I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.”Psalm 122 (NIV-emphasis added)
Our feet are standing in your gates, Jerusalem. Jerusalem is built like a city that is closely compacted together. That is where the tribes go up—the tribes of the Lord—to praise the name of the Lord according to the statute given to Israel. There stand the thrones for judgment, the thrones of the house of David.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May those who love you be secure. May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.”
For the sake of my family and friends, I will say, “Peace be within you.”
For the sake of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek your prosperity.
We are encouraged by David in Psalm 122 to continually pray for the peace of Jerusalem, but notice the connection of that peace with the house of God, i.e. the temple. There is also another peace that we should be watching for, spoken of by the prophet Daniel (Daniel 9:24-27), which presumably involves the restoration of the temple. Thus, in light of the current progress towards peace in the Middle East, are we seeing something simply in line with what David said we should seek continually, or are we approaching the time of peace that Daniel spoke about? And either way, how will this affect Jewish aspirations to rebuild the temple?
In January of 2020, President Trump released his “Peace to Prosperity” plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.At first, many people may have mistaken it for just another failed attempt at finding a real solution to the intractable Palestinian problem and the seemingly impossible goal of peace in the Middle East between Jews and Arabs. But recent events are demonstrating that this is not the case. Indeed, it appears that this may not be just another peace deal fiasco, but rather something truly prophetically significant.
Why? First, when this deal was put forward, it was approved by both Israel and the United States. Second, it was developed in quiet coordination with moderate Arab states (Bahrain, UAE, Egypt, Jordan, Oman, and Saudi Arabia). While they didn’t publicly approve the plan, many avoided completely condemning the plan and instead endorsed or applauded the effort. This suggests that there is private approval from some Arab countries. Of course, it was rejected by the Palestinians, but that may not matter as much as people expect. For example, Jared Kushner announced that unlike other peace attempts in the past, Palestinian approval would not necessarily be required in order to move forward. Finally, the most recent development in peace is the Abraham Accords, which is achieving a broader recognition of Israel by Arab states and opening up a new era of peace in the region., It also lends support to the further enactment of Trump’s peace plan with the Palestinians, and demonstrates that it may be more viable than many initially thought.
Daniel prophesied that there would be a “confirmation of the covenant” that would begin a final period of seven years. Many expect this to be a formal peace treaty for a precise period of seven years, however, that is not explicit in the text. It may simply be that seven years is mentioned because that is all the time that is left. Also, the “covenant” could easily be understood to refer to the Abrahamic Covenant, in which God promised the land of Israel to Abraham through his son Isaac. In this case, the recent naming of the peace deal with Israel as the “Abraham Accords” seems noteworthy.
In order to truly confirm that we are moving into Daniel’s peace and not simply hoping and praying for peace in general, there must be the reinstatement of sacrifices on the Temple Mount and a rebuilt temple or tabernacle within three and half years of confirming the covenant. To that end, the Jewish Sanhedrin in Israel has officially begun petitioning both the Israeli and U.S. governments to allow the reinstatement of animal sacrifices on the Temple Mount, per the approved “Peace to Prosperity” plan. Furthermore, even the Jerusalem Post, which I would argue represents the more liberal side of Israeli politics, has asked the question of whether or not it is time to normalize the Temple Mount.
This would mean that all faiths would be allowed to access and pray on the Temple Mount, as well as celebrate their respective religious festivals and observances. Also, with the growing conflict between the Islamic powers of Turkey and Iran in the north, and Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, UAE, and Bahrain as the moderate countries in the south, allowing open access to the Temple Mount is becoming a point of leverage that may actually be favorable in the eyes of Israel’s new southern peace partners. Essentially, by allowing Jews and Christians open access to the Temple Mount, it lessens the importance of Jerusalem and elevates the importance of Mecca and Medina. This is critical in the current struggle with Turkey and Iran, because it increases the religious supremacy of the Gulf States allied around Saudi Arabia by denying Turkey and Iran a possible alternative site connected to Mohammed to support their claims on establishing the next caliphate. Consequently, allowing the Jews to reestablish a presence on the Temple Mount would communicate that only Mecca and Medina are of supreme holiness, and that consequently, the moderate south is in possession of the more legitimate form of Islam.
So what does all this tell you? Well, nothing incontrovertible yet, but we should all be watching very closely. It also sets the stage for seriously discussing the rebuilding of the Jewish temple. I hope you will check out my new book The Temple Revealed to find out why I think the rebuilding of the temple could be closer than many people think…
 Joseph Hincks, “Trump’s Plan for Middle East Peace Hinges on Support From Arab Leaders,” TIME, Jan. 29, 2020, https://time.com/5773814/middle-east-peace-plan-response/
 Aaron Reich, “Kushner: US to approve annexation if Palestinians don’t negotiate,” Jerusalem Post, March 8, 2020, https://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Kushner-US-to-approve-Israeli-annexation-if-Palestinians-dont-negotiate-620135
 Helen Raleigh, “What Corporate Media Won’t Tell You About Trump’s Historic Middle East Peace Deal,” August 19, 2020, https://thefederalist.com/2020/08/19/what-corporate-media-wont-tell-you-about-trumps-historic-middle-east-peace-deal/
 Emily Jones, “The Dawn of a New Middle East: Israel Signs Historic ‘Abraham Accord’ With UAE, Bahrain at White House,” CBN News, 09-15-2020, https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/israel/2020/september/israel-set-to-sign-historic-lsquo-abraham-accord-rsquo-with-uae-bahrain-tuesday
 Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz, “Thanks To Trump: Pascal Lamb Could Be Sacrificed on Temple Mount for First Time in 2,000 Years,” FEB 27, 2020, Israel 365 News, https://www.israel365news.com/145899/thanks-to-trump-pascal-lamb-could-be-sacrificed-on-temple-mount-for-first-time-in-2000-years/
 Nave Dromi, “Is it time to ‘normalize’ the Temple Mount?” Jerusalem Post, Sept. 13, 2020, https://www.jpost.com/opinion/its-time-to-normalize-the-temple-mount-642055
 Douglas Altabef, “All eyes might be on the Temple Mount after the UAE-Israel deal,” Jerusalem Post, Sept. 26, 2020, https://www.jpost.com/opinion/all-eyes-might-be-on-the-temple-mount-after-the-uae-israel-deal-643672