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accidents. Perhaps the three rows of great stones, and the row of new timber that are mentioned in Cyrus's decree," referred to the piazzas of the second temple ; and the widening and raising the south side may have been peculiar to the temple, as beautified by Herod." What an elegant appearance must all these rows of white marble pillars have had! And with how much labour must they have been prepared and erected! It was not therefore to be wondered at, that Josephus spoke of them with so much rapture, when he said, that their effect was incredible to those who never saw them, and an amazement to those who did.”c
The same author, in his Jewish Antiquities, a mentions both their thickness and number. Their circumference, he says, was eighteen cubits, equal to thirty-two feet ten inches, allowing 21,888 inches to the cubit; consequently, their diameter must have been six cubits, or ten feet eleven inches. Their number he makes one hundred and sixty-two ; but that must have been exclusive of the row which was ranged along the side of the wall. For, by looking into the plan that accompanies this work, we find nine rows independent of that, which nine becoming the divisor of one hundred and sixty-two, gives eighteen pillars for each row; and this eighteen becoming the divisor of five hundred, the number of cubits on each side of the Court of the Gentiles, makes twenty-seven cubits and three quarters nearly, between each pillar from centre to centre; a sufficient stretch surely for the beams of cedar that lay between them. The following extract from Josephus, will give us some insight into their structure and use. For, when describing a sedition in the days of Archelaus, the successor of Herod, against Sabinus, the Roman general, while Archelaus went to
Rome to procure the confirmation of his father's testament (which circumstance throws light on the parable of the nobleman, in Luke xix. 12, who went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return,) he says, that “ the Jews went round about, and got upon those cloisters which encompassed the outer court of the temple : whence an obstinate fight was still continued ; and they cast stones at the Romans, partly with their hands, and partly with slings, as being much used in those exercises. All the archers also in array, did the Romans a great deal of mischief, because they used their hands dexterously from a place superior to the others, and because the others were at an utter loss what to do; for when they tried to shoot their arrows against the Jews upwards, these arrows could not reach them : insomuch, that the Jews were too hard for their enemies. This sort of fight lasted a great while, till at last the Romans, who were much distressed by what was done, set fire to the cloisters so privately, that those who were upon them did not perceive it. This fire being fed by a great deal of combustible matter, caught hold immediately on the roof of the cloisters. So the wood, which was full of pitch and wax, and whose gold was laid on it with wax, yielded to the flame presently; and those vast works, which were of the highest value and esteem, were utterly destroyed, while those that were on the roof unexpectedly perished at the same time.". These things happened about four years before the birth of Christ, but the cloisters were repaired before the time of his public ministry; since we find him teaching the people under them. And it was perhaps to them, that the glorified Head of the church referred, when, in order to
· Whiston's Translation, printed in London, 1806: always referred to in
encourage the church of Philadelphia, he said, in Rev. iii. 12, “ Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the ten ple of my God, and he shall go no more out.”
Here, however, it may be remarked, that the Royal Porch (otoa faoihxn) or the name by which Josephus calls the covered walk on this south side in honour of Herod,—has led some writers into a mistake, as if it were the same with Solomon's Porch, that is mentioned in the New Testament. The porch called Solomon's was in a different quarter; for it was the piazza on the east side, or the front of the temple, and obtained its name from the same cause that the gate on the east was commonly called the King's Gate: viz. because both had been built by Solomon at first, at a great expense, and ever afterwards retained his name. Not that the gate and piazza themselves had occasioned this
expense, for they were not so much ornamented as some of the others; but they were founded upon a high wall of four hundred cubits from the valley of Kidron, with stones of twenty cubits long, and six cubits square. Such were the covered walks which surrounded the Court of the Gentiles, or outer court, and under which our Saviour delivered some of his beautiful discourses. But it is now time that we proceed to describe the sacred ground, or that, within which none but Jews and proselytes of righteousness might enter. This, we lately said, comprehended a space of three hundred and sixty-one cubits long, and one hundred and sixty-nine cubits broad, or four English acres, two roods, twenty-five poles, fifteen yards, and five feet, and was subdivided into the following parts :1st. The Hil, or Sacred Fence; 2d. The Court of the of the Priests : within which were the brazen altar; the temple itself, comprehending the porch, holy and most holy places ; and the several buildings adjoining the temple. We shall attend then to each of these in the following sections.
3d. The Court of Israel; and 4th. The Court
a John x. 23. Acts üi. 11.
Antiq. xx. 9
The Hil, or Sacred Fence.
2ts width; the wall that divided it from the Court of the Gentiles ; doors in
that wall; inscriptions at these doors ; height of the Hil above the Court of the Gentiles; Josephus's account of it; the different elevations between the Court of the Gentiles and the threshold of the porch of the temple.
This Hil, or Sacred Fence, was a space of ten cubits wide, equal to eighteen feet two inches, which surrounded the sacred ground, and was itself a part of it. It was inclosed on the outside by a wall of three cubits, or five feet five inches high, of lattice work, so that persons walking in the Court of the Gentiles might see through it, as well as over it." It had doors in it opposite to each of those which opened into the Courts of the Women, of Israel, and of the Priests:5 and at these doors were posts erected with suitable inscriptions in Greek, Latin, &c. warning strangers, and those polluted by a dead body, of the danger they incurred by entering within them." This inclosure, however, was not on a level with the Court of the Gentiles, but cut out of the rock six cubits above it; its floor was overlaid with marble, and it was ascended to, on the several sides, by twelve steps of half a cubit high each: hence it formed a line of ten cubits broad around all the inner or sacred courts, and six cubits higher than the outer court, or Court of the Gentiles. We
may here remark, for the sake of perspicuity, that
· Joseph. War, v. 5.
Joseph. War, v. 5. VOL. I.
Joseph. Antiq. xv. 11.
the rock, on which the temple was built, had several ascensions, or places where, after continuing level for some time, it immediately rose higher. Thus the Court of the Gentiles was a large level space; but when a person entered the Hil, or Sacred Fence, he rose twelve steps, or six cubits. When he went from the Hil into the Court of the Women, he rose five steps, or two cubits and ahalf: from the Court of the Women into the Court of Israel fifteen steps, or seven cubits and a half: from the Court of Israel into the Court of the Priests, four steps only, but two cubits and a-half: and from the Court of the Priests to the threshold of the porch of the temple, properly so called, twelve steps more, or six cubits. Thus, from the Court of the Gentiles to the threshold of the porch, there were no fewer than forty, eight steps, or twenty-four cubits and a half of elevation. It is to this place, called the Sacred Fence, that Jeremiah refers in his Book of Lamentations, ii. 8. when he says, “ He made the Hil, (577) and the wall to lament.” Our translators have rendered it 6 the rampart;"' but the meaning is, that God had made the wall on the inside of the Sacred Fence, which surrounded the Courts of the Women, of Israel, and of the Priests, and also the Sacred Fence itself, which was without these, to mourn and lament.
The Court of the IVomen.
Its different names in Scripture; height above the Sacred Fence; its east gate,
commonly called the Beautiful Gate of the Temple, and why; the height of the wall between the Sacred Fence and the Court of the Women; the size of the Court, its beautiful pavement, its other gates. The smaller squares in cach corner of the Court, their dimensions and uses ; the Nazarites' chamber, account of Nazaritism; the wood chamber and persons employed in it; times of the year when the wond was brought to the Temple; way it was