“In 35 B.C.E. Herod the Great was king of Israel. Herod had a reputation for cruelty and for acting as the Roman’s puppet. However, he was also responsible for countless building projects throughout Israel and therefore was called ‘Herod the Builder.’ It was this Herod who remodeled the Second Temple to look as beautiful as it did when Jesus saw it.
“Of course, because of God’s instructions, the site of the Holy of Holies remained the same for both Temples, because this was a holy place set aside by God. The Jewish people were careful to keep track of its exact location. The Temple surrounding the Holy of Holies was greatly expanded by Herod, as were the Temple courtyards.
“But Jerusalem is a hilly area,” Shep continued. “Herod wanted the entire complex to be on one level, so he dug rock, moved it, and created a huge level area on which to build. It wasn’t very stable, so he built four huge retaining walls around the whole Temple area: a northern retaining wall, an eastern one, a southern wall, and the famous Western Wall.
“When the Romans demolished Jerusalem after the Bar Kochba revolt in 135 C.E., they destroyed everything in the city ‘to the very last stone’ except for the western retaining wall. This wall they left standing to serve as a reminder of the Roman’s capacity for destruction.” It serves as a vivid reminder to this day.
One Noachide’s Journey, The Holy Land, pgs 68-69)