[b-hebrew] Temple in Ezekiel 40+

Kevin P. Edgecomb kevin at bombaxo.com
Sat Dec 20 18:06:30 EST 2008

Karl Maresco wrote:
Has anyone reconstructed the plausible dimensions of the Samaritan temples?
If we could reconstruct the dimensions of the older Samaritan temple we
might learn something about Nehemiah's temple. Also, has archaeology
revealed the dimensions of Nehemiah's original temple? Is it possible that
Nehemiah's original temple conformed to the pattern in Ezekiel?

I write:
So far as I know, all the architectural remains are described in volume 2 of
the Magen book I mentioned earlier.  I've only seen Volume 1, which covers
the inscriptions found there.  I recall reading that the remains are
extremely fragmentary, consisting of foundations alone.  So the input is
likely only very general for any reconstructions of the Jerusalem Temple of
Nehemiah's time that it was modeled on.  The Second Temple is, of course,
completely gone, and no trace of the building itself remains likely other
than foundation trenches in the bedrock.  In the Ritmeyer book I mentioned
in the earlier post, he established that the First Temple platform was
500x500 cubits, as in Ezekiel.  Many think that the Ezekiel plan reflects an
idealized or cleaned-up version of the Temple of Ezekiel's day, in the late
7th/early 6th century.  If that is the case, it is certainly possible that
the Second Temple of Nehemiah's day resembled the earlier precinct to
whatever degree that the older plan was followed in its reconstruction.
Therefore, the Second Temple precincts would also resemble (somewhat) the
Ezekiel Temple, to whatever degree the latter was founded in reality, and
not just prophetic vision.  It is, however, unlikely that anything probative
will be excavated in the forseeable future.  

Ritmeyer's book really is excellent in pulling together all the data
available on the Herodian Temple, many elements of the precinct of which are
intact, as is well known. He has another book available, too, _Jerusalem in
the Time of Nehemiah_, but it deals more with the walls of the city than the
Temple area.

Kevin P. Edgecomb
Berkeley, California

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list