[1] Quite a different estimate must be formed of the Gemara (which in a general way may be described as a twofold commentary--the Jerusalem and Babylonian Gemara--upon the Mishnah), not only from its much later date, but also from the strange and heterogeneous congeries which are found in the many folios of the Talmud. Judaism was, at the time of its compilation, already thoroughly ossified; and the trustworthiness of tradition greatly impaired not merely by the long interval of time that had elapsed, but by dogmatic predilections and prejudices, and by the not unnatural wish to foist comparatively recent views, practices, and prayers upon Temple-times. Indeed, the work wants in its greatest part even the local colouring of the Mishnah--an element of such importance in Eastern traditions, where, so to speak, the colours are so fast, that, for example, to this day the modern Arab designations of places and localities have preserved the original Palestinian names, and not those more recent Greek or Roman with which successive conquerors had overlaid them.

[2] Thus Chapters 1 and 2, which give a description of ancient Jerusalem and of the structure and arrangements of the Temple, may not interest some readers, yet it could neither be left out, nor put in a different part of the book. Those for whom this subject has no attractions may, therefore, begin with Chapter 3.

[3] By the longer footpath it is 1,310 yards, and by the main camel  road perhaps a little farther.' Josephus calculates the distance from  the city evidently to the top of Mount Olivet at 1,010 yards, or 5  furlongs. See City of the Great King, p. 59. 

[4] R. Jochanan ben Saccai, who was at the head of the Sanhedrim  immediately before and after the destruction of Jerusalem. 

[5] Mr. Fergusson, in Smith's Dictionary of the Bible, i. p. 1025,  controverts these numbers, on the ground of the population of modern  cities within a given area. But two millions represent not the ordinary  population, only the festive throngs at the Passover. Taking into  consideration Eastern habits--the sleeping on the roof, and possibly  the camping out--the computation is not extravagant. Besides, however  untruthful Josephus was, he may, as a general rule, be trusted where  official numbers, capable of verification, are concerned. In fact,  taking into account this extraordinary influx, the Rabbis distinctly  state, that during the feasts--except on the first night--the people  might camp outside Jerusalem, but within the limits of a sabbath-day's  journey. This, as Otho well remarks (Lex. Rabb. p. 195), also explains  how, on such occasions, our Lord so often retired to the Mount of  Olives. 

[6] The third, largest, and strongest wall, which enclosed Bezetha, or  the New Town, was built by Herod Agrippa, twelve years after the date  of the crucifixion. 

[7] For particulars of these forts, see Josephus' Wars, v. 4, 3. 

[8] Barclay suggest that the Xystus had originally been the heathen  gymnasium built by the infamous high-priest Jason. (City of the Great  King, p. 101) 

[9] In the chamber above this gate two standard measures were kept,  avowedly for the use of the workmen employed in the Temple. (Chel. 17.  9.) 

[10] Jewish tradition mentions the following five as the outer gates of  the Temple: that of Shushan to the east, of Tedi to the north, of  Copponus to the west, and the two Huldah gates to the south. The  Shushan gate was said to have been lower than the others, so that the  priests at the end of the heifer-bridge' might look over it into the  Temple. In a chamber above the Shushan gate, the standard measures of  the cubit' were kept. 

[11] Many modern writers have computed the Temple area at only 606  feet, while Jewish authorities make it much larger than we have stated  it. The computation in the text is based on the latest and most  trustworthy investigations, and fully borne out by the excavations made  on the spot by Capts. Wilson and Warren.  

[12] According to Mr. Lewin, however (Siege of Jerusalem, p. 270), this celebrated ascent' to the house of the Lord went up by a double subterranean passage, 250 feet long and 62 feet wide, by a flight of steps from the new palace of Solomon, afterwards occupied by the Royal Porch,' right into the inner court of the Temple.

[13] We have adopted this name as in common use, though Relandus (Antiq. p. 78) rightly objects that the only term for it used in Jewish writings is the mountain of the house.'

[14] The allusion is all the more pointed, when we bear in mind that each of these trumpets had a mark to tell its special object. It seems strange that this interpretation should not have occurred to any of the commentators, who have always found the allusion such a crux interpretum. An article in the Bible Educator has since substantially adopted this view, adding that trumpets were blown when the alms were collected. But for the latter statement there is no historical authority whatever, and it would contravene the religious spirit of the times.

[15] It is very strange what mistakes are made about the localisation of the rooms and courts connected with the Temple. Thus the writer of the article Sanhedrim' in Kitto's Encycl., vol. iii. p. 766, says that the hall of the Sanhedrim was situate in the centre of the south side of the Temple-court, the northern part extending to the Court of the Priests, and the southern part to the Court of the Israelites.' But the Court of Israel and that of the Priests did not lie north and south, but east and west, as a glance at the Temple plan will show! The hall of the Sanhedrim extended indeed south, though certainly not to the Court of Israel, but to the Chel or terrace. The authorities quoted in the article Sanhedrim' do not bear out the writer's conclusions. It ought to be remarked that about the time of Christ the Sanhedrim removed its sittings from the Hall of Square Stones to another on the east of the Temple-court.

[16] We know that the two priestly guard-chambers above the Water-gate and Nitzutz opened also upon the terrace. This may explain how the Talmud sometimes speaks of six and sometimes of eight gates opening from the Priests' Court upon the terrace, or else gates 7 and 8 may have been those which opened from the terrace north and south into the Court of the Women.

[17] They were whitened' twice a year. Once in seven years the high-priest was to inspect the Most Holy Place, through an opening made from the room above. If repairs were required, the workmen were let down through the ceiling in a sort of cage, so as not to see anything but what they were to work at.

[18] The three exceptions to this are specially mentioned in the Talmud. The high-priest both ascended and descended by the right.

[19] Also a receptacle for such sin-offerings of birds as had become spoiled. This inclined plane was kept covered with salt, to prevent the priests, who were barefooted, from slipping.

[20] There was also a small wicket gate by which he entered who opened the large doors from within.

[21] The Rabbis speak of two veils, and say that the high-priest went in by the southern edge of the first veil, then walked along till he reached the northern corner of the second veil, by which he entered the Most Holy Place.

[22] The Talmud expressly calls attention to this, and mentions as another point of pre-eminence, that whereas the first Temple stood 410, the second lasted 420 years.

[23] The following five are mentioned by the Rabbis as wanting in the last Temple: the ark, the holy fire, the Shechinah, the spirit of prophecy, and the Urim and Thummim.

[24] This class would include the following four cases: the cleansed leper, a person who had had an issue, a woman that had been in her separation, and one who had just borne a child. Further explanations of each case are given in subsequent chapters.

[25] Further details belong to the criminal jurisprudence of the Sanhedrim.

[26] See Edinburgh Review for January, 1873, p. 18. We may here insert another architectural comparison from the same interesting article, which, however, is unfortunately defaced by many and serious mistakes on other points. The length of the eastern wall of the sanctuary,' writes the reviewer, was more than double that of the side of the Great Pyramid; its height nearly one-third of the Egyptian structure from the foundation. If to this great height of 152 feet of solid wall you add the descent of 114 feet to the bed of the Kedron, and the further elevation of 160 feet attained by the pinnacle, we have a total of 426 feet, which is only 59 feet less than the Great Pyramid.'

[27] Inferring from the present usage in the Synagogue, Saalschutz (Gesch. d. Musik bei d. Hebr.)--Thekiah, Theruah, Thekiah midi file (.5 k)

[28] The flute was used in Alexandria to accompany the hymns at the love feasts of the early Christians, up to the year 190, when Clement of Alexandria introduced the harp in its place.

[29] This root-meaning (through the Arabic) of the Hebrew word for priest, as one intervening, explains its occasional though very rare application to others than priests, as, for example, to the sons of David (2 Sam 8:18), a mode of expression which is thus correctly paraphrased in 1 Chronicles 18:17: And the sons of David were at the hand of the king.'

[30] Curiously enough, here also the analogy between Rabbinism and Roman Catholicism holds good. Each claims for its teaching and practices the so-called principle of catholicity--'semper, ubique, ab omnibus' (always, everywhere, by all'), and each invents the most curious historical fables in support of it!

[31] Apparently it numbered 24,000, out of a total of 38,000 Levites.

[32] This is also confirmed by their foreign names (Ezra 2:43-58). The total number of Nethinim who returned from Babylon was 612--392 with Zerubbabel (Ezra 2:58; Neh 7:60), and 220 with Ezra (Ezra 8:20).

[33] According to the Rabbis, he was appointed by the Sanhedrim.

[34] It is thus we reconcile Numbers 4:3 with 8:24-25. In point of fact, these two reasons are expressly mentioned in 1 Chronicles 23:24-27, as influencing David still further to lower the age of entrance to twenty.

[35] When Josephus speaks of a triple crown worn by the high-priest, this may have been introduced by the Asmoneans when they united the temporal monarchy with the priesthood. Compare Smith's Dictionary of the Bible, i. 807a.

[36] The Rabbis speak of a high-priest ordained for war,' who accompanied the people to battle, but no historical trace of a distinct office of this kind can be discovered.

[37] To prevent mistakes, we may state that the term Therumoth' is, in a general way, used to designate the prepared produce, such as oil, flour, wine; and Biccurim,' the natural product of the soil, such as corn, fruits, etc.

[38] The Rabbis speak of the so-called salt of Sodom,' probably rock salt from the southern end of the Dead Sea, as used in the sacrifices.

[39] The birds' used at the purification of the leper (Lev 14:4) cannot be regarded as sacrifices.

[40] The reason of this is obscure. Was it that the north was regarded as the symbolical region of cold and darkness? Or was it because during the wilderness-journey the Most Holy Place probably faced north--towards Palestine?

[41] If the offerer stood outside the Court of the Priests, on the topmost of the fifteen Levitical steps, or within the gate of Nicanor, his hands at least must be within the Great Court, or the rite was not valid.

[42] Children, the blind, the deaf, those out of their minds, and non-Israelites, were not allowed to lay on hands.'

[43] The Hebrew term used for sacrificial slaying is never applied to the ordinary killing of animals.

[44] In the case of birds there was no laying on of hands.

[45] The Rabbis mention five mistakes which might render a sacrifice invalid, none of them the least interesting, except, perhaps, that the gullet might never be wholly severed.

[46] Whatever was laid upon the altar was regarded as sanctified' by it, and could not be again removed, even though it should have become defiled. This explains the words of Christ in Matthew 23:19.

[47] Compare the article in Herzog's Encyc. vol. x. p. 633. Some of the sacrifices were burned on the altar of burnt-offering, and some outside the gate; while in certain less holy sacrifices it was allowed to burn what was left anywhere within the city.

[48] Except those for the whole people and for the high-priest, which had to be burned outside the gate.

[49] Because the Hebrew word for man' (Gever) is used in the Talmud for a cock,' and white,' with reference to Isaiah 1:18.