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Bible Dictionaries

Morrish Bible Dictionary

Temple, the

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One thing that materially distinguishes the temple from the tabernacle is that God said of it, "Mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually:" it referred to the kingdom and a settled order of things; whereas the tabernacle was typical of God's ways, and gave the idea of movement. And though the actual building was destroyed and rebuilt, and is now swept away, and will again be rebuilt, yet it is treated always as one house. Haggai 2:9 may be translated, as in the LXX, etc., "The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts." When the Lord was on earth, though rejected by the rulers of Israel, He called the temple 'My house,' and 'My Father's house;' but later on He said to the Jews 'your house.' The 'latter glory' refers to the future, when God will be owned by His ancient people, 'and His glory be displayed.

Another thing that distinguished the temple was its being surrounded with chambers, so that the priests that were serving God could dwell around Him. Christ refers possibly to this in saying "In my Father's house are many mansions." The tabernacle had no flooring, the priests trod the earth; but in the temple they were separated from the earth by a flooring.

In the interior of the temple built by Solomon nothing but gold appeared: this is typical of divine righteousness, characterising the throne and presence of God, as will be manifested in the millennium. The ark was placed in the temple, and had found there its abiding resting place: it was the token of God's presence. The candlesticks, tables of showbread, golden altar, brazen altar, and laver (with ten smaller ones in addition, see LAVER), were similar to those in the tabernacle. God owned the house by filling it with His glory.

In the court of the temple were two pillars which received the names of JACHIN, "He will establish;" and BOAZ, "in him is strength," which perfectly agrees with the fact that it was God's house that was being built. 1 Kings 7:21; Revelation 3:12 .

Another thing remarkable in the rearing of the temple was that it was built of stones made ready before being brought, so that there should be no noise of hammer, or axe, or iron tool, while it was in progress. 1 Kings 6:7 . Thus the church is being formed of living stones who have come to the Living Stone (the chief corner stone, Christ Himself), and the whole building fitly framed together is growing into a holy temple in the Lord. Ephesians 2:20-22; 1 Peter 2:5 .

Of the actual erections there were

1. THE TEMPLE BY SOLOMON. It was formed after the pattern of the tabernacle, being a rectangle of sixty cubits by twenty, and its height thirty cubits: the holy of holies was a cube of twenty cubits; the holy (place) was forty cubits by twenty, with a porch in front of ten cubits by twenty. The chambers and upper chambers and pillars and porches were additional as described. 1 Kings 6 .

2. THE TEMPLE BY ZERUBBABEL. Few particulars of this are given. Cyrus ordered the foundations to be strongly laid, and its height was to be sixty cubits, and its breadth sixty cubits. Ezra 6:3 . Probably it was the same size as the temple by Solomon: the breadth here of sixty cubits being its 'length,' and its width not mentioned; or, if the sixty cubits be the width, it may have included the chambers. It is not probable that it was larger than the first temple. The aged men, who had seen the first house, wept when they saw the foundations of this house laid. This temple continued until the days of Herod.

3. THE TEMPLE BY HEROD. The Jews said it was forty-six years in building. John 2:20 . Josephus gives almost the only account we have of it. It was apparently built over the old one, so as not to hinder the temple service: the priests themselves built the holy places. It was all on a magnificent scale. In the Gospels we read that the disciples exclaimed, "What stones! and what buildings!" and pointed out how it was "adorned with goodly stones and gifts." Herod was not God's man to build Him a house, nor were the leaders of the Jews fit men to carry on His worship. To the disciples the Lord declared that one stone should not be left upon another. Mark 13:1,2; Luke 21:5,6 . Though Josephus gives many details as to this temple, they are not distinct enough to enable a plan to be made of it. In the N.T. the word ναός refers to the house itself, and ἱερόν to the buildings and courts in general. Apparently the Lord never entered the house itself. Doubtless this temple stood upon some part of mount Moriah, at the south-east corner of Jerusalem (q.v. ), but on what part of the enclosure is not known.

4. A FUTURE TEMPLE. Scripture speaks in many places of the return of the Jews to their own land, but in unbelief as to the Lord Jesus being their Messiah. They will apparently build a temple, but this must not be confounded with the one described by Ezekiel, though the Jews may attempt to build it as there described. God cannot bless them until His anointed One is owned, and therefore this temple will be destroyed. Psalm 74; Isaiah 66:1-6 .

5. EZEKIEL'S TEMPLE. This is fully described in Ezekiel 40 Ezekiel 44; it will be built when the land is once again divided amongst the twelve tribes, and all brought into blessing. In the centre of the land there will be a 'holy oblation' of 25,000 cubits square, which will contain both the city and the temple. That cubits and not reeds are intended, see Ezekiel 45:2,3 . Other passages speak of the temple, Zion, and Jerusalem as associated together, as Psalm 68:29; Psalm 122; Isaiah 2:2,3; Micah 3:12 Micah 4:2 . All these, though not exactly on the same spot, will fall within the 'holy oblation,' though the part on which the city will stand is also called 'profane,' or 'common.' Probably the city will be built on its old site, and the temple may be somewhat farther north. Then the latter glory of God's house will exceed all that has yet been, for the Lord Jesus will be the glory of the house.

Christ refers to His body as a temple in John 2:19 , and Christians are now God's temple, in which the Spirit of God dwells. The body of each Christian is also spoken of as a temple of the Holy Ghost. 1 Corinthians 6:19 .

In Revelation 11:19 the temple of God is opened in heaven, in connection with which are the judgements that come forth to smite the earth: Revelation 14:15,17; Revelation 15:5-8; Revelation 16:1,17 .

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Bibliography Information
Morrish, George. Entry for 'Temple, the'. Morrish Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/mbd/t/temple-the.html. 1897.

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