The Court Of The Gentiles

Q. I have a question about the Court of the Gentiles and why the Gentiles would have gone into the Temple in the first place, especially if they weren’t regarded as being worthy of being accepted by God. I know animals were sold in the Court of the Gentiles and the Gentiles probably went to sell their animals to the Jewish people.

A. Before New Testament times the only way to God was through Judaism.  The court of the Gentiles was originally intended for those non-Jews who wanted to worship God.  It was as close as they could get to the Temple proper.

When Jesus chased the money changers and other concessions away, he was clearing the court of the Gentiles.  As He drove them out He used partial quotes from Isaiah 56:7 which says “My house will be a house of prayer for all nations,” and Jeremiah 7:11 Has this house which bears my name become a den of robbers to you?” The priests charged a heavy premium for their goods and services and had crowded the court to such an extent that Gentiles had no room  for worship.

The sacrificial animals sold there were raised under strict Jewish guidelines to make them worthy for use in worship.  Most of them were raised by the priests themselves or others who worked under their supervision.

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