November 7, 2005
23 halftones, 6 line drawings
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
1.45 Pounds (US)
1.45 Pounds (US)
$50.00 USD, £37.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference
Paperback / softback
December 30, 2008
23 halftones, 6 line drawings
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
1.2 Pounds (US)
1.2 Pounds (US)
$35.00 USD, £26.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference

God's Mountain

The Temple Mount in Time, Place, and Memory

This provocative study of Jerusalem's Temple Mount unravels popular scholarly paradigms about the origins of this contested sacred site and its significance in Jewish and Christian traditions. In God's Mountain, Yaron Z. Eliav reconstructs the early story of the Temple Mount, exploring the way the site was developed as a physical entity, religious concept, and cultural image. He traces the Temple Mount's origins and investigates its history, explicating the factors that shaped it both physically and conceptually.

Eliav refutes the popular tradition that situates the Temple Mount as a unique sacred space from the earliest days of the history of Israel and the Jewish people—a sequential development model that begins in the tenth century BCE with Solomon's construction of the First Temple. Instead, he asserts that the Temple Mount emerged as a sacred space in Jewish and early Christian consciousness hundreds of years later, toward the close of the Second Temple era in the first century CE. Eliav pinpoints three defining moments in the Temple Mount's physical history: King Herod's dramatic enlargement of the mountain at the end of the first century BCE, the temple's destruction by the Roman emperor Titus in 70 CE, and Hadrian's actions in Jerusalem sixty years later.

This new chronology provides the framework for a fresh consideration of the literary and archeological evidence, as well as new understandings of the religious and social dynamics that shaped the image of the Temple Mount as a sacred space for Jews and Christians.

About the Author

Yaron Z. Eliav is the Jean and Samuel Frankel Associate Professor for Rabbinic Literature at the University of Michigan.


"Eliav uses his impressive knowledge of Talmud, the Bible, archeology, languages, rabbinic texts, the classics and patristic literature to debunk the notion that the Temple Mount was a sacred space for ancient Jews and Christians. According to him, it did not achieve this status until long after the Second Temple was destroyed. In a dazzling display of erudition, he supports his thesis by providing new readings of familiar sources and by citing many little-known references."—Publishers Weekly

"Readable and well illustrated and documented, this book is recommended for religion and seminary collections of all stripes."—Library Journal

"Eliav writes in a clear style that makes it accessible to most readers. Highly recommended."—Aaron Howard, Jewish Herald-Voice

"This is a wide-ranging book on a fascinating topic. Its main thesis is that the Temple Mount in Jerusalem became an important concept invested with religious significance only after the Temple had been destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE."—Pieter W. van der Horst, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

"All readers will be rewarded by Eliav's judicious insights, his nuanced reinterpretations, and his wide-ranging scholarship."—Choice

"This book means to awaken an important scholarly debate and it deserves to succeed."—Shofar

"A very important contribution to the history of Jerusalem, but even more so to the broader question of how sacred place is conceptualized in textual and ritual consciousness, and the interplay of that consciousness with social and religious identity. It was a pleasure to read."—Steven Fraade, author of From Tradition to Commentary: Torah and Its Interpretation in the Midrash Sifre to Deuteronomy

The Johns Hopkins University Press

9780801882135 : gods-mountain-eliav
392 Pages
$50.00 USD
9780801891069 : gods-mountain-eliav
Paperback / softback
392 Pages
$35.00 USD

Other Titles in RELIGION / Judaism / History

A Biographical Dictionary of Early American Jews

Joseph R. Rosenbloom
Mar 2021 - University Press of Kentucky
$35.00 USD - Paperback / softback
$35.00 USD - Electronic book text

A Best-Selling Hebrew Book of the Modern Era

David B. Ruderman
Aug 2020 - University of Washington Press
$35.00 USD - Paperback / softback
$50.00 USD - Hardback

The Jewish Bible

David Stern
Jul 2019 - University of Washington Press
$99.00 USD - Hardback
$34.95 USD - Paperback / softback

Other Titles in Religion: general

Apocalypse and Golden Age

Christopher Star
Nov 2021 - The Johns Hopkins University Press
$54.95 USD - Hardback
$54.95 USD - Electronic book text

Mennonite Farmers

Royden Loewen
Oct 2021 - The Johns Hopkins University Press
$49.95 USD - Paperback / softback
$49.95 USD - Electronic book text

What the Amish Teach Us

Donald B. Kraybill
Sep 2021 - The Johns Hopkins University Press
$14.95 USD - Hardback
$14.95 USD - Electronic book text