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There were two temples in Jerusalem. I've seen conflicting statements about their heights. So this is a few questions in one:

  1. What was the average height (from the foundation) of each of the two temples?

  2. How tall was the highest point (from the foundation) of each of the two temples?

  3. How high above sea level was each of the two temples?

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First temple: 30 cubits tall (I Kings 6:2), with an entryway 120 cubits tall (II Chronicles 3:4).

Second temple: 100 cubits tall (Mishnah, Middot 4:6).

Elevation: the highest point of the present-day Temple Mount is about 740 meters above sea level. There are various theories about where on the mountain the temples were located, so they may have been a little lower than that.

  • I saw that there are various theories about temple location, but does scholarship generally support the two temples being in exactly the same place as each other or not? – Mr. Bultitude Jan 9 '15 at 19:55
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    Jewish scholarship definitely does. Dunno about modern scholarship, but it's hard to see why they wouldn't have - it's easier to build on existing foundations. – user438 Jan 9 '15 at 20:01
  • the jew's kept pretty good history over the location, as well as stayed in control of Jerusalem pretty much till the last temple was destroyed in like 70ish ad. i dont believe anyone who destroyed a templed stayed long enough to have fully removed the foundations, or built anything ontop of, before the jews reclaimed or moved back into Jerusalem. – Himarm Jan 9 '15 at 20:23
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    Anything's possible, but for reference a modern "storey" is about 3M each, so that would be the equivalent of a doorway about 18 stories high. Another alternative is that those numbers are witness estimates (likely from two different people), not architectural specs. People are notoriously bad at estimating vertical distances. Unfortunately, that would leave our poor OQ back where he started from. All we'd be able to say is "really high". – T.E.D. Aug 4 '15 at 19:20
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    T.E.D. asked "How exactly was the entryway 4 times taller than the building itself? Either you got something wrong, the Bible got something wrong, or they had really interesting architecture." Fortunately Christians never built such excessively high entrances. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Peter%27s_Church,_Hamburg#/media/… or en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Martin%27s_Church,_Landshut or en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Olaf%27s_Church,_Tallinn or en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… – MAGolding Apr 20 '17 at 3:10

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