The Book

The Original Second Temple
An Illustrated Guide to the Layout and Design
of the Pre-Herodian Beis Hamikdash

by Yoav Elan

Before Josephus and before Herod, the original Second Beis Hamikdash stood in Yerushalayim for over three centuries. It is this structure that is described in Maseches Middos and will serve as our guide to the construction of the Third Beis Hamikdash.

The Original Second Temple explores the layout and design of the pre-Herodian Beis Hamikdash in exquisite detail like never before. It features:

• A comparison of the Herodian and pre-Herodian structures
• Clear explanations of each part of the Beis Hamikdash
• Extensive footnotes to source each fact
• Over 130 full-color computer renderings and diagrams
• Appendices with detailed analysis and mathematical formulations
• Complete annotated floor plan of the Beis Hamikdash

This book is distributed by Feldheim and should be available for sale at your local Jewish bookstore. If not, you can also purchase a copy directly from the author.

To preview a sample of the book please click here.

Digital Edition

An abridged edition of The Original Second Temple is available as a digital ebook. The digital edition contains the body text and images, but no footnotes, appendices, or other features. A complete digital edition of the print version is not available at this time.

The ebook edition can be purchased at a discounted price from the following sites:

Get it on Apple Books

שגיות מי יבין [Errata] for the 2023 edition
• Page 171 note 67: "Chamber of Eitzim" to "Chamber of the Eitzim"
• Page 193 second paragraph: "Tamid-offering" to "Tamid-offerings"
• Color Floor plan #18: Missing reference to Shushan Habirah
• Color Floor plan #43: Missing reference to Shir Gate

שגיות מי יבין [Errata] for the 2020 edition
• Opening Quote, last line: "luent" should be "fluent." Curiously, the "f" does not seem to be missing, just invisible.
• Page 15 diagram: The diagram is meant to be illustrative rather than definitive in showing the layout of the various levels of arches under the Mikdash. Still, multiple people have concluded from this diagram that the bedrock was artificially flattened across the entire Har Habayis when the Second Beis Hamikdash was built. This is not the case; the bedrock was left as is and, in fact, came up right to floor level inside the Kodesh Hakodashim. This should be made clearer in the diagram.
• Page 44 second paragraph: "7778" should be "78"
• Page 86: The court stenographer should be standing instead of seated, as I explain in this post.
• Page 185: the ceiling hatches of the northern and southern tauim should be moved (as a group) farther to the east.
• Page 232: The golden bands across the top of the Paroches were not identical — the one on the front of the curtain was two fingerbreadths thick but the one in back was only one fingerbreadth thick (as seen from a closer inspection of the source in footnote 4). So while the front band would weigh 2,262 lbs, the one in back was only half that, or 1,131 lbs. The total weight of the Paroches is therefore closer to 28,300 lbs.
• Page 276 third entry from bottom: "מסבת" should be "מסכת"


  1. Hi Rabbi Elan, I'm having trouble finding your book on the apple book store. It doesn't seem to be there. Could you advise please

    1. I just tried the link above for Apple Books and it is working for me, although when I arrive on the page it does say that there are certain minimum system requirements needed in order to view this title. Perhaps you could try the link from a different device? Let me know if you are still having trouble with it.

  2. Hi, amazing amazing work. Is the book available in printed edition? Thanks

    1. Thanks for your feedback. Great news — Feldheim just reprinted the book and the shipment arrived yesterday in New York, so you should be able to order it now.

  3. Is there a way to get free for the ebook edition, i know that you worked hard on it but i cant buy it.

  4. Fantastic reference! Thank you so much, Rabbi Elan.

    1. Glad you are enjoying the work, and thanks for the comment.


To prevent spam, all comments will be moderated.