The 2nd Temple Era lasted from around 2,400 years ago to nearly 2,000 years ago. When we refer to the Temple, we are referring to the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. This was built by Nehemiah and a minority of the Jewish people who returned after their exile by the Babylonians. There are some remnants from the 1st Temple Era – nearly 3,000 years ago, but there are an overwhelming number of small andlarge remnants from the 2nd Temple Era. Why are these so important?
The 2nd Temple was built in stages. At first, the Sages who were old enough to remember the 1st Temple were saddened at how the 2nd Temple was inferior to the 1st Temple. But over the course of the 400+ years that the 2nd Temple stood, it was strengthened and beautified by various leaders. The builder who did the most to enhance everything around the area of the Temple was Herod. King Herod clearly spent most of his time developing enormous building ideas. There are stadiums in Caesaria and massive construction projects that date back to his time period. Much of what was built in his time covered up things from the previous decades. All of this was happening at the very same time that Judaism would spawn the next large religion of the world – Christianity. Judaism had been in existence for thousands of years andthe Muslim religion wouldnot exist for yet another five hundred years. But Christianity began around the time of the waning years of the 2nd Temple. So every discovery unearths yet another piece of the puzzle that is the beginnings of the Christian religion and the struggles of the Jewish nation before the 2nd massive exile from the Land of Israel.
One thing becomes more and more crystal clear with each discovery. The Jewish people’s connection dates back thousands of years before any other people’s connection to the Land of Israel. The Jewish people are indeed the indigenous people of the Land of Israel. They just spent nearly 2,000 years being chased around and not allowed to return. Around 150-200 years ago, everything began to change and the Jewish people returned to their Land that waited for them for nearly 2,000 years.