Jesus and the Money Changers
My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. 2 Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. 3 If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” 4 have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
5 Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? 6 But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? 7 Are they not the ones who are blaspheming the noble name of him to whom you belong?
The War on Jerusalem, by Francesco Hayez
The mighty God, even the Lord, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof. Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined. Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.
We have always said in our blog Scripture for Today, God forgave the people who crucified Jesus and Jerusalem was sacked at 70 A.D. Surely God would not undo the work of Jesus to heal and build up these people. However, 70 A.D. was a new generation. Jesus was still being blasphemed in the Sadduceen Council, you can see these Talmudic records still in Scotland today. He was dishonored. Still being dragged into their court, still being declared to have had a fair trial. His Mother Mary still being defamed. The advice of Gamaliel disregarded.
34 A Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law who was respected by all the people, stood up in the Sanhedrin and ordered the men[a] to be taken outside for a little while. 35 He said to them, “Men of Israel, be careful about what you’re going to do to these men. 36 Not long ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a group of about 400 men rallied to him. He was killed, and all his partisans were dispersed and came to nothing. 37 After this man, Judas the Galilean rose up in the days of the census and attracted a following.[b] That man also perished, and all his partisans were scattered. 38 And now, I tell you, stay away from these men and leave them alone. For if this plan or this work is of men, it will be overthrown; 39 but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You may even be found fighting against God.” So they were persuaded by him.
The Temple became more corrupt.
These steps had 13 Contribution Steps. This ended where Women could enter the Temple. Jesus witnessed the poor widow but her coins here. The trumpets made noise to "show" alms and prevent theft.
The inner area of the Temple contained three courts. The easternmost court was the Court of the Women, and it contained the Temple treasury where people donated their money (Mk 12:41-44). Three gates led into this court, one on the north, one on the south, and a third on the east. This third gate on the east side is almost certainly the "Beautiful Gate" that was mention in Acts 3. A fourth gate, which was much larger and ornate led from the Court of the Women west into the Court of Israel (women could proceed no further), which was elevated 15 steps higher than the Court of Women.
The 13 Contribution Chests (Trumpets)
According to the Mishnah (Middoth 2,5) the Women's Court was was just over 200 feet square between bounding lines. Each court on the outside was 60 feet square. The colonnade ran around the court, and within it, against the wall, the thirteen chests, or 'trumpets,' for charitable contributions were placed.
These thirteen chests were narrow at the mouth and wide at the bottom, shaped like trumpets. There were actually eleven treasure chests of the Temple for the voluntary offerings of money, and then also two at the Gate of Susan, for the half-shekel tax.
Their specific objects were carefully marked on them. Nine were for the receipt of what was legally due by worshipers; the other four for strictly voluntary gifts.
Trumpets 1 and 2 were appropriated to the half-shekel Temple-tribute of the current and of the past year.
Into Trumpet 3 those women brought turtledoves for a burnt / sin offering dropped their equivalent in money, which was daily taken out and a corresponding number of turtledoves offered. This saved the labor of steps and allowed modesty of those who might not wish to have their offering publicly known. This trumpet, Mary the mother of Jesus, dropped her offering (Luke 2:22,24) when the aged Simeon took the infant Savior 'in his arms, and blessed God.'
Josephus records a unique history of the The Court of Women! This curved staircase of fifteen steps led up to the Nicanor Gate (m. Mid. 1.4; 2.6). According to Josephus, this gate was larger than the other nine gates (being fifty cubits high with doors forty cubits wide); its doors were supposed to have been made of Corinthian bronze (War 5.201) and it took twenty men to open and close it (War 6.5.3; 293). The Levites would stand on these steps when they sang the Song of Ascents (Pss 120–134), The doors lead to the Court of Israelites, where only ritually pure Jewish men could enter (Ant. 15.11.5; 419).
According to Josephus, during the Roman attack on the revolutionaries who had taken refuge in the Temple, the Nicanor Gate opened of its own accord after having been closed and bolted [War 6.5.3; 293-94].)
God was indeed finished with this Temple. When God, who is slow to anger, takes vengeance, He does not take it twice; it is not needed.
What do you plot against the LORD?
He will make a complete end;
trouble will not rise up a second time.
Notice with me, our New Testament Bible is written while the Temple is operational. Paul writes of the sacrifice being offered daily in the Temple. These men who walked with Jesus in awe and wonder were giving up their lives before the Temple was done. Not written four hundred years later. Ryland and other papyrus show us the Word is exactly what they wrote and when. Enduring 400 hundred years of persecution to bring you the Bible in your hand today. The sacrifice ended at the natural lifetime of Jesus. God never wrote us of the end of His Holy Temple. Jesus instead told us to build. Build ourselves into the Temple of God. Well worth remembering. The God of Love.
Two thousand years later, the Temple has not been rebuilt.
The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein
Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain?