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The Temple Facade - First Century Jerusalem
Photo of the Facade of the Temple in the Second Temple Model of Jerusalem
Beyond the Court of the Women and in the Court of the Israelites is where the sacrifices were made. The Facade was 165 feet high and wide and was built of 3 kinds of marble, with a foundation of blue stones. Josephus described the Temple as resembling "a snowy mountain glittering in the sun." If you were a male Jew in the first century you could only proceed to the Court of the Israelites.
If you were a priest you could go up the semi-circular stairs and through the Nicanor gate and into the Court of the Priests where there was the altar of burnt offerings. Then you could go up the stairs past the facade into the Sanctuary, the Holy Place where there was the Golden Lampstand and the table of the Shewbread. Only the High Priest could go further into the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.
Photo of the Entrance to the Temple in the Second Temple Model of Jerusalem