Old Testament Survey - Lesson 20

The Temple and the Division of David’s Kingdom

This lesson examines the historical and theological significance of Solomon's temple, linking it to earlier biblical constructs like the tabernacle and highlighting its role in Israelite worship. You'll learn about the temple’s design, purposes including worship, festivals, sacrifices, and legal judgments, and its conceptualization as a divine project led by God, with David's key involvement despite Solomon overseeing its construction. The narrative explores the temple's spiritual and communal impacts, its destruction, and the theological consequences of its absence during exile, illustrating God's enduring presence and covenant with His people through theological reflections on divine presence and worship.

Daniel Block
Old Testament Survey
Lesson 20
Watching Now
The Temple and the Division of David’s Kingdom

I. Introduction and Significance of the Temple

A. Comparison of the Temple and the Tabernacle

1. Temple as a permanent structure, less known than the portable tabernacle

2. Temple's features mirroring the tabernacle

B. The Concept of Sacred Space in Exodus

1. Early references to a sacred mountain in Exodus 15

2. The temple's prefiguration in the Song of Moses

C. The Temple as a Divine Project

1. David's role in conceptualizing and initiating the temple construction

2. The temple as a fulfillment of divine promises found in scriptures

II. Functions and Symbolism of the Temple

A. Functions Outlined in Deuteronomy

1. Place for seeking and seeing Yahweh

2. Center for public scripture reading and learning

3. Venue for celebrations and sacrificial meals

4. Legal and religious center for Israelites

B. Symbolic Representation of the Temple

1. A symbol of Yahweh's protection and promises

2. Spiritual decline and the temple's eventual destruction

III. The Division of David's Kingdom

A. Background to the Division

1. Political distinction and tensions between northern tribes and Judah

2. Seeds of revolt during David’s reign

B. Factors Leading to the Division

1. Solomon’s political and economic policies

2. Solomon's projects and their impact on societal stratification

3. Ideological issues and violation of Mosaic laws by Solomon

C. The Revolt of the Northern Tribes

1. Jeroboam’s emergence and leadership

2. Religious reforms and establishment of new cult centers by Jeroboam

3. The ultimate split of the kingdom and its consequences

IV. Reflections on the Role of the Temple in Worship and Theology

A. The Temple’s Role in Ancient and Modern Theology

1. Symbolism of God’s presence and absence in the temple

2. The temple as a link between heaven and earth

B. Christological Perspectives and the New Testament

1. The temple’s role post-crucifixion of Christ

2. Transition from temple worship to a focus on Jesus Christ

  • Learning about the First Testament's language, geographical, and cultural contexts, and how these factors contribute to its frequent misinterpretation and underappreciation in modern times.
  • Gain insights into the literary and cosmic foundations of grace and glory in the Torah, understanding its role as more than law.
  • Learn that to be made in God's image entails embodying divine qualities and functioning as His representative on Earth, which extends a universal dignity upon all humans and shapes a theological ethic that influences how you treat others.
  • Genesis 1-3 frames human response to divine creation, emphasizing human dignity, work's moral role, free will's consequences, and the persistent grace amid sin.
  • This lesson reviews the Israelite covenant, understanding its stages, implications, and its role in God's redemptive plan.
  • Gain insights into Abraham's covenant with God, exploring his faith and God's promises.
  • Learn how the Exodus from Egypt marked Israel's transformation from a family to a nation under Yahweh.
  • Understand how the covenant at Sinai transforms Israel from slaves into a treasured nation destined for a divine mission, fulfilling God's ancient promises.
  • This lesson covers the covenantal expectations at Sinai. The covenantal agreement provided a constitutional and ethical framework for societal living, focusing on community rights and responsibilities.
  • In this lesson, you gain insight into how the tabernacle was both a physical manifestation of God's presence and a profound symbol of His grace, emphasizing the holiness and detailed guidance He provided to the Israelites for worship and daily life.
  • Gain insights into Deuteronomy, recognizing its focus on teaching rather than legislation, and understanding Moses' role as an instructor of Yahweh's will.
  • In this lesson, you explore how to interpret the First Testament's historiographic writings, emphasizing the divine inspiration and literary artistry that guide the selective storytelling and theological themes.
  • Learn how the books of Joshua and Judges illustrate the fulfillment and failure of Israel's covenant with Yahweh, highlighting divine promise, cultural assimilation, and the cyclical nature of faith and apostasy.
  • The Book of Ruth, highlights divine providence, social justice, and personal righteousness while exploring the role of Boaz as a pivotal figure in maintaining the lineage of King David.
  • Samuel had a significant yet complex role in Israel's history; judge, priest, prophet, and crucial figure in establishing monarchy.
  • Learn of David's central role in the Bible, understanding his unique portrayal and the extensive attention he receives compared to other figures.
  • Learn about the Davidic covenant's role in shaping biblical history and theology, emphasizing its eternal impact on Israel and beyond.
  • The books of Kings and Chronicles use historical events to underline theological themes, highlighting the role of scribes in documenting Israel’s history.
  • In this lesson on 1 and 2 Kings, review the downfall of Israel through kings' forgetfulness of God's covenants.
  • Learn about Solomon's temple's historical and theological significance, its divine design and purpose, and its role in Israelite worship and communal life.
  • Gain insights into the transformation and resilience of the Judean people during their exile in Babylon from 586-539 BC, exploring their struggles and adaptations in a new socio-political and religious context.
  • Learn about Daniel's exemplary life in Babylon, his integrity, and his prophetic visions, which highlight divine sovereignty and the vindication of the faithful amidst calamities.
  • Review the Persian period's impact on the Jewish diaspora, analyze the Book of Esther's literary and theological significance, and reflect on divine providence and cultural identity.
  • Explore the crucial roles of Ezra and Nehemiah in reconstructing the Jewish community and faith post-exile, understanding their historical significance, source materials, and theological insights.
  • Gain insight into the roles and significance of prophets in ancient Israel, learning about their historical context, and their critical function in guiding and correcting the nation through direct communication from Yahweh.
  • Learn about the lives and ministries of prophets Amos and Hosea, their calls for justice and return to divine covenant amidst Israel's political and spiritual turmoil, through prophetic books that blend personal biography with national prophecy.
  • This lesson reviews Jonah's struggle with divine grace and Micah's advocacy for justice and the messianic hope.
  • In this lesson, you learn how Isaiah's vision portrays the Messiah as king, servant, and conqueror, emphasizing his divine roles and global mission.
  • Learn of the political and social contexts of Jeremiah and Ezekiel's exile, including Babylon's rise, Jerusalem's fall, and the crisis of faith portrayed in Lamentations, emphasizing hope amid despair through God's faithfulness.
  • Learn about Jeremiah's life and prophetic ministry, navigating challenges with kings, themes in the Book of Jeremiah, and profound passages on true religion and a future covenant, offering lessons on prophetic burdens, God's faithfulness, and spiritual transformation.
  • Explore Ezekiel's life as a priest in exile, his bizarre actions, and profound messages revealing Yahweh's passion and eternal promises of judgment and restoration.
  • Learn about Nahum and Joel's prophecies on judgment, hope, and Yahweh's character. Explore the day of the Lord and the expansion of the covenant community.
  • Explore Obadiah, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah's prophecies. Discover themes of judgment, faith, and restoration in God's plan.
  • Gain insight into Haggai's role in motivating temple rebuilding during the Persian rule. His brief yet impactful ministry fosters hope and action amid community disillusionment, recoginizing God's presence and reign.
  • Gain deep insight into Hebrew poetry: its forms, parallelism, acrostics, and emotional depth. Explore its celebration and lamentation of Yahweh's glory.
  • Gain insight into Psalms which reflect diverse emotions and experiences. Structured into five divisions, attributed to various authors, their interpretation involves understanding Torah context, literary devices, and applying timeless principles to life.
  • Explore biblical wisdom's depth: from practical skill to moral insight, rooted in the fear of Yahweh. It contrasts with secular knowledge, emphasizing God's order and universal application.
  • Engage with Proverbs to unravel its diverse wisdom, from aphorisms to discourses. Understand its practical guidance for righteous living and leadership.
  • Discover the Song of Songs, a rich exploration of love's nature. From its allegorical interpretations to its celebration of covenantal love, it examines human relationships with wisdom and depth.
  • The book of Job offers insights into faith and suffering, exploring theological themes and character dynamics. It emphasizes trust in God amid life's most difficult trials.
  • Uncover Ecclesiastes' profound journey from despair to hope. Koheleth's existential ponderings contrast with the narrator's faith, urging a shift from worldly pursuits to finding fulfillment in God's sovereignty.

This Old Testament Survey course offers a deep exploration of the Old Testament's literary structure, divine covenants, and historical context. Lessons cover the Pentateuch, emphasizing its narrative over legalistic interpretations, and extend through key biblical figures like Abraham and Moses. Topics such as the covenant at Sinai, the concept of imago Dei, and the tabernacle rituals highlight the continuity of God's grace and the ethical implications of divine laws. The course critically addresses common misconceptions, the role of the Torah as instruction, and the portrayal of God’s plan, underscoring the relevance and complexity of these ancient texts.

Dr. Daniel Block 
Old Testament Survey
The Temple and the Division of David’s Kingdom
Lesson Transcript


Before we move on to the next topic, I need to look back and offer commentary on two notes that we find in the books of Kings that describe critical moments in Israel's history. We need to give these a little bit more attention. The first relates to the temple built by Solomon, the design of sacred space.

Although the temple in Jerusalem was built as a permanent structure, it is remarkable that we actually know less about it than we know about the tabernacle, which by design was a temporary portable structure. But many of the temple's features mirror those of the tabernacle, though on a much grander scale. The earliest hint of this temple is found in the Song of Moses in Exodus 15, 17, which speaks of the mountain of his inheritance, the place he has made for his dwelling, the sanctuary that his hands have established, and from which he will reign forever.

Well, that doesn't actually make much sense yet in Exodus 15, but after 1 Kings chapter 8, it begins to make sense. It is difficult to tell whether Moses, in that instance, or the Song, in that instance, had the land of Canaan in mind or Zion itself. But like the tabernacle in Exodus 25, from start to finish, the temple is presented as the work of God himself.

I often refer to it as David's temple rather than Solomon's because it was David's idea. David gathered resources and all the rest. He organized the temple worship, the musicians, and whatever.

But this project is presented in the narrative as a divine project. You see this in several respects. First, Yahweh chose the place for the temple.

For centuries before the temple was built, through the inspired vision of Moses, the Israelites waited for Yahweh to reveal to them the site of the permanent residence, his permanent residence. Explicit statements predicting this event are found more than 20 times in Deuteronomy, where the text says, Moses says, refers to the place that the Lord will choose to imprint his name. Well, for the fulfillment of these promises, we can see texts like 2 Chronicles 21, 18 to 22, 1, Psalm 48, Psalm 78, 65, 72, 87, 1 to 3, and 132, 10 to 18.

The notion of the temple as God's project is common. Second, God not only chose the place for the temple, the Lord determined the purpose of the temple. In the book of Deuteronomy, where we have no temple yet, but it looks forward to the place, it lists all of these functions of that place that God would choose.

One, it is a place to seek Yahweh, Deuteronomy 12, 5. Two, it's a place to see the face of Yahweh. What does that mean? It obviously means, minimally, to be in the presence of Yahweh, 31.11. Three, it's a place for public reading of the Torah, 31.11. Four, a place to learn to fear Yahweh, 14.23, 31.9 to 13. Five, six, a place to celebrate before Yahweh, 12, 12 and 18, 14, 26, 16, 11 and 16, 12 and 14 and 26, 11.

Celebrate. In our translations, we often have the archaic word rejoice. We don't use that often in our culture these days.

People ask, what planet are you from, or what century are you from? But we do use the word celebrate, and that's, I think, what it means. And then it's also a place to eat in the presence of Yahweh. It surprises many people when we inform them that the primary function of sacrifices was a meal eaten in the presence of the Lord.

Most meals were fellowship meals with God, most sacrifices. Yahweh determined the purpose of the temple. There are other reasons.

It's a place to offer sacrifice, a place to celebrate the three great annual pilgrimage festivals, Passover, the Festival of Weeks, and the Festival of Booths. These are all in Deuteronomy chapter 16. It's a place to settle legal disputes before a Levitical priest or the judge who's in office at that time.

If there's ever a case that you can't solve yourself, bring it to the temple, and it will be adjudicated for you. It's a place for Levites to serve in the name of Yahweh, chapter 18. It's a place for the individual to present the offerings of the firstfruits and to recall God's saving grace in chapter 26, 1 to 11.

I mean, this is a full-blown picture of the joy of worship in Israel. We have trouble imagining that. There's a third dimension to it, this being a divine project.

Yahweh determined the time and the context to build the temple. Deuteronomy 12.10 specifies that this selection of a place would occur when Israel had crossed the river and they occupied the land Yahweh had given them as their grant, and he had given them rest from all the enemies around, and they live in security. No doubt this thought was on David's mind as he approached Nathan with the idea in 2 Samuel 7. Now, although Yahweh rejected David as the one who should erect the temple, there can be no doubt that Yahweh inspired David with the idea.

In fact, although this is usually spoken of as Solomon's temple, we do better to call it David's temple for a host of reasons. A. David set the stage in fulfillment of Deuteronomy 12.10 by gaining the victory over all his enemies, bringing the ark of the covenant into the city of Jerusalem, and receiving the rest that Yahweh had given him on all sides, 2 Samuel 1. B. David was the first to think of building a permanent temple for Yahweh. We know that it had been in Shiloh for 300 years north of Jerusalem, but now we are talking about a permanent residence, recognizing the incongruity of his own occupation of a fancy palace while Yahweh the true king lived in a pup tent, and perhaps recognizing the fulfillment of all the conditions set in Deuteronomy 12.10, David proposed to build a house for Yahweh, 2 Samuel 7. As I mentioned earlier, this was in perfect keeping with ancient Near Eastern custom, according to which it was deemed the responsibility of kings to see to the proper housing of divine statues and proper exercise of the cult.

You want to keep the gods happy. And here, this was also playing in this. David was not a maverick in wanting to build a temple, but Yahweh rejected David's offer, apparently because David had waged many wars, had shed a lot of blood on the earth, and he said he gave the privilege to the man of rest, Solomon.

Solomon never engages in any battles. Solomon, whose name is derived from the word shalom, meaning peace, order, quiet, everything is in order, the one who would reign in a time of God-given rest and peace and quiet. That's the time to build the temple.

In fact, Yahweh linked his reiteration of his eternal commitment to the house of David directly with naming Solomon as the builder, 2 Chronicles 22.10. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever. That's God's word to Solomon. C. David charged Solomon to build the temple.

It wasn't Solomon's idea. D. David gathered the materials for the temple, 1 Chronicles 22.14. E. David assembled the craftsmen to do the work. He commissioned them, and he blessed them, 1 Chronicles 22.15-16. F. David charged all the leaders of Israel to support Solomon in the construction project, 2 Chronicles 22.17-19. G. David organized the temple personnel, including the supervisors, gatekeepers, musicians, the temple treasurers, 2 Chronicles 23-26.

H. David dedicated the temple furniture and vessels to Yahweh, 1 Kings 7.51. And I. David received the blueprint of the temple directly from the hand of God. The text says, in writing, written by the finger of God, 2 Chronicles 28.9-19. So this is David's project, and Solomon is fulfilling David's project. But there are other dimensions to this as a divine project that we need to resume discussion of.

Number four, Yahweh chose Solomon to erect a house for the sanctuary. Five, Yahweh designed and transcribed the temple, including all its ornamentation and furniture, 2 Chronicles 28. Six, Yahweh inspired Solomon with special wisdom and the necessary friends to pursue the project, 1 Kings 4.12. Seven, Yahweh put his divine imprimatur on the temple by having the glory of Yahweh fill the house of Yahweh, 1 Kings 8.10-11. Eight, Yahweh encouraged Solomon in the course of the project, 1 Kings 6.11-12. Nine, Yahweh determined when the temple would be destroyed.

Ah, this is the sad part of the story. The glory of the Solomonic era was short-lived. By 586 BC, the spiritual condition of Judah was so low that Yahweh had written them off, and the kingship off as well.

The departure of the glory of Yahweh from the temple reduced this magnificent building to a mere box, waiting for Nebuchadnezzar to come and to raise it, to burn it. See especially Ezekiel 8-11. For the people, the temple served as a symbol of Yahweh's immutable promises.

He would protect them, but he didn't. He did not, and without the presence of Yahweh to protect them, the people of Judah were either slaughtered by the Babylonians or dragged off into exile. This is the story of the temple.

As a second short exegetical note, we need to take a closer look at the division of David's kingdom, the kingdom of Israel, in 931 BC. We are backtracking again. Here's a note on the division.

Liberation theologians tend to appeal to the Exodus narrative as the biblical paradigm for their concept of liberation from oppressive regimes. This is valid only to the extent that the oppressed classes can claim to be the people of God in the same way that Israel was in the first testament. Actually, in my view, a better paradigm for liberation theologians is found in the revolt of Jeroboam against the Davidic house in 1 Kings 11 to 12.

Let's look, first of all, at the roots of this revolt. The roots of the revolt are to be found already in the reign of David and before. The seeds of Jeroboam's revolt were laid long before 931.

The sense of political distinction between the northern tribes and Judah goes back to the reign of David. Remember our discussion about David's rise to the top was the result of his coming out on top in the conflict with the northern house of Saul. David was a Judahite.

Second, chronologically, David's kingship over Judah had priority over his kingship over all Israel. David's first capital was not Jerusalem. His first capital was in Hebron in the heart of Judean territory, and from this he was king over Judah separately.

Third, David had ingratiated himself to the Judeans in particular during his flight from Saul. Wherever he was hiding, he was showing kindness to the neighbors and rescuing them from people who were oppressing them, whether they were Philistines or Amalekites. And as a result, by the time David had risen to the top, he had all of Judah completely loyal to him.

Fourth, the deterioration of northern support for David surfaced during the attempted, shall we say, usurpation of the throne by Absalom. Witness the curse of Shimei in 2 Samuel 16 5-8, and then again in 19 6-23. What have we to do with the house of David? And five, the split between Judah and the north became public when Sheba ben Bichri, son of Bichri, attempted to incite the north to revolt against David in 2 Samuel 12 19 40-22.

Well, the upshot of all of these factors is that the problem between Judah and the northern tribes was there long before the end of Solomon's reign. But there's a second factor here. Solomon's political and economic policies fanned the discontent into open revolt.

First, his construction projects in Jerusalem resulted in the wealth of the whole nation going down to Jerusalem and accumulating in his capital. That doesn't sit well with the people who live out there in the tribal territories beyond Judah. Second, Solomon's division of the nation into administrative districts ran roughshod over tribal boundaries, creating resentment in the north, 1 Kings 4 7-9.

Third, in this division, Solomon favored Judah, apparently ruling this tribal territory directly without a middle administrator, whereas he appointed representatives, governors, to take care of the other administrative districts. Fourth, his lavish projects in Jerusalem resulted in an increasing stratification of society into an urban elite, on the one hand, and a rural agrarian lower class, on the other. It all sounds quite familiar, doesn't it? Five, Solomon's oppressive enslavement of non-Israelite members of the population created increasing resentment, 1 Kings 9 15-22.

And then, ideologically, which, of course, is uppermost in the mind of the narrator of 1 and 2 Kings, ideologically, Solomon's reign was characterized by blatant violation of the Mosaic charter for kingship in Deuteronomy 17 14-20. There Moses had said, there are three things a king is not supposed to do. He shall not multiply silver and gold for himself, he shall not multiply horses for himself, and he shall not multiply wives for himself.

That word, little Hebrew word, for himself, for himself, for himself. It is a reminder to kings not to view your office as your personal property and as an occasion to swallow up all the resources of the people in your own self-interest. But Solomon did all these things.

He multiplied horses, which in that context is not for the Kentucky Derby. These are militaristic symbols. They lead chariots into battle.

He multiplied silver and gold like people had never seen before in history, and of course, we know about his, he multiplied women in his court, and these are the ones who led him astray, 1 Kings chapters 10 and 11. Solomon's lavish projects alienated the other people. His oppressive enslavement created increasing resentment and ideologically blatant violation of Moses' words in Deuteronomy 17.14. There's a third factor here.

The revolt of the north had begun sometime earlier. Already in Solomon's time, the empire began to disintegrate around the edges as the Moabites and the Edomites and other subject states felt restless and began to revolt against the imperial throne. Second, already during Solomon's reign, the leader of the revolution, Jeroboam, had emerged.

Jeroboam had distinguished himself as a civil servant under Solomon, serving as the taskmaster over the Josephite, that is Ephraimite and Manassite, forced labor gangs. Jeroboam was a civil servant leading these people, taskmaster. Third, the revolt was given divine sanction through the prophet Ahijah, who tore his clothes, his garment into 12 pieces, and he gave 10 pieces to Jeroboam, promising Jeroboam he would eventually inherit the northern tribes, 1 Kings 11 29 to 39.

Fourth, when Solomon got wind of Jeroboam's intention, Jeroboam fled to Egypt, ironically an ally of Solomon's, and you would think that an ally would deliver a treasure who is seeking refuge in your country, you would deliver them back to Solomon, but he didn't. Fifth, the political instability created by the transition of power from Solomon to Jeroboam provided an opportunity for Jeroboam to return from exile, and as soon as Solomon is dead, Jeroboam is back. Jeroboam's initial follies contributed to the discontent.

Harking back to the liberation and song of Sheba, Jeroboam managed to gain the immediate support of all the northern tribes when he came back from Egypt. And six, the prophet Shemaiah warned Jeroboam, don't resist this revolt. I don't understand why, but remarkably, Jeroboam acquiesced, and apparently he was satisfied with keeping the southern tribe of Judah.

There's a fourth factor here. Jeroboam worked very deliberately to consolidate his power. Once he was assigned the kingship in the north, his shrewdness as a politician is evident in the way he consolidated his power.

Assuming the king's role as primary patron of the cults and recognizing that political loyalties were tied tightly to religious loyalties, he instituted his own cults, own religion, in direct opposition to the Yahweh cult centered in Jerusalem. The features of the new cult included new cult centers at Bethel and Dan. There's no problem with having more than one.

New objects of worship, the calves, new high places, new personnel, new festivals, a new religious calendar. But the most clever stroke is his dedication speech, which represents a brilliant synthesis, if it weren't so dark, a synthesis of orthodoxy and heterodoxy. Here's where liberation theology, like liberation theology dressed in Marxist garb.

The effect is described in 2 Chronicles 11, 13. Two religiously homogenous states were created when those northerners who were faithful Yahwists committed to the worship of Yahweh, they all fled the northern kingdom and headed south, which meant that the southern kingdom, at least initially, should have been more loyal to Yahweh. But the north was now totally syncretized, if not totally paganized.

From here on, the kingdoms divide. The north looks more and more like any other middle-sized ancient Near Eastern state, Phoenician city-state, or Aramean state. That's the north, but the latter alternating in Judah after this period of revival alternating with, unfortunately, longer periods of syncretism as the southern kings, the narrator assesses southern kings as not doing like David did, but acting like the Jeroboam Ben Nebat of the north.

As for Jeroboam, the narrator treats him as the antithesis of David, whereas David represented the paradigm of faithful rule, Jeroboam became the paradigm of apostate rule. This is a sad, sad chapter in the story of Israel. The split of the kingdom is caused by Solomon's sponsorship of idolatry in the court and other criminal, or should we say, immoral actions that he and his court performed so quickly after the wonderful rule of David.

It is a tragic story, but this is a story of humankind itself, isn't it? When we're talking about the temple of Solomon and actually the tabernacle also, since there's no idol there to worship, would you say that that reminds us of the transcendence of God and then the fact that it is a place where God dwelled, talks about the imminence of God. So, as a follower of Christ, how does that translate to us? That is a great question. Nebuchadnezzar's armies must have been totally frustrated when they invaded the temple, because in the ancient world, in the pursuit of military operations, the attacking forces, their primary target was always the temple.

If you were attacking Babylon, you'd go for the temple of Marduk. They would go for the temple, and what they would do is they would take the statue and drag it out the city, even out of the country, as a symbolic gesture, our God has beat your God. But when they get to the temple, there is no statue.

There is a holy of holies where you would have expected a statue. The Ark of the Covenant undoubtedly was there, but there's nobody enthroned on the Ark, no image here, and according to the prophecy of Ezekiel in 1-8, God's glory had lifted, and it had left that place, which meant that this is no longer a temple anyhow. It's not sacred.

It is sacred when God is there, and so it's interesting with the tabernacle. Once the tabernacle was erected and the glory came in, Moses never entered the tabernacle again, because he's not authorized. It's holy space, so the temple represents both.

You've got the two words. It's a mikdash. It is a holy place where the transcendent, glorious king of the universe, king and creator of the universe can symbolically reside, that people have a concrete sign of his presence.

But that's the other side of it. The holy God present in your mishkan, dwelling place. So this is in part also, remember in Solomon's dedication prayer, he says, when your people are in exile and they turn to this place here in heaven, answer their prayer.

They turn to this place, and you go then to the story of Daniel. Remember, Daniel's in Babylon, and in chapter 6, three times a day, he would open the window to the west, turn his face to Jerusalem, and pray. Well, there's no temple there.

There's no temple there, but 1 Kings 8, if they turn to this place from exile here, and of course, God is there even when the temple isn't there. When you get to the New Testament, my feelings about Herod's temple are not actually mixed. They're actually totally negative.

This is a political statement by a human king who's trying to get the loyalty, political loyalty of his subjects. There is no reference to God giving the plan, God guiding the thing. It's Herod's temple, and it's to spread the glory of Herod, and in its design, as Rittmeyer and others have constructed it, it's got some of the features of the original, but some of it is all turned around.

For the first time, you've got a court of the women. For the first time, you've got a court of the Gentiles. Never had that with the old temple.

You have a court, and all people, and even the alien in your midst is invited to come and worship at this place, but you've got racism, and sexism, and all kinds of things happening, and this temple symbolized that. So that when Jesus is crucified, and the moment of his death, what happens? The veil is torn in two. Well, we tend to think, well, that means that now we are all invited with direct access to God.

We don't need to go through this business anymore. I don't think it has anything to do with that. I think it is a final declaration of the, shall we say, the sham nature of Herod's temple.

It's a sham. The glory has never been in there, but it is interesting that even though in some respects it's really suspect, if not pagan, godly people would still go to the temple. The project has lots of problems, but I think they're building on the place for my name.

There I am, whether there's a building or not, and I think that with the crucifixion of Christ, you've got... See, until the crucifixion of Christ, the temple was the link between heaven and earth. God's gracious design for people to relate to him in his presence to celebrate his grace. Once Jesus has finished his messianic work, that is all focused on him, and the temple becomes superfluous, really.

God is still present. He's present by his spirit. He was present, in my view, by his spirit then as well, but it's the end of an era.

The Messiah is here, incarnate, so that the word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glories of the only begotten of the Father, full of chesed ve'emeth, grace and truth. Jesus is the embodiment of all of this.