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Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature
a word used to designate a building dedicated to the worship of a deity. In this article we treat only of the series of edifices erected for that purpose at Jerusalem, and in doing so we present the reconstructions hitherto the latest and most approved, with strictures, however, upon their defects. (See PALACE).
I. Names. — The usual and appropriate Heb. term for this structure is ןהֵיכָּל, heykâ l, which properly denotes a royal residence, and hence the sacred name יַהֹוָה, Jehovah, is frequently added; occasionally it is also qualified by the epithet קדֶשׁ, kâ desh, sanctuary, to designate its sacredness. Sometimes the simpler phrase יְהוָה בֵּית, beyth yehovadh, house of Jehovah, is used; and in lieu of the latter other names of the Deity, especially אֵֹלהַי, elohim, God, are employed. The usual Greek word is ναός, which, however, strictly denotes the central building or fane itself; while the more general term ἱερόν included all the associated structures, i.e. the surrounding courts, etc. The above leading word הֵיבָּל is a participial noun from the root הָכִל, to hold or receive, and reminds us strongly of the Roman templum, from τέμενος, τέμνω, locus liberatus et effatus. When an augur had defined a space in which he intended to make his observations, he fixed his tent in it (tabernaculum capere), with planks and curtains. In the arx this was not necessary, because there was a permanent auguraculum. The Sept. usually renders היכל, "temple," by οικος or ναός, but in the Apocrypha and the New Test. it is generally called τὸ ἱερόν . Rabbinical appellations are בֵּית הִמַּקְדָּשׁ, beyfh ham-Mikdash, the house of the sanctuary, הִבְּחַירָה בֵּית, the chosen house, בֵּית הָעֹלָמַים, the house of ages, because the ark was not transferred from it, as it was from Gilgal after 24, from Shiloh after 369, from Nob after 13, and from Gibeon after 50 years. It is also called מָעוֹן, a dwelling, i.e. of God.
In imitation of this nomenclature, the word temple elsewhere in Scripture, in a figurative sense, denotes sometimes the Church of Christ (Revelation 3:12): "Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God." Paul says (2 Thessalonians 2:4) that Antichrist "as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." Sometimes it imports heaven (Psalms 11:4):
"The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord's throne is in heaven." The martyrs in heaven are said to be "before the throne of God, and to serve him day and night in his temple" (Revelation 7:15). The soul of a righteous man is the temple of God, because it is inhabited by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16-17; 1 Corinthians 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:16).
II. History of the Temple and its Several Successors. — The First Temple. After the Israelites had exchanged their nomadic life for a life in permanent habitations, it was becoming that they should exchange also their movable sanctuary or tabernacle for a temple. There elapsed, however, after the conquest of Palestine, several centuries during which the sanctuary continued movable, although the nation became more and more stationary. It appears that the first who planned the erection of a stone-built sanctuary was David, who, when he was inhabiting his house of cedar, and God had given him rest from all his enemies, meditated the design of building a temple in which the ark of God might be placed, instead of being deposited "within curtains," or in a tent, as hitherto. This design was at first encouraged by the prophet Nathan; but he was afterwards instructed to tell David that such a work was less appropriate for him, who had been a warrior from his youth, and had shed much blood, than for his son, who should enjoy in prosperity and peace the rewards of his father's victories. Nevertheless, the design itself was highly approved as a token of proper feelings towards the Divine King (2 Samuel 7:1-12; 1 Chronicles 17:1-14). (See DAVID).
We learn, moreover, from 1 Kings 5 and 1 Chronicles 22 that David had collected materials which were afterwards employed in the erection of the Temple, which was commenced four years after his death, in the second month (comp. 1 Kings 6:1; 2 Chronicles 3:2). This corresponds to May, B.C. 1010. We thus learn that the Israelitish sanctuary had remained movable more than four centuries subsequent to the conquest of Canaan. "In the fourth year of Solomon's reign was the foundation of the house of the Lord laid, in the month Siv; and ill the eleventh year, in the month Bul, which is the eighth month, was the house finished throughout all the parts thereof, and according to all the fashion of it. So was he seven years in building it." (See SOLOMON).
The workmen and the materials employed in the erection of the Temple were chiefly procured by Solomon from Hiram, king of Tyre, who was rewarded by a liberal importation of wheat. Josephus states (Ant. 8, 2) that duplicates of the letters which passed between Solomon and king Hiram were still extant in his time, both at Jerusalem and among the Tyrian records. He informs us that the persons employed in collecting and arranging the materials for the Temple were ordered to search out the largest stones for the foundation, and to prepare them for use on the mountains where they were procured, and then convey them to Jerusalem. In this part of the business Hiram's men were ordered to assist. Josephus adds that the foundation was sunk to an astonishing depth, and composed of stones of singular magnitude, and very durable. Being closely mortised into the rock with great ingenuity, they formed a basis adequate to the support of the intended structure. Josephus gives to the Temple the same length and breadth as are given in 1 Kings, but mentions sixty cubits as the height. He says that the walls were composed entirely of white stone; that the walls and ceilings were wainscoted with cedar, which was covered with the purest gold; that the stones were put together with such ingenuity that the smallest interstices were not perceptible, and that the timbers were joined with iron cramps. It is remarkable that after the Temple was finished, it was not consecrated by the high-priest, but by a layman, by the king in person, by means of extemporaneous prayers and sacrifices. (See SHECHINAH).
The Temple remained the center of public worship for all the Israelites only till the death of Solomon, after which ten tribes forsook this sanctuary. But even in the kingdom of Judah it was from time to time desecrated by altars erected to idols. For instance, "Manasseh built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the Lord. And he caused his son to pass through the fire, and observed times, and used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards; he wrought much wickedness in the sight of the Lord to provoke him to anger. And he set a graven image of the grove that he had made in the house," etc. Thus we find also that king Josiah commanded Hilkiah, the high-priest, and the priests of the second order to remove the idols of Baal and Asherah from the house of the Lord (2 Kings 23:4; 2 Kings 23:13): "And the altars that were on the top of the upper chamber of Ahaz which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars which Manasseh had made in the two courts of the house of the Lord, did the king beat down, and brake them down from thence, and cast the dust of them into the brook Kidron." In fact, we are informed that, in spite of the better means of public devotion which the sanctuary undoubtedly afforded, the national morals declined so much that the chosen nation became worse than the idolaters whom the Lord destroyed before the children of Israel (2 Kings 21:9) a clear proof that the possession of external means is not a guarantee for their right use. It appears also that during the times when it was fashionable at court to worship Baal the Temple stood desolate, and that its repairs were neglected (2 Kings 12:6-7). We further learn that the cost of the repairs was defrayed chiefly by voluntary contribution, by offerings, and by redemption money (2 Kings 12:4-5). The original cost of the Temple seems to have been defrayed by royal bounty, and in great measure by treasures collected by David for that purpose. There was a treasury in the Temple in which much precious metal was collected for the maintenance of public worship. The gold and silver of the Temple were, however, frequently applied to political purposes (1 Kings 15:18 sq.; 2 Kings 12:18; 2 Kings 16:8; 2 Kings 18:15). The treasury of the temple was repeatedly plundered by foreign invaders: for instance, by Shishak (1 Kings 14:26); by Jehoaoh, king of Israel (2 Kings 14:14); by Nebuchadnezzar (2 Kings 24:13); and, lastly, again by Nebuchadnezzar, who, having removed the valuable contents, caused the Temple to be burned down (2 Kings 25:9 sq.), summer, B.C. 588. The building had stood since its completion 415 years (Josephus has 470, and Rufinus 370, years). Thus terminated what the later Jews called בית הראשון, The first house. (See JERUSALEM).
2. The Second Temple. — In the year B.C. 536 the Jews obtained permission from Cyrus to colonize their native land. Cyrus commanded also that the sacred utensils which had been pillaged in the first Temple should be restored, and that for the restoration of the Temple assistance should be granted (Ezra 1, 6; 2 Chronicles 36:22 sq.). The first colony which returned under Zerubbabel and Joshua having collected the necessary means, and having also obtained the assistance of Phoenician workmen, commenced in the second year after their return the rebuilding of the Temple, spring, B.C. 535. The Sidonians brought rafts of cedar-trees from Lebanon to Joppa. The Jews refused the co-operation of the Samaritans, who, being thereby offended, induced the king Artachshashta (probably Smerdis) to prohibit the building. It was only in the second year of Darius Hystaspis (summer, B.C. 520) that the building was resumed. It was completed in the sixth year of this king, winter, B.C. 516 (comp. Ezra 5:1; Haggai 1:15). According to Josephus (Ant. 11:4, 7), the Temple was completed in the ninth year. of the reign of Darius. The old men who had seen the first Temple were moved to tears on beholding the second, which appeared like nothing in comparison with the first (Ezra 3, 12; Haggai 2, 3 sq.). It seems, however, that it was not so much in dimensions that the second Temple was inferior to the first as in splendor, and in being deprived of the ark of the covenant, which had been burned with the Temple of Solomon. (See CAPTIVITY).
After the establishment of the Seleucidse in the kingdom of Syria, Antiochus Epiphanes invaded Egypt several times. During his first expedition, B.C. 171, the renegade Menelaus (q.v.) procured the death of the regular high-priest Onias III (q.v.) (2 Maccabees 4:27 sq.); during his second campaign, on retiring for winter-quarters to Palestine, Antiochus slew certain other persons, B.C. 170; and, finally, he pillaged and desecrated the Temple, and subdued and plundered Jerusalem, June, B.C. 168. He also ordered the discontinuance of the daily sacrifice. In December of the same year he caused an altar for sacrifice to Jupiter Olympius to be placed on the altar of Jehovah in the Temple (7, 2, 5). This was "the abomination that maketh desolate." At the same time, he devoted the temple on Mount Gerizim, in allusion to the foreign origin of its worshippers, to Jupiter. Ξενιός . The Temple at Jerusalem became so desolate that it was overgrown with vegetation (1 Maccabees 4:38; 2 Maccabees 6:4). Three years after this profanation (Dec. 25, B.C. 165) Judas Maccabseus, having defeated the Syrian armies in Palestine, cleansed the Temple, and again commenced sacrificing to Jehovah upon the altar there. He repaired, the building, furnished new utensils, and erected fortifications against future attacks (1 Maccabees 4:43-60; 1 Maccabees 6:7; 1 Maccabees 13:53; 2 Maccabees 1:18; 2 Maccabees 10:3). Forty-five days after cleansing the sanctuary, Antiochus died. Thus were fulfilled the predictions of Daniel: from "the casting down some of the host and stars," i.e. slaying some of the pious and influential Jews by Antiochus, especially from the death of Onias, B.C. 171, to the cleansing of the sanctuary, B.C. 165, was six years (of 360 days each) and 140 days, or 2300 days (Daniel 8:8-14); from the reduction of Jerusalem, B.C. 168, to the cleansing of the sanctuary, B.C. 165, was three years and a half, i.e. "a time, times, and a half," or 1290 days (7, 25; 12:7, 11); and from the reduction of Jerusalem, B.C. 168, to the death of Antiochus, which occurred early in B.C. 164, forty-five days after the purification of the Temple, 1335 days. As to the 140 days, we have no certain date in history to reckon them; but if the years are correct, we may well suppose the days to be so (Daniel 8:12; Josephus, Ant. 12:7, 6; War, pref. 7; 1, 1, 1; 1 Maccabees 1:46-47; 1 Maccabees 4:38-61; 2 Maccabees 5:11-27; 2 Maccabees 6:1-9). (See ANTIOCHUS). Alexander Jannaeus, about B.C. 106, separated the court of the priests from the external court by a wooden railing (Josephus, Ant. 13:13, 5). During the contentions among the later Maccabees, Pompey attacked the temple from the north side, caused a great massacre in its courts, but abstained from plundering the treasury, although he even entered the holy of holies, B.C. 63 (ibid. 14,4). Herod the Great, with the assistance of Roman troops, stormed the Temple, B.C. 37; on which occasion some of the surrounding halls were destroyed or damaged. (See PALESTINE).
3. The Third Temple. — Herod, wishing to ingratiate himself with the Church-and-State party, and being fond of architectural display, undertook not merely to repair the second Temple, but to raise a perfectly new structure. As, however, the Temple of Zerubbabel was not actually destroyed, but only removed after the preparations for the new Temple were completed, there has arisen some debate whether the Temple of Herod could properly be called the third Temple. The reason why the Temple of Zerubbabel was not at once taken down in order to make room for the more splendid structure of Herod is explained by Josephus as follows (Ant. 15:11, 2): "The Jews were afraid that Herod would pull down the whole edifice and not be able to carry his intentions as to its rebuilding into effect; and this danger appeared to them to be very great, and the vastness of the undertaking to be such as could hardly be accomplished. But while they were in this disposition the king encouraged them, and told them he would not pull down their Temple till all things were gotten ready for building it up entirely. As Herod promised them this beforehand, so he did not break his word with them, but got ready a thousand wagons that were to bring stones for this building, and chose out ten thousand of the most skilful workmen, and bought a thousand sacerdotal garments for as many of the priests, and had some of them taught the arts of stone-cutters, and others of carpenters, and then began to build; but this not till everything was well prepared for the work." The work was actually commenced in the nineteenth year of the reign of Herod-that is, the beginning of B.C. 21. Priests and Levites finished the Temple itself in one year and a half. The out-buildings and courts required eight years. However, some building operations were constantly in progress under the successors of Herod, and it is in reference to this we are informed that the Temple was finished only under Albinus, the last procurator but one, not long before the commencement of the Jewish war in which the Temple was again destroyed. It is in-reference also to these protracted building operations that the Jews said to Jesus, "Forty and six years was this Temple in building" (John 2:20). (See HEROD).
Under the sons of Herod the Temple remained apparently in good order, and Herod Agrippa, who was appointed by the emperor Claudius its guardian, even planned the repair of the eastern part, which had probably been destroyed during one of the conflicts between the Jews and Romans of which the Temple was repeatedly the scene (Josephus, Ant. 17:10). During the final struggle of the Jews against the Romans, A.D. 70, the Temple was the last scene of the tug of war. The Romans rushed from the Tower of Antonia into the sacred precincts, the halls of which were set on fire by the Jews themselves. It was against the will of Titus that a Roman soldier threw a firebrand into the northern out-buildings of the Temple, which caused the conflagration of the whole structure, although Titus himself endeavored to extinguish the fire (War, 6:4). Josephus remarks," One cannot but wonder at the accuracy of this period thereto relating; for the same month and day were now observed, as I said before, wherein the holy house was burned formerly by the Babylonians. Now the number of years that passed from its first foundation, which was laid by king Solomon, till this its destruction, which happened in the second year of the reign of Vespasian, are collected to be one thousand one hundred and thirty, besides seven months and fifteen days; and from the second building of it, which was done by Haggai in the second year of Cyrus the king, till its destruction under Vespasian there were six hundred and thirty-nine years and forty-five days." The sacred utensils, the golden table of the shew- bread, the book of the law, and the golden candlestick were displayed in the triumph at Rome. Representations of them are still to be seen sculptured in relief on the triumphal arch of Titus (see Fleck, Wissenschaftliche Reise, 1, 1, plate 1-4; and Reland, De Spoliis Templi Hierosolymitani in Arcu Titiano, ed. E. A. Schulze [Traj. ad Rh. 17751). The place where the Temple had stood seemed to be a dangerous center for the rebellious population, until, in A.D. 136, the emperor Hadrian founded a Roman colony under the name AElia Capitolina on the ruins of Jerusalem, and dedicated a temple to Jupiter Capitolinus on the ruins of the Temple of Jehovah. Henceforth no Jew was permitted to approach the site of the ancient Temple, although the worshippers of Jehovah were, in derision, compelled to pay a tax for the maintenance of the Temple of Jupiter (see Dion Cassius [Xiphil.], 69, 12; Jerome, Ad Jes. 2, 9; 6:11 sq.; Eusebius, Hist. Ecclesiastes 4:6; Demonstratio Evangelica, 8:18). Under the reign of Constantine the Great some Jews were severely punished for having attempted to restore the Temple (see Fabricii Lux Evangelii, p. 124).
The emperor Julian undertook, in 363, to rebuild the Temple; but, after considerable preparation and much expense, he was compelled to desist by flames which burst forth from the foundations (see Ammianus Marcellinus, 23:1; Socrates, ‘ Hist. Eccles. 3, 20; Sozomen, 5, 22; Theodoret, 3, 15; Schrö ckh, Kirchengeschichte, 6:385 sq.). Repeated attempts have been made to account for these igneous explosions by natural causes; for instance, by the ignition of gases which had long been pent up in subterraneous vaults (see Michaelis, Zerstr. kl. Schrift. 3, 453 sq.). A similar event is mentioned by Josephus (Ant. 16:7, 1), where we are informed that Herod, while plundering the tombs of David and Solomon, was suddenly frightened by flames which burst out and killed two of his soldiers. Bishop Warburton contends for the miraculousness of the event in his discourse Concerning the Earthquake and Fiery Eruption which Defeated Julian's Attempt to Rebuild the Temple of Jerusalem. See also Lotter, Historia Instaurationis Templi lierosolymitani sub Juliano (Lips. 1728, 4to); Michaelis (F. Holzfuss), Diss. de Templi Hi. erosolymitani Juliani Mandato per Judaeosfrustra Tentata Restitutione (Hal. 1751, 4to); Lardner, Collection of Ancient Jewish and Heathen Testimonies, 4:57 sq.; Ernesti, Theol. Bibl. 9:604 sq. R. Tourlet's French translation of the works of Julian (Paris, 1821), 2, 435 sq., contains an examination of the evidence concerning this remarkable event. See also Jost, Geschichte der Israeliten, 4:211, 254 sq.; and id., Allgemeine Geschichte desjü dischen Volkes, 2, 158. (See JULIAN).
A splendid mosque now stands on the site of the Temple. This mosque was erected by the caliph Omar after the conquest of Jerusalem by the Saracens in 636. Some think that Omar changed a Christian church which stood on the ground of the Temple into the mosque which is now called El Aksa, the outer, or northern, because it is the third of the most celebrated mosques, two of which, namely, those of Mecca and Medina, are in a more southern latitude. (See MOSQUE).
III. Situation and Accessories of the Temple. —
1. The site of the Temple is clearly stated in 2 Chronicles 3:1 : "Then Solomon began to build the house of the Lord at Jerusalem in Mount Moriah, where the Lord appeared unto David, his father, in the place that David had prepared in the threshing-floor of Ornan (or Araunah) the Jebusite." In south-eastern countries the site of the threshing-floors is selected according to the same principles which might guide us in the selection of the site of windmills. ‘ We find them usually on the tops of hills which are on all sides exposed to the winds, the current ‘ of which is required in order to separate the grain from the chaff. It seems that the summit of Moriah, although large: enough for the agricultural purposes of Araunah, had no level sufficient for the plans of Solomon. According to Josephus (War 5, 5), the foundations of the Temple were laid on a steep eminence, the summit of which was at first insufficient for the Temple and altar. As it was surrounded by precipices, it became necessary to build up walls and buttresses in order to gain more ground by filling up the interval with earth. The hill was also fortified by a threefold wall, the lowest tier of which was in some places more than three hundred cubits high; and the depth of the foundation was not visible, because it had been necessary in some parts to dig deep into the ground in order to obtain sufficient support. The dimensions of the stones of which the walls were composed were enormous; Josephus mentions a length of forty cubits. It is, however, likely that some parts of the fortifications of Moriah were added at a later period. As we shall eventually see, the position and dimensions of the present area of the Haran reasonably correspond to the requirements of the several ancient accounts of the Temple. There can be little doubt, looking at the natural conformation of the rocky hill itself, that the central building always occupied the summit where the Mosque of Omar now stands. Tile theory of Fergusson (in Smith's Dict. of the Bible, and elsewhere) that it was situated in the extreme south-west corner of the present platform has not met with acceptance among archaeologists. (See MORIAH).
The Temple was in ancient warfare almost impregnable, from the ravines at the precipitous edge of which it stood; but it required more artificial fortifications on its western and northern sides, which were surrounded by the city of Jerusalem; for this reason there was erected at its north-western corner the Tower of Antonia, which, although standing on a lower level than the Temple itself, was so high as to overlook the sacred buildings, with which it was connected partly by a large staircase, partly by a subterraneous communication. This tower protected the Temple from sudden incursions from the city of Jerusalem, and from dangerous commotions among the thousands who were frequently assembled within the precincts of the courts; which also were sometimes used for popular meetings. (See ANTONIA).
2. Many savants have adopted a style as if they possessed much information about the archives of the Temple; there are a few indications from which we learn that important documents were deposited in the Tabernacle and Temple. Even in Deuteronomy 31:26, we find that the book of the law was deposited in the ark of the covenant; and according to 2 Kings 22:8, Hilkiah rediscovered the book of the law in the house of Jehovah. In 2 Maccabees 2, 13 we find a βιβλιοθήκη mentioned, apparently consisting chiefly of the canonical books, and probably deposited in the Temple. In Josephus (War, 5, 5) it is mentioned that a book of the law was found in the Temple. It appears that the sacred writings were kept in the Temple (Ant. 5, 1, 17). Copies of political documents seem to have been deposited in the treasury of the Temple (1 Maccabees 14:49). This treasury, ὁ ἱερὸς θησαυρός, was managed by an inspector, γαζυφύλαξ, גזבר, and it contained the great sums which were annually paid in by the Israelites, each of whom paid a half-shekel, and many of whom sent donations in money and precious vessels, ἀναθήματα. Such costly presents were especially transmitted by rich proselytes, and even sometimes by pagan princes (2 Maccabees 3, 3; Josephus, Ant. 14:16, 4; 18:3, 5; 19:6, 1; War, 2, 17, 3; 5, 13, 6; Cont. Apion. 2, 5; Philo, Opp. 2, 59 sq., 569). It is said especially that Ptolemy Philadelphus was very liberal to the Temple, in order to prove his gratitude for having been permitted to procure the Sept. translation (Aristeas, De Translat. LXX, p. 109 sq.). The gifts exhibited in the Temple are mentioned in Luke 21:5; we find even that the rents of the whole town of Ptolemais were given to the Temple (1 Maccabees 10:39). There were also preserved historical curiosities (2 Kings 11:10), especially the arms of celebrated heroes (Josephus, Ant. 19:6, 1): this was also the case in the Tabernacle.
The Temple was of so much political importance that it had its own guards (φύλακες τοῦ ἱεροῦ ), which were commanded by a στρατηγός . Twenty men were required for opening and shutting the eastern gate (Josephus, War, 6:5, 3; Cont. Apion. 2, 9; Ant. 6:5,3; 17:2, 2). The στρατηγός had his own secretary (Ant. 20, 6, 2; 9, 3), and had to maintain the police in the courts (comp. Acts 4:1; Acts 5:24). He appears to have been of sufficient dignity to be mentioned together with the chief priests. It seems that his Hebrew title was הִר הִבִּיַת אַישׁ, the man of the mountain of the house (Middoth, 1, 2). The priests themselves kept watch on three different posts, and the Levites on twenty-one posts. It was the duty of the police of the Temple to prevent women from entering the inner court, and to take care that no person who was Levitically unclean should enter within the sacred precincts. Gentiles were permitted to pass the first enclosure, which was therefore called the Court of the Gentiles; but persons who were on any account Levitically unclean were not permitted to advance even thus far. Some sorts of uncleanness, for instance that arising from the touch of a corpse, excluded only from the court of the men. If an unclean person had entered by mistake, he was required to offer sacrifices of purification. The high-priest himself was forbidden to enter the holy of holies under penalty of death on any other day than the Day of Atonement (Philo, Opp. 2, 591). Nobody was admitted within the precincts of the Temple who carried a stick or a basket, and who wanted to pass merely to shorten his way, or who had dusty shoes (Middoth, 2, 2).
IV. General Types of the Temple. — 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 at Jerusalem, and its successor as rebuilt 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. Since the revival of learning in the 16th century its arrangements have employed the pens of numberless learned antiquarians, and architects of every country have wasted their science in trying to reproduce its forms.
But it is not only to Christians that the Temple of Solomon is so interesting; the whole Mohammedan world look to it as the foundation of all architectural knowledge, and the Jews still recall its glories and sigh over their loss with a constant tenacity, unmatched by that of any other people to any other building of the ancient world.
With all this interest and attention, it might fairly be assumed that there was nothing more to be said on such a subject-that every source of information had been ransacked, and every form of restoration long ago exhausted, and some settlement of the disputed points arrived at which had been generally accepted. This is, however, far from being the case, and few things would be more curious than a collection of the various restorations that have been proposed, as showing what different meanings may be applied to the same set of simple architectural terms.
When the French expedition to Egypt, in the 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, forgetting entirely how hateful that land of bondage was to the Israelites, and how completely all the ordinances of their religion were opposed to the idolatries they had escaped from forgetting, too, the centuries which had elapsed since the Exode before the Temple was erected, and how little communication of any sort there had been between the two countries in the interval. Nevertheless, as we shall presently see, the Egyptian monuments remarkably confirm, in many respects, the ancient accounts of the Temple at Jerusalem.
The Assyrian discoveries of Botta and Lavard have within the last twenty years given an entirely new direction to the researches of the restorers, and this time with a very considerable prospect of success, for the analogies are now true, and whatever can be brought to bear on the subject is in the right direction. The original seats of the progenitors of the Jewish races were in Mesopotamia. Their language was practically the same as that spoken on the banks of the, Tigris. Their historical traditions were consentaneous, and, so far as we can judge, almost all the outward symbolism of their religion was the same, or nearly so. 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. These, although in a general way illustrative, yet by no means, in our opinion, suffice for all that is required for Solomon's Temple. For some architectural features of that erected by Herod we must doubtless look to Rome. Of the intermediate Temple erected by Zerubbabel we know very little, but, from the circumstance of its having been erected under Persian influences contemporaneously with the buildings at Persepolis, it is perhaps the one of which it would be most easy to restore the details with anything like certainty. Yet we must remember that both these later temples were essentially Jewish, i.e. Phoenician, in their style; and we may there, fore presume that the original type, which we know was copied in plan, was likewise imitated in details to a very great degree. There are, however, two sources of illustration with which the Temple was historically connected in a very direct manner, and to these we therefore devote a brief attention before considering the several edifices in detail.
1. The Tabernacle erected by Moses in the desert was unquestionably the pattern, in all its essential features, of its Solomonic successor. In the gradually increasing sanctity of the several divisions, as well as in their strikingly proportionate dimensions, we find the Temple little more than the Tabernacle on an enlarged scale, and of more substantial materials. This is so obvious that we need not dwell upon it. (See TABERNACLE).
2. The Egyptian Temples, in their conventional style, evince, notwithstanding their idolatrous uses, a wonderful relation to both the Tabernacle and the Temple. As will be seen from the accompanying plan of the Temple of Denderah, which is one of the simplest and most symmetrical as well as the best preserved of its class, there is a striking agreement in the points of the compass, in the extra width of the porch, in the anterior holy place, in the interior shrine, in the side-rooms, in the columnar halls; and in the grander Egyptian temples, such as the earlier portions of those at Luxor and Karnak, we have the two obelisks at the portal like the pillars Jachin and Boaz. These coincidences cannot have been accidental. Nor is this general adoption of a plan already familiar to the Hebrews inconsistent with the divine prescription of the details of architecture (Exodus 25:9; 1 Chronicles 28:12). (See EGYPT).
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McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Temple'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/t/temple.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.