Greek inscription forbidding entry to the Temple.
Herodian period, 1st century B.C.E., made of limestone.
This fragmentary sign bears a warning, the full text of which reads:
“No foreigner shall enter within the forecourt and the balustrade around the sanctuary. Whoever is caught will have himself to blame for his subsequent death.”
It was one of many similar signs set into the partition around the Temple that divided between those areas allowed to all and the sanctified area into which only Jews were permitted. The fragment is one of the few remains from the Second Temple enclosure.
“in this (balustrade) at regular intervals stood slabs giving warning, some in Greek, others in Latin characters, of the law of purification, to wit that no foreigner was permitted to enter the holy place …” (Flavius Josephus, Jewish War, V, v, 2)