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principally by women, but because women were not allowed to go beyond it toward the Holy House of the temple.

The Court of the Women could be entered from the Court of the Gentiles, by three gates; one on the north, one on the south, and one on the east, each having its situation precisely in the middle of the side to which it belonged. The one on the east side, was directly before the gate Shushan in the outer wall, in a line between it and the sanctuary. This some suppose to have been much more elegant than the rest, and to have been, in fact, that Eastern Gate, so richly overlaid with Corinthian brass, of which Jewish history makes mention; and which another opinion already stated, has imagined rather to have been the same with the gate Shushan. That splendid gate, whichsoever of these two it was, has been thought by many to be the gate that was called Beautiful, at which the lame man lay to ask alms of those who were going up to the temple, as related in the first part of the Acts of the Apostles. (Acts iii. 2-11.)

When a person went up by any of these gates, first through the low wall to the level space ten cubits wide, and then, by five more steps, through the high wall, up into the Court of the Women, he found the whole square paved with large slabs of marble, and surrounded with different structures, erected close to the wall round about, as we have seen was the case in the outer court. In the four corners were buildings, or chambers, for different uses; and between these and the gates, on the north, east, and south sides, there were Porches. These Porches were merely single along each side, having two rows of pillars: they differed also from those that were in the Court of the Gentiles, by having galleries or balconies round about, above the lower walks, and therefore the ceiling of these was not remarkably lofty. On the west side there was no Porch of this sort.

This court was the place, where men, as well as women, ordinarily performed their worship, when they appeared at the temple without bringing sacrifices with them. Here Peter and John used to go up with others, to pray toward the temple of the Most High. (Acts iii. 1.) Here it was, that the self-righteous Pharisee and broken-hearted

Publican appeared at the same time; the one boldly presenting himself close up to the gate that led forward to the temple, and pleading his own worthiness before a holy God -the other standing afar off, not daring to lift his head toward the dwelling-place of the Lord, but smiting upon his breast and crying, God be merciful to me a sinner! (Luke xviii. 9-14.) Paul was in the same court when he was violently seized by his countrymen, and charged, among other things, with having brought Gentiles into that holy place. (Acts xxi. 26-30.)

This court was the place of the Treasury, where the people presented their offerings of money for the service of the temple. Several chests or vessels called Trumpets, because they were wide at the bottom and small at the top, were placed in some part of it, to receive the gifts: each vessel was appointed to receive some one particular class of them; one, for instance, was for money offered to buy wood for the altar; another, for money to buy frankincense; and so the rest for different uses. Here our Saviour beheld the people casting in their offerings, when the poor widow came forward with her two mites, and cast in all that she had. (Mark xii. 41-44.) In this part of the temple it was, too, that he delivered some of his solemn and impressive discourses, teaching the people, and reproving their unbelief. (John viii. 20.)


In the middle of the high wall that bounded the Court of the Women, on the west side, was the gate called Nicanor. Through this, after a rise of fifteen steps, each half a cubit high, a person entered into the COURT OF ISRAEL. These steps were in the half-circle form. On either side of the lowest one, there was a door in the wall, facing the Court of the Women, which opened into a chamber cut out under the level of the Court of Israel above. In these two rooms the Levites deposited their musical instruments. Still, when they had done using them each day in the service of the temple, they came down the fifteen steps, turning to the right or to the left, and laid them away here till they were again wanted.

Besides the gate of Nicanor, there were six other gates, VOL. II.


three on the northern, and three on the southern side, by which the Court of Israel might be entered. These of course let persons into it directly from the Court of the Gentiles on the east it was necessary to come into the Court of the Women first, and then from that into this third one, and this was the most common way by which it was entered; but on the north and south, those who went out or came in had nothing to pass through between this court and the outer one, but the two walls already noticed, one high and the other low, with the level space of ten cubits' breadth that lay between them round about. Around against the wall, in this third enclosure, there were several houses or chambers standing, as in the courts already noticed, for different sorts of use connected with the service of the temple, and covered walks also along the four sides, from one gate to another, reaching farther out from the wall than the buildings just mentioned, so as to have still room enough, where any of these happened to stand, for persons to pass along in front of them.

This broad covered walk all around appears, indeed, not so truly to have been a walk along the sides of what was strictly the Court of Israel, as it was itself the whole extent of that court. The space within, surrounded by this walk, seems to have been all comprehended in what was properly another court, about two cubits and a half higher than the pavement of the walk, and separated from it by a low railing. Into this wide walk, or Court of Israel, common Israelites were allowed to come, to attend on particular services of religion, and from it they could look, without difficulty, over the elegant railing just mentioned, toward the holy House of the temple, and see all that was done in the court within.


THIS court within was the COURT OF THE PRIESTS. It had in it the beautiful building of the Sanctuary, with the Altar of burnt-offering, and the Laver standing in front of it. Here the Priests with the Levites performed their daily service. Besides these, no other Israelite might even pass the railing that surrounded it, except when he came forward solemnly to lay his hands upon the head of a victim that

he offered for sacrifice, or to kill it, or to wave some part of it before the Lord.

Along the eastern end of this court, facing the front of the sanctuary, there was a breadth of eleven cubits, covered with a roof, like the walks already more than once noticed. Thus when a person went up through the gate of Nicanor, towards the House of the temple, he passed first across the covered space of the Court of Israel, lately considered, and then, rising four steps through the low railing that fenced in the Court of the Priests, found himself in this second covered space, of which we now speak, with the broad and lofty front of the temple Porch full before him. Along the back side of this space, just before the railing, a breadth of two cubits and a half was appropriated to the Levites that conducted the music in the solemn service of the Sanctuary. Here, in a row along from the entrance in the middle to the corner of the court on each side, they stood at the appointed times with their various instruments in their hands, playing and singing with a loud voice to the praise of the Most High God. The rest of this covered space, before the narrow range set apart for the use just mentioned, was for the accommodation of the priests, when any of them were not called to be employed in service elsewhere in the court. There were no seats, however, provided for them to sit upon and rest themselves: it was not considered lawful for persons to sit at all, either in the Court of the Priests or in the Court of Israel, around it; reverence towards God, and regard for the holiness of these places, were required to be continually manifested by standing on the feet.

The Altar of burnt-offering, that stood in this court, was much larger than the one that belonged to the first temple. It had its situation, however, on the same spot-the one that had been anciently pointed out by divine direction to David. (1 Chron. xxi. 18.) This being the spot where the altar was to be built, it was necessary that the House the temple should be erected near it; and that was the reason that it was situated so much toward the north-western corner of the hill. Between the altar and the entrance of the sanctuary, somewhat off toward the south side, stood the Laver. The second temple, like the tabernacle, was furnished with only one.


THE SANCTUARY, or Temple, strictly so called, as it stood in the days of our Saviour, was larger in its dimensions than the building erected by Solomon, but constructed after the same general plan. The beauty and costliness of its workmanship were very great. The walls were builded with stones of white marble, beautiful and exceedingly large.

In front, toward the east, the Porch attracted the admiration of every beholder. It was, it seems, of the same height with that of the first temple, but a great deal broader, and twice as wide; having a breadth of no less than a hundred cubits from north to south, and a width of twenty across through it from east to west. The entrance into it, on the front side, was seventy cubits high and twenty-five broad, and stood always open, without a door of any sort.

The Sanctuary itself, behind the Porch, was twenty cubits broad, from wall to wall, sixty in length, and sixty in height. Around it, on the north and south sides, and at the western end, there was a structure of three stories, after the fashion of that which was attached to the temple of Solomon, as it has been described in the account of that edifice. Here were a number of chambers all around in each story, with galleries in front of them, along the outside wall of the structure round about, by which persons, coming out from them, might walk along to the stairs that led down from one story to another, and so go out by some one of the doors below.

The Holy Place, in this Sanctuary, which was entered after crossing the Porch, was forty cubits long, twenty broad, and sixty high. It had in it an Altar of Incense, one Candlestick, and one Table for the shew-bread, after the manner of the ancient tabernacle. The Most Holy Place, measuring twenty cubits every way, wanted that which was the perpetual glory of the first temple-the Ark, overshadowed with its cherubim, above which the Divine presence condescended to dwell. The Jews tell us, that a box, or coffer, resembling it in form, was made to supply its place; but this had nothing of that peculiar and extraordinary sacredness which distinguished the original depo

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