Second Temple : Court of the Gentiles


The Court of the Gentiles in the Second Temple - Wikipedia This area was primarily a bazaar, with vendors selling souvenirs, sacrificial animals, food, as well as currency changers, exchanging Roman for Tyrian money because the Jews were not allowed to coin their own money and they viewed Roman currency as an abomination to the Lord,[23] as also mentioned in the New Testament account of Jesus and the Money Changers. Guides that provided tours of the premises were also available. Jewish males had the unique opportunity to be shown inside the temple itself. The Kohanim (Priests), in their white linen robes and tubular hats, were omnipresent, directing pilgrims and advising them what kinds of sacrifices were to be performed. Behind one as they entered the Court of the Gentiles was the Royal Portico, which contained a marketplace, administrative quarters, and a synagogue as well. On the upper floors, the great Jewish sages held court, Cohanim and Levites performed various chores, and from there tourists were able to observe the events. To the east of the court was the Portico of Solomon, and to the north, the Soreg, a giant stone structure separating the public area from the area where only Jews could enter. Within the soreg was the temple itself.