Jewish Temples, Physical and Visionary

Historically, Jerusalem had several Jewish Temples that were physical. The First Temple of Solomon lasted for three centuries until destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BCE. The Second Temple rebuilt by Jews back from Babylon was restored as Herod’s Temple, then razed by Titus for Rome in CE 70. The Third Temple exists on only the drawing boards of certain Jews and Christians awaiting their chance to rebuild it as a reality.
Then there are the Temples of Ezekiel, Qumran, and Revelation that are visionary. All of them are vast: Ezekiel’s measures 500 cubits, Qumran’s 1600 cubits,and Revelation’s 12,000 furlongs.[1] Their grandeur mirrors the global divine civilization that they all portray in various ways.
The visionary nature of the Temple in Revelation helped John not to upset Roman censors. A visionary Temple was far less threatening than a physical Temple. So John writes no standard description of it, but he instead paints it as an ethereal eerie for angels. He shows scattered sightings of it as a temple.doc file fragmented across his hard disk of Revelation. He hides it behind an array of literary veils. He shows its High-Priest as a Son of Man dressed in a long robe and sash. He hears its Altars speak as Angels. He spatters its sacrificial-blood and wafts its fragrant incenses as any pagan Roman might. He hands over its outer courtyard to gentiles like the Romans. He hears its martyrs leading services. He hears its elders as 24 classes of Cohens and its 24 watches of Levites conducting its services,2] and spots them in varied vistas, sculpts them onto sundry pedestals, and snaps them amid select sacred objects. He hears choirs of Levites singing its new song, intoning its heavenly praises, sounding its trumpets, strumming its harps, and waving its victory palms. He pours out its wine as spiritual influence. He enthrones its Sanhedrin with power to judge. He shows the most important sacred object, its Ark, only once. He shines the breastplate-gemstones as the foundations of its New Jerusalem. Then at the end—amazingly—he sees no Temple at all (v. 21.22).It simply vanishes!
Where on earth, or in heaven, does the Temple go? The answer is that IT HAS GROWN SIMPLY TOO BIG TO BE SEEN as global New Jerusalem. The humble Temple pupa has burst into flashing flight as the beautiful butterfly of the divine global civilization of New Jerusalem embracing the globe with its wings. The central purpose of New Jerusalem is now global divine civilization, just as the central purpose of Jerusalem city was once the physical Temple. This
Tabernacle of the Cause of God will gather together the whole of mankind beneath its shelter.[3]
But when? Moses got the answer in a vision on the day he died, which showed
God build the Temple of jewels and pearls, while between the separate gems and pearls shimmered the radiance of the Shekinah [sic], brighter than all jewels. Moses asks: When will this Temple built here in heaven come down to earth below?...Give me a sign. God replies, I shall first scatter Israel as with a shovel over all the earth…among all nations....Then shall I set My hand again the second time, and gather them in.[4]
In other words, God tells Moses that the heavenly Temple will come to earth, and that the butterfly of divine civilization will alight on the human race when the scattered Jews would return to Israel.
For Baha’is, the Temples of the Cause of God are the Messengers who refurbish His One Religion each millennium, all
clothed in divers attire...soaring in the same heaven, seated upon the same throne, uttering the same speech, and proclaiming the same Faith....The Cause of Baha’u’llah is the same as the Cause of Christ¼the same temple and the same foundation. Each comes to build the Temple of the Lord...with the hands of power and might, each in the form of the human temple, and each a Voice calling from this manifest Temple.
In his Tablet of the Temple, Baha’u’llah addresses himself as a living Temple, limb by limb, and states:
Thus have We built the Temple with the hands of power and might....Which is preferable, this, or a temple which is built of clay? Set your faces towards it. Thus have ye been commanded by God.[5]
Further, Baha’u’llah is the
man named the ‘Branch’ who shall branch out from his place and build the temple of the Lord, and assume majesty and sit and rule on his throne (Zech. 6.12–13).
Isaac Newton saw the Temple as a template of the cosmos, and for Jews the Temple is a microcosm of the universe whose sacred objects emanate sublime and holy concepts that work at many symbolic levels of meaning. For example, the garments of the High-Priest and the vessels are made in a way of imitation and representation of the universe, and his breastplate is an emblem of heaven.[6]
Sacred Temple Objects
The Temple and its sacred objects are the backdrop to the symbolism of the Apocalypse. Walking East-to-West through the three Temple chambers—its Hall, Holy, and Holy of Holies—you see its seven most important sacred objects. They are the:
Sacrificial-Altar that stands outside the Temple Door. For Jews, this Altar’s twice daily continually burning korban-sacrifices draw them closer to God and to each other and help them to face death. Korban means what brings close (not sacrifice, an inaccurate translation that calls for some sort of exchange). For the people of the world, this Altar portrays the sacrifice of Jesus and the Bab as the only Messengers of God to be martyred. As sacrifices they have people closer to God and to each other and help them to face death.
Doorthat opens into the Temple. For Jews, the Door leads them closer to God and to each other. For the people of the world, the Door portrays Jesus and the Bab as the only Messengers of God to take Door as a title.As Doors they draw people closer to God and to each other.
Gold Incense-Altar that stands in the center of the Holy. For Jews, this Altar imparts unity to Israel, its fragrant incense smoke rising as prayers. For the people of the world, it emanates Baha’u’llah’s fragrant loving spirit bringing unity to the globe in marrying the meanings of the Gold Showbread-Table and of the Menorah.
Gold Showbread-Table that stands in the Holy to the right of the Incense-Altar, stacked with 12 loaves of bread. For Jews, the Showbread-Table and its loaves promise material bounty. For the people of the world, they promise worthy prosperity. Yet in the Apocalypse the Showbread-Table goes unmentioned. Why? Its reasin is to avoide confusing the worthy prosperity that it signifies with the Malignant Materialism that its big bad brother of Babylon signifies. So it waits until after the fall of Babylon in Chapter 18, and only then in Chapter 19 does it cover the Showbread-Table with the tablecloth of spiritual economics on which to serve banquets.
Menorah that stands in the Holy to the left of the Incense-Altar. For Jews, the Menorah shines Judaism as a light to the nations. For the people of the world, it shines the lights of the seven Faiths of the One Religion of God.
Paroket Curtain Veil that hides and separates off the Holy of Holies. For Jews, this double red curtain unveils the Presence of God in the Holy of Holies—but only once a year and only to the High-Priest. For the world, it unveils the latest Presence of God as Baha’u’llah and the Bab enthroned on the Ark-Throne in the Holy of Holies—but now for a whole Cycle and for everybody.
Ark that is set on the foundation stone cited and sited by Jews as the navel of the universe from which Hoyle’s big bang made everything. The sacred Ark is the only object in the Holy of Holies.[7]

Plan of the Temple and the Sacred-Objects in it

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Ark is Cabinet and Throne
The Ark is the most important sacred object in the Temple because it contains the Law of Moses. Though famously the lost Ark, the Ark is far from lost, just hidden. Its last recorded sighting was in 608 BC, when, expecting trouble,
King Josiah hid the Ark…in the intricate underground labyrinth of passageways and secret chambers built by King Solomon when he erected the Temple.[8]
So when Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the Temple in 586 BC, twenty-two years later, he found the Holy of Holies empty. Nor during the period of the Second Temple was there any Ark in the Holy of Holies either.
Back in in 608 BC, just the massive weight of the Ark—just its gold lid weighed over a ton—favored hiding it on the spot. So centuries later, when a Temple Priest saw an odd-looking paving-stone near the wood chamber and dropped deadt¼hereby it was known to a certainty that the ark of the covenant was hidden…under the wood chamber.
Regardless, the Ark’s exact place shall not be known until God gathers his people together again. This has now happened, and some Jews in Jerusalem claim to know where the Ark is—as only an orally and aurally transmitted secret.[9]
At the same time, a contrary Apocryphal tale says that the prophet
Jeremiah went to the mountainwhere Moses had gone up [Mount Nebo]...found a cave, and brought there the tent, the ark, and the altar of incense.[10]
Is this likely? Hardly! The notion that the both spiritually and materially priceless Ark, all two tons of it, could be safely and secretly carried down from 2600–foot high Jerusalem some 3900 feet and 25 miles towards enemy territory, past the lowest point on earth (the Dead Sea, 1300 feet below sea level), then back up onto 2680–foot high Mt. Nebo simply does not hold water, let alone the Tablets of Moses. Instead, Jeremiah was almost certainly hiding a red, not gold, herring in that Mt. Nebo cave.
The Ark has two parts—a Cabinet and a Lid. The gold-plated 45× 27× 27Ark-Cabinet is God’s Footstool. The pure gold45× 27× 3” Kaporet Ark-Lid is God’s Mercy-Seat Throne. Over this Ark-Lid hover a gold male and female cherub, face to face, their wings unfurled.11] John names the Ark as “Ark” only once (v. 11.19) but sees it everywhere else as “Throne”. In addition, John sees the Gold Incense-Altar before the Throne (v. 8.3) and facing God (v. 9.13), and since the Holy of Holies can contain only the Ark, the Ark is located in the Holy of Holies as the Throne too.
Symbolically the Ark-Throne protects and proclaims the One Religion of God. Its Cabinet once protected the Law of Moses as it now protects the new Law of Baha’u’llah. The Ark-Lid enthrones Baha’u’llah and the Bab as the
Divine Presence of God seated upon the Throne of might and glory,the throne of David,[12]
proclaiming the One Religion of God as Moses and David once proclaimed its early Jewish Faith.




[1]Ezekiel’s,Ezek. 40–48 esp 42.16 & Sulley;
Qumran’s, Fekkes 96, & http://biblical-studies.ca/dss/introductions/11QT.html;
Revelation’s,Rev. 3.12, 7.15, 11.1, 2, 19 x 2, 14.15, 17, 15.5, 6, 8 x 2, 16.1, 17 &21.22 x 2
[2] 1Chron. 24.1–19, also Stuart 507
[3] Tablets of Baha’u’llah7.84, GWB 43.92
[4] Ginzberg, Legends of the Jews 3.446–8
[5] Clothed in divers, Baha’u’llah, KI 153–54
The Cause of Baha’u’llah, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, BWF400
To build the Temple, Baha’u’llah, Summons of the Lord of Hosts 1.276.137
The form of, Baha’u’llah,PB84
Voice calling, Baha’u’llah, Aqdas 13.20 & 86.51, PB39; Shoghi Effendi, PDC 83.36
Thus have We built, Baha’u’llah Summons of the Lord of Hosts, Tablet of the Temple (Suriy-i-Haykal)1.276.37 set in the form of a pentacle, symbolizing the temple of man, addressed Pope Pius IX, Napoleon III, Czar Alexander II, Queen Victoria, and Násiri’d-Dín Sháh
[6] Emanate sublime, Richman, To Dwell with G-d
Template of the cosmos, Isaac Newton’s Secrets 56.Yahuda MS 14f. 5r. Sketch of the Jerusalem Temple; and 38, Yahuda MS 9.2 f. 1r, Jewish Temple Rituals as a key to Understanding Biblical Prophecy
The garments of, Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews 3.7.7
An emblem of, Philo, Life of Moses 2.24.117 & 122
[7] Sacrificial-Altar,Rev. 6.9, 8.3a, 8.5, 11.11, 14.18 & 16.7
Door,Rev. 3.8, 20 x 2 & 4.1, also John 10.9 & Rev 3.3, 8 & 4.1
Gold Incense-Altar,Rev. 8.3b & 9.13
Menorah,Rev. 1.13
Paroket curtain veil,Rev. 1.1–2
Ark,Rev. 11.19
[8] Mishnah Shekalim 6.1
[9] Dropped dead,Mishnah Shekalim 6.2; Mishnah Yoma 5.2
Place shall not, 2Maccabees, 2.4–7
Today some Jews, Richman, Where is the Ark of the Covenant? http://templeinstitute .org/ark_of_the_covenant.htm
[10] 2Maccabees, 2.4–7
[11] Ezek. 43.7, 1Chr 28.2, Ps. 132.7–8, also Ps. 99.5, Lam. 2.1; Exod. 25.17–22
[12] Divine Presence, Baha’u’llah, ESW118; seated upon, Baha’u’llah, Summons of the Lord of Hosts 1.122,PB89; Shoghi Effendi GPB 96 &211; Zech. 6.12