In a mansion near the burnt house, the opulence of the people of this part of the city (many were Sadducees) is revealed. The beautiful mosaic in the floor, made from thousands of tiny bits of stone of various colors, displays the typical geometric designs used by religious Jews because images and pictures violated the second commandment (Ex. 20:4-6). The stone jars, stone tables, and stone tray (with bowls prepared for serving guests) were available only to the wealthy and were used because stone did not become ritually unclean.The stone jars were probably used to store fresh water for household use. They are about the same size as those described in the biblical account of Jesus’ miracle of turning water to wine (John 2:1-11). These jars were probably covered by lids.

This mansion was also destroyed by the Romans. The eminent Israeli archaeologist Nahman Avigad has suggested that this house may have belonged to a high priest (perhaps Annas or Caiaphas). Certainly, Jesus was questioned before Annas, Caiaphas, and the Sanhedrin (John 18:12-27) in a mansion of such luxury.


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