The 35-acre Temple Mount site is the most contested piece of real estate in the world. Although Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, the Temple Mount is controlled by Muslim authority.
From the time of the establishment of the State of Israel in May of 1948, until 1967, the city was divided. Walls, barbed-wire fences and a desolated strip of no-man’s land cut through the very heart of the city, especially excluding the Jews from the Old City and the Temple Mount. During that time, part of the Jewish Quarter was leveled and its synagogues burned. Jewish graves and monuments were desecrated or turned into latrines.
On Saturday June 17, 1967, shortly after the end of the Six Day War, Defense Minister Moshe Dayan entered the Al-Aqsa Mosque for a historic meeting. In a gesture of good will, Dayan sat down on the prayer carpet with five leaders of the Supreme Muslim Council (the Waqf) of what had been Jordanian-controlled Jerusalem. That discussion fixed Israel’s policy regarding the Temple Mount, a policy that remains unchanged to this day.
Dayan, a secular Jew, had ordered the Israeli flag removed from on top of the Dome of the Rock on the afternoon of the Old City’s liberation. His discussion with the Muslims led to further concessions. The administrative control over the Temple Mount was to be the sole responsibility of the Supreme Muslim Council – the (Jordanian) Waqf. Though the Jews would be permitted free access to the Mount, prayer by Jews was prohibited. Dayan refused to permit any Jewish identification with Judaism’s holiest site. To him, the Temple Mount held only historic interest.
The government of Israel then allocated responsibility of the Temple Mount area to different groups. Israel’s Department of Antiquities was given the south, southeast, and southwest area of the Temple Mount to explore archaeologically. The top of the Temple Mount, however, site of the First and Second Temples, was given over to the Muslims to administrate. To the present day, the PLO Muslim Waqf allows tourists to visit the Mount a few hours per day – but they do not allow any freedom of worship or any non-Muslim archaeological activity there.
Seven Prophecies of a Third Jewish Temple
Author’s Note: While there has been no Temple in Israel since AD 70, the Bible assures us that there will indeed be a third temple on the Temple Mount. Meanwhile, there is fierce Islamic opposition to any mention of a Jewish Temple on the site.
Ezekiel 37:26, 28 “Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them, and it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; I will establish them and multiply them, and I will set My sanctuary in their midst forevermore. My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people. The nations also will know that I, the LORD, sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.”
Daniel 9:27 “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”
Micah 4:1-7 “In days to come the mountain where the Temple stands will be the highest one of all, towering above all the hills. Many nations will come streaming to it, and their people will say, ‘Let us go up the hill of the Lord, to the Temple of Israel’s God. He will teach us what He wants us to do; we will walk in the paths He has chosen.”
Zechariah 6:12 “Then speak to him saying, ‘thus says the Lord of Hosts saying: Behold the Man whose name is BRANCH! From His place He shall branch out, and He shall build his temple to the Lord.’”
Matthew 24:15 “Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place [refers to a temple existing at the mid-way point of the tribulation], whoever reads let him understand.” Parentheses added
2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 “Let no one deceive you by any means, for that day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”
Revelation 11:1-2 “Then I was given a reed like a measuring rod. And the angel stood, saying ‘Rise and measure the temple of God, the altar and those who worship there. But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles.’ And they will tread the holy city underfoot for forty two months.”