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Treasury, (Of Temple)

TREASURY, (OF TEMPLE)

trezh'-ur-i ('otsar, usually; ganzakh, 1 Chronicles 28:11; gazophulakion, korbanas):

1. Origin of the Treasury:

The need of a "treasury" in connection with the house of Yahweh would early be felt for the reception of the offerings of the people, of tithes, and of the spoils of war dedicated to Yahweh. Already in Joshua 6:19,24, therefore, we read of a "treasury of the house of Yahweh," into which "the silver and gold, and vessels of brass and iron," taken at Jericho, were brought. In the reign of David, and in his plans for the future temple, great prominence is given to the "treasuries." In 1 Chronicles 26:20 are given the names of those who were over "the treasures of the house of God," and over "the treasures of the dedicated things" ("the spoil won in battles," 26:27), the latter being applied "to repair the house of Yahweh."

2. The Solomonic Temple:

In David's plans for Solomon the "treasuries" (ganzakkim) are mentioned with the "porch," "the houses," the "upper rooms," the "inner chambers" of the Temple (1 Chronicles 28:11); and the same distinction is made of "the treasuries ('otsroth) of the house of God," and "the treasuries of the dedicated things" (1 Chronicles 28:12). In the accounts of the actual building of the Temple, "treasuries" are not mentioned, but subsequent notices give ample evidence of their existence. In the narratives of the repeated plunderings of the Temple (see TEMPLE), constant allusion is made to the carrying away of "the treasures of the house of Yahweh" and "the treasures of the king's house" or palace (1 Kings 14:26; 15:15,18; 2 Kings 12:18; 14:14; 16:8; 18:15; 24:13). In the episode of Jehoash's repair of the Temple (2 Kings 12; 2 Chronicles 24), we have a refreshing glimpse of the presence and uses of the treasury; but this brighter gleam is soon swallowed up again in darkness. Of the larger store-chambers we get a glance in Jeremiah, where we are told that "the house of the king" was "under the treasury" (38:11), i.e. on a lower level under the south wall.

3. The Second Temple:

The Book of Ne introduces us to treasury-chambers in the second temple--now used for the voluntary offerings (tithes) of the people--grain, and wine, and oil (Nehemiah 13:4; compare Malachi 3:10). A certain Meshullam had repaired the city wall "over against his chamber" (Nehemiah 3:30), and he, with other Levites, kept "the watch at the storehouses of the gates" (Nehemiah 12:25). These gates were probably gates of exit on the southern side, as in the Herodian temple.

4. Herod's Temple in the New Testament:

In Herod's temple the name "treasury" was specially given to the "court of the women" (see TEMPLE, HEROD'S), where were 13 trumpet-shaped boxes for the reception of the offerings of the worshippers. It was here that Jesus saw the poor widow cast in her two mites (Mark 12:41; Luke 21:1-4), and the court is expressly named the "treasury" in John 8:20:

"These words spake he in the treasury, as he taught in the temple." It is a legitimate deduction that this court was the ordinary scene of the Lord's ministry when teaching in the temple.

See also TREASURE, TREASURER, TREASURY.

W. Shaw Caldecott


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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Entry for 'TREASURY, (OF TEMPLE)'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". 1915.