|Model of Herod's Temple (a renovation of the Second Temple) in the Israel Museum. It is unknown what the Second Temple looked like before this major renovation.|
"The Rabbis taught: Forty years before the Temple was destroyed, the lot never came into the right hand, the wool did not become white, the western light did not burn, the gates of the Temple opened of themselves, till the time that R. Johanan ben Zakki rebuked them, saying: Temple, Temple, why alarmest thou us? We know that thou art destined to be destroyed. For of thee hath prophesied Zacharias ben Iddo, 'Open thy gates, O Libanus, and let fire devour thy cedars.'" 1
These prodigies took place the moment Christ died. Then the veil was torn from top to bottom, the earthquake shook down the two pillars sustaining the veil, shattered the walls, the dead rose and came into city and Temple. God showed that the services had fulfilled their mission in pointing to the Redeemer, and that he would receive no more the services of the Deicide nation. Another sacrifice, the Last Supper—the Mass fulfilling all these had been established the night before in the Cenacle as foretold." I have no pleasure in you, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will not receive a gift of your hands. For from the rising of the sun, even to the going down thereof, my name is great among the Gentiles, and in every place there is sacrifice, and there is offered to my name a clean oblation. For my name is great among the Gentiles, saith the Lord of hosts." 2
"Six times the high priest pronounced the name Jehovah during the Day of Atonement, three times in the first confession, and three times in the second confession, and the seventh time when he had drawn the lot. He went to the bull the second time, putting his hands on him and confessing in the same words given in the first confession. And all Israel responded as before."
Then began the preparations for the sacrifices. A layman killed the animals; for lay Romans crucified Christ delivered up by the priests.
"Every day he scooped up the incense with a silver spoon, and emptied it into a gold vessel, but this day he used gold vessels. He gathered up the live coals from the altar of ever-burning fire, filling a vessel holding 3 Kabs, and poured them into one holding 3 Kabs. Every day he filled one holding a Seah—6 Kabs, but on this day he filled one of 3 Kabs. Every day it was a heavy vessel of yellow gold, but this day it was light made of red gold with a long handle." Every day he used to offer half a Mina, fifty Dinars in weight of incense, half in the morning, and half in the evening, but this day he added a handful more. Each day it was finely pounded, but this day it was of the finest. 3 Each day the priests went up the eastern staircase of the altar, and came down on the western, but this day the high priest went up and came down the middle. Every day the high priest washed his hands from the laver, but this day from the golden pitcher the cyanthus. Every day there were four fires on the altar, but this day there were five.
"When the bull was slaughtered, he received in a gold basin his blood, gave it to a priest, standing on the fourth row of marble steps, to be stirred. He took the censer, mounted to the top of the altar, cleared the coals on either hand. Taking a censerful of the glowing coals, he came down again, and placed the censer on the fourth row of stones in the forecourt."
Although five hundred priests and five hundred Levites vested in Temple robes stand by in the Priests' Court and at the Nicanor Gate, while thousands of people throng the Temple, the high priest alone must carry on the service in the Holies; no one must be with him; to typify that the apostles ran away when Jesus alone passed through in his Passion, his atonement, when he opened the Holy of Holies of heaven to mankind.
"They brought him the gold spoon and censer; he took two handfuls of incense, and filled the spoon with it. He took the censer in his right hand and the spoon in the left."
He is about to enter that holiest place of earth, image of that heaven closed by Adam's sin. Let the celebrant of the Mass learn the baptismal innocence, the purity of soul and the sinless life required to enter the sanctuary to offer prayer and sacrifice the Lamb of God from the following:
"It once happened on the Day of Atonement that the high priest spoke in a public place with an Arab whose saliva was sprinkled on the high priest's vestments. He became unclean; this high priest was R. Israel, son of Qim'hith. Then his brother Jeshohab entered and took his place, so his mother saw two high priests of her sons the same day. Another day the high priest spoke with a Gentile nobleman, the same happened, then his brother Joseph took his place. 4
"He bent his three middle fingers on his palm, and removed with the little finger and thumb the incense found outside the three, one of the most difficult service in the Temple. He took the handle of the spoon with his fingertips, and moved his thumbs up the handle, being thus able not to spill the frankincense, till the handle fell near his armpits, and the head of the spoon was above his palms. He then overturned the spoon, thus emptying the frankincense into his hands, heaped the frankincense on the censer and spread it out upon the burning coals." He walks through the Temple, holding the censer in his right hand, hanging from its chains, till he reaches the place between the two veils separating the sanctuary from the Holy of Holies—one ell wide."
They did not know whether the veil of Solomon's Temple was on the inside or outside of the wall dividing the Holy from the Holy of Holies, so in the second Temple, they put up two veils one within the other without the dividing wall; the space between the two veils being called Debir.
"The outer one was raised and looked to the southern wall, and the inner one to the northern. He walked between them till he reached the northern wall, where he turned his face to the south, walked back with his left hand to the veil and reached the ark, which was on his right in the Holy of Holies. Coming there he placed the censer between the staves, heaped the incense on the top of the coals so the whole place was filled with smoke of incense. He departed in the same way as he had come, facing the Holy of Holies walking backward, and said a short prayer in the Holies, but not making it long, so as not to alarm the Israelites about his delay lest they might think he had been killed by God." 5
A rope was tied to him so that if God struck him dead, they might pull his body out, for no one could ever enter that gold-walled room, with its dim religious light, where once God, the Shekina, the Holy Spirit, alone dwelled, showing forth that no member of mankind was in heaven.
"The ark, with the cup of manna, 6 the flask of oil for anointing priests and kings, Aaron's rod, with its almonds and buds, and the box the Philistines sent as a gift to the God of Israel with the gold vessels were not in the Holy of Holies." 7
Under Solomon Israel broke the covenant their fathers made with God agreeing to adore him alone, and worshiped the idols of King Solomon's wives on the Mount of Offense, where he built temples to them. In the time of the prophets they worshiped idols in the very Temple of Jehovah. 8 God directed the prophet Jeremy, and he took the ark of the covenant with its great winged cherubim, the mercy-seat of God, and hid them in a cave on Mount Nebo, where Moses died and was buried. They could not find the place and there they still rest, and will remain till Israel returns to the Messiah their fathers killed 9 when they shouted, "Crucify him." The magnificent Temple Herod spent forty-six years building, was not entirely finished when Christ adored his Eternal Father within its holy Courts. Its Holy of Holies was empty. The Shekina dwelled not in it. The nation had fallen from the supernatural state of grace of the days of Moses and the prophets. Scribes, Pharisees, Rabbis and infidel Sadducee priesthood had deceived them. But they lived in hope of the Messiah foretold to visit this Temple. 10
"When the ark was taken away there was a stone from the time of the first prophets, Shethia "Foundation", three fingers high above the ground. Thereupon he placed the censer. Going out, he took the blood from the one who stirred it, went back and stopped, where he had stopped in the Holy of Holies, and sprinkled from his position once upward and seven times downward, 11 holding the palm open, counting one, and one, downwards, one and two, one and three, one and four, one and five, one and six, one and seven.
"Bowing deeply he departed backward, and placed the basin on the gold stand in the Temple. They brought him the he-goat. When he was killed, he received its blood in a basin, he went to the former place, stopping where he stopped, and sprinkled once upwards and seven times downwards, holding his palm open counting one, one and two, etc. He came out, and placed the basin on the second stand in the Temple. He took up the bull's blood, and put down the he-goat's blood. He sprinkled the blood thereof at the veil, which was opposite to the ark outside, once upwards and seven times down, thus counting he lifted the blood-filled basin of the he-goat, and put down that of the bull's blood, he sprinkled it on the veil opposite the ark outside, once upward and seven times downward. He emptied the bull's blood into the he-goat's blood, mixing them and transferred the contents into the empty basin." 12
In mystic meaning the one sprinkling downward foretold the Son of God in his one Personality, coming down from heaven and made man, the seven sprinklings showed him filled with the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit 13 pouring out his blood on the earth and showing it to his Eternal Father in the supernal sanctuary of heaven. Mixing the blood of bull and goat typified his double nature in the one Person of the divine Son, God and man united. The ark mentioned was the ark called "the Aaron," wherein the Scrolls of the Law were kept in the Temple as in the synagogue. The blood was sprinkled toward the ark, foretelling that the synagogue would later kill Christ.
"When he sprinkled toward the veil, he sprinkled not upon it, but opposite to it, so the blood fell on the ground. R. Eliezer ben Jose said." I have seen the veil in Rome with the marks of the blood of the bull and goat of the Day of Atonement. Then he went into the Holies through which he had passed each time he entered the Holy of Holies.
"He then went out to the altar, which is before the Lord, which is the golden altar, and began to clean it downward. Whence does he begin? From the northeastern corner or horn to the northwestern, southwestern, southeastern, where he begins to clean the outer altar, at that spot, he finishes cleaning the inner. Everywhere he sprinkled from below upward, except at the spot where he stood, thereat he sprinkled from above downward.
"He sprinkled on the clean place of the altar, where the gold was to be seen, seven times; what remained of the blood he poured out at the western base of the outer altar, and what remained of the blood of the outer altar, he poured at the southern base. Both kinds of blood mingled in the trench, and flowed out into the brook Cedron.
"It holds true of all the rites of the Day of Atonement, whose order is prescribed by the Bible, and stated in the above Mishnas, that if they are performed in the wrong order, one has done nothing, but of the ceremonies performed in white garments outside, that is the lots, emptying the remaining blood, or confessions, it is true, if he has done them out of order they are valid. 'And this shall be an ordinance for ever, that you pray for the children of Israel, and for all their sins once a year.' 14
"Both he-goats for the Day of Atonement shall be equal in color, size and price, and both bought at the same time. If one die before the lots are drawn another is bought to make up the pair, if after the lots one die, another pair is bought, and the lots drawn again, the one belonging to the first pair is allowed to graze till it gets a blemish, when it is sold, and the money becomes a gift offering, for an animal designed to atone for the congregation is not put to death." 15
The two goats now stand before the altar in the sight of that vast congregation of Hebrews from all the nations. The high priest comes to the scapegoat, spreads out his hands over his head between the horns, and confesses his sins and the sins of all the people, using the words we have given over the bullock, closing with: "For on that day shall he make an atonement for you so that ye may be clean from all your sins before Jehovah." 16
"And the priests and people who stood in the forecourts hearing the name of God, that is, Jehovah, issuing from the mouth of the high priest, used to kneel, prostrate themselves, fall on their faces and say: "Blessed be the name of His Kingdom's glory for ever."
"They delivered the scapegoat to the pagan man who was to be his conductor. All were fit to perform this function. But the Israelites were not permitted to do it. An elevated walk had been constructed for the he-goat, for the Babylonian and Alexandrian Jews used to pull him by the hair saying: "Take the sins. Take and go." 17
There stood the scapegoat on the high platform with the sins of Israel on him foretelling Christ delivered up to pagan Pilate when Jesus stood on the high platform of the Pretorium, the real Scape-Goat delivered up to death by the Temple priests with the sins of mankind on him when they cried: "Crucify him."
"Even if the conductor becomes unclean he may enter the Temple and take the goat," to foretell that Pilate was not as guilty of the death of Christ as the members of the supreme court who sentenced the Saviour to the cross.
"With shouts and imprecations, the vast crowds followed the goat led by his pagan conductor through the Shushan Gate, across the arched bridge built over the Cedron by the high priest." That was the very bridge they led Christ across the night of his arrest. Later the multitude followed Him down the Via Dolorosa, out the gate, and up the little hill of Calvary that fatal Friday of the crucifixion.
"Some of the prominent men of Jerusalem used to accompany the goat as far as the first booth of the ten supplied with refreshments for the conductor. There were ten booths between Jerusalem and Tsuk, "the rock," of its destination, a distance of ninety Ris (twelve miles). At each booth they said to the conductor: "Here is food and here is water." And the persons of the booth accompanied him from booth to booth, excepting the last of them, for the rock was not reached by them, but they stood at a distance looking on what he, the conductor, did with the goat."
The Jews did not nail Christ to the cross, but stood by looking on while the Romans crucified Him. The conductor foretold Pilate and the Roman soldiers, while the multitudes looking on from a distance at the goat prophesied the leading Jews, high priest and Levites, around Calvary, not allowed to enter Roman ranks while the Son of God was sacrificed.
1 Zach. ii. 1. Yomah ix. 43-39-59. See Josephus, Wars, B. vi., x. 3, Antiq. iii., vi. 7 ; Edersheim, Life of Christ, ii. 610.
2 Malachy i. 10-11.
3 Levit. xvi. 12.
4 Yomah. iv. 69-70.
5 Yomah. iv. 78.
6 Exod,. xvi. 33.
7 Deut. xxviii.; 11. Par. 85.
8 Ezechiel vi.
9 II. Machabees ii.
10 Malach iii. 1.
11 Levit. xvi. 14.
12 Yomah. ix. 76,77, 79, 81.
13 Isaias ii. 1, 2, 3.
14 Levit xvi. 34; Yomah, iv. 82-84,
15 Yomah, vi, 87;
16 Yomah, vi. 9.
15 Yomah, vi, 87;
16 Yomah, vi. 9.
17 Yomah. xi. 94.