It has been a long time since I have posted here at beyoutifulmom, but I wanted to share this post that I wrote for #WORDNerdWednesday over at My Messy Desk. Come read with me about the word Temple.
The word “temple” has several different meanings and all are worthy definitions for exploring. In context and how the word is properly defined all depends upon what you are reading or the meaning that you are seeking.
The general definition of the word “temple” according to a quick Google search is a building devoted to the worship, or regarded as the dwelling place, of a god or gods or other objects of religious reverence. i.e., house of God, house of worship, shrine, sanctuary, church, cathedral, mosque, synagogue, shul, or archaic fane.
(Image Credit to Restless Pilgrim (http://restlesspilgrim.net/blog/2012/09/16/jerusalem-temple/)
However, to the believer and follower of Jesus Christ, the word “temple” takes on a much grander meaning. Jesus Christ was of Jewish decent and to the Jewish people, the temple was physically represented by two successive religious buildings. The first temple was built by Solomon in 957 BC and later destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC. This particular temple contained the famous Ark of the Covenant. It was also the actual dwelling place of (Yah-God).
There is also some mention of the temple being rebuilt by Zerubbabel in 520 BC. Zerubbabel was the head of the tribe of Judah at the time of the return of the Babylonish captivity, during the first year of Cyrus’ reign. It is probable that Zerubbabel was in the King of Babylon’s service and like Daniel, received a different name. Since we have very few particulars or physical evidence to realize the temple’s appearance, we tend to focus on the temple when it had strongly laid foundations. Rather than seeing three different temples, scholars focus on two particular temples with modifications being made to pre-existing foundations.
The second temple (515 BC – AD 70) was enlarged by Herod the Great and later destroyed by Romans during the Jewish Revolt. It is said and often believed to have been built by Herod just to appease the Jewish people and to gain their favor.
Today, all that remains of the temple is the western part of the wall (a few stones) and an inner gate. Current ruins indicate that levels of the foundations possibly laid by Zerubbabel and Solomon are still noticeable but not built up. The physical evidence of the temple helps us to put pieces of Biblical history together and perhaps this may be the reason why there is still a focus on the history of the temple and why the Jewish people are waiting for it to be rebuilt again.
As we further explore the meaning of the word temple, we must not forget that Jesus foretold the destruction of it. Matthew 24: 1-2 (ESV) says “Jesus left the temple and was going away, when His disciples came to point out to Him the buildings of the temple. But He answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”
Since the word “temple” is mentioned over 600 times in the Bible and with this word being mentioned so much, it is important that we understand what is meant when we read the word temple both in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. The Old Testament use for the word temple is bayith (Hebrew) which literally means house, household or home. Heykal (Aramaic) is also found in the OT and means palace. The New Testament uses the Greek word eidolon which means idol’s temple and the word noas which means shrine.
Please finish reading the rest of this post with me at: My Messy Desk