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In Matthew 24:1-2 Jesus makes a prophecy about the temple buildings being totally destroyed and that not a stone shall lay upon another;

1 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. 2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.. (Matthew 24:1-2 - KJV)

1 Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. 2 But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” (Matthew 24:1-2 - ESV)

There are Jewish anti-missionary's and apostate Christans that claim that the temple is not fully destroyed and stones indeed lay upon another and thereof Jesus prophecy failed, that we in fact can see bits of the temple today, the western-wall!

  • Could the western-wall that's beyond the court of the gentiles be a part of the temple?
  • Could the inner-court C be called a part of the temple?

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6 Answers 6

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In Mark, we see more detail of what Jesus said.

And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. (Mark 13:2)

Walls that surround cities, etc. are not "buildings."

Jesus referred to the stones of the temple itself.

The reason these stones were all thrown down was that, during the great conflagration in A.D. 70, the soldiers under Titus threw a burning torch into the temple and instantly the place was all aflame. The gold interior made a dazzling display, and the soldiers, who had not seen all this before, avariciously scrambled for a share of the loot--despite Titus' orders that they should not touch the Temple. The heat of the fires caused the gold to run between the cracks in the stones such that the soldiers had to cast them down to get at the gold.

And Jesus' words were perfectly fulfilled.

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  • Excellent answer, although I believe it was looters who came after, and not the soldiers themselves, who were scrambling for the gold. Roman soldiers were a disciplined lot, at least during this part of the Empire -- basically the height of the empire.
    – Robert
    Commented Aug 2, 2021 at 17:54
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    IDK how authoritative it is (if at all), but this BBC documentary claims the soldiers themselves did the looting: youtu.be/wjJNJsVL8Rc?t=2715 Commented Aug 2, 2021 at 21:43
  • @Robert - a better source is Josephus in "Wars of the Jews", Book 6 chapters 5-8.
    – Dottard
    Commented Aug 3, 2021 at 8:18
  • @ Polyhat - Notice that Jesus said, "buildings" (plural). Along with the Temple, there were other buildings that housed the tithe (animals and grain, et al.)...dormitories of the priests...storerooms for the sacrifice utentsils...money-changers buildings...lecture halls. All these were destroyed by the Romans who flattened the Temple mount area.
    – ray grant
    Commented May 16 at 20:05
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1 Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. 2 But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” (Matthew 24:1-2 - ESV)

We do not know exactly what buildings of the temple were being pointed out by his disciples. Today, we know that part of the Western Wall still remains.

To be consistent with Jesus' prophecy, I suppose that the disciples didn't point out the Western Wall.

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    re: Mark13. "as he came out of the temple/hierou" does not mean that "Look, Teacher" is necessarily refering to the hierou. If as he came out Jesus and the disciple could still see the naos then the hierou is not being discussed. As I understand it the Wailing Wall is part of the hierou.
    – C. Stroud
    Commented Aug 5, 2021 at 14:05
  • @ C. Stoud - Notice that Jesus said "buildings" (plural), and without reference to the Wall. So it wasn't just the Temple, but all the surrounding buildings too: storage buildings for the tithes...dormitories of priests...lecture halls of rabbis...meeting place of the Sanhedrin...rooms of the money-changers, et al. All flattened by the Romans! The retaining walls of the Temple mount are not on topic for Jesus. But for the record, the walls we see today were mainly built by the Crusaders and later Moslems! The "Wailing Wall" is mainly composed of these, too. Not something the disciples saw.
    – ray grant
    Commented May 16 at 20:14
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Let us be very clear about this - the only stones left at the old Herod-temple site are those of the foundations that were not part of the temple.

Matt 24:1, 2 is unambiguous:

the temple: ... And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down..

That prophecy has certainly been fulfilled - nothing of the temple is left - another building has been build on the old foundations which were installed to create a large open space for Herod's temple, which has been completely demolished.

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    I know the temple itself is not there, and that it was first burned then demolished. The question is if the bible technically call the courts parts of the tempel Commented Aug 2, 2021 at 11:15
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    @DanielDahlberg the text doesn't say every stone of the temple will be turnved over. It says the stones of buildings in the temple will be turned over.
    – Robert
    Commented Aug 2, 2021 at 17:56
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    @Robert you state "the text doesn't say every stone of the temple will be turned over" Does this text give room for ONE stone upon another "there will not be left here one stone upon another" Commented Aug 3, 2021 at 7:59
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    @DanielDahlberg The text is talking about stones of buildings in the temple. You are changing the subject to the walls around the temple courtyard. Do you understand the distinction?
    – Robert
    Commented Aug 3, 2021 at 8:41
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    @Robert I made the question and if you read I have 24:1 temple in bold I know that not ONE stone is upon another but you Robert claim the opposite that the indeed stone can be upon another on the temple, see here "the text doesn't say every stone of the temple will be turned over" my question is to gather information about were the limit of the temple reach to use against anti-missionarys like Tovi Singer that claim the wall is a part of the temple. Gentiles are not allowed in the temple therfor COURT OF THE GENTILES The outer court of the temple, is not the temple. Commented Aug 3, 2021 at 9:13
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Notice, the disciples of Jesus were looking at the adorning stones on the buildings outside of the temple, this clearly indicates that the buildings Jesus referred to as to be left without one stone upon another, were exclusively on the temple mount. And indeed, they were all thrown down and it was recorded by Josephus an eye witness, who states that the city was razed-even with the ground and only part of the western city wall was left standing—-however, this wall is not to be confused with the western wailing wall of the temple mound. Josephus says nothing was left standing at the temple mound, only the enemy’s camp. This means that the western (wailing wall) was also thrown down and must have been erected after the destruction of Jerusalem. Jews, however, like to state that the western wall was still standing to try to debunk Jesus’ prophecy. But the only eye witness record that we have says that everything lay even with the ground or as Jesus said it, “Not one stone left upon another.” Thus, the prophecy was fulfilled perfectly as prophesied by Jesus Christ, and the wailing wall was built after the destruction of Jerusalem.

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    – Community Bot
    Commented Jul 15, 2022 at 4:55
  • @Ben Thanks for your contribution! Yes I know they like they say it's a failed prophecy. Commented Jul 15, 2022 at 16:15
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Temple Complex The Temple area during Jesus's time consisted of a large platform held up by retaining walls built up by King Herod's construction crew and was not finished for decades after Jesus's incarnation. Ironically it may have been considered "finished" just a little while before 70 A.D. when the Romans completely demolished the Temple! (Finished during the reign of Agrippa II, great grandson of Herod; See Flavius Josephus, Wars of the Jews; who described the demolition and conflagration, in loco)

Buildings The use of the plural "buildings" in these scriptures accurately referred to The Temple Complex proper: the Temple, the Levitical storage rooms, as well as buildings that housed the Sanhedrin councils, the rooms for the sacrificial animals, and the many lecture halls where rabbis, scribes---and Jesus with His disciples---argued or taught the precepts of the Law of Moses.

These were all destroyed during the Destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. just as Jesus prophesied. [regardless of modern Jewish protestation]. A few hundred years later, the anti-Christian emperor, Flavius C. Julianus the Apostate (361-363), destroyed any remaining construction that the Christians pilgrims considered part of the sacred history. He even leveled the hill of Mt. Calvary (Golgotha), such that it is non-existent today! (Don't let tour guides mislead you!) {See Wace& Piercy, A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography, for detailed biography of Emperor Julian, p. 580}

Modern Visible Sights What most tourists today don't realize is the fact that The Wall around the whole city of Jerusalem seen today was built by the Turkish Ottomans in 1517 A.D. (Wikipedia, "Western Wall") Some of the visible wall parts and towers we see today, were also built by the Crusaders. For centuries the Jew were not allowed to live in the city, and often only allowed once a year to go to the "perforated stone (Rock of Moriah) to groan and rend their garments.

The Western Wall, which became the new location for pilgrimage because of the Mosque of the Moslems was built over the Rock, is merely part of Herod's retaining wall for the whole Temple complex. It is NOT part of the Temple where sacrifices were made, and ceremonies carried out. Nor is it part of the "buildings" Jesus designated for destruction.

The Wall consists of 45 stone courses: 28 above ground, and 17 underground. The first seven above ground are from the Herodian era. The next four courses of smaller plainly dressed stones, are Umayyad construction (8th century, Early Moslem period). Above that are 16 to17 courses of small stones from the Malmuk period (13-16th centuries) and later. (Wikipedia, "Western Wall")

Reliable Prophecy The prophecy of Jesus is accurate and the scriptures remain reliable. And the groaning over the loss of the Temple that had been going on for centuries, remains an accurate description of the type of consequence for rejecting the Messiah, and the refusal to accept the one-time Sacrifice of the Lamb of God. This is quite similar to the consequential destruction of the First Temple when the Israelites rejected Jehovah and embraced the gods of the Canaanites living around them.

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  • Thank you Ray for you answer. I didn't know the western wall was built by the Ottomans. Commented Jul 28, 2023 at 5:41
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Ray's comment, "And the groaning over the loss of the Temple that had been going on for centuries, remains an accurate description of the type of consequence for rejecting the Messiah, and the refusal to accept the one-time Sacrifice of the Lamb of God" is the most summative presentation of N@zi philosophy in this discussion.

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  • This does not provide an answer to the question. Once you have sufficient reputation you will be able to comment on any post; instead, provide answers that don't require clarification from the asker. - From Review
    – agarza
    Commented Aug 22, 2023 at 1:17
  • @Not impressed-The majority of Christian scholarship, even before there was a Nazi philosophy, has reflected this correlation between the crucifixion and the Destruction of the holy Temple. Jesus also recognized this correlation (Matt. 23-24)! The pilgrimages to the Western Wall (Wailing) are a stark reminder that something went terribly wrong in the first century. However, no theologian today would advocate a Nazi attitude, but preach forgiveness, grace, and abundant mercy that emanate from a most loving God. Keep studying Jewish history, and the biblical record; it's great for the soul.
    – ray grant
    Commented Aug 24, 2023 at 22:31
  • Those Devil Consequences It is not a pleasant topic, but God reminds us all that there are consequences to sin. It is accurate to say that the First Temple was a direct consequence of Israel's refusal to worship Jehovah God alone or accept Him as the only true God, instead of any Canaanite god. So it is accurate to say that the Second Temple also was destroyed as a consequence of sinful actions on the part of Israel. (Matthew 23) This has nothing to do with the crime of "anti-semitism. God is at work here! The armies are merely His instruments of judgment.
    – ray grant
    Commented May 15 at 22:37
  • -1 for unsupported assertions. The anachronistic inclusion of a political philosophy popular in the 1930s and 1940s glorifying German national socialism on the foundation of manifest racial destiny driven by misappropriation of human evolution as a moral imperative promoted in Charles Darwin's racist manifesto, The Descent of Man into a scholarly discussion about a supposed archaeological discrepancy with a statement attributed to Jesus as recorded in the New Testament almost 2,000 years prior is complete nonsense.
    – Dieter
    Commented May 15 at 22:58

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