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Ancient Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
Assyria Nineveh
Arslan Tash Til Barsip
Iran Palace of Darius
Phoenicia Arabia Palmyra
Syrian coast
Ougarit Byblos




 
Greek Inscription
from Herod’s Temple
 
AO 5032
 
Not on display
 
 
This inscription, a cast of which is housed
in the Louvre, AR78
was placed within the enclosure
of Herod’s temple in Jerusalem.

 Greek Inscription from Herod’s Temple, soreg

It closed off the access by Gentiles to the inner courtyards, only open to sanctified Jewish worshippers (Ephesians 2:14, note). According to the Mishnah (Middot II, 3), this 1.3m-long barrier was called the soreg.
 
On top of this wall, a warning was inscribed in Greek and Latin: “No stranger is to enter within the balustrade around the temple and enclosure. Whoever is caught will be responsible for his own death.” AR79

and the dividing wall of the text of Ephesians

This text sheds light on a scene
of the Book of Acts (21:27-29).
 
The Jews of Asia accused Paul the Apostle: “he even brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place.”
 
Above all, it enables us to better grasp the allusion made in the note in Ephesians 2:14.

 

 

 

 

 


Model of the Second Temple            
of Jerusalem           Israel Museum in Jerusalem
 
In the context, the Apostle explained that ‘the dividing wall’ (NASB) represented the ancient legal separation between the Jews and the Gentiles, a consequence of the alliance resulting from the Law concluded with Moses.
 
This was an alliance that the death of Christ abolished (Colossians 2:13-15), enabling both peoples free ‘access in one Spirit to the Father’.
 
 
Finally, this inscription allows us to better understand the words of Pilate concerning Jesus:
 
“Take him yourselves and crucify him.” (John 19:6 NLT).
 
This declaration appears to contradict what had been previously stated by the Jews: “Only the Romans are permitted to execute someone,” the Jewish leaders replied.” (John 18:31 NLT).
 
Note the location of the barrier or soreg.

In NWT, 1995, appendice G
 
The historian Flavius Josephus, eye witness to the Roman assault on Jerusalem in 70AD, reported these words spoken by General Titus: “Was it not you who inserted the engraved steles, proclaiming that no-one must cross this parapet? Did we not permit you to put to death those who cross it?”  AR80
 
Consequently, even if the Romans did not authorise the Jews to resort to capital punishment for civil offences, they apparently granted them this right in the event of serious religious misconduct, as was the case for Jesus.
 
 Original of the Archeological Museum Istambul
 
 

 





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