The Women's Court of Herod's Temple in Unger's Bible Dictionary

Entering by the E gate one came to the court of the women, a square of 135 cubits, separated from the court of the Israelites by a wall on the W side and having gates on the N and S sides for the women to enter by. These gates, as well as those on the E and W sides of this court, had rooms built over them to a height of 40 cubits, each room being ornamented with two pillars 12 cubits in circumference, and provided with double doors 30 cubits high and 40 wide, overlaid with gold and silver. According to Middoth 2.3, the gates, with the exception of the eastern one, were only 20 cubits high and 10 wide. The eastern gate, called in the Talmud Nicanor's, or the great gate, was made of Corinthian brass and was regarded as the principal gate on account of its greater height (being 50 cubits) and width (40 cubits) and from its being more richly decorated with precious metals. It is undoubtedly the "gate of the temple which is called Beautiful" (Acts 3:2). Around the walls of the court, except the W side, ran porticoes (porches), the roof of which rested on lofty and highly finished pillars. In each corner was a room, used, respectively, for storing the wood deemed unfit to be burned on the altar; for those affected with leprosy to wash themselves; for storing sacrificial wine and oil; and that one in which the Nazirites shaved their hair and cooked the flesh of the consecration sacrifices. According to Josephus it was in some of the pillars of this court that the thirteen alms boxes were placed.

Read More