Second Temple

The Second Temple (Hebrew: בֵּית־הַמִּקְדָּשׁ הַשֵּׁנִי, Beit HaMikdash HaSheni) was the Jewish holy temple, which stood on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, between c.516 BCE and c.70 CE, defined as the Second Temple period.

  • Second Temple
  • Herod's Temple
בית־המקדש השני
Model of Herod's Temple—the Second Temple after being rebuilt by Herod—in the Israel Museum, created in 1966 as part of the Holyland Model of Jerusalem. The model was inspired by the writings of Josephus.
RegionSecond Temple Judaism
LocationHerodian Temple Mount, Jerusalem
Shown within Jerusalem
Geographic coordinates31.778013°N 35.235367°E / 31.778013; 35.235367
CreatorZerubbabel (according to Bible), rebuilt by Herod the Great
Destroyed70 CE
Height (max)45.72 metres (150.0 ft)
MaterialsJerusalem limestone
Parent listingSecond Temple
  • c.537–516 BCE (per biblical narrative) Zerubbabel's temple;
  • late 1st century BCE: Herodian temple
Site notes
Excavation dates1930, 1967, 1968, 1970–1978, 1996–1999, 2007
ArchaeologistsCharles Warren, Benjamin Mazar, Ronny Reich, Eli Shukron, Yaakov Billig
ConditionTemple proper: destroyed; archaeological park
OwnershipJerusalem Islamic Waqf
Public accessTemple esplanade (Haram): limited; Western Wall: by gender; archaeological park: yes

According to the Hebrew Bible, the Second Temple replaced Solomon's Temple (the First Temple),[1] which was destroyed by the Neo-Babylonian Empire in 586 BCE, when Jerusalem was conquered and part of the population of the Kingdom of Judah was taken into exile to Babylon.

According to the Bible, the Second Temple was originally a rather modest structure constructed by a number of Jewish exile groups returning to the Levant from Babylon under the Achaemenid-appointed governor Zerubbabel. However, during the reign of Herod the Great, the Second Temple was completely refurbished, and the original structure was totally overhauled into the large and magnificent edifices and façades that are more recognizable. Much as the Babylonians destroyed the First Temple, the Romans destroyed the Second Temple and Jerusalem in c.70 CE as retaliation for an ongoing Jewish revolt. The Second Temple lasted for a total of 585 years (516 BCE to c.70 CE).[2][lower-alpha 1]

Jewish eschatology includes a belief that the Second Temple will be replaced by a future Third Temple.