Monday, April 9, 2012

The Temple's Splendor

The Temple in Jerusalem at the time of Christ was an imposing sight. Josephus gives an impressive description:

Now the outward face of the temple in its front wanted nothing that was likely to surprise either men’s minds or their eyes: for it was covered all over with plates of gold of great weight, and, at the rising of the sun, reflected back a very fiery splendor, and made those who forced themselves to look upon it to turn their eyes away, just as they would have done at the sun’s own rays. But this temple appeared to strangers, when they were at a distance, like a mountain covered with snow; for, as to those parts of it that were not gilt, they were exceedingly white.

(Josephus, Jewish wars 5.5.6 §§222-23 #117)

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