Also see definition of "Temple" in Word Study
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Temanites | Temeni | Temper | Temperance | Tempest | Temple | Temple Keepers (Servants) | Temple Servants | Temple, A1 | Temple, A2 | Temple, B


Arts Topics: Challenges in the Temple Courts; Changes in the Temple; Gifts for the Building of the Temple; The Boy Jesus at the Temple; The Dedication of the Temple; The Future of the Temple; The Glory Departs from the Temple; The Glory Returns to the Temple

Tabernacle [EBD]

(1.) A house or dwelling-place (Job 5:24; 18:6, etc.).

(2.) A portable shrine (comp. Acts 19:24) containing the image of Moloch (Amos 5:26; marg. and R.V., "Siccuth").

(3.) The human body (2 Cor. 5:1, 4); a tent, as opposed to a permanent dwelling.

(4.) The sacred tent (Heb. mishkan, "the dwelling-place"); the movable tent-temple which Moses erected for the service of God, according to the "pattern" which God himself showed to him on the mount (Ex. 25:9; Heb. 8:5). It is called "the tabernacle of the congregation," rather "of meeting", i.e., where God promised to meet with Israel (Ex. 29:42); the "tabernacle of the testimony" (Ex. 38:21; Num. 1:50), which does not, however, designate the whole structure, but only the enclosure which contained the "ark of the testimony" (Ex. 25:16, 22; Num. 9:15); the "tabernacle of witness" (Num. 17:8); the "house of the Lord" (Deut. 23:18); the "temple of the Lord" (Josh. 6:24); a "sanctuary" (Ex. 25:8).

A particular account of the materials which the people provided for the erection and of the building itself is recorded in Ex. 25-40. The execution of the plan mysteriously given to Moses was intrusted to Bezaleel and Aholiab, who were specially endowed with wisdom and artistic skill, probably gained in Egypt, for this purpose (Ex. 35:30-35). The people provided materials for the tabernacle so abundantly that Moses was under the necessity of restraining them (36:6). These stores, from which they so liberally contributed for this purpose, must have consisted in a great part of the gifts which the Egyptians so readily bestowed on them on the eve of the Exodus (12:35, 36).

The tabernacle was a rectangular enclosure, in length about 45 feet (i.e., reckoning a cubit at 18 inches) and in breadth and height about 15. Its two sides and its western end were made of boards of acacia wood, placed on end, resting in sockets of brass, the eastern end being left open (Ex. 26:22). This framework was covered with four coverings, the first of linen, in which figures of the symbolic cherubim were wrought with needlework in blue and purple and scarlet threads, and probably also with threads of gold (Ex. 26:1-6; 36:8-13). Above this was a second covering of twelve curtains of black goats'-hair cloth, reaching down on the outside almost to the ground (Ex. 26:7-11). The third covering was of rams' skins dyed red, and the fourth was of badgers' skins (Heb. tahash, i.e., the dugong, a species of seal), Ex. 25:5; 26:14; 35:7, 23; 36:19; 39:34.

Internally it was divided by a veil into two chambers, the exterior of which was called the holy place, also "the sanctuary" (Heb. 9:2) and the "first tabernacle" (6); and the interior, the holy of holies, "the holy place," "the Holiest," the "second tabernacle" (Ex. 28:29; Heb. 9:3, 7). The veil separating these two chambers was a double curtain of the finest workmanship, which was never passed except by the high priest once a year, on the great Day of Atonement. The holy place was separated from the outer court which enclosed the tabernacle by a curtain, which hung over the six pillars which stood at the east end of the tabernacle, and by which it was entered.

The order as well as the typical character of the services of the tabernacle are recorded in Heb. 9; 10:19-22.

The holy of holies, a cube of 10 cubits, contained the "ark of the testimony", i.e., the oblong chest containing the two tables of stone, the pot of manna, and Aaron's rod that budded.

The holy place was the western and larger chamber of the tabernacle. Here were placed the table for the shewbread, the golden candlestick, and the golden altar of incense.

Round about the tabernacle was a court, enclosed by curtains hung upon sixty pillars (Ex. 27:9-18). This court was 150 feet long and 75 feet broad. Within it were placed the altar of burnt offering, which measured 7 1/2 feet in length and breadth and 4 1/2 feet high, with horns at the four corners, and the laver of brass (Ex. 30:18), which stood between the altar and the tabernacle.

The whole tabernacle was completed in seven months. On the first day of the first month of the second year after the Exodus, it was formally set up, and the cloud of the divine presence descended on it (Ex. 39:22-43; 40:1-38). It cost 29 talents 730 shekels of gold, 100 talents 1,775 shekels of silver, 70 talents 2,400 shekels of brass (Ex. 38:24-31).

The tabernacle was so constructed that it could easily be taken down and conveyed from place to place during the wanderings in the wilderness. The first encampment of the Israelites after crossing the Jordan was at Gilgal, and there the tabernacle remained for seven years (Josh. 4:19). It was afterwards removed to Shiloh (Josh. 18:1), where it remained during the time of the Judges, till the days of Eli, when the ark, having been carried out into the camp when the Israelites were at war with the Philistines, was taken by the enemy (1 Sam. 4), and was never afterwards restored to its place in the tabernacle. The old tabernacle erected by Moses in the wilderness was transferred to Nob (1 Sam. 21:1), and after the destruction of that city by Saul (22:9; 1 Chr. 16:39, 40), to Gibeon. It is mentioned for the last time in 1 Chr. 21:29. A new tabernacle was erected by David at Jerusalem (2 Sam. 6:17; 1 Chr. 16:1), and the ark was brought from Perez-uzzah and deposited in it (2 Sam. 6:8-17; 2 Chr. 1:4).

The word thus rendered ('ohel) in Ex. 33:7 denotes simply a tent, probably Moses' own tent, for the tabernacle was not yet erected.

Temple [EBD]

first used of the tabernacle, which is called "the temple of the Lord" (1 Sam. 1:9). In the New Testament the word is used figuratively of Christ's human body (John 2:19, 21). Believers are called "the temple of God" (1 Cor. 3:16, 17). The Church is designated "an holy temple in the Lord" (Eph. 2:21). Heaven is also called a temple (Rev. 7:5). We read also of the heathen "temple of the great goddess Diana" (Acts 19:27).

This word is generally used in Scripture of the sacred house erected on the summit of Mount Moriah for the worship of God. It is called "the temple" (1 Kings 6:17); "the temple [R.V., 'house'] of the Lord" (2 Kings 11:10); "thy holy temple" (Ps. 79:1); "the house of the Lord" (2 Chr. 23:5, 12); "the house of the God of Jacob" (Isa. 2:3); "the house of my glory" (60:7); an "house of prayer" (56:7; Matt. 21:13); "an house of sacrifice" (2 Chr. 7:12); "the house of their sanctuary" (2 Chr. 36:17); "the mountain of the Lord's house" (Isa. 2:2); "our holy and our beautiful house" (64:11); "the holy mount" (27:13); "the palace for the Lord God" (1 Chr. 29:1); "the tabernacle of witness" (2 Chr. 24:6); "Zion" (Ps. 74:2; 84:7). Christ calls it "my Father's house" (John 2:16).

Tabernacle [NAVE]

One existed before Moses received the pattern authorized on Mount Sinai, Ex. 33:7-11.
The one instituted by Moses was called Sanctuary, Ex. 25:8; Tabernacle, Ex. 27:21; 33:7; 2 Chr. 5:5; of Testimony, Ex. 38:21; Num. 1:50; 17:7, 8; 2 Chr. 24:6; Temple of the Lord, 1 Sam. 1:9; 3:3; House of the Lord, Josh. 6:24.
Pattern of, revealed to Moses, Ex. 25:9; 26:30; 39:32, 42, 43; Acts 7:44; Heb. 8:5.
Materials for, voluntarily offered, Ex. 25:1-8; 35:4-29; 36:3-7.
Value of the substance contributed for, Ex. 38:24-31.
Workmen who constructed it were inspired, Ex. 31:1-11; 35:30-35.
Description of: Frame, Ex. 26:15-37; 36:20-38.
Outer covering, Ex. 25:5; 26:7-14; 36:14-19.
Second covering, Ex. 25:5; 26:14; 35:7, 23; 36:19; 39:34.
Curtains of, Ex. 26:1-14, 31-37; 27:9-16; 35:15, 17; 36:8-19, 35, 37; Court of, Ex. 27:9-17; 38:9-16, 18; 40:8, 33.
Holy place of, Ex. 26:31-37; 40:22-26; Heb. 9:2-6, 8.
The most holy place, Ex. 26:33-35; 40:20, 21; Heb. 9:3-5, 7, 8.
Furniture of, Ex. 25:10-40; 27:1-8, 19; 37; 38:1-8.
See: Altar; Ark; Lampstand; Cherubim; Laver; Mercy Seat; Consecrated Bread.
Completed, Ex. 39:32.
Dedicated, Num. 7.
Sanctified, Ex. 29:43; 40:9-16; Num. 7:1.
Anointed with holy oil, Ex. 30:25, 26; Lev. 8:10; Num. 7:1.
Sprinkled with blood, Lev. 16:15-20; Heb. 9:21, 23.
Filled with the cloud of glory, Ex. 40:34-38.
How prepared for removal during the journeyings of the Israelites, Num. 1:51; 4:5-15.
How and by whom carried, Num. 4:5-33; 7:6-9.
Strangers forbidden to enter, Num. 1:51.
Duties of the Levites concerning, See: Levites.
Defilement of, punished, Lev. 15:31; Num. 19:13, 20; Ezek. 5:11; 23:38.
Duties of the priests in relation to, See: Priests.
Israelites worship at, Num. 10:3; 16:19, 42, 43; 20:6; 25:6; 1 Sam. 2:22; Psa. 27:4.
Offerings brought to, Lev. 17:4; Num. 31:54; Deut. 12:5, 6, 11-14.
Causes tried at, Deut. 12:5, 6, 11-14.
Tribes encamped around, while in the wilderness, Num. 2.
All males required to appear before, three times each year, Ex. 23:17.
Tabernacle tax, Ex. 30:11-16.
Carried in front of the children of Israel in the line of march, Num. 10:33-36; Josh. 3:3-6.
The Lord reveals himself at, Lev. 1:1; Num. 1:1; 7:89; 12:4-10; Deut. 31:14, 15.
Pitched at Gilgal, Josh. 4:18, 19; at Shiloh, Josh. 18:1; 19:51; Judg. 18:31; 20:18, 26, 27; 21:19; 1 Sam. 2:14; 4:3, 4; Jer. 7:12, 14; at Nob, 1 Sam. 21:1-6; at Gibeon, 1 Chr. 21:29.
Renewed by David, and pitched on Mount Zion, 1 Chr. 15:1; 16:1, 2; 2 Chr. 1:4.
Solomon offers sacrifice at, 2 Chr. 1:3-6.
Brought to the temple by Solomon, 2 Chr. 5:5, with 1 Kin. 8:1, 4, 5.
Symbol of spiritual things, Psa. 15:1; Heb. 8:2, 5; 9:1-12, 24.
See: Levites; Priests; Temple.

Temple [NAVE]

Called also Temple of the Lord, 2 Kin. 11:10; Holy Temple, Psa. 79:1; Holy House, 1 Chr. 29:3; House of God, 1 Chr. 29:2; 2 Chr. 23:9; House of the Lord, 2 Chr. 23:5, 12; Jer. 28:5; Father's House, John 2:16; House of the God of Jacob, Isa. 2:3; House of My Glory, Isa. 60:7; House of Prayer, Isa. 56:7; Matt. 21:13; House of Sacrifice, 2 Chr. 7:12; House of their Sanctuary, 2 Chr. 36:17; Holy and Beautiful House, Isa. 64:11; Holy Mount, Isa. 27:13; Mountain of the Lord's House, Isa. 2:2; Palace, 1 Chr. 29:1, 19; Sanctuary, 2 Chr. 20:8; Tabernacle of Witness, 2 Chr. 24:6; Zion, Psa. 20:2; 48:12; 74:2; 87:2; Isa. 2:3.
Greatness of, 2 Chr. 2:5, 6.
Beauty of, Isa. 64:11.
Holiness of, 1 Kin. 8:10; 9:3; Lam. 1:10; Matt. 23:17; John 2:14-16.
David undertakes the building of, 2 Sam. 7:2, 3; 1 Chr. 22:7; 28:2; Psa. 132:2-5; Acts 7:46; forbidden of God because he was a man of war, 2 Sam. 7:4-12; 1 Kin. 5:3; 1 Chr. 22:8; 28:3.
Not asked for by God, 2 Sam. 7:7.
The building of, committed to Solomon, 2 Sam. 7:13.
David makes preparation for, 1 Chr. 22; 28:14-18; 29:1-5; 2 Chr. 3:1; 5:1.
Built by Solomon, Acts 7:47.
Solomon makes levies of men for the building of, 1 Kin. 5:13-16; 2 Chr. 2:2, 17, 18.
Materials for, furnished by Hiram, 1 Kin. 5:8-18.
Pattern and building of, 1 Kin. 6; 7:13-51; 1 Chr. 28:11-19; 2 Chr. 3; 4; Acts 7:47.
Time when begun, 1 Kin. 6:1, 37; 2 Chr. 3:2; finished, 1 Kin. 6:38.
Site of, 1 Chr. 21:28-30; 22:1; 2 Chr. 3:1; where Abraham offered Isaac, Gen. 22:2, 4.
Materials prepared for, 1 Kin. 5:17, 18.
No tools used in the erection of, 1 Kin. 6:7.
Foundations of, 1 Kin. 5:17, 18; Luke 21:5.
Apartments and furnishings of: Oracle, or holy of holies, in, 1 Kin. 6:19, 20; 8:6.
Called Most Holy House, 2 Chr. 3:8; Ier House, 1 Kin. 6:27; Holiest of All, Heb. 9:3.
Description of, 1 Kin. 6:16, 19-35; 2 Chr. 3:8-14; 4:22.
Gold used in, 2 Chr. 3:8-10.
Contents of the holy of holies: ark, 1 Kin. 6:19; 8:6; 2 Chr. 5:2-10; See: Ark; cherubim, 1 Kin. 6:23-28; 2 Chr. 3:10-13; 5:7, 8.
See: Ark; Cherubim; Vail; Mercy Seat.
Holy place, 1 Kin. 8:8, 10.
Called the Greater House, 2 Chr. 3:5; Temple, 1 Kin. 6:17.
Description of, 1 Kin. 6:15-18; 2 Chr. 3:3, 5-7, 14-17.
Contents of the holy place: The table of consecrated bread, 1 Kin. 7:48; 2 Chr. 29:18.
See: Consecrated Bread, Table of.
Other tables of gold and silver, 1 Chr. 28:16; 2 Chr. 4:18, 19.
Lampstands and their utensils, 1 Kin. 7:49, 50; 1 Chr. 28:15; 2 Chr. 4:7, 20-22.
See: Lampstand.
Altar of incense and its furniture, 1 Kin. 6:20; 7:48, 50; 1 Chr. 28:17, 18; 2 Chr. 4:19, 22.
See: Altar of Incense.
Porch of, called Porch of the Lord, 2 Chr. 15:8.
Dimensions of, 1 Kin. 6:3; 2 Chr. 3:4.
Doors of, 2 Chr. 29:7.
Overlaid with gold, 2 Chr. 3:4.
Pillars of, 1 Kin. 7:15-22; 2 Kin. 11:14; 23:3; 25:17; 2 Chr. 3:15-17; 4:12, 13.
Chambers of, 1 Kin. 6:5-10; 2 Kin. 11:2, 3.
Offerings brought to, Neh. 10:37-39.
Treasuries in, See: Treasure.
Courts of: Of the priests, 2 Chr. 4:9; ier, 1 Kin. 6:36; surrounded by rows of stones and cedar beams, 1 Kin. 6:36; 7:12.
Contents of the courts: Altar of burnt offering, 2 Chr. 15:8; See: Altar; the brazen sea, 1 Kin. 7:23-37, 44, 46; 2 Chr. 4:2-5, 10; ten bowls, 1 Kin. 7:38-46; 2 Chr. 4:6.
Great court of, 2 Chr. 4:9; Jer. 19:14; 26:2.
Covered place for the Sabbath and king's entry, 2 Kin. 16:18.
Gates of: Higher gate, 2 Kin. 15:35; new gate, Jer. 26:10; 36:10; beautiful gate, Acts 3:2; eastern gate, closed on working days, open on the Sabbath, Ezek. 46:1, 12.
Gifts received at, 2 Chr. 24:8-11.
Uses of the temple: A dwelling place of the Lord, 1 Kin. 8:10, 11, 13; 9:3; 2 Kin. 21:7; 1 Chr. 29:1; 2 Chr. 5:13, 14; 7:1-3, 16; Ezek. 10:3, 4; Mic. 1:2; to contain the ark of the covenant, 1 Kin. 8:21; for the offering of sweet incense, 2 Chr. 2:4; for the continual consecrated bread and the burnt offerings, 2 Chr. 2:4; for prayer and worship, 1 Kin. 8; 2 Kin. 19:14, 15; 2 Chr. 30:27; Isa. 27:13; 56:7; Jer. 7:2; 26:2; Ezek. 46:2, 3, 9; Zech. 7:2, 3; 8:21, 22; Mark 11:17; Luke 1:10; 2:37; 18:10; Acts 3:1; 22:17; prayer made toward, 1 Kin. 8:38; Dan. 6:10; Jonah 2:4; for an armory, 2 Kin. 11:10; 2 Chr. 23:9, 10; for refuge, 2 Kin. 11:15; Neh. 6:10, 11.
Facts about: Dedication of, 1 Kin. 8; 2 Chr. 5; 6; 7; services in, organized by David, 1 Chr. 15:16; 23:24.
Pillaged by Shishak, 1 Kin. 14:25, 26; by Jehoash, king of Israel, 2 Kin. 14:14.
Repaired by Jehoash, king of Judah, 2 Kin. 12:4-14; 2 Chr. 24:7-14; by Josiah, 2 Kin. 22:3-7; 2 Chr. 34:8-13.
Ahaz changes the pattern of the altar in, 2 Kin. 16:10-17.
Purified by Hezekiah, 2 Chr. 29:15-19.
Converted into an idolatrous shrine by Manasseh, 2 Kin. 21:4-7; 2 Chr. 33:4-7.
Treasures of, used in the purchase of peace: By Asa, from Ben-hadad, 1 Kin. 15:18; by Jehoash, king of Judah, from Hazael, 2 Kin. 12:18; by Hezekiah, from the king of Assyria, 2 Kin. 18:15, 16.
Ezekiel's vision concerning, Ezek. 8:16.
Jews swore by, Matt. 23:16-22.
Destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, and the valuable contents carried to Babylon, 2 Kin. 24:13; 25:9-17; 2 Chr. 36:7, 19; Psa. 79:1; Isa. 64:11; Jer. 27:16, 19-22; 28:3; 52:13, 17-23; Lam. 2:7; 4:1; Ezra 1:7.
Vessels of, used by Belshazzar, Dan. 5:2, 3.
Destruction of, foretold, Isa. 66:6; Jer. 27:18-22; Ezek. 7:22, 25; Matt. 24:2; Mark 13:2.
Restoration of, ordered by Cyrus, Ezra 1:7-11.
The Second
Restored by Zerubbabel, Ezra 1; 2:68, 69; 3:2-13; 4; 5:2-17; 6:3-5; Neh. 7:70-72; Isa. 44:28; Hag. 2:3.
Building of, suspended, Ezra 4; resumed, Ezra 4:24; 5; 6; Hag. 1:2-9; 2:15; Zech. 8:9; finished, Ezra 6:14, 15; dedicated, Ezra 6:15-18.
Artaxerxes' favorable action toward, Ezra 7:11-28; 8:25-34.
Prophecies of its restoration, Isa. 44:28; Dan. 8:13, 14; Hag. 1; 2; Zech. 1:16; 4:8-10; 6:12-15; 8:9-15; Mal. 3:1.
Ezekiel's Vision of
Ezek. 37:26, 28; 40-48.
Forty-six years in building, John 2:20.
Goodly stones of, Mark 13:1; Luke 21:5.
Magnificence of, Matt. 24:1.
Beautiful gate of, Acts 3:10.
Solomon's porch, John 10:23; Acts 3:11; 5:12.
Treasury of, Mark 12:41-44.
Zacharias, officiating priest in, has a vision of an angel; receives promise of a son, Luke 1:5-23, with vs. 57-64. Jesus brought to, according to the law and custom, Luke 2:21-39; Simeon blesses Jesus in, Luke 2:25-35; Aa, the prophetess, dwells in, Luke 2:36, 37.
Jesus in, when a youth, Luke 2:46; taken to the piacle of, in his temptation, Matt. 4:5-7; Luke 4:9-12; teaches in, Mark 11:27-33; 12:35-44; 14:49; John 5:14-47; 7:14-28; 8; 10:23-38; 18:20; performs miracles in, Matt. 21:14, 15; drives money changes from, Matt. 21:12, 13; Mark 11:15-17; Luke 19:45, 46; John 2:15, 16.
Captains of, Luke 22:52; Acts 4:1; 5:24, 26.
Judas casts down the pieces of silver in, Matt. 27:5.
Veil of, torn at the time of the crucifixion, Matt. 27:51.
The disciples worship in, after the resurrection, Luke 24:53; Acts 2:46; 3:1.
Peter heals the lame man at the gate of, Acts 3:1-16.
Disciples preach in, Acts 5:20, 21, 42.
Paul's vision in, Acts 22:17-21.
Paul observes the rights of, Acts 21:26-30; is apprehended in, Acts 21:33.
Prophecies concerning its destruction, by Daniel, Dan. 8:11-15; 11:30, 31.
Jesus foretells the destruction of, Matt. 24; Mark 13:2; Luke 21:6.
Of the body of Jesus, Matt. 26:61; 27:40; John 2:19.
Of the indwelling of God, 1 Cor. 3:16, 17; 2 Cor. 6:16.
Of the Church, Eph. 2:21; 2 Thess. 2:4; Rev. 3:12.
Of the kingdom of Christ, Rev. 11; 14:15, 17.
Of Christ, the head of the Church, sending forth the forces of righteousness against the powers of evil, Rev. 15:5-8; 16:1-17.
Of Dagon, at Ashdod, 1 Sam. 5:2; of the calves, at Beth-el, 1 Kin. 12:31, 33; of Rimmon, at Damascus, 2 Kin. 5:18; of Baal, at Samaria, 2 Kin. 10:21, 27; at Babylon, 2 Chr. 36:7; Dan. 1:2; of Diana, at Ephesus, Acts 19:27.
Trophies stored in, 1 Sam. 31:10; 1 Chr. 10:9, 10; Dan. 1:2.
See: Tabernacle.


The tabernacle was the tent of Jehovah, called by the same name as the tents of the people in the midst of which it stood. It was also called the sanctuary and the tabernacle of the congregation. The first ordinance given to Moses, after the proclamation of the outline of the law from Sinai, related to the ordering of the tabernacle, its furniture and its service as the type which was to be followed when the people came to their own home and "found a place" for the abode of God. During the forty days of Moses? first retirement with God in Sinai, an exact pattern of the whole was shown him, and all was made according to it. (Exodus 25:9,40; 26:30; 39:32,42,43; Numbers 8:4; Acts 7:44; Hebrews 8:5) The description of this plan is preceded by an account of the freewill offerings which the children of Israel were to be asked to make for its execution. I. THE TABERNACLE ITSELF.--
  1. Its name . --It was first called a tent or dwelling , (Exodus 25:8) because Jehovah as it were, abode there. It was often called tent or tabernacle from its external appearance.
  2. Its materials . --The materials were-- (a) Metals: gold, silver and brass. (b) Textile fabrics: blue, purple, scarlet and fine (white) linen, for the production of which Egypt was celebrated; also a fabric of goat?s hair, the produce of their own flocks. (c) Skins: of the ram, dyed red, and of the badger. (d) Wood the shittim wood, the timber of the wild acacia of the desert itself, the tree of the "burning bush." (e) Oil, spices and incense for anointing the priests and burning in the tabernacle. (f) Gems: onyx stones and the precious stones for the breastplate of the high priest. The people gave jewels, and plates of gold and silver and brass; wood, skins, hair and linen; the women wove; the rulers offered precious stones, oil, spices and incense; and the artists soon had more than they needed. (Exodus 25:1-8; 35:4-29; 36:5-7) The superintendence of the work was intrusted to Bezaleel, of the tribe of Judah, and to Aholiab, of the tribe of Dan, who were skilled in "all manner of workmanship." (Exodus 31:2,6; 35:30,34)
  3. Its structure. --The tabernacle was to comprise three main parts, --the tabernacle more strictly so called, its tent and its covering. (Exodus 35:11; 39:33,34; 40:19,34; Numbers 3:25) etc. These parts are very clearly distinguished in the Hebrew, but they are confounded in many places of the English version. The tabernacle itself was to consist of curtains of fine linen woven with colored figures of cherubim, and a structure of boards which was to contain the holy place and the most holy place; the tent was to be a true tent of goat?s hair cloth, to contain and shelter the tabernacle; the covering was to be of red ram-skins and seal-skins, (Exodus 25:5) and was spread over the goat?s hair tent as an additional protection against the weather. It was an oblong rectangular structure, 30 cubits in length by 10 in width (45 feet by 15), and 10 in height; the interior being divided into two chambers, the first or outer, of 20 cubits in length, the inner, of 10 cubits, and consequently and exact cube. The former was the holy place , or first tabernacle , (Hebrews 9:2) containing the golden candlestick on one side, the table of shew-bread opposite, and between them in the centre the altar of incense. The latter was the most holy place , or the holy of holies , containing the ark, surmounted by the cherubim, with the two tables inside. The two sides and the farther or west end were enclosed by boards of shittim wood overlaid with gold, twenty on the north and twenty on the south side, six on the west side, and the corner-boards doubled. They stood upright, edge to edge, their lower ends being made with tenons, which dropped into sockets of silver, and the corner-boards being coupled at the tope with rings. They were furnished with golden rings, through which passed bars of shittim wood, overlaid with gold, five to each side, and the middle bar passing from end to end, so as to brace the whole together. Four successive coverings of curtains looped together were placed over the open top and fell down over the sides. The first or inmost was a splendid fabric of linen, embroidered with figures of cherubim in blue, purple and scarlet, and looped together by golden fastenings. It seems probable that the ends of this set of curtains hung down within the tabernacle, forming a sumptuous tapestry. The second was a covering of goats? hair; the third, of ram-skins dyed red and the outermost, of badger-skins (so called in our version; but the Hebrew word probably signifies seal-skins). It has been commonly supposed that these coverings were thrown over the wall, as a pall is thrown over a coffin; but this would have allowed every drop of rain that fell on the tabernacle to fall through; for, however tightly the curtains might be stretched, the water could never run over the edge, and the sheep-skins would only make the matter worse as when wetted their weight would depress the centre and probably tear any curtain that could be made. There can be no reasonable doubt that the tent had a ridge, as all tents have had from the days of Moses down to the present time. The front of the sanctuary was closed by a hanging of fine linen, embroidered in blue, purple and scarlet, and supported by golden hooks on five pillars of shittim wood overlaid with gold and standing in brass sockets; and the covering of goat?s hair was so made as to fall down over this when required. A more sumptuous curtain of the same kind, embroidered with cherubim hung on four such pillars, with silver sockets, divided the holy from the most holy place. It was called the veil, (Sometimes the second veil, either is reference to the first, at the entrance of the holy place, or as below the vail of the second sanctuary;) (Hebrews 9:3) as it hid from the eyes of all but the high priest the inmost sanctuary, where Jehovah dwells on his mercy-seat, between the cherubim above the ark. Hence "to enter within the veil" is to have the closest access to God. It was only passed by the high priest once a year, on the Day of Atonement in token of the mediation of Christ, who with his own blood hath entered for us within the veil which separates God?s own abode from earth. (Hebrews 6:19) In the temple, the solemn barrier was at length profaned by a Roman conqueror, to warn the Jews that the privileges they had forfeited were "ready to vanish away;" and the veil was at last rent by the hand of God himself, at the same moment that the body of Christ was rent upon the cross, to indicate that the entrance into the holiest of all is now laid open to all believers by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh." (Hebrews 10:19,20) The holy place was only entered by the priests daily, to offer incense at the time of morning and evening prayer, and to renew the lights on the golden candlesticks; and on the sabbath, to remove the old shew-bread, and to place the new upon the table. II. THE SACRED FURNITURE AND INSTRUMENTS OF THE TABERNACLE. --These are described in separate articles, and therefore it is only necessary to give a list of them here.
  4. In the outer court. The altar of burnt offering and the brazen laver . [ALTAR; LAVER]
  5. In the holy place. The furniture of the court was connected with sacrifice; that of the sanctuary itself with the deeper mysteries of mediation and access to God. The first sanctuary contained three objects: the altar of incense in the centre, so as to be directly in front of the ark of the covenant (1 Kings 6:22) the table of shew-bread on its right or north side, and the golden candlestick on the left or south side. These objects were all considered as being placed before the presence of Jehovah, who dwelt in the holiest of all, though with the veil between. [ALTAR; SHEW-BREAD; CANDLESTICK, CANDLESTICK]
  6. In the holy of holies, within the veil, and shrouded in darkness, there was but one object, the ark of the covenant, containing the two tables of stone, inscribed with the Ten Commandments. [ARK OF THE COVENANT] III. THE COURT OF THE TABERNACLE, in which the tabernacle itself stood, was an oblong space, 100 cubits by 50 (i.e. 150 feet by 75), having its longer axis east and west, with its front to the east. It was surrounded by canvas screens--in the East called kannauts -- 5 cubits in height, and supported by pillars of brass 5 cubits apart, to which the curtains were attached by hooks and filets of silver. (Exodus 27:9) etc. This enclosure was broken only on the east side by the entrance, which was 20 cubits wide, and closed by curtains of fine twined linen wrought with needlework and of the most gorgeous colors. In the outer or east half of the court was placed the altar of burnt offering, and between it and the tabernacle itself; the laver at which the priests washed their hands and feet on entering the temple. The tabernacle itself was placed toward the west end of this enclosure. IV. HISTORY. --"The tabernacle, as the place in which Jehovah dwelt, was pitched in the centre of the camp, (Numbers 2:2) as the tent of a leader always is in the East; for Jehovah was the Captain of Israel. (Joshua 5:14,15) During the marches of Israel, the tabernacle was still in the centre. (Numbers 2:1) ... The tribes camped and marched around it in the order of a hollow square. In certain great emergencies led the march. (Joshua 3:11-16) Upon the tabernacle, abode always the cloud, dark by day and fiery red by night, (Exodus 10:38) giving the signal for the march, (Exodus 40:36,37; Numbers 9:17) and the halt. (Numbers 9:15-23) It was always the special meeting-place of Jehovah and his people. (Numbers 11:24,25; 12:4; 14:10; 16:19,42; 20:6; 27:2; 31:14) "During the conquest of Canaan the tabernacle at first moved from place to place, (Joshua 4:19; 8:30-35; 9:6; 10:15) was finally located at Shiloh. (Joshua 9:27; 18:1) Here it remained during the time of the judges, till it was captured by the Philistines, who carried off the sacred ark of the covenant. (1 Samuel 4:22) From this time forward the glory of the tabernacle was gone. When the ark was recovered, it was removed to Jerusalem, and placed in a new tabernacle (2 Samuel 6:17; 1 Chronicles 15:1) but the old structure still had its hold on the veneration of the community and the old altar still received their offerings. (1 Chronicles 16:39; 21:29) It was not till the temple was built, and a fitting house thus prepared for the Lord, that the ancient tabernacle was allowed to perish and be forgotten. V. SIGNIFICANCE. --(The great underlying principles of true religion are the same in all ages and for all men; because man?s nature and needs are the same, and the same God ever rules over all. But different ages require different methods of teaching these truths, and can understand them in different degrees. As we are taught in the Epistle to the Hebrews, the tabernacle was part of a great system of teaching by object-lessons, and of training the world to understand and receive the great truths which were to be revealed in Jesus Christ and thus really to save the Jews from sin By Jesus dimly seen in the future, as we clearly see him in the past. (1) The tabernacle and its services enabled the Jews, who had no visible representation of God, to feel the reality of God and of religion. (2) The tabernacle as the most beautiful and costly object in the nation and ever in the centre of the camp, set forth the truth that religion was the central fact and the most important, in a persons life. (3) The pillar of cloud and of fire was the best possible symbol of the living God,--a cloud, bright, glowing like the sunset clouds, glorious, beautiful, mysterious, self-poised, heavenly; fire, immaterial, the source of life and light and comfort and cheer, but yet unapproachable, terrible, a consuming fire to the wicked. (4) The altar of burnt offering, standing before the tabernacle was a perpetual symbol of the atonement,--the greatness of sin, deserving death, hard to be removed and yet forgiveness possible, and offered freely, but only through blood. The offerings, as brought by the people were a type of consecration to God, of conversion and new life, through the atonement. (6) This altar stood outside of the tabernacle, and must be passed before we come to the tabernacle itself; a type of the true religious life. Before the tabernacle was also the laver, signifying the same thing that baptism does with us, the cleansing of the heart and life. (8) Having entered the holy place, we find the three great means and helps to true living, --the candlestick, the light of God?s truth; the shew-bread, teaching that the soul must have its spiritual food and live in communion with God; and the altar of incense, the symbol of prayer. The holy of holies, beyond, taught that there was progress in the religious life, and that progress was toward God, and toward the perfect keeping of the law till it was as natural to obey the law as it is to breathe; and thus the holy of holies was the type of heaven. --ED.)


There is perhaps no building of the ancient world which has excited so much attention since the time of its destruction as the temple which Solomon built by Herod. Its spoils were considered worthy of forming the principal illustration of one of the most beautiful of Roman triumphal arches, and Justinian?s highest architectural ambition was that he might surpass it. Throughout the middle ages it influenced to a considerable degree the forms of Christian churches, and its peculiarities were the watchwords and rallying-points of all associations of builders. When the French expedition to Egypt, int he first years of this century, had made the world familiar with the wonderful architectural remains of that country, every one jumped to the conclusion that Solomon?s temple must have been designed after an Egyptian model. The discoveries in Assyria by Botta and Layard have within the last twenty years given an entirely new direction to the researches of the restorers. Unfortunately, however, no Assyrian temple has yet been exhumed of a nature to throw much light on this subject, and we are still forced to have recourse to the later buildings at Persepolis, or to general deductions from the style of the nearly contemporary secular buildings at Nineveh and elsewhere, for such illustrations as are available. THE TEMPLE OF SOLOMON. --It was David who first proposed to replace the tabernacle by a more permanent building, but was forbidden for the reasons assigned by the prophet Nathan, (2 Samuel 7:5) etc.; and though he collected materials and made arrangements, the execution of the task was left for his son Solomon. (The gold and silver alone accumulated by David are at the lowest reckoned to have amounted to between two and three billion dollars, a sum which can be paralleled from secular history. --Lange.) Solomon, with the assistance of Hiram king of Tyre, commenced this great undertaking int he fourth year of his reign, B.C. 1012, and completed it in seven years, B.C. 1005. (There were 183,000 Jews and strangers employed on it --of Jews 30,000, by rotation 10,000 a month; of Canaanites 153,600, of whom 70,000 were bearers of burdens, 80,000 hewers of wood and stone, and 3600 overseers. The parts were all prepared at a distance from the site of the building, and when they were brought together the whole immense structure was erected without the sound of hammer, axe or any tool of iron. (1 Kings 6:7) --Schaff.) The building occupied the site prepared for it by David, which had formerly been the threshing-floor of the Jebusite Ornan or Araunah, on Mount Moriah. The whole area enclosed by the outer walls formed a square of about 600 feet; but the sanctuary itself was comparatively small, inasmuch as it was intended only for the ministrations of the priests, the congregation of the people assembling in the courts. In this and all other essential points the temple followed the model of the tabernacle, from which it differed chiefly by having chambers built about the sanctuary for the abode of the priests and attendants and the keeping of treasures and stores. In all its dimensions, length, breadth and height, the sanctuary itself was exactly double the size of the tabernacle, the ground plan measuring 80 cubits by 40, while that of the tabernacle was 40 by 20, and the height of the temple being 30 cubits, while that of the tabernacle was 15. [The readers would compare the following account with the article TABERNACLE] As in the tabernacle, the temple consisted of three parts, the porch, the holy place, and the holy of holies. The front of the porch was supported, after the manner of some Egyptian temples, by the two great brazen pillars, Jachin and Boaz, 18 cubits high, with capitals of 5 cubits more, adorned with lily-work and pomegranates. (1 Kings 7:15-22) The places of the two "veils" of the tabernacle were occupied by partitions, in which were folding-doors. The whole interior was lines with woodwork richly carved and overlaid with gold. Indeed, both within and without the building was conspicuously chiefly by the lavish use of the gold of Ophir and Parvaim. It glittered in the morning sun (it has been well said) like the sanctuary of an El Dorado. Above the sacred ark, which was placed, as of old, in the most holy place, were made new cherubim, one pair of whose wings met above the ark, and another pair reached to the walls behind them. In the holy place, besides the altar of incense, which was made of cedar overlaid with gold there were seven golden candlesticks in stead of one, and the table of shew-bread was replaced by ten golden tables, bearing, besides the shew bread, the innumerable golden vessels for the service of the sanctuary. The outer court was no doubt double the size of that of the tabernacle; and we may therefore safely assume that if was 10 cubits in height, 100 cubits north and south, and 200 east and west. If contained an inner court, called the "court of the priests;" but the arrangement of the courts and of the porticos and gateways of the enclosure, though described by Josephus, belongs apparently to the temple of Herod. The outer court there was a new altar of burnt offering, much larger than the old one. [ALTAR] Instead of the brazen laver there was "a molten sea" of brass, a masterpiece of Hiram?s skill for the ablution of the priests. It was called a "sea" from its great size. [SEA, MOLTEN, MOLTEN] The chambers for the priests were arranged in successive stories against the sides of the sanctuary; not, however, reaching to the top, so as to leave space for the windows to light the holy and the most holy place. We are told by Josephus and the Talmud that there was a superstructure on the temple equal in height to the lower part; and this is confirmed by the statement in the books of Chronicles that Solomon "overlaid the upper chambers with gold." (2 Chronicles 3:9) Moreover, "the altars on the top of the upper chamber," mentioned in the books of the Kings, (2 Kings 23:12) were apparently upon the temple. The dedication of the temple was the grandest ceremony ever performed under the Mosaic dispensation. The temple was destroyed on the capture of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, B.C. 586. TEMPLE OF ZERUBBABEL. --We have very few particulars regarding the temple which the Jews erected after their return from the captivity (about B.C. 520), and no description that would enable us to realize its appearance. But there are some dimensions given in the Bible and elsewhere which are extremely interesting, as affording points of comparison between it and the temple which preceded it and the one erected after it. The first and most authentic are those given in the book of Ezra, (Ezra 6:3) when quoting the decree of Cyrus, wherein it is said, "Let the house be builded, the place where they offered sacrifices and let the foundations thereof be strongly laid; the height thereof three-score cubits. and the breadth thereof three-score cubits, with three rows of great stones, and a row of new timber." Josephus quotes this passage almost literally, but in doing so enables us to translate with certainty the word here called row as "story" --as indeed the sense would lead us to infer. We see by the description in Ezra that this temple was about one third larger than Solomon?s. From these dimensions we gather that if the priests and Levites and elders of families were disconsolate at seeing how much more sumptuous the old temple was than the one which on account of their poverty they had hardly been able to erect, (Ezra 3:12) it certainly was not because it was smaller; but it may have been that the carving and the gold and the other ornaments of Solomon?s temple far surpassed this, and the pillars of the portico and the veils may all have been far more splendid; so also probably were the vessels and all this is what a Jew would mourn over far more than mere architectural splendor. In speaking of these temples we must always bear in mind that their dimensions were practically very far inferior to those of the heathen. Even that of Ezra is not larger than an average parish church of the last century; Solomon?s was smaller. It was the lavish display of the precious metals, the elaboration of carved ornament, and the beauty of the textile fabrics, which made up their splendor and rendered them so precious in the eyes of the people. TEMPLE OF EZEKIEL. --The vision of a temple which the prophet Ezekiel saw while residing on the banks of the Chebar in Babylonia, in the twenty-fifth year of the captivity, does not add much to our knowledge of the subject. It is not a description of a temple that ever was built or ever could be erected at Jerusalem, and can consequently only be considered as the beau ideal of what a Shemitic temple ought to be. TEMPLE OF HEROD. --Herod the Great announced to the people assembled at the Passover, B.C. 20 or 19, his intention of restoring the temple; (probably a stroke of policy on the part of Herod to gain the favor of the Jews and to make his name great.) if we may believe Josephus, he pulled down the whole edifice to its foundations, and laid them anew on an enlarged scale; but the ruins still exhibit, in some parts, what seem to be the foundations laid by Zerubbable, and beneath them the more massive substructions of Solomon. The new edifice was a stately pile of Graeco-Roman architecture, built in white marble gilded acroteria . It is minutely described by Josephus, and the New Testament has made us familiar with the pride of the Jews in its magnificence. A different feeling, however, marked the commencement of the work, which met with some opposition from the fear that what Herod had begun he would not be able to finish. he overcame all jealousy by engaging not to pull down any part of the existing buildings till all the materials for the new edifice were collected on its site. Two years appear to have been occupied in preparations --among which Josephus mentions the teaching of some of the priests and Levites to work as masons and carpenters --and then the work began. The holy "house," including the porch, sanctuary and holy of holies, was finished in a year and a half, B.C. 16. Its completion, on the anniversary of Herod?s inauguration, was celebrated by lavish sacrifices and a great feast. About B.C. 9 --eight years from the commencement --the court and cloisters of the temple were finished, and the bridge between the south cloister and the upper city (demolished by Pompey) was doubtless now rebuilt with that massive masonry of which some remains still survive. (The work, however, was not entirely ended till A.D. 64, under Herod Agrippa II. So the statement in (John 2:20) is correct. --Schaff.) The temple or holy "house" itself was in dimensions and arrangement very similar to that of Solomon, or rather that of Zerubbabel --more like the latter; but this was surrounded by an inner enclosure of great strength and magnificence, measuring as nearly as can be made out 180 cubits by 240, and adorned by porches and ten gateways of great magnificence; and beyond this again was an outer enclosure measuring externally 400 cubits each way, which was adorned with porticos of greater splendor than any we know of as attached to any temple of the ancient world. The temple was certainly situated in the southwest angle of the area now known as the Haram area at Jerusalem, and its dimensions were what Josephus states them to be --400 cubits, or one stadium, each way. At the time when Herod rebuilt it, he enclosed a space "twice as large" as that before occupied by the temple and its courts --an expression that probably must not be taken too literally at least, if we are to depend on the measurements of Hecataeus. According to them, the whole area of Herod?s temple was between four and five times greater than that which preceded it. What Herod did apparently, was to take in the whole space between the temple and the city wall on its east side, and to add a considerable space on the north and south to support the porticos which he added there. As the temple terrace thus became the principal defence of the city on the east side, there were no gates or openings in that direction, and being situated on a sort of rocky brow --as evidenced from its appearance in the vaults that bounded it on this side --if was at all later times considered unattackable from the eastward. The north side, too, where not covered by the fortress Antonia, became part of the defenses of the city, and was likewise without external gates. On the south side, which was enclosed by the wall of Ophel, there were notable gates nearly in the centre. These gates still exist at a distance of about 365 feet from the southwestern angle, and are perhaps the only architectural features of the temple of Herod which remain in situ . This entrance consists of a double archway of Cyclopean architecture on the level of the ground, opening into a square vestibule measuring 40 feet each way. From this a double funnel nearly 200 feet in length, leads to a flight of steps which rise to the surface in the court of the temple, exactly at that gateway of the inner temple which led to the altar, and is one of the four gateways on this side by which any one arriving from Ophel would naturally wish to enter the inner enclosure. We learn from the Talmud that the gate of the inner temple to which this passage led was called the "water gate;" and it is interesting to be able to identify a spot so prominent in the description of Nehemiah. (Nehemiah 12:37) Toward the west there were four gateways to the external enclosure of the temple. The most magnificent part of the temple, in an architectural point of view, seems certainly to have been the cloisters which were added to the outer court when it was enlarged by Herod. The cloisters in the west, north and east sides were composed of double rows of Corinthian columns, 25 cubits or 37 feet 6 inches in height, with flat roof, and resting against the outer wall of the temple. These, however, were immeasurably surpassed in magnificence by the royal porch or Stoa Basilica, which overhung the southern wall. It consisted of a nave and two aisled, that toward the temple being open, that toward the country closed by a wall. The breadth of the centre aisle was 95 feet of the side aisles, 30 from centre to centre of the pillars; their height 50 feet, and that of the centre aisle 100 feet. Its section was thus something in excess of that of York Cathedral, while its total length was one stadium or 600 Greek feet, or 100 feet in excess of York or our largest Gothic cathedrals. This magnificent structure was supported by 162 Corinthian columns. The porch on the east was called "Solomon?s Porch." The court of the temple was very nearly a square. It may have been exactly so, for we have not the details to enable us to feel quite certain about it. To the eastward of this was the court of the women. The great ornament of these inner courts seems to have been their gateways, the three especially on the north end south leading to the temple court. These according to Josephus, were of great height, strongly fortified and ornamented with great elaboration. But the wonder of all was the great eastern gate leading from the court of the women to the upper court. It was in all probability the one called the "beautiful gate" in the New Testament. immediately within this gateway stood the altar of burnt offerings. Both the altar and the temple were enclosed by a low parapet, one cubit in height, placed so as to keep the people separate from the priests while the latter were performing their functions. Within this last enclosure, toward the westward, stood the temple itself. As before mentioned, its internal dimensions were the same as those of the temple of Solomon. Although these remained the same, however, there seems no reason to doubt that. the whole plan was augmented by the pteromata , or surrounding parts being increased from 10 to 20 cubits, so that the third temple, like the second, measured 60 cubits across and 100 cubits east and west. The width of the facade was also augmented by wings or shoulders projecting 20 cubits each way, making the whole breadth 100 cubits, or equal to the length. There is no reason for doubting that the sanctuary always stood on identically the same spot in which it had been placed by Solomon a thousand years before it was rebuilt by Herod. The temple of Herod was destroyed by the Romans under Titus, Friday, August 9, A.D. 70. A Mohammedan mosque now stands on its site.


COURT OF THE SANCTUARY; TABERNACLE; TEMPLE - kort, sank'~-tu-a-ri: By "court" (chatser) is meant a clear space enclosed by curtains or walls, or surrounded by buildings. It was always an uncovered enclosure, but might have within its area one or more edifices.

1. The Tabernacle:

The first occurrence of the word is in Ex 27:9, where it is commanded to "make the court of the tabernacle." The dimensions for this follow in the directions for the length of the linen curtains which were to enclose it. From these we learn that the perimeter of the court was 300 cubits, and that it consisted of two squares, each 75 ft., lying East and West of one another. In the westerly square stood the tabernacle, while in that to the East was the altar of burnt offering. This was the worshipper's square, and every Hebrew who passed through the entrance gate had immediate access to the altar (compare W. Robertson Smith, note on Ex 20:26, Smith, The Old Testament in the Jewish Church, 435). The admission to this scene of the national solemnities was by the great east gate described in Ex 27:13-16 (see EAST GATE).

2. Solomon's Temple:

The fundamental conception out of which grew the resolve to build a temple for the worship of Yahweh was that the new structure was to be an enlarged duplicate in stone of the tent of meeting (see TEMPLE). The doubling in size of the holy chambers was accompanied by a doubling of the enclosed area upon which the holy house was to stand. Hitherto a rectangular oblong figure of 150 ft. in length and 75 ft. in breadth had sufficed for the needs of the people in their worship. Now an area of 300 ft. in length and 150 ft. in breadth was enclosed within heavy stone walls, making, as before, two squares, each of 150 ft. This was that "court of the priests" spoken of in 2 Ch 4:9, known to its builders as "the inner court" (1 Ki 6:36; compare Jer 36:10). Its walls consisted of "three courses of hewn stone, and a course of cedar beams" (1 Ki 6:36), into which some read the meaning of colonnades. Its two divisions may have been marked by some fence. The innermost division, accessible only to the priests, was the site of the new temple. In the easterly division stood the altar of sacrifice; into this the Hebrew laity had access for worship at the altar. Later incidental allusions imply the existence of "chambers" in the court, and also the accessibility of the laity (compare Jer 35:4; 36:10; Ezek 8:16).

3. The Great Court:

In distinction from this "inner" court a second or "outer" court was built by Solomon, spoken of by the Chronicler as "the great court" (2 Ch 4:9). Its doors were overlaid with brass (bronze). Wide difference of opinion obtains as to the relation of this outer court to the inner court just described, and to the rest of the Solomonic buildings--particularly to "the great court" of "the house of the forest of Lebanon" of 1 Ki 7:9,10. Some identify the two, others separate them. Did this court, with its brass-covered gates, extend still farther to the East than the temple "inner" court, with, however, the same breadth as the latter? Or was it, as Keil thinks, a much larger enclosure, surrounding the whole temple area, extending perhaps 150 cubits eastward in front of the priests' court (compare Keil, Biblical Archaeology, I, 171, English translation)? Yet more radical is the view, adopted by many modern authorities, which regards "the great court" as a vast enclosure surrounding the temple and the whole complex of buildings described in 1 Ki 7:1-12 (see the plan, after Stade, in G. A. Smith's Jerusalem, II, 59). In the absence of conclusive data the question must be left undetermined.

4. Ezekiel's Temple:

In Ezekiel's plan of the temple yet to be built, the lines of the temple courts as he had known them in Jerusalem are followed. Two squares enclosed in stone walling, each of 150 ft., lie North and South of one another, and bear the distinctive names, "the inner court" and "the outer court" (Ezek 8:16; 10:5).

5. Temple of Herod:

In the Herodian temple the old nomenclature gives place to a new set of terms. The extensive enclosure known later as "the court of the Gentiles" does not appear under that name in the New Testament or in Josephus What we have in the tract Middoth of the Mishna and in Josephus is the mention of two courts, the "court of the priests" and "the court of Israel" (Middoth, ii.6; v. 1; Josephus, BJ, V, v, 6). The data in regard to both are difficult and conflicting. In Middoth they appear as long narrow strips of 11 cubits in breadth extending at right angles to the temple and the altar across the enclosure--the "court of Israel" being railed off from the "court of the priests" on the East; the latter extending backward as far as the altar, which has a distinct measurement. The design was to prevent the too near approach of the lay Israelite to the altar. Josephus makes the 11 cubits of the "court of Israel" extend round the whole "court of the priests, " inclusive of altar and temple (see TEMPLE; and compare G. A. Smith, Jerusalem, II, 506-9, with the reconstruction of Waterhouse in Sacred Sites of the Gospels, 111 ff). For the "women's court," see TREASURY.

Many expressions in the Psalms show how great was the attachment of the devout-minded Hebrew in all ages to those courts of the Lord's house where he was accustomed to worship (e.g. Ps 65:4; 84:2; 92:13; 96:8; 100:4; 116:19). The courts were the scene of many historical events in the Old Testament and New Testament, and of much of the earthly ministry of Jesus. There was enacted the scene described in the parable of the Pharisee and Publican (Lk 18:10-14).

W. Shaw Caldecott

Also see definition of "Temple" in Word Study

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