Who was in control of the Temple calendar in the first century? The Sadducees were in control of the Temple but it seems as if they were subject to the Sanhedrin when it pertained to the calendar..? When was the wave sheaf waved by the High Priest in the first century? The morning after the first of Unleavened Bread or the first day of the week, after the weekly Sabbath? The Pharisees believed the former and the Sadducees the latter. On the one hand, because the Sadducees were in control of the Temple precincts, then it seems logical to conclude that they would have waved the wave sheaf according to their reckoning of time. Yet on the other hand, they could not have went against the decree of the Sanhedrin, of whom they were subject to, which means death if done so. The only historical documents from the first century regarding this that I am aware of, all preserved by Pharisees (Talmuds B. and J., Philo, Josephus), only record the offering of the wave sheaf according to the Pharisaic reckoning. However, it would seem that, since our Messiah resurrected on the first day of the week, and Him being our "first-fruit," (1 Cor. 15), that He resurrected the same time that the High Priest waved the wave sheaf offering!?! Is there any writings from the Sadducean sect or other extra-Biblical texts that we have on record pertaining to this aspect of the calendar during Second Temple times to determine exactly what day the wave sheaf was waved at the Temple in the first century? Please tell me your thoughts on this.
Who was the Israeli Bible scholar who identified the Sambatyon River? [The Sambatyon River being the mythological river where the Lost Tribes of Israel were exiled beyond.]
What happened to Solomon's Temple? How was it destroyed, how much of it was destroyed, and when? When was it rebuilt under Zerubbabel? Was its rebuilding under Zerubbabel the same time as when Cyrus brought the people back into the land? When was Herod's Temple built?
Thank you all for your time.
B'shem ha'rak resheith shel Elohim.
-K. P. : )
1. Here's a good link on the issue, an article primarily discussing Shavu'ot but also the wave sheaf offering.
. . . They [delegates from the Sanhedrin] cut down barley to the amount of one ephah, or ten omers, or three seahs, which is equal to about three pecks and three pints of our English measure. The ears were brought into the Court of the Temple, and thrashed out with canes or stalks, so as not to injure the corn; then 'parched' on a pan perforated with holes, so that each grain might be touched by the fire, and finally exposed to the wind. The corn thus prepared was ground in a barley mill, which left the hulls whole. According to some, the flour was always successfully passed through thirteen sieves, each closer than the other. The statement of a rival authority, however, seems more rational - that it was only done till the flour was sufficiently fine (Men. vi. 6, 7), which was ascertained by one of the 'Gizbarim' (treasurers) plunging his hands into it, the sifting process being continued so long as any of the flour adhered to the hands (Men. viii. 2). Though one ephah, or ten omers, or barley was cut down, only one omer of flour, or about 5.1 pints of our measure, was offered in the Temple on the second Paschal, or 16th day of Nisan. The rest of the flour might be redeemed, and used for any purpose. The omer of flour was mixed with a 'log,' or very nearly three-fourths of a pint of oil, and a handful of frankincense put upon it, then waved before the Lord, and a handful taken out and burned on the altar. The remainder belonged to the priest. This was what is popularly, though not very correctly, called 'the presentation of the first or wave-sheaf' on the second day of the Passover-feast, or the 16th of Nisan. (pp. 204-205, The Temple: Its Ministry and Services, updated edition)
"The Sadducees were in control of the Temple but it seems as if they were subject to the Sanhedrin when it pertained to the calendar..?"
The Levite-Sadducee elite were kept in check by the Pharisees who had more popular support.
Here's a good article on the two groups:
2. Nahmanides identifies the Sambation with the Guzana River mentioned in II Kings, located in Medes, according to Wikipedia.
Note that in the early middle ages, if not before, the idea of a people hidden behind a river became conflated and confused with the stories of Mongols living behind the great wall in China.
A similar confusion occured in Islam, where a people called Magog were described as being hidden behind a wall and conflated with the Mongols (this wall was supposedly built by Alexander the Great according to certain Islamic scholars.)
3. Solomon's temple was entirely destroyed. It is impossible to know how much of it was left standing at the time of Zerubbabel beyond what the scriptures tell us.
"King Darius I of Persia appointed Zerubbabel governor of the Province. It was after this appointment that Zerubbabel began to rebuild the Temple. Elias Bickerman speculates that one of the reasons that Zerubbabel was able to rebuild the Temple was because of “the widespread revolts at the beginning of the reign of Darius I in 522 BCE, which preoccupied him to such a degree that Zerubbabel felt he could initiate the rebuilding of the temple without repercussions"
I will answer these one at a time as time allows:
1. From my book Understanding Paul at http://www.lulu.com/nazarene
Although the Sadducees actually controlled the Priesthood and the Temple, they were intimidated by the majority status of the Pharisees who therefore dictated the halacha that was actually used in the Temple. As Josephus writes:
…they [Pharisees] are able greatly to persuade
the body of the people; and whatsoever they do
about divine worship, prayers, and sacrifices,
they perform them according to their direction…
For example the Talmud records that a certain Sadducee priest had his turn to offer incense come up. He was determined to offer the incense according to Sadducean custom rather than according to Pharisaic custom. His father admonished him saying:
My son, although we are Sadducees, we are
afraid of the Pharisees.
And from my Hebraic Roots Commentary on Luke at http://www.lulu.com/nazarene
1:9-13 … he [Z’kharyah] was to place the incense… And an angel of YHWH who stood at the right side of the alter of incense appeared to Z’kharyah. And Z’kharyah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. And the angel said to him; Do not fear…
Why was he troubled? Why did fear fall upon him when the angel appeared? On the contrary one might expect him to be overjoyed to see an angel in the Temple. Some background to this story gives the account much more meaning. Pharisees and Sadducees differed as to how they believed the incense offering was to be made. Sadducees controlled the priesthood and the Temple (because most priests were Sadducees) but Pharisees were the majority and thus controlled the people and the courts. According to the Mishna (m.Yoma 1:5) the Pharisees would use the power of the Rabbinical courts to require the priests to agree to perform the Temple services according to the traditional method handed down by the elders and not to alter it based un Sadducee understandings and interpretations by bringing the incense into the Holy of Holies. All of this was needed because a Sadducee Priest had once taken it upon himself to alter the service. As we read in the Talmud (in the Gemara to m.Yoma 1:5):
HE TURNED ASIDE AND WEPT
AND THEY TURNED ASIDE AND WEPT.
He turned aside and wept because they suspected him
of being a Sadducee, and they turned aside and wept,
for R. Joshua b. Levi said: Whosoever suspects good folks
will suffer [for it] on his own body. Why was all this
[solemn adjuration] necessary? Lest he arrange the incense
outside and thus bring it in, in the manner of the Sadducees.
Our Rabbis taught: There was a Sadducee who had arranged
the incense without, and then brought it inside. As he left he
was exceedingly glad. On his coming out his father met him
and said to him: My son, although we are Sadducees, we are
afraid of the Pharisees. He replied: All my life was I aggrieved
because of this scriptural verse: For I appear in the cloud
upon the ark-cover. I would say: When shall the opportunity
come to my hand so that I might fulfil it. Now that such
opportunity has come to my hand, should I not have fulfilled it? It is reported that it took only a few days until he died and was thrown on the dung heap and worms came forth from his nose. Some say: He was smitten as he came out [of the Holy of Holies]. For R. Hiyya taught: Some sort of a noise was heard
in the Temple Court, for an angel had come and struck him
down on his face [to the ground] and his brethren the priests
came in and they found the trace as of a calf's foot on his
shoulder, as it is written: And their feet were straight feet, and
the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf's foot.
In light of this passage it is clear why Z’kharyah was troubled and fearful when the angel appeared to him in the Temple after he had offered incense. Z’kharyah was almost certainly aware of this story and thus must have been worried that he had somehow offered the incense incorrectly and that the angel had appeared in order to strike him down. The angel was aware of this and immediately told him “Fear not…”.
2. Yochanan Hevroni Ben David (John Hulley)
"Did any of the Lost Tribes go North?
B'Or Ha'Torah (I will try to find the issue)