Two public services were held each day, the first, at sunrise, consisted in the offering of a sacrificial ram with the accompaniment of prayer and song. The same rites were repeated at sunset. After the morning sacrifice the private offerings were presented. On the sabbaths, new moons, and great festivals, the number of sacrifices was greatly increased and the ritual made more elaborate. Upon the Jews, instructed in the synagogue in the details of the law and taught to regard the temple and its services with deepest reverence, the elaborate ceremonies of this great and magnificent sanctuary must have made a profound impression. As the people streamed up to Jerusalem by thousands at the great feasts, their attention was fixed more and more upon the ritual and the truths which it symbolized. Herod’s temple also strengthened the authority of the Jewish hierarchy with the people, and gave the scribes and Pharisees the commanding position which they later occupied in the life and thought of Judaism.
[Sidenote: Sibyl. Oracles, iii 767-784] Then a kingdom over all mankind for all times shall God raise up, who once gave the holy law to the pious, for whom he pledged to open every land, the world and the portals of the blessed, and all joys, and an eternal, immortal spirit and a joyous heart. And out of every land they shall bring frankincense and gifts to the house of the great God. And to men there shall be no other house where men may learn of the world to be than that which God hath given for faithful men to honor; for mortals shall call it the temple of the mighty God. And all pathways of the plain and rough hills and high mountains and wild waves of the deep shall be easy in those days for crossing and sailing; for perfect peace for the good shall come on earth. And the prophets of the mighty God shall remove the sword; for they are the rulers of mortals and the righteous kings. And there shall be righteous wealth among mankind; for this is the judgment and rule of the mighty God.
[Sidenote: Ps. Sol. 7:23-35a] Behold, O Lord, and raise up to them their king, the son of David, in the time which thou, O God, knowest, that he may reign over Israel thy servant; and gird him with strength that he may break in pieces those who rule unjustly. Purge Jerusalem with wisdom and with righteousness, from the heathen who trample her down to destroy her. He shall thrust out the sinners from the inheritance, utterly destroy the proud spirit of the sinners, and as potters’ vessels he shall break in pieces with a rod of iron all their substance. He shall destroy the ungodly nations with the word of his mouth, so that at his rebuke the nations will flee before him, and he shall convict the sinners in the thoughts of their hearts. And he shall gather together a holy people, whom he shall lead in righteousness;