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It was after this manner that three walls were built entirely surrounding the city; that, "round Mount "Sion began upon the North, at the Tower Hip
picus (1),' and extended as far as Xystus; where it joined the Western cloister of the Temple. But if "we proceed in a Westerly direction, beginning at Hippicus (1), it extended through a place, called "Bethso, to the gate of the Essens (11); then South"ward by the fountain of Siloam, where it struck off "Eastward towards Solomon's Pool (21), and thence by
Ophlas, to the Eastern cloister of the Temple. The next wall began a little way above the Gate of the "Valley (2), and only encompassed the Northern quarter of the city, going nearly in a straight line "from thence to the tower Antonia (15). The last "wall began at the tower Hippicus (1), and ran in a "Northern direction to the tower Psephinus (12); "thence it extended to the monuments of Helena (16), "and ran farther to a great length; then passing by "the Sepulchres of the Kings (19), it bent at the Tower "of the corner (17), till it joined the old wall of the valley of Cedron."3
munierentur. Non duos colles immensum editos claudebant muri per artem obliqui, aut introrsus sinuati: ut latera oppugnantium, ad ictus patescerent, in sexaginta pedes; inter devexa, in centenos vicenosque attolebantur: mira specie, ac procul intuentibus pares.
Tacit. Hist. v. ii.
(1) The figures in parenthesis, refer to those corresponding in the plan of the city.
(2) This Helena was Queen of Adiabene, who had a palace in Jerusalem; and who by her benevolence and charity was held in general estimation by the Jews.-Eusebius mentions, that an illustrious sepulchral monument, consecrated to her, was standing in his time in the suburbs of Jerusalem. Ecc. Hist. lib. ii. ch. 12.-We shall afterwards see that Pausanias makes an allusion to the same.
(3) Bell Jud. 5. iv. 2.
These walls were all fortified by the square towers to which we have before alluded; these were situated only so far asunder, as to be protected one by the other; I and consequently within reach of missile weapons. Nature, it seems, had almost secured the place on all sides; and strengthened as it was by works of art, it appeared altogether impregnable. In addition to these regular fortifications, there were towers also, within the city, of incredible magnitude and strength of these, Phasælas ranks among the first; being a square of forty cubits, and ninety in height, built by Herod, and named after his brother. Psephinus was Octagonal, situated towards the North East point of the city; seventy cubits in height: from whence a view was gained of so extensive a range, that at sun rising, the nearer parts of Arabia, and the remote confines of Judea were discernible,' Hippicus, so named from the friend of Herod, was a square of twenty-five cubits, and eighty in height. These were the towers, some of which were suffered to remain after the destruction of the city by Titus, as monuments to perpetuate the memory of that Conqueror, who distinguished himself by subduing a nation and people whose ingenuity had contrived, and whose industry had reared, such stupendous bulwarks as these: at the same time answering a more important end, by serving for many years, not only to mark the site of this holy city, but to call to the remembrance of after ages, that annihilation and ruin, which, by the permission of the Almighty, was brought upon the greatest and most glorious city of the world, by the obstinacy, disobedience, and impenitence of its inhabitants.
(1) Bell. Jud. 5. iv. 3.
From the time that David established himself in Jerusalem, the city was laid open to every one of the House of Israel, without reserve; and even circumcised strangers were occasionally allowed to dwell there, living during the term of their abode, without expense, upon the hospitality of its inhabitants.' The Temple, as well as the city, stood within the boundaries of two tribes; being partly situated in that of Judah, and partly in that in Benjamin. Of all contagions, the Jews feared that of pollution the most, and avoided with the utmost caution, the least tendency either to touch or approach any unhallowed or unclean thing. The bodies of the dead were never deposited within their walls, unless indeed, we except those of the House of David, aud perhaps one or two others of exalted sanctity and fame; yet these repositories, from being regarded as unholy, were whitened and adorned from time to time, to warn the unwary to avoid approaching, and being contaminated by their baneful influence.
(1) of this custom we find an instance recorded by St. Matthew (xxvi. 18.) "Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, the Master saith, My "time is at hand, I will keep the Passover at thy house with my Disciples." See also Matt. x. 11.
The inhabitants of Jerusalem did not let out their houses at a price to those that came to the feasts, but granted them gratis.-Lightfoot.
It was the custom at Jerusalem for the inhabitants to give the free use of their rooms and furniture to the strangers at the Passover, without pay or advantage, except of the skins of the lambs sacrificed.
(2) It was in consequence of this, that the Jews explain" Benjamin shall “ravin as a wolf: in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he "shall divide the spoil." (Gen. xlix. 27.) to signify that the altar at which the sacrifices were slain belonged to Benjamin: or, that the Priests in the morning should sacrifice the victims, and in the evening divide those things which were collected from the people.
influence.' But of all the objects of admiration and reverence of which Jerusalem could boast, none could equal that which from its foundation was regarded as the true source of all its holiness and glory! The Temple erected by Solomon at the command of God! This, however, had been completely destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar 588 years before Christ; afterwards the Jews being led into captivity, Jerusalem for many years assumed no other appearance than, that of desolation and ruin; while nothing but its ashes served to mark the place of its former magnificence. In this state it continued till 535 years before Christ; when Cyrus, having taken Babylon, freed the Jews from bondage and restored them to their inheritance; giving them, at the same time, a decree for re-building
(1) He that toucheth the dead body of any man shall be unclean seven days, and whosoever toucheth one that is slain with the sword in the open fields, or a dead body, or a bone of a man, or a grave, shall be unclean seven days.-Numb. xix. 11, 16.
Woe unto you Scribes and Pharisees, Hypocrites, for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful without, but within are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness.-Matt. xxiii. 27.
"They do not carry the bones of a dead body through it: (the city) they "do not let out houses in it, nor do they allow sepulchres, except those of "the House of David and that of Huldah the Prophetess, which were there "from the days of the former Prophets-nor do they suffer a dunghill in it "on account of creeping things, nor are scaffolds brought out and placed "against the walls, for fear of defilement." Maimonides quoted by Lightfoot.
(2) There is no question, says Rollin, in his History of Cyrus, but this Edict was obtained by the care and solicitation of Daniel, who was in great credit and authority at Court. That he might the more effectually induce the King to grant him this request, he shewed him undoubtedly the prophecies of Isaiah, wherein above 200 years before his birth, he was marked out by name as a Prince appointed by God to be a Conqueror, and to reduce a multitude of nations under his dominion; and at the same time to be a deliverer of the captive Jews, by ordering their Temple to be re-built, and Jerusalem and Judea to be re-possessed by their ancient inhabitants (xliv. 28.) I think
their City and Temple; which after a lapse of seventy years, was finally completed under Zerubbabel, when all the vessels were restored, which Nebuchadnezzar had brought from Jerusalem and placed in the Temple of his God Baal.' This Temple remained till within sixteen years of the birth of Christ, when Herod tho roughly repaired, rather than actually re-built it. It is. this building with which we are more immediately concerned, as it was the scene in which our Saviour more particularly displayed himself. It was here, that the shouts and acclamations of the people followed him; proclaiming him the Messiah, the Son of David. It was here, that he performed the great miracle of openly driving out those, who regardless of its holiness, made it the place of merchandise and traffic. Here, he publicly delivered the great precepts of that Gospel, which brought light and immortality into the world; and here too, he declared to his Disciples; glorious as that building appeared, and wonderful as it was in construction, there should not be left one stone standing upon another which should not shortly be thrown down.2
I think it may not be improper in this place to insert that Edict at length, which is certainly the most glorious circumstance in the life of Cyrus, and for which it may be presumed that God had endowed him with many heroic virtues, and blessed him with such an uninterrupted series of victories and successes. See Ezra i. 1-8.
(1) I will punish Bel in Babylon, and I will bring forth that which he hath swallowed.-Jer. li. 44.
(2) The city and Temple were both utterly destroyed, as it will afterwards. appear, A. D. 70, which was within forty years of the Crucifixion. Hence the fulfilment of our Saviour's words, "VERILY I SAY UNTO YOU, ALL THESE "THINGS SHALL COME UPON THIS GENERATION."-Matt. xxiii. 36.-VERILY I SAY UNTO YOU, THIS GENERATION SHALL NOT PASS TILL ALL THESE THINGS