Goodly stones - Beautiful stones. Either referring to the large, square, and well-finished stones of which the eastern wall was built, or to the precious stones which might have been used in decorating the temple itself. See the notes at Mark 13:1.
Gifts - This word properly denotes anything devoted or dedicated to God. Anciently warriors dedicated to their gods the spoils of war - the shields, and helmets, and armor, and garments of those slain in battle. These were suspended in the temples. It would seem that something of this kind had occurred in the temple of Jerusalem, and that the people, to express their gratitude to God, had suspended on the pillars and perches of the temple gifts and offerings. Josephus mentions particularly a golden "vine" with which Herod the Great had adorned the columns of the temple ("Antiq." xiii. 8). See also 2 Macc. 5:16; 9:16.
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