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from the valley below, to an altitude of three hundred cubits; this, with the height of the edifice, amounted to four hundred, which in addition to sixty for the height of the loftiest Tower, amounts altogether to four hundred and sixty cubits, or eight hundred and five feet. “The height was so great,” says Josephus, “that if any one looked down from the top of the “ cloister into the valley beneath, he would become
giddy; at the same time it would be impossible for " the eye to reach to such an immense depth: and “ this was the most prodigious work that ever man “ heard of. 2 The whole was built of white marble, “and so exquisitely joined, that it appeared one uni“ form rock. All the materials of this stupendous “ fabric were finished and adapted to their several
ends, before they were brought to Jerusalem ; the “stones wrought in the quarries, and the cedars in “ Lebanon ; so that there was no noise heard in the “ rearing of it.” 4 “ It is also reported,” continues
1 The Temple was four furlongs in circuít, or a square of one furlony on each side. In its front were large and lofty galleries supported by rows of massy pillars. It was 100 cubits in height. The pillars were 162 in number, each 27 feet high, and in thickness as much as three men could em brace. The stones made use of for this building were 25 cubits long, 8 in height, and 12 in width. Their great dimensions and solidity make the prophecy of our Saviour the more extraordinary. Vide Mark iii. 1.
Calmet vol. iii. p. 16. According to the Hebrew maxim, the cubit by which the Temple buildings were measured, was 6 hands breadth; this, says Lightfoot, is just 18 inches, or half a yard; and upon this computation the area of the Temple was that of 250 yards square.
2 Antiq. 15, xi. 3 and 5. 3 See the description of Solomon's Temple, Antiq. 8, iï. 2, which in fact was the model by which this of Herod's was built.
4 Compare Jos. Antiq. 15, xi. 14, and Bell. Jud. 5, v. 6 and 6, xii. 1. and the house when it was in building, was built of stone wade ready before
the Historian, “that during the time the Temple was
building, it did not rain by day, but the showers fell
by night, so that the work was not impeded.” ! It was built upon an area of nearly 800 feet square, divided into different courts; the whole surrounded by cloisters and buildings appropriated to the purposes of worship, and the service of the Priests. The Temple itself was situated in the center, and was divided into three parts; the Porch, the Sanctuary, and the Holy of Holies. In the Porch, were suspended the presents of neighbouring kingdoms, and royal gifts.? The Sanctuary contained the Altar of Incense, the golden Candlestick, the Shew-bread, and other sacred deposits. The Holy of Holies, looked upon as the residence of the Deity, was entered by none but the High Priest; and he only once a year, on the great day of expiation. Before the Babylonish captivity it had
it was brought thither; so that there was no hammer, nor axe, nor any tool of iron heard in the house while it was in building. 1 Kings vi. 7. The reason for this is perhaps best explained by Exod. xx. 25. “And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it (the Temple), thou hast polluted it.”
1 Antiq. 15, xi. 7. Where he adds also, that this testimony was delivered down to his time, by father to son in succession.
2 The external glory of this latter Temple, consisted not only in the opulence and magnificence of the building, but in the rich gifts (avalimuata) with which it was adorned, and which excited the admiration of those that beheld them. (Luke xxi. 5.) The hanging up of these consecrated gifts was common in most of the ancient Temples; as we find it particularly was in the Temple of Jerusalem; where among the rest, was a golden table given by Pompey, and several golden vines of exquisite workmanship, and of an immense size; with clusters says Josephus (xvòpouereis) as tall as a man.
Jenning's Jewish Antiq. p. 269, 8 But into the second went the High Priest alone once (one day) every year. Heb. ix. 7. See also Exod. xxx. 10, and Levit. xvi. 2, 15, 34,
contained the Ark of the Covenant; but in the second Temple, it was altogether empty.
The splendour and magnificence of the whole were as great as human means could devise or achieve; and the immense buildings just mentioned, which were added by Herod, were as rich and beautiful as they were astonishing. Its external appearance was most striking, and nothing seemed wanting to surprise the eye, or elevate the mind.
“ Its front,” says Josephus, “ was entirely covered with sheets of gold; which, at “the first rising of the sun, reflected so great a lustre, " that it compelled those who looked at it, to turn away their
@yes, as they would from the sun itself. It ap“peared to strangers at a distance, like a mountain “ covered with snow; for excepting where it was gilt, “ it was of one continued and unrivalled whiteness.” 1 Of its stones some were forty-five cubits in length, five in height, and six in breadth, and even in greater proportions. ?
Such was the sanctity and magnificence of this Temple of Jerusalem ; a building reared with so much
1 Bell. Jud. 5, v. 6. The silver is mine and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of Hosts.
Haggai ii. 9. Immensæ opulentiæ Templum. Tacit. Hist. v. 1.
2 Bell. Jud. 5, v. 6. And as some spake of the Temple, one of his disciples said unto him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here? Mark iii. 1.
Ædificatum autem est templum ex lapidibus candidis et firmis; et singulorum magnitudo erat in longum, ad cubitos circiter QUINQUE ET VIGINTI, in altitudinem octo, in latitudinem vero circiter DUODECIM. Antiq. 15, xi. 3.
Maundrel mentions having seen in a wall encompassing the Temple of Balbec, one stone of 21 yards; and two others each 20 yards long, 4 deep, and as many broad.
Travels p. 138, Ed. 1749.
labour, and at the expense of so much time and treasure; that the remembrance of its hasty annihilation, cannot fail to make us lament, that the infatuation of that perverse people had not subsided in time, to have foreseen “ the things that belonged to their peace, before they were hidden from their eyes;” both as it regarded the preservation of this most holy edifice, and more, as it related to the essential happiness and safety of that highly favoured nation.
CHAP. CHAPTER III.
EVENTS FORETOLD BY CHRIST, AS SYMPTOMATIC OF THE
APPROACHING RUIN OF THE JEWISH POLITY.
Having brought the incidents of the Jewish History to the period of the revolt from the Romans, and the commencement of the war; let us briefly consider those predictions of our Saviour, which refer to events anterior to the destruction of the City, and which were as minutely fulfilled, as those bearing an immediate relation to it.
1. The first sign of this fatal overthrow was thus foretold :-“ Ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars :
that ye be not troubled : for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall “ rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.” 1 “Now,” says Josephus, “about the third year after our “Lord's death ; Herod, Tetrarch of Galilee, engaged in
a war with Aretas, King of Arabia Patræa; and all “ the Tetrarch's army was cut off in battle, through the
treachery of some deserters.” 2 “ A sad calamity befel “ the Jews in Mesopotamia, and particularly those who “ dwelt in Babylonia; it was inferior to none which
1 Matt. xxiv. 6. 7.
Tacit. Ann. xii. 54.
2 Antiq. 18, v. i. " This,” says Abp. Newcome “ was a rising of KINGDOM against KINGDOM."