CHAPTER I.1. The Priests guarded the sanctuary in three places, 1—in the House Abtinas, in the House Nitzus, and in the House Moked. The House Abtinas and the House Nitzus had upper chambers, and the young priests guarded there. The house Moked was arched, and its large chamber was surrounded with stone divans, and the elders of the House of the Fathers slept there, with the keys of the court in their hands; and the younger priests also slept there, each with his cushion on the ground. They did not sleep in the holy garments, but they undressed, and folded them, and put them under their heads, and they covered themselves with their own dresses. If legal defilement happened to one of them, he went out, and proceeded in the circuit that went under the Temple, and candles flamed on either side, until he arrived in the house of baptism. And the fire pile was there, and the place of the seat of honour; and this was its honour, when he found it closed, he knew that some one was
there; when he found it open he knew that no one was there. He descended and washed; he came up and wiped himself, and warmed himself before the fire pile. He came and sat beside his brethren the priests, till the doors were opened; then he went out on his own way.
2. He who wished to take the ashes from the altar, rose up early and bathed before the Captain of the Temple came. And in what hour did the Captain come? All times were not equal; sometimes he came at cockcrow, or near to it, before or after it. The Captain came, and knocked for them, and they opened to him. He said to them, "let whoever is washed, come, and cast lots." They cast lots, and he gained who gained.
3. He took the key and opened the wicket door, and entered from the House Moked to the court, and the priests went after him with two lighted torches in their hands. And they divided themselves into two parties. These went in the gallery eastward, and those went in the gallery westward. They observed everything as they walked till they approached the place of the pancake-makers. They arrived. Both parties said, peace! all peace! The pancake-makers began to make pancakes.
4. He who gained the lot to take the ashes from the altar, took them; and they said to him, "be careful that thou touch not the vessels, till thou dost sanctify thy hands and thy feet from the laver." And the ash dish was placed in the corner between the ascent to the altar and the west of the ascent. No man entered with the priest, and there was no candle in his hand, but he walked towards the light of the fire on the altar. They did not see him, and they did not hear his voice, till they heard the creaking of the wheel, which the son of Kattin made for the laver, and they said, "the time has come to sanctify his hands and feet from the laver." He took the silver ash dish, and he went up to the top of the altar, and he turned the live coals on one side, and he piled up those that were well burned inwards, and he descended, and came on the pavement of the altar. He turned his face northwards, and went eastward of the ascent
about ten cubits. He packed the coals on the pavement three handbreadths distant from the ascent, at the place where they put the crops of the fowls, and the ashes of the inner altar, and of the candlestick.
Footnotes242:1 See the Treatise on Measurements, chap. i.
CHAPTER II.1. His brethren saw him come down, and they came running to him. They hastened and sanctified their hands and their feet from the laver. They took the brushes and the forks, and went up to the top of the altar. The members and the cauls 1 (of the sacrifices) which were not consumed over night, they moved to the side of the altar. If the sides could not contain them, they laid them out in a closet at the ascent.
2. They commenced to bring up the ashes to the top of the heap, 2 and the heap was on the middle of the altar. Sometimes there was on it about three hundred cors; 3 but in the holidays they did not clear away the ashes, since they were an honour for the altar. Never was the priest lazy in removing the ashes.
3. The priests began bringing up the faggots to arrange the fire of preparation on the altar. "Was, then, all wood allowed for preparation?" "Yes, all wood was allowed for the fire of preparation, except that of the olive and that of the vine. But these they preferred,—branches of the fig tree, of the nut, and of the pine."
4. The priests arranged the great fire of preparation eastward, and then made an opening eastward, so that the heads of the inward faggots touched the heap on the altar. And there was a division between the faggots, that the priests might kindle the chips there.
5. The priest chose from the faggots the best figwood to arrange the second fire of preparation for the incense opposite the western horn southwards. He prolonged it from the
horn towards the north four cubits, reckoning for five seahs 1 of live coals, and on the Sabbath he reckoned for eight seahs of live coals. As they placed there the two cups of frankincense of the showbread. The members and cauls (of the sacrifices) which were not consumed by the fire overnight, were returned again by the priests to the great fire of preparation. And they kindled both the preparations with fire; and they came down, and entered into the chamber of hewn stone. 2
Footnotes244:1 Membranes over the fat.
244:2 In the form of an apple.
244:3 A cor was equal, according to the Rabbis, to 44.286 gallons, but Josephus reckons it to have been 86.696 gallons.
245:1 A seah, according to the Rabbis, was 1.4762 gallon.
245:2 Or of "the treasurers."
CHAPTER III.1. The Captain of the Temple said to the priests, "come and cast lots." "Who is to slaughter?" "Who is to sprinkle?" "Who is to take the ashes from the inner altar?" "Who is to take the ashes from the candlestick?" "Who is to bring up the members to the ascent, the head and the right foot, and the two hind feet, the chine, and the left foot, the breast, and the throat, and the two sides, the inwards, and the fine flour, and the pancakes and the wine?" They cast lots, and he gained who gained.
2. The Captain said to them, "go and see if the time for slaughter approaches?" If it approached, the watchman said, "it brightens." Matthia, son of Samuel, said, "is it light in the whole east, even to Hebron?" and he said, "yes."
3. He said to them, "go and bring the lamb from the lamb-chamber." The lamb-chamber was in the north-west corner of the court, and there were four chambers there, one the lamb-chamber, one the seal-chamber, 3 and one chamber for the burning materials, and one chamber where they made showbread.
4. The priests entered the chamber for the vessels, and they brought out ninety-three vessels of silver and gold.
[paragraph continues] They made the daily sacrifice drink in a golden cup. Even though he was examined the night before, they examined him again by torch-light.
5. He who gained the lot for the daily sacrifice, led the lamb to the slaughter-house, and those who gained the lots for the members, went after him. The slaughter-house was to the north of the altar, and in it were eight dwarf pillars, and beams of cedar wood were fastened upon them, and iron hooks were fastened in them. And there were three rows of hooks to each of them. Upon them the priests hung the sacrifices, and skinned them, near the marble tables between the pillars.
6. Those who gained the lot for the removal of the ashes from the inner altar, and the ashes from the candlestick, advanced with four vessels in their hands, a flagon 1 and a cup 2 and two keys. The flagon resembled a great golden measure containing two cabs and an half. And the cup resembled a great golden jug. And the two keys to the sanctuary. One key entered the lock up to the shoulder of the priest, and one opened quickly.
7. The priest came to the wicket on the north, and there were two wickets in the great gate, one in the north and one in the south. Through that in the south man never entered, and Ezekiel explains it. "Then said the Lord unto me: This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the Lord, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut." 3 He took the key and opened the wicket; he entered the chamber, and he went from the chamber into the sanctuary, until he came to the great gate. When he came to the great gate, he took down the bar and the bolts and opened it. The slaughterer did not slaughter till he heard the noise of the opening of the great gate.
8. From Jericho 4 people heard the opening of the great gate. From Jericho they heard the noise of the shovel. 5
[paragraph continues] From Jericho they heard the noise of the wooden wheel which the son of Kattin made for the laver. From Jericho they heard the voice of Gabini the herald. From Jericho they heard the sound of the cornet. From Jericho they heard the sound of the cymbal. From Jericho they heard the voice of the song. From Jericho they heard the clang of the horn, and some say even the voice of the High Priest at the time when he mentioned the Name on the Day of Atonement. From Jericho they smelt the odour of the preparation of incense. Said R. Eleazar, the son of Daglai, "the family of Aba had goats on the mountains of Mikvor, 1 and they used to sneeze from the odour of the preparation of the incense."
9. The priest who gained the lot for removing the ashes from the inner altar entered, and took the flagon and laid it before him, and he took handfuls of ashes and filled them into the flagon, and at last he brushed the remainder into it. And he left it and went out (of the holy place). He who gained the lot for removing the snuff from the candlestick, entered and found the two eastern lights burning. He snuffed the rest, and left these burning in their place. If he found them extinguished, he snuffed them, and lighted them again from those still burning, and afterwards he snuffed the rest. And there was a stone before the candlestick, and in it were three steps, on which the priest stood and trimmed the lights. And he placed the cup with the snuff on the second step, and went out.
Footnotes245:3 In this chamber were kept the "seals" or "tokens" given to those persons who bought their offerings from the Levites. These "seals" were of four sorts, and were respectively inscribed with "calf" or "kid," according to the offerings to be presented; and with the word "male" when the offering was to be a ram; and "sinner" when it was to be a sin-offering.
246:1 Others read a basket.
246:2 Or jug.
246:3 Ezek. xliv. 2.
246:4 Jericho is about eighteen miles distant from Jerusalem.
246:5 Perhaps "a gong" or "a bell." Some think it to have been "a musical instrument," and others consider it to have been "an organ."
247:1 Some think "Machærus" on the east of the Dead Sea, about 50 miles distant from Jerusalem.
CHAPTER IV.1. The priests did not tie the four feet of the lamb together, but they bound its fore and hind feet. He who gained the lot for carrying the members, held it; and thus was it bound, its head southward, and its face westward. The slaughterer stood in the east with his face westward. The morning sacrifice was slaughtered at the north-western
corner on the second ring. The evening sacrifice was slaughtered at the north-eastern corner on the second ring. The slaughterer slaughtered, and the receiver caught (the blood). The priest came to the north-eastern corner of the altar, and he sprinkled the blood north-east. He came to the south-west, and sprinkled the blood south-west: 1 the remainder of the blood he poured out on the southern altar-base.
2. The priest did not break its leg, but he made a hole in the midst of its side, and by that it was hung up. He skinned it downward till he came to the breast. When he came to the breast, he cut off the head, and gave it to him who had gained (its lot). He cut off the two hind feet, and gave them to him who had gained them for his lot. He finished the skinning; he tore out the heart, that the blood should come out. He cut off the two fore feet, and gave them to him who had gained them for his lot. He came to the right leg; he cut it off, and gave it to him who had gained it for his lot. He cleft the body, and it became all open before him. He took out the caul, and put it on the place of slaughter, with the head on the top of it. He took out the intestines and gave them to him who had gained them for his lot to cleanse them. And the belly they cleansed in the house of the washers, as much as was needful. And the intestines were cleansed three times at least, upon the marble tables between the pillars.
3. The priest took the knife and separated the lungs from the liver, and the finger of the liver from the liver, but he did not remove it from its place. He made a hole in the breast, and gave it to him who gained it for his lot. He came to the right side, and he cut it downwards to the backbone, but he did not touch the backbone, till he came to the two tender ribs. He cut it off and gave it to him who gained it for his lot, with the liver hanging upon it.
[paragraph continues] He came to the neck, and left the two side bones on both sides. He cut it off and gave it to him who had gained it for his lot, with the windpipe and the heart and the lungs hanging upon it. He came to the left side, and left on it the two tender ribs, above and below, and so he left it on the corresponding side. It follows that he left on the two sides, two and two ribs above, and two and two ribs below. He cut it off, and gave it to him who gained it for his lot, the backbone with it, and the spleen hanging upon it. And it was large, but the right side is called large, as the liver hangs upon it. He came to the tail; he cut it off and gave it to him who gained it for his lot, and the fat, and the finger of the liver, and the two kidneys with it. He took the left hind leg, and gave it to him who gained it for his lot. It follows that all the priests stood in one row with the members in their hands. The first priest with the head and hind foot, the head in his right hand with the nose towards his arm, and the horns between his fingers, and the place of slaughter upwards, and the caul placed on it; and the right hind foot in his left hand with the skin outside. The second priest stood with the two fore legs, the right in his right hand, and the left in his left hand, and the skin outside. The third priest stood with the tail and the hind foot; the tail in his right hand, and the fat wrapped between his fingers, and the finger of the liver and the two kidneys with it; the left foot was in his left hand with the skin outwards. The fourth priest stood with the breast and the throat. The breast was in his right hand, and the throat in his left, and its side bones between his fingers. The fifth priest stood with the two sides, the right side in his right hand, and the left side in his left hand, and the skinny side outwards. The sixth priest stood with the intestines placed in a pan, and the legs over them. The seventh priest stood with the fine flour. The eighth priest stood with the pancakes. The ninth priest stood with the wine. They then proceeded and deposited the members on the lower half of the ascent westward, and they salted them, and descended,
and came to the chamber of the hewn stone to read the "Hear," 1 etc.
Footnotes248:1 In each act of sprinkling the priest, standing before a corner, sprinkled the blood on two sides of the altar. And thus, in two acts of sprinkling, he put the blood on its four sides.
250:1 Called the Shema. It consisted of the following three passages of Scripture:—Deut. vi. 4-9, Deut. xi. 13-21, Numb. xv. 37-41.
CHAPTER V.1. The Captain of the Watch said, "give one blessing," and the priests blessed and read the ten commandments, "Hear," 2 etc. "And it shall come to pass if ye shall hearken," 3 etc. And "He spake," 4 etc. They then gave the three blessings to the people, "Truth and Sureness," and "the Service," and "the Blessing of the Priests." And on the Sabbath they added one blessing for the outgoing Temple-guard.
2. He said to them, "novices 5 to the incense, come and cast lots." They cast lots. He gained who gained. He said to them, "novices with old men come and cast lots, who shall bring up the members of the lamb from the ascent to the altar." R. Eliezar, the son of Jacob, said, "those priests who brought the members to the ascent must also bring them to the top of the altar."
3. He handed the priests over to the sextons. They divested them of their dresses, leaving them their breeches only, and there were windows there, and over them was written, "used for vestments." 6
4. He who gained the lot for the incense, took the spoon; and the spoon resembled a great measure of gold containing three cabs. And the pan was heaped full of incense; and it had a covering like a kind of weight upon it.
5. He who gained the lot for the censer, took the silver censer, and went up to the top of the altar, and he turned the live coals here and there, and he put them into the censer. He descended, and poured them into a censer of
gold. There was dispersed from them about a cab of live coals, and he brushed them into the channel for refuse. On the Sabbath he put over them a cover. And the cover was a great vessel containing a letech. 1 And there were two chains to it, one by which the priest drew it down, and one by which he held it from above, that it should not be rolled about; and it was useful for three purposes, as a covering over the live coals, and as a covering over the reptile on the Sabbath, and it was also used to carry down the ashes from the altar.
6. The priests arrived between the porch and the altar. One of them took the shovel, 2 and flung it between the porch and the altar. No one could hear the voice of his neighbour in Jerusalem from the rattling of the shovel. And it was useful for three purposes: when the priest heard its rattle, he knew that his brother priests were entering to worship, and he came running; and the Levite, when he heard its rattle, knew that his brother Levites were entering to chant, and he came running; and the chief of the Delegates 3 compelled the defiled men to stand in the eastern gate of the Temple.
Footnotes250:2 Deut. vi. 4-9.
250:3 Deut. xi. 13-21.
250:4 Numb. xv. 37-41.
250:5 The lot for the incense was always arranged for a new man who had never burned it before. It might come to a priest once in his lifetime, and never again afterwards. Luke i. 9.
250:6 The chambers for vestments had separate rooms for each of the 24 courses, and separate wardrobes for each of the four kinds of vestments.
251:1 About 37½ gallons.
251:2 See note 5, chapter iii. 8.
251:3 The Delegates were appointed to represent the whole congregation of Israel in the temple services.
CHAPTER VI.1. The priests began ascending the steps of the porch. They who gained the lot for the removal of ashes from the inner altar and from the candlestick, proceeded in front. He who gained the lot for the removal of ashes from the inner altar, entered the Holy Place, and took the flagon, and he bowed down and went out. He who gained the lot for the removal of snuff from the candlestick, entered the Holy Place, and found the two eastern lamps burning; he removed the snuff from the eastern one and left the western one burning, and from it he lighted the candlestick in the evening. If he found it extinguished, he removed the snuff, and
lit it from the altar of burnt-offerings. He took the cup from the second step, and he bowed down, and went out.
2. He who gained the lot for the censer, gathered the live coals on the top of the altar of incense; and he smoothed them with the bottom of the censer, and he bowed down, and went out.
3. He who gained the lot for the incense, took the pan from the cup, and gave it to his friend or to his neighbour, When the incense was dispersed in it, he supplied it to him in handfuls. And he instructed him, "be careful and do not begin too near yourself, lest you be burned." He smoothed it and went out. The offerer could not offer the incense, till the Captain said to him, "offer incense." If the offerer were the high priest, the captain said, "My Lord, High Priest, offer the incense." The people dispersed, and he offered the incense, and he bowed down and went out from the Holy Place.
Click to enlarge
THE HIGH PRIEST IN HIS ROBES BESTOWING THE BLESSING.
"Jehovah bless thee, and keep thee: |
Jehovah make his face shine upon thee,
And be gracious unto thee:
Jehovah lift up his countenance upon thee,
And give thee peace."—Num. vi. 24-26.
CHAPTER VII.1. When the High Priest entered to worship, three priests had hold of him, one on his right hand, one on his left hand, and one by the jewels on his breast-plate. And so soon as the Captain of the Temple heard the sound of the footsteps of the High Priest as he proceeded on his way, he lifted the veil for him. He entered the holy place, bowed himself, and went out. And his brethren the priests entered, and bowed down, and went out.
2. The priests came and stood on the steps of the porch. The first came and stood to the south of his brother priests. And they had five vessels in their hands,—the flagon in the hand of one, and the cup in the hand of one, and the censer in the hand of one, and the pan in the hand of one, and the spoon with its cover in the hand of one. They blessed the people once. In the city they said the service in three blessings, but in the sanctuary they said it in one blessing, In the sanctuary they pronounced the Name 1 as it is written,
but in the city they pronounced it by its substitute. 1 In the city the priests raised their hands (in blessing) opposite their shoulders, but in the sanctuary they raised them above their heads, excepting the High Priest, who could not lift his hands above the golden plate. R. Judah said, "even the High Priest could lift his hands above the golden plate, as is said, 'Aaron lifted up his hand toward the people and blessed them.'" 2
3. When the High Priest desired to offer incense, he went up on the ascent to the altar, and the Sagan (Suffragan) was on his right. When he reached the half of the ascent, the Sagan took him by his right hand and helped him up. The first (priest) reached to him the head and hind foot of the lamb, and he laid his hand on them, and then pushed them away. The second priest reached out to the first one the two fore-legs, and he handed them to the High Priest, and he laid his hands upon them, and then pushed them away; the second priest was dismissed, and he departed, and so they reached out to him all the members of the lamb, and he laid his hands upon them and pushed them away; but when he desired, he merely laid his hands on them, and others pushed them away. He next came to make a circuit of the altar. "From what place did he begin?" "From the south-eastern corner, north-eastern, north-western, south-western." They gave to him the wine for libation. The Sagan stood by the corner of the altar with the banners in his hand, and two priests stood by the table of the fat with two silver trumpets in their hands: They sounded a blast, they blew an alarm, and again they sounded the trumpets. They came and took their position beside the son of Arza. 3 One stood on his right hand and one stood on his left. The High Priest bowed down to make the libation, and the Sagan waved the banners, and the son of Arza clanged the cymbals, and the Levites intoned the chant.
[paragraph continues] When they came to a full stop, the trumpets sounded, and the people bowed themselves. At every full stop there was a blast, and at every blast there was bowing down. This is the order of the daily offering for the service of the House of our God. May it be His will to build it speedily in our days. Amen.
4. The chant which the Levites intoned in the sanctuary on the first day of the week was, "The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein." 1 On the second day they said, "Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness." 2 On the third day they said, "God standeth in the congregation of the mighty: He judgeth among the gods." 3 On the fourth day they said, "O Lord God, to whom vengeance belongeth; O God, to whom vengeance belongeth, show thyself." 4 On the fifth day they said, "Sing aloud unto God our strength, make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob." 5 On the sixth day they said, "The Lord reigneth, he is clothed with majesty," 6 etc. On the Sabbath they said the chant composed for the Sabbath day, the chant composed for the future, for the day to come, when all will be rest and repose for life everlasting.
253:1 That is by substituting for the Name (Jehovah) the word Adonai, except where Adonai and Jehovah come together. In such cases Elohim is substituted for Jehovah.
253:2 Lev. ix. 22.
253:3 Who had charge of the channels from the altar.
254:1 Psalm xxiv. 1.
254:2 xlviii. 1.
254:3 lxxxii. 1.
CHAPTER I.1. The priests guarded the sanctuary in three places, in the House Abtinas, 1 in the House Nitzus, 2 and in the House Moked; 3 and the Levites in twenty-one places, five at the five gates of the Mountain of the House, four at its four corners inside, five at the five gates of the Court, four at its four corners outside, and one in the chamber of the Offering, and one in the chamber of the Veil, and one behind the House of Atonement.
2. The Captain of the Mountain of the House went round to every Watch in succession with torches flaming before him, and to every guard who did not stand forth, the Captain said, "Peace be to thee." If it appeared that he slept, he beat him with his staff; and he had permission to set fire to his cushion. 4 And they said, "what is the voice in the Court?" "It is the voice of the Levite being beaten, and his garments burned, because he slept on his guard." 5
[paragraph continues] Rabbi Eliezer, the son of Jacob, said, "once they found the brother of my mother asleep, and they burned his cushion."
3. There were five gates to the Mountain of the House, two Huldah gates in the south which served for going in and out, Kipunus in the west served for going in and out; Tadi 1 in the north served for no (ordinary) purpose. Upon the east gate was portrayed the city Shushan. Through it one could see the High Priest who burned the heifer, and all his assistants going out to the Mount of Olives.
4. In the court were seven gates—three in the north, and three in the south, and one in the east. That in the south was called the gate of Flaming, the second after it, the gate of Offering; the third after it the Water-gate. That in the east was called the gate Nicanor. And this gate had two chambers, one on the right, and one on the left; one the chamber of Phineas, the vestment keeper, and the other the chamber of the pancake maker.
5. And at the gate Nitzus on the north was a kind of cloister with a room built over it, where the priests kept ward above, and the Levites below; and it had a door into the Chel. 2 Second to it was the gate of the offering. Third the House Moked.
6. In the House Moked were four chambers opening as small apartments into a saloon—two in the Holy place, and two in the Unconsecrated place; and pointed rails separated between the Holy and the Unconsecrated. And what was their use? The south-west chamber was the chamber for offering. The south-east was the chamber for the show-bread. In the north-east chamber the children of the Asmoneans deposited the stones of the altar which the Greek Kings had defiled. 3 In the north-west chamber they descended to the house of baptism.
7. To the House Moked were two doors one open to the Chel, and one open to the court. Said Rabbi Judah, "the one open to the court had a wicket, through which they went in to sweep the court."
8. The House Moked was arched, and spacious, and surrounded
with stone divans, and the elders of the Courses slept there with the keys of the court in their hands; and also the young priests each with his pillow on the ground.
9. And there was a place a cubit square with a tablet of marble, and to it was fastened a ring, and a chain upon which the keys were suspended. When the time approached for locking the gates, the priest lifted up the tablet by the ring, and took the keys from the chain and locked inside, and the Levites slept outside. When he had finished locking, he returned the keys to the chain, and the tablet to its place, laid his pillow over it, and fell asleep. If sudden defilement happened, he rose and went out in the gallery that ran under the arch, and candles flamed on either side, until he came to the house of baptism. Rabbi Eleazer the son of Jacob, says, "in the gallery that went under the Chel, he passed out through Tadi."
Our Beauty be upon Thee in Three Places.
Footnotes255:1 A famous maker of incense.
255:3 Burning. The watch at certain gates seems to have been hereditary in certain families. Just as at the present time the custody of Rachel's tomb is the privilege of a certain family in Jerusalem. Each guard consisted of 10 men, so that there were 210 Levites in the 21 stations. The three more important places contained guards of both Levites and Priests; 30 of each. There were therefore 240 Levites on guard each night.
255:4 He rolled up his overcoat and laid it down for a cushion.
255:5 Rev. xvi. 15.
256:2 Platform or rampart.
256:3 1 Mac. ii. 25.
CHAPTER II.1. The Mountain of the House was five hundred cubits square. The largest space was on the south, the second on the east, the third on the north, and the least westward. In the place largest in measurement was held most service.
2. All who entered the Mountain of the House entered on the right-hand side, and went round, and passed out on the left: except to whomsoever an accident occurred, he turned to the left. "Why do you go to the left?" "I am in mourning." "He that dwelleth in this House comfort thee." "I am excommunicate." "He that dwelleth in this House put in thy heart (repentance), and they shall receive thee." The words of Rabbi Meier. To him said Rabbi José, "thou hast acted as though they had transgressed against him in judgment; but, 'may He that dwelleth in this House put it in thy heart that thou hearken to the words of thy neighbours, and they shall receive thee'"
3. Inside of the (Mountain of the House) was a reticulated
wall, ten hand-breadths high; and in it were thirteen breaches, broken down by the Greek kings. The (Jews) restored, and fenced them, and decreed before them thirteen acts of obeisance. Inside of it was the Chel, ten cubits broad, and twelve steps were there. The height of each step was half a cubit, and the breadth half a cubit. All the steps there were in height half a cubit, and in breadth half a cubit, except those of the porch. All the doors there were in height twenty cubits, and in breadth ten cubits, except that of the porch. All the gateways there had doors, except that of the porch. All the gates there had lintels, except Tadi; there two stones inclined one upon the other. All the gates there were transformed into gold, except the gate Nicanor, 1 because to it happened a wonder, though some said "because its brass glittered like gold."
4. And all the walls there were high, except the eastern wall, that the priest who burned the heifer, might stand on the top of the Mount of Olives, and look straight into the door of the Sanctuary when he sprinkled the blood.
5. The Court of the women was one hundred and thirty-five cubits in length, by one hundred and thirty-five in breadth. And in its four corners were four chambers, each forty cubits square, and they had no roofs; and so they will be in future, as is said, "Then he brought me forth into the utter court, and caused me to pass by the four corners of the court; and, behold, in every corner of the court there was a court." 2 In the four corners of the court there were courts smoking, yet not smoking, since they were roofless. And what was their use? The south-east one was the chamber of the Nazarites, for there the Nazarites cooked their peace-offerings, and polled their hair, and cast it under the pot. The north-east was the chamber for the wood, and there the priests with blemishes gathered out the worm-eaten wood. And every stick in which a worm was found, was unlawful
for the altar. The north-west was the chamber for the lepers. The south-west? Rabbi Eleazar, the son of Jacob, said, "I forget for what it served." Abashaul said, "there they put wine, and oil." It was called the chamber of the house of oil. And it was open at first and surrounded with lattice work, that the women might see from above and the men from beneath, lest they should be mixed. And fifteen steps corresponding to the fifteen steps in the Psalms, ascended from it to the court of Israel; upon them the Levites chanted. They were not angular, but deflected like the half of a round threshing-floor.
6. And under the court of Israel were chambers open to the court of the women. There the Levites deposited their harps, and psalteries, and cymbals, and all instruments of music. The court of Israel was one hundred and thirty-five cubits long, and eleven broad; and likewise the court of the priests was one hundred and thirty-five cubits long, and eleven broad. And pointed rails separated the court of Israel from the court of the priests. Rabbi Eleazar, the son of Jacob, said, "there was a step a cubit high, and a dais placed over it. And in it were three steps each half a cubit in height." We find that the priests’ court was two and a half cubits higher than the court of Israel. The whole court was one hundred and eighty-seven cubits in length, and one hundred and thirty-five cubits in breadth, and the thirteen places for bowing were there. Abajose, the son of Chanan, said, "in front of the thirteen gates." In the south near to the west were the upper gate, the gate of flaming, the gate of the firstborn, the water gate. And why is it called the water gate? Because through it they bring bottles of water for pouring out during the feast of Tabernacles. Rabbi Eleazar the son of Jacob said, "through it the water returned out, and in future it will issue from under the threshold of the house." And there were opposite to them in the north, near to the west, the gate of Jochania, the gate of the offering, the gate of the women, the gate of music. And "why was it called the gate of Jochania?" "Because through it Jochania went out in his captivity." In the east was the gate Nicanor, and in it were
two wickets, one on the right, and one on the left, and two in the west which were nameless.
Our Beauty be upon Thee, O Mountain of the House.
Footnotes258:1 So called either because Nicanor a Pharisee had the gate made in Alexandria, and though it was thrown overboard from a ship in a storm, it yet came safe to land: or because Nicanor, a Greek prince, was slain there in the time of the Asmoneans.
258:2 Ezekiel xlvi. 21.
CHAPTER III.1. The altar was thirty-two cubits square. It ascended a cubit and receded a cubit. This was the foundation. It remains thirty cubits square. It ascended five cubits, and receded one cubit. This is the circumference. It remains twenty-eight cubits square. The place for the horns was a cubit on each side. It remains twenty-six cubits square. The place of the path for the feet of the priests was a cubit on each side. The hearth remains twenty-four cubits square. Rabbi Josh said, "at first it was only twenty-eight cubits square." It receded and ascended until the hearth remained twenty cubits square; but when the children of the captivity came up, they added to it four cubits on the north, and four cubits on the west, like a gamma it is said; and the altar was twelve cubits long by twelve broad, being a square. One might say it was only "a square of twelve" 1 as is said. Upon its four sides we learn that it measured from the middle twelve cubits to every side. And a line of red paint girdled it in the midst to separate the blood sprinkled above from the blood sprinkled below. And the foundation was a perfect walk along on the north side; and all along on the west, but it wanted in the south one cubit, and in the east one cubit. 2
2. And in the south-western corner were two holes as two thin nostrils, that the blood poured upon the western and southern foundation should run into them; and it commingled in a canal and flowed out into the Kidron.
3. Below in the plaster in the same corner there was a place a cubit square, with a marble tablet; and a ring fastened
in it. Through it they descended to the sewer and cleansed it. And there was a sloping ascent 1 to the south of the altar, thirty-two cubits long by sixteen broad. In its western side was a closet, where they put the birds unmeet for the sin-offering.
4. Either the stones of the sloping ascent, or the stones of the altar were from the valley of Bethcerem. 2 And they digged deeper than virgin soil, and brought from thence perfect stones over which iron 3 was not waved. For the iron defiles by touching. And a scratch defiles everything. In any of them a scratch defiled, but the others were lawful. And they whitewashed them twice in the year; once at the passover, and once at the feast of Tabernacles. And the Sanctuary (was whitewashed) once at the passover. The Rabbi said, "every Friday evening they whitewashed them with a mop on account of the blood." They did not plaster it with an iron trowel, "mayhap it will touch and defile." Since iron is made to shorten the days of man, and the altar is made to lengthen the days of man, it is not lawful, that what shortens should be waved over what lengthens.
5. And there were rings to the northern side of the altar, six rows of four each: though some say four rows of six each. Upon them the priests slaughtered the holy beasts. The slaughter-house was at the north side of the altar. And in it were eight dwarf pillars with a beam of cedar wood over them. And in them were fastened iron hooks—three rows to each pillar. Upon, them they hung up (the bodies), and skinned them upon marble tables between the pillars.
6. The laver was between the porch and the altar, but inclined more to the south. Between the porch and the altar were twenty two cubits, and there were twelve steps. The height of each step was half a cubit, and its breadth a cubit—a cubit—a cubit—a landing three cubits—a cubit—a
cubit and a landing three cubits. And the upper one a cubit—a cubit, and the landing four cubits. Rabbi Jehudah said, "the upper one a cubit,—a cubit, and the landing five cubits."
7. The doorway of the porch was forty cubits high, and twenty broad. Over it were five carved oak beams. The lower one extended beyond the doorway a cubit on either side. The one over it extended a cubit on either side. It follows that the uppermost was thirty cubits; and between each one there was a row of stones.
8. And stone buttresses were joined from the wall of the sanctuary to the wall of the porch, lest it should bulge. And in the roof of the porch were fastened golden chains, upon which the young priests climbed up, and saw the crowns. As it is said, "And the crowns shall be to Helem, and to Tobijah, and to Jedaiah, and to Hen, the son of Zephaniah, for a memorial in the temple of the Lord." 1 And over the doorway of the sanctuary was a golden vine supported upon the buttresses. Every one who vowed a leaf, or a berry, or a cluster, he brought it and hung it upon it. Said Rabbi Eleazar, the son of Zadok, "it is a fact, and there were numbered three hundred priests to keep it bright."
Our Beauty be upon Thee, O Altar.
Footnotes260:1 Ezekiel xliii. 16.
260:2 As this corner would have been in the tribe of Judah, it was not added, that the whole altar might remain in the tribe of Benjamin. Gen. xlix. 27.
261:1 This sloping ascent to the altar was strewn with salt. This salt was brought from the mountain of Sodom at the south of the Dead Sea. The salt was intended to keep the priests from slipping and falling, which might easily happen, as they were obliged to minister barefooted. The coldness of the pavement in winter, and eating so much flesh of the sacrifices, brought various diseases on the priests.
261:2 House of the vineyard.
261:3 Deut. xxvii. 5.
262:1 Zechariah vi. 14.
CHAPTER IV.1. The doorway of the Sanctuary 2 was twenty cubits in height, and ten in breadth. And it had four doors, two within and two without, as is said, "Two doors to the temple and the holy place." 3 The outside (doors) opened into the doorway to cover the thickness of the wall, and the inside doors opened into the Sanctuary to cover (the space) behind the doors, because the whole house was overlaid with gold excepting behind the doors. Rabbi Judah said, "they stood in
the middle of the doorway, and like a pivot these folded behind them two cubits and a half; and those two cubits and a half, half a cubit and a jamb on this side, and half a cubit and a jamb on the other side." It is said, "two doors to two doors folding back, two leaves to one door and two leaves to the other." 1
2. And the great gate had two wickets, one in the north, and one in the south. Through the one in the south no man ever entered. And with regard to it Ezekiel declared, as is said, "The Lord said unto me; this gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the Lord, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut." 2 The priest took the key, and opened the wicket, and went into the little chamber, and from the chamber to the Sanctuary. Rabbi Judah said, "he went in the thickness of the wall, until he found himself standing between the two gates, and he opened the outside gates from inside, and the inside from outside."
3. And there were thirty-eight little chambers, fifteen in the north, fifteen in the south, and eight in the west. The northern and southern ones were (placed) five over five, and five over them; and in the west three over three, and two over them. To each were three doors: one to the little chamber on the right, one to the little chamber on the left, and one to the little chamber over it. And in the northeastern corner were five gates: one to the little chamber on the right, and one to the little chamber over it, and one to the gallery, and one to the wicket, and one to the Sanctuary.
4. The lowest row was five cubits, and the roofing six cubits, and the middle row six, and the roofing seven, and 'the upper was seven, as is said, "the nethermost chamber was five cubits broad, and the middle six cubits broad, and the third seven cubits broad." 3
5. And a gallery ascended from the north-eastern corner to the south-western corner. Through it they went up to the roofs of the little chambers. One went up in the gallery with his face to the west. So he proceeded all along the
northern side, till he reached the west. On reaching the west, he turned his face southward, going along the west side, till he reached the south. On reaching the south, with his face to the east, he went along the south side till he arrived at the door of the upper storey, because the door of the upper storey opened in the south side. And at the door of the upper storey were two cedar beams. By them they went up to the roof of the upper storey, and on its summit rails separated between the Holy and the Holy of Holies. And in the attic, trapdoors opened to the Holy of Holies. Through them they let down the workmen in boxes, lest they should feast their eyes in the Holy of Holies.
6. The Sanctuary was a square of one hundred cubits, and its height one hundred. The foundation six cubits, and the height (of the wall) forty cubits, and the string course one cubit, and the rain channel two cubits, and the beams one cubit, and the covering plaster one cubit; and the height of the upper storey was forty cubits, and the string course 1 one cubit, and the rain channel two cubits, and the beams one cubit, and the covering plaster one cubit, and the battlement three cubits, and the scarecrow one cubit. Rabbi Judah said, "the scarecrow was not counted in the measurement; but the battlement was four cubits."
7. From east to west there were one hundred cubits, the wall of the porch five, and the porch eleven, and the wall of the Sanctuary six, and the interior forty, and the partition space (between the Vails) one, and the Holy of Holies twenty cubits. The wall of the Sanctuary was six, and the little chamber six, and the wall of the little chamber five. From north to south there were seventy (cubits). The wall of the gallery five, the gallery three, the wall of the little chamber five, the little chamber six, the wall of the Sanctuary six, its interior twenty, the wall of the Sanctuary six, the little chamber six, the wall of the little chamber five, the place for the descent of the water three, and the wall five cubits. The porch was extended beyond it fifteen cubits in the north, and fifteen in the south; and this space
was called, "the house of the instruments of slaughter," because the knives were there deposited. And the Sanctuary was narrow behind and broad in front, and it was like a lion, as is said, "Ho! Ariel, the city where David dwelt, 1 as a lion is narrow behind and broad in front, so the Sanctuary is narrow behind and broad in front."
Our Beauty be upon Thee, Door of the Sanctuary.
Footnotes262:2 The Rabbis say that "the world is like an eye. The ocean is the white of the eye. The pupil is Jerusalem. And the image in the pupil is the Sanctuary."
262:3 Ezekiel xli. 23.
263:1 Ezekiel xli. 24.
263:2 Ezekiel xliv. 2.
263:3 1 Kings vi. 6.
264:1 Curiously graven and gilt.
265:1 Isaiah xxix. 1.
CHAPTER V.1. The length of the whole court 2 was one hundred and eighty-seven cubits. The breadth one hundred and thirty-five. From east to west one hundred and eighty-seven. The place for the tread of the feet of Israel was eleven cubits. The place for the tread of the priests eleven cubits. The altar thirty-two. Between the porch and the altar twenty-two cubits. The Temple one hundred cubits; and eleven cubits behind the House of Atonement.
2. From north to south there were one hundred and thirty-five cubits. From the sloping ascent to the altar sixty-two. From the altar to the rings eight cubits. The space for the rings twenty-four. From the rings to the tables four. From the tables to the pillars four. From the pillars to the wall of the court eight cubits. And the remainder lay between the sloping ascent and the wall and the place of the pillars.
3. In the court were six chambers, three in the north, and three in the south. In the north, the chamber of salt, the chamber of parva, the chamber of washers. In the camber of salt they added salt to the offerings. In the chamber of parva they salted the skins of the offerings; and upon its roof was the house of baptism for the High Priest on the day of atonement. In the chamber of washers they
cleansed the inwards of the offerings; and from thence a gallery extended up to the top of the house of parva.
4. In the south were the chamber of wood, the chamber of the captivity, and the chamber of hewn stone. The chamber of wood, said Rabbi Eleazar, the son of Jacob, "I forget for what it served." Abashaul said, “the chamber of the High Priest was behind them both, and the roof of the three chambers was even. In the chamber of the captivity was sunk the well with the wheel attached to it, and from thence water was supplied to the whole court. In the chamber of Hewn Stone the great Sanhedrin of Israel sat, and judged the priesthood, and the priest in whom defilement was discovered, clothed in black, and veiled in black, went out and departed; and when no defilement was found in him, clothed in white, and veiled in white, he went in and served with his brethren the priests. And they made a feast-day, because no defilement was found in the seed of Aaron the Priest, and thus they said, “Blessed be the Place. Blessed be He, since no defilement is found in the seed of Aaron. And blessed be He who has chosen Aaron and his sons to stand and minister 1 before the Lord in the House of the Holy of Holies.
Our Beauty be upon Thee, Whole Court;
And Completion to Thee, Tract
Footnotes265:2 "The king only, and no man else (remarks Maimonides) might sit in the court of the temple in any place; and even this privilege was confined to a king of the family of David." Cunœus further observes, "that the king was esteemed nearer to God than the priests themselves, and a greater president of religion."
266:1 The Temple services were arranged by the council of fourteen. This council was composed of the High Priest, the Sagan (the deputy or Suffragan of the High Priest), two Katholikin, who had charge of the treasuries, three Gizbarim, who were assistants of the Katholikin, seven Ammarcalin, who had charge of the gates.