1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Temple
The above definitions apply to Greek temples, whether of the Doric, Ionic or Corinthian orders. The Romans in some of their temples adopted the same disposition, but with this important difference, that, instead of the temple resting on a stylobate of three steps, it was raised on a podium with a flight of steps in front. In some of their temples, requiring a larger Fig. 17. cella wherein to store their works of art, it occupied in the rear the full width of the portico in front; they retained, however, the semblance of the peristyle, the columns of which became semi-attached to the cella wall. If the pcrtico had four columns, the temple was known as tetrastyle pseudo-peripteral, of which the so-called temple of Fortuna Virilis at Rome is an example; and if six columns, hexastyle pseudo-peripteral, as in the Maison Carrée at Nîmes.
TEMPLE, a term derived from the Lat. templum (Gr. τεμενος), which originally denoted a space marked off by the augurs for the purpose of observing the flight of birds or other ceremonies; later it was applied to the dwelling-place, the aedes sacrae, of the gods. In this latter sense it is the equivalent of the native Hebrew expression bêth ’ĕlōhīm, literally “a god-house,” and of the foreign hêkal, palace, temple, a loan-word from Sumerian through the medium of the Babylonian ê-kallu (lit. great house). A temple or “god-house,” however, represents a comparatively advanced stage in the development of Semitic religion. At first the Semite recognized the abodes of his deities in certain outstanding and impressive natural objects, a spreading tree, a bubbling spring, a conspicuous rock or sto11e, a lofty mountain peak and the like. Beside these he met and held converse with his gods. The native rock was the first altar.
It was a distinct step in advance when it was recognized that a deity might take up his abode elsewhere than in such natural sanctuaries, as in the massebah or stone pillar and the ashērah or sacred post of wood, reared not by nature but by the hand of man (cf. Gen. xxviii. 18, 22, the origin of the sacred pillar at Beth-el).
The further advance to a real house or temple may be traced to the influence of at least two factors in the social and religious life of a people. One such factor came into play when men began to represent the deity by means of an image, or even when some object, whether natural, like the black stone of Mecca, or manufactured, like the ark of the Hebrews, came to be regarded as specially sacred from its association with the deity. Such objects or images required a house to shelter and guard them. Another factor is to be found in the advance in material comfort which follows the transition from the nomadic to the agricultural mode of life. Among the settled Semites there arose the feeling that the gods of the community ought also to share in this advance (cf. 2 Sam. vii. 2). Accordingly they were invited to take up their abode in a béth ’ĕlōhīm or temple. The dignity and comfort of the gods advance pari passu with those of their worshippers.
It must be kept in mind, however, that the altar remained as before the centre of the sacrificial worship. Around it or before it, under the open sky, the worshippers assembled. To the temple the priests alone, or the head of the sacral community in his priestly capacity, had access. In this respect the worship associated with altar and temple offers a striking contrast to the more spiritual worship of the Jewish synagogue and the Christian Church.
At the date of the Hebrew invasion of Canaan its numerous city-states had reached a fairly high level of civilization. Alongside of the typical Canaanite sanctuary, as known to us from the Old Testament references and from recent excavations, with its altar of earth or stone and its stately massebahs, a temple was probably to be found in all the more important centres. In an early Hebrew document there is a reference to the temple of El-berith at Shechem, which was large enough and strong enough to serve as a place of refuge in time of war (judges ix. 46 ff.). The Philistines also had their temples in this period: thus we hear of a “house” of Dagon at Gaza (ib. xvi. 23 ff.) and also at Ashdod (1 Sam. v. 2), while a temple of Ashtart (Ishtar-Astarte) is mentioned in 1 Sam. xxxi. 10, probably at Ashkelon (Herod. i. 105).
The earliest reference to a temple built by Hebrew hands is to “an house of gods” reared by Micah to shelter an ephod and other sacred images which he had made (Judges xvii. 5). Micah's images were soon transported to Dan, where doubtless another house was built for their protection (xviii. 18, 30 f.). Somewhat later we find the ark of Yahweh installed in “the house of Yahweh” at Shiloh, which house was not a mere tent but a real temple (hêkāl, 1 Sam. i. 9, iii. 3) with doors (iii. 15) and doorposts (i. 9), and a hall in which the worshippers partook of the sacrificial meals (i. 18, Greek text; cf. ix. 22 “the guest-chamber,” Heb. lishkāh). After the destruction of Shiloh at the hands of the Philistines, its priesthood migrated to Nob, where also the incidents recorded in 1 Sam. xxi.—note especially the presence of the shew-bread and the ephod—imply the existence of a temple.
The Temple of Solomon.—The primary source of our information regarding the erection of Solomon's temple is the account contained in 1 Kings vi.-vii., the details of which must have been derived ultimately from the temple archives. On this earlier narrative the chronicler (2 Chron. iii.-iv.) and Josephus (Antiq., VIII. iii. 1 ff.) are alike dependent.
Unfortunately these two chapters of Kings are among the most difficult in the Old Testament, partly by reason of our ignorance of the precise meaning of several of the technical terms employed, partly owing to the unsatisfactory state of the received text, which has been overlaid with later additions and glosses. As regards both text and interpretation, most recent writers have adopted in the main the results of Stade's epoch-making essay in his Zeitsch. f. d. alttest. Wissenschaft, iii. (1883), 129-177, reprinted in his Akademische Reden, &c., with which is now to be compared Stade and Schwally's critical edition of Kings in Haupt's Sacred Books of the Old Test. See also, in addition to the standard commentaries, Burney, Notes on the Heb. Text of . . . Kings, Vincent's critical and exegetical study, Rev. biblique (Oct. 1907), and the literature cited at the end of this article.
(a) The Site of the Temple.—On this important point our earliest authority is silent. It is now universally acknowledged, however, that the whole complex of buildings erected by Solomon stood along the crest of the eastern hill, crowned by the temple at the highest point, as Josephus expressly testifies (Bell. Jud.; V. v. 1, with which compare the letter of (Pseudo) Aristeas, sect. 84). This at once brings the site of the temple into proximity to the world-famous sacred rock, the sakhra, over which now stands the building known as the Mosque of Omar, and, more correctly, as the Dome of the Rock. Here another important consideration comes to our aid. From the recognized persistence of sacred sites in the East through all the changes in the dominant religion, it is well-nigh certain that the sanctity of the sakhra rock goes back to the days of David and Solomon, or even, it may be, to prehistoric times. On it, or over it, the angel was believed to have been seen by David, and there David built his altar (2 Sam. xxiv. 18-25; cf. Judges vi. 20 f., 24; xiii. 19 ff.). This is undoubtedly the site assigned to the temple by the oldest extant tradition (see 1 Chron. xxii. 1; cf. 2 Sam. xxiv.). By every token, then, Solomon's altar of burnt-offering, if it was not identical with the sakhra (see below), at least stood upon it. Since the altar necessarily stood in front, i.e. to the east, of the temple, the site of the latter was a short distance to the west of, and in line with, the sacred rock (see Jerusalem).
The alternative view, associated in recent times with the names of Schick and Conder, which places the most holy place, or innermost shrine of the temple, over the sakhra, has now few advocates (e.g. Col. Watson in the Quarterly Statement of the Palestine Exploration Fund for 1896 and 1910). Apart from difficulties of space towards the east, which this location involves, it cannot be accepted in face of the fact that the sakhra still bears the marks of its former use as a rock-altar (see esp. Kittel, Studien zur hebr. Archëologie, 12 ff.). Moreover the rock, measuring as it does some 55 ft. by 40, could not have been contained within the “holy of holies,” which was less than 30 ft. square (see below).
A third site, still within the present Haram area, but towards its south-west angle, favoured by Fergusson (The Temples of the Jews), Robertson Smith (Ency. Brit., 9th ed., art. “Temple”) and others is open to even more serious objection, and has no prominent advocate at the present day.
(b) The Temple Building.—In the fourth year of his reign Solomon “began to build the house of the Lord” with the laying of a massive foundation of “great stones,” as required by the rapid fall of the ground to the west of the sakhra. Architecturally the temple consisted of three distinct parts: (1) the naos or temple proper, (2) a porch or pylon in front of the naos, and (3) a lower and narrower building which surrounded the naos on its other three sides (see fig. 1).
(1) The first of these, “the house of the Lord” in the strict sense, in which alone He was worshipped, was oblong in plan, and was divided into two compartments in the proportion of 2 : 1 by a partition wall. The room next the porch was 40 cubits in length by 20 in breadth, with a height of 30 cubits, all inside measurements, and is termed in our oldest source the hêkāl or palace; later it was known as “the holy place.” It was dimly lighted by a row of latticed windows, which must necessarily have been placed in the upper third of the side walls, as will presently be seen. Adjoining the hêkāl on the west lay the dĕbîr or sanctuary, later termed “the most holy place” (lit. “holy of holies”). The inside space formed a perfect cube of 20 cubits, say 30 ft., in length, breadth and height (vi. 20), symbolizing the perfection of the Deity, for whose abode this part of the naos was specially designed. The dĕbîr, as has been said, was separated from the hêkāl by a transverse wall, whose existence we are left to infer from the obscure description of the door between the two compartments (vi. 31, see next section).
Fig. 1.—Ground Plan of Solomon's Temple.
Fig. 2.—Section of Temple along a-b of Ground Plan.
(2) In front of the hêkāl and facing eastwards rose the porch, its inside “length” 20 cubits “according to the breadth of the house” (vi. 3), and its inside depth from east to west 10 cubits. The more precise character and elevation of this element will fall to be considered at a later stage.
(3) The third architectural element was a lateral building enclosing the naos on the other three sides, and consisting of three storeys, each 5 cubits in height from floor to ceiling. Each storey contained a number of small storage chambers, probably thirty in all (Ezek. xli. 6). A peculiarity in the architecture of this part of the temple is noteworthy. Instead of the beams forming the floors and ceilings of the several storeys being let into the wall of the hêkāl, three successive rebatements of one cubit each were made in the latter for their support (see fig. 2), consequently the width of the chambers was 5, 6 and 7 cubits in the three storeys respectively (vi. 6). The total height, allowing for floors and roof, of the lateral building cannot have been less than 17 cubits. Entrance to the side-chambers was provided by a single door on the south side (see ground-plan, fig. 1).
So far there is no difficulty as regards the general plan and dimensions of the temple, provided it is kept in mind that the figures given in the text of Kings are all inside measurements. It is otherwise when one endeavours to calculate the area covered by the temple, and to determine the elevation of the several parts and the general architectural style of the whole. As to the area much depends upon the thickness of the walls. Here our only clue is furnished by the figures for the correspond in walls of Ezekiel's temple, but the necessary caution has not hitherto been observed in a plying them to the proportions of the actual temple of Solomon. It cannot be too strongly emphasized that in the dimensions of his temple of the future and its courts Ezekiel is dominated by a passion for symmetry and for the number 50 and its multiples, which there is no ground for importing into the dimensions of the older temple. Nevertheless the walls of the naos may be taken at Ezekiel's figure of 6 cubits (xli. 5), with successive rebatements of one cubit (fig. 2) until the thickness is reduced to 3 cubits (4½ ft.) above the side-chambers, as explained above. If one cubit is allowed for the partition wall corresponding to the space in Herod's temple, where a curtain took the place of the wall, we obtain a total of 73 cubits for the length of the naos and of 32 for the outside width, or 107 ft. by 47. If 3 cubits—equal to the thickness of the wall of the naos above the side-chambers—be allowed for the outer wall of the latter, the extreme width of the temple works out at 48 cubits, or 70½ ft. Adopting Ezekiel's thickness of 5 cubits for the front wall of the porch, we reach a total of 96 cubits or 141 ft. for the extreme length from east to west (see the accompanying ground-plan). The proportion of length to breadth is thus 2 : 1, precisely as Ezekiel's temple with its artificial numbers of 100 and 50 respectively. The area of the platform on which Solomon's temple stood probably measured 100 cubits by 60, as in the plan annexed.
As regards the height of the various parts even fewer data are available. Our primary source gives the height of “the house” as 30 cubits (1 Kings vi. 2). By the great majority of previous students this has been understood to mean that a single flat roof, at this height from the floor, covered the three parts—porch, hêkāl and dĕbîr—leaving an empty space of 10 cubits above the last of these. But the Hebrew document, as has been repeatedly pointed out, is concerned only with inside dimensions, and in vi. 2 has probably in view the inside height of the hêkāl, as the largest of the three compartments. On the other hand, a characteristic feature of the contemporary Egyptian temples is the, gradual diminution in the height of their component parts from front to back (Maspero, L'Archéologie égyptienne (1907), p. 77; Erman, Handbk. of Egyptn. Religion, 41; cf. the restoration of a typical temple in Perrot and Chipiez, Anct. Egypt. Art. i. 373, and in Erman, Life in Anct. Egypt, 280).
In this respect the present writer believes that Solomon's temple followed the Egyptian model, the height decreasing as one proceeded from the porch to the hêkāl, dĕbîr and side-chambers respectively. The porch, for instance, was probably modelled on the pylons which flank the principal entrance to an Egyptian temple, tall and narrow, with a sloping front wall surmounted by a cornice with its characteristic cavetto moulding. The 120 cubits which 2 Chron. iii. 4 gives as the height of the porch, followed by Josephus, Ant. XV. xi. 1 and elsewhere, seem to be out of proportion to the probable height of the rest of the building. But this objection does not apply to the 60 cubits given as the extreme height for the second temple in the trustworthy document, Ezra vi. 3. This, it may reasonably be inferred, was the height of the porch in the first temple, from which, in that case, the figure was derived. The probable outside measurements for the porch are thus 32 cubits For the breadth across “the house,” 15 for the depth including the front wall, and 60 cubits or 88 ft. for the height.
Still following the Egyptian model, the hêkāl will have had its separate roof of massive cedar beams, covered probably by heavy limestone slabs, for which 1½-2 cubits may be allowed, giving a total of 32 cubits (47 ft.), equal to the outside width of this part of the temple. In the same way the roof of the dĕbîr will have been 10 cubits lower, or circa 32 ft. in all, that of the lateral building about 4 cubits lower still, say 26 ft. (cf. the section through the temple from W. to E. in fig. 2). While the measurements above given are, as they must necessarily be, in part conjectural, it is claimed for them that they introduce the element of proportion between the parts to an extent not attempted hitherto.
(c) The Interior of the Temple and its Furniture.—The entrance to the temple was through a wide and lofty opening in the front wall of the porch. Crossing the vestibule one entered the hêkāl by a large folding-door of cypress wood (vi. 34)—probably 10 cubits wide as in Ezekiel's temple—each of its four leaves ornamented with carved figures of cherubim, palms and flowers, all overlaid with gold. The inner walls of the hêkāl and the dĕbîr were lined with boards of cedar from floor to ceiling, while the floor was covered with planks of cypress wood. From the hékal a door in the partition wall gave entrance to the dĕbîr. The doorway was not rectangular but apparently pentagonal in form (see the commentaries on vi. 31), the lintel consisting of two blocks of stone meeting at an angle, a feature “introduced to distribute the pressure of the superincumbent wall” (W. R. Smith). The walls of the dĕbîr were overlaid with “pure gold” according to our present text (vi. 20); this enhancement of the dignity of the adytum as the earthly dwelling-place of the heavenly King is not so incredible as the profuse application of gold decoration to other and inferior parts of the house, even, as we have seen, to its floor (on this question see the critical works cited above).
As regards the furniture of the house, it is probable that the original text of 1 Kings introduced only the altar of cedar now found in the corrupt text of vi. 20, and to be identified with the table of shewbread, as the sole furniture of the holy place. The ten golden candlesticks, properly lampstands, of vii. 49 are generally believed to have been introduced at a later date (cf. Jer. lii. 18 f.). In the most holy place stood the palladium of Israel's religion, the sacred ark of Yahweh. On either side of this venerable relic of the past were two cherubim, sculptured from olive wood and overlaid with gold, each 10 cubits high, their outstretched wings reaching right across the dĕbîr, and forming a baldachin over the ark (vi. 23-28).
Although forming no part of the interior furniture of the temple, the remarkable twin pillars which stood on either side of the entrance to the porch may be mentioned here, since they belonged rather to the temple than to its court. These pillars, which in the received text bear the enigmatical names of “Jachin and Boaz,” were hollow columns—the bronze metal being about 3 in. in thickness—over 26 ft. in height and 6 ft. in diameter, surmounted by elaborate capitals about 7½ ft. high. The latter were globular in form, ornamented by a specially cast network of bronze, over which were hung festoon-wise two wreaths of bronze pomegranates, each row containing a hundred pomegranates. As the pillars doubtless stood on plinths, the total height of each will have been at least 35 ft. Such free-standing pillars were a feature of temple architecture in Phoenicia and elsewhere in western Asia, as later reproductions on local coins attest, and would appear to Solomon's Phoenician architects as a natural adjunct of his temple Jachin and Boaz, therefore, may be regarded as conventional symbols of the Deity for whose worship the temple was designed.
(d) The Temple Court, Altar and other Apparatus of the Cult.—The temple stood within the western half of “the court of the house of the Lord,” also known as “the inner court” to distinguish it from “the other court” round the adjoining palace and from “the great court” which surrounded the whole complex of Solomon's buildings. All three had walls in which three courses of hewn stone alternated with a course of cedar beams (see next section). To the “court of the house” laymen as well as priests had access (Jer. xxxv. 1 ff., xxxvi. 10). Several gates gave entrance to it, but their precise position is uncertain. The principal entrance from “the great court” was doubtless in the east wall. Another was in the south wall and communicated with “the other court” and the royal palace. There were also one or more gates on the north side of the court.
In our present text of 1 Kings vi.-vii., there is no mention of so indispensable a part of the apparatus of the cult as the altar of burnt-offering. This silence has been explained in two ways. The majority of critics believe that the original account did contain a reference to the making of a bronze altar (cf. 2 Chron. iv. 1), but that it was excised by a later editor, who assumed that the bronze altar of the tabernacle accompanied the ark to the new sanctuary. Others, with greater probability, maintain that the silence of our oldest source is due to the fact that Solomon followed the primitive Semitic custom and used the bare sakhra rock as his great altar. In this case the altar, which was removed by order of Ahaz to make way for his new altar after a Damascus model (2 Kings xvi. 10-16), must have been introduced by one of Solomon's successors.
In the court, to the south of the line between the altar and the temple, stood one of the most striking of the creations of Solomon's Phoenician artist, Huram-abi of Tyre. This was the “brazen sea,” a large circular tank of bronze with the enormous capacity of over 16,000 gallons (1 Kings vii. 23-26), resting on the backs of twelve bronze bulls, which, in groups of three, faced the four cardinal points.
It is doubtful if this strange “sea” served any practical purpose (see 2 Chron. iv. 6). Most recent writers agree in assigning to it a purely symbolical significance, like the twin pillars above described. Babylonian temples are now known to have had a similar apparatus, termed apsu, which symbolized either the primeval abyss, personified as the monster Tiamat subdued by Marduk, whose symbol was the bull, or, according to a later theory, the upper or heavenly sea, bounded by the Zodiac with its twelve signs.
Associated with the “brazen sea” were ten lavers of bronze, also the work of Huram-abi (vii. 27-39). Each laver consisted of a circular basin holding over 300 gallons, and borne upon a wheeled carrier or “base.” The sides of the carriers were open frames composed of uprights of bronze joined together by transverse bars or rails of the same material, the whole richly ornamented with palm-trees, lions, oxen and cherubim in relief. Underneath each stand were four wheels of bronze, while on the top was fitted a ring or cylinder on which the basin rested. According to Kittel, “it is highly improbable that these lavers served any practical purpose. They were rather like the great ‘sea,’ the embodiment of a religious idea; they were symbols of the rain-giving Deity” (op. cit., p. 242).
The Relation of the Temple to Contemporary Art.—Of the many problems raised by the description of the temple in 1 Kings none is of greater interest than the question of its relation to contemporary art. Where, it has often been asked, shall we look for the model or prototype of the temple edifice? Whence were derived the motifs to be seen in its decoration? What influences can be detected in the elaborate apparatus above described? Now it has for long been recognized that Syria, including Phoenicia and Palestine, was from the earliest times the meeting-place of streams of influence, religious, artistic and other, issuing from the two great fountains of civilization and culture in the ancient world, Egypt and Babylonia. To these must now be added the early civilization of the Aegean as revealed by the excavations in Crete, and the later but highly developed culture of the Hittites. As a result the art of Phoenicia and Syria, originally borrowed from Egypt mainly, had by the 10th century become thoroughly eclectic. Of this syncretism the best illustration is furnished by the masterpieces of contemporary art, for which Solomon was indebted to Phoenician architects and Phoenician artists. Thus the general disposition of the temple with its walled court, porch or vestibule and naos has been shown by modern excavation, and by later representations on coins, to be characteristic of Phoenician and North Syrian temple architecture. Here, however, we have an adaptation of the earlier temple architecture of Egypt. Egyptian influence is most clearly seen in the gradual decrease in the illumination of the several parts. In the temple court, as in its Egyptian counterpart, men worshipped under the bright eastern sky; in the covered porch there was still no door to exclude the light which streamed in through the lofty entrance. But in the holy place only a dim light was admitted through latticed windows high up in the side walls, while the holy of holies, like the Egyptian cella, was completely dark.
The sculptured panels of the interior were shown by Robertson Smith (Ency. Brit., 9th ed., art. “Temple”) to reveal familiar Phoenician motives, although Babylonia is probably the ultimate home of the cherubim. Excavations at Sinjirli in Northern Syria and at Megiddo have, further, solved the problem of the “three rows of hewn stones and a row of cedar beams” which was the architectural feature of the walls of the various courts (1 Kings vii. 12). The use of wooden beams alternately with courses of stone was a familiar expedient in early times. The practice of building walls with recurring rebatements has also been illustrated by the recent excavations.
While the prototype of the temple itself is to be sought, as has been said, in Egypt, Babylonian influence is clearly traceable in the symbolical “brazen sea,” the apsu of contemporary Babylonian, and doubtless also Phoenician, temples. The bronze lavers, finally, have been found to be dependent, both in their construction and in the motifs and execution of their reliefs, on the art of the Aegean. From Crete and Cyprus they passed through Phoenician intermediaries to Syria and Palestine. The temple of Solomon, in short, is a product of the best Syro-Phoenician art of the period, itself the product of ideas which had their source in other lands.
The Temple of Zerubbabel.—In the year 586 B.C. the temple of Solomon was committed to the flames by order of Nebuchadrezzar (2 Kings xxv. 8; Jer. lii. 12 f.). Seventy years later its successor was finished and dedicated, the foundation having been laid in the second year of Darius Hystaspes (520) during the governorship of Zerubbabel (Hag. ii. 18). There is every reason for assuming that the massive foundation courses of the earlier temple were still in situ, and available for the new building. The latter's inferiority, attested by Hag. 3, was rather in respect of its decoration and equipment, as compared with the magnificence of the first temple, than as regards the size of the building. The dimensions given in the royal decree (Ezra vi. 3)—60 cubits for height and the same for breadth—probably refer, as was pointed out in a previous section, to the extremes of height and breadth applicable to the porch and platform respectively. In these and most other respects it may be supposed that Zerubbabel's builders followed the lines of Solomon's temple. It is probable, however, that the walls of the naos, including both the holy and the most holy place, were now raised to a uniform height, the separate back wall of the former having been abolished and the naos covered by a single roof. This seems a legitimate inference from the absence in the second and third temples of a supporting partition wall within the naos. Its place, as separating the two compartments, was taken by a magnificent curtain or “veil,” which is mentioned among the spoils carried off by Antiochus Epiphanes (1 Macc. i. 22).
In the matter of the sacred furniture, the holy place contained from the first the table of shewbread, and one golden “candlestick” or lamp stand in place of the ten which illuminated the hêkāl in the later days, at least, of the first temple (Jer. lii. 19). The golden altar of incense, which fell a prey with the rest of the furniture to Antiochus (1 Macc. i. xxi. f.) was probably introduced later than the time of Zerubbabel, since a Jewish author, writing in the 3rd century B.C. under the name of Hecataeus of Abdera, mentions only “an altar and a candlestick both of gold,” and it is natural to identify the former with the gold-plated table of shewbread. In one important respect the glory of the second house was less than that of the first. The holy of holies was now an empty shrine, for no one had dared to construct a second ark.
The second temple also differed from the first in having two courts, an outer and an inner, as prescribed by Ezekiel for his temple of the future. The outer court formed a square, each side of which was 500 cubits in length, also as prescribed by Ezekiel, with the sakhra rock in the centre (see Exp. Times, xx. 182). Within the inner court stood the altar and the temple. The former, as described by Hecataeus, was composed of white unhewn stones (cf. Exod. xx. 25), “having each side 20 cubits long, and its height 10 cubits” (Josephus, Contra Apion, i. § 198), dimensions which agree with those assigned by the chronicler to the earlier altar of bronze (2 Chron. iv. 1).
In 165 B.C., three years after the spoliation of the temple and the desecration of its altar by Antiochus IV., Judas Maccabaeus rededicated the holy house, made new sacred furniture, and erected a new altar of burnt-offering (1 Macc. iv. 41 ff.). But long before this date the temple had assumed a character which it retained to the end of the Jewish state. It had become a fortress as well as a place of public worship, and existing records tell of the repeated strengthening of its defences. “At the time of Pompey's siege (63 B.C.) it constituted an almost impregnable fastness, strengthened on its weakest or northern side by great towers and a deep ditch (Ant., xiv. 4, § 2). Twenty-six years later the temple was again besieged by Herod, who, attacking like Pompey from the north, had to force three lines of defence—the city wall, and the outer and inner temple,” i.e. the walls of the outer and inner courts (W. R. Smith).
The Temple of Herod.—In the 18th year of his reign (29-19 B.C.) Herod obtained the reluctant consent of his subjects to his ambitious scheme for rebuilding the temple and for enlarging and beautifying its courts. The former was finished in eighteen months by a thousand priests trained for this special purpose, the courts in eight years, but the complete reconstruction occupied more than eighty years, lasting almost till the final breach with Rome, which culminated in the destruction of the sacred edifice by the soldiers of Titus in A.D. 70.
Fig. 3.—Plan of Herod's Temple and Courts.
From the Dictionary of the Bible (1909), by kind permission of T. & T. Clark.
(a) The Outer Court, its Gates and Colonnades.—The outer court of Zerubbabel's temple (500 × 500 cubits) was doubled in area according to Josephus (Bell. Jud. I. xxi. 1). The extension was principally on the south, which involved enormous substructions on both sides of the hill, in order to secure the necessary level surface. There can be little doubt that this part of the present Haram area with its containing walls is essentially the work of Herod. The northern boundary of this great court, termed “the mountain of the house” in the Mishnah, and now generally known as “the court of the Gentiles,” remained as before, and is represented by a line of scarped rock immediately to the north of the present inner platform of the Haram. This line of scarp, when prolonged east and west for about 1000 ft. in all, meets the east wall of the Haram a little to the north of the Golden Gate, at a point 390 yds. (800 cubits) from the S.E. angle, and the west wall at the same distance from the S.W. angle.
The principal entrance to the temple enclosure, and the only one on a level with it, was on its western side by a bridge or viaduct which spanned the Tyropoeon at the spot marked by Wilson's arch. It is first mentioned in connexion with the siege of Pompey in 63 B.C., and according to the Mishnah it bore the name of the Gate of Kiponos (probably Coponius, the first procurator of Judea). Of the other three gates which Josephus assigns to this side (Ant. XV. xi. 5), the two leading to “the suburb” necessarily lay further north; one is represented by the old entrance now named Warren's gate, the other has not been identified. Josephus' third gate which led to the “other” or lower city was undoubtedly Barclay's gate, and not, as is usually maintained, an entrance from Robinson's arch. In the south wall were two gates—the Huldah or “mole” gates of the Mishnah (Middoth, i. 3)—represented by the present “double” and “triple” gates. Like the three last mentioned they had to be placed at the foot of the lofty retaining wall. From either gate a double ramp, which passed under the royal porch, led into the court in the direction shown on the accompanying plan. The Mishnah also names the “Shushan gate” on the east and the “Tadi gate” on the north.
Round the four sides of the great court ran a succession of magnificent porticoes in the style of contemporary Hellenistic architecture (Ant. XV. xi. 5). Those on the E., N. and W. sides had each three rows of columns forming a double walk or aisle; the eastern colonnade bore the old name of “Solomon's Porch” (John x. 23; Acts iii. 11). The southern portico was still more imposing and magnificent.
It had three aisles formed by four rows of monolithic marble columns of the Corinthian order, the first row engaged in the south wall of the court. The two side aisles were 30 ft. in width, the central aisle half as wide again (45 ft.); the height of the former may be estimated at circa 60 ft., that of the latter at 100 ft. (Exp. Times, xx. 68 f.). The roofs were formed of deeply coffered cedar beams, that of the centre aisle being supported on pillars partly engaged in an ornamental stone balustrade. The “royal porch,” as it was termed, worthily represents the high-water mark of Herod's architectural achievements in connexion with the reconstruction of the temple.
(b) The Inner Courts and Gates.—To the outer court Jew and Gentile, under certain conditions, had alike access. The sanctuary proper, from which the Gentile was rigidly excluded, began when one reached the series of walls, courts and buildings which rose on successive terraces in the northern half of the great enclosure. Its limits were distinguished by an artistic stone balustrade, named the sōrēg, which bore at intervals notices in the Greek tongue warning all Gentiles against advancing further on pain of death. Beyond the sōrēg a narrow stone terrace, approached by flights of steps, was carried round all sides of the sanctuary save the west (see Bell. Jud. V. i. 5 [§ 38]), and extended to the foot of the lofty fortified walls of the temple enclosure (see X Y Z on plan, fig. 3).
The walls, over 35 ft. in height (25 cubits), were pierced by nine gateways, marked H1 to H9 on the accompanying plan, of which four were in the north and south walls respectively, and one in the east wall. These nine gates opened into massive two-storeyed towers, each 30 cubits deep (Bell. Jud. V. v. 3). Eight were “covered over with gold and silver, as were also the jambs and lintels” (ibid.), while the ninth, the principal entrance to the sanctuary, in the east wall (H5) was composed entirely of Corinthian brass, the gift of a certain Nicanor. Hence it was variously named “the Corinthian gate,” “the gate of Nicanor” and “the beautiful gate” (Acts iii. 2, 10). Entering the sacrosanct area by this gate one found oneself in a colonnaded court, known as the court of the women (A) since women as well as men were admitted to this court, which indeed was the regular place of assembly for public worship. The four corners of the women's court were occupied by large chambers for various ceremonial purposes, while between these and the gate-houses were smaller chambers, one set being known as “the treasury” (Mark xii. 42). The western side was bounded by a high wall, beyond which, on a higher level, lay the inner or priests' court. The entrance to the latter was by an enormous gateway, 50 cubits by 40, through which an uninterrupted View was obtained of the altar and of the temple beyond it. To this “upper gate” (H10) a flight of fifteen semicircular steps led up from the court of the women.
On a level with the entrance and running round three sides of the inner court (so Josephus) was a narrow strip (B), about 18 ft. broad, called the “court of the men of Israel.” The rest of the oblong area, however, was reserved for the priests and such of the laity as might require admission for the offering of their sacrifices. As in the lower court, the spaces between the gates were occupied by chambers, as to the purpose of which details are given in the Mishnah.
With regard to the more precise location of these temple courts, the present writer in the series of essays above referred to (see esp. Exp. Times, xx. 181 ff.), has endeavoured to prove that the whole fortress-sanctuary within the great walls stood on what is now the inner platform of the Haram, the present extended area of which is indicated by the double dotted line on the plan.
According to the Mishnah (Middoth, ii. 5, 6) the upper and lower courts together formed a rectangle measuring 322 cubits from west to east by 135 cubits from north to south, the upper court 187 by 135, the lower 135 by 135. But, on the one hand, no account is taken of the gate-towers and priests' chambers which lined the courts, and on the other, the frequent recurrence of the number 11 and its multiples in the details which make up the above totals awakens suspicion as to their accuracy. The measurements of the accompanying plan are based on a critical comparison of the data of the Mishnah and those of Josephus with the relation of the whole to the altar on the sakhra (see next section). The total area covered by the sanctuary, including the terrace or khĕl, is entered as 315 cubits (462 ft.) across the rock from west to east, and 250 cubits (367 ft.) from north to south (for the detailed measurements see Exp. Times, xx. 181 ff., 271 ff.). The upper court shows an area of 170 cubits by 160, the lower court has a free space between the colonnades of 135 cubits (the Mishnah figure) by an average width of 110 cubits.
(c) The Altar of Burnt-offering.—Herod's great altar (D on the plan) was formed of unhewn stones, like that which preceded it. Its size, however, was increased till it formed a square, each side of which measured 32 cubits or 47 ft. at the base, thus occupying almost the whole of the exposed surface of the sakhra. The sides of the square decreased upwards by three stages until the altar-hearth was only 24 cubits square. The priests went up by an inclined approach on the south side (cf. Exod. xx. 26). To the north was the place where the sacrificial victims were slaughtered and prepared for the altar (cf. Levit. i. 11). It was provided with rings, pillars, hooks and tables. A laver (O on the plan) for the priests' ablutions stood on the west of the altar ramp.
(d) The Temple Building.—A few yards to the west of the altar rose the temple itself, a glittering mass of white marble and gold. Twelve steps, corresponding to the height (12 half cubits) of the platform, led up to the entrance to the porch. In the disposition of its parts Herod's temple was in all essential respects a replica of its two predecessors. But there were differences in details. Thus the porch was increased in width and height until its front elevation measured, according to our authorities, Josephus and the Mishnah, 100 cubits by 100. This, however, probably includes the platform, as the principles of proportion in relation to the other dimensions suggest 96 cubits by 96 (over 140 ft.) as the actual measurements. In shape the porch may be supposed to have retained its original likeness to an Egyptian pylon, as suggested in the accompanying diagram (fig. 4).
Fig. 4.—Diagrammatic Section of Herod's Temple and Porch.
The holy place (F) retained its former area (40 × 20 cubits), but was raised in height to 40 cubits. A magnificent double curtain, embroidered in colours, screened off the most holy place, which remained a perfect cube of 20 cubits each way. By introducing a passage-way giving access to the side-chambers and requiring an extra outer wall, Herod increased the width of the temple building to at least 60 cubits (70 according to the Mishnah).
The problem of the height of the naos remains almost as perplexing as before. Josephus, it is true, agrees with the Mishnah (Middoth, iv. 6) in giving it a height of 100 cubits. It may be that Herod, “if he was forbidden to extend the House, would at least make it soar!” (G. A. Smith). But the details given by the Jewish doctors do not inspire confidence, for as Fergusson long ago perceived, “one storey is merely an ill-understood duplication of the other.” A more modest height of 60 cubits (88 ft.), equal to the extreme width, gives at least an element of proportion to the edifice which is altogether wanting in the traditional figures (compare the accompanying cross section, fig. 4).
The open entrance to the porch now measured 40 cubits by 20, equal to the section of the holy place. The “great door of the house,” 20 cubits high and 10 wide, was covered with gold; in front was suspended a richly embroidered Babylonian veil, while above the lintel was fixed a huge golden vine.
(e) The Temple Furniture.—This remained as before. In the holy place in front of the holy of holies, still a dark and empty shrine, stood the altar of incense, against the south wall the seven-branched golden lamp stand, and opposite to it the table of shewbread. The two latter, as every one knows, were carried to Rome by Titus, and representations of them may still be seen among the sculptures adorning the arch which bears his name.
When one considers the extraordinary height and strength of the outer walls of the temple area, parts of which excite the wonder of every visitor to the holy city, the wealth of art lavished upon the wide-extended cloisters, the imposing character of the temple façade, and the impression produced by the marble-paved terraces and courts rising in succession, each above and within the other, one is not surprised that the temple of Herod was reckoned among the architectural wonders of the ancient world. There is for once no exaggeration in the words of Josephus when he records that from a distance the whole resembled a snow-covered mountain, and that the light reflected from the gilded porch dazzled the spectator like “the sun's own rays” (Bell. Jud. V. v. 6).
Literature.—In addition to the primary sources, the Bible, Josephus, and the Mishnah treatise Middoth (ed. Surenhusius with commentaries), the commentaries and notes on Kings by Benzinger, Kittel, Stade, Burney and Skinner, the articles on the temples in the recent Bible Dictionaries and the “Archaeologies” of Benzinger and Nowack, the following should be consulted: De Vogüé, Le Temple de Jérusalem (1864); Jas. Fergusson, The Temples of the Jews (1878); Perrot et Chipiez, Le Temple de Jérusalem (1889); C. Schick, Die Stiftshütte, der Tempel, &c. (1896); W. Shaw Caldecott, Solomon's Temple (1906), and The Second Temple, &c. (1908); R. Kittel, “Tempel” and “Tempelgeräte” in Herzog-Hauck, Realencyklopädie, 3rd ed. (1907), vol. xix.; G. A. Smith, Jerusalem, 2 vols. (1908, see index to each vol.); also W. R. Smith's art. “Temple” in Ency. Brit., 9th ed. For Herod's temple more especially see Maimonides' treatise Beth Ha-bekhîra (the chosen house), trans. in Quart. Statement of Pal. Explor. Fund (1885); and the recent studies by Watson, ibid. (1896 and 1910); Waterhouse in Sanday's Sacred Sites of the Gospels (1903); A. R. S. Kennedy, “Some Problems of Herod's Temple,” Expository Times, vol. xx. (1908-1909); G. Dalman, “Der zweite Tempel zu Jerusalem,” in the Palästinajahrbuch (1909); P. Berto, “Le Temple de Jérusalem,” Rev. des études juives, lix.-lx. (Jan.-July 1910), and the articles in the Jewish Encyclopaedia. For the study of the site the works of the English surveyors (see Jerusalem), including Sir C. Wilson's large-scale map of the Haram, are indispensable. (A. R. S. K.)
Egyptian Temples.—In the architectural sense the earliest temples in Egypt probably consisted only of a small cella, or sanctuary, with a portico, such as are represented in the models of soul-houses found in 1907 by Flinders Petrie at Rifeh; in front of these various additions were made, so that eventually the temple assumed far greater importance than was at first contemplated. This custom is at variance with that which takes place in the development of other architectural styles, Fig. 5.—Plan of Mammeisi Temple, Philae. where the older buildings are constantly taken down and rebuilt in accordance with the increased knowledge acquired in construction and design. It follows from this that although the Egyptian temples vary in their dimensions and extent, as a rule they present the same disposition of plan. The principal exceptions to this rule are the sepulchral temples, such as those of Deir el Bahri, and the more ancient example adjoining it, discovered in 1906, in which there are no enclosed halls of columns or sanctuary, and the Mammeisi temples (fig. 5), which in plan resemble the Greek peristylar temples and might have been suggested by them, had not the example at Elephantine (destroyed in 1822) been of much earlier date, having been built by Amenophis III. (1414-1379).
The earliest example of which remains have been found is the temple built by Cephren in front of his pyramid at Memphis, and this consisted only of a sanctuary of small size without any architectural pretensions. The next in date would be the sepulchral temple built by Mentuhotep (2832-2796) adjoining Deir el Bahri at Thebes; then follows the sanctuary of Karnak, built by Senwosri (Usertesen) I. (2758-2714), which formed the nucleus of that immense temple, which covered an area of 400,000 sq. ft. This temple may be taken as an extreme type of the accumulation which is found in nearly all the Egyptian temples, owing to the additions made to the original structure by successive monarchs, instead of rebuilding, as was the general custom in all other styles. To a certain extent the same conservative principle seems to have governed the design of all other temples, and even the temple at Edfû, which was set out on a plan conceived from the first, has the appearance of having been added to at various periods, the fronts of the inner halls showing inside those built in front. It is not only in the plan that the close resemblance of one building to another is shown; the architectural design is repeated in the earliest and latest temples; the raking sides of the pylons and walls with the torus-moulding of the quoins and the cavetto cornice are identical, so that it is only by the inscriptions that one is able to ascribe the buildings to the kings of the 18th or following dynasties and distinguish them from those erected by the Ptolemies, or even under Roman rule. The only differences are those exhibited in the great halls of columns, which, in the earlier temples, were built in between the pylons and side walls, receiving their light through clerestory windows, as at Karnak (fig. 6), the other temples in its vicinity and the Ramesseum; whereas in the later temples on one side of the walls a screen was built between the columns, over which the interior was lighted. The second change was that made in the capitals of the columns, which are of wonderful diversity of design, even in the same hall, including every variety of river plant, in addition to the papyrus and lotus flowers; in the later temples also the columns are more slender in their proportions and not set so closely one to the other.
Fig. 6.—Hall of Columns, Karnak.
Although generally the temples are built symmetrically on a central axis, with walls at right angles to one another, there are some special exceptions; thus the axial line of the great entrance court of the temple at Luxor is at an angle of about 15° with that of the temple in its rear, and in the island of Philae no two buildings are on the same axis or are parallel to or at right angles to one another, thus conforming to the irregular site on which they were built.
Assyrian.—The temple in Chaldaea or Assyria (known as a ziggurat) was of an entirely different class, and took the form of a many-storeyed structure, of which the typical example is the Birs Nimrud. This originally consisted of six storeys, each one set behind the other, so as to admit of a terrace round each, the upper storey being crowned by a shrine.
Access to the several storeys was obtained by flights of steps, either lying parallel with the front or in one continuous flight in centre of same, or again as at Khorsabad by a ramp winding round the tower; the architectural design consisted of sunk panels on the various storeys with battlement parapets, and, like the Birs Nimrud, the several storeys were dedicated to the seven planets, the walls being enriched with the colours sacred to each.
Fig. 7.—The Heraeum.
From Curtius and Adler's Olympia, by permission of Behrend & Co.
Greek and Roman.—In Greece the earliest example of a temple is that of the Heraeum at Olympia, ascribed by Dr Dörpfeld to the 10th century B.C. The Heraeum (fig. 7) consisted of a central naos or sanctuary with pronaos in front and opisthodomus in the rear, the whole enclosed by a peristyle, thus presenting the characteristics of the fully developed temple of the 5th century. As, however, the description of the several types would be rendered clearer if they were taken from the simplest plan to the more elaborate, adopting to a certain extent the definitions given by Vitruvius, they are as follows:—
Distyle-in-antis, a cella or naos preceded by a portico of two, columns placed between the prolongation of the cella wall. Fig. 8. The Temple of Themis Rhamnus.
|Fig. 8.||Fig. 9.||Fig. 10.|
Amphidistyle-in-antis, similar to the foregoing but with a second portico in the rear. Fig. 9. The Temple of Diana Propyloea, Eleusis.
Tetrastyle prostyle, with a portico of four columns in front. Fig. 10. The Temple B. Selinus, Sicily.
Tetrastyle amphiprostyle, with an additional portico of four columns in the rear. Fig. 11. The Temple of Nike Apteros, Athens.
Hexastyle peripteral, six columns in front and rear and a peristyle round the cella forming Fig. 12. a covered passage round. Fig. 12. The Temple of Theseus, Athens.
Octostyle peripteral, eight columns in front and rear and a peristyle round. Fig. 13. The Parthenon, Athens.
Octostyle dipteral, eight columns in front and rear and a double row in the peristyle. Fig. 14. The Temple of Jupiter Olympius, Athens.
Octostyle pseudo-dipteral, similar to the last, except that the inner row of columns is omitted, thus giving a passage round of twice the ordinary width. Fig. 15. The Temple of Apollo (Smintheus), Troad.
Decastyle dipteral, ten columns in front and rear and a double row in the peristyle. Fig. 16. The Temple Fig. 13. of Apollo Didymaeus, at Branchidae, near Miletus.
To these there are a few exceptions:—
Heptastyle pseudo-peripteral, seven columns in front and rear with walls built in between the outer range of columns, so that they were only semi-detached, as in the temple of Jupiter Olympius at Girgenti.
Enneastyle peripteral, nine columns in front and rear and a peristyle round as in the so-called Basilica at Paestum. Of circular temples there two varieties:—
Monopteral, a series of columns built in a circle, but without any cella in the centre; and
Peripteral, with a circular cella in the centre. Fig. 17. The Philippeion, Olympia.
|Fig. 14.||Fig. 15.||Fig. 16.|
In front of the naos or cella of the Greek temple there was always a pronaos, viz. a vestibule with two or more columns in antis, and in the rear a similar feature known as the opisthodomus or treasury; in a few cases, as in the Parthenon, this formed a separate chamber, which was entered through a similar vestibule to that in front of the naos; this same vestibule in the absence of the separate chamber was sometimes enclosed with bronze grilles and used as Fig. 18. the opisthodomus; the Latin term posticum is frequently given to this rear vestibule, for which the Germans and Americans have adopted the term epinaos when speaking of Greek temples. In Roman temples the posticum is rarely found; the portico, on the other hand, was increased in importance, being frequently the depth of three bays or columniations. In most of the early Greek temples the cellas were comparatively narrow, owing to the difficulty of roofing them over, as the Greeks do not seem to have been acquainted with the principle of the trussed beam. When therefore more than the usual width was required it became necessary to introduce columns on each side within the cella to carry the ceiling and roof, the earliest example of which existed in the Heraeum at Olympia. There are two other temples in which some of these internal columns still exist, as in the temples at Aegina and Paestum. At Aegina there were five columns on each side, carrying an architrave with five smaller columns superposed; in the temple of Neptune at Paestum there were seven on each side; and in the Parthenon nine columns and a square pier at the end with three columns in the rear, thus constituting an aisle on three sides, round which privileged visitors, like Pausanias, were allowed to pass, there being bronze rails between the columns. In the temple of Zeus at Olympia traces of the barriers have been found, as also of an upper gallery, access to which was given by a wooden staircase. The question of the lighting of these temples has never been definitely settled; it is probable that as a rule the only direct light received was that through the open doorway (see Hypaethros).
Fig. 19.—Temple of Aphaea at Aegina. West Front.
In the earliest temples, those of the Heraeum at Olympia, of Apollo at Thermon, and the archaic temple at Argos, the columns of the peristyle were in wood, and carried a wooden architrave; in the Heraeum the wooden columns were replaced by columns in stone when they showed signs of deterioration; the earliest stone columns which were introduced date from the 6th century, and Pausanias in the 2nd century saw one wood column still in situ in the opisthodomus. From about the middle of the 7th-century the columns were always in stone, and were generally built in several courses with drums or frusta, there being very few instances of monolith columns in Greek temples; the Romans, on the other hand, in their principal columns considered the monolith to be more monumental, and not only employed the finest Greek marbles to that end, but used granite and porphyry.
The favourite type of Greek temple was that known as hexastyle peripteral, of which the temple of Aphaea at Aegina, of the Doric order, is one of the best-preserved examples; on account of the width of its naos it was necessary to provide columns inside it to carry the ceiling and the roof, so that it represents the fully developed type of a Greek temple. The plan of the temple is shown in fig. 18; the elevation is given in fig. 19, representing the west front, the columns of which rest on a stylobate of three steps, and carry the entablature and pediment. Fig. 20 shows the three first columns of the flank elevation, the entablature carried by them, and the tiled roof with antefixa and crested ridge. Fig. 21 gives the section through the stylobate, peristyle and pronaos, and half of the naos, showing the superposed columns, ceiling and roof, all based on the conjectural restoration by Cockerell. The temple of Aegina is supposed to have been erected about 500 B.C., the magnificent sculpture with which it is enriched being added c. 480 B.C. The temple was built of a fine calcareous stone from quarries close by, which was coated over with a thin layer of stucco of lime and marble dust; this enabled the masons to give finer profiles to the mouldings, and afforded a field for colour, of which the restoration is shown in Cockerell's Temple of Aegina, from which the illustrations are taken; the cymatium and the tiles covering the roof were in Parian marble.
The Greek Temples were always enclosed in a temenos, in which were other shrines, altars and treasuries; in Athens the temenos was the Acropolis, on which the temples were built; at Delphi it was in a valley on inclined ground; and in Girgenti the temples were raised on the ridge of a hill; in all these cases the Greeks accepted the inequalities of the site, and, adding art to nature, united their work with that of the Creator, so that it seemed to form part of the same design. Some of the sites of the temples, such as those at Olympia, Epidaurus and Delos, were practically level, but even in those the temples and other structures were arranged in groups, thus producing a much more picturesque effect than in those of the Romans, which, when enclosed, were always planned on axial lines and raised on artificial platforms or terraces, as at Baalbek, Palmyra and Aizani, with peristyles round the raised court. The best-preserved Roman temple is that known as the Maison Carrée at Nîmes in the south of France, a hexastyle pseudo-peripteral temple, of which the elevation is given in fig. 22 and the plan in fig. 23. It was of the Corinthian order, and instead of a stylobate of three steps was raised on a podium 11 ft. high with a flight of steps in front. For further descriptions of both the Greek and Roman temples see Architecture. (R. P. S.)
- ↑ The length of the cubit at this period cannot be determined with absolute certainty. From the fact that Herod's naos was an exact replica of Zerubbabel's as regards inside measurements, coupled with the presumption that Zerubbabel built upon Solomon's foundations, it is permissible to suppose that one and the same standard of length was used throughout. Now the present writer has shown from an inductive study of the height of the courses in the walls of the Haram and of other existing remains of the Herodian period that the cubit used by Herod's builders was exactly 17.6 in. or 447 millimetres (see Expository Times, xx. [1908-09] 24 ff.). There is therefore good reason for believing that this was also the cubit of Solomon's temple, notwithstanding the statement of 2 Chron. iii. 3 that the latter was a cubit “after the former measure.” For this statement is probably a mere inference from Ezek. xl. 5, where the divine messenger uses a cubit of seven handbreadths or 20½ in., the royal cubit of Egypt. For the smaller measurements the cubit of 17.6 in. may for greater convenience be reckoned at 1½ ft.
- ↑ If the view presented below as to the height of the various parts of the temple is accepted, this wall becomes a structural necessity, being required to support the back wall of the hêkāl.
- ↑ This has led Ezekiel certainly to increase the depth of his porch from 10 cubits to 12 (original text of Ezek. xl. 49), and probably to add a cubit to the thickness of the partition wall (xli. 3), in order to bring up the total length of his temple to 100 cubits.
- ↑ The numbers of this passage have been unnecessarily called in question by recent critics. The figures given are naturally those of the two extremes, which were not to be exceeded, viz. 60 cubits for the extreme height, that of the porch, and the same figure for the extreme width, that of the raised platform.
- ↑ The overlaying of the floor with gold (1 Kings vi. 30) is a later interpolation; the same is probably true of the gilding of the sculptures on the walls, which may have been added at a later date (cf. Ezek. xli. 18).
- ↑ This partition wall, it will be remembered, had to support the back wall of the hêkāl according to the view of the temple architecture advocated above.
- ↑ The various forms which the latter name assumes, in the Greek text, suggest that Boaz is an intentional disguise of an original Baal, applied of course to Yahweh (Barnes, Jour. of Theol. Studies, v. 447 ff.).
- ↑ Robertson Smith's theory that they were huge cressets in which “the suet of the sacrifices” was burned (Rel. Sem., 2nd ed., 488) has found no support. For recent attempts to explain the symbolism of the pillars in terms of the “early oriental Weltanschauung,” see A. Jeremias, Das alte Test., &c., 2nd ed., 494; Benzinger, Heb. Archäol., 2nd ed., 323, 331.
- ↑ For at detailed study of the successive altars that stood upon the sakhra and their relation thereto, see Kittel, Studien zur hebr. Archäologie, pp. 1-85, with illustrations and diagrams.
- ↑ This section of Kings is peculiarly difficult, and has been made the subject of a special study by Stade in his Zeitschrift (1901), 145 ff. (cf. “Kings” in Haupt's critical edition), and more recently by Kittel, op. cit., pp. 189-242, with illustrations of similar apparatus found in Cyprus and Crete.
- ↑ This feature gives valuable support to the view presented above that Solomon's temple resembled its Egyptian contemporaries in an equally striking characteristic, the decrease in height with the decrease in illumination.
- ↑ This description possibly applies to all the buildings (note verse 9), including the temple itself, and was so understood by the writer of Ezra vi. 4.
- ↑ From Hag. i. 8. Driver indeed infers that “there would probably be almost sufficient stonework remaining [for all purposes] from Solomon's temple” (Cent. Bible in loc.).
- ↑ M. Clermont-Ganneau has put forward the interesting conjecture that the veil presented by Antiochus to the temple of Zeus at Olympia (Pausanias, V. xii. 4) was that taken from the temple at Jerusalem (see “Le Dieu satrape,” &c., in the Journ. asiatique, 1878).
- ↑ The witness of the Pseudo-Hecataeus and of another Jewish Hellenist, the Pseudo-Aristeas, regarding the second temple has recently been examined by G. A. Smith in his volumes on Jerusalem (see esp. index to vol. ii., and cf. Vincent, “Jérusalem d'après la lettre d'Aristée,” Rev. biblique (1908), 520 ff. (1909), 555 ff.).
- ↑ Which see for key to the several parts.
- ↑ The area of the “court of the Gentiles,” including the walls, was thus 800 cubits in length from N. to S., with an average width of circa 650 cubits of 17·6 in.—the present south wall measures 922 ft.—i.e., circa 520,000 sq. cubits as compared with the former area of 250,000, a remarkable confirmation of Josephus' statement as to the doubling of the temple courts. For the statements and measurements in this and the following sections differing from those of previous writers, reference may be made to the series of preliminary studies entitled “Some Problems of Herod's Temple,” by the present writer, which appeared in The Expository Times, vol. xx (1908-1909), pp. 24 ff., 66 ff., 181 ff., 270 ff.
- ↑ One such gigantic monolith was discovered a few years ago in a disused quarry (see Exp. Times, xx. 69).
- ↑ For this triple identification see Schürer's essay, Zeits. f. neutest. Wiss. (1906), 51-58; Berto, Rev. des études juives, lix. (1910), 30 f.; also Exp. Times, xx. 270 f.
- ↑ A summary of the results is given in the article “Temple” in Hastings' Dict. of the Bible (1909).