Leen Ritmeyer

Garrard presides over his temple. Alec Garrard’s model re-creates the world of Jerusalem’s Second Temple between the reign of King Herod (37–4 B.C.E.) and the destruction of the Temple in 70 C.E. Working on a scale of 1:100, the modelmaker began his project with the Temple, left, and then progressed outward to the gates, walls and other buildings on the Temple Mount. According to the first-century C.E. Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, Herod’s construction of the Temple took only 18 months; Garrard, however, spent four years building his model.

Garrard’s impressive work stems from a desire better to understand the world in which Jesus lived. Here, he offers us a view of the holiest areas of the Temple Mount—the gleaming white Temple and its courts. He has arranged in the four corners of the outer court, known as the Court of Women, center, models of four candlesticks made of clay and painted with metallic paint. Described in the Mishnaic tractate Sukkah (5:2–3), the original golden candlesticks had wicks made from the worn-out drawers and girdles of priests. Youths from priestly families carried jars of oil up ladders to light the lamps, which illuminated all of Jerusalem. The model has gone through many transformations as Garrard’s knowledge of Herod’s Temple Mount has increased. (Note how the Temple’s facade has changed from the earlier photo on pp. 64–65.) The model has also grown considerably. Its expansion forced Garrard to move his work from inside his home to a neighboring stable, although the family toaster oven still served as kiln for the model’s handmade “bricks.”