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Girdlestone's Synonyms of the Old Testament
The word used in the expression 'a holy convocation' is Mikra (מקרא ), from kara, to call or convoke. See Exodus 12:16, Leviticus 23:2, al.; and compare Numbers 10:2. The sabbaths and feast days were occasions for this convocation. The word has been rendered assembly in Isaiah 1:13; Isaiah 4:5. It seems to imply that assemblies were convened on these days for purposes of public worship, or for the reading and exposition of the Law. It may be, however, that the word answers to our word institution or solemnity, and signified that the days so designated were intended to be kept free from secular work, and to be regarded as sacred by Divine command. The LXX usually has κλητὴ ἁγία, which, according to N.T. usage, might be rendered 'called to be holy;' compare the κλητοὶ ἁγίοι of St. Paul's Epistles (A. V. 'called to be saints').
NT Teaching on the Temple and Tabernacle
The most notable words that we have been considering reappear in the N.T., sometimes with a more spiritual significance. Whilst the literal ναός or temple was built by Solomon, it was reserved for Christ, the true son of David, to build the spiritual ναός' which is composed of living stones based up on Him as their foundation. The first hint in the N.T. that there should be such a spiritual temple is in John 2:19, where the Lord says, 'Destroy this temple, [We have to distinguish between the ναός, which is the Temple proper, and the ἱερον, or sacred precincts and courts. The latter is never referred to in a spiritual sense in the Epistles.] and in three days I will raise it up.' He spoke, however, as the Evangelist tells us, of the temple of his body; but his body was itself a figure of that organisation of which all Christians form a part, so that his resurrection was regarded as the rising of the Head, the First-fruits, whilst the Body is to be raised hereafter. this idea of the living Temple is touched up on by St. Paul several times (see 1 Corinthians 3:16-17; 1 Corinthians 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 2:21); each Christian is regarded as a dwelling-place of the Holy Ghost, and, when viewed in connection with others, he is described as a living [It seems unfortunate that the word translated living in the one verb should be rendered lively in the other, the very object of the Apostle being to show the oneness of nature between Christ and believers.] stone in the great Temple, of which Christ is the foundation and the chief corner stone (1 Peter 2:5). :Every Christian, whether Jew or Gentile, whether bond or free, is built up and 'fitly framed' in harmony with the rest; and each community of Christians may be regarded as a chamber (κατοικητήριον, Ephesians 2:22) in the great edifice.
In the Epistle to the Hebrews the σκηνή or tabernacle of the Mosaic dispensation is contrasted with that which the Lord pitched, of which Christ was the minister (Hebrews 8:2); and in Revelation 21:3 we read, with respect to the same heavenly tabernacle, that hereafter it shall be set up among men.
The σκήνωμα is twice mentioned by St. Peter as a symbol of the earthly body, or dwelling-place for the soul (2 Peter 1:13-14) in this sense St. Paul uses the form σκη̂νος; in 2 Corinthians 5:1; 2 Corinthians 5:4, where he speaks of 'our earthly house of this tabernacle' being dissolved.
Besides the references to the temple as the house (οἰ̂κος) of God in the N.T., we have the identification of the Church, i.e. the Body of believers, with the House of God in 1 Timothy 3:15 and 1 Peter 4:17; whilst in Hebrews 3:1-19. a comparison is instituted between the faithfulness of Moses as a servant over his house, i.e. the house of Israel which was committed to his charge by God, and the faithfulness; of Christ the son of God in taking charge of those who believe in Him, and who thus constitute his house in Hebrews 10:21 He is called a High Priest over the house of God, which is not material but a spiritual house. See 1 Peter 2:5.
The word συναγωγή in the N.T. is generally used of the building rather than of those that assemble in it; there are, however, a few passages in which the synagogue meant the judicial and religious assembly. See, for instance, Mark 13:9, Luke 21:12, and Acts 13:43. [Compare also the technical word ἀποσυνάγωγος. (John 9:22, al.).] in James 2:2 the word is apparently applied to the Christian place of meeting, where they were not to forsake the assembling of themselves together (Hebrews 10:25).
the Second Week of Advent