Arad: Israelite Temple overview

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Looking down from the Hellenistic tower into the Israelite temple. The open courtyard in the foreground contained the large altar (right). An opening in the wall leads to the "Holy Place" and facing this is the small room in the end wall with a raised floor - the "Holy of Holies" (marked by the second blue sign).

For identification of these parts see either the following photos, or "Sanctuary" in Amos - Postmodern Bible Commentary.

This temple is arranged W-E along the northern wall of the fort. One entered the courtyard just below where we are standing. The plan is similar to - but smaller in scale than - that of the tabernacle Exodus 26:15-30) or the temple in Jerusalem (1 Kings 6:1-22). The main difference is that here the Holy Place has its openings in its long walls rather than the short ones - it is a "broad room" rather than a "long room".

That this temple was dedicated to the God of Israel rather than to some pagan deity is suggested by epigraphic evidence: letter 18 among the Arad Ostraca mentions a "house of Adonai" bet yhwh and other writings mention the "sons of Korah" (temple singers in 12 psalms including Ps 42 and 1 Ch 6:22) and include Levitical names.


©Tim Bulkeley, 2002-4, Tim Bulkeley. All rights reserved.
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Unless marked otherwise Bible quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America.