Rabbi Ishmael on the sons of Ishmael

Menachem Ali & Eric bin Kisam

It is worth to mention that some Jewish classical exegetical text such as Pirkei deRabbi Eliezer פרקי דרבי אליעזר which is attributed to a first century jewish sage, a well known tannaite Rabbi Ishmael Eliezer ben Elisha who went by the title Kohen ha-Gadol /the great high priest contains several references which prophesied the building of Temple by bnei Yishmael, (the sons of Ishmael), in the Pirkei deRabbi Eliezer final chapter ie. 30 ¹, he list 15 things of what the son of Ishmael will do in the holy land at the End of Days, one is of particular interest:

Pirkei deRabbi Eliezer chapter 30

Hamishsha ‘ashar devarim ‘atidin bney Yishmael la’asot be eretz be acharit hay-yamim…Veyegederu peretsot chumot beyt hamiqdash veyibenu banin biheykal

Rabbi Ishmael said:

The sons of Ishmael will do fifteen things at the end of days…. They will rebuild the breaks in the wall of the beyt hamikdash (Al Aqsa ² or bayt al maqdis) and build a building in the heiykal (the central sanctuary of the Holy Temple)

Son of Ishmael refer to the Arabs in the Book of Genesis and in Islamic traditions too muslims see themselves as the progeny of prophet Ishmael. Considering the 600 years gap between the era of Rabbi Ishmael Eliezer and Islamic era of the prophet Muhammad, I find this passage astonishing. Could the return and rebuilding of the third Temple in Jerusalem has actually been fulfilled by the caliph Umar ibn Khatab on the Temple Mount (in 692 CE) by the building sanctuary to muslims known as Masjid Al Aqsa or bayt al maqdis. Of course many do jews do not recognize it that’s why because of this some speculates that some of the writings in Pirkei deRabbi Eliezer was composed around the beginning of the 8th century CE not the 1st century.

Regardless I find the idea that bnei Yishmael ie the arabs/muslims were the ones who actually rebuilt the third Temple are fascinating, think about it for a moment the divine scenario on the building of beyt hamikdash or bayt al maqdis in Jerusalem, it’s amazing how everything​ fits together.

  1. The First Temple was built by Salomo ben David ham-Melech ‘aleyv has-shalom, from an Israelite, descendant of Yaʿqūb (Jacob) bin Isḥāq (Isaac) binʾIbrāhīm‎ (Avraham) in the 10th century B.C.E. until 597 BCE following the destruction by the Babylonians.
  2. The Second Temple was built by Herod, a bney Edom, descendant of Esau, the elder son of Isaac, hence Esau bin Isḥāq (Isaac) binʾIbrāhīm‎ (Avraham) in 20/19 B.C.E untilRoman Emperor Titus destroyed the Temple in 70 CE.
  3. The Third Temple was built by the caliph Umar ibn Khatab, RadhiAllahu’anhu, who himself was a bnei Yishmael (the sons of Ishmael) from Quraish tribe descendant of Qedar bin Ismā’īl (Ishmael) binʾIbrāhīm‎ (Avraham) in 638 C.E. and it will remain there until the end of days

God Knows Best.

Notes

(1)

pirkei de rabbi eliezer 30
Published by Jerusalem: Eshkol J. Weinfeld & Co

(2)

The sanctity of of the holy sanctuary in Jerusalem is firmly established in the holy Qur’an 17:1. God says:

سُبْحَٰنَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَسْرَىٰ بِعَبْدِهِۦ لَيْلًۭا مِّنَ ٱلْمَسْجِدِ ٱلْحَرَامِ إِلَى ٱلْمَسْجِدِ ٱلْأَقْصَا ٱلَّذِى بَٰرَكْنَا حَوْلَهُۥ لِنُرِيَهُۥ مِنْ ءَايَٰتِنَآ ۚ إِنَّهُۥ هُوَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلْبَصِيرُ

Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al- Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing. (Sahih International)

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