Herod’s Temple in the Time of Jesus
Herod began construction of this magnificent temple in 20/19 b.c., during the 18th year of his reign. The main construction phase was completed within about a decade. Detailed descriptions of the temple exist in Josephus ( Jewish Antiquities 15.380–425; Jewish War 5.184–247) and in early rabbinic writings. The Roman army under Titus destroyed the temple during the capture of Jerusalem in a.d. 70. The temple was 172 feet (52 m) long, wide, and high (about 16 to 20 stories tall).