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A MODERN POLISH RABBI WITH TALITH AND PHYLACTERIES.
NOTE ON MODERN JUDAISM.Every Jew when he attains the age of thirteen years and one day becomes a bar Mitzvah (son of commandment), and is henceforth responsible for his own sins. The ceremonies connected with this event correspond to the Christian rite of confirmation. He is also bound to observe the three fundamental principles of Judaism—the wearing of the Talith, the wearing of the Phylacteries, and the observance of the Mezuza, or the Sign upon the door-posts.
TALITH.The Talith, which resembles an oblong shawl, is worn over the head or shoulders. From its having four corners it is called arba canphoth. Its chief name, Tsitsith, is derived from the fringes on which its holiness depends. The Talith is made of sheep or lamb's wool, and sometimes of camel's hair. The fringes, which are of wool, carefully shorn, must be specially spun for this purpose. Four threads, of which one must (if possible) be blue, are passed through eyelet holes made in the four corners. These threads are doubled to make eight. Seven of them are of equal length, but the eighth thread must be long enough to twist five times round the rest, and after being tied into five tight knots, to have an end of the same length as the others. These five knots added to the eight threads make the number thirteen. The numerical value of the Hebrew word Tsitsith
is 600, so that the sum total is 613, which represents the 613 precepts of the oral law. These rabbinic precepts correspond to the 613 Hebrew letters of which the decalogue is composed. They are divided into 248 positive precepts, which, the Rabbis say, equal the members of the human body; and into 365 negative precepts which, they also say, equal the number of the human veins. When the Talith is put on, the Jews pray, "That it may be made through my fulfilling this precept a spiritual garment for my soul, spirit, and breath, for my 248 spiritual members, and for my 365 spiritual veins." Orthodox Jews also daily wear a smaller Talith underneath their garments, and those who are more religious allow the fringes to be seen to remind them of the 613 precepts. The Scripture on which this observance is founded is Numb. xv. 37-39, "And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments, throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the border a riband (or, as the Rabbis say, a thread) of blue: And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the Lord and do them." Our Lord, when on earth, wore the Tsitsith, for the diseased woman touched "the hem" (fringe κρασπέδον) of His garment (Matt. ix. 20), “And he rebuked the Pharisees for their ostentation in enlarging the “borders” (fringes κράσπεδα) of their garments (Matt. xxiii. 5).
PHYLACTERIES.The second fundamental principle of Judaism is the wearing of Phylacteries. These are supposed by some writers to be the same as the frontlets (Tataphoth), mentioned (Ex. xiii. 16; Deut. vi. 8; xi. 18). The Totaphoth mean properly "Ornaments," and refer to the law and commandments, as understood in such passages as "Bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine head" (Prov. iii. 3; vi. 21; viii. 3). And so the Karaite Jews interpret all these passages figuratively. But since their return from the
[paragraph continues] Babylonian captivity, the Rabbinical Jews insist upon their literal meaning, and they enjoin the wearing of Phylacteries (φυλακτήρια, preservatives, Matt. xxiii. 5), upon the forehead and arm of the worshipper. Phylacteries, called in Hebrew Tephillin (from Palal to pray) are, firstly, one for the forehead (Rev. xiv. 1). It is a leathern box which contains four compartments, in which are enclosed four portions of the Law written on parchment, and carefully folded. This box is made of leather, pressed upon blocks of wood specially prepared for the purpose, while the leather is well soaked in water. When it is dry and ready for use, the following passages of the law are sewn into it—(Ex. xiii. 1-10,11-16; Deut. vi. 4-9; xi. 13-21). On this box there is also impressed the letter ש (Shin), with three strokes for the right hand side of the wearer, and also the same letter with four strokes for the left hand side of the wearer. Secondly, there is another leathern box, without any ש (Shin), for the arm of the worshipper, and with only one compartment, into which the same passages of Scripture are sewn with the sinews of animals, specially prepared for this object. The phylacteries are bound on the forehead and arm by long leathern straps (R’tsuoth) which pass through the Maabarta, or passages in their sides. The straps round the head must be tied in a knot shaped like the letter ד (Daleth). And the straps on the arm must be long enough to go round it seven times, and three times round the middle finger, with a small surplus over in the form of the letter י (Yod). There is thus formed by the letter Shin on the phylactery, and by the knot Daleth on the back of the head, and by the Yod on the hand the word Shaddai, or Almighty. This is said to fulfil the text, "And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the Lord (or as the Rabbis say, 'the name of the Lord is read upon thee'), and they shall be afraid of thee" (Deut. xxviii. 10). The time for putting on the phylacteries is during the day, at the time of prayer and reading of the Shema, or "Hear O Israel," etc. (Deut. vi. 4, etc.) They are not to be worn at night, on the Sabbath, or on the festival days, because it is said, "And it shall be for a sign"
[paragraph continues] (Ex. xiii. 9). As the Sabbaths and festivals are signs in themselves, no other signs are needed. The phylacteries are to be kept in special bags with the greatest reverence. The Rabbis assert that they are worn by God, and "that the single precept of the phylacteries is equal to all the commandments."
MEZUZA.The third fundamental principle of Judaism is Mezuza, or Sign upon the door post. This precept is founded upon the command, "And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates" (Deut. vi. 9; xi. 20). The door-posts must be those of a dwelling-house; and accordingly, Maimonides mentions ten different things which are requisite to constitute a dwelling-house. Public buildings, such as synagogues, are excluded from this command. The Karaite Jews reverse this order, and affix Mezuzas to synagogues but not to private houses. The way in which Mezuzas are made is as follows:—Two portions of Scripture (Deut. vi. 4-9; xi. 13-21) are written on ruled vellum which must be prepared according to Rabbinic rules. This vellum is rolled up so as to fit into a cylindrical tube of lead or tin. The word Shaddai (Almighty) is written on the outside of the roll, and a section is cut from the tube, so that Shaddai may be clearly seen. It is then nailed through both its ends to the door posts of all the apartments on the right hand side. Those who enter are thus reminded that the eye of God is upon all their doings. Under the word Shaddai, some Jews write the three angelic names, Coozu, Bemuchsaz, Coozu; and to these three angels they even pray for success in business. When the Mezuzas are being fastened to the door-posts the following prayer must be used, "Blessed art thou, O Lord our God! King of the universe, who hath sanctified us with His laws, and commanded us to fix the Mezuza."
The Talmud estimates the virtue of the Talith, the phylacteries, and the Mezuza in the following terms:—
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MEZUZA AND PHYLACTERIES.
MEZUZA, OR SIGN UPON THE DOOR-POSTPAGE 362
PHYLACTERY FOR THE FOREHEAD
PHYLACTERY FOR THE ARM.
PHYLACTERY FOR THE FOREHEAD
PHYLACTERY FOR THE ARM.
[paragraph continues] “Whoever has the phylacteries bound to his head and arm, and the fringes thrown over his garments, and the Mezuza fixed on his door-post, is safe from sin: for these are excellent memorials, and the angels secure him from sin; as it is written, “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him and delivereth them” (Ps. xxxiv. 7).
If, instead of resting in the mere routine of these observances, which they too often do, the eyes of Israel were enlightened by the Holy Ghost, they would see them to be shadows of glorious truths. The Talith would be seen as a symbol of the imputed righteousness of Christ, who has fulfilled the law. The phylacteries would appear as symbols of the necessity of having God's Word engraven both on head and heart. And the Mezuza would be regarded as a symbol of the omniscient eye of an holy God from whom nothing can be hidden or unknown.
CALENDAR OF THE MONTHS AND CHIEF JEWISH FEASTS AND FASTS IN EACH YEAR.
I.—Nisan, called in Scripture Abib (part of March and April).
(Beginning of the Sacred or Ecclesiastical Reckoning).1. New Moon.
15. First Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
16. Waving of the first ripe Omer (wave sheaf), Lev. xxiii. 10-12.
21. Last Day of Unleavened Bread.
II.—Iyar (part of April and May).1. New Moon.
15. The Second or "little" Passover.
18. Feast of the 33d day after the Omer.
III.—Sivan (part of May and June).1. New Moon.
6. Feast of Pentecost or Weeks. Seven Weeks or 50 days after the Sheaf offering. The two loaves of fine flour, called first-fruits, were waved before the Lord. This Feast commemorates also the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai.
27. Fast for the burning of Rabbi Chanina, by the Greeks.
IV.—Thamuz (part of June and July).1. New Moon.
17. Fast for the taking of Jerusalem, by Nebuchadnezzar, on the 9th, and by Titus, on the 17th. If this day fall on a Sabbath, the Fast is kept on the following day.
V.—Ab (part of July and August).1. New Moon.
9. Fast for the threefold destruction of the Temple.
15. Feast for the readmission of the Tribe of Benjamin (Judges xxi. 15). It is also called the Day of the Wood Offering.
VI.—Elul (part of August and September).1. New Moon.
VII.—Tishri (part of September and October).
(Beginning of the Civil Reckoning).1 and 2. Feast of the Civil New Year, and of Trumpets.
3. Fast for the Murder of Gedaliah.
4-9. Days of Penitence.
10. Fast on the Great Day of Atonement.
15-21. Feast of Tabernacles. The last day is called "Hosanna Rabba" (i.e. save with a great salvation).
22. Feast on the completion of the Yearly Reading of the Law. It is called "Rejoicings of the Law."
VIII.—Marchesvan (part of October and November).1. New Moon.
IX.—Kislev (part of November and December).1. New Moon.
25. Feast of Dedication or Lighted Lamps to commemorate the cleansing and dedication of the Temple after the victory of Judas Maccabæus over the Syrians, B.C. 148. This feast lasts eight days.
X.—Tebeth (part of December and January).1. New Moon.
10. Fast for the commencement of the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar.
XI.—Shebat (part of January and February).1. New Moon.
The last Sabbath in this month is called the "Portion of Shekels." Such Portions of the Law, as Exodus xxx. 15, etc., are read, and collections of money are made for the poor Jews in Jerusalem.
XII.—Adar (part of February and March).1. New Moon.
13. Fast of Esther (Esther iv. 16). If it fall on a Sabbath its observance takes place two days before.
14 and 15. Feast of Purim for the destruction of Haman.
( ) Veaddar or the additional Adar—the month intercalated to make the lunar and solar years correspond. (See note , page 176). In the present year, A.D. 1877, according to Jewish Chronology, the year A.M. 5638 began on the first day of Tishri.
NOTE ON THE SANHEDRIN.The Synedrion (συνέδριον) called in Aramaic Sanhedrin, was the Supreme Court of the Jewish nation. It is invested with an awful interest, as having been the tribunal, which deliberately rejected the Messiahship and Deity of the Lord Jesus Christ,—a decision to which the Jewish people have adhered up to the present time. As its name implies, it was a kind of senate, established during the Greek occupation of Palestine, which preceded the Maccabæan period, and is not, f as the Jews think, a continuation of the seventy elders appointed by Moses. It seems to be mentioned in 2 Mac. i. 10; iv. 44; xi. 27; under the name of the Council (ἡ γερουσία). To speak accurately, there were three Sanhedrins—two smaller, and one great one. The two smaller ones seem to have served as standing committees of the general body. The chief president was called "Prince," and the vice president "Father of the House of Judgment." When priests, elders, and scribes are mentioned together, the Great Sanhedrin is meant. The Rabbis say that to be an ordinary member of the Sanhedrin, a man must have been wise, handsome, aristocratic, old, a magician, and able to speak seventy languages, that the Sanhedrin might not need an interpreter. It is said to have had ten "flittings"—from the chamber in the temple to the shops in the outer court; from the shops in the outer court to Jerusalem; from Jerusalem to Jabneh; from Jabneh to Osha; from Osha to Shepharaam; from Shepharaam to Bethshaaraim; from Bethshaaraim to Sepphoris; from Sepphoris to Tiberias. To make up the number ten, it is said to have flitted backward and forward twice between Osha and Jabneh. These flittings began forty years before the destruction of the Temple.
The Presidents are stated to have been,
Simon the Just,
Antigonus of Socho (the Master of Sadoc),
Joseph, son of Joezer; P. Joseph, son of Jochanan. V. P.
Joshua, son of Perachiah, fled to Alexandria, from Alexander Janneus.
Judah, son of Tabbai, P. Simon, son of Shetach. V. P.; they were remarkable for hanging eighty witches in one day.
Shemaiah, P. Abtalion, V. P., descendants of Sennacharib; supposed to be the Sameas and Pollio of Josephus.
Hillel P. Shammai, V. P. Hillel was likened to Moses. At forty years of age he came to Jerusalem; forty years he studied the law; forty years he was president.
Simeon, son of Hillel, supposed to be the one who took our Saviour in his arms.
Gamaliel, son of Simeon (teacher of St. Paul). When he died the honour of the law and purity died also.
Simeon, his son (slain in Jerusalem).
Jochanan, son of Zaccai.
Gamaliel of Jabneh, son of Simeon.
Simeon, son of Gamaliel (first patriarch of Tiberias).
Judah, son of Simeon.
Gamaliel, son of Judah.
Gamaliel of Jabneh is said to have been deposed for a time from the presidency, and afterwards restored with Rabbi Eliezer, the son of Azariah, as joint president. The reason of his deposition is said to have been his want of judgment in dealing with Rabbi Joshua, who said that "prayer is a thing arbitrary," while he taught it to be "a bounden duty." Whereupon he made the Rabbi stand while he expounded the law. The congregation resented this as a sign of pride and passion, and elected Eliezer who was but sixteen years old but very grave. Rabbi Akiba was offended that he himself was not chosen, and said, "it is not because he is more learned, but because he is of nobler birth—happy is he who has ancestors to privilege him—happy is the man who has a nail to hang on." "And what was the nail of Rabbi Eliezer, the son of Azariah?" "He was tenth from Ezra."
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Plan of the Temple
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Plan of the Temple. Detail: Temple
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Plan of the Temple. Detail: Legend
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Plan of the Temple. Detail: lower left hand corner of plan
NOTES ON THE PLAN OF THE TEMPLE
FROM THE TALMUD AND OTHER JEWISH AUTHORITIES.
See Plan at end of Volume.1. The Mountain of the House was a square of 500 cubits. The south side was "more empty" than the other sides. The east "more empty" than the north and west, and the north "more empty" than the west, a a a, Royal Cloisters (Josephus, Antiquities, xv. xi. 5). b b b, Solomon's Porch, Jno. x. 23; Acts iii. 11.
2. The gate of the wall of the Mountain of the House in the east was called the Shushan Gate, because there was engraved on it the city Shushan.
3. The gate of the wall of the Mountain of the House called Tadi. It served only for priests by night.
4. The West Gate, called Kipunus (Coponius), was for thoroughfare. To it was probably joined, c c, the bridge which spanned the Tyropæon Valley. d e f, Gates mentioned by Josephus. Of these four gates, three have been discovered by the officers of the Palestine Explorations. The gate Kipunus is alone mentioned in the tract Measurements, as being probably that one through which worshippers I usually entered.
5. The two southern gates were called the Gates of Huldah. g g g g, Where the Levites watched.
6. The assembly of the small Sanhedrin at the door of the
[paragraph continues] Eastern Gate, and there sat three rows, each containing twenty-three men, h h h h, Shops in the Court of the Gentiles. Matt. xxi. 12.
7. A wall about ten hands high around the whole court, and in it were thirteen openings as if opposite thirteen gates. i i i i i, Slabs (Josephus, Antiquities, xv. xi. 5) on which was engraven the prohibition against foreigners entering the temple (Acts xxi. 29). One of these "stones of warning" was discovered in Jerusalem in 1871. A facsimile of it (on a reduced scale) is now included in this volume, by the kind permission of the Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund. Its translation runs thus, "No stranger is allowed to pass within the balustrade round the temple and enclosure. If found, the offender must take the consequence, and his death will follow."
8. The Chel was a space round the court between the smaller wall and the wall of the court. Its breadth was ten cubits. In it were twelve steps rising to the Eastern Gate of the Court. The height of each step was half a cubit, and its breadth was half a cubit.
9. The Eastern or Beautiful Gate (Acts iii. 2) opened into the Court of the Women and into the other courts. The length of all the courts from east to west was 187 cubits, and their breadth was 135 cubits. Besides the chief gate in the east, there were two more gates, one on the north, and one on the south, leading into the Court of the Women.
10. The Court of the Women was a square of 135 cubits, and in its four corners were four chambers, each forty cubits long and twenty broad, k k k k, Treasure chests (Mark xii. 1; Luke xxi. 2; John. viii. 20). The chests or trumpets (Matt. vi. 2), (so called from their; shape), were thirteen in number. Of these nine were for the legal payments of the worshippers, and four were for freewill gifts. Trumpets numbered 1 and 2 were for the half shekel tribute. Trumpets 3 and 4 were respectively for the money paid by women for the offerings of turtle-doves and young pigeons. Trumpet 5 received offerings for the wood of the altar. Trumpet 6 received offerings for incense. Trumpet 7 received offerings for golden vessels of service. Trumpet 8 received what remained over out of a predetermined sum from the purchase of a sin-offering. Trumpet 9 received whatever remained over after the purchase of a trespass-offering. Trumpet 10 received whatever remained over after the offerings of birds. Trumpet 11 received whatever remained over from the offering of the Nazarite. Trumpet 12 received whatever remained over from the offering of the cleansed leper. And trumpet 13 received freewill gifts: These I trumpets are to be distinguished from the three chests, each holding, three seahs of coin, which received the contributions and taxes from Israelites in foreign lands. These chests were emptied at the three) great festivals, and yielded enormous treasures for the Temple and, public revenue.
11. The chamber of the wood, which was arranged for each day's use,
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FACSIMILE OF A GREEK INSCRIPTION ON ONE OF THE “STONES OF WARNING” IN THE PARTITION WALL OF THE TEMPLE
—Jos. Antiq. xv. xi. 5. (See Notes on the Temple, 7, iiii.)
(Discovered in Jerusalem, 1873.)PAGE 368
12. The chamber of the Nazarites. There they boiled their peace-offerings, and burned their hair under the kettle.
13. The chamber of the lepers, where they shaved their hair.
14. The chamber of the "house of oil," for the "candlestick" and "flour-offering."
15. The second small Sanhedrin sitting at the door of the court of Israel, "as half a round threshing floor," and there sat three rows, each containing twenty-three men.
16. Two chambers under the Court of Israel in the earth. There the Levites put their musical instruments and learned the art of singing. Their doors were open towards the Court of the Women.
17. The gate of Nicanor which opened into the Court of Israel from the Court of the Women. It is called "the higher gate" (2 Kings xv. 35) and the "new gate" (Jer. xxxvi. 10). The ascent to it was fifteen steps. Each step was half a cubit high and half a cubit broad.
18. The Court of Israel. Its length from north to south was 187 cubits and its breadth from east to west eleven cubits.
19. Two chambers to the two sides of the gate, the right called the "Chamber of Phineas" the vestment keeper; and the left the "Chamber of Spicery."
20. The place where the priests gave the blessing. It was a landing of three steps, each being half a cubit high.
21. The chamber of salt, a cave under the Court of the Priests. Its door opened towards the Court of Israel.
22. The chamber of the "House of pouring" water on offerings. It opened to the "Chamber of Salt," and to the chamber of the "House of Parva." In it was a staircase for persons to ascend to the roof of the "House of Parva."
23. The chamber of the "House of Parva," where the skins of the offerings were sold. On the roof was the "House of Baptism," for the high priest on the Day of Atonement.
24. The slaughter house. In it were eight pillars called "dwarfs," and in each of them were three iron hooks.
25. Eight tables before the slaughter house. On them the entrails were cleansed.
26. Twenty-four rings, in which the necks of the victims were placed for slaughter.
27. The altar of burnt-offerings, described in the. Tract Measurements. "An apple," i.e. an heap of ashes always remained on the midst of the altar.
28. The ascent to the altar was in length thirty-two cubits from south to north, and in breadth sixteen cubits. There was a small
space between it and the altar, so that it might not touch it. From the ascent proceeded two small staircases, one from the east that reached the circumference, and one from the west that reached the foundation. In the west was a window, and it was called Rabuba (deep). There they put the fowls that were ceremonially defiled until their forms changed. The space from the southern wall of the court to the ascent measured eight cubits.
29. The court of the priests. Its length from north to south was 135 cubits, and its breadth from east to west eleven cubits. And there was a railed gallery there round the walls.
30. The place where the priests put the ashes of the outside and inside altars, and the crops of the fowls. It was distant three handbreadths from the east of the ascent.
31. The laver and its pedestal. In it were twelve pipes that twelve priests might wash at the same time. There was a cavity near them to let the water flow off during the night. Their place was between the porch and the altar—both of them inclined to the south. Next to them was the draw-well (31a) for supplying the laver and the court with water.
32. The pan for taking away the ashes of the altar. It was placed westward of the ascent.
33. A tablet of marble. In it was fastened a ring, and there the young priests descended to "the shafts."
34. Two tables to the west of the ascent, one of marble and one of silver. Upon the marble one the priests placed the members and' fat. And upon the silver one they placed the silver vessels for service.
35. Twelve steps ascended from the altar to the porch in the space of twenty-two cubits. From the altar westward, and to the east side of the steps, was plain ground for two cubits. Up from thence were three steps—the height of each half a cubit, and its breadth a cubit. And above them was one step—its height half a cubit and its breadth three cubits, and this was called Piazza (platform). Above it were two steps—the height of each was half a cubit, and their breadth three cubits. This also was called Piazza. And higher were four steps—the height of each half a cubit, and their breadth a cubit. And higher there was one step, its height half a cubit and its breadth four cubits. It also was called Piazza. We now. find that the ground of the door of the porch was higher than the ground of the place of the altar by six cubits. l l, Jachin and Boaz—two pillars at the entrance of the porch.
36. The porch of the house—in length from north to south seventy cubits, and in breadth from east to west eleven cubits. At its door were (m m) two tables, one of marble and one of silver. On them the priests laid the shewbread in their going out and coming in.
37. The doorway of the porch had no doors—there was only a vail. Its breadth was twenty cubits, and its height forty cubits. The thickness of the wall was five cubits. Over it were five in-wrought beams, one above the other, for ornament. They were called "cross-beams."
38. Two chambers open towards the porch in the north and south. There the broken knives were put away. Each chamber had a little rail door in the corner of the court, and the measure of each of these chambers, from north to south, was fifteen cubits, and their breadth was the breadth of the porch. We find the length of the Porch to be altogether one hundred cubits.
39. This "empty" space was called "circumference." It was a way which went all round the north and west of the Sanctuary and the chambers. On the south side it was called the "place of the descent of the waters," because there all the rain water ran down from the roof of the Sanctuary.
40. Fifteen chambers were on the north of the Sanctuary, viz. five placed upon five, etc. The same number were on the south of the Sanctuary. The chamber in the north-east corner, and the chamber in the south-east corner, had each five doors. The chamber in the north-east had one door to the "circumference"—a door to the second chamber—a door to the chamber above it—a door towards the porch—and a door to the Sanctuary. So also was it in the southern side, only there the door to the Sanctuary was always shut. 1 Kings vi. 5; Jer. xxxv. 4.
41. The door of the Sanctuary. Its breadth was ten cubits, and its height twenty cubits. The length of the Sanctuary from east to west was forty cubits, and its breadth twenty cubits from north to south.
42. A square marble slab to the right of the entrance lying upon the earth. From under it was taken the dust for the trial of jealousy.
43. The golden altar standing in the middle, between the table of shew-bread and the candlestick, inclined outwards.
44. The Candlestick standing in the south of the Sanctuary, and before it was a stone with three steps. Upon it the priest stood and trimmed the lights. And upon it the person who trimmed the lights placed the golden cup and the wicks.
45. The golden table of shewbread in the north. On it the priests laid the shewbread and the covers and bowls.
46. Two golden pedestals. Upon them the High Priest, when he went out from the Holy of Holies, placed the blood of the bullock, and the blood of the goat, on the Day of Atonement.
47. The Traksin (partition wall) was in width a cubit. In it were two vails—the thickness of each vail was an handbreath, and
there was a void space between them of three handbreadths. The two vails and the void space were supposed to meet the dispute as to the minutely accurate line of separation between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies.
48. The Holy of Holies in length and breadth twenty cubits by twenty. In the midst was the "Stone of Foundation," and upon it rested the ark in the Temple of Solomon.
49. Three chambers to the west of the Sanctuary and the Holy of Holies; and over them three; and over them two—in all eight. In the middle chamber was a square passage, and from it there were doors to the other chambers alongside, and also a door to the chamber above it.
50. Eleven cubits was the distance from the back of the House of Atonement to the wall of the court.
51. The chamber of the House of Moked (burning). In it were two gates—one open to the chel, and one to the court of the Sanctuary. In it also were four smaller chambers in its four corners; and there was a square of marble, and in it was fastened a ring, and under it were the golden keys of the court suspended on chains.
52. A chamber where the House of the Asmoneans deposited the stones of the altar which the Greeks defiled, and it was unconsecrated.
53. The chamber where they baked the shew-bread; and it was holy. Adjoining it was also the "seal" or "token" chamber.
54. The chamber of the House of Burning. From it the priests went down to the House of Baptism in a pathway under the arch. It was unconsecrated.
55. A chamber for sheep. It was holy.
56. Gate of the Offering.
57. The House of Nitzus (sparks, or sparkling, or of the ovens). There was a kind of divan in it, and over it was an upper chamber, where the guards stood. They went up to it by a staircase from the chel.
58. The Gate of Flaming. Through this gate the wood was brought in for the altar.
59. The Gate of the Offering.
60. The Chamber of the Captivity. There the Children of the Captivity made a cistern to supply water to the whole court.
61. Chamber of Wood. It was also called the Chamber of the "Promenade of the High Priest."
62. The Chamber of Hewn Stone. There the Great Sanhedrin sat ("like half a round threshing-floor") in the half of the unconsecrated part which was in it, and before them were three rows each of twenty-three
men. It was open to the unconsecrated place, and to the Holy place.
63. The upper Chamber of the House Abtinas.
64. The Water Gate. Through it they brought the water at the feast of Tabernacles to pour it upon the altar.
NOTES ON THE TABERNACLE.The Gemara in the Treatise Shabat makes the following observations on the Tabernacle:—"And to the Tabernacle thou shalt make ten curtains;—the length of one curtain shall be twenty-eight cubits." 1 Draw their length to the breadth of the Tabernacle. How much was their length? Twenty-eight. Take away for the roof ten; there remain nine cubits to this side, and nine to that side. According to Rabbi Judah (who thinks that at the top the boards were thin as a finger), one cubit of the sockets only was uncovered. And according to Rabbi Nehemiah (who thinks the boards were of uniform thickness), there remains also one cubit of the boards uncovered. Now draw their breadth to the length of the Tabernacle. How broad were they? Forty. Take away thirty cubits from the roof; there remain ten. According to Rabbi Judah, the cubit of the sockets was also covered. According to Rabbi Nehemiah, the cubit of the sockets remained uncovered. "You shall make curtains of goats’ hair, the length shall be thirty cubits." 2 Draw the length to the breadth of the Tabernacle. How much was it? Thirty. Reduce ten cubits for the roof; ten remain to this side, and ten to that side. According to Rabbi Judah, it also covered the cubit of the sockets. And according to Rabbi Nehemiah, they were uncovered. Now draw their breadth to the length of the Tabernacle. How broad were they? Forty-four. Take away thirty cubits for the roof; there remain fourteen. Take away two for the doubling, as it is written, "Thou shalt double the sixth curtain in the forefront of the Tabernacle." 3 There remain twelve cubits. According to Rabbi Judah, we understand what is written, that the half of the curtain shall trail upon the ground. But what can we do according to Rabbi Nehemiah? What is the meaning of trailing? Longer than the others. The scholars of Rabbi Ishmael have learned to what was the Tabernacle like? "To a lady who went in the market, and the ends of her dress followed her."
Aben Ezra and Ramban, repeating the old tradition, say, there were figures on every standard. On the standard of Reuben was the picture of a man. On the standard of Judah the picture of a lion. On the standard of Ephraim the picture of an ox. And on the standard of Dan the picture of an eagle. So that they were like the Cherubim which the prophet Ezekiel saw.
The Rabbis assert that the vessels of the Tabernacle were an exact facsimile of real existences in heaven. "Rabbi José, son of Rabbi Judah, said, a fiery ark, and a fiery table, and a fiery candlestick descended from heaven. And Moses saw them, and made according to their similitude." They also think that the Ark of the Covenant is concealed in a chamber under the Temple Enclosure, and that it and all the holy vessels will be found at the coming of the Messiah. The Apocrypha, however, informs us, that Jeremiah laid the Tabernacle, and the Ark, and the Altar of Incense, in an "hollow cave, in the mountain where Moses climbed up and saw the heritage of God." And "the place shall be unknown until the time that God gather his people again together, and receive them into mercy." 1 The sacred vessels, which were taken to Rome after the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, and are now seen sculptured on the Arch of Titus, were carried off to Africa by the Vandals under Genseric. Belisarius brought them to Constantinople in A.D. 520. They were afterwards sent back to Jerusalem, and from thence they are supposed to have been carried away to Persia, when Chosroes plundered the Holy City in June 614.
Footnotes373:1 Exod. xxvi. 1, 2.
373:2 Exod. xxvi. 8.
373:3 Exod. xxvi. 9.
374:1 2 Mac. ii. 4-7.