The trigger for the construction of the First Temple in Jerusalem was an epidemic that broke out as a result of King David’s mismanagement of a national census. Now some are wondering to what extent the current pandemic will play a role in the building of the Third Temple.
The timing and the choice of location for the First Temple on Mount Moria were both related to David’s census, though it would of course be his son, Solomon, who built the shrine. But it was David who purchased the holy site in Jerusalem and built an altar there to the God of Israel in order to bring an end to the epidemic.
It was at the direct command of God that David was to “Go, number Israel and Judah.” And so the king sent his top general, Joab, to visit all the Tribes of Israel, from Dan in the north to Beersheva in the south (2 Samuel 24). Joab was apprehensive, and asked the king why he’d order such a thing. Joab knew that according to the Torah...
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