Soreq/Temple Courts

The SoreqThe Soreq was a five-foot-tall stone wall that surrounded the inner courts of the consecrated temple area and was designed to keep Gentiles and other "unacceptable" people out of the inner courts. Gentiles could not pass the Soreq on pain of death.

Other Walls and Divisions in the TempleIn addition to the Soreq, there were a number of other walls and divisions within the temple. The Court of the Women was an area outside the temple building, which was as close as women were allowed to the temple.

There was also a chamber for the Nazarites because they had been set apart for service to God; a chamber of the Lepers, who had to be separate because they were unclean; a chamber of the Israelites who were separated because they were God's people; and lastly, a chamber of the Priests who were separated by their calling to represent the people.

PaulPaul was accused of bringing a Gentile into the inner court, past the Soreq. (See Acts 21:27-35.) Paul denied this charge. But later, in Eph. 2:14, Paul wrote that the "dividing wall of hostility" had been destroyed. Paul was possibly referring to all dividing walls, which the Soreq symbolized, that had to come down between Jew and Gentile. Since Jesus' death, the Gentiles would be allowed to experience the blessings the Jews always had.

ApplicationThese walls include the walls of pride, economic status, race, social status, and bitterness that we face today. As Christians, we must be aware of the walls and try to break them down; we can do this by reaching out to other people, getting to know people of different races, volunteering, and helping people in need.