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The Talmud, by Joseph Barclay, [1878], at


1. The Captain of the Temple said to the priests, "come and cast lots." "Who is to slaughter?" "Who is to sprinkle?" "Who is to take the ashes from the inner altar?" "Who is to take the ashes from the candlestick?" "Who is to bring up the members to the ascent, the head and the right foot, and the two hind feet, the chine, and the left foot, the breast, and the throat, and the two sides, the inwards, and the fine flour, and the pancakes and the wine?" They cast lots, and he gained who gained.

2. The Captain said to them, "go and see if the time for slaughter approaches?" If it approached, the watchman said, "it brightens." Matthia, son of Samuel, said, "is it light in the whole east, even to Hebron?" and he said, "yes."

3. He said to them, "go and bring the lamb from the lamb-chamber." The lamb-chamber was in the north-west corner of the court, and there were four chambers there, one the lamb-chamber, one the seal-chamber, 3 and one chamber for the burning materials, and one chamber where they made showbread.

4. The priests entered the chamber for the vessels, and they brought out ninety-three vessels of silver and gold.

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[paragraph continues] They made the daily sacrifice drink in a golden cup. Even though he was examined the night before, they examined him again by torch-light.

5. He who gained the lot for the daily sacrifice, led the lamb to the slaughter-house, and those who gained the lots for the members, went after him. The slaughter-house was to the north of the altar, and in it were eight dwarf pillars, and beams of cedar wood were fastened upon them, and iron hooks were fastened in them. And there were three rows of hooks to each of them. Upon them the priests hung the sacrifices, and skinned them, near the marble tables between the pillars.

6. Those who gained the lot for the removal of the ashes from the inner altar, and the ashes from the candlestick, advanced with four vessels in their hands, a flagon 1 and a cup 2 and two keys. The flagon resembled a great golden measure containing two cabs and an half. And the cup resembled a great golden jug. And the two keys to the sanctuary. One key entered the lock up to the shoulder of the priest, and one opened quickly.

7. The priest came to the wicket on the north, and there were two wickets in the great gate, one in the north and one in the south. Through that in the south man never entered, and Ezekiel explains it. "Then said the Lord unto me: This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the Lord, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut." 3 He took the key and opened the wicket; he entered the chamber, and he went from the chamber into the sanctuary, until he came to the great gate. When he came to the great gate, he took down the bar and the bolts and opened it. The slaughterer did not slaughter till he heard the noise of the opening of the great gate.

8. From Jericho 4 people heard the opening of the great gate. From Jericho they heard the noise of the shovel. 5

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[paragraph continues] From Jericho they heard the noise of the wooden wheel which the son of Kattin made for the laver. From Jericho they heard the voice of Gabini the herald. From Jericho they heard the sound of the cornet. From Jericho they heard the sound of the cymbal. From Jericho they heard the voice of the song. From Jericho they heard the clang of the horn, and some say even the voice of the High Priest at the time when he mentioned the Name on the Day of Atonement. From Jericho they smelt the odour of the preparation of incense. Said R. Eleazar, the son of Daglai, "the family of Aba had goats on the mountains of Mikvor, 1 and they used to sneeze from the odour of the preparation of the incense."

9. The priest who gained the lot for removing the ashes from the inner altar entered, and took the flagon and laid it before him, and he took handfuls of ashes and filled them into the flagon, and at last he brushed the remainder into it. And he left it and went out (of the holy place). He who gained the lot for removing the snuff from the candlestick, entered and found the two eastern lights burning. He snuffed the rest, and left these burning in their place. If he found them extinguished, he snuffed them, and lighted them again from those still burning, and afterwards he snuffed the rest. And there was a stone before the candlestick, and in it were three steps, on which the priest stood and trimmed the lights. And he placed the cup with the snuff on the second step, and went out.


245:3 In this chamber were kept the "seals" or "tokens" given to those persons who bought their offerings from the Levites. These "seals" were of four sorts, and were respectively inscribed with "calf" or "kid," according to the offerings to be presented; and with the word "male" when the offering was to be a ram; and "sinner" when it was to be a sin-offering.

246:1 Others read a basket.

246:2 Or jug.

246:3 Ezek. xliv. 2.

246:4 Jericho is about eighteen miles distant from Jerusalem.

246:5 Perhaps "a gong" or "a bell." Some think it to have been "a musical instrument," and others consider it to have been "an organ."

247:1 Some think "Machærus" on the east of the Dead Sea, about 50 miles distant from Jerusalem.

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