Updated: Dec 5, 2021
Video from The Museum of the Bible
"It was Rome’s golden age of power and glory — with its coliseums, aqueducts, and theaters. But another city on the far edge of the empire had a great building of its own. In Jerusalem, the huge and amazing Jewish temple of King Herod the Great made everyone stop and stare. A smaller and less grand temple had been there for hundreds of years, but King Herod decided it wasn’t big enough. So he spent years making it bigger. And bigger. And even bigger. Construction likely began around 20 BC, and continued for decades. Though likely exaggerated, the Jewish historian Josephus described one gate with doors 50 feet tall and 25 feet wide. Herod also added a huge courtyard surrounded by covered walkways, called colonnades, with long lines of columns. And it was well used. During religious festivals, thousands of Jewish people flocked to the temple to worship and celebrate. According to Josephus, at one Passover feast nearly three million Jews gathered and a quarter of a million lambs were sacrificed! A Roman army destroyed the temple in AD 70 after marching into Jerusalem to put down a rebellion. Today, only the foundation walls remain. People from all over the world still come to that famous “Western Wall” to pray. Copyright © 2021 Museum of the Bible. All rights reserved." from video introduction.