Section CXIX. HEROD’S TEMPLE
[Sidenote: Jos. Ant. XV, 11:1a] Now Herod, in the eighteenth year of his reign, undertook a very great work, that is, to rebuild the temple of God at his own expense, and to make it larger in circumference and to raise it to a more magnificent height. He thought rightly that to bring the temple to perfection would be the most glorious of all his works, and that it would suffice as an everlasting memorial.
[Sidenote: Jos. Ant. XV, 11:2c] So he prepared a thousand wagons to bring stones, chose ten thousand of the most skilful workmen, bought a thousand priestly garments for as many of the priests, and had some of them taught how to work as builders, and others as carpenters. Then he began to build, but not until everything was well prepared for the work.
[Sidenote: Jos. Ant. XV, 11:3a-c] And Herod took up the old foundations, and laid others. He erected a temple upon these foundations: its length was one hundred cubits and its height twenty additional cubits. Now the temple was built of stones that were white and strong. Each was about twenty-five cubits long, eight cubits high, and twelve cubits wide. The whole temple enclosure on the sides was on much lower ground, as were also the royal colonnades; but the temple itself was much higher, being visible for many furlongs in the country round about. It had doors at its entrance as high as the temple itself with lintels over them. These doors were adorned with variegated veils, into which were interwoven pillars and purple flowers. Over these, but under the crown-work, was spread out a golden vine, with its branches hanging far down, the great size and fine workmanship of which was a marvel to those who saw it.