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Temple  (Hebrew: Bet ha-Mikdash)

Principal place of worship of the Jews in Jerusalem until 70 ce. The first Temple was built by Solomon in c.950 bce. It served as a shrine for the Ark of the Covenant and the sacred vessels, as well as a place for the offering of sacrifice and prayer. Solomon's Temple was destroyed in 586 bce by the Babylonians. The Temple was rebuilt in the Persian period, and completed and dedicated in 515 bce. Herod the Great completely reconstructed the building, beginning in 55 bce. This Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 ce.


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Reprinted with permission from A Concise Encyclopedia of Judaism,
by Dan Cohn-Sherbok
.© Oneworld Publications.