Saturday 25 February 2012
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I study the Torah every year using the teaching tools of Scripture. (Why?)
Today is the 19th Sabbath of the annual Torah cycle: parashah (Torah portion) Terumah / Offering, Exo 25:1-27:19. Read Exodus 25:1-27:19 at Bible Gateway.
I am not wise enough to see how this week’s Torah portion forms a chaistic structure; I could only make it form a chiastic structure in conjunction with next week’s Torah portion, which I will post next week.
Here is the outline of this week’s parashah with the strong and weak paragraph divisions marked.
Exo 25:1-27:19 theme: Instructions for the pattern of the Tabernacle given
Exo 25:1-22 p YHVH’s sanctuary is the Most Holy Place
Exo 25:1-9 s The offering commanded to build the Tabernacle
Exo 25:10-22 p The pattern for the ark of the covenant (Most Holy Place)
Exo 25:23-30 p The pattern for the table of showbread (Holy Place)
Exo 25:31-26:14 p The lampstand and the curtains for the Holy Place
Exo 25:31-40 s The pattern for the golden lampstand (Holy Place)
Exo 26:1-14 p The pattern for the curtains and coverings of the Tabernacle (Holy Place)
Exo 26:15-28:5 p The arrangement of the Tabernacle and the Outer Court
Exo 26:15-30 s The pattern for the frame of the Tabernacle (Holy Place)
Exo 26:31-37 s Pattern for the veil + placement of ark, table, lampstand + screen (Most Holy + Holy Place)
Exo 27:1-8 s The pattern for the altar (Outer Court)
Exo 27:9-19 s The pattern for the outer court (Outer Court)
(This strong paragraph continues into next week’s Torah portion:)
Exo 27:20-21 s Oil for the lampstand + tending of the lampstand’s light
Exo 28:1-5 p Aaron and his sons as priests + their holy garments
In last week’s Torah portion, Israel had ratified its covenant with the LORD. Israel left Egypt, traveled for three months, and had come to Mount Sinai, to make the covenant with the LORD God. But they were not going to stay at Mount Sinai forever. They were going to continue on to the Promised Land. Therefore the instructions for the tabernacle had to be given:
“And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.” Exo 25:8
So that the LORD Himself could dwell with Israel and accompany Israel on the rest of their journey, and dwell with her, once she entered the Promised Land.
After Solomon’s Temple was destroyed, Ezekiel saw a vision, and was given a pattern for a tabernacle which is similar to the pattern Moses was given. But Ezekiel’s pattern and Moses’ pattern are not exactly the same. For one thing, Moses is commanded more than once, to build this tabernacle according to its pattern. Ezekiel is never commanded to build the tabernacle that he saw, that I could find (correct me if I am wrong).
And there are other differences, which should be examined carefully, because breaks in pattern, and comparisons and contrasts, are not a mistake, but a teaching tool of Scripture. The differences are intentional.
I confess I am wary of the third temple project, because while I could find the command to build Moses’ tabernacle, and while I could find the command to build Solomon’s temple, and while I could find the command to build the second temple, all in Scripture, I could not find the command to build the third temple that Ezekiel saw. So if we presume to build it when the Lord did not say to build it … that makes me nervous. We are assuming we know why the Lord showed the vision to Ezekiel, when we might not in fact know all that we think we know.
I believe that the third temple is the Body of Messiah, which He is building with living stones:
So the Jews answered and said to Him, “What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?” But He was speaking of the temple of His body. Joh 2:18-21
Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Cor 6:19-20
Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Pet 2:4-5
Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” … But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. Rev 21:1-4, 22
And I believe the vision that Ezekiel saw, was a vision of the Lamb, for the Lamb is the temple, along the same lines as Moses’ tabernacle, which prophesies of the Lamb, and of God dwelling in and among His people.