The modern rendition of the biblically mandated group of 71 elders known as the Sanhedrin has extended an exceptional offer via a potential open letter to anyone of Arab descent. According to news reports coming out of Israel the Sanhedrin has recognized modern Arabs as “the sons of Ishmael” and has offered them the opportunity to take part in supporting the construction of a 3rd Temple in Jerusalem. According to the Sanhedrin this offer is meant as much more than mere symbolism – the intent is to bring the world closer to the era of global peace characteristic of the future Messianic reign. The letter begins by crediting God for His work and announcing the intent to rebuild the Jewish Temple. It commences, “Dear brothers, the distinguished Sons of Ishmael, The great Arab nation, with the gracious help of the protector and Savior of Israel, Creator of the world by covenant, we declare that the footsteps of Messiah are evidently heard and that the time has come to rebuild the Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem in its ancient place.” Emphasizing the era of peace that such participation would encourage the letter concludes noting “By virtue of this, we are certain that you will choose peaceful means and avoid all paths to hostility and violence. And we are sure that together we shall open doors to love and respect.”
Letter Gaining Rabbinic Support
So far, the letter has been signed by 23 respected Rabbis who have received smicha (Rabbinic ordination) for the purpose of re-establishing the Sanhedrin. Speaking on behalf of the nascent Sanhedrin, Rabbi Yehoshua Hollender stated they are in the process of acquiring signatures of the full quorum of 71, after which the letter will be sent to major Arab institutions and leaders in hopes of holding a conference with Arabs to proceed further. Speaking to Breaking News Israel Rabbi Hillel Weiss, spokesman of the Sanhedrin, explained that the letter is not asking for monetary support or political permission from anyone. “The Sanhedrin is not asking for permission from foreign governments or from the Israeli government. Building the Temple is not political or legal. It is a mitzvah (Torah commandment) incumbent upon the Jews” Rabbi Weiss stated. He added that the construction of the 3rd Temple is a biblical imperative and that Arabs – as descendants of Esau and Ishmael – should “be prepared to take their part in serving God.”
Relevant Bible Passages
The concept of the Sanhedrin itself was initially commanded by God as a mean to help Moses govern the Israelites during the Exodus wanderings. God commanded “bring me seventy of Israel's elders who are known to you as leaders and officials among the people. Have them come to the Tent of Meeting, that they may stand there with you” (Numbers 11:16 cf. Deuteronomy 16:18). Over time – because of the great power the Sanhedrin had – the continued persecutions by the Roman Empire led to the dissolution of the Sanhedrin. The Romans destroyed the 2nd Temple in AD 70. Many believe that the prophet Ezekiel described the future Temple to be built in Jerusalem with exacting detail. In chapters 40-48 Ezekiel’s vision provides specific dimensions of the Temple that must be future, as nothing even close to the description in Ezekiel 40–48 has taken place up to this point. Other Bible passages make it clear that a temple will stand in Jerusalem again that will stand throughout the Tribulation period until the beginning of the Messianic Kingdom at the start of the Millennium (Zechariah 14:3-9), at which time it will be destroyed and rebuilt by the Messiah to fulfill the restoration of Israel and institution of Jesus’ millennial reign (Zechariah 6:12-15; Revelation 20). This latest effort by the Sanhedrin could be the start of that Temple being a reality!