Temple 101- The Progression

As time went by in Israel, there was a move away from the Mishkan to a permanent structure called a “mikdash” or sanctuary. In 1 Chr 28 11-19 a plan for a Temple was given to David, but he was not allowed to built it. This charge went to his son Solomon. It was God’s will to build a Temple. To understand the Scriptures there are three basic things that you must know. First, you must know the Torah. Second, you must understand Biblical Eschatology and third you must understand the Temple and its services. The work of the service is called the “avodah” and this also means worship. In Num 4.3 it talks about the priests and it says that “from thirty years and upward even to fifty years old, all who enter the SERVICE to do the work in the tent of meeting.” The word “service” there is the word “tza’va” in Hebrew and it means “warfare” and this is how the avodah was seen. The priest performing the avodah was engaging in spiritual warfare. We know from Exo 25.8 that the Mishkan (Tabernacle), the word Shkan (to dwell) and Shekinah (presence) are all related words and the teaching is that God’s Shekinah should dwell in our midst and we are not to be self-centered. God should be the center of what we do and who we are. This refutes modern psychology and what is being taught today. Well, we know that God speaks to Moses in Exo 3.10-12 and he is “sent” to Pharaoh. The word is “shaliach” in Hebrew and it is the New Testament word for apostle (sent one). Moses means “to draw out” and he is going to “draw” the people out of Egypt. Moses is a type of Messiah. In Leviticus 1.1 it says that he “called” to Moses. In Hebrew the word “called” is “vayikra” and the aleph (first letter in Hebrew alphabet) in that word is written small, which means a “bigger” aleph is coming after, referring to the Messiah. Moses is told in Exo 3 that he is to bring the people to Mount Sinai, and he does (Exo 19.17). It is said that he brings them to the “foot” of the mountain, and in Hebrew it is the word “tachat” which means “under” and the interpretation was that the mountain was over the heads of the people like a “chuppah” (wedding canopy) because the Lord was betrothing himself to Israel (Jer 2.2). The Torah was seen as the wedding contract. Tachat is used again in Exo 24.4 and Deut 4.10-14. What is this saying? Worship is like a mountain we must “go up” to God. This is called an “aliyah” and it has to do with spiritual elevation, like a ladder (Gen 28.11-12; John 1.51). Even in pagan worship, like ziggurats and pyramids, the idea was to ascend. Now, in Ezek 43.7 it says that the sanctuary is “the place (makom) of my throne” and where he will dwell (shkan) among the sons of Israel forever. So, when we go to the sanctuary we ascend to God’s throne. When in the Temple, you never turned your back on the Holy of Holies, even when you were leaving. It was the throne room. To do that would show disrespect. (Ezek 8.16). In Jer 17.12-13 it says that the sanctuary is the throne and the Lord is the “hope” of Israel. The word “hope” is “mikvah” which is a cleansing bath where you went in for an immersion. Ezek 43.11-12 says that if you understood the Temple it would deter you from sin because you would understand the things of God. God didn’t just build a building but it was a teaching object as well. The progression of the Temple Mount (Mount Moriah) is well documented and there are many sources that you can access to see how it was done. Biblical Archeology Review has many stories about it and it is fascinating to see how things were added and expanded over the years. Solomon’s Temple was destroyed and the people were taken into Babylon for 70 years. When they returned another Temple was erected by Zerubbabel (Zech 4.6-10). No worldly power will be able to stop him. He doesn’t have the bankroll Solomon had, no cut wood, no stockpiles of gold, silver or bronze. All he had was a burned up city. So, he builds it but it is smaller than Solomon’s Temple. Over the years it will be expanded and King Herod makes vast improvements on it. It was the size of 34 football fields. There are many pictures of this Temple on the Internet for you to see and it would be well worth it. This Temple, started by Zerubbabel and expanded on by Herod, will be called the Second Temple. As one example of the teaching that can be learned from the Temple, there were stairs leading up to the Temple at the southern end (922 feet long). These stairs can be seen today and Yeshua certainly walked on these stairs when he entered the Temple. Each step is 12-35 inches deep, forcing the worshippers to walk with a steady stride. You could not run up the stairs. This teaches us about our “approach” to God and that we need to think about what we are doing. Even the mountains and the valleys of Jerusalem teach us something. If you go to a topographical map of Jerusalem, you will see that the valleys form the Hebrew letter “shin” and that is seen as signifying the name of the Lord (Deut 12.11). There are so many things that the Temple can teach the believer and these are just two examples.So, we have briefly studied the Mishkan (Exo 25.8)and now we have moved to the Mikdash (sanctuary-1 Chr 28.11-12)). It would be good for you to get blueprints and layouts of the Temple and its progression. This will help you in these articles to see where we are talking about and how they may have looked. We are not done with this “progression” even though there is no Temple now. There will be a Temple erected soon that will function during the first half of the Tribulation. When Yeshua returns, Ezekiel’s Temple (Ezek 40-48) will be dedicated 75 days after Yeshua returns and built. This Temple will be the largest ever built and the world will come into it during the Messianic Kingdom here on earth (Isa 2.2-3; Zech 14.16-21; Isa 66.20-23) and all the festivals, sacrifices and services will be done again, with Yeshua as High Priest. It will be the culmination of all the physical structures that God commanded to have built.

Posted in Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, The Tanach, The Temple, Understanding the New Testament

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