>Last week, the Priestly Blessing described in Numbers 6:24-26 was recited on the Temple Mount for the first time since the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans in the first century. The blessing was delivered by a group of Jews who were visiting the Temple Mount to commemorate the anniversary of Maimonides’s visit to the Temple Mount.
Rabbi Chaim Richman, one of the organizers of the trip, said:
This was probably the first time since the destruction of the Temple [1,937 years ago] that the Priestly Blessing was delivered on our holiest site. At times like these, when there is talk of giving away our precious places, and when despair is sometimes in the air, events of this nature serve to remind us that G-d has not forgotten about us, and that He still has big plans for both us and the Holy Temple – and that the Temple will yet become the focal point of the world once again.
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Orthodox Jews and many conservative Christians believe that the Jewish Temple will be rebuilt soon. For many, the rebuilding of the Temple is a necessary event that must happen before the coming of the Messiah.
My question is: should Jews and Christians look at this event as a sign that the Temple will be rebuilt?
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary