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xxi. 1.); which had been assigned to the priests and Levites for their habitation, among whom Abimelech and his son Abiathar were successively high priests. (Mark ii. 26.) In the reign of David, it was at Gibeon in the tribe of Benjamin (1 Chron. xvi. 39. xxi. 29.); probably because Saul had commanded Doeg to assassinate all the priests at Nob: which sanguinary commission he executed so successfully, that Abiathar alone escaped to David. Here also it was at the commencement of Solomon's reign (2 Chron. i. 3.), after which time the Scriptures are silent concerning it.



I. The Temple of Solomon.-II. The Second Temple.-Its various Courts.-Reverence of the Jews for it.

HAVING taken a survey of the tabernacle, we proceed to the Temple at Jerusalem, which was erected nearly upon the same plan as the former structure, but in a more magnificent and expensive manner. According to the opinion of some writers, there were three temples, viz. the first, erected by Solomon; the second, by Zerubbabel and Joshua the high priest; and the third, by Herod a few years before the birth of Christ. But this opinion is, very properly, rejected by the Jews, who do not allow the third to be a new temple, but only the second temple rebuilt and this opinion corresponds with the prophecy of Haggai (ii. 9.), that the glory of this latter house, -the temple built by Zerubbabel, should be greater than that of the former; which prediction was uttered with reference to the Messiah's honouring it with his presence and ministry.


I. The first temple is that which usually bears the name of Solomon; the materials for which were provided by David before his death, though the edifice was raised by his son. It stood on Mount Moriah, an eminence of the mountainous ridge in the Scriptures termed Mount Sion (Psal. cxxxii. 13, 14.), which had been purchased of Araunah or Ornan, the Jebusite. (2 Sam. xxiv. 23, 24. 1 Chron. xxi. 25.) The plan and whole model of this superb structure were formed after that of the tabernacle, but of much larger dimensions. It was surrounded, except at the front or east end, by three stories of chambers, each five cubits square, which reached to half the height of the temple: and the front was ornamented with a magnificent portico, which rose to the height of one hundred and twenty cubits: so that the form of the whole edifice was not unlike that of some antient churches which have a lofty tower in the front, and a low aisle running along each side of the building. The utensils for the sacred service were the same: excepting that several of them, as the altar, candlestick, &c. were larger, in proportion to the more spacious edifice to which they belonged. Seven years and six months

were occupied in the erection of the superb and magnificent temple of Solomon; by whom it was dedicated1 with peculiar solemnity to the worship of the Most High, who on this occasion vouchsafed to honour it with the Shechinah, or visible manifestation of His presence. Various attempts have been made to describe the proportions and several parts of this structure: but as no two writers scarcely agree on this subject, a minute description of it is designedly omitted. It retained its pristine splendour only thirty-three or thirty-four years, when Shishak king of Egypt took Jerusalem, and carried away the treasures of the temple :2 and after undergoing subsequent profanations and pillages, this stupendous building was finally plundered and burnt by the Chaldæans under Nebuchadnezzar in the year of the world 3416, or before Christ 584. (2 Kings xxv. 13—15. 2 Chron. xxxvi. 17-20.)

II. After the captivity the temple emerged from its ruins, being rebuilt by Zerubbabel,3 but with vastly inferior and diminished glory: as appears from the tears of the aged men who had beheld the former structure in all its grandeur. (Ezra iii. 12.) The second temple was profaned by order of Antiochus Epiphanes (A. M. 3837, B. c. 163); who caused the daily sacrifice to be discontinued, and erected the image of Jupiter Olympius on the altar of burnt offering. In this eondition it continued three years (1 Macc. i. 62.), when Judas Maccabeus purified and repaired it, and restored the sacrifices and true worship of Jehovah. (A. M. 3840, B. c. 160.)

Some years before the birth of our Saviour, the repairing or rather gradual rebuilding of this second temple, which had become decayed in the lapse of five centuries, was undertaken by Herod the Great, who for nine years employed eighteen thousand workmen upon it, and spared no expense to render it equal, if not superior, in magnitude, splendour, and beauty to any thing among mankind. Josephus calls it a work the most admirable of any that had ever been seen or heard of, both for its curious structure and its magnitude, and also for the vast wealth expended upon it, as well as for the universal reputation of its sanctity. But though Herod accomplished his original design in the time above specified, yet the Jews continued to ornament and enlarge it, expending the sacred treasure in annexing additional buildings to it; so that they might with great propriety assert that their temple had been forty and six years in building.5

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1. In the year of the world 3001; before Christ 999.

2 In the year of the world 3033; before Christ 967. 1 Kings xiv. 25, 26. 2 Chron.

zii. 9.

3 Ezra i-vi. Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. xi. c. 4.

4 De Bell. Jud. lib. vi. c. 4. § 8.

5 John ii. 20. There is therefore no real contradiction between the sacred writer and Josephus. The words of the evangelist are "forty and six years was this temple in building." This, as Calmet well observes, is not saying that Herod employed forty-six years in erecting it. Josephus acquaints us that Herod began to rebuild the temple, so as not to be esteemed a new edifice, in the eighteenth year of his reign, (Antiq. lib. xv. c. 14.), computing from his being declared king by the Romans, or in the fifteenth year (Bell. Jud. lib. i. c. 16.) reckoning from the death of Antigonus. He finished it for use in about nine years (Ant. xv. 14.); bot

Before we proceed to describe this venerable edifice, it may be proper to remark, that by the temple is to be understood not only the fabric or house itself, which by way of eminence is called the Temple, viz. the holy of holies, the sanctuary, and the several courts both of the priests and Israelites; but also all the numerous chambers and rooms which this prodigious edifice comprehended, and each of which had its respective degree of holiness, increasing in proportion to its contiguity to the holy of holies. This remark it will be necessary to bear in mind, lest the reader of Scripture should be led to suppose that whatever is there said to be transacted in the temple was actually done in the interior of that sacred edifice. To this infinite number of apartments into which the temple was disposed our Lord refers (John xiv. 2.): and, by a very striking and magnificent simile borrowed from them, he represents those numerous seats and mansions of heavenly bliss which his Father's house contained, and which were prepared for the everlasting abode of the righteous. The imagery is singularly beautiful and happy, when considered as an allusion to the temple, which our Lord not unfrequently called his Father's house.

The second temple, originally built by Zerubbabel, after the captivity, and repaired by Herod, differed in several respects from that erected by Solomon, although they agreed in others.

The temple erected by Solomon was more splendid and magnificent than the second temple, which was deficient in five remarkable things that constituted the chief glory of the first :-these were the ark and mercy seat,-the shechinah or manifestation of the divine presence in the holy of holies,-the sacred fire on the altar, which had been first kindled from heaven, the urim and thummim,-and the spirit of prophecy. But the second temple surpassed the first in glory, being honoured by the frequent presence of our divine Saviour, agreeably to the prediction of Haggai. (ii. 9.) Both, however, were erected upon the same site, a very hard rock, encompassed by a very frightful precipice; and the foundation was laid with incredible expense and labour. The superstructure was not inferior to this great work; the height of the temple wall, especially on the south side, was stupendous. In the lowest places it was three hundred cubits, or four hundred and fifty feet, and in some places even greater. This most magnificent pile was constructed with hard white stones of prodigious magnitude.1

The temple itself, strictly so called (which comprised the portico, the sanctuary, and the holy of holies), formed only a small part of the sacred edifice on mount Moriah; being surrounded by spacious courts, making a square of half a mile in circumference. It was

it continued increasing in splendour and magnificence through the pious donations of the people (Bell. Jud. v. 14.) to the time of Nero, when it was completed, and 18,000 workmen were dismissed from that service. From the eighteenth of Herod, who reigned thirty-seven years, to the birth of Christ, more than a year before the death of that prince, was above sixteen years, added to which the age of Christ, now thirty, gives forty-six complete years.

1 Antiq. Jud. lib. xv. § 5.

entered through nine gates, which were on every side thickly coated with gold and silver: but there was one gate without the holy house, which was of Corinthian brass, the most precious metal in antient times, and which far surpassed the others in beauty. For while these were of equal magnitude, the gate composed of Corinthian brass was much larger; its height being fifty cubits and its doors forty cubits, and its ornaments both of gold and silver being far more costly and massive. This is supposed to have been the gate called Beautiful in Acts iii. 2., where Peter and John, in the name of Christ, healed a man who had been lame from his birth.

The first or outer court, which encompassed the holy house and the other courts, was named the Court of the Gentiles; because the latter were allowed to enter into it, but were prohibited from advancing further. On the gates that opened through this enclosure, and on the columns contiguous, were inscriptions in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin; which interdicted, on pain of death, any further entrance to the unclean and to the Gentiles. This court was surrounded by a range of porticoes or cloisters, above which were galleries or apartments supported by pillars of white marble, each consisting of a single piece, and five and twenty cubits in height. One of these was called Solomon's Porch or piazza, because it stood on a vast terrace, which he had originally raised from a valley beneath, four hundred cubits high, in order to enlarge the area on the top of the mountain, and make it equal to the plan of his intended building; and as this terrace was the only work of Solomon's that remained in the second temple, the piazza which stood upon it retained the name of that prince. Here it was that our Lord was walking at the feast of dedication (John x. 23.);1 and that the lame man, when healed by Peter and John, glorified God before all the people.2 (Acts iii. 11.) This superb portico is termed the ROYAL PORTICO by Josephus, who represents it as the noblest work beneath the sun, being elevated to such a prodigious height that no one could look down from its flat roof to the valley below, without being seized with dizziness, the sight not reaching to such an immeasurable depth. The south-east corner of the roof of this portico, where the height was greatest, is supposed to have been the guyov, pinnacle, or extreme angle, whence Satan tempted our Saviour to precipitate himself. (Matt. iv. 5. Luke iv. 9.) This also was the spot where it was predicted that the abomination of desolation, or the Roman ensigns, should stand. (Dan. ix. 27. Matt. xxiv. 15.) Solomon's portico was situated in the eastern front of the temple, opposite to the mount of Olives, where our Lord is said to have sat when his disciples came to show him the grandeur of its various buildings, of which, grand as they

1 Antiq. Jud. lib. xv. c. xi. § 3.

2 Of the same kind with these porticoes, cloisters, or piazzas, were doubtless the five porticoes which surrounded the pool of Bethesda. (John v. 2.) The pool was probably a pentagon, and the piazzas round it were designed to shelter from the weather the multitude of diseased persons who lay waiting for a cure by the miraculous virtue of those waters. Jenning's Jewish Antiq. p. 267

were, he said, the time was approaching when one stone should not be left upon another. (Matt. xxiv. 1-3.) This outermost court being assigned to the Gentile proselytes, the Jews, who did not worship in it themselves, conceived that it might be lawfully put to profane uses for here we find that the buyers and sellers of animals for sacrifices, and also the money-changers, had stationed themselves; until Jesus Christ, awing them into submission by the grandeur and dignity of his person and behaviour, expelled them, telling them that it was the house of prayer for all nations, and that it had a relative sanctity, and was not to be profaned. (Matt. xxi. 12, 13. Mark xi. 15-17.)

Within the court of the Gentiles stood the court of the Israelites divided into two parts or courts, the outer one being appropriated to the women, and the inner one to the men. The court of the women was separated from that of the Gentiles by a low stone wall or partition, of elegant construction, on which stood pillars at equal distances, with inscriptions in Greek and Latin, importing that no alien should enter into the holy place. To this wall St. Paul most evidently alludes in Eph. ii. 13, 14. But now in Christ Jesus, ye, who sometimes were far off, are made nigh by the blood of Christ: for he is our peace, who hath made both one, (united both Jews and Gentiles into one church,) and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; having abolished the law of ordinances by which, as by the wall of separation, both Jews and Gentiles were not only kept asunder, but also at variance. In this court was the treasury, over against which Christ sat, and beheld how the people threw their voluntary offerings into it for furnishing the victims and other things necessary for the sacrifices. (Mark xii. 41. John viii. 20.)

From the court of the women, which was on higher ground than that of the Gentiles, there was an ascent of fifteen steps into the inner or men's court: and so called because it was appropriated to the worship of the male Israelites. In these two courts, collectively termed the court of the Israelites, were the people praying, each apart by himself, for the pardon of his sins, while Zechariah was offering incense within the sanctuary. (Luke i. 10.)

Within the court of the Israelites was that of the priests, which was separated from it by a low wall, one cubit in height. This inclosure surrounded the altar of burnt offerings, and to it the people brought their oblations and sacrifices; but the priests alone were permitted to enter it. From this court twelve steps ascended to the temple strictly so called, which was divided into three parts, the portico, the outer sanctuary, and the holy place. In the portico were suspended the splendid votive offerings made by the piety of various individuals. Among its other treasures, there was a golden table given by Pompey, and several golden vines of exquisite workmanship as well as of immense size: for Josephus relates that there were clusters as tall as a man. And he adds, that all around were fixed up and displayed the spoils and trophies taken by Herod from the Barbarians and Arabians. These votive offerings, it should seem,

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