From the description of the Temple given in Tractate Middos (the tractate dedicated to recording the measurements of the Temple) we learn that the main storage area for oil was located in the southwest chamber of the Women's Courtyard – the Chamber of the Oil. Certainly all of the containers in this chamber would have been defiled, and it is more likely that the flask was found somewhere else. Here I present two opinions given by the commentators as to where this flask may have been found.
1. In the Sanctuary
The Talmud states that "when the Greeks entered the Sanctuary they defiled all of the oil in the Sanctuary." From here we learn that oil was stored in the Sanctuary as well. There were thirty-eight cells, or small rooms, built around three sides of the Sanctuary and the special olive oil used for the Menorah may have been stored here.
|The Sanctuary. Area of the|
small rooms is highlighted.
2. Beneath the Altar
|Southwest corner of the Altar|