Two weeks ago, Israel’s Public Security Minister commented in a radio interview that Jews should be allowed to pray on the Temple Mount along with Muslims (Jerusalem Post, August 20, 2019). Since 1967, Jordan has been the “custodian” of the Temple Mount where only Muslims are allowed to pray and worship. For Muslims, the Al-Aqsa mosque is the third-holiest site in Islam—a location from which Muhammad ascended into the sky, according to traditional Islamic belief. For Jews, the Temple Mount is their holiest site—where both Solomon’s and Herod’s temples stood and sacrifices were offered to God.
The official’s comments have angered Jordanian officials. They subsequently summoned the Israeli ambassador and directed him to inform the Israeli government to “immediately cease all violations and attempts aimed at changing the historical and legal situation in the holy compound.” Jordan is contemplating closing the Israeli embassy in its capital and summoning the U.S. ambassador to pressure the Israeli government to avoid changing the “status quo” on the Temple Mount.
This current conflict over worship on the Temple Mount is not a new one, nor is it likely to be the last. Bible prophecy reveals that one day Jews will be allowed to resume daily religious sacrifices—a practice that is also prophesied to be brought to an abrupt end (Daniel 11:31; 12:11; Matthew 24:15). Could those coming sacrifices take place on the Temple Mount? As Richard Ames explains in The Middle East in Prophecy, “Jews are not currently allowed to publicly worship on the Temple Mount; only Muslims now have that privilege. So, it remains to be seen where the Jews will begin sacrificing. It will probably take a national crisis to precipitate that event” (p. 21). The conflict over the Temple Mount bears watching (Mark 13:37). To learn more about future events that will involve the Middle East, Jerusalem, and the Temple Mount, read or listen to The Middle East in Prophecy.