Is Prophecy Being Fulfilled Now #5
What about the Temple Treasures?
The popular movie National Treasure climaxes toward the end of the movie when Ben Gates (Nicolas Cage) lights up a room containing the greatest treasure trove ever found. The treasure trove is based on the legend known as the Temple Treasures. Solomon built the treasury of the Temple in Jerusalem to be the greatest collection of wealth the world has ever known. The Queen of Sheba in Ethiopia heard of the wealth of Solomon. She traveled to Jerusalem to see it. She believed what she had heard to be a great exaggeration but once she saw Solomon’s wealth she said the half had not been told.
This collection of wealth began when the Israelites made the exodus from Egypt. Under Moses’ direction the Israelites borrowed silver and gold from their Egyptian neighbors before they left. Much of this treasure was donated to the building of the Tabernacle and its sacred artifacts. The Ark of the Covenant was made of wood and overlaid with gold. The cherubim and the mercy seat were made of pure gold. The Menorah was made of gold, the table of showbread was overlaid with gold, and the altar of incense was overlaid with gold. Approximately one ton of gold and 3 ¾ tons of silver were collected for the Tabernacle. That is over $12 million in gold and $1 million in silver by today’s standards.
Israel gave one tenth of the spoils of war and one tenth of their income to the work of the Lord. These riches went into the Temple treasury. Over the course of Israel’s history the wealth of the Temple treasury grew to be the greatest collection of wealth ever. The materials King David collected for the building of the first Temple were worth approximately $56 billion by today’s standards. 
The treasury was depleted a few times to buy the protection of foreign countries or looted by invading countries. King Nebuchadnezzar took all of the wealth of the Temple into Babylon but Ezra records that all of the silver and gold that was taken was returned.
Some claim that the Romans took the Temple Treasures when they destroyed the Temple in 70 AD. The Arch of Titus, which stands in Rome, depicts the Romans carrying the sacred Menorah away from Jerusalem. The arch seems to indicate that Rome took the Temple Treasures; however, the Arch of Titus portrays the Menorah with a square base. According to the Bible the Menorah had a three-legged triangular base, not like the one depicted on the Arch of Titus. Did the Romans actually capture the Menorah? Did they even see it? Their grossly inaccurate portrayal of the Menorah implies the Romans never saw the sacred Menorah.
What happened to the most sacred article of all of the Temple Treasures? There is no mention of the Ark of the Covenant being in the second Temple. There is much evidence that it was hidden and protected before the Babylonian invasion.
 Lambert Dolphin, The Treasures of the House of the Lord, November 1992, viewed November 5, 2016 @ www.templemount.org.
Where are the Temple Treasures? We know that the treasures taken by Nebuchadnezzar were returned. This is the last known historical recording of the Temple treasures. If the Romans had taken them or if someone had found such a great treasure trove, then some of the treasures would certainly be known of today. Is it possible they are still hidden?
A Jewish legend existed for many years that reported the Temple Treasures were hidden before Rome invaded Jerusalem in 70 AD and the location of the treasure was recorded on a scroll made of copper. The legend had little credibility because it was ridiculous to think someone would write on copper… until 1952 when the Copper Scroll was found in Qumran!
This ancient treasure map lists over 100,000 pounds of gold in the treasure. The treasure also contains priceless artifacts such as utensils for Temple worship and the breastplate of the high priest. The breastplate contained the Urim and Thummin by which the high priest could communicate with God. The Copper Scroll is written in some type of code. Is it possible this code will be cracked and lead us to the Temple Treasures?
The Bible answers this question and others relating to the existence of the Temple Treasures. Next week we will look at what the Bible has to say about the Temple Treasures and their relation to prophecy.
© Dr. Steven L Smith 2016