The Soreg Inscription
Warning to Trespassers In the Temple.
The Court of the Gentiles was the only part of the sacred precincts
of the Temple in Jerusalem into which foreigners might enter. Slabs
bearing an inscription in Greek and Latin characters-as the one pictured
above, a relic from Herod's Temple - warning Gentiles the death would be
the penalty for breaking the rule, were placed in front of forbidden zones.
Museum Tschinili-Kirschk. Istanbul. View Interpretation
Josephus (Jos. War 5, v, 2; cf. Jos. War 6, ii, 4; Jos. Antiq. 15. xi, 5; Philo
Leg. 212) says:
"Proceeding across this [the open court] towards the second court of the temple,
one found it surrounded by a stone balustrade, three cubits high and of
exquisite workmanship; in this at regular intervals stood slabs giving warning,
some in Greek, others in Latin characters, of the law of purification, to wit
that no foreigner was permitted to enter the holy place, for so the second
enclosure of the temple was called."
Clermont-Ganneau discovered one of these warning notices in 1871. It reads: "No man of another nation to enter within the fence and enclosure round the temple. And whoever is caught will have himself to blame that his death ensues" (cf. Acts 21:26-30)
Jesus preached in the Court of the Gentiles, which Herod's builders had doubled in size and surrounded with an elaborate Hellenistic portico. The model at the Holy Land Hotel is a Scholar's conception showing how the site may have looked in Jesus' day. Josephus the Jewish historian wrote about the warning signs that were on the barrier that separated the court of the gentiles from the other courts in the Temple. Not until recent times did archaeologists actually discover one. Its seven-line inscription read as follows: NO FOREIGNER
AND THE PLAZA OF THE TEMPLE ZONEWHOEVER IS CAUGHT DOING SO
WILL HAVE HIMSELF TO BLAMEFOR HIS DEATH
WHICH WILL FOLLOW
Gal 4:4 "But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law"
The Court of the Gentiles was the outermost court in the Jerusalem Temple during the time of Jesus. No gentile or non-Jew could proceed any further into the inner temple areas, and even Roman citizenship did not protect a Gentile who intruded into prohibited areas.
The Story of the Bible
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