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lent of gold at only 20331. 168., or 1l. 78. 1{d. the ounce; and the talent of silver at 1371. 168., or 1s. 1d. the ounce. Yet his plan is liable to strong objections—for he evidently depreciates the metals too much, while the sum total left is still beyond the bounds of credibility, being no less than 359,893,9461.

This, therefore, gave rise to a second opinion, that, perhaps, there might be some error in the original as to the quantities delivered. Accordingly, Parkhursta is inclined to think, that in the Arabic version of 1 Chron. xxii. 14, “gold a thousand talents, and silver a thousand talents" instead of a hundred thousand, and a thousand thousand,” are the traces of a very important various reading in that copy of the Septuagint from which that version was made; and he defends his opinion by several critical and historical arguments. Adopting, therefore, this alteration, the value of the nine thousand talents and fifty-two pounds troy of gold, which David and the chiefs of the fathers gave, would, at 41. the ounce, be equal to 54,002,490l.; and the eighteen thousand talents of silver, which they gave, would, at 5s. the ounce, be equal to 6,750,000l. ; making together the sum of 60,752,490l. : which, it must be confessed, comes more within the bounds of probability.

For, in an age when kings and princes were accustomed to hoard up vast quantities of gold and silver, as the eastern princes still do, it is by no means improbable, that David and his princes, in those successful wars which he waged against the Philistines, Moabites, Amalekites, and the Kings of Zobah, Syria, and Edom, might collect gold and silver to the above amount; to say nothing of the money which the nobles would naturally have before that period.

· Heb. Lex. 12

b 2 Sam. viii. 1-14, 1 Chron, xviii, 1-11.

Should it, however, be still urged that sixty millions sterling were too large a sum to be employed in beautifying the Temple, I might add, in the third place, that Dr. Jennings and others have supposed, that the talent here spoken of, was not the ordinary Jewish talent, but the Babylonish, or, perhaps, the Syriac; and their reasons for such a conjecture are the following :-It will be observed, say they, that the number of talents, by which the gold and silver of the Temple was computed, is mentioned only in the book of Chronicles, which was undoubtedly written after the return from the Babylonish captivity, as appears from its mentioning Cyrus's decree for the building of the Temple, and from its carrying down the genealogy beyond Zerubbabel, who was one of the chiefs that returned from Babylon. It is, therefore, not improbable, they think, that, at the time of writing this book, the Jews might compute by the Babylonish talent, which was little more than half the Mosaic; or, perhaps, by the Syriac, which was only a fifth part of the Babylonish: and, if this reasoning of their's be admitted, the whole mass of gold and silver will be comparatively moderate. For the Babylonish talent of gold, according to Brerewood, was equal to 35001., or 21. 68. 8d. the ounce, making the nine thousand talents and fifty-two pounds troy, equal to 31,501, 456l. And the Babylonish talent of silver was equal to 2181. 15s., or 2s. 11d. the ounce, making the eighteen thousand talents of silver, equal to 3,937,500l. ; consequently, the whole gold and silver delivered by David, was only equal to 35,438,9561. of our present money, provided that the writer of the book of Chronicles computed by the Babylonish talent: but if he computed by the Syriac, it would only amount to the fifth of that sum, or 7,087,7911.

b 1 Chron. iii. 19.

* 2 Chron. xxxvi. 22, 23.

De Ponderibus et Pretiis Veterum Nummorum.

SECT. VIII.

The Temple after the Captivity.

When begun; its dimensions different from that of Solomon; the obstructions

it met with; the time when finished; its continuance.

Fifty years after the destruction of the first Temple, or at the end of the seventy years' captivity, which had been foretold by Jeremiah,' and wofully felt by the nation, Cyrus published a decree for the Jews to return to their own land.

Accordingly, a great number of Jews embraced the offer;' and having come to Jerusalem, began to rebuild the altar, that they might offer sacrifice immediately. In the following year they laid the foundation of the second temple, but had not proceeded far," when they were obliged to desist on account of an order from Artaxerxes, King of Persia, which had been procured through the misrepresentations of the Samaritans and others.' Matters remained in this state for fifteen years, or till the second year of Darius, King of Persia, when they again set about the work ;' and on the third day of the month Adar, in the sixth year of Darius, it was finished and dedicated. Thus was its foundation laid in April,k 552 years before Christ, and it was finished on the 21st of February,'511 years before Christ, or twentyone years after it was begun. The dimensions of this

"

m

a Ch. xxv. 11. xxix, 10.

b Ezra i. 1-4.

< Ib. ii. 1. Ib. jji. 2.

e lb. iii. 8-10.

f Ib. iv. 1. & Ib. iv. 24. Lightfoot's Chronicle in loc, Haggai i. 14, 15. i. 18. i Ezra vi. 15, 16.

k Ib. vi. 6.

i Ib. vi. 15. Lightfoot's Chronicle in loc.

b

in

Temple were larger than Solomon's. Its length was the same, viz. seventy cubits; and, therefore, it is not mentioned in Cyrus's decree;' but its breadth, instead of being thirty cubits, including the side-chambers, was sixty; and its height, instead of being thirty cubits, was

; also sixty. Thus was the second Temple twice the size of the first (the length only excepted,) in like manner as the first was twice the size of the tabernacle. From this account of the second Temple, it is easy to see, that the weeping of the people at the laying of the foundation, and the diminutive manner in which they spoke of it, when compared with the first, was not so much owing to its inferiority of size as other considerations : viz. to their contrasting the present abject state of their nation with its glory in the days of Solomon, and to their remembering that it wanted five memorable things which the first Temple had—namely, the ark; the urim and thummim; the fire from heaven; the cloud of glory on the mercy-seat; and the spirit of prophecy. Such was the second Temple. It remained from the year before Christ, 511, till the 19th year before his birth.

.

SECT. IX.

Origin and external Appearance of the Temple

by Herod.

Reason of Herod's proposal; the artificers employed; its length in building;

dimensions larger than the former; beauty of the workmanship; its appear ance in front, and at the sides. Inquiry into the composition that formed the roof: terraces in Barbary and India.

HEROD having slain all the Sanhedrin except two in in the first year of his reign, or thirty-seven years before

• Ezra vi. 3.

blb. iii. 12, 13 • See Prideaux, A.A.C. 534.

Haggaiii. 3.

b

Christ,“ resolved to atone for it, by rebuilding and beautifying the Temple.

And this he was the more inclined to do, both from the peace which he enjoyed, and the decayed state of that edifice. For, besides the common ravages of time, it had suffered considerably by the hands of enemies; since that part of Jerusalem was the strongest, and consequently the last resort of the inhabitants in times of extremity. But when he made the proposal to the Jews, they were alarmed; for they feared lest, under the pretence of building them a better, he would take away from them that which they had. Wherefore, to allay their fears, he proposed that the old one should not be demolished till he had made every preparation for the new; which preparation took two years. Josephus informs us, that one thousand waggons were employed for carrying the stones and timber: ten thousand artificers to fit all things for the building, and one thousand priests, who were skilled in architecture, oversaw and directed the works. After two years thus employed in preparation, Herod pulled down the temple to the ground, that had been built by Zerubbabel after the captivity, and began to erect a new one in its place, in the twenty-first year of his own reign, seventeen years before Christ, and just forty-six years before the first passover of our Saviour's ministry. For, although the Temple itself was fit for Divine service in nine years and a-half, yet a great number of labourers and artificers was still employed in carrying on the out-buildings all the time of our Saviour's abode on earth, and even for some years after his death ; namely, till the coming of Gessius Florus to be governor of Judea,' when eighteen thousand

e

Joseph. Antiq. xv. 1. 11. Prideaux Connect. A.A.C. 47. b Antiq. xv. 11.

< Prideaux Connect. A.A.C. 17. Joseph. Antiq. xx. &.

d John ii, 20.

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