Third Temple, Inc.: The Eschatology Driving Israel's Temple Movement

blueapples's Photo
by blueapples
Thursday, Apr 18, 2024 - 16:27

While the world waits with bated breath for the potential escalation of a conflict between Israel and Iran that has set the trajectory for a world war that could culminate in a nuclear apocalypse, Israel finds itself in the midst of another apocalyptic narrative, though one that is far more esoteric. With Passover approaching at a time where strife between the Jewish and Islamic worlds is more dire than ever, it appears that the state of Israel may be on the precipice of sanctioning a ritual intent on fulfilling the prophecy Jews hold regarding the revelation of their Messiah. The performance of that ritual is sought after by Israel's Temple Movement, which demonstrates how Judaism is a driving force behind the politics of Israel despite the contention by its allies that the country is exceptional for being a modern secular democracy in a region where it is surrounded by radical theocracies.

According to various media outlets, Jewish groups in Israel are preparing the sacrifice of a red heifer on the Mount Of Olives overlooking the Temple Mount. Speculation is that the sacrifice will take place on April 22nd during Passover in an act that Judaism deems is necessary to purify the ground on which the Third Temple must be built to bring forth their Messiah. The purification of the ground the Third Temple would require the destruction of the Al Aqsa Mosque which stands there now. Looking to materialize that prophecy will not only to provoke even more religious and cultural strife between Jews and Muslims in Israel and throughout the world but increase volatility in a region whose political instability represents perhaps the greatest threat to the mankind today.

The dictate requiring the sacrifice of the red heifer is part of a ritual set in chapter 19 of the Book Of Numbers, The Red Heifer And The Cleaning Waters, which deems that "a red heifer without defect or blemish and that has never been under a yoke" must be sacrificed before the temple can rise again. Performing that sacrifice was the impetus behind Uvne Jerusalem importing 5 red angus cattle from the Texas in 2022. To circumvent export laws preventing US cattle exports to Israel, Uvne Jerusalem member Yitshak Mamo declared the red heifers as his pets, undertaking an arduous task to bring them to the Holy Land and prepare them for sacrifice. Uvne Jerusalem is one of many groups encompassed by the Temple Movement that has swept across Israel. The mission of these groups is to advance the the creation of the Third Temple which itself is preceded by the sacrifice of the red heifer to purify the temple mount. The accomplishment of stage one of that mission appears to be on the horizon according to others in the Temple Movement.

According to Michael Samuel Smith, a Christian preacher and member of Temple Movement group Boneh Israel, the time to complete that sacrifice is now as the red heifers have finally come of age. Smith opined “This is the first time in nearly 2,000 years a successful red heifer has come about...It is still our opinion the first successful red heifer sacrifice will take place in the spring of 2024 around the Passover to Pentecost timeframe. We believe God is going to reveal himself through the efforts of this future event. It is truly a sign of the times, most especially for Jews in Israel.” In doing so, the Temple Movement hopes to fulfill the prophecy of Jewish eschatology to bring forth its messiah.

Eschatology is defined as the theological study concerning the end of days. More broadly, its definition can be expanded to refer to the beliefs within a particular religious dogma that espouse how mankind's destiny will be realized at the advent of the apocalypse. As demonstrated by the earliest evidence of theology in recorded history, this facet of religion is ubiquitous across belief systems from the polytheism of ancient times to the Abrahamic religions that have served as the foundation for western and middle eastern society in modernity. While each respective religion differs in their eschatological beliefs, none would assert that the others are nonexistent despite the inherent opposition they would have to their validity.

The secular world would object to both those premises, seeing the theological specialization as nothing more than an absurd belief system that should have been anachronized long before humanity entered into of the age of the rationality. Yet, by wholly dismissing eschatology, secularists close themselves off to an important consideration driving the foundations of many modern political ideologies. Although prophecies on the end of the world do not exist in their eyes, dismissing them entirely overlooks the irrefutable material reality that the belief of those who do ascribe to eschatology is a force that has driven the course of history and continues to til this very day, as evidenced by the Temple Movement and its calls for the sacrifice of the red heifer.

This oversight may not be more apparent than in respect to Zionism. Despite the inextricable tie to Judaism as the foundation for the creation and sustained existence of the state of Israel, Zionism is almost always perceived through a completely secular lens. Instead of dogma and doctrine being considerations for the evaluation people have on Israeli history and politics, those tenets are superseded by secularized cultural aspects representing the Jewish ethnos. However, that perspective is not only limited but naive in understanding the mission Zionist ultimately espouses. One needn't look further than the direct rhetoric coming from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to see the obvious religiously driven motives behind his policy making. This is apparent from Netanyahu repeatedly drawing from the Book Of Samuel to refer to Hamas as "Amalek" as if it is his destiny to be a steward of the promise to destroy them made long ago in the early days of deuteronomistic history.

What the Temple Movement now focused on sacrificing the red heifer shows in conjunction with the rhetoric coming from the Netanyahu regime is that the permeation of Jewish eschatology driving the body politic of Israel is more prevalent than the rhetoric confined to the Israel-Hamas war. The magnitude of that force not only resonates in the Jewish diaspora but in the Islamic world which is diametrically opposed to these developments. Those reverberations are so impactful that Hamas spokesman Abu Ubaida even cited the Temple Movement importing red heifers for sacrifice as one of the motives for the militant group's attack on October 7th. Abu Ubaida included this declaration in a speech made marking the 100th day of the war in Gaza.

Despite the utterly apparent religious motives driving the direction of Israel's policy making, the Jewish state has somehow become immunized from comparable criticisms the western world places on Islamic states like Iran for being a radical theocracy. While Islamic nations are viewed in the west as inherently radical religious states, Israel is not labeled with that same distinction despite its foundation being predicated upon the idea that its god promised its people the land they occupy today which thus legitimizes their claim to it. If that cognitive dissonance is not corrected then the unconditional support the western world has for Israel may be the actual catalyst for the end of days. Although it may not fit the mold of the messianic prophecy of Judaism encompassing the sacrifice of the red heifer, the provocation of that apocalypse would mean the end of mankind all the same.

Contributor posts published on Zero Hedge do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Zero Hedge, and are not selected, edited or screened by Zero Hedge editors.