We have searched out the things; now let us inquire after the places.
I. Those thirteen chests, which were called trumpets, we have fixed, without all doubt, in the court of the women: and that upon the credit of Josephus; "The walks (saith he, speaking of that court), running along between the gates, extended inwardly from the wall before the treasuries, were borne up with fair and great columns." To this let us add the words of the evangelist John, 8:20: "These words spake Jesus in the treasury":--if it had been said, over-against the treasury, which Mark saith, it might be understood of one of the chambers of which we have spoken: which sense the Arabic interpreter seems to follow; who renders it, that "Jesus sat at the gate of the treasury." But when it is said that he spake those words in the treasury, those chambers are wholly excluded, into which it would be ridiculous to think that they permitted Christ to enter.
But note, the word treasuries, in Josephus, is the plural number, and that he speaks of the court of the women, and you will be past doubting that he respected these chests under the word treasuries: and you will doubt as little that Mark looked the same way when you shall have observed that his speech is of the women, how both she and others cast money into the treasury; which, as appears from those things we have produced out of the Talmudists, was neither customary, nor allowed to do into other Corbans.
This court, indeed, is commonly called in the Jewish writers, the court of the women; not that women only entered in there, but because women might not go further; in the same sense as the outward court is called 'the court of the Gentiles,' not that heathens only might enter there, but because they might not go further. That court was also most ordinarily called the Mountain of the Temple; so this also whereof we are treating was called the treasury.
When, therefore, it is said by St. Mark that Jesus sat over-against the treasury, it comes to this, that he sat under the walk before which those chests were placed. And when John saith, "Jesus spake these words in the treasury," it is all one as if he had said, 'He spake these words in the court of the women'; yea, in that place where those chests were, that that place might be distinguished from others which were in that court; for in every corner of that court there was a little court, each one called by its own name, as appears in the places written in the margin.
II. To trace the situation of the rest of the Corbans, concerning which we have made mention, is not now the business before us; for that which was propounded as our task we have despatched. But this we cannot but advise for the reader's sake, that on the north side of the court of Israel was a gate which was called 'the Corban-gate'; yea, by comparing the words of the masters, there seem to be two gates of the same name: one of which if you make to belong to that Corban-chamber, into which the money out of the thirteen chests was emptied, and the other to belong to that Corban that was appointed for the repair and amending of the building itself, perhaps you will not mistake. Certainly you will not find any place more probable in those writers.