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Bähr's Solomon's Temple.


60 cubits in length, 20 cubits in breadth, and the height thereof was 30 cubits. But in 6: 20, the height of the Holy of Holies is said to be 20 cubits. The author enters into a long examination of the various attempts made to account for this difference. He thinks there is no sufficient evidence that there was a chamber over the oracle. It is only in 1 Kings 6: 2 that the height of the house is stated to be 30 cubits. In the parallel passage 2 Chron. 3: 2 the length and breadth of the house are given as in 1 Kings 6: 2, but the height is not mentioned. This omission was hardly to be expected, if the height were really 30 cubits, for this would be a change from the proportions of the tabernacle, while in every other respect the proportions of the temple were analogous to those of the tabernacle. In the temple of Zerubbabel, the height and breadth were equal, and the description in 1 Kings vi. subsequent to v. 2, implies that the height of the temple was but 20 cubits. For there we read that Solomon measured off 20 cubits upon the sides of the house for the oracle, so that 40 cubits remained for the holy place, and the oracle or most holy place was 20 cubits in length and 20 cubits in breadth and 20 cubits in the height thereof. Probably in the original manuscripts numerals were designated by letters and not written out in words, and in this way a mistake may have been made by copyists in 1 Kings 6: 2 respecting the height of the temple. The porch was probably no higher than the main body of the house (the number 120 in 2 Chron. 3: 4 incorrect); it was 20 cubits in breadth, covering therefore the entire front of the temple, and was 10 cubits deep. Its front was entirely open. Before it and quite near were the two pillars Jachin and Boaz, and the lily work upon the top of the pillars extended to the roof of the porch.

The fundamental idea of the temple is, that it is a house of God, the dwelling place of Jehovah. Kings 8: 13. 2 Chron. 6: 2. At the first glance this seems to est upon an anthropopathic conception of the nature of God, as if God like a man needed a house to dwell in. That however Solomon was free from any such conception, appears from his subsequent declaration, 1 Kings 8: 27. 2 Chron. 6: 18. What then did Solomon mean by God's dwelling in a house while at the same time he confesses the infinity of God? The answer is plain if we review the history of the Israelitish people. They had been chosen by God from among the other nations of the earth to be his peculiar people, and on the conclusion of the covenant made upon Sinai followed the command of Jehovah. Ex. 25: 8 Let them mal me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in the midst them. This dwelling in the midst of them was a sign and pledge of the covenant made with them. Cf. Lev. 26: 11. Ez. 37: 26, 27. Rev. 21: 3. The temple is called the dwelling of the name of the Lord. 1 Kings 8: 16, 20, 29. 2 Chron. 6: 5, 6. This implies that the temple was a place


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where God would reveal himself, for the name of a person is that by which he is known, the name of God is God so far as he reveals himself. The rectangular form of the temple with its front towards the east was typical of heaven, as appears from the well known expression "four ends of heaven." The length is thrice the breadth. Three is the number of true and complete totality. The length, breadth, and height are in their dimensions divisible by ten. Ten appears as a determining number in the measurements of whatever belongs to the temple. In the Holiest, the cherubim were ten cubits high, and from the uttermost part of one wing to the uttermost part of the other wing were ten cubits. In the temple were ten candlesticks, and ten tables; in the court ten lavers. The altar was ten cubits in height and twice ten cubits in breadth and length. The brazen sea was ten cubits in diameter, and of the flowers which adorned its brim there were ten to every cubit. The brazen pillars bear on their capitals two rows of pomegranates, each of which consists of ten times ten. The porch is ten cubits in breadth and twice ten in length. The chambers on the side of the temple in their breadth and height show the ten broken, the half ten, and are thereby denoted as subordinate parts of the building. If it be asked, why is ten the determining number, the answer is plain, viz. that the decalogue is the fundamental constitution of the nation, and ten is therefore the number of the covenant, and the various parts of the temple are to point to this, like radii to a centre.

The walls of the house within were not smooth and plain, but presented in relief the forms of cherubim, palm trees and flowers. The cherubim signify the entire creation as revealing the perfections of the Creator. The palm tree is one of the noblest trees of the East, and moreover was a symbol of the land of Palestine. On the medals struck in commemoration of the overthrow of Jerusalem by Titus, there was a palm tree with the inscription, Judaea capta. The meaning of the flowers is the same that they have among all people. They denote a condition of joy and prosperity, which condition in all languages is denoted as a flourishing


The ark of the covenant is to be regarded as the heart of the entire sanctuary, and because of it, the apartment in which it was kept, was called the most holy place. The mercy seat upon it was the throne of Jehovah, and the thick darkness in which Jehovah dwelt was a significant symbol of the mysterious nature of his being.

The vessels of the temple were essentially the same as those of the tabernacle, and the reader is referred to the author's earlier work for a fuller exhibition of their symbolic meaning. The significancy of the two brazen pillars, Jachin and Boaz, is determined from the etymology of the words. from 7, to make firm, and 1, compounded of in and †,

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Jordan and the Dead Sea.

in it is strength. Both names are grounded in one idea, that of firmness or durability, and mark the contrast between the temple and the tabernacle.


The subject last treated of in this volume is the relation of Solomon's temple to the sacred buildings of other religions. It was not made in imitation of any other temple of antiquity. Its plan grew out of the religious idea which it was to express, and was as different from that of any heathen temple as the Jewish religion was different from that of any other nation of the earth. Its essential principle was also different from that of Christian architecture. Solomon built God a house, and the mercy seat in the Holy of Holies was a local throne of Jehovah. But the early Christians rejected the idea that a building erected by human hands could be regarded as a dwelling place of God. Yet as Christianity was no mere negation of Judaism, but its fulfilment, it did not entirely destroy the temple of the former theocracy, but in its place erected a new and living temple. Ye, says the apostle to the Christian church, ye are the temple of God, ye are God's building. Only indirectly, therefore, through the medium of the church could the building in which a Christian congregation met together to worship God, be called a Domus Dei.


We have condensed some of the more material facts in relation to the Jordan and the Dead Sea from Lieut. Lynch's explorations. We are not surprised to learn that the work has a rapid sale, six editions, with an aggregate of 11,000 copies, having been published. The proceeds are most laudably devoted to the orphan children of Lieut. Dale.

Lieut. Lynch commenced his passage down the Jordan on the 10th of April 1848, at 3. 40 P. M, and on the 18th at 3. 25 P. M., entered the Dead Sea. In a space of sixty miles of latitude and four or five of longitude, the Jordan was found to traverse at least 200 miles. The river was then in the latter stage of a freshet. Twenty-seven threatening rapids were passed besides many of lesser magnitude. The course on the first day, April 10th, after leaving the lake of Galilee, varied from S. to N. W. by N., the general inclination west. The current was two and a half knots, the water clear and sweet. The lake was concealed, though very near. The soil of the banks is a dark rich loam, luxuriantly covered with flowers. Large boulders of sandstone and trap are scattered over the surface. The party stopped just below the ruins of an old bridge, el-Jisr Semakh. These ruins consist of two entire and six partial abutments, and the ruins of another on each shore. The scenery, as they left the lake and advanced into the Ghor, which was here about three

fourths of a mile broad, was rather of a tame than savage character. On the second night, April 11th, the party stopped near the falls and whirlpool of el-Bukah. The ruins of the village ed-Delhemiyeh are near, on the right bank. At 5. 40 P. M., where the river was about sixty yards wide, the village el-Abbâdiyeh was passed, a miserable collection of mud huts. The average width of the river was forty yards; depth from two and a half to six feet. General course E. S. E. Nine rapids were passed, three of them terrific ones. The route of the accompanying land party, under the charge of Lieut. Dale, lay through an extensive plain, luxuriant in vegetation, and presenting in spots a rich alluvial soil. The night was a bright moonlight, the dew fell heavily and the air was chill.

On the night of April 12th, the stopping place was about 200 yards below el-Jisr Mejâmia, the bridge which is on the road from Nabulus, through Beisân, the Bethshean of 1 Sam. 31: 10, to Damascus. The main course of the stream was S. S. W., but it was very serpentine. The party descended three very threatening and four less difficult rapids. The only tributary passed was the Yarmûk (Hieromax), coming in from the east, nearly as wide and deep as the Jordan. The current of the latter averaged eight miles an hour. The banks were fringed with the laurestinas, the oleander, the willow and the tamarisk; on the slope of the second terrace, a small species of oak and the cedar grew. From the banks to the elevated ridges on both sides, the grass and flowers were very luxuriant and beautiful. The trap continued on both sides, with occasional interruptions of limestone, sandstone and conglomerate. Dr. Anderson visited Umkeis, near the ancient Gadara, a ride of three hours and eleven minutes. The remains of Gadara occupy an eminence, with an inconsiderable valley on the west side, and a steep descent on the north, determined by the Wady el-Yarmuk. The ruins comprise a spacious area, covered with many broken columns, a large theatre, a smaller enclosure and a necropolis. The walls may be traced very distincly on the west, less obviously on the East. Lieut. Dale visited Beisàn (Seythopolis). "There were acres of building-stone, old walls, a theatre, etc. in good preservation. A few columns still stood in the valleys. Most of the present buildings seemed to be Saracenic, mills and khans." April 13th. The general course was S. by E. Three large and seven small rapids were passed. There were four islands, and one stream came in from the S. E. The river averaged forty-five yards in width, four feet deep and five knots current. "There are evidently two terraces to the Jordan, and through the lowest one the river runs its labyrinthine course. From the stream, above the immediate banks, there is, on each side, a single terrace of low hills, like truncated cones, which is but the bluff terminus of an extended table land, reaching quite to the

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Scenery of the Jordan.

base of the mountains of Haurân on the east, and the high hills on the
western side." At 3. 16. P. M., Lieut. Lynch passed a long reach in the
river, the first straight line in its entire course from the lake of Galilee
thus far. The land company passed patches of wheat and barley, nearly
ripe. On Friday night, April 14th, the boats were anchored near Wady
Yabes, leading up to the ancient Jabesh Gilead. Twelve islands were
passed, all but three small. Fourteen tributary streams were noted, all
but four trickling rivulets. The lower plain was covered with a luxuri-
ant growth of wild oats, and patches of wild mustard in full flower. The
hills forming the banks of the upper terrace, assumed a conical form, with
scarped and angular faces. In the latter part of the day, rock was less
abundant, and alluvion began to prevail. Many fish and birds were seen;
among the latter, hawks, herons, pigeons, ducks, storks, bulbuls, swallows,
etc. On the following night, April 15th, the party encamped a little be-
low where Wady Râjib or 'Ajlûn enters from the east. A considerable
stream was running down it. The party descended ten moderate and
six bad rapids; three tributaries were noted, two of them quite small, also
four large and seventeen small islands. The prevailing direction of the
river was south and west. The velocity of the current ranged from two
to eight knots; the average was about three and a half knots. The ave-
rage width was fifty-six yards, and the average depth a little more than
four feet. In the narrower parts the river flowed between high hills. In
the morning the temperature of the air was 78°, and of the water twelve
inches below the surface, 71°. The heat and the dazzling glare of the
light were very oppressive. April 16th. The encampment at night was
near an old Roman bridge, the ford of Damieh, where the road from Nâ-
bulus to es-Salt crosses the river. In the afternoon, a bush, lodged
fifteen feet up in the branches of an overhanging tree was seen.
It was
deciduous, and the green leaves of the early season were upon it. It
must have been lodged by a recent freshet. On the borders of the
stream the vegetation became more luxuriant, and of a brighter tint; on
either side, back of the river, it was more parched and dull. The banks
were of semi-indurated clay. The lower plain evidently became nar-
rower, and the river often swept alternately against the hills. April
17th. The party reached the Pilgrims' ford, or the bathing-place of the
Christian pilgrims, after having been fifteen hours in the boats. At 1.
20 P. M., the mouth of the Jabok (ez-Zurka) was passed; it flows in
from E. N. E., a small stream, trickling down a deep and wide torrent
bed. The water was sweet, but the stones upon the bare exposed bank
were coated with salt. There was another bed, then dry, showing that
in times of freshet, there are two outlets to this tributary. April 18th,
at 1. 45 P. M., the party proceeded, and at 3. 25 entered the Dead Sea.


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