This is true despite the Talmudic injunction expressly forbidding all imitations of the Temple and its sacred artifacts:

A man may not make a house after the design of the Temple, or a porch after the design of the Temple-porth, a courtyard after the design of the Temple-court, a table after the design of the table [in the Temple], or a candelabrum after the design of its candelabrum (Menahot 28b; Abodah Zarah 43a; Rosh Hashonah 24 a, b).

However, this injunction may be directed at the production of functional cultic objects rather than at artistic or decorative renderings—or at least it was so interpreted.


The Talmudic prohibition, quoted in the previous footnote, could have pre-dated the destruction of the Temple. Perhaps it was applied then to all depictions or reproductions. A reproduction of part of the existing temple might be interpreted more easily as an affront to its centrality or sacred character; or perhaps the existence of the Temple, as a symbol of God’s presence in ancient Israel, obviated the need for replication of any of its parts.


“This is the word of Cyrus king of Persia: The Lord God of heaven has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he himself has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem in Judah. To every man of his people now among you I say, the Lord his God be with him, and let him go up.” (2 Chronicles 36:23)


“But many of the priests and Levites and heads of families, who were old enough to have seen the former house, wept and wailed aloud when they saw the foundation of this house laid … ” (Ezra 3:12)


The following are some examples of the kind of work which has helped to establish an early date for some of the P traditions: Frank M. Cross, Jr., “The Priestly Tabernacle,” Biblical Archaeologist 10 (1947), 45–68. Avi Hurwitz, “The Usage of ses and bus in The Bible and its Implications for the Date of P” Harvard Theological Review 60 (1967), 117–121. Jacob Milgrom, “The Alleged Wave—Offering in Israel and in the Ancient Near East,” Israel Exploration Journal 22 (1972), 33–38. Jacob Milgrom, Studies in Levitical Terminology I (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1970). Ephraim Speiser, “Leviticus and the Cities,” Oriental and Biblical Studies Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1967, 173–142.


“Tabernacling” is used by Professor Cross to translate the Hebrew word whose root skn means to “encamp” or to “tent.” It refers to the moveable place where Yahweh’s Glory dwelled on earth.


Incipient forms of the tripodal stand may have developed earlier (there are even some Late Bronze examples, from Beth Shean and Megiddo); but by the sixth century, the tripodal bronze or iron stands predominate.


The New English Bible, the Jerusalem Bible and the New Jewish Publication Society Bible all translate these words “calyxes and petals.” This is surely too literal and fails to convey the architectural reality of the term.



Jason’s Tomb in Jerusalem may be the only other one. A burial tomb of the Hasmonean period (second century B.C.), Jason’s Tomb was unearthed in 1956 in the residential neighborhood of Rehavia. Incised on its rock walls are drawings of a menorah and an ancient naval battle, as well as the name “Jason.”