A building hallowed by the special presence of God, and consecrated to his worship. The distinctive idea of a temple, contrasted with all other buildings, is that it is the dwelling-place of a deity; and every heathen temple had its idol, but the true and living God dwelt "between the cherubim" in the Holy of Holies at Jerusalem. Hence, figuratively applied, a temple denotes the church of Christ, 2Th 2:4; Re 3:12; heaven, Ps 11:4; Re 7:15; and the soul of the believer, in which the Holy Spirit dwells, 1Co 3:16-17; 6:19; 2Co 6:16.
After the Lord had instructed David that Jerusalem was the place he had chosen in which to fix his dwelling, that pious prince began to realize his design of preparing a temple for the Lord that might be something appropriate to His divine majesty. But the honor was reserved for Solomon his son and successor, who was to be a peaceful prince, and like David, who had shed much blood in war. David, however, applied himself to collect great quantities of gold, silver, brass, iron, and other materials for this undertaking, 2Sa 1-24; 7; 1Ch 22.
The place chosen for erecting this magnificent structure was Mount Moriah,
Ge 2:2,14; 2Ch 3:1, the summit of which originally was unequal, and its sides irregular; but it was a favorite object of the Jews to level and extend it. The plan and the whole model of this structure was laid by the same divine architect as that of the tabernacle, namely, God himself; and it was built much in the same form as the tabernacle, but was of much larger dimensions. The utensils for the sacred service were also the same as those used in the tabernacle, only several of them were larger, in proportion to the more spacious edifice to which they belonged. The foundations of this magnificent edifice were laid by Solomon, in the year B. C. 1011, about four hundred and eighty years after the exodus and the building of the tabernacle; and it was finished B. C. 1004, having occupied seven years and six months in the building. It was dedicated with peculiar solemnity to the worship of Jehovah, who condescended to make it the place for the special manifestation of his glory, 2Ch 5-7. The front or entrance to the temple was on the eastern side, and consequently facing the Mount of Olives, which commanded a noble prospect of the building. The temple itself, strictly so called, which comprised the Porch, the Sanctuary, and the Holy of Holies, formed only a small part of the sacred precincts, being surrounded by spacious courts, chambers, and other apartments, which were much more extensive than the temple itself. It should be observed that the word temple does not always denote the central edifice itself, but in many passages some of the outer courts are intended.
From the descriptions which are handed down to us of the temple of Solomon, it is utterly impossible to obtain so accurate an idea of its relative parts and their respective proportions, as to furnish such an account as may be deemed satisfactory to the reader. Hence we find no two writers agreeing in their descriptions. The following account may give a general idea of the building.
The Temple itself was seventy cubits long; the Porch being ten cubits, 1Ki 6:3, the Holy place forty cubits, 1Ki 6:17, and the Most Holy place, twenty cubits, 2Ch 3:8. The width of the Porch, Holy, and Most Holy places was thirty cubits, 1Ki 6:2; but the height of the porch was much greater, being no less than one hundred and twenty cubits, 2Ch 3:4, or four times the height of the rest of the building. The Most Holy place was separated from the Sanctuary by an impervious veil, Lu 23:45, and was perhaps wholly dark, 1Ki 8:12, but for the glory of the Lord which filled it. To the north and south sides, and the west end of the Holy and Most Holy places, or all around the edifice, from the back of the porch on one side, to the back of the porch on the other side, certain buildings were attached. These were called side chambers, and consisted of three stories, each five cubits high, 1Ki 6:10, and joined to the wall of the temple without. Thus the three stories of side chambers, when taken together, were fifteen cubits high, and consequently reached exactly to half the height of the side walls and end of the temple; so that there was abundance of space above these for the windows which gave light to the temple, 1Ki 6:4.
Solomon's temple appears to have been surrounded by two main courts: the inner court, that "of the Priests," 1Ki 6:36; 2Ch 4:9; and the outer court, that "of Israel;" these were separated by a "middle wall of partition," with lodges for priests and Levites, for wood, oil, etc., 1Ch 28:12. The ensuing description is applicable to the temple courts in the time of our Lord.
The "court of the Gentiles" was so called because it might be entered by persons of all nations. The chief entrance to it was by the east or Shushan gate, which was the principal gate of the temple. It was the exterior court, and by far the largest of all the courts belonging to the temple, and is said to have covered a space of more than fourteen acres. It entirely surrounded the other courts and the temple itself; and in going up to the temple from its east or outer gate, one would cross first this court, then the court of the Women, then that of Israel, and lastly that of the Priests. This outmost court was separated from the court of the women by a wall three cubits high of lattice work, and having inscriptions on its pillars forbidding Gentiles and unclean persons to pass beyond it, on pain of death, Ac 21:28; Eph 2:13-14. From this court of the Gentiles our Savior drove the persons who had established a cattle-market in it, for the purpose of supplying those with sacrifices who came from a distance, Mt 21:12-13. We must not overlook the beautiful pavement of variegated marble, and the "porches" or covered walks, with columns supported magnificent galleries, with which this court was surrounded. Those on the east, west, and north sides were of the same dimensions; but that on the south was much larger. The porch called Solomon's Joh 10:23; Ac 3:11, was on the east side or front of this court, and was so called because it was built by this prince, upon a high wall rising from the alley of Kidron.
The "court of the Women," called in Scripture the "new court," 2Ch 20:5, and the "outer court," Eze 46:21, separated the court of the Gentiles from the court of Israel, extending along the east side only of the latter. It was called the court of the women because it was their appointed place of worship, beyond which they might not go, unless when they brought a sacrifice, in which case they went forward to the court of Israel. The gate which led into this court from that of the Gentiles, was "the Beautiful gate" of the temple, mentioned in Ac 3:2,10; so called, because the folding doors, lintel, and side-posts were all overlaid with Corinthian brass. The worshipper ascended to its level by a broad flight of steps. It was in this court of the women, called the "treasury," that our Savior delivered his striking discourse to the Jews, related in Joh 8:1-20. It was into this court also that the Pharisee and the publican went to pray, Lu 18:10-13, and hither the lame man followed Peter and John, after he was cured- the court of the women being the ordinary place of worship for those who brought no sacrifice, Ac 3:8. From thence, after prayers, he went back with them, through the "Beautiful gate" of the temple, where he had been lying, and through the sacred fence, into the court of the Gentiles, where, under the eastern piazza, or Solomon's porch, Peter preached Christ crucified. It was in the same court of the women that the Jews laid hold of Paul, when they judged him a violator of the temple by taking Gentiles within the sacred fence, Ac 21:26-29.
The "court of Israel" was separated from the court of the women by a wall thirty-two and a half cubits high on the outside, but on the inside only twenty-five. The reason of which difference was, that as the rock on which the temple stood became higher on advancing westward, the several courts naturally became elevated in proportion. The ascent into this court from the eas
first used of the tabernacle, which is called "the temple of the Lord" (1Sa 1:9). In the New Testament the word is used figuratively of Christ's human body (Joh 2:19,21). Believers are called "the temple of God" (1Co 3:16-17). The Church is designated "an holy temple in the Lord" (Eph 2:21). Heaven is also called a temple (Re 7:5). We read also of the heathen "temple of the great goddess Diana" (Ac 19:27).
This word is generally used in Scripture of the sacred house erected on the summit of Mount Moriah for the worship of God. It is called "the temple" (1Ki 6:17); "the temple [R.V., 'house'] of the Lord" (2Ki 11:10); "thy holy temple" (Ps 79:1); "the house of the Lord" (2Ch 23:5,12); "the house of the God of Jacob" (Isa 2:3); "the house of my glory" (Isa 60:7); an "house of prayer" (Isa 56:7; Mt 21:13); "an house of sacrifice" (2Ch 7:12); "the house of their sanctuary" (2Ch 36:17); "the mountain of the Lord's house" (Isa 2:2); "our holy and our beautiful house" (Isa 64:11); "the holy mount" (Isa 27:13); "the palace for the Lord God" (1Ch 29:1); "the tabernacle of witness" (2Ch 24:6); "Zion" (Ps 74:2; 84:7). Christ calls it "my Father's house" (Joh 2:16).
(See JERUSALEM; TABERNACLE.) David cherished the design of superseding the tent and curtains by a permanent building of stone (2Sa 7:1-2); God praised him for having the design "in his heart" (1Ki 8:18); but as he had been so continually in wars (1Ki 5:3,5), and had "shed blood abundantly" (1Ch 22:8-9; 28:2-3,10), the realization was reserved for Solomon his son. (See SOLOMON.) The building of the temple marks an era in Israel's history, the nation's first permanent settlement in peace and rest, as also the name Solomon," man of peace, implied. The site was the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite, whereon David by Jehovah's command erected an altar and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings (2Sa 24:18-25; 1Ch 21:18-30; 22:1); Jehovah's signifying by fire His acceptance of the sacrifice David regarded as the divine designation of the area for the temple.
This is the house of the Lord God, and this is the altar ... for Israel (2Ch 3:1). "Solomon began to build the house of Jehovah at Jerusalem in Mount Moriah (Hebrew in the mount of the vision of Jehovah) where He appeared unto David in the place that David had prepared in the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite." Warren identifies the "dome of the rock" with Ornan's threshing floor and the temple altar. Solomon's temple was there in the Haram area, but his palace in the S.E. of it, 300 ft. from N. to S., and 600 from E. to W., and Solomon's porch ran along the E. side of the Haram area. The temple was on the boundary line between Judah and Benjamin, and so formed a connecting link between the northern and the southern tribes; almost in the center of the nation. The top of the hill having been leveled, walls of great stones (some 30 ft. long) were built on the sloping sides, and the interval between was occupied by vaults or filled up with earth.
The lower, bevelled stones of the wall still remain; the relics of the eastern wall alone being Solomon's, the southern and western added later, but still belonging to the first temple; the area of the first temple was ultimately a square, 200 yards, a stadium on each side, but in Solomon's time a little less. Warren makes it a rectangle, 900 ft. from E. to W., and 600 from N. to S. "The Lord gave the pattern in writing by His hand upon David," and "by His Spirit," i.e. David wrote the directions under divine inspiration and gave them to Solomon (1Ch 28:11-19). The temple retained the general proportions of the tabernacle doubled; the length 60 cubits (90 ft.), the breadth 20 cubits (30 ft.): 1Ki 6:2; 2Ch 3:3. The height 30 cubits, twice the whole height of the tabernacle (15 cubits) measuring from its roof, but the oracle 20 cubits (double the height of the tabernacle walls, 10 cubits), making perfect cube like that of the tabernacle, which was half, i.e. ten each way; the difference between the height of the oracle and that of the temple, namely, ten cubits, was occupied by the upper rooms mentioned in 2Ch 3:9, overlaid with pure gold.
The temple looked toward the E., having the most holy place in the extreme W. In front was a porch as broad as the temple, 20 cubits, and ten deep; whereas the tabernacle porch was only five cubits deep and ten cubits wide. Thus, the ground plan of the temple was 70 cubits, i.e. 105 ft., or, adding the porch, 80 cubits, by 40 cubits, whereas that of the tabernacle was 40 cubits by 20 cubits, i.e. just half. In 2Ch 3:4 the 120 cubits for the height of the porch is out of all proportion to the height of the temple; either 20 cubits (with Syriac, Arabic and Septuagint) or 30 cubits ought to be read; the omission of mention of the height in 1Ki 6:3 favors the idea that the porch was of the same height as the temple, i.e. 30 cubits. Two brazen pillars (Boaz "strength is in Him", and Jachin "He will establish"), 18 cubits high, with a chapiter of five cubits - 23 cubits in all - stood, not supporting the temple roof, but as monuments before the porch (1Ki 7:15-22). The 35 cubits instead of 18 cubits, in 2Ch 3:15, arose from a copyist's error (confounding yah = 18 with lah = 35 cubits).
The circumference of the pillars was 12 cubits or 18 ft.; the significance of the two pillars was eternal stability and the strength of Jehovah in Israel as representing the kingdom of God on earth, of which the temple was the visible pledge, Jehovah dwelling there in the midst of His people. Solomon (1Ki 6:5-6) built against the wall of the house stories, or an outwork consisting of three stories, round about, i.e. against the longer sides and the hinder wall, and not against the front also, where was the porch. Rebates (three for the three floors of the side stories and one for the roof) or projecting ledges were attached against the temple wall at the point where the lower beams of the different side stories were placed, so that the heads of the beams rested on the rebates and were not inserted in the actual temple wall. As the exterior of the temple wall contracted at each rebate, while the exterior wall of the side chamber was straight, the breadth of the chambers increased each story upward. The lowest was only five broad, the second six, and the third seven; in height they were each five cubits.
Winding stairs led from chamber to chamber upward (1Ki 6:8). The windows (1Ki 6:4) were made "with closed beams" Hebrew, i.e. the lattice work of which could not be opened and closed at will, as in d welling houses (2Ki 13:17). The Chaldee and rabbiical tradition that they were narrower without than within is probable; this would adapt them to admit light and air and let out smoke. They were on the temple side walls in the ten cubits' space whereby the temple walls, being 30 cubits high, out-topped the side stories, 20 cubits high. The tabernacle walls were ten cubits high, and the whole height 15 cubits, i.e. the roof rising five cubits above the internal walls, just half the temple proportions: 20 cubits, 30 cubits, 10 cubits respectively. The stone was made ready in the quarry before it was brought, so that there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool heard in the house while it was building (1Ki 6:7).
In the Bezetha vast cavern, accidentally discovered by tapping the ground with a stick outside the Damascus gate at Jerusalem, evidences still remain of the marvelous energy with which they executed the work; the galleries, the pillars supporting the roof, and the niches from which the huge blocks were taken, of the same form, size, and material as the stones S.E. of the Haram area. The stone, soft in its native state, becomes hard as marble when exposed to the air. The quarry is 600 ft. long and runs S.E. At the end are blocks half quarried, the marks of the chisel as fresh as on the day the mason ceased; but the temple was completed without them, still they remain attached to their native bed, a type of multitudes, impressed in part, bearing marks of the teacher's chisel, but never incorporated into the spiritual temple.
The masons' Phoenician marks still remain on the stones in this quarry, and the unique beveling of the stones in the temple wall overhanging the ravine corresponds to that in the cave quarry. Compare 1Pe 2:5; the election of the church, the spiritual temple, in God's eternal predestination, before the actual rearing of that temple (Eph 1:4-5; Ro 8:29-30), and the peace that reigns within and above, in contrast to the toil and noise outside in the world below wherein the materials of the spiritual temple are being prepared (Joh 16:33), are the truths symbolized by the mode of rearing Solomon's temple. On the eastern wall at the S.E. angle are the Phoenician red paint marks.
These marks cut into or painted on the bottom rows of the wall at the S.E. corner of the Haram, at a depth of 90 ft. where the foundations rest on the rock itself, are pronounced by Deutseh to have been cut or painted when the stones were first laid in their present places, and to be Phoenician letters, numerals, and masons' quarry signs; some are well known Phoenician characters, others such as occur in the primitive substructions of the Sidon harbour. The interior was lined with cedar of Lebanon, and the floors and ceiling with cypress (berosh; KJV "fir" not
1. The first Temple mentioned in connexion with the worship of Jahweh is that of Shiloh (1Sa 1:9), 'where the ark of God was' (1Sa 3:3) in the period of the Judges, under the guardianship of Eli and his sons. It was evidently destroyed by the Philistines after their decisive victory which resulted in the capture of the ark, as recorded in 1Sa 4:10 ff.; for the descendants of Eli are found, a generation afterwards, acting as priests of a temple at Nob (1Sa 21:1 ff., 1Sa 22:9 ff.). With the capture of Jerusalem by David, and the transference thither of the ark, a new political and religious centre was provided for the tribes of Israel.
2. Solomon's Temple.
There is perhaps no building of the ancient world which has excited so much attention since the time of its destruction as the temple which Solomon built by Herod. Its spoils were considered worthy of forming the principal illustration of one of the most beautiful of Roman triumphal arches, and Justinian's highest architectural ambition was that he might surpass it. Throughout the middle ages it influenced to a considerable degree the forms of Christian churches, and its peculiarities were the watchwords and rallying-points of all associations of builders. When the French expedition to Egypt, int he first years of this century, had made the world familiar with the wonderful architectural remains of that country, every one jumped to the conclusion that Solomon's temple must have been designed after an Egyptian model. The discoveries in Assyria by Botta and Layard have within the last twenty years given an entirely new direction to the researches of the restorers. Unfortunately, however, no Assyrian temple has yet been exhumed of a nature to throw much light on this subject, and we are still forced to have recourse to the later buildings at Persepolis, or to general deductions from the style of the nearly contemporary secular buildings at Nineveh and elsewhere, for such illustrations as are available. THE TEMPLE OF SOLOMON. --It was David who first proposed to replace the tabernacle by a more permanent building, but was forbidden for the reasons assigned by the prophet Nathan,
etc.; and though he collected materials and made arrangements, the execution of the task was left for his son Solomon. (The gold and silver alone accumulated by David are at the lowest reckoned to have amounted to between two and three billion dollars, a sum which can be paralleled from secular history. --Lange.) Solomon, with the assistance of Hiram king of Tyre, commenced this great undertaking int he fourth year of his reign, B.C. 1012, and completed it in seven years, B.C. 1005. (There were 183,000 Jews and strangers employed on it --of Jews 30,000, by rotation 10,000 a month; of Canaanites 153,600, of whom 70,000 were bearers of burdens, 80,000 hewers of wood and stone, and 3600 overseers. The parts were all prepared at a distance from the site of the building, and when they were brought together the whole immense structure was erected without the sound of hammer, axe or any tool of iron.
--Schaff.) The building occupied the site prepared for it by David, which had formerly been the threshing-floor of the Jebusite Ornan or Araunah, on Mount Moriah. The whole area enclosed by the outer walls formed a square of about 600 feet; but the sanctu
The places of the two "veils" of the tabernacle were occupied by partitions, in which were folding-doors. The whole interior was lines with woodwork richly carved and overlaid with gold. Indeed, both within and without the building was conspicuously chiefly by the lavish use of the gold of Ophir and Parvaim. It glittered in the morning sun (it has been well said) like the sanctuary of an El Dorado. Above the sacred ark, which was placed, as of old, in the most holy place, were made new cherubim, one pair of whose wings met above the ark, and another pair reached to the walls behind them. In the holy place, besides the altar of incense, which was made of cedar overlaid with gold there were seven golden candlesticks in stead of one, and the table of shew-bread was replaced by ten golden tables, bearing, besides the shew bread, the innumerable golden vessels for the service of the sanctuary. The outer court was no doubt double the size of that of the tabernacle; and we may therefore safely assume that if was 10 cubits in height, 100 cubits north and south, and 200 east and west. If contained an inner court, called the "court of the priests;" but the arrangement of the courts and of the porticos and gateways of the enclosure, though described by Josephus, belongs apparently to the temple of Herod. The outer court there was a new altar of burnt offering, much larger than the old one. [ALTAR] Instead of the brazen laver there was "a molten sea" of brass, a masterpiece of Hiram's skill for the ablution of the priests. It was called a "sea" from its great size. [SEA, MOLTEN] The chambers for the priests were arranged in successive stories against the sides of the sanctuary; not, however, reaching to the top, so as to leave space for the windows to light the holy and the most holy place. We are told by Josephus and the Talmud that there was a superstructure on the temple equal in height to the lower part; and this is confirmed by the statement in the books of Chronicles that Solomon "overlaid the upper chambers with gold."
See Sea, Molten
Moreover, "the altars on the top of the upper chamber," mentioned in the books of the Kings,
were apparently upon the temple. The dedication of the temple was the grandest ceremony ever performed under the Mosaic dispensation. The temple was destroyed on the capture of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, B.C. 586. TEMPLE OF ZERUBBABEL. --We have very few particulars regarding the temple which the Jews erected after their return from the captivity (about B.C. 520), and no description that would enable us to realize its appearance. But there are some dimensions given in the Bible and elsewhere which are extremely interesting, as affording points of comparison between it and the temple which preceded it and the one erected after it. The first and most authentic are those given in the book of Ezra,
when quoting the decree of Cyrus, wherein it is said, "Let the house be builded, the place where they offered sacrifices and let the foundations thereof be strongly laid; the height thereof three-score cubits. and the breadth thereof three-score cubits, with three rows of great stones, and a row of new timber." Josephus quotes this passage almost literally, but in doing so enables us to translate with certainty the word here called row as "story" --as indeed the sense would lead us to infer. We see by the description in Ezra that this temple was about one third larger than Solomon's. From these dimensions we gather that if the priests and Levites and elders of families were disconsolate at seeing how much more sumptuous the old temple was than the one which on account of their poverty they had hardly been able to erect,
it certainly was not because it was smaller; but it may have been that the carving and the gold and the other ornaments of Solomon's temple far surpassed this, and the pillars of the portico and the veils may all have been far more splendid; so also probably were the vessels and all this is what a Jew would mourn over far more than mere architectural splendor. In speaking of these temples we must always bear in mind that their dimensions were practically very far inferior to those of the heathen. Even that of Ezra is not larger than an average parish church of the last century; Solomon's was smaller. It was the lavish display of the precious metals, the elaboration of carved ornament, and the beauty of the textile fabrics, which made up their splendor and rendered them so precious in the eyes of the people. TEMPLE OF EZEKIEL. --The vision of a temple which the prophet Ezekiel saw while residing on the banks of the Chebar in Babylonia, in the twenty-fifth year of the captivity, does not add much to our knowledge of the subject. It is not a description of a temple that ever was built or ever could be erected at Jerusalem, and can consequently only be considered as the beau ideal of what a Shemitic temple ought to be.
TEMPLE OF HEROD. --Herod the Great announced to the people assembled at the Passover, B.C. 20 or 19, his intention of restoring the temple; (probably a stroke of policy on the part of Herod to gain the favor of the Jews and to make his name great.) if we may believe Josephus, he pulled down the whole edifice to its foundations, and laid them anew on an enlarged scale; but the ruins still exhibit, in some parts, what seem to be the foundations laid by Zerubbabl
TEMPLE, the house of God; properly the temple of Solomon. David first conceived the design of building a house somewhat worthy of the divine majesty, and opened his mind to the Prophet Nathan, 2Sa 7; 1Ch 17; 22:8, &c. God accepted of his good intentions, but refused him the honour. Solomon laid the foundation of the temple, A.M. 2992, completed it in 3000, and dedicated it in 3001, 1Ki 8:2; 2Ch 5; 6:7. According to the opinion of some writers, there were three temples, namely, 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 repaired and beautified: and this opinion corresponds with the prophecy of Hag 2:9, "that the glory of this latter house," the temple built by Zerubbabel, "should be greater than that of the former;" which prediction was tittered with reference to the Messiah's honouring it with his presence and ministry. 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 Zion, Ps 132:13-14, which had been purchased by Araunah, or Ornan, the Jebusite, 2Sa 24:23-24; 1Ch 21:25. The plan, and the 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 ancient 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 dedicated, A.M. 3001, B.C. 999, 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 scarcely any two writers 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; and after undergoing subsequent profanations and pillages, this stupendous building was finally plundered and burnt by the Chaldeans under Nebuchadnezzar, A.M. 3416, or B.C. 584, 2Ki 25:13-15; 2Ch 36:17-20.
After the captivity, the temple emerged from its ruins, being rebuilt by Zerubbabel, 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, Ezr 3:12. The second temple was profaned by order of Antiochus Epiphanes, A.M. 3837, B.C. 163, who caused the daily sacrifices to be discontinued, and erected the image of Jupiter Olympus on the altar of burnt-offering. In this condition it continued three years, l Mac. 4. 42, when Judas Maccabaeus purified and repaired it, and restored the sacrifices and true worship of Jehovah. Some years before the birth of our Saviour, the repairing and beautifying 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 eighty 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, Joh 2:20.
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, namely, 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, Joh 14:2; 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 the 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 Hag 2:9. 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. 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 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 ancient 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 Ac 3:2, 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 latte