For years the model of Jerusalem from the time of the second temple was displayed on the grounds of the Holyland Hotel in Jerusalem. When the hotel needed the space to enlarge, the decision was made to relocate the model on the grounds of the Israel Museum. This was a wonderful decision. It is now possible to visit the model, the Shrine of the Book, and the archaeology museum with one stop. Also, the Bible Lands Museum is across the road.
Second Temple at the time of Herod and Christ? I know that Bible students wonder about this designation. In our Bible classes we often point out that the temple was first built by Solomon, king of Israel (970-931 B.C.). That temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. The temple was rebuilt after the return from the Babylonian Exile in the days of the Persian King Darius (520-516 B.C.). If we consider Herod’s work a remodeling of the second temple, then I suppose we could think of it as the second temple. Herod’s work was so massive that we probably should think of it as the third temple. Herod began this work about 19/20 B.C. There is a reference to the long project in the gospel of John.
John 2:19-22 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?” 21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body. 22 So when He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken. (John 2:19-22)
Here is a photo I made in April of the model which is based on available literary and archaeological evidence. In the background you see the Knesset of Israel and the Shrine of the Book where some of the Dead Sea Scrolls are displayed.