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ple. But we are not to suppose that this space was all open and unoccupied. On the contrary, it appears to have been divided into the following parts :-1. An open space, or vestibule, between the door of the Porch and that which led to the holy place. 2. A range of chambers on the right hand and left, which extended from the vestibule on either side to the farthest extremity of the building. 3. A large chamber over the gate. And, 4. Other suites of chambers in the upper stories, till they reached the top. Let us examine each of these in their order.
The dimensions of the destibule cannot be exactly ascertained. It certainly reached the whole width of the Porch, or eleven cubits; extended, probably, on either side of the gate the width of the ornamental work, or twenty-five cubits; and was ninety cubits high: the whole completely plastered and whitewashed, with gilding above and on each side, and a rich piece of tapestry hanging from the top, in which were woven purple flowers, and the appearance of pillars with a golden vine creeping around them, the branches of which werę laden with clusters of grapes, and hung from the cornice;* all calculated to give a grand idea of the splendour of the structure to those who stood in the Court of the Priests or of Israel. In Ezekiel's vision of the Temple, the Porch or Vestibule, for so we are to understand it, was eleven cubits wide and twenty long.
The articles which may be called the furniture of the Porch, were-1. A marble table on the right hand as you entered, on which they set the shew bread when they were carrying it new into the Temple; 2. A golden table on the left, on which they set the old shew bread when it came out; 3. Over the door which led into the
holy place was a golden vine of so large a size that its bunches of grapes were as large as a man; for it was constantly augmented by the pious donations of the Israelites, some giving gold to make a leaf, some a grape, and some a cluster, according to their ability; 4. Over the same door was also a golden candlestick, the present of Helena, Queen of Adiabeni, in Assyria, on either side of the river Adiab, a great benefactress to the Jewish nation, and of whom, and her two sons Izates and Monobazes, Josephus tells us a long story in his Antiquities XX. 2, 3, 4.
I do not know whether two pillars of the same kind as those called Jachin and Boaz, which were in Solomon's Temple, but destroyed by the Chaldeans," were in the Temple of Herod, although they are represented to have been in that described by Ezekiel;' but as they are known to have stood on either side of the gate of the first Temple within the Porch, and in the sight of those who stood in the Courts immediately before it, it may be proper here to consider their structure, and endeavour, if possible, to ascertain their meaning. I may premise, however, that when it is said in Ezekiel xl. 48, that the breadth of the gate was three cubits on this side, and three cubits on that side, it cannot be understood as if the entry into the Porch was only six cubits, for it was confessedly twenty; but it naturally refers to the space on either side that was between the pillars and the wall, thereby making the width of the principal entry, or that between the pillars, to have been fourteen cubits, and the entries between the pillars, and the wall to have been three cubits each. But let us now attend to the pillars more particularly.
They were made of the brass which David took from
* Jer. 17, 17.
b Ch. xl. 49.
< 2.Chron, üi. 17.
Hadarezer, King of Zobah,' and consisted each of a column and capital. The column or pillar was eighteen cubits high, hollow within ; the brass of which it was made was four fingers thick; the circumference was twelve cubits; and the diameter, consequently, four cubits nearly. We are not informed, whether it was plain or highly ornamented. It would probably have its foot in the form of a pedestal, its body either plain or fluted; and we know, that for four cubits at the top, it was ornamented with lily work. The chapiter or capital was likewise hollow, five cubits high, of an oval form, and beautifully ornamented." In 2 Chronicles these pillars are said to have been thirty-five cubits high; but this refers to the two columns when taken together: for, although they were eighteen cubits each when standing without the capitals, they were only seventeen cubits and a half with them, since the uppermost half cubit was hid in the capital. Hence the whole height of the pillars and chapiters or capitals, when erected, was twenty-two cubits and a-half. Nor are we to think, that there is any contradiction between 1 Kings vii. 16, Jer. lii. 22, and 2 Kings xxv. 17, because it is said in the former places, that the height of the chapiter was five cubits, and in the latter, that it was only three: for the one refers to the whole height of the chapiters, and the other only to the ornamented part.
It is somewhat remarkable, that the dimensions of these two pillars very nearly correspond with those of the Doric order invented by the Greeks. And it has been shewn, by those conversant in architecture, that had they been a single cubit higher, they would have been precisely of the same height with columns proportioned
b Jer. lii, 21, and i Kings vii. 15. • Jer. lii. 22, and 1 Kings vii. 16--20.
e Ch, üi. 15.
according to that order. It is highly probable, therefore that the architecture of Solomon's Temple might have had some effect in forming the taste of the other nations, for it was built long before we hear of any splendid buildings among the Egyptians or Greeks, and must have been an object of curiosity to the inquisitive traveller.
Few things in Scripture are more minutely described than the ornaments on the chapiters : let us therefore attend to them.-1st, There were nets of checker work, or rather 6 wreaths of branch-work,” for so the word is used in Gen. xxii. 13; Is. X. 34; Jer. iv. 7: resembling, probably, the branches of palm trees, which the Israelites carried in their hands at the feast of tabernacles. They were seven in number round the chapiter; stood on their ends, and spread outwards as they rose." 2dly. There were wreaths, or rather fringes of chainwork, for so the word is rendered in Deut. xxii. 12, when the fringes are spoken of, which they were enjoined to wear on their garments, as memorials of the law: and when used here, they mean that there was a curious fringe or border in the form of a chain round the foot of the chapiter, in which the stems of the branches mentioned above, were inserted, so that the branches and chain would compose a species of crown or garland. But as these, to all appearance, would fall asunder without a binding higher up, so we are told in the 3d place, that there were two rows of pomegranates, so placed as to be above the chain-work, and below the place where the branches began to spread. These pomegranates are variously reckoned in Scripture. Thus in 2 Chronicles they are said to have been one hundred on each chapiter, because, being a circle, only the half of
• 1 Kings vii. 17.
6 lb. vii. 18.
c Ch. üi, 16.
them could be seen at a time. In 1 Kings vii. 20, they are said to be two hundred, because that was the number which was round each chapiter. In 1 Kings vii. 42, they are said to be four hundred, thereby including what was on them both. And in Jer. lii. 23, they are stated at ninety-six on each side, because, in looking at a semicircle, one or two at each end would not be discernible. 4thly, The top of each chapiter had, in the middle, within the branches and pomegranates, the appearance of a bowl or globe. There is only one other set of ornaments mentioned on the chapiter, and that is, 5thly, The lily work of four cubits, mentioned in 1 Kings vii. 19; a circumstance which appears to me to be best explained by supposing, that those parts of the chapiters which appeared between the branches, and uncovered by them, were adorned with lily work. This is said to have been the case for four cubits high, which was very natural, since the whole height of the chapiters was five cubits each ; and the lower part of the body of them, to the height of a cubit, would be completely covered by the stems of the branches, and the wreaths in which they were stuck.
Such were the pillars which made so conspicuous a figure at the gate of the Porch: it now remains, that we notice the meaning of their names. Let us observe then, that Jachin, or Icin, (7*2',) literally signifies" he shall establish ;” and Boaz, or Boz, (rya,) signifies—" in strength or power.” But what, it may be still said, was the reason of their erection, and of their occupying so conspicuous a place in the Temple? There are few questions to which a more widely diversified answer has
Some have considered them as mere ornaments which
• 1 Kings vii, 41, 42.
b Ib. vii, 21. 2 Chron. iii. 17.