Temple Replica Uncovered

The Jerusalem Post reports:

'Guided by an ancient love story, an Israeli archaeologist says he has uncovered an exact replica of the Second Temple.

'Yitzshak Magen, chief archaeologist for Judea and Samaria, located the replica through the writings of the ancient Jewish historian Flavius Josephus.'

'The love story Josephus recounts is of the high priest Menache, forced to give up his office for marrying Nikaso, a non-Jew -- a Samaritan at that. Like King Edward VIII who just had to have Mrs. Wallis, the powers that be put it to Menache this way, 'Either you leave the Temple in Jerusalem or you leave your wife.' He left the Temple.

'His new father-in-law was impressed, and rich enough in shekels to promise to build Menache an exact replica of the Temple on Mount Gerizim, and make him the chief priest once again. Apparently he did just that as that replica has now been uncovered under the ruins of an ancient Byzantine church.

'What is truly significant about all this is, reports the Post, 'the find could provide the first historical indication of what the actual Temple, destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE, looked like.' Remember, the Second Temple is the one Jesus walked in and foretold that it would be utterly destroyed. All that now remains of it is a retaining wall to the old Temple Mount.

'Josephus was right -- as he usually is. You can read his account in Antiquities of The Jews, Book XI, Chapter VIII. The site opens for tourists in 1996.

'If a Third Temple is to be built, its builders will, for the first time, have an exact pattern to follow, thus eliminating a possible roadblock.'

-- The New Millennium, June/July 1995.


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