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Temple of Herod, Court of Women. 1st Century AD

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"But the Temple itself was built by the priests in a year an six months; upon which all the people were full of joy, and presently they returned thanks, in the first place, to God, and in the next place for the readiness the king had shown. They feasted and celeberated this rebuilding of the temple. As for the king, he sacrificed three hundred oxen to God, as for the rest, everyone according to his ability." (Josephus: Jewish Antiquities Book 15, Ch. 11.6.421) This illustration of the Second Temple (destroyed in 70 AD) was based entirely on the detailed description and measurements found in the Mishnah, tractate Middot, tractate Sukkah and the account of Josephus who was eye witness to the Temple. The view is that of the Court of Women surrounded by porticoes and chambers all around from the point of view of a person standing on the gallery over the main entrance. The grand Nicanor Gate in the center gave access to the Court of the Israelites beyond it and the Court of Priests where the offerings were presented, processed and roasted. There were four lamp posts in the Court of Women about 50 cubits high (25 meters, or 80 feet) which had four oil lamps each perched on top. Description and measurements of the four tall lamp posts can be found in the Mishnah, tractate Sukkah 5:3. My discussion on this illustration can be read in the Blog section.


June 16 2011, 12:19am








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