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The Second Temple, also known as Zerubbabel's Temple, was built
about seventy years after the destruction of the First Temple of
Solomon. The new Temple was built on the site of Solomon's Temple
– on the east side of Jerusalem on Mount Moriah.
The Second Temple was dedicated in 515 B.C. For three hundred and
fifty years the Second Temple of Jerusalem was the main structure
of religious worship in ancient Israel. In 63 B.C. Roman general
Pompey conquered the Holy Land. In 40 B.C., the Romans appointed
Herod I (the Great ) the King of the Jews. In 19 B.C Herod began a
massive renovation of the Temple and expansion doubling the size of
the Temple Mount. Ten thousand workers rebuilt the Temple. One
thousand workers (priests trained as masons and carpenters) rebuilt
the Temple itself. The Temple proper was complete in a year and a
half. The second Temple building, a sanctuary, of courts and
cloisters (surrounded the Temple itself) were completed in eight
years. The expansion of the Temple Mound with courts and cloisters
was completed in 64 A.D. Throughout the four and half decades of
construction, the Temple continued to be the uninterrupted center
of religious and Jewish life in Jerusalem. Herod's Second Temple
was built of white marble, covered with heavy plates of gold in
front and rising high above marble cloistered courts
– themselves a succession of terraces
– the Temple was a conspicuous and dazzling
structure from every side. Biblical scholar, Sir G. A. Smith
describes overall structure, “Herod's temple
consisted of a house divided like its predecessor into the Holy of
Holies; and the Holy Place; a porch; an immediate fore-court with
an alter of burnt offering; Court of Israel; in front of this a
Court of Women; and round the whole preceding, a Court of
Gentiles.†In 70 A.D. Roman general Titus destroyed
Herod's Second Temple in the Siege of Rome.


You are in the sanctuary of Herod's Second Temple in the Court
of Women, surrounded by colonnades and porticoes. Over your right
shoulder is the Temple Treasury, where the widow deposited two
mites into a Treasury collection box. In front of you are fifteen
semicircular steps where Levite priests chanted and sounded
trumpets; there Jesus' parents found their twelve year son in the
midst of Temple teachers. At the top of the steps are the
Corinthian brass doors of the Nicanor Gates dwarfed by the imposing
white marbled Second Temple. Only Temple priests could enter these
sacred inner courts (the Altar of Sacrifice; the Court of Israel;
and Court of Priests.) Inside the Temple building are the Altar of
Incense, the Holy Place. The Veil, and the Holy of Holies.


By the time of the Second Temple reconstruction (19 B.C.-70
A.D.), coins had been used in the Holy Land for over four hundred
years. A variety of coins were available in the surrounding and
nearby lands including: Judea, Samaria, Galilee, and the
Transjordan. In David Hendin's Guide to Biblical Coins, 4th ed.,
the biblical numismatic scholar, states the primary silver coins of
the period are the shekel and half shekel of Tyre; the Roman
denarius; and various Secluid and Nabathean coins.
“The bronze coins commonly used as the small
change were Hasmonean and Secluid mints (which often stayed in
circulation for more than 200 years.)†The coins in
displayed in this presentation are reproductions of original coins
from museums and private collections. Herod I the Great: Bronze 8
Prutot: (First struck in 40 B.C) Rev: Military helmet, facing,
wreath featuring acanthus leaf around cheek, cheek pieces and
straps, star above flanked by two palm branches. Obv: Tripod,
ceremonial bowl (lebes). Inscription: of King Herod. Hendin 486.
Copper Widows Mite: Lepton of Alexander Jannaus (Struck in 78 B.C.)
Obv.: Upside down anchor within a circle, incomplete inscription.
Rev.: Star surrounded by border of dots, incomplete inscription.
Silver Tribute Penny: A Roman silver denarius of Emperor Tiberius
(Struck after 16 A.D.) Obv: Head of Tiberius Rev.: Female seated
facing right. Inscription: High priest of Roman religion. Sear
1763. Note: Translators of King James Bible translated the Latin
'denarius,' a small Roman silver coin into an equivalent
seventeenth century small English silver coin –
the silver penny. Silver Half Shekel: (Struck between 68 and 69
A.D.) Obv: Omer Cup with Hebrew around coin and date above the cup.
Rev: Stem with three pomegranates. Inscription: Jerusalem the Holy.
Hendin 663. Silver Shekel of Tyre: Struck between 126 B.C. To 70
C.E.) Obv: Shows the head of Melqarth, which the Greeks called
Hercules. Rev: An eagle standing with the right foot on a prow of a
ship and a palm branch of its right shoulder. From 126 B.C the
Shekel of Tyre were made in the Mediterranean city of Tyre.
Examples of these early coins have been found primarily in Lebanon
and Syria. Because of quality, true weight, and high silver
content, this coin was used exclusively in the commerce of the
Temple in Jerusalem. All Israelites were required to pay an annual
Temple tax of one half shekel. Each year, Jews from all over the
ancient world came to the Temple in Jerusalem to exchanged their
local coins into the Shekel of Tyre to pay the annual obligation.
From 19 B.C. to 66 A.D., the Shekel of Tyre was minted by the
Temple. In Matthew 26:14-15, the chief priests of the Temple agreed
to pay Judas Iscariot “thirty pieces of
silver†to betray Jesus. The coins Judas received from
the Temple priests were, most likely, Shekels of Tyre.

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