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The Soreg Inscription
Warning to Trespassers In the Temple.
The Court of the Gentiles was the only part of the sacred precincts
of the Temple in Jerusalem into which foreigners might enter. Slabs
bearing an inscription in Greek and Latin characters-as the one pictured
above, a relic from Herod's Temple - warning Gentiles the death would be
the penalty for breaking the rule, were placed in front of forbidden zones.
Museum Tschinili-Kirschk. Istanbul. View Interpretation
Josephus (Jos. War 5, v, 2; cf. Jos. War 6, ii, 4; Jos. Antiq. 15. xi, 5; Philo Leg. 212) says: "Proceeding across this [the open court] towards the second court of the temple, one found it surrounded by a stone balustrade, three cubits high and of exquisite workmanship; in this at regular intervals stood slabs giving warning, some in Greek, others in Latin characters, of the law of purification, to wit that no foreigner was permitted to enter the holy place, for so the second enclosure of the temple was called."
Clermont-Ganneau discovered one of these warning notices in 1871. It reads: "No man of another nation to enter within the fence and enclosure round the temple. And whoever is caught will have himself to blame that his death ensues" (cf. Acts 21:26-30)
Jesus preached in the Court of the Gentiles, which Herod's builders had doubled in size and surrounded with an elaborate Hellenistic portico. The model at the Holy Land Hotel is a Scholar's conception showing how the site may have looked in Jesus' day. Josephus the Jewish historian wrote about the warning signs that were on the barrier that separated the court of the gentiles from the other courts in the Temple. Not until recent times did archaeologists actually discover one. Its seven-line inscription read as follows:
IS TO GO BEYOND THE BALUSTRADE
AND THE PLAZA OF THE TEMPLE ZONE
WHOEVER IS CAUGHT DOING SO
WILL HAVE HIMSELF TO BLAME
FOR HIS DEATH
WHICH WILL FOLLOW