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When Yeshua Went to the Temple Daily

All of the Gospel provide multiple references to Yeshua going to the Temple, on many of those trips he also taught there daily too -- Matthew 26:55; Mark 14:49; Luke 19:47, 22:53; and John 7:28.

If you haven’t read our earlier blog – Experiencing the Temple that Yeshua Knew – and watch the videos at end, it will make this study much more meaningful if you take time to do it now. Go to --

Ritual impurity was a subject that Yeshua would have been much aware of, as were his fellow Jews. Ritual impurity has nothing to do with being physically clean. It is impurities defined by the Torah, the Laws of Moses.

During Second Temple Judaism (c. 300 BCE to 70 CE), Jews were very concerned with obeying the developing requirements of ritual purity. . . “The Temple Mount played as important a role in Jesus’ life in Jerusalem as it played in Jewish life altogether.” It is certain that almost all the purification rules were related to the Temple cult and festivals related to the Temple, and the vessels shaped by Jewish rules for purification were associated with the Temple and the Temple Mount.[i]

Many priests were assigned the task of enforcing the laws of ritual purity. Below are some of the things they were looking for:

The Mishnah in m. Kelim 1:8 clearly states that individuals in certain states of lesser ritual purity are in fact denied entrance into the Outer Court (Court of the Gentiles) namely, men and women suffering unusual genital discharges, women in a state of menses impurity and women in a state of childbirth impurity. The description of Josephus in Contra Apionem (2:103-104) is less detailed, but generally parallels that of the Mishnah: “Into the first court everyone was allowed to go, even foreigners, and none but women during their courses were prohibited to pass through it.” To the list one may add another state of ritual impurity, mentioned in a slightly later source (BT Peshahim 67b), namely qeri, which refers to both men and women after sexual contact and to men who have experienced nocturnal discharge. All the aforementioned are restricted from entering the Outer Court until having undergone miqweh ablution.[ii]

Yeshua, along with everyone else that entered the Temple’s Outer Court, Jews and Gentiles, had to go through the hundreds of ritual bathes located on the south side of the Temple at the base of the stairs. To put it in more understandable terms, each time a person entered the Temple, he or she had to self-immerse (baptize) himself or her herself – including Yeshua. Click on this link to see the ritual immersion baths that archaeologists have uncovered at the Temple --

Go to this link to see more pictures (scroll about halfway down the page) --

The Gospel of John gives us a clue for where we would find Yeshua in the Temple, if we wanted to hear him teach or speak to him – “and Yeshua was in the Temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade (Porch)” (John 10:22-23). Click here to see a picture of Solomon’s Porch --

Click here to see a drawing of what Yeshua would have been doing there --

It must be kept in mind that while Yeshua was teaching at the Temple, there were many other activities going on, as well as other groups gathered to listen to the teachings of other teachers and priests. However, at certain times a call for prayer was announced and everyone would gather to hear and join in with the priests who assembled on the steps to sing psalms and recite prayers.  Click here to see a picture of the gate & gathering of the priests --

The priests would then bless those gathered before them by reciting the Birkat Kohanim (Priestly Blessing) (Numbers 6:24-26):

Adonai bless you and keep you;
Adonai make His face shine on you and be gracious to you;
Adonai turn His face toward you and give you SHALOM

Listen to the Birkat Kohanim (Priestly Blessing) as you see the Hebrew words by clicking here --

In closing, watch this short 4 minute video of the call for the people to gather at the Western Wall for the Birkat Kohanim (Priestly Blessing) in 2012 --  Picture Yeshua gathering with the crowds to participate in a very similar event.

Every time you read about Yeshua going to the Temple, remember the above information. Think about the steps he took to go to the ritual baths, walk into the Outer Court, go to Solomon’s Porch and gather with the others for prayers and blessing. Keep in mind that when he mention the Temple or the things in the Temple, his audience could both turn and see them, or in the case of the altar -- smell the aroma of the sacrifices being offered.

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[i] The Temple, Purity, and the Background to Jesus Death by James H. Charlesworth; RCatT XXXIII/2 (2008) 395-442 © Facultat de Teologia de Catalunya; pp. 397 & 400.


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