With the fall of Babylon, the Persian emperor Cyrus the Great allowed the Jews to return to the Land of Israel, beginning in 538. A rebuilt temple was dedicated in 515 B.C.E. – a little-known precursor to the grand structure called Herod’s Temple.
That Second Temple was an expanded and significantly upgraded structure whose construction was led by the half-Jewish, half-Edumean Herod, the Roman-appointed king of Judea who died in 4 B.C.E.
So the priests (kohen) , and the Levite , and some of the people, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinims, dwelt in their cities, and all Israel in their cities
נְתִינִים noun masculine plural Nethinim(properly those given to the service of the sanctuary, as Levites are calledנְתוּנִים Numbers 3:9; Numbers 8:16,19); — only 1 Chronicles 9:2 (where distinguished from priests and Levites)
And when the seventh month was come, and the children of Israel were in the cities, the people gathered themselves together as one man to Jerusalem.
2Then stood up :
- Jeshua the son of Jozadak,
- and his brethren the priests,
- and Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel,
- and his brethren,
it is written in the law of Moses the man of God.3And they set the altar upon his bases; for fear was upon them because of the people of those countries:
- and they offered burnt offerings thereon unto the LORD, even burnt offerings morning and evening.
- 4They kept also the feast of tabernacles, as it is written,
- and offeredthe daily burnt offerings by number, according to the custom, as the duty of every day required;
- 5And afterwardoffered the continual burnt offering, both of the new moons, and of all the set feasts of the LORD that were consecrated, and of every one that willingly offered a freewill offering unto the LORD.
From the first day of the seventh month began they to offer burnt offerings unto the LORD. But the foundation of the temple of the LORD was not yet laid. 7They gave money also unto the masons, and to the carpenters; and meat, and drink, and oil, unto them of Zidon, and to them of Tyre, to bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the sea of Joppa, according to the grant that they had of Cyrus king of Persia.
Now in the second year of their coming unto the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month,
began Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and the remnant of their brethren the priests and the Levites, and all they that were come out of the captivity unto Jerusalem; and appointed the Levites, from twenty years old and upward, to set forward the work of the house of the LORD.
- 9Then stood Jeshua with his sons and his brethren,
- Kadmiel and his sons, the sons of Judah, together, to set forward the workmen in the house of God:
- the sons of Henadad, with their sons and their brethren the Levites.
And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, they set the priests in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals, to praise the LORD, after the ordinance of David king of Israel.
11And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the LORD; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. 12But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy:13So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off.
In the seventh month, in the one and twentieth day of the month, came the word of the LORD by the prophet Haggai, saying, 2Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and to the residue of the people, saying, 3Whois left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing? 4Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the LORD; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the LORD, and work: for I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts: 5According tothe word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so my spirit remaineth among you: fear ye not. 6For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; 7And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts. 8The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts. 9The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts.
Solomon’s Temple called by the Jews, the “First Temple” was destroyed by the siege of Nebuchadnezzar and the armies of Babylon on the 9th of Av in 586 BC. Some seventy years later, approximately, Jewish exiles were allowed to return to Jerusalem to build an altar, the “Second” Jewish temple, and finally the walls of the city. Although modest in comparison to the First Temple, the Second Temple was later greatly enlarged and expanded by Herod the Great.
This latter temple was the Temple in which Jesus was dedicated, and where He taught and cast out the money changers on two occasions.
But the now-magnificent Second Temple was destroyed by General Titus and besieging Roman armies on the 9th of Av in AD 70. This destruction had been predicted by Jesus earlier (see Matthew 24, Luke 21)
After two violent wars with Rome, the City of David was so completely destroyed that it could not be recognized as a city. The Roman emperor Hadrian decreed that it would be used as an area where the Upper City could dump trash and garbage. It continued in that condition for hundreds of years. The Upper City developed, and people forgot what a marvelous little city this had once been. They simply guessed where strategic locations in the City of David must have been in the Upper City. Of course, this was a normal mistake.