« PreviousContinue »
in their opinions about the situation of these two cities, and of the hills on which they stood, in respect one of another ; some placing the upper city and mount Sion on the north, and others, on the south. We have embraced the latter opinion, judging it to be the most probable. This city was not always of the same bigness, for at first it took up no more than mount Sion. But in Josephus's time it was 33 ftadia in compass, that is, between 4 and 5 Italian miles. We cannot precisely tell how many gates it had : There were eleven in Nehemiah's time. We find some of the gates of Jerusalem mentioned in scripture under other names than what Nehemiah gave them (n); whether they were the same under dife ferent names, or not, we cannot easily determine. It is probable the
city had twelve gates, since the heavenly Jerusalem, spoken of in the Re5 velations, had so many. E As Jerusalem was situated in a dry foil, they took care to make a great i number of ponds, or conservatories of water (0) within the city, for wash
ing the sacrifices, and purifying the people, among others, the pools of Bethesda and Siloam mentioned by St. John (p), though some are of opinion these were one and the same. There is no need of taking notice here of the several palaces in Jerusalem, as David's, Herod's, Agrippa's, the house of the Asinonæans, and many other noble edifices, which are
placed differently by the learned, and described by Josephus. The Jews - reckon up a prodigious number of Synagogues in this city, of which I
shall treat hereafter. They likewise ascribe to Jerusalem several privi. leges, which the other cities of Judea had not. These laft belonged to some tribe or other, whereas Jerusalem was common to all the Israelites in general, though it was situated partly in the tribe of Judah, and partly
in that of Benjamin. This was the reason why the houses were not let, I and that all strangers of the Jewish nation had the liberty of lodging there e gratis, and by right of hospitality. Of this custom we find some traces
in the New Testament, as in Matth. xxvi. 17, &c. It was unlawful to leave a dead body within the city, even for one night, or to bring in the bones of any dead person. Profelytes of the gate, that is, such as were uncircumcised, were not permitted to dwell there. There were no sepulchres in the city, except those of the family of David, and of Huldah the prophetess. These they took care to whiten from time to time, that people might avoid coming near them, and so polluting themselves (9). No one had the liberty of planting or so wing within the city ; accordingly there were no gardens ; but without the walls there were great numbers. In short, whatever could occasion the least uncleanness was carefully banished thence.
But the main glory, and chiefest ornament of Jerusalem, and the true source of its holiness, was the temple Solomon built there by the command of God, (r) on mount Moriah, which was part of mount Sion. It was upon the account of the choice God made of this place, that the temple is frequently called in scripture the house of the Lord, or the house
(n) Neh. ii.
(o) Jofeph. de Bello Jud. I. vi. c. 12. (0) John y. 2. ix. .
(9) Matth. xxiii, 27, (r) i Chron. xxviii. 12. 2 Chron. ii. 1.
by way of eminence. It is a difficult task to give an exact description of this temple of Solomon, because, on the one hand, the accounts which we have of it in the first book of Kings, and the second of Chronicles, are so lame and imperfect, that they do not give us a true notion of the several parts of it; and, on the other, because we are in the dark, ar this distance of time, about the meaning of most of the Hebrew terms of architecture. Some learned authors however, are of opinion, that one might fraine a full and compleat idea of it, by joining the defcrip. tion given by Ezekiel (s), to that which we have in the first book of Kings, and the second of Chronicles. But to enter into a particular examination of this matter, would be foreign to our present design, which is to make fome few remarks on the temple of Jerusalem, as it was in the time of Jesus Christ. I have therefore only this one obfervation to make, with regard to the firsi and second temple : That they were the only places God had chofen and appointed for the performance of his worship, which was one of the chief and most essential parts of the ceremonial law. This the supreme Law-giver did, not only for the sake of preserving unity in the common-wealth, but more especially to prevent the Ifraelites from falling into superstition, idolatry, and the foolish and impure worship which the heathens paid to their Deities in the high-places, that is, in chapels, or timples built on hills and eminences. The words of our Saviour to the woman of Samaria, The time is coming when God prall no longer be worshipped either in ferufalem, or on Gerizim only, but mall be adored in spirit and in truih every where alike by his true worshippers, are a clear evidence that the fixing of the worship of God to the temple of Jerufalem alone, was a ceremonial institution designed merely for the preferving the unity and purity of the Jewish religion.
The temple of Zerubbabel (which we had an occasion to mention, when speaking of Herod) was built in the very place (+) where Solomon's stood before, that is on mount Moriah, where the Lord appeared unte David (u), and where this prince was ordered by God to erect an altar, in order to have a stop-put to the plague-(x). This temple was afterwards very much improved and beautified by Herod; who added ex. ceedingly to the magnificence of it. But notwithstanding all the ex. pence he bestowed upon it, it still came far short of Solomon's; which deseived indeed much better to be ranked among the wonders of the world, than some ancient burl.ings that have been honoured with that title. . . . .*
By the temple is to be understood, not only the temple strictly so called, viz. the holy of holies, the fanstuary, and the several courts, both of the Priefts and Israelites; but also all the apartments and out-buildings in general that belonged to it. This is necessary to be observed, left we Thould imagine, that whatever is said in scripture to have happened in the temple, was actually done in the inner part of that facred edifice, whole several parts we are now going to take a view of: Each of them
(1) Ezek. xl. xli.
(1) And upon the very fame.foundations, faith Dr. Prideaux. Connect. P. I. B. III. sub. ann. 534. (u) 2 Chron. iii. 1.
(*) 2 Sam, xxiv. 18.
had its respective degree of holiness, which increased in proportion, as : they lay nearer the holy of holies.
1. Let us then begia our survey of the temple, with considering all that ourward enclosure, which went by the
Of the mount name of the mount of the temple, or of the boule (y). This can accepter was a square of soo cubits every way (2), which contained feveral buildings, appointed for different ules. All round it there wete piazzas or cloisters, supported by marble pillars. The piazza on the fiwth lide had four rows of pillars, and all the rest bor three. Solomon's porch, or rather piazza, was on the cartera fide. Here it was, that our Saviour was walking at the feast of the dedication (e), that the lame man, when healed, glorified God, before all the people (6), and that the apostles wbere used to assemble together (c). On the top of this portico is also placed the pinnacle, from whence the devil tempted our Saviour to caft himself down (d): because, according to Jofephus, there was at the bottom of this portico a valiey so prodigiously deep, that the looking down made any one giddy (6). In the four corners of these piazzas stood a kind of watch towers, for the use of the Levites, with several other apartments, and particularly a synagogue, where our Saviour is commonly supposed to have been found fitting in the midst of the doctors. (See Luke ü. 46.) la this place likewise the Sanbedrim, or great council, met in our Saviour's time, after they had forsaken the chamber Gazith, which was in one corner of the court of the Priests; as did also the Council of twenty-three, whose business it was to take cognizance of some can pital crimes, but not of all. Here moreover were the animals for the lacrifices fold, and such as happened to be any way tainted or blemifhed were burned : It was in all probability from this part of the temple that Jesus Chrift drove out those that bought and sold doves (). The Levites had apartments here, where they eat and Nept when they were not upon duty. This outer enclofure of the temple had five gates, where the Levites cooltantly kept guard: The most remarkable gate, that on the cast, was called the gate Shusban, or the King's gule (g); which is thought to have been the same with the Beautiful gate of the temple meg. uoned in the Alts (b). Some writers take this place to be the court of the Gentiles, and the same as is fpoken of in the Revelations (i), though Jewife authors never mention more than the three courts, of the Women, of the Ifraektes, and of the Priests. The fame authors tell us, it was volawful for any one to come ia here with a stick or a purfe in his hand; with floes on, or dusty feet; to cross it in order to Thorten the way, or to fing down any oaltiness in it. Which circumstances may give some right to Matth. X. 9, 10. where Jesus Christ orders his disciples to walk
(y) Maccab. xiii. 53. Ezra x. g.
(6) Acts iii. 11. (c) Acts V. 2. (d) Match, iv. s.
(e) Jofeph. Antiq. I. XV. C. 14. (f) Matth. xxi. 12. ) i Chron. ix. 18. 1) Acts iii, 2. N. B, Some place the Beautiful gate at the entrance of the court of women, (i) Revelat, xi. 2, VOL. III.
that is, the feconcoutis. This is whe distance of
in the discharge of their viiniry, with the same circumspection and care, as men were wont to take, when they designed to walk in the temple: This may also serve to illuftrate Mark xi. 16. where Chrift would 7.01 suffer any man to carry any vessel through the temple.
11. Between this outward space, or the mount of the terz8, or ple and the courts, there was another fpace, called the Avant
de Mure, through which the way led to the several courts of the temple. This space was separated from the mount of the temple by Pone- balustres three cubits high, at the distance of ten cubits from the walls of the other couriš. This is what Josephus calls the second temple, that is, the second part of the temple ; and he tells us, that there were in it several pillars at certain distances having inscriptions on them, some whereof contained exhortations to purity and holiness, and others were prohibitions to the Gentiles, and all such as were unclean, not to advance beyond it, as having some degrees of holiness above the mount of the temple (k). As people were forced to pass through this place to go into the court of the women, wherein was the apartment for the Naza. riles; what occasioned the disturbance, of which we have an account ia the Acts (1), no doubt was the Jews imagining St. Paul had brought Greeks into the temple (beyond the before mentioned balufires) and thereby polluted that holy place. The wall of this space was not so bigh as those of the temple, and there were several openings in it, through which one could see what was doing in the adjoining courts.
III. The court of the women was the first as you went The court of into the temple. It was
into the temple. It was called the 'cuter court, because
me it was the furthest from the temple atrictly to calied; it was named the court of the women, not because none but women were suffered to go into it, but because they were allowed to go no farther. It was 135 cubits square. On the four corners of it were four rooms appointed for four different uses. In the first, the lepers purified themfelves after they were healed ; in the second, the wood for the sacrifices was laid, after it had been wormed; the Nazarites prepared their oblations, and shaved their heads in the third; and in the fourth the wine and oil for the sacrifices were kept. There were also two rooms more, where the musical inítruments belonging to the Levites were laid up. It is commonly supposed, that it was in this court the king read publickly the law every seventh year. In this place were the 13 treasurychefs, iwo of which were for the half foekel, which every Israelite paid yearly; and the rest held the money appointed for the sacrifices and other oblations. · And in this court likewise, as some authors imagine, was the treasury, over against which Christ fit and beheld how the people cast money into it (m); because none were permitied to fit down in the great court (i. e. of the Israelites) excepl the kings of the family of David, and the Priests; and these last too never did it, but when they were eating such remnants of the sacrifices as were ordered to be eat ia
(k) Joseph, de Bell. Jud. I. vi. c. 6. (1) Acts xxi. 26–28.
(m) Mark xii. 4.1.
The court of the Israeli
near the edhe Prielts.
hents.pere was a one cubi and the
ing to be in heigh w as by a heap of Lawine, bloo. And on
the temple. Round this court there was a Balcony, from whence the women could see whatever was done in the great court. IV. From the court of the women they ascended into the
Of the court of great court by fifteen Tteps. This was divided in two
the Israelites. parts, one whereof was the court of the Ifraelites, and the " other of the Priests. The latter was one cubit higher than the other ; near the entrance of which there was a gallery, wherein the Levites sung and played on instruments. This court had 13 gates, each of which had its particular name and use. There were several rooms and chambers in it, where things necessary for the service of God were got ready; and, among others, the house of the hearth, where a continual fire was kept for the use of the Priells, because they went always bare-foot on the cold marble pavement.
But what chiefly deserves our notice in this court is the aliar of the Lord for burot-offerings, otherwise
• The altar of burnt
a called the outer altar ; whereon the daily offerings of
offerings. the morning and evening fervice were made. This altar, which, accord. ing to the Talmudists, was 32, but according to Josephus 50 cubits square, and 10 in height, was built of rough and unhewn stones (n). "The ascent up to it was by a gentle rising, without steps. On this noping ascent there was always a heap of salt, wherewith they salted whatever was laid upon the altar (), except wine, blood, and wood. On this altar were kept several fires for different ules. And on the four corners of it were four horns, not fashioned like those of bulls, but strait, of a cubit in height and thickness, and hollow within (*). Near this altar stood several marble tables, whereon they laid the flesh of the sacrifices, and other things; and pillars, to which they fastened the animals, when they were going to kill or fea them.' All this was in the open air. Between the altar and the porch, leading into the holy place, there Rood a large bafin, for the Priests 10 wash in (P), which supplied the want of the brafen fea, that was in the first temple (9).
V. From the court of the Priests, they went up into the temple properly lu called, by twelve steps. This
Of the temple pro. building was an hundred cubits every way, excepting P
perly 10 called.". the front, which was six score (g). It may properly be divided into three parts, viz. 1. The porch; 2. The sanctuary, or holy place ; 3. And the Holy of Holies, or most holy. . The porch was about 15 or 20 cubits long, and as many
y The porch of broad; it had a very large portal, which instead of folding doors, had only a rich vail (t). In this first part of the "
the temple. temple were hung up several valuable ornaments, which were presents
barin, for d, the porchhem. All tahtened the
(») Exod. xx. 25.
(0) Mark. ix. 49. (*) “ Herein was to be put some of the blood of the sacrifices.” Dr. Prideaux, Connect. Part I. Book III. ad ann. 535. (p) 2 Chron. iv. 6.
2 5 . (r) It was 150 foot in length, and 105 in breadth, from out to out, faith Dr. Prideaux, ibid. ad an. 534. (1) Some place here a gate plated with gold. See Lamy, p. 92. !!