October 2022 Letter
On the last Sunday of the Coptic year, the Church reads the Gospel in which Christ talks about the destruction of Jerusalem and the desolation of the Temple (Matthew 24: 3-35). It is useful to get acquainted with the history of the construction of the Temple and when it was destroyed, which the Lord Christ foretold:
❖ Year 955 B.C.: King Solomon completed the construction of the “First Temple”.
❖ Year 586 B.C.: the Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians under King Nebuchadnezzar.
❖ Year 520 B.C.: Zerubbabel reconstructed it after returning from the exile at the beginning of the reign of the Kingdom of Media and Persia. The “Second Temple” differs from the first in terms of:
There was no Ark of the Covenant, the Holy of the Holies was empty, with a huge rock on which the High Priest used to sprinkle the blood of the Atonement Sacrifice on the Day of Atonement.
The temple was no longer a royal property, meaning that it was not owned by the king, but rather was for the people asthe people built it with hard work and from their personal efforts.
❖ Year 164 B.C. it was renovated by the Maccabees after it was destroyed by Antiochus of the Seleucids in 167 BC., and he built an altar to the god Zeus. The Jews continued to celebrate this event on the Feast of Dedication (Third Temple).
❖ Year 20 B.C.: Herod the Great began restoring the temple of Zerubbabel when it began to crack for danger of falling. He added several porches to it, separating each porch from the other by several steps:
The Gentiles’ porch of (the place of buying and selling).
The women’s porch, where 13 donation boxes were placed. It was named as such because Israeli women were not allowed to advance any further.
Israelites’ porch; on its fifteen steps, they sang the psalms of the Ascents, starting from Psalm 120 to Psalm 134.
The Priests’ porch.
❖ Year 70 A.D.: The Temple was destroyed by the Roman commander Titus.
❖ It was not built after that, and it will not be built, as was foretold by Christ (Matthew 23).
The blessing of St. Mary, St. Mercurius and all the martyrs and saints be with us all. Amen
Belleville, October 1, 2022