« AnteriorContinuar »
§ 340. of the temple of HERod. 431
who had lived to see the foundations laid, predicted, that it would be inferiour to the Temple of Solomon, Ezra 8: 12. Hag. 2: 1–9. To how great an extent, their anticipations turned out to be true, there is nothing stated, which will enable us precisely to determine. This, however, is clear, that its treasures, which arose from the annual contribution of a half-shekel by every Jew, wherever he might be, and from the presents of proselytes and the heathen, became immense, Antiq. XIV. 12, 1. XX.9. 7. Jewish War, I. 6,8. It was by the aid of these treasures, that the immense walls, which have been mentioned, around the bottom of mount Moriah, were erected, Jewish War, W. 5, 1. But in this Temple, there was only one candlestick, and one golden table. The Ark of the covenant, the sacred oil, the Urim and Thummim, and the sacred fire were gone ; also that singular cloud the Shekinah, Hop, which anciently was seen over the Tabernacle and had afterwards filled the Temple, 2 Chron. 7, 1–3. 1 K. 8, 10–12. 2 Chron. 5: 13–14, 6: 1. The Maccabean princes built a tower, which they called BARIs, on the North side of this edifice. Herod rebuilt, enlarged, and adorned it, and named it ANtonia, in honour of Mark Antony, Antiq. XV. 11, 4. Alexander Jannaeus separated the court of the
Priests by a wooden trellis from the court of the Israelites, Antiq. XIII. 13, 5.
§ 340. Of the TEMPle of Herod.
Herod, by successively renewing the parts of the Temple, rendered it extremely magnificent. He began the work in the 16th year before Christ, and finished it, in a great measure, in the eighth year; but additions continued to be made to the Temple, till the year 64 ANNo Domini, John 2: 20. Josephus, Antiquities, XV. 11, 1.5. 6. XX. 9, 7. Jewish War, I. 21, 1.
The Temple, as it appeared after having been subjected to the labours of Herod, had three courts or open AREAs, each one of which was situated above the other.
The first court was enclosed by that outer wall, which has been described, and which was raised from the base of the mount. In the middle of this court was an ascent of four steps, which led 432 § 341. of the GAtes of HERod's TEMPLE.
to an enclosure of stone. On the gates, that opened through this enclosure, and on the columns contiguous, were inscriptions in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek, which interdicted, under penalty of death, any further entrance, to the unclean and the Gentiles. Immediately back of this wall, succeeded an ascent of fourteen steps into a level space ten cubits broad, which was succeeded by another ascent of five steps to the gates of the second wall, which was forty cubits high outside, and twenty five within. This wall enclosed the court of the IsrAELITEs, while the first court in reference to the inscriptions, which have been mentioned, was called the court of The GENtiles.
Between the court of the Israelites, and that of the Gentiles, on the East side, was the court of the Hebrew women, which was separated from the court of the Israelites by a wall so low, as to permit its occupants to see the men, while they themselves remained unseen. The entrance into the court of the women was through two gates, the one on the North, the other on the South side.
The quadrangular AREA, immediately around the altar and the Sanctuary, was called the court of the PRIEsts ; it was surrounded by a low, but elegant enclosure, so that the people had an opportunity of looking into it, while, at the same time, they were not permitted to enter, Josephus, Antiquities, XV. 11, 5. Jewish War, W. 5, 2–6.
§ 341. Of the Gates of Herod's TEMPLE.
THE LARGEst GATE was situated in the outer wall, on the Eastern side. It was called the Beautiful, Öiga cigala, (Acts 3:2) and was splendidly ornamented with Corinthian brass, which was reckoned preferable either to silver or gold, Pliny, N. H. XXXIV. 1, 3, 7.
It equalled the Sanctuary in height, which in the highest place, was more than an hundred cubits. The folds of this gate were fifty cubits high and forty broad, and were covered with plates of gold and silver. The ascent to it was from the valley of Cedron over many steps, Josephus, Jewish War, W. 5, 3.
To the South of the Temple, there was a valley four hundred cubits deep. There was a gate, nevertheless, in that direction,
§ 342. Porches IN THE TEMPLE of HERod. 433
leading from the wall into the lower part of the city, which stretched along through the valley towards the East, in such a way, that the wall of the city joined itself to the eastern wall of the temple, Antiquities, XV. 11. 5. On the West side, two Gates led, by numerous steps, into the valley below, which ran in a southern direction, and was filled with houses. There were two other Gates on the Western side of the temple beside these; one of which connected the temple, by means of a bridge over the valley, with mount Zion, and the other conducted into the lower part of the city, Josephus, Antiquities, XV. 11, 5. Jewish War, W. 5, 3. On the North, there was no Gate, but the tower ANToNIA was connected with the temple by means of a covered passage. This tower was so situated, as to command it, and was accordingly made the station for a cohort of Roman soldiers. Compare Acts 21: 31–34. Josephus, Antiquities, XV. 11, 4. Jewish War, W. 5, 3. On the North and South sides of the inner wall, there were six Gates, three on each side, which faced each other. On the Eastern side, there was a Gate, which corresponded to the one called the Beautiful in the first wall, and two Gates, already mentioned, led into the count of the women. The Western side of the inner wall, which was contiguous to the sanctuary, had no Gate, Josephus, Antiquities, XV. 11, 5. Jewish War, W. 5, 3. All these Gates had folds, were thirty cubits high, and fifteen broad; the thresholds and the posts, as well as the Gates, were covered with silver and gold. They were all surmounted with a sort of turret, which increased the height to forty cubits. There was a vacant space left around the Gates of thirty cubits in extent, where the people were in the habit of assembling, Jewish War, W. 5, 3.
§ 342. Porches in the TEMple of Herod.
A TRIPLE porch extended around the southern wall of the
court of the Gentiles, but the Porches in the other directions, that
is to say, which were contiguous to the Northern, Eastern, and
Western sides or walls of this court, were merely double. The
Porches, in the court of the Israelites, were double likewise, 434 § 342. poaches in the temple of HERod.
Each double porch rested on a triple, and each triple porch on a quadruple row of columns, the last row being contiguous to the wall. The columns, (which were Corinthian in respect to architecture,) were hewn out of white marble, and were twenty five cubits in height, but the whole altitude, including pedestals, capitals, cornice, and roof, did not fall short of fifty cubits. The columns were so large, that three men could scarcely extend their arms around them. The roof, which was flat, was constructed of cedar wood. Each of these porches was thirty cubits broad, and fifty high; with this exception, viz. that the middle one on the South side was forty five broad and an hundred high, from the roof of which, one could hardly look down into the valley below, five hundred cubits deep, without experiencing dizziness. It is this porch, without doubt, which is called, in Matt. 4: 5. irreotylov too isgow, the pinnacle of the temple. Compare Matt. 4: 5. with Strabo p. 805, Antiquities, XV. 11, 5. Jewish War, W. 5, 2. The eastern porch in the court of the Gentiles was called Solomon's, John 10:23. Acts 5: 12. Jewish War, V. 5, 1. All the porches were paved with marble of various colours, Josephus, Jewish War, W. 5, 2. The porches in the court of the Gentiles were resorted to by money changers, and those, who sold animals, that were destined for the altar, Matt. 21: 12–16. John 2:12–22. Jerusalem TALMud, Gemara, Jom tob. p. 61. and Chagigap. 78, 1. In this court, (that of the Gentiles,) appear to have been repositories, of which we are informed by Josephus, (Jewish War, WI. 5, 2.) in which the treasures, utensils, and supplies, etc. of the temple were kept. But these repositories are to be distinguished from the treasury, mentioned in Mark 12:41, into which the gifts of the temple were cast. The Talmudists state, that there were thirteen such treasuries, different ones being allotted for the reception of different articles. They further state, that they were situated in the court of the women, and that they were coffers or boxes, which, in point of shape resembled a horn, the gifts of the temple being thrown into them It may be inferred from the nature of the case, no less than from the fact of Josuphus' incidentally mentioning subterranean § 343. of THE SANCTUARy. 435
chambers, that there were probably other apartments in these courts, of which the knowledge has not come to us. The ALTAR for victims was constructed of unhewn stones, fif. teen cubits high, and fifty in length and breadth, and the corners of it projected upwards, like horns. The ascent to it was on the South side, Josephus, Jewish War, W. 5, 6.
§ 343. Of The SANCTUARY.
The SANCTUARY or Temple strictly so called, 6 vaos, was constructed of white marble, was higher than the court of the priests, and was approached by an ascent of twelve steps. The porch of the Sanctuary or pronAos was an hundred cubits high, and as many broad. The open space, which served as an entrance into it, and which was destitute of folds or door of any sort, because, as Josephus informs us, it was a symbol of the visible heaven, was seventy cubits high and twenty five broad. The interiour of the Porch was ninety cubits high, fifty from North to South, and twenty from East to West; so that on the North and South, there was room for recesses or chambers of almost twenty cubits in extent. The entrance, which opened into the Sanctuary, was fifty five cubits high and sixteen broad. Over it was the figure of a vine in gold of the size of a man, and loaded with golden clusters. This entrance was closed by an embroidered veil, Josephus, Jewish War, V. 5, 4. Antiquities, XV. 11, 3. It was in the Porch of the Temple, that Judas cast down his thirty pieces of silver, Matt. 27: 5. The SANCTUARY itself was twenty cubits broad, sixty long, and sixty high. It was surrounded on three sides, with a structure, three stories high, making an altitude of forty cubits. It equalled the Porch or 19óvaos proNAos, in breadth, into the two chambers of which, there was an entrance from it. On the flat roof of the Sanctuary were erected long, sharp rods of iron, covered with gold, Josephus, Jewish War, V. 5, 5–6. From the Sanctuary, which, as has been remarked, was sixty cubits high, although only twenty broad, we enter the sancTissimum or Holy of holies, which was twenty cubits in length, twenty broad, and twenty high, so that there were two stories