Model reconstructions can be helpful in teaching when the original is not available. Such is true of the temple of biblical times. Herod’s temple was a magnificent building, according to the disciples of Jesus.
And as he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!” (Mark 13:1 ESV)
Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. (Matthew 24:1 ESV)
Using the hints from the New Testament, Josephus, and other Jewish sources, some scholars have made a model of the Second Temple (Herod’s Temple). For many years this model was located on the grounds of the Holyland Hotel, but recently has been moved to the grounds of the Israel Museum. Click for a larger image.
Second Temple Model at the Israel Museum. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.
Watchtowers were used in vineyards (Isaiah 5:2; Luke 14:28; see here), and as lookout posts.
Then he who saw cried out: “Upon a watchtower I stand, O Lord, continually by day, and at my post I am stationed whole nights. (Isaiah 21:8 ESV)
The concept is used figuratively of the LORD’S care for His people.
for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy. (Psalm 61:3 ESV)
The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe. (Proverbs 18:10 ESV)
Yesterday afternoon we stopped by Yad Hashmona in the Judean Hills near Abu Ghosh (Kiriath-jearim) to visit the Biblical Village. Yad Hashmona operates a guest house and guiding center. Some readers will recognize it as the site of the campus of Master’s College IBEX program.
The Biblical Village provides a wonderful site for teaching, and photos of the reconstructions should be helpful too.
Watchtower, Biblical Village, Yad Hashmona. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.
Actually I wrote about this to provide Todd his regular fix of Israel while he is in exile in Texas. 🙂