The people prayed outside the sanctuary (Lk 1:10-1:10)

“Now at the hour

Of the incense offering

The whole assembly

Of the people

Was praying outside.”

 

καὶ πᾶν τὸ πλῆθος ἦν τοῦ λαοῦ προσευχόμενον ἔξω τῇ ὥρᾳ τοῦ θυμιάματος.

 

Luke said that at the hour or time of the incense offering (τῇ ὥρᾳ τοῦ θυμιάματος), the whole assembly or the multitude of the people (αὶ πᾶν τὸ πλῆθος ἦν τοῦ λαοῦ) was praying outside (προσευχόμενον ἔξω).  This time or hour of the incense offering was also known as the hour of prayer.  Twice a day, in the morning and in the afternoon, one of the chosen priests went to the incense altar in front of the holy of holies.  The rest of the assembly stayed outside praying.  Thus, there was a break between the people and the priests outside and the one chosen priest offering the incense in the inner sanctuary.  However, both were engaged in daily prayer.

Advertisements

Zechariah’s turn to burn incense (Lk 1:9-1:9)

“Zechariah

Was chosen by lot,

According to the custom

Of the priesthood.

He was to enter

The sanctuary

Of the Lord

To burn incense.”

                                                                     

κατὰ τὸ ἔθος τῆς ἱερατείας ἔλαχε τοῦ θυμιᾶσαι εἰσελθὼν εἰς τὸν ναὸν τοῦ Κυρίου,

 

Luke pointed out that not only was his group of priests on duty, Zechariah was also chosen by lot (ἔλαχε), as was the priestly custom (κατὰ τὸ ἔθος τῆς ἱερατείας), to enter the sanctuary of the Lord (εἰσελθὼν εἰς τὸν ναὸν τοῦ Κυρίου) to burn incense (τοῦ θυμιᾶσαι).  Apparently, as mentioned elsewhere, choosing by lot or chance was a fairly common way to make decisions, since God would guide the choice.  This Levite priestly custom meant that Zechariah got to enter the holy of holies, the inner sanctuary of the Temple, where he would burn incense, a big honor.

The cooking pots are holy (Zech 14:20-14:21)

“On that day,

There shall be inscribed

On the bells

Of the horses.

‘Holy to Yahweh.’

The cooking pots

In the house of Yahweh

Shall be as holy

As the bowls

In front of the altar.

Every cooking pot

In Jerusalem,

As well as in Judah

Shall be sacred

To Yahweh of hosts.

Thus,

All who sacrifice

May come.

They may use them

To boil the flesh

Of the sacrifice.

There shall no longer

Be traders

In the house

Of Yahweh of hosts,

On that day.”

On this glorious day, the bells of the horses will have the inscription that Yahweh is holy.  The cooking pots in the house of Yahweh would be as holy as the bowls on the altar in front of the holy of holies.  In fact, all the cooking pots in Judah and Jerusalem would be sacred to Yahweh.  The sacrifices could then be boiled in any kind of pot because they were all holy.  They would no longer need to depend on the traders at the Temple selling them special holy pots.

The holy garments (Ezek 42:14-42:14)

“When the priests enter

The holy place,

They shall not go out of it

Into the outer court

Without laying there

The garments

In which they minister.

These are holy garments.

They shall put on

Other garments

Before they go near

To the area

Open to the people.”

The bronze man further explained to Ezekiel that these chambers also held the holy garments that the priests wore when they entered the holy of holies. These priests were not to go out into the outer court, without changing their clothes. The garments or vestments themselves were holy, so that they had to be left in these holy chambers. The priests had to put on other clothes before they could go near the area where all the other people were.

Carvings of the two-headed cherubim with palm trees (Ezek 41:17-41:20)

“On all the walls

All around

In the inner room,

As well as the nave,

There was a pattern.

It was formed

Of cherubim

With palm trees.

There was a palm tree

Between each cherub.

Every cherub had

Two faces.

A human face

Was turned

Toward the palm tree

On the one side.

The face of a young lion

Was turned

Toward the palm tree

On the other side.

They were carved

On the whole temple

All around.

From the floor

To the area

Above the door,

Cherubim

With palm trees

Were carved

On the wall.”

Ezekiel explained what he saw in the holy of holies room. There were patterned carvings of cherubim with palm trees on all the walls around the inner room and the nave. Between each cherub there was a palm tree. Every one of these cherubim had two faces, a human face and the face of a young lion. The two faces of each cherub were turned toward the two palm trees on either side of them. These wooden carvings were all around the Temple walls, from the floor to the area above the door.

Title (Song 1:1-1:1)

“The Song of Songs,

That is Solomon’s.”

The title of this work is the superlative in Hebrew. Just like the holy of holies, so too the Song of Songs means the best song ever. Sometimes this is referred to as the Canticle of Canticles or the best canticle ever. There is an allusion to Solomon as in most of the wisdom literature.

The title of this work is the superlative in Hebrew. Just like the holy of holies, so too the Song of Songs means the best song ever. Sometimes this is referred to as the Canticle of Canticles or the best canticle ever. There is an allusion to Solomon as in most of the wisdom literature.