Is Yirmiyahu 7:4 the source for the idea that there won't be a 4th Temple? If not, what is?

ד אַל-תִּבְטְחוּ לָכֶם, אֶל-דִּבְרֵי הַשֶּׁקֶר לֵאמֹר: הֵיכַל יְהוָה הֵיכַל יְהוָה, הֵיכַל יְהוָה הֵמָּה.‏
4. Trust ye not in lying words, saying: 'The temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, are these.'

Edit: Rashi says this refers to the shalosh regalim, what is his source for that?

  • Why would you think someone lying while saying "temple" three times means there will be three temples? Does the context there suggest that to you? To me it sounds like God is telling the people what they're doing isn't good enough and if the people start behaving better there will be no exiles at all.
    – A L
    Aug 21, 2016 at 19:55

3 Answers 3


Chapter 40 and subsequent chapters of the prophecy of Yechezkel deal with the third temple.

In Chapter 43 (7) he says

And He said to me, Son of man, [this is] the place of My throne and [this is] the place of the soles of My feet where I shall dwell in the midst of the Children of Israel forever, and the House of Israel will no longer defile My Holy Name, etc.”

Please notice the word “forever” which implies that there will not be another temple. Please also see the explanation of the Malbim who describes the dwelling of the Divine Presence there as שכינת קבע - a fixed dwelling.

  • 1
    Is לעולם really not used in any other description of the conquest of Israel/Jerusalem or the other Temples?
    – Double AA
    Dec 15, 2013 at 17:22
  • 3
    Actually, Yechezkel is talking about the second temple. But the second temple was not built that way, so we say it talks about the third. But it might also be talking about the 4th or 5th or 10th.
    – avi
    Dec 15, 2013 at 17:43
  • @DoubleAA If I remember correctly, "forever" is also mentioned in reference to the Mishkan.
    – avi
    Dec 15, 2013 at 17:44
  • 2
    @avi What you mean to start your comment with is: Actually we have no idea what number Temple Yechezkel is talking about. (Not unlike many of his other prophecies...)
    – Double AA
    Dec 15, 2013 at 17:56
  • Rabbi Frankel (Educational Coordinator at OU) in his article subtitles it "Construction and Inauguration of the Eternal Temple" and says: "an opinion cited in RASHI that this relates to the Second Temple, is based on the idea that that one could have been the Temple of the Mashiach, if not for the fact that "sin intervened," and the Repentance, of the People was inadequate, and the Redemption was pushed off into the future." The Haftarah also describes the Dedication of that Great Temple in the Messianic Age. Dec 15, 2013 at 19:12

In the book Holy Temple Revisited Rabbi Reznik claims that Bar Kochva built one and perhaps others as well (based on talmudic and midrashic sources )

  • 3
    You should copy in the quote you are citing so we can see exactly what is said. Jul 13, 2018 at 21:13

The Book of Haggai begins with divine dissatisfaction with the returning exiles for failing to build the Second Temple. When they do start building, God is unimpressed. Nonetheless, He encourages Zerubabel and Joshua, and says (Hag 2:6):

כִּי כֹה אָמַר יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת, עוֹד אַחַת מְעַט הִיא; וַאֲנִי, מַרְעִישׁ אֶת-הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֶת-הָאָרֶץ, וְאֶת-הַיָּם, וְאֶת-הֶחָרָבָה.

For thus saith the LORD of hosts: Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land

(emphasis mine)

Metzudat David says that "Yet once" refers to the Second Temple, which will only last "a little while", before being destroyed, as if the heavens, earth, sea, and dry land are being shaken. According to him, verse 7 is referring to the coming redemption.

So as of the beginning of the Second Temple, There will be "one more" exile and destruction before God reveals Himself, implying that the third Temple will be the last.

  • Did you check any classical commentaries to see if they agree?
    – Double AA
    Nov 24, 2015 at 20:41
  • @DoubleAA how'd I do? He doesn't say it in so many words, but its implied in the way I originally wrote.
    – Baby Seal
    Nov 25, 2015 at 0:39
  • That verse does not say there will be three and only three temples. If this is the whole basis of saying there will be three and only three temples, that's pretty flimsy.
    – A L
    Aug 21, 2016 at 19:50
  • @AL correct. It says there will be one more temple before the redemption, which implies that there will be 3 and only 3.
    – Baby Seal
    Aug 22, 2016 at 19:22
  • @BabySeal It does not say there will be one more temple before the redemption either. It sounds like it says that in a short period of time (not 2500 years) God will again shake the heavens and earth to encourage the nations to recognize that (2nd) Temple.
    – A L
    Aug 22, 2016 at 21:41

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