Ancient Israelite Temples Timeline (1300 BC—AD 100) by Bryce Haymond is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. That means you can use this graphic however you please, as long as you attribute the original work to me and this website, and any derivatives must be licensed the same. See the Creative Commons link above for more details.
I am a visual learner in many ways, so sometimes I like to put things together visually so I can get a better grasp of them, and understand them more thoroughly. The history of the ancient Israelite temples is one of those things that I wanted to learn better, so I created this timeline to help me visualize it.
The timeline shows the basic history of the ancient Israelite temples from the Tabernacle of Moses, through Solomon’s Temple (First Temple Period), the Babylonian Exile, and Zerubbabel’s and Herod’s Temples (Second Temple Period). This spans about 1400 years. Major temple structures are noted, as well as lesser known Israelite temples. Major events which affected temple worship are marked and labeled, as well as other important dates.
The information on the timeline is sourced primarily from William Hamblin and David Seely’s excellent 2007 book, Solomon’s Temple: Myth and History (pages 9-49, 210). Other information was found at various sources online.
I’m sure there are many details I’ve left out, and probably some errors. If there are items that you think should be included (such as additional Israelite temples), please let me know. If there are errors, please tell me those as well. Just leave notes in the comments, and I will continually update the timeline here as I receive feedback. Thanks!
Update (10/31/2009): I’ve updated the timeline. I’ve added some temples in the New World, including the temple in the city of Nephi, Zarahemla, and Bountiful. I’ve also added several more Old World temples including Arad, Meggido, Lachish, Beersheba, Gilgal, Ebal, Shechem, Shiloh, Kirjath-jearim, and Gibeon. Many of the dates are approximated. There are still more to add, as soon as I find more details.
Update (11/2/2009): I’ve decided to make this strictly an Old World temples timeline, so I’ve removed the few references to temples in the New World. I may make a separate timeline which compiles what we know of temples in the Book of Mormon. I’ve added some details about the ruling parties in Judea between 515 BC and AD 100. I’ve also added a visual reconstruction of what the Elephantine Temple may have looked like. Other small details have also been added.
Floyd the Wonderdog
Don’t forget that Nephi built a temple in the Americas.
Good catch on the Elephantine Island temple, but I don’t see the one at Arad.
Floyd, good one. I’ll have to see if I can find the New World temples approx. dates, and add them in.
Larry, do you have dates on the Arad temple? FAIR says it is from the 10th century BC to 1st century AD.
In the 9th century BCE, a new citadel was built, surrounded by a massive, 4 m.-thick wall. This citadel, with various modifications, remained in use until the Babylonian conquest of the Kingdom of Judah in 587/6 BCE.
The Israelite Temple
Located in the northwestern corner of the citadel, the temple comprised three rooms along an east-west axis: ulam (entrance hall), heichal (main hall), and dvir (holy-of-holies). To reach the dvir three steps had to be mounted to an elevated platform, on which a one-meter high stone stele, painted red, stood. Stone altars, 50 cm. high, flanked both sides of the entrance to the dvir. The tops of the altars were concave and in them burnt organic material was found. At the center of the large courtyard in front of the temple was an altar built of bricks and stone, measuring 2.5 x 2.5 m. (5 x 5 biblical amot). It was probably similar to the altar described in the Bible (Deut. 27:5) and to that in the Temple in Jerusalem. (II Chronicles 6:13)
-from jewish virtual library
I’ve made several updates to the timeline. I’m still looking for details about the following temples to add: Mizpah, Hebron, Bethlehem, Nob, Ephraim, Ophrah, Gibeah, and Shechem/Mt. Gerizim (Samaritan).
This timeline is awesome, Bryce! And especially so now that you added all the other temples — I have never seen them all depicted on any timeline before. Very nice images and professional look! Thanks a bunch!
Thanks David. Let me know if you see anything I may have left out or got wrong. I want to keep it updated and current. I may even expand it beyond AD 100.
I’m still looking for more details about these temples: Mizpah, Hebron, Bethlehem, Nob, Ephraim, Ophrah, Gibeah, and Shechem/Mt. Gerizim (Samaritan). They are mentioned in the Solomon’s Temple book.
Very well done, Bryce. Just one more great tool to help people in their personal understanding of the temples of the Lord. This continues to be one of my favorite sites on the web! I never miss any post you publish, thank you so very much for all the time and effort you devote to helping people all around the world appreciate the House of the Lord.
You’re very kind, Steve. Thank you.
I’ve updated the timeline again. On the suggestion of a friend, I’ve decided to make this strictly an Old World temples timeline, so I’ve removed the few references to temples in the New World. I may make a separate timeline which compiles what we know of temples in the Book of Mormon. I’ve added some details about the ruling parties in Judea between 515 BC and AD 100. I’ve also added a visual reconstruction of what the Elephantine Temple may have looked like. Other small details have also been added.
Wow, this looks great! Very professional looking and very informative. I’ve never seen a temple history laid out so well. What software did you use to make it?
You mentioned you had created a separate timeline for the New World, but I couldn’t see a link to it. Have you put it up?
I would love to see a continued history after 100A.D.
Thanks Brandon! I used Adobe Illustrator to design it. I’m a designer by profession.
I haven’t made a timeline yet for the New World. The biggest difficulty is that there are not many details about the temples in the New World. We only know about 3-4 of them, and most we don’t have details of their construction (dates in particular). So it may be hard for me to make one for the New World.
I would like to extend this one beyond A.D. 100…