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1 When Josephus here says that the floor of the outmost temple or court of the Gentiles was with vast labor raised to be even, or of equal height, with the floor of the inner, or court of the priests, he must mean this in a gross estimation only; for he and all others agree, that the inner temple, or court of the priests, was a few cubits more elevated than the middle court, the court of Israel, and that much more was the court of the priests elevated several cubits above that outmost court, since the court of Israel was lower than the one and higher than the other. The Septuagint say that "they prepared timber and stones to build the temple for three years," 1 Kings 5:18; and although neither our present Hebrew copy, nor Josephus, directly name that number of years, yet do they both say the building itself did not begin till Solomon's fourth year; and both speak of the preparation of materials beforehand, 1 Kings v. 18; Antiq. B. VIII. ch. 5. sect. 1. There is no reason, therefore, to alter the Septuagint's number; but we are to suppose three years to have been the just time of the preparation, as I have done in my computation of the expense in building that temple.
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