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“No foreigner shall enter ...,” Greek inscription forbidding entry to the Temple

“No foreigner shall enter ...,” Greek inscription forbidding entry to the Temple

“No foreigner shall enter ...,” Greek inscription forbidding entry to the Temple

Limestone

H: 49; W: 31; D: 27 cm

Israel Antiquities Authority
IAA:

1936-989

Archaeology/Hellenistic, Roman & Byzantine Periods

This fragmentary sign bears a warning, the full text of which reads, “No foreigner shall enter within the forecourt and the balustrade around the sanctuary. Whoever is caught will have himself to blame for his subsequent death.” It was one of many similar signs set into the partition around the Temple that divided between those areas allowed to all and the sanctified area into which only Jews were permitted. The fragment is one of the few remains from the Second Temple enclosure.
“in this (balustrade) at regular intervals stood slabs giving warning, some in Greek, others in Latin characters, of the law of purification, to wit that no foreigner was permitted to enter the holy place ...” (Flavius Josephus, Jewish War, V, v, 2)

From the Israel Museum publications:

Hestrin, Ruth, Israeli, Yael, Meshorer, Yaakov, Eitan, Avraham, Inscriptions reveal: Documents from the time of the Bible, the Mishna and the Talmud, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 1973, English / Hebrew

Pearlman, Moshe, The Dead Sea Scrolls in the Shrine of the Book, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 1988, English / Hebrew

Israeli, Yael, and Mevorach, David, Cradle of Christianity, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 2000, English / Hebrew

Roitman, Adolfo, Envisioning the Temple: Scrolls, Stones and Symbols, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel, 2003, English / Hebrew

Exhibitions:

Cradle of Christianity, Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 28/03/2000 - 30/01/2001

Envisioning the Temple: Scrolls, Stones, and Symbols, Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 30/05/2003 - 12/04/2004

Digital presentation of this object was made possible by:
The Ridgefield Foundation, New York, in memory of Henry J. and Erna D. Leir