]. The decree was issued upon Israel in the wilderness that it should not enter the Land. The Temple was destroyed the first and second times. A great city named Betar was captured, and in it were thousands and myriads of Israelites, and they had a great king (melekh gadol) whom all Israel and the sages thought was the King Messiah, but he fell into the hands of the Romans and all of them were slain, and it was a calamity as great as the destruction of the Temple. And on that day destined for misfortune, Turnus Rufus the Wicked plowed up the Temple and it's surroundings, in fulfillment of what was said: Zion shall be plowed as a field (Micah 3:12; Jer. 26:18).

https://books.google.com/books?id=a0q3v ... le&f=false
As Marks notes about this, "Although Maimonides does not name the "great king" of Betar, the reference to Ben Koziva is obvious."
That's interesting, but I don't see a mention of a third temple or sacrifices, as the reference to Turnus Rufus seems to be referring to the second temple (that day)

Jewish studies Mainmonides specialists would probably be able to give a definite answer.

It might be pointed out that Maimonides is writing a millenium or so after these events and therefore any mention has no credibility.

Speaking of obscure Maimonides quotes, I read somewhere that he knew Ana Bekoach - http://thejewishhome.org/volvi/Ana%20BeKoach.pdf
The Ana BeKoach prayer was written in the first century by a great kabalistic Rabbi -
Rabbbi Nehunia Ben Hakannah, zs'kl. The mystical prayer was written according to the
seventy names of HaShem and is composed of seven lines, with six words in each line.
The first letter of every word is taken, creating the 42-letter name corresponding to one of
the Holy Names of HaShem. The initial letters of each word also refer to this Holy Name.
The combination of Ana BeKoach is hidden in the first 42 letters of the book of Genesis
(from the first word Bereshit to the word Vavohoo הארץ ואת, השמים את, אלהים ברא, בראשית
ובהו תהו היתה, והארץ .(The letters are translated using a secret kabalistic calculation. The
Kabbalists consider the prayer Ana BeKoa'ach to be the most mystical and powerful of
all and has the power to overpower Klipat Ishmael.
Since, the first century origin legend is pretty dubious, it really surprised me that it might have been around even 1000 years later. However, I was unable to find the reference by Maimonides - doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

If Maimonides knew that prayer, that would be important; relating some BS about Bar Kokhba not so much.

John2
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Re: Bar Kochba's Temple?

Post by John2 » Thu Aug 03, 2017 11:02 am

semiopen wrote:
That's interesting, but I don't see a mention of a third temple or sacrifices, as the reference to Turnus Rufus seems to be referring to the second temple (that day).
I'm inclined to see it that way now too, but the reference to Rufus plowing up the Temple in Ta'anit 29a associates it with Rabban Gamaliel, and I'm not sure which one it could be. The first is said to have died in the mid-first century CE, the second is said to have died duirng the 66-70 CE war, and the third is said to have lived during the Bar Kokhba war.

Ta'anit 29a:
The mishna taught that on the Ninth of Av the city of Jerusalem was plowed. It is taught in a baraita: When the wicked Turnus Rufus plowed the Sanctuary, a decree was issued against Rabban Gamliel for execution. A certain Roman officer came and stood in the study hall and said surreptitiously: The man with the nose is wanted; the man with the nose is wanted. This was a hint that Rabban Gamliel, who stood out in his generation like a nose protruding from a face, was sought by the government. Rabban Gamliel heard and went into hiding.

The Roman officer went to him in private, and said to him: If I save you from death, will you bring me into the World-to-Come? Rabban Gamliel said to him: Yes. The officer said to Rabban Gamliel: Swear to me. He swore to him. The officer ascended to the roof, fell, and died. And the Romans had a tradition that when they issued a decree and one of their advisors died, they would cancel the decree. The officer’s sacrifice saved Rabban Gamliel’s life. A Divine Voice emerged and said: That officer is designated for the life of the World-to-Come.

https://www.sefaria.org/Taanit.29a.15?lang=bi


Here is a reference to the first two Gamaliels:
Simeon ben Gamliel (I) (Hebrew: שמעון בן גמליאל‎‎ or רשב"ג הראשון, c. 10 BCE – 70 CE) was a Tanna sage and leader of the Jewish people. He succeeded his father Gamliel I as the nasi of the Sanhedrin after his father's death in 50 CE and just before the destruction of the Second Temple. According to Josephus Flavius he was killed by the Zealots during the civil war that accompanied the Jewish Revolt of 66-70 AD.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simeon_ben_Gamliel
And here is a reference to the third (presumably).

Gittin 58a:
Rab Judah reported Samuel as saying in the name of Rabban Simeon b. Gamaliel; What is signified by the verse, Mine eye affecteth my soul, because of all the daughters of my city? There were four hundred synagogues in the city of Bethar, and in every one were four hundred teachers of children, and each one had under him four hundred pupils, and when the enemy entered there they pierced them with their staves, and when the enemy prevailed and captured them, they wrapped them in their scrolls and burnt them with fire.
Which one is Ta'anit 29a referring to? The only one who appears to have been alive when the Temple was plowed up in 70 CE is the third one.
Simeon (or Shimon) ben Gamliel II (Hebrew: רבן שמעון בן גמליאל השני) was a Tanna of the third generation and president of the Great Sanhedrin. Shimon was a youth in Betar when the Bar Kokhba revolt broke out, but when that fortress was taken by the Romans he managed to escape the massacre (Gittin 58a; Sotah 49b; Bava Kamma 83a; Yer. Ta'anit 24b).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simeon_ben_Gamliel_II
The chronology of the three doesn't seem to be clear, as discussed here:
The Ten Martyrs liturgy describes Rabbi Yishmael the High Priest and Raban [=nasi or "chief rabbi"] Shimon ben Gamliel as killed by the Romans at the same time. Rabbi Yishmael served as cohen gadol in the Temple's last years (~70 CE), and was killed some times afterwards.

If my understanding of the period is correct, around the year 60-something, it was Raban Gamliel who was nasi, but he fled Jerusalem for Yavneh, leaving Raban Yochanan ben Zakai as emergency (acting?) nassi; Raban Yochanan ben Zakai led the people during the destruction, including negotiating for Raban Gamliel's safety. It seems that a few decades later (the "classic" Mishnaic period), Raban Yochanan has given back his title; Raban Gamliel is nasi in Yavneh; and Rabbi Akiva (who had been a young barely-literate man around the year 70) has just emerged as a scholar.

So who was this Raban Shimon ben Gamliel who was martyred sometime between oh, 70 and 100 CE? Raban Gamliel's father? He would have been an old man, and a retired nasi. Is that right?

The most widespread opinion is that it was indeed the first Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel (father of Rabban Gamliel of Yavneh), and that the Romans killed him (along with R' Yishmael) during, or shortly after, the destruction of the Beis Hamikdash - i.e., around 3830 (70 CE). The chronology of the nesi'im, then, would be something like this:

•Rabban Gamliel Hazaken (d. around 3810 / 50 CE)

•Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel (martyred in 3830 / 70 CE)

•Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai (acting nassi, d. around 3835 / 75 CE)

•Rabban Gamliel of Yavneh (d. around 3880 / 120 CE)

The problem with this is that all of the other eight of the Ten Martyrs were contemporaries of R' Gamliel of Yavneh or of his son, Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel II, and were killed during Hadrian's persecutions in the aftermath of Bar Kochba's revolt (in the 3890s / 130s CE). Accordingly, the usual explanation is that the liturgy (or actually, the midrash on which it's based) is historiosophical rather than historical: it puts these ten Sages together in order to make a point (about the terrible consequences of the sale of Yosef, and so that we should mourn them more deeply), but not to say that they actually lived at the same time.

However, R' Y.I. Halevi (Doros Harishonim) argues, based on various lines of evidence, that the first of the Ten Martyrs should in fact be R' Shimon ben HaSegan rather than R' Shimon ben Gamliel. (He claims that the substitution arose by misreading רשב"ג for רשבהס"ג.) The second, he says, is not R' Yishmael Kohen Gadol but rather his grandson, also named R' Yishmael, the colleague (and frequent disputant) of R' Akiva. This indeed then places all ten of these Sages in the same time period.

(R' Halevi does allow that Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel I didn't survive the siege of Jerusalem, since after all he was still alive at the beginning of the revolt - Josephus refers to him serving as nassi - yet Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai didn't ask Vespasian to save his life. He claims, then, that either Rabban Shimon died a natural death, or that he was killed by one of the Zealot factions who were fighting each other for control of the city.)

https://judaism.stackexchange.com/quest ... s-martyred
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John2
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Re: Bar Kochba's Temple?

Post by John2 » Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:05 pm

In the big picture though, I think if Bar Kokhba had captured Jerusalem and rebuilt the Temple then someone would have mentioned it. I once looked into whether or not sacrifices were resumed on the ruins of the Temple Mount and came across this from Loewenberg:
The people continued to bring sacrifices that were offered on a Temple Mount altar that had survived the destructive fire by the Romans. The Mishnah, a central code of Jewish law codified in the early third century C.E., states that "one may offer sacrifices [on the place where the temple used to stand] even though there is no house [i.e., temple]." Some rabbis held that the sacrificial services continued almost without interruption for sixty-five years following the temple's destruction while others suggest that sacrificial services ceased in 70 C.E. but were resumed for the 3-year period when Bar Kochba controlled Jerusalem.

http://www.meforum.org/3556/temple-mount


The above quote about offering sacrifices after 70 CE is from M. Eduyot 8:6 and a footnote for the last sentence adds two works by Rambam I was unfamiliar with:

M. Eduyot 8:6:
Rabbi Yehoshua said: I heard that we may sacrifice even without the Temple and eat the holy sacrifices even though there are no curtains, and [eat] the regular sacrifices and second tithes even though there is no wall [surrounding Jerusalem] because the first sanctification sanctified [the area] for its time and for the time to come.
Hilkhot Bet Ha-bechira 6.15:
Therefore, we may offer all the sacrifices [on the Temple site], even though the Temple itself is not built. Similarly, sacrifices of the most holy order can be eaten in the entire [area of the] Courtyard, even though it is in ruin and not surrounded by a divider.

We may also eat sacrifices of lesser sanctity and Ma'aser Sheni throughout Jerusalem, even though [it is not surrounded by] a wall, for through its original consecration, it was consecrated for that time and for eternity.

http://www.chabad.org/library/article_c ... pter-6.htm
The other one is called Ha'emek Davar commentary on Leviticus 26.31 and I can only find it without translation.

https://www.sefaria.org/Haamek_Davar_on ... 31?lang=bi

Nothing I'm seeing in the other stuff gives me the impression that a third temple was built. But Loewenberg goes on to say:
Not only did the Jews continue to offer sacrifices and prayer on the mount, but at least once in the half-century following the temple's destruction, they began to build a new edifice for a third temple. Emperor Hadrian (76-138), eager to gain the cooperation of the Jews, granted them permission to rebuild their temple. The Jews started to make the necessary preparations, but before long, Hadrian, at the instigation of the Samaritans, went back on his word and the project was stopped.
And a footnote to this cites Genesis Rabba 64.10, but I haven't been able to find this passage online and I wouldn't mind seeing it. Depending on the meaning of "they began to build a new edifice" and "to make the necessary preparations," maybe there was an incomplete "third temple" that Hadrian could have entered. And if Rabbi Akiba and company could know where the Holy of Holies was amid the ruins and saw a fox emerge from it (in Makkot 24b), then I suppose maybe Hadrian could have done the same thing a little later when the site was more built up. But I still don't think Bar Kokhba captured Jerusalem because surely someone would have mentioned it.
On another occasion they were ascending to Jerusalem after the destruction of the Temple. When they arrived at Mount Scopus and saw the site of the Temple, they rent their garments in mourning, in keeping with halakhic practice. When they arrived at the Temple Mount, they saw a fox that emerged from the site of the Holy of Holies. They began weeping, and Rabbi Akiva was laughing.

https://www.sefaria.org/Makkot.24b.2?la ... l&lang2=en
Last edited by John2 on Thu Aug 03, 2017 5:55 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Bar Kochba's Temple?

Post by John2 » Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:54 pm

Here is how I picture it now.

It looks like the Temple site was in ruins and/or plowed up between 70 CE and c. 120 CE (during which time Akiba and others visited the ruins). Then an attempt was made to rebuild something on the Temple site during the early part of Hadrian's reign, in tandem with the start of the construction of Aelia Capitolina (which may have also involved plowing up Jerusalem again), but then the work was stopped. Maybe Hadrian entered the Temple site at some point, maybe he didn't. Then after the Bar Kokhba war the construction of Aelia Captitolina was resumed, and, in my view (following the "Southern Conjecture" theory of Tuvia Sagiv, which I've argued for before in another thread about the Temple that Kris started), this included the construction of the Temple Mount platform we see today (including the Western Wall).

http://www.templemount.org/theories.html

http://www.templemount.org/mtmoriah.html
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Re: Bar Kochba's Temple?

Post by neilgodfrey » Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:23 pm

A little "test" of the hypothesis that Bar Kochba actually did rebuild the Temple can be devised. What would we expect to find in subsequent surviving literature that addresses Jewish hopes for rebuilding the temple? We would not expect the only and sole references to be to the fall of the temple in 70 and references to vain hopes ever since that time to have it rebuilt. We would expect some indication that Jews had indeed "had another go".

But in the time of the emperor Julian, the bishop Chrysostom, there was talk of attempts to "disprove" christianity by having the Jews rebuild the temple. Iirc, an earthquake put a stop to their efforts.

All subsequent references, iirc, are to attempts to rebuild the temple since its demolition in 70.

If the above is correct, it is quite unlikely that it therefore did appear, however briefly or incompletely, in the time of Bar Kochba.

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