Whose Land Is It? A Study of The Land of Palestine
Land title research in many areas is a very difficult task. In Mexico, the titles to farm land are so clouded it can take years to adequately search them. In some places the granting of title to land by a legitimate granter can go back over 3,500 years. One such place is the land of Palestine where current occupancy has no relationship to whom holds title.
Even some of the most famous buildings in the land of Palestine are actually squatters on land to which others hold title. The most famous instance of this is the Temple Mount and its squatter mosque that sits on the site of the ancient temple of ancient Hebrew kingdom and belongs to the Hebrews. This mess with many occupying land as squatters for which others hold title makes for an untenable position when the rightful title holder takes back his/her land, especially so when it is centuries later.
The present situation in much of Palestine is like the battle between the squatters and the owners, titleholders of land in the old west in the United States; to wit, squatters wanting to continue to squat and land owners wanting their land back. However, some additional situations enter the picture since many of the land owners — their ancestors — were forced off the their land by the Romans and by later Caliphs. Now of course the rule of law should be applied and the squatters finally brought to their day of reckoning with reality, they have no title to the land they are on.
PRINCIPLE OF TITLE IN A NUTSHELL:
What title is:
Now let’s look at what land title is from an encyclopedia, <<” Title is a legal term for an owner’s interest in a piece of property. It may also refer to a formal document that serves as evidence of ownership. Conveyance of the document may be required in order to transfer ownership in the property to another person. Title is distinct from possession, a right that often accompanies ownership but is not necessarily sufficient to prove it. In many cases, both possession and title may be transferred independently of each other. [source — Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia].”>>
Now note, one may be in possession of land, but not title as they are two distinct things as will shortly be shown.
Possession and title are NOT the same thing:
Let’s show this fact that possession and title are not the same thing with illustrattion example provided by an encyclopedia, << The three elements of title are possession, the right of possession, and the right of property. Possession is the actual holding of a thing, with or without any right thereto. The right of possession is the right to legitimacy of possession (with or without actual possession), the evidence for which is such that the law will uphold it unless a better claim is proven. The right of property is that right which, if all relevant facts were known (and allowed), would defeat all other claims. Each of these may be in a different person.
For example, suppose A steals from B, what B had previously bought in good faith from C, which C had earlier stolen from D, which had been a heirloom of D’s family for generations, but had originally been stolen centuries earlier (though this fact is now forgotten by all) from E. Here A has the possession, B has an apparent right of possession (as evidenced by the purchase), D has the absolute right of possession (being the best claim that can be proven), and the heirs of E, if they knew it, have the right of property, which they cannot prove. Good title consists in uniting these three (possession, right of possession, and right of property) in the same person(s).[source — Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia].”>>
Now note, something could have been stolen, squatted on, centuries earlier but that does NOT give the person in charge title in any way.
Soundness of title — what it depends on:
The soundness of title depends on several factors or conditions precedent:
First, the higher the position of the granter the more legitimate the title is with the highest granter being, of course, the creator of all there is, the true God (YHWH) of Abraham, Isaac, and Ishmael, the supreme being. This followed by Emperors, Kings or Caliphs, and Presidents or Sultans in that order.
Second, the earliest granting of title takes precedence over later grants of title.
SPECIFIC GRANTING OF TITLE TO ALL LAND IN PALESTINE:
Now let’s look at who was the granter of title to land in Palestine and to whom:
Genesis 15:18 records the conferring of legitimate title to the Promise Land to the Hebrews (Jews) by the true God (YHWH) of Abraham, Isaac, and Ishmael as follows for a record to all men for all of time, “In that day Jehovah made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:” (American Standard Version; ASV). That this was to be their land per the promise of the creator of all there is, the true God (YHWH) of Abraham, Isaac, and Ishmael is also made clear in Deuteronomy 10:11, “And Jehovah said unto me, Arise, take thy journey before the people; and they shall go in and possess the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give unto them..” (ASV). And, this fact is even shown in the New Testament at Hebrews 11:9, “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. 9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:” (ASV).
Now the “Concise Bible Dictionary by George Morrish” says this of the inheritance of the Hebrews, the promised land, <<”The land of promise is constantly spoken of as the inheritance of Israel: the land flowing with milk and honey was given to them by God. #De 4:21 Ps 105:11, &c. So when Israel returns to take possession of the land in a future day, it is still called their inheritance. #Eze 45:1, &c. This all shews that they were and will be an earthly people, but God blessed them on earth in relationship with Himself as Jehovah, and will again bless them on earth when they own the Lord Jesus as their Messiah. In connection with this God calls Israel His inheritance: He hath chosen them for His own inheritance. #Ps 33:12 78:62, &c.[source — Concise Bible Dictionary by George Morrish]”>>
In fact the true God (YHWH) of Abraham had very specific instructions with respect the land in the area he had given them in lawful perpetuity as the supreme being, the maker of all there is as shown at Deuteronomy 19:14, “Thou shalt not remove thy neighbor’s landmark, which they of old time have set, in thine inheritance which thou shalt inherit, in the land that Jehovah thy God giveth thee to possess it.” (ASV); and Job 24:1–2, “Why, seeing times are not hidden from the Almighty, do they that know him not see his days? 2 Some remove the landmarks; they violently take away flocks, and feed thereof.” (ASV); and Proverbs 22:28, “Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.” (ASV); and Proverbs 23:10, “Remove not the old landmark; and enter not into the fields of the fatherless:” (ASV). But squatters have violated all these righteous commands of the true God (YHWH) of Abraham. And as shown by Easton’s Bible Dictionary, <<” Landmarks could not be removed without incurring the severe displeasure of God.” [source — Easton’s Revised Bible Dictionary]>>.
In fact, the Eclectic Notes on the Bible on Deuteronomy 19:14 notes, <<” Thou shalt not remove thy neighbour’s landmark “Thy neighbour’s landmark, which they of old time have fixed in thine inheritance,” shows that there is a divine apportionment which is not to be interfered with. The inheritance is common to all; all are sons, children, brethren, and have a common portion in Christ and in the Spirit. But in detail each has an assigned portion, and it is to be our care, according to Deuteronomy, that our neighbour has his full portion. This is in keeping with the spirit of grace and consideration for the good of others which marks the book. We have no daughters of Zelophehad here desiring inheritance for themselves; our care here is that our neighbour’s inheritance shall not be infringed upon. The inheritance is enjoyed in a neighbourly way; I can only enjoy your bit of it as you enjoy it, and therefore if I remove your landmark I really defraud myself! It is our interest to see that our neighbours enjoy their full assigned portion. In great part we enjoy the inheritance through our brethren; it is blessed to see them enjoying their portion; no one moving spiritually would wish to curtail it in the least degree. This stands in marked contrast with slaying our neighbour, even though such a thing should be done unwittingly. It emphasises the neighbourly character in which the inheritance is taken up. We get on together by fully recognising the portion assigned to each.
If any one’s landmark is removed it is not only a wrong done to him, but it tends to impoverish all by interfering with the way in which God has given things. The clerical principle has greatly tended to remove landmarks, and has deprived the people of God of what divine favour would have made available in the brethren generally. The arrangements of men, and human order, are simply a removal of landmarks “which they of old time have fixed in thine inheritance.” The commandments of the Lord #1Co 14:37 are fixed landmarks, and are not to be disregarded; they would give to each one his true spiritual place amongst the brethren for the benefit of all. Many of our neighbours have had their landmarks removed, and we all suffer from it, but our care should be to give full place to what is assigned by God to each. The inheritance will only be truly and spiritually enjoyed as we are set together in affection, and each holds his portion in relation to the common joy. To be self-centred, or to move independently of one’s brethren, is really to lose the good of what God has given to others for our benefit as joint-heirs with them.” [source — Eclectic Notes — eclectic Notes on the Bible]>>.
Another Bible dictionary says, <<”<<”Promised Land held in trust. Even the people Israel, to whom God had given the land for them to enjoy as landowners, were told by Jehovah that they were not actually owners of it but only held it in trust. He said concerning the sale of a family land estate: “So the land should not be sold in perpetuity, because the land is mine. For you are alien residents and settlers from my standpoint.” (Le 25:23) God had ousted the Canaanites from the land for their disgusting practices. He warned he would also take away all title from Israel and drive them out of the land if they followed such practices, and when they later did, they were sent into exile. (Le 18:24–30; 25:18, 19; 26:27–33; Jer 52:27) After 70 years of desolation of their land, from 607 to 537 B.C.E., God mercifully reestablished them, but this time under Gentile domination. Eventually, in 70 C.E., the Romans completely destroyed Jerusalem and scattered its people.
Within the nation, tribes were assigned sections of the land or cities inside the boundaries of other tribes. Priests and Levites had cities with pasture grounds. (Jos 15–21) In turn, within the tribes families were allotted inheritances. These divisions became smaller as families subdivided their own allotments because of increase in numbers. This resulted in thorough cultivation and use of the land. Inheritances were not allowed to circulate from one tribe to another. To prevent this, women who inherited land (because there were no living brothers) had to marry within the tribe to hold their inheritance.-Nu 36:1–12.” [source — Insight on the Scriptures, Vol. 2]>>.
Earliest grant of title takes precedence over later grants:
Now, how does this apply to the granting of title to the land of Palestine? Well the grant of title to Palestine is the oldest recorded grant of title in all human history and occurred about 1,500 B.C., by the creator of all there is, and was in fulfillment of an earlier promise that the true God (YHWH) of Abraham, Isaac, and Ishmael had made to Abraham. Therefore, with respect the land of Palestine, the land was granted to the Hebrews, the descendents of Abraham through Isaac, and it was granted before any other land was granted to anyone. So title to the land of Palestine was granted by the highest possible authority and was the first grant of legitimate title ever made; therefore, the grantees, the Hebrews, have the strongest possible title due to the fact the grantor was the highest possible authority and it was granted at the earliest time.
Of course some try to deny that by questioning the Bible, but their objection is without standing. Let’s look at the facts. Of course many members of Islam reject what the Bible says, but is this reasonable considering that their Quran like the Book of Mormon is nothing but a knockoff of the Bible? Now the well known rule of precedence is that the earlier document shall have precedence over the later that used information from it just as the earlier granting of land title takes precedence in any title search or action at law over the later. Many overlook the fact that the Bible is NOT the product of one committee or strongman as was the Quran and the Book of Mormon. It has over 40 individual writers who wrote under divine inspiration/guidance putting the thoughts of God (YHWH) into the words of men much as transcribing secretaries today taking transcription and then later typing it out. In other words one real author, God (YHWH), and many scribes each of whom wrote in his own style over a period of approximately 1,600 years. All of what people call or consider inconsistencies are really not such, but most often just a problem of translation and/or understanding, i.e., lack of understanding of what the original writer writing in his own language and culture meant/said in his original writing. What is remarkable, is the writers over such a period of time all wrote in harmony when even most posters on threads on this forum can not even stay on track or subject over a period of a few days and/or weeks at most with the original subject of the thread. This fact of harmony over a period so great as to almost stagger the imagination shows that it had one guiding force or author who divinely inspired its writers as humans of their own volition can not keep on track over short periods of time.
OTHER BACKUP FOR TITLE TO PALESTINE:
FIRST, One Muslim actually posted an article on Jews in Yemen that contained the following account proving that the land belongs to the Hebrews,
<<” Perhaps this is a moment to be less visionary and more historical. Perhaps also we need to re-focus from how the Middle East problem looks from the perspective of top-down peace-making efforts in distant Oslo or even Camp David to a closer look at the fabric of coexistence of Sephardic and Oriental Jewries with Muslim and Arab societies during the 13 centuries before the re-founding of Israel. In this way, we may be able to discover threads of understanding that might lead us at least part of the way through the maze of current perplexities. In particular, might yet the Yemeni Jewish historical trajectory, from the Arab World to Israel, provide unexplored avenues for narrowing the Muslim-Jewish divide?” [source — http://www.wzo.org.il/en/resources/view.asp?id=1690 ]>>.
Now notice this clearly shows that the Hebrews had occupied the land that the true God (YHWH) of Abraham, Isaac, and Ishmael and established a nation that existed for over 1,000 years when it says, <<” the 13 centuries before the re-founding of Israel.”>>, so those saying Israel is a new nation clearly do NOT know what they are speaking about, actually it is the oldest operating government on earth that just took a hiatus for some centuries. Now where was this kingdom? It is in the land called Palestine.
SECOND, The New Compact Bible Dictionary published by Zondervan Books says this with respect the site where the squatting Dome of the Rock Mosque sits, <<”Temple, the name given to complex of buildings in Jerusalem which was the center of the sacrifical cult for the Hebrews. Three temples stood successively on Mt. Moriah (II Chron. 3:1) in Jerusalem: Solomon’s, Zerubbabel’s, and Herod the Great’s….the Dome of the Rock Mosque which stands on the site of the Temples of Solomon and Herod.”>> so clearly this land belongs to the Hebrews even though it was swiped from them by <<” Islamic tradition holds that when Muslims first entered the city of Jerusalem under the leadership of Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab (also known as Umar or Omar) in 637, the ruins of the Temple were being used as a rubbish dump by the Christian inhabitants, perhaps in order to humiliate the Jews and fulfill Jesus’ prophecy that not a stone would be left standing on another there; Caliph Omar (contemporary of Muhammad, who had died a few years earlier), ordered it cleaned and performed prayer there. According to some sources, he also ordered a mosque to be constructed at the spot, upon which site the Al-Aqsa Mosque was built several decades later.” [source — Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia on Temple Mount]>>. However, no where did Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab ever buy the land and/or obtain title from the Hebrews who held rightful title and ownership.
The modern government of the Hebrews has been most graceful in permitting the continued squatting of the Al-Aqsa Mosque on property to which they hold title and have not even requested rent from the land so illegally occupied. Now some may question, WRONGLY, the Hebrews ownership, but the restrictions placed on Jews visiting this area solidify the point beyond doubt as follows, <<” The Rabbis have ruled that Jews may not enter specific areas (approximately 15%) of the Temple Mount  because of the danger of entering the area of the Temple courtyard and the difficulty of fulfilling the ritual requirement of cleansing oneself with the ashes of a red heifer (see Numbers 19), and declared it punishable with kareth, or death by heavenly decree . The boundaries of the areas to be avoided, while having large portions in common, are delineated differently by various rabbinic authorities.
Many Rabbis have “imposed a blanket ban on access for Jews to the entire Temple Mount”, given the uncertainty about the location of the permitted areas, an opinion still supported by Rabbis such as Ovadia Yosef, Avraham Shapiro, Eliahu Bakshi-Doron, and Israel Lau. In August 1967, the Chief Rabbis of Israel, Isser Yehuda Unterman and Yitzhak Nissim, in concert with other leading rabbis, asserted that “For generations we have warned against and refrained from entering any part of the Temple Mount.”
However, many other rabbis, including Shlomo Goren, former Chief rabbi of Israel, Chaim David Halevi, Dov Lior, Yosef Elboim, Ysrael Ariel, Shar Yeshuv Hacoen and Yuval Sharlo have “strongly encouraged” Jews to visit the permitted sections of the Temple Mount. . During Maimonides’ residence in Jerusalem, a synagogue stood on the Temple Mount alongside other structures; Maimonides prayed there. The law committee of the Masorti movement (Conservative Judaism in Israel) has issued two responsa on the subject, both holding that Jews may visit the permitted sections of the Temple Mount. One responsa allows such visits, another encourages them.” [source — Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia on Temple Mount]>>.
Even Muslim’s have acknowledged that the Al-Aqsa Mosque sits on the site of the Temple of Solomon, property of the Hebrew nation as follows, <<”The main reason that the Temple Mount is holy in Judaism is that it was the site of the Temple. This fact provides a reason for its holiness in Islam; it is still considered to be the orthodox Islamic position. A Brief Guide to al-Haram al-Sharif, a booklet published in 1930 by the “Supreme Moslem Council”, a body established by the British government to administer waqfs and headed by Hajj Amin al-Husayni during the British Mandate period, states:
“The site is one of the oldest in the world. Its sanctity dates from the earliest times. Its identity with the site of Solomon’s Temple is beyond dispute. This, too, is the spot, according to universal belief, on which David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings.” A footnote refers the reader to 2 Samuel 26:25.
More recent examples include a fatwa issued by the Saudi Sheikh M. S. al-Munajjid, quoted on IslamOnline, 18 March 2001, stating that: Al-Aqsa Mosque (in Jerusalem) was the first of the two qiblahs (prayer direction), and is one of the three mosques to which people may travel for the purpose of worship. And it was said that it was built by Sulayman (Solomon), as stated in Sunan an-Nasa’i and classed as authentic by al-Albani.” [source — — Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia on Temple Mount]>>.
So there can be NO disputing that a great Hebrew nation existed and had title given by the highest authority possible, the creator of all there is, the true God (YHWH) of Abraham, Isaac, and Ishmael, and that they built cities and grand temples on this land granted to them.
THIRD, Another Bible dictionary with a more amplified account of the Temple of Solomon says, <<”A divine habitation, sacred place or sanctuary, either physical or spiritual, that is employed for worship. The Hebrew word heh·khal’, translated “temple,” also means “palace.” The Greek hi·e·ron’ and na·os’ are both rendered “temple” and may refer to the entire temple complex or to its central edifice; na·os’, meaning “sanctuary” or “divine habitation (dwelling),” at times refers specifically to the sacred inner rooms of the temple.
Solomon’s Temple. King David entertained a strong desire to build a house for Jehovah, to contain the ark of the covenant, which was “dwelling in the middle of tent cloths.” Jehovah was pleased with David’s proposal but told him that, because he had shed much blood in warfare, his son (Solomon) would be privileged to do the building. This was not to say that God did not approve David’s wars fought in behalf of Jehovah’s name and His people. But the temple was to be built in peace by a man of peace.-2Sa 7:1–16; 1Ki 5:3–5; 8:17; 1Ch 17:1–14; 22:6–10.
Cost. Later David purchased the threshing floor of Ornan (Araunah) the Jebusite on Mount Moriah as the temple site. (2Sa 24:24, 25; 1Ch 21:24, 25)[[Note, King David purchased the land from his subject to build the temple and did not swipe it as Muslim Calips later did; therefore, he had good title.]] He amassed 100,000 talents of gold, 1,000,000 talents of silver, and copper and iron in great abundance, besides contributing from his personal fortune 3,000 talents of gold and 7,000 talents of silver. He also received as contributions from the princes, gold worth 5,000 talents and 10,000 darics and silver worth 10,000 talents, as well as much iron and copper. (1Ch 22:14; 29:3–7) This total, amounting to 108,000 talents and 10,000 darics of gold and 1,017,000 talents of silver, would be worth $48,337,047,000 at current values. His son Solomon did not spend the entire amount in building the temple; the remainder he put in the temple treasury.-1Ki 7:51; 2Ch 5:1.
Workmen. King Solomon began building the temple for Jehovah in the fourth year of his reign (1034 B.C.E.), in the second month, Ziv, following the architectural plan that David had received by inspiration. (1Ki 6:1; 1Ch 28:11–19) The work continued over a seven-year period. (1Ki 6:37, 38) In exchange for wheat, barley, oil, and wine, Hiram king of Tyre supplied timbers from Lebanon along with skilled workers in wood and stone, and one special expert, also named Hiram, whose father was a Tyrian and his mother an Israelitess of the tribe of Naphtali. This man was a fine workman in gold, silver, copper, iron, wood, stones, and fabrics.-1Ki 5:8–11, 18; 7:13, 14, 40, 45; 2Ch 2:13–16.
In organizing the work, Solomon conscripted 30,000 men out of Israel, sending them to Lebanon in shifts of 10,000 for a month, with a two-month stay at home between shifts. (1Ki 5:13, 14) As burden bearers, he conscripted 70,000 from among the “alien residents” in the land, and as cutters, 80,000. (1Ki 5:15; 9:20, 21; 2Ch 2:2) As foremen over the work, Solomon appointed 550 men and apparently 3,300 as assistants. (1Ki 5:16; 9:22, 23) It appears that, of these, 250 were Israelites and 3,600 were “alien residents” in Israel.-2Ch 2:17, 18…
History. This temple existed until 607 B.C.E., when it was destroyed by the Babylonian army under King Nebuchadnezzar. (2Ki 25:9; 2Ch 36:19; Jer 52:13) Because of the falling away of Israel to false religion, God permitted the nations to harass Judah and Jerusalem, at times stripping the temple of its treasures. The temple also suffered periods of neglect. King Shishak of Egypt robbed it of its treasures (993 B.C.E.) in the days of Rehoboam the son of Solomon, only about 33 years after its inauguration. (1Ki 14:25, 26; 2Ch 12:9) King Asa (977–937 B.C.E.) had respect for Jehovah’s house, but to protect Jerusalem he foolishly bribed King Ben-hadad I of Syria, with silver and gold from the treasures of the temple, to break his covenant with Baasha king of Israel.-1Ki 15:18, 19; 2Ch 15:17, 18; 16:2, 3.
After a period of turbulence and neglect of the temple, King Jehoash of Judah (898–859 B.C.E.) oversaw its repair. (2Ki 12:4–12; 2Ch 24:4–14) In the days of his son Amaziah, Jehoash king of Israel robbed it. (2Ki 14:13, 14) King Jotham (777–762 B.C.E.) did some construction work on the temple area, building “the upper gate.” (2Ki 15:32, 35; 2Ch 27:1, 3) King Ahaz of Judah (761–746 B.C.E.) not only sent the treasures of the temple to Tiglath-pileser III, king of Assyria, as a bribe but he also polluted the temple by building an altar patterned after one in Damascus and by replacing the copper altar of the temple with it. (2Ki 16:5–16) Finally he closed the doors of Jehovah’s house.-2Ch 28:24.
Ahaz’ son Hezekiah (745–717 B.C.E.) did what he could to undo the bad works of his father. At the very beginning of his reign, he reopened the temple and had it cleaned up. (2Ch 29:3, 15, 16) However, later on, for fear of Sennacherib king of Assyria, he cut off the doors and the doorposts of the temple that he himself had caused to be overlaid with gold and sent them to Sennacherib.-2Ki 18:15, 16.
But when Hezekiah died, the temple entered a half century of desecration and disrepair. His son Manasseh (716–662 B.C.E.) went beyond any of Judah’s previous kings in wickedness, setting up altars “to all the army of the heavens in two courtyards of the house of Jehovah.” (2Ki 21:1–5; 2Ch 33:1–4) By the time of Manasseh’s grandson Josiah (659–629 B.C.E.), the formerly magnificent edifice was in a state of disrepair. Evidently it was in a disorganized or cluttered condition, for High Priest Hilkiah’s finding the book of the Law (likely an original scroll written by Moses) was an exciting discovery. (2Ki 22:3–13; 2Ch 34:8–21) After the temple’s repair and cleansing, the greatest Passover since the days of Samuel the prophet was celebrated. (2Ki 23:21–23; 2Ch 35:17–19) This was during the ministry of the prophet Jeremiah. (Jer 1:1–3) From this time until the temple’s destruction, it remained open and in use by the priesthood, though many of the priests were corrupt.
The Temple Built by Zerubbabel. As foretold by Jehovah’s prophet Isaiah, God raised up Cyrus king of Persia as a liberator of Israel from the power of Babylon. (Isa 45:1) Jehovah also stirred up his own people under the leadership of Zerubbabel of the tribe of Judah to return to Jerusalem. This they did in 537 B.C.E., after 70 years of desolation, as Jeremiah had foretold, for the purpose of rebuilding the temple. (Ezr 1:1–6; 2:1, 2; Jer 29:10) This structure, though not nearly so glorious as Solomon’s temple, endured longer, standing for nearly 500 years, from 515 B.C.E. to very late in the first century B.C.E. (The temple built by Solomon had served about 420 years, from 1027 to 607 B.C.E.)
In Cyrus’ decree he ordered: “As for anyone that is left from all the places where he is residing as an alien, let the men of his place assist him with silver and with gold and with goods and with domestic animals along with the voluntary offering for the house of the true God, which was in Jerusalem.” (Ezr 1:1–4) Cyrus also returned 5,400 vessels of gold and silver that Nebuchadnezzar had taken from Solomon’s temple.-Ezr 1:7–11.
In the seventh month (Ethanim, or Tishri) of the year 537 B.C.E., the altar was set up; and in the following year, the foundation of the new temple was laid. As Solomon had done, the builders hired Sidonians and Tyrians to bring cedar timbers from Lebanon. (Ezr 3:7) Opposition, particularly from the Samaritans, disheartened the builders, and after about 15 years those opposers even incited the king of Persia to ban the work.-Ezr 4…
The Temple Rebuilt by Herod. This temple is not described in any detail in the Scriptures. The primary source is Josephus, who personally saw the structure and who reports on its construction in The Jewish War and Jewish Antiquities. The Jewish Mishnah supplies some information, and a little is gained from archaeology. Therefore the description set forth here is from these sources, which in some instances may be open to question.-PICTURE, Vol. 2, p. 543.
In The Jewish War (I, 401 [xxi, 1]), Josephus says that Herod rebuilt the temple in the 15th year of his reign, but in Jewish Antiquities (XV, 380 [xi, 1]), he says it was in the 18th year. This latter date is generally accepted by scholars, although the beginning of Herod’s reign, or how Josephus calculated it, is not established with certainty. The sanctuary itself took 18 months to build, but the courtyards, and so forth, were under construction for eight years. When certain Jews approached Jesus Christ in 30 C.E., saying, “This temple was built in forty-six years” (Joh 2:20), these Jews were apparently talking about the work that continued on the complex of courts and buildings up until then. The work was not finished until about six years before the destruction of the temple in 70 C.E.
Because of hatred and distrust of Herod, the Jews would not permit him to rebuild the temple, as he proposed, until he had everything prepared for the new building. For the same reason they did not consider this temple as a third one, but only as a rebuilt one, speaking only of the first and second temples (Solomon’s and Zerubbabel’s).
As to Josephus’ measurements, Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible (1889, Vol. IV, p. 3203) says: “His horizontal dimensions are so minutely accurate that we almost suspect he had before his eyes, when writing, some ground-plan of the building prepared in the quartermaster-general’s department of Titus’s army. They form a strange contrast with his dimensions in height, which, with scarcely an exception, can be shown to be exaggerated, generally doubled. As the buildings were all thrown down during the siege, it was impossible to convict him of error in respect to elevations.” [source — Insight to the Scripture, Vol. 2]>>.
So those who claim that the modern nation of Israel is a new nation are without any foundation. The modern nation of Israel is just the RETURN of the ancient nation of Israel after a long hiatus; to wit, it is just the Hebrews reclaiming their land and nation that belongs to them.