« AnteriorContinuar »
served to adorn that sacred edifice. Others regard them as a striking memento to the Israelites of the promise of God, that he would establish the throne of David, and make the nation of Israel strong in his might. To the spiritual-minded among that nation, they might perhaps represent, as others have thought, the magistracy and ministry uniting their endeavours in the support of liberty, order, and national prosperity. Christians have sometimes considered them as emblems of the prophets and apostles, who pointed the way to heaven, and were burning and shining lights in the world. The lovers of architecture have imagined them connected with the masonic art: and the followers of Hutchinson consider them as orreries to teach the then existing nations the true system of the universe as preserved and governed by the Three in One God; for they make the globe on the top of each chapiter to signify the sun; the seven branches of palm trees to be an inclosure around it, but distinct from it; and their being placed at seven different distances, as they suppose them to have been, on the moveable base of chain-work and pomegranates, to represent the motions of the seven planets. Amidst such a diversity of opinions, therefore, it will be no wonder, if the intelligent reader be left to judge for himself. These pillars were destroyed by the Chaldeans when Jerusalem was taken by Nebuchadnezzar, and the brass, of which they were made, was carried to Babylon."
Having thus considered the different objects worthy of notice in the vestibule, let us next examine the different apartments, both on the ground floor and above, which are said to have filled the rest of the Porch. We are not particularly informed how the chambers on each side were disposed; but, it is probable, that the entrance into them was by a common passage along the back, and that they received light from the front," while a staircase of some kind would form the communication with the different stories. The only exception that we read of to this arrangement, was the two rooms at the two ends of the Porch below. These were formed by the fifteen cubits on each end, which extended beyond the breadth of the Temple, and were employed for holding the knives, and other instruments, used by the priests in the killing and and cutting up the sacrifices. Hence they were called Bith Ehele púth (nuobno n'a,)or the houses of the butchering instruments. Nor was the entry into them by the large gate of the Porch, but by private doors at the ends of the Porch. Consequently, after deducting five cubits as the thickness of the wall, and recollecting that the Porch was eleven cubits wide, these rooms must have been eleven cubits by ten each; or twenty feet by eighteen feet two inches : and the instruments were laid up in presses twelve in each, or twenty-four in all, joined to the wall, which the Jews called Helånûth (ugibno,) or openings.
a Jer. lü. 17.
Of the other rooms of this large space, we neither know their number nor uses: for the ninety-six, which Maimonides mentions as being in the Temple for the priests’ vestments (four for each of the twenty-four courses,) where evidently placed somewhere else, since they never came into the Court of the Priests, and much less into the Porch, without their dress of office. There is only one larger room above the vestibule, of which something is said : for it is stated to be the place where the crowns were kept, which were dedicated by different princes to Jehovah, of which we have an instance in Ptolemy Philadelphus and Sosius, or which had been
. Ezek, xli. 26. VOL. I.
• Joseph. Antiq, xii. 2. xiv. 16.
taken from conquered princes. Accordingly, with this view they understand Zech. vi. 14. literally, where it is said, that “ the crowns shall be to Helem, to Zobijah, and to Jedaiah, and to Hen, the Son of Zephaniah, for a memorial in the Temple of the Lord.” And they tell us, that the young men of the priesthood would often climb up some golden chains which were fixed to the roof of the vestibule, that they might look into the closet where the crowns were kept.
The Holy Place.
The thickness of the wall between it and the Porch; two doors in the wall;
singular manner of opening and shutting them daily; the particular time when opened ; a remarkable marble stone between the two doors ; the veil that hung between them; total of veils in the Temple, and where hung. Description of the Holy Place; its dimensions, beauty, and richness; the palm trees, and cherubims. The windows of the Holy Place; its furniture-viz. 1st. The candlestick, its height, materials, form, position, and fate after the destruction of Jerusalem. 2nd. The table of shew bread ; its size, situation; the manner of making the shew bread, taking away the old and placing the new; the frankincense and wine that stood beside it; and the fate of the table after the destruction of Jerusalem, 3d. The golden altar, its size, materials, situation.
In the preceding section we had reached the Porch of the Temple, where we considered, at some length, the several objects in it worthy of notice: let us now advance to the Holy Place, remembering, however, that between the Porch and the Holy Place there was a thick wall of six cubits, or ten feet eleven inches; and that, in that wall, there was a gate of twenty cubits high, and ten cubits wide; but which, including the gilded ornaments above and on either side, was fifty-five cubits high, and sixteen wide. It was on account of the thickness of that wall that two doors of two leaves each were hung on the
outside and inside;' the door on the outside next the
them into the places in the wall designed for them; and then proceeded to the outer door, which he likewise opened by drawing the leaves towards him, and placing them against the wall of the five cubit space. Thus, when open, the entry through the wall appeared gilded on each side, by means of the doors placed against it; but when shut, the gilding was not seen.
The opening of this gate was the constant signal for killing the morning sacrifice; but we are not told that the shetting of it was the signal for killing the evening sacrifice. On the contrary, one would be led to suppose, that the gates would not be shut till the whole public service was finished; for the very intention of opening them in the morning, and continuing them open through the day, was to teach the Israelites, that a ready admittance was granted to their prayers into the holiest of all, where the Divine Majesty was supposed to reside.
There is still a circumstance unnoticed concerning the five cubit space, which ought not to be overlooked; and that is, the marble flag which lay loose upon the floor behind the leaf of the right-hand door. It was a cubit square, with a ring by which to raise it; and, from underneath, the priest took the dust, which was ordered to be put into the water, that was to be given to the suspected wife, according to Numb. v. 17–31. Nor should we forget the veil that hung between the doors, answerable to the veil at the door of the tabernacle." Josephus says, that it was of the same measure as the gilding above, and on each side of the outer gate, namely fiftyfive cubits deep, and sixteen cubits broad, which one would suppose to be far too much for a space of twenty cubits by ten; but it was probably of this size to give it the richer appearance. It was made of Babylonian ta
* Exod. xxvi. 35.
b War, v. 5.