My question may come across as a polemic one, but I’m seriously interested to know the origin of the belief regarding a third temple and its relation to Ezekiel. This post is related to a question I asked earlier as to why the returning Jews from exile did not follow the instructions given in the book of Ezekiel in rebuilding the Temple. I got several replies which answered the question; however, the main point that came out of the discussion is whether the idea of a Third Temple is what Ezekiel had in mind or if it is the invention of a later generation after realizing that the Temple they have doesn’t match Ezekiel’s description. Put it differently, when the Jewish people saw that even when the Second Temple was rebuilt and done with, there were neither peace nor glory, which prompted the leaders of the people at the time to conclude that Ezekiel must have been talking about a different temple and a different era, rather than say that the prophecy just failed? What I’m getting to is, why should we assume that Ezekiel was speaking of a third temple rather than what the second temple was supposed to be?