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When was the temple destroyed?

As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!”

“Do you see all these great buildings?” replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”

As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked him privately, “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?” Mark 13:1-4

            The temple Jesus saw while on earth was really the second temple ever built.  The first was Solomon’s temple destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC, then rebuilt during the days of Zerubbabel, Ezra and Nehemiah around 516 BC, then completely refurbished by Herod the Great during the time of Jesus.

            After Jesus’ time on earth (he departed between 28-33AD), Jewish revolution escalated, starting with a riot in 66 AD as zealots (Jewish revolutionaries) set up their own Judean government.  Rome became increasingly frustrated with Jerusalem, so they sieged the city (blocking all in and out going traffic, food supplies, etc.) beginning on April 14, 70 AD, just before Passover, led by Titus (one day to become Emperor) during the reign of Emperor Vespasian. 

            Titus and his armies stormed Jerusalem, setting fire to do, using battering rams and tearing down the walls and the temple.  Jerusalem finally was overthrown on September 8, 70 AD.  Josephus, a historian, said that 1.1 million died in this conflict, most of them Jews.  Many surviving Jews fled Jerusalem and never returned.

Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Mark 13:30

            Most of that generation Jesus spoke to would have seen this all happen forty years later.