"O Lord, in keeping with all your righteous acts, turn away your anger and your wrath from Jerusalem, your city, your holy hill. Our sins and the iniquities of our fathers have made Jerusalem and your people an object of scorn to all those around us. Now, our God, hear the prayers and petitions of your servant. For your sake, O Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary. Give ear, O God, and hear; open your eyes and see the desolation of the city that bears your Name. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act! For your sake, O my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name." (Daniel 9:16-19 NIV)
God's "Holy Mountain" is in Jerusalem. King David purchased the land we now call the Temple Mount as a place to make an altar for the Lord. Later, David's descendants Solomon, and then Zerubabbel, built the House of the Lord on that spot. Both of those Temples were violently destroyed because of the rebellion of the Jewish people against the Lord, as presaged by the prophets.
"I will forsake my house, abandon my inheritance; I will give the one I love into the hands of her enemies. My inheritance has become to me like a lion in the forest. She roars at me; therefore I hate her." (Jeremiah 12:7-8 NIV)
After the latter destruction, Jerusalem was "plowed like a field" in AD 135 by the Romans to humiliate the Jews and eradicate any semblance of a city. Several hundred years later, the Dome of the Rock (AD 691) and the Al Aqsa mosque (AD 705) were built on the Temple Mount by the Muslims. Since that time, these structures have been an illicit indignity on the site which the Lord designated as "the place I have chosen for my Name to dwell."
It is no coincidence that rival structures are standing on this place. The spiritual being who has evil aspirations to God's throne is the architect behind this. He wants to keep control of that location so that the Lord's temple cannot be rebuilt. Therefore, he instigated followers of one of his fabricated gods to designate it as one of their "holy places."
In a defiant affront to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Dome of the Rock is replete with blasphemous inscriptions from the Koran. For example, "In the name of Allah the Merciful and Compassionate. There is no God but Allah alone. Praise be to Allah who hath not taken to himself offspring. To Him there has never been any person in the sovereignty. Mohammed is the messenger of Allah, may God pray upon Him and accept his intercession. Praise be God who has not taken unto himself a son and who has no partner in sovereignty nor has He any protector on account of weakness."
These profane structures are a continuous challenge to the sovereignty of the true God. However, despite all the intentions of the Muslims, those structures will not stay there. We know this because that place will once again play a central role in Israel. At least one more Temple of the Lord, and perhaps two, will be built again on that site. The Bible gives abundant witness to what will eventually happen there: the Son of David, Jesus, King of Israel, will rule the world from Mount Zion, the throne of the Lord. The Lord will suddenly come to His House and take up the residence that is His.
"The LORD will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem; the earth and the sky will tremble. But the LORD will be a refuge for his people, a stronghold for the people of Israel. 'Then you will know that I, the LORD your God, dwell in Zion, my holy hill. Jerusalem will be holy; never again will foreigners invade her.'" (Joel 3:16-17 NIV)
Therefore, before this happens, those other vexing buildings have to come down. And indeed they will. Are there any Bible prophecies about this? Yes.
One is found in the book of Obadiah. It speaks about an end-times liberation of the Temple Mount. The overall topic of the book of Obadiah is the conflict between Israel and Edom (Esau). The last seven verses of the book are about the end-times. In the prophecy we will examine, we see something called "Mount Esau" up on Mount Zion. This is the symbolic terminology the prophet uses to describe the Islamic structures on the Temple Mount.
If we compare several translations of verse 21, the meaning readily becomes apparent:
"For liberators shall march up on Mount
Zion to wreak judgment on Mount Esau, and dominion shall be the
"And saviors will ascend Mount Zion to
judge the Mountain of Esau, and the kingdom will be Hashem's" (Stone)
"Powerful warriors will go up on Mount
"The deliverers will ascend Mount Zion to
judge the mountain of Esau, and the kingdom will be the
"And saviors will ascend Mount Zion to judge the Mountain of Esau, and the kingdom will be Hashem's" (Stone)
"Powerful warriors will go up on Mount Zion....." (NCV)
"The deliverers will ascend Mount Zion to judge the mountain of Esau, and the kingdom will be the LORD'S." (NASB)
Now the picture is clear. Esau represents the enemies of the true God. "Mount Esau" is an entity on the Temple Mount that will be judged. A group of deliverers will go up to the Temple Mount and eradicate the offending edifices. Those liberators will condemn the Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa mosque, and God's Holy Hill will be cleared for the rebuilding of the House of the Lord.