And the whole multitude of the people were praying without,
&c.] In the court of the Israelites, whilst Zacharias was in the holy place; though not in the holy of holies, where only the high priest entered: it looks, as Dr. Lightfoot conjectures, as if this was on a sabbath day, since there was such a multitude of people together; for on the weekday, there were only the priests and Levites of the course, and the stationary men, which represented the Israelites, and some of the more devout sort of the people; but here was the whole multitude of the people; or as the Ethiopic version renders it, "all the people were in a full congregation praying": prayer, was wont to be made at the time of incense; hence it is compared to it, ( Psalms 141:2 ) . And hence it is, that Christ is said to offer up the prayers of all saints, with his much incense, ( Revelation 8:3 Revelation 8:4 )
in the time of incense:
whether it was morning or evening, the people were obliged to be at a distance, whilst that was burning; the Jewish canons confirm this F9:
``in the time they burn the incense in the temple every day, (Meh lk Nyvrwp) , "they separate all the people", from the temple, and from between the porch and the altar; there is not a man there, till he comes out that burns the incense.''
F9 Maimon. Hilch. Tamidin, c. 3. sect. 3. 9. & Yore. haccipurim, c. 4. sect. 2. Vid. T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 44. 1.