The Israelis erected a tent in the wilderness soon after Moses led Israel out of Egyptian slavery (Exodus 40:1-3). They placed the Ark of the Covenant, which was God’s dwelling place on earth, inside that tent. Centuries later Israel moved the ark into a magnificent temple on the Temple Mount. While building this first temple was an initiative of King David, it was King Solomon who oversaw its construction (2 Samuel 7:1-2; 1 Kings 6:1). This project employed a labor force of 180,000 men and required seven years to complete (1 Kings 5:13-15; 1 Kings 6:38).
King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon destroyed Jerusalem, to include the Temple Mount, and the Israeli people were taken captive in 586 BC (Jeremiah 39:1). Three years later Darius the Mede overthrew the Babylonians and imposed the Medo-Persia Empire (Daniel 5:30-31). Later Cyrus, King of Persia, released a large number of Israelis and instructed those returning to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple (Ezra 1:1-3). In 515 BC, the temple was rebuilt; this second building on the Temple Mount became known as the second temple (Ezra 6:15).
Joseph and Mary dedicated Jesus at this second temple (Luke 2:27). This also is where Jesus’ searching parents found him teaching as a young man (Luke 2:41-50). Jesus forcefully cleared profiteering merchants from this temple (John 2:13-16). Jesus and Apostles preached at the temple (John 2:13-16; Acts 3:1).
Because Israel rejected its Messiah, Jesus foretold this temple would be destroyed (Matthew 24:1-2). This occurred when Israel fell to the Roman Army in 70 AD. With the Islamic capture of Jerusalem centuries later, the Dome of the Rock shrine and the Al Aqsa Mosque were built on the Temple Mount. The most visible building on the Temple Mount today is the Dome of the Rock, which is built over a “sacred” rock.
Islam understands that on God’s holy mountain, this Temple Mount, that a rock should be honored.