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Holy Cow
Israel - Middle East
Thursday, September 13, 2018
J.L. Robb

There has been a push since Israel’s rebirth in 1948 to rebuild the Jewish Temple, referred to as the Third Temple, Solomon’s Temple and the Holy Temple. The movements, pushed by Jews and Christians, has a few impediments to overcome; but the movement continues.

Solomon’s Temple was the First Temple and was built in 953 BC according to biblical archeologists and scholars. At this point in time, that is the best estimate and relics of Solomon’s Temple have been discovered. King David, Solomon’s father, had a great desire to build the House of God but was forbidden by God because of David’s continued warring, the murder of Uriah and the affair with Uriah’s wife, Bathsheba:

1 David summoned all the officials of Israel to assemble at Jerusalem: the officers over the tribes, the commanders of the divisions in the service of the king, the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, and the officials in charge of all the property and livestock belonging to the king and his sons, together with the palace officials, the warriors and all the brave fighting men.

2 King David rose to his feet and said: “Listen to me, my fellow Israelites, my people. I had it in my heart to build a house as a place of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord, for the footstool of our God, and I made plans to build it. 3 But God said to me, ‘You are not to build a house for my Name, because you are a warrior and have shed blood.’” 1 Chronicles 28:1-3 NIV

So the task of building the House of God was passed on to David’s son.

King Solomon, blessed in so many ways, built a magnificent Temple (Beit haMikdash-Hebrew) in the ancient capital of Israel, Jerusalem. Adhering to his father’s great desire, the Temple became the permanent home of the Ark of the Covenant containing the Ten Commandments. The Holy Temple was dedicated with the sacrifice of a cow, but not just any cow. The requirement was for the Temple to be dedicated with the sacrifice of an unblemished red heifer that had never been yoked. Unblemished and unyoked red heifers were few-and-far-between.

King Solomon’s Temple was sacked and destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar’s troops in 586 BC, on the 9th of Av. Av is the fifth month of the Jewish calendar. The Temple lasted 367 years.

Nebuchadnezzar killed millions of people during the Siege of Jerusalem and enslaved the rest, until the Persian King Cyrus II rescued the Jews 70 years later and sent them back to the land of Israel and his blessings for the Jews to build another temple. Ten tribes of Israel disappeared during that reign of terror, and the Second Temple was completed in 516 BC.

All the dedication needed was an unblemished red heifer calf, about 4 years old.

The Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD, again on the 9th of Av. They have longed for a Third Temple ever since, and the month of Av has become the Month of Mourning for the Jewish people.

There is an active movement in Israel to rebuild the Third Temple. There are a few issues to resolve, like what do they do with the Muslim Dome of the Rock, a shrine like the Ka’ba in Mecca.

The Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement in Israel has several thousand Orthodox Jews working diligently toward the rebuilding, assuming that God will make it happen since it was predicted. The Jews today see the Third Temple as a sign of the coming Messiah; and Christians see it as a sign of the return of Messiah, the one that most of the ancient Jews missed 2,000 years ago. The Jews who did not miss the Gift, made it available to the world.

In a Ha’aretz poll, more than a third of Israelis think the Third Temple should be built on the Temple Mount, sooner rather than later. Of course that will cause the War at Armageddon since the Islamic Dome of the Rock shrine now sits on the mount where Solomon’s Temple once stood, plus they do not have an unblemished red heifer. Or do they?

There is another movement, the movement to find an unblemished red heifer for the Temple dedication.

The Temple Institute is located in Jerusalem and they are determined to build the Third Temple and have decided to raise the perfect red heifer in the laboratory. From their web page:

The Temple Institute is dedicated to every aspect of the Holy Temple of Jerusalem, and the central role it fulfilled, and will once again fulfill, in the spiritual wellbeing of both Israel and all the nations of the world. The Institute's work touches upon the history of the Holy Temple's past, an understanding of the present day, and the Divine promise of Israel's future. The Institute's activities include education, research, and development. The Temple Institute's ultimate goal is to see Israel rebuild the Holy Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem, in accord with the Biblical commandments.

Last week, The Temple Institute announced the birth of an unblemished, flawless red heifer. Reportedly, the calf was born August 28, 2018, and “is being raised in accordance of the Torah.”

Jewish belief stresses that their Temple cannot be purified according to Jewish ritual until a flawless red heifer can be sacrificed, burned and the ashes sprinkled like water on the people in a rite of purification from uncleanliness as spelled out in the Bible.

1 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: 2 “This is a requirement of the law that the Lord has commanded: Tell the Israelites to bring you a red heifer without defect or blemish and that has never been under a yoke. 3 Give it to Eleazar the priest; it is to be taken outside the camp and slaughtered in his presence. 4 Then Eleazar the priest is to take some of its blood on his finger and sprinkle it seven times toward the front of the tent of meeting. 5 While he watches, the heifer is to be burned—its hide, flesh, blood and intestines. 6 The priest is to take some cedar wood, hyssop and scarlet wool and throw them onto the burning heifer.    7 After that, the priest must wash his clothes and bathe himself with water. He may then come into the camp, but he will be ceremonially unclean till evening. 8 The man who burns it must also wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he too will be unclean till evening. Numbers 19:1-8 NIV

Many evangelical Christians are also pushing for The Third Temple and believe it would be symbolic for the second coming of Christ.

Here is part of the press release statement:

The Temple Institute

September 4 at 9:02 AM ·


On the 17th day of Elul, 5778, (August 28, 2018), a red heifer was born in the land of Israel. The red heifer candidate is being raised and specially cared for under the auspices of the Temple Institute's 'Raise a Red Heifer' program.

One week after its birth the heifer underwent an extensive examination by rabbinical experts, who determined that the heifer is currently a viable candidate for the Biblical red heifer (para aduma) described in Numbers, chapter 19, and will be examined again in three months time to determine whether it continues to possess the necessary qualifications for the red heifer, a necessary prerequisite for the renewal of the Divine service in the Holy Temple.

There have been unblemished red heifers born before and carefully examined, 9 in the last 2000 years; but all were later found to have a hair that was not red.

The timing of this birth, the push to rebuild the Holy Temple and the United States recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moving the embassy is significant. If the red heifer has to be groomed for 4 years and the Temple dedicated, the next year should be interesting.

I would keep paying attention and looking up. I would also be thankful that we, as Christians, do not need a red heifer. Our unblemished, flawless and final sacrifice also provided a lot of red and died on a cross 2000 years ago.

About J.L. Robb

Last article: The Final Exam

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