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took on the day of expiation,) were given to the workmen that repaired the temple as part of payment, but immediately bought back, and accounted as part of the next year's stock. As the high priest was commanded by the law to take a handful of incense on the day of expiation ;so, for some time before that solemnity, he visited this chamber, that he might learn aright this part of his duty.
It was in this room that the younger priests kept a nightly guard, as they did also in Bith Nitsuo, on the opposite side of the altar. The elder priests held their guard in Bithmuked.
On the roof, likewise, of this Water Gate, and above the incense chamber, was a bath, in which the high priest first bathed himself on the day of expiation. For, although the bathing place on the top of the room, Eperuè (which we shall examine in a subsequent page,) was the place where he bathed oftenest on that day, yet here he began that operation. Nor was this unnatural; for, having spent the night before, as he usually did, in the chamber called Peredrin, he naturally ascended to a chamber so near it to begin his ablutions before he entered on his important work.
Such were the chambers at the Water Gate.--Let us proceed onwards to the wood chamber (marked No. 6, Plate II.); which joined to the Water Gate on the west side, and was the place to which the priests, who were employed in the wood chamber in the Court of the Women, brought that which they had examined, and judged to be proper for burning on the altar. Above the wood chamber, as a second story, was the room Peredrin (1997,779,) or the room of the sitters ; because there the high priest commonly consulted with the rulers of
the temple, or counsellors, about the concerns of the temple. It was his vestry, where all matters relating to the government of the house were privately discussed. And beyond it, at the side of the next gate, was the chamber where the Levites on guard watched, (marked No. 7, Plate II.) that gate was called the Gate of Firstlings: it entered into the Sacred Fence and Court of the Gentiles, and obtained its name from the firstlings coming through it that were to be offered up. They were slain on the south side of the altar, and sacrificed upon it. Beyond that, to the west, lay the gate called Edlek 1577) or of Kindling ; not because the wood, that was used on the altar, was brought through it, as some have thought (for we have seen the wood room to be nearer the altar than this gate was ;) but the real reason seems to have been, that the Levites, who kept guard in the Court of Israel, and had one of their guards at this gate, had both a ward at the gate, and a commonhall with a fire-place near it (marked No. 8 and 9, in Plate II.), where those who were on guard warmed themselves. It led, likewise, into the Court of the Gentiles, through the Sacred Fence.
Thus have we seen the objects worthy of notice on the south side of the Court of Israel. But before we leave it, we may remark, that the three gates here mentioned were all at equal distances from the end, and from each other: so that, as the length of the wall was one hundred and eighty-seven cubits, the distance between the gates was forty-six cubits and three-quarters each. Along the west side of the Court of Israel, or, in other words, behind the temple, there was neither gate nor building, except the wall which divided it from the Hil or Sacred Fence. But on the north side there were three gates directly opposite to those on the south side, and a number of buildings which remain to be described. Let us begin then with those, which were at the west end of the wall, and move onward to the east, from whence we set out.
Between the north-west end of the Court of Israel and the gate Muked (7219,) or of Burning, was comprehended the fourth part of the north wall, or forty-six cubits and three-quarters; where there were several buildings, all included under the general name of Bithmuked, or the House of Burning. The manner in which these buildings were arranged was this: the forty-six cubits and three-quarters were divided into three parts, of fifteen cubits and a-half each : but the middle part remained entire, and the parts at the ends were subdivided into two, so as to make five chambers in all. Those two which joined to the west end were for the lambs used in the daily sacrifice, and as a bathing-place for the priests, (marked No. 10 and 11, in Plate II.) That in the middle (marked No. 12,) was the common-hall for the priests (as the chamber of kindling on the south side opposite to it was the chamber for the Levites,) where they kept a fire in cold weather for their accommodation while on guard; for their clothing when on duty was thin, and they were always barefooted. Hence it obtained the name of Bithmuked, or the House of Burning. The Talmud gives us the following description of it:-it was a great arched room, furnished with stone benches, on which the elders of the house of their fathers slept; and the keys of the Court were in their keeping. But the young men of the priesthood slept on the ground in their ordinary clothes, having their holy garments under their heads instead of pillows.
It would appear that they were exceedingly careful of the keys of the Court: for we are told from the same authority, that, when the gates were locked, they were brought to the priest who presided over the guard, and were put into a stone chest in the floor, on the cover of which he laid his pillow, and there slept. Further, this hall had two doors, one opening into the Court, and another into the Sacred Fence, through which doors Jechoniah passed when he went into captivity. With regard to the other two chambers beyond the common-hall, and next to the gate Muked, one was for preparing the shewbread, over which we are told the family of Garmû presided (marked No. 13. Plate II.), and the other, (marked No. 14.) was the place where the Maccabæan family laid up the stones of the altar (which Antiochus Epiphanes had polluted with abominable sacrifices,) till a prophet should arise to inform them what to do with them."
We are now come to the gate Muked, or the Gate of Burning, for the above-mentioned reason; which led into the Sacred Fence and Court of the Gentiles. But it was also called the gate Kerben (7277,) or of Gifts, , because on the east side of it was the treasure chamber, for the poll-tax, and for the poor. Here, as we formerly noticed, the priests had one of their guards, for the protection of the temple.
Between the gate Muked, or Kerben, and the next gate to the east (which was also a space of forty-six cubits and three-quarters,) there were three chambers ; namely, the treasury, just now mentioned (marked No. 15;) the ward for the Levites while on guard; and another treasury chamber, where the money was deposited which was given for the repairs of the temple (marked No. 16.) It was this last circumstance which caused the next gate also to be called Kerben ; but it was likewise known by another name, viz. the Gate of the Women, because it was there, during the first temple, that Ezekiel saw the women weeping for Tammuz, or Adonis ;'
· Maccab. i. 47; ii, 25; iv. 43-46.
b Ez, viii, 14.
and thrcugh this, during the second temple, the women who had sacrifices brought them into the Court; for although it was not lawful for women to go ordinarily into the Court of Israel, it was perfectly competent for them so to do when they had either burnt-offerings, or sin, or trespass-offerings to make. Between the gate Kerben, or Gate of the Women, and the gate still farther eastward, or the gate Nitsuo, y 13'), which included other forty-six cubits and three-quarters of the north wall, there were three buildings; namely, 1. the salt chamber, (marked No. 17, in Plate II.) where was deposited the salt used in sacrifice, the quantity of which must have been considerable, as every thing, except the blood and the wine of the drink-offering, were commanded to be salted. 2. The chamber called Peruè (77979,) either from a person of that name, mentioned in the Talmud, or perhaps from a word which signifies 6 bullocks,” because there the priests deposited the hides which were taken from the sacrifices, and kept them in salt till the eve of the sabbath, when they were divided. The third chamber was called the chamber of the washers, because in this room they washed the inward parts of the sacrifices, according to the law. It was out of this chamber that a winding stair led into the room above, called Eperuè (171727,) where was the bath in which the high priest bathed himself on the day of expiation four several times : for, according to the tradition, he was required to bathe himself five times on that day, and wash his hands and feet ten times. We are not told where he washed; for the Laver was the ordinary appointed place: but we have seen that the first time lie bathed in the morning was on the other side of the Court, in the room above the Water Gate, and we are
* Lev. ii. 13.
Levit i. 9.