and the Temple
can you tell me what the legal age requirement for a jewish boy
to be permitted into the temple in biblical times thanks peter angel
First, the “Temple” in
first century Jerusalem
must be properly defined. Herod’s Temple, to
distinguish it from two earlier Jewish temples at the same location, sat upon Mt. Moriah.
Herod the Great expanded the surface area of the hill with substantial
retaining walls, which either were backfilled or overlaid with massive rock
slabs and covered with earth. The result was a somewhat irregular approximate
1,000 foot per side pedestal or Temple
Mount. A covered porch
ringed the circumference of the Temple
Mount, through which
rooms one passed into a large courtyard, the Court of the Gentiles. As the name
suggests, anyone, even Gentiles could enter this part of the Temple compound. An inner wall separated
between the Court of the Gentiles and the Court of the (Jewish) Women; no
Gentiles were permitted beyond this inner wall, but any Jew was permitted into
the Court of the Women. The Court of the Women contained at least four rooms,
including where religious teachers often assembled to give instruction to
fellow Jews and where Jesus as a 12-year-old Jewish boy conversed with such
persons (Luke 2:46).
Still another division beyond the Court of the Women
led to the Court of the (Jewish) Men; any Jewish male was permitted into this
area of the Temple
compound. Beyond the Court of the Men was the Court of the Priests into which
only Jewish priests could go, and where they performed sacrifices. Beyond the
Court of the Priests was the Holy
Place into which priests entered for attendance to
the Table of Shewbread, the Altar of Incense and the Menorah lamp. Beyond the
Holy Place was the Holy of Holies or Most Holy Place beyond the veil into which
the High Priest alone goes once annually on the Day of Atonement.
Consequently, reference to the Temple
in the first century depends upon what specifically one has in mind, respecting
the various buildings, rooms and enclosures on the Temple Mount.
Everyone irrespective of ethnicity, gender or age could go to the Court of the
Gentiles. All Jewish (non-Gentile) persons irrespective of gender or age could
go to the Court of the Women. All Jewish men could go to the Court of the Men.
All priests could go to the Court of the Priests and the Holy Place. Only the High Priest could go
into the Holy of Holies, once a year on the Day of Atonement.
Jesus’ first visit to the Temple was in the arms of his mother when he
was a little over one month old (Leviticus 12:2-8; Luke
2:21-24). The next recorded instance of Jesus visiting the Temple was when he was
12-years-old (Luke 2:42). The Jewish Temple was an assortment of public
buildings, courtyards and rooms into which persons could go at will except for
the specifications already mentioned.
However, if the question actually inquires regarding
when a Jewish boy assumed religious responsibility or admission to Jewish rites
and duties, reference to the Temple
is beside the point. The local synagogue rather than the Temple
was the place of assembly for regular worship since the Jewish return from
Babylonian captivity. “By New Testament times a boy of thirteen became a ‘son
of the law.’ …Only after age thirteen did the child qualify to become one of the
ten men who could constitute a synagogue” (Gowers and Wight).
Gowers, R. and F.M. Wight. The New Manners and Customs of Bible
Times. CD-ROM. Chicago:
Moody P., 1987.
Witchcraft and Miracles Contrasted
Some brethren here in Africa
are very superstitious if you deny supernatuaral stories you they will say you
dont believe in withcraft, so how does the bible difine witchcraft did they
perform miracles? Joshua Mukusha
From time to time historically up to about the end of
the first century A.D., supernatural or miraculous events sometimes occurred.
There were two possible, general origins of various supernatural or miraculous
incidents—divine origin (i.e., God or his angels) or satanic origin (i.e.,
Satan or his angels). Miracles involving revelation from God, healing, raising
the dead and punishments or judgments by God were divine in origin. Witchcraft,
sorcery, demon possession, etc. were satanic in origin.
Creation was the result of the miraculous determination
of God to bring the universe and mankind into existence (Genesis 1). The
transmittal of revelation from God to mankind through prophets and preachers
was miraculous (2 Peter 1:21) and accompanied by additional miracles to
validate the new revelation and distinguish it from manmade, counterfeit
revelation (Mark 16:17-20). Jesus Christ healed all manner of sickness and cast
out demons during his earthly ministry (Matthew 4:24) to prove that he was who
he said that he was—the Messiah or the Son of God. Our Lord as well as the
apostle Peter raised people from the dead (John 11:43-44; Acts 9:36-42). God and his servants miraculously
executed divine judgment or punishment upon wicked persons (Genesis 19:24-25; Acts 13:8-11).
Through his prophets, God severely condemned witchcraft
and sorcery (Galatians 5:19-21; Revelation 21:8),
whether faked (Acts 8:9-11) or real (1 Samuel 28:7-15). Demon possession was an
evil miraculous manifestation (Mark 9:17-27) in the first century A.D.,
probably for the purpose of demonstrating the complete power of God, Jesus and
the apostles even over the spirit world (Mark 1:27).
A wide variety of miracles appear within the pages of
the Bible in both testaments. However, miracles were not intended to last
forever. Miracles were prophesied to end when the completed revelation from God
was available and preserved (1 Corinthians 13:8-13; Ephesians
4:11-14). Miracles were never an end in themselves, but they
were provisional (they provided validation of new revelation and for the
messengers bringing new revelation). Once the last of new revelation (the New
Testament or Gospel) was received (Jude 3), miracles were no longer necessary.
Miracles and miracle workers died out together at about the close of the first
century A.D. and the dawning of the second century A.D. when the last of the
New Testament epistles had been written.
Today, neither God nor Satan performs miracles. Today, there
is neither miracle (divine in origin) nor real witchcraft or sorcery (satanic
in origin). There are claims for both ongoing miracles and miraculous satanic
demonstrations, and there are incidents that we may not be able to explain, but
the Bible believer knows that whatever they are, they are not true miracles since
the New Testament teaches that miracles ended with the completion of the New
Testament. Finally, what passes for miracles today are either actually ordinary
events (e.g., the so-called miracle of birth) or not comparable to Bible
miracles (e.g., not instantaneous and complete, raising the dead, walking on
water, multiplying bread and fish, etc.).