Continuing our series on the development of Mount Moriah and the Temple Mount, we have now arrived at the time of Ezra and Nehemiah. In the Post-Exilic period, the returnees from Babylon first built the altar and then laid the foundations of the Second Temple (536 BC). There is no reason to doubt that these foundations followed the same orientation as the temple being replaced, as the foundation trenches were preserved in the Rock (as they are to this day). Due to the opposition of the local population, it took twenty years to complete the building of which we are told that it was 60 cubits high and wide, presumably referring to the dimensions of the façade.
Later on, during the time of Nehemiah, the city walls were restored as recorded in Nehemiah Chapter 3:
Below is the fifth drawing in the series of Mount Moriah that shows the Temple Mount in the Post-Exilic period with the walls of the original square Temple Mount restored (the first in this series was Mount Moriah itself, followed by the mount during the times of the Jebusites, Solomon and Hezekiah).
A few months ago, we updated our Jerusalem in the Time of Nehemiah book. It was very popular and the first of our books to be sold out completely. The new edition which is now available from our website, has been updated with digital photographs, some by Nathaniel Ritmeyer, and also with new drawings. The above mentioned reconstruction drawing of the Temple built by Jeshua and Zerubbabel has been included, together with new drawings of Jerusalem at that time.
We are still waiting for our Temple Mount guide book to be published and also the revised Jerusalem in 30 AD . The original version of the latter book was based on our slide set (now discontinued) which we produced in the 1990’s. This book also soId out. The latest edition has new digital photographs and an additional section on the Palace of Queen Helena of Adiabene. Although ready for publication, the publishers are waiting for tourism to pick up after the recent unrest in Jerusalem.