In three of the four gospels Jesus predicts the destruction of the Temple, to the last stone.

[Matthew 24:1-2] And Jesus went out from the temple, and was going on his way; and his disciples came to him to shew him the buildings of the temple. But he answered and said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

[Mark 13:1-2] And as he went forth out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him, Master, behold, what manner of stones and what manner of buildings! And Jesus said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left here one stone upon another, which shall not be thrown down.

[Luke 21:5-6] And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and offerings, he said, As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in which there shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

And the destruction of Jerusalem to the last stone, in the gospel of Luke

[Luke 19:41-44] And when he drew nigh, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, If thou hadst known in this day, even thou, the things which belong unto peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, when thine enemies shall cast up a bank about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall dash thee to the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.

Even the Pharisees of the time knew that after the Messiah, the Temple and the city would be destroyed, in John 11:47-48 are making a reference to Daniel 9:26

[John 11:47-48] The chief priests therefore and the Pharisees gathered a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many signs. If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.

[Daniel 9:26] And after the threescore and two weeks shall the anointed one be cut off, and shall have nothing: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and his end shall be with a flood, and even unto the end shall be war; desolations are determined.

Even the historian Josephus described the destruction of Jerusalem (not that the Bible needed a backing up).

Now, why is it that many christians firmly believe that the wailing wall was part of the Temple? A statement that can imply that Jesus was wrong.

  • 1
    The wailing wall was part of the foundation of the temple mount I thought, and might not have been considered part of the temple proper. Even if it was, it can still be destroyed, as all things will, in the final judgement.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Oct 26, 2019 at 14:40
  • 1
    No, he was - and is - not a liar.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Oct 26, 2019 at 19:38
  • 2
    @NigelJ I know He isn't, it was a rethorical question Commented Oct 27, 2019 at 0:21
  • @wildmangrove My comment was also rhetorical.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Oct 27, 2019 at 20:42

2 Answers 2


Now, why is it that many Christians firmly believe that the wailing wall was part of the Temple? A statement that can imply that Jesus was wrong.

What Christians believe is that Jesus prophesied the coming literal destruction and that it was fulfilled, and attested by independent historical accounts outside the New Testament. Whether "Not ... one stone upon another" should be interpreted as a metaphor, or whether the wailing wall was included in the prophecy was left as a minor debate.

The ESV Study Bible commentary on Matt 24:1-2 says:

24:1 left the temple. The road from Jerusalem to Bethany, where Jesus and his disciples stay each evening, takes one alongside the Mount of Olives, which affords a spectacular view of the temple in the distance.

24:2 Jesus’ prophecy of the destruction of the temple was fulfilled in A.D. 70 when the Roman army under Titus destroyed Jerusalem and the temple. Not ... one stone upon another may be intended as a metaphor for total destruction, or it may be understood as something that was literally fulfilled in the destruction of the temple building itself (but not the entire Temple Mount, some of which remains to this day).

For a study on the phrase "stone upon stone" I refer you to No Stone Left Unturned: Solving a Minor Mystery which concluded:

By the way, visitors to the Western Wall in Jerusalem (also known as the Wailing Wall, pictured above) sometimes wonder about the accuracy of Jesus’ prediction, since the Western Wall is made of many very large stones piled on each other. There is a simple answer to this question. Jesus’ prediction was specifically about the destruction of “the Temple buildings” (Matt 24:1). The Western Wall is actually part of the foundation. It is a retaining wall, built by Herod the Great to increase the size of the Temple complex. The buildings that Jesus’ disciples pointed out to him were all utterly destroyed by Rome in AD 70, but the retaining wall was left standing. Removing the retaining wall stones, which range in weight from 2 tons to 520 tons, would have been an immense task.

  • About that article the author said "If the rebuilding of the Temple (“before a stone was laid on stone” / πρὸ τοῦ θεῖναι λίθον ἐπὶ λίθον) signified the end of Exile and the end of the covenant curse, then the coming destruction (“not a stone will be left on a stone” / οὐ μὴ ἀφεθῇ… λίθος ἐπὶ λίθον) signified the return of the curse" in OT maybe could signified that but was also a literal construction of the Temple, why can't be Jesus talking about a literal destruction? (a destruction that happened). Commented Oct 26, 2019 at 23:57
  • @wildmangrove I believe the passages you quoted meant that Jesus WAS talking about a literal destruction, but at the time that Jesus spoke those words, the destruction didn't happen yet. So Jesus was prophesying the coming destruction. The literal destruction was around 70 AD plus another destruction around 135 AD when the Romans quelled the Jewish rebellions. Jesus wept knowing those 2 events would happen. Commented Oct 27, 2019 at 0:09

Dual Fulfillment. For example, Antiochus Ephiphanes was a 'partial' fulfillment of Daniel 9:27 (abomination of desolation), but the 'ultimate/final fulfillment' will take place near the end of this present 'age. So the prophecy of 'not one stone' was partially fulfilled in 70 AD, but will find the ultimate/final fulfillment near the end of this present age (second coming). See Zech. 14:4, which prophesies of the time when EVERY stone will literally be thrown down and not one left standing on top of another. Most of the 'dual fulfillment' prophecies focus on the First Coming and the Second Coming of our Lord.

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