Temple curtain torn in two (Mk 15:38-15:38)

“The curtain

Of the temple

Was torn

In two,

From top

To bottom.”

 

Καὶ τὸ καταπέτασμα τοῦ ναοῦ ἐσχίσθη εἰς δύο ἀπ’ ἄνωθεν ἕως κάτω.

 

This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 27:51, about the Temple curtain being torn in two, except that there is no mention of an earthquake here in Mark.  There was no mention of the Temple curtain tearing or an earthquake in Luke, chapter 23, or John, chapter 19.  Mark said that the curtain of the Temple (Καὶ τὸ καταπέτασμα τοῦ ναοῦ) or the veil that separated the Holy of Holies from the other parts of the Temple was torn in two (ἐσχίσθη εἰς δύο), from the top to the bottom (ἀπ’ ἄνωθεν ἕως κάτω).  Perhaps this indicated a prediction about the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE.

The Temple curtain is torn in two (Mt 27:51-27:51)

“Then the curtain

Of the Temple

Was torn in two,

From top to bottom.

The earth shook.

The rocks were split.”

 

Καὶ ἰδοὺ τὸ καταπέτασμα τοῦ ναοῦ ἐσχίσθη ἀπ’ ἄνωθεν ἕως κάτω εἰς δύο, καὶ ἡ γῆ ἐσείσθη, καὶ αἱ πέτραι ἐσχίσθησαν,

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 15:38, about the Temple being torn in two, except there is no mention of an earthquake.  There was no mention of the Temple curtain tearing or the earthquake in Luke, chapter 23, or John, chapter 19.  Matthew said that the curtain of the Temple or the veil that separated the Holy of Holies from the other parts of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom (Καὶ ἰδοὺ τὸ καταπέτασμα τοῦ ναοῦ ἐσχίσθη ἀπ’ ἄνωθεν ἕως κάτω εἰς δύο).  There also was an earthquake as the ground shook (καὶ ἡ γῆ ἐσείσθη) and the rocks split (καὶ αἱ πέτραι ἐσχίσθησαν).  Matthew also mentioned an earthquake in chapter 28:2, like the end times of the Old Testament Day of Yahweh.  Perhaps this indicates a prediction of the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE.

The burnt bull sin offering (Ezek 43:21-43:21

“You shall also take

The bull                                   

Of the sin offering,

It shall be burnt

In the appointed place

Belonging to the temple,

Outside the sacred area.”

The sacrificed bull was a sin offering that had to be burned in an appropriate place in the Temple area, but not in the holy sacred area of the holy of holies.

 

The holy chambers (Ezek 42:13-42:13)

“Then he said to me.

‘The north chambers

As well as the south chambers,

Opposite the vacant area,

Are the holy chambers.

There the priests,

Who approach Yahweh,

Shall eat

The most holy offerings.

There they shall deposit

The most holy offerings,

The cereal offering,

The sin offering,

The guilt offering.

This place is holy.’”

Once again, the bronze man appeared on the scene to explain to Ezekiel the purpose for these rooms or chambers on the north and the south side. These rooms or chambers were for the priests to eat the various offerings that took place in the Debir, the Holy of holies, the place of Yahweh. There in these chambers, the priests would put the holy offerings, that is the cereal offerings, the sin offerings, and the guilt offerings. Thus, these rooms became holy.

The doors (Ezek 41:23-41:26)

“The nave

With the holy place

Had each

A double door.

The doors had

Two leaves apiece.

There were

Two swinging leaves

For each door.

On the doors

Of the nave

Were carved

Cherubim

With palm trees,

Just like those carved

On the walls.

There was a canopy

Of wood

In front

Of the vestibule,

Outside.

There were recessed windows

With palm trees

On either side,

On the sidewalls

Of the vestibule.”

Ezekiel continued with his descriptions of the double doors leading to the Hekal, the nave, and the Debir, the holy place. These 2 doors had 2 swinging leaves for each door. On the double door to the nave were the carvings of the cherubim and the palm trees just like as in wall of the holy of holies. There was a canopy of wood outside in front of the vestibule, the Ulam. There were recessed windows with palm trees on either side of the sidewalls of this vestibule or Ulam.

The wood paneling (Ezek 41:15-41:17)

“The nave of the temple,

The inner Debir room,

As well as the outer vestibule

Were paneled

All around.

All three

Had windows

With recessed frames.

Facing the threshold,

The temple

Was paneled

With wood

All around,

From the floor

Up to the windows.

Now the windows

Were covered.

They were paneled

With wood

To the space

Above the door,

Even to the inner room,

As well as on the outside.”

Ezekiel explained about the wonderful wood paneling that seemed to be almost everywhere, including the Hekal nave of the temple, the inner Debir room, the holy of holies, and the outer Ulam vestibule. All these places had wood paneling with recessed frames around their windows, although the windows themselves were covered. The wood paneling went from the floor up to the windows. There was even paneling above the door and even in the inner room, as well as on the outside room. They really liked wood paneling.

The cherubim in the Temple (Ezek 10:3-10:5)

“Now the cherubim

Were standing

On the south side

Of the house.

When the man went in,

A cloud filled

The inner court.

Then the glory of Yahweh

Rose up from the cherubim

To the threshold

Of the house.

The house was filled

With the cloud.

The court

Was full

Of the brightness

Of the glory

Of Yahweh.

The sound

Of the wings

Of the cherubim

Was heard

As far as the outer court,

Like the voice

Of God Almighty     

When he speaks.”

Once again, this is reminiscent of the vision in chapter 1. The cherubim in the Temple were surrounding the Holy of Holies on the south side of the Temple. The man in linen cloth with the writing case at his side went into the sanctuary as a cloud filled the inner court. Then the glory of Yahweh rose up from the cherubim and moved to the threshold of the Temple as in the last chapter. This glory of Yahweh was the real presence of God. The whole Temple was filled with a cloud, while the court was full of the brightness and glory of Yahweh. The sound of the wings of the cherubim could be heard as far away as the outer court, as in chapter 1. They sounded like the voice of God Almighty when he spoke.

The wings of the four living creatures (Ezek 1:8-1:9)

“Under their wings,

On their four sides,

They had human hands.

The four creatures

Had their faces

With their wings

In this manner.

Their wings touched

One another.

Each of them

Moved straight ahead,

Without turning,

As they moved.”

Apparently these creatures had 4 sides, not merely 2 sides. They had human hands under their wings. Each of the 4 wings on each creature touched each other, just like the seraphim in the Holy of Holies in the sanctuary. They were able to move or walk straight ahead without turning.

Prayer for deliverance (Ps 80:1-80:2)

To the choirmaster, according to Lilies, a testimony of Asaph, a psalm

“Give ear!

O shepherd of Israel!

You lead Joseph like a flock!

You are enthroned upon the cherubim!

Shine forth

Before Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh!

Stir up your might!

Come to save us!”

Psalm 80 is another choral psalm of Asaph, a transcriber or author of psalms at the time of David and Solomon, a Temple singer at the time of Solomon during the transport of the Ark of the Covenant.  This psalm is set to the tune of the lilies, much like Psalm 45 and Psalm 69. This is an attempt of the northern tribes of Israel, Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh to have God come to their aid. Notice the importance of Joseph here. Remember that those northern Israel tribes were sent to captivity before the people in Jerusalem and Judah. This psalmist wanted the shepherd of Israel to listen and shine before the northern tribes. The God of Israel sat on the cherubim in the holy of holies. He wanted God to stir up his might and thus save them from their captivity.

The Holy of Holies (1 Kings 6:14-6:22)

“So Solomon built the house and finished it. He lined the walls of the house on the inside with boards of cedar. From the floor of the house to the rafters of the ceiling, he covered them on the inside with wood. He covered the floor of the house with boards of cypress. He built twenty cubits of the rear of the house with boards of cedar from the floor to the rafters. He built this within as an inner sanctuary, as the most holy place. The house, that is, the nave in front of the inner sanctuary, was forty cubits long. The cedar within the house had carvings of gourds and open flowers. All was cedar. No stone was seen. The inner sanctuary he prepared in the innermost part of the house, to set there the Ark of the Covenant of Yahweh. The interior of the inner sanctuary was twenty cubits long, twenty cubits wide, and twenty cubits high. He overlaid it with pure gold. He also overlaid the altar with cedar. Solomon overlaid the inside of the house with pure gold. Then he drew chains of gold across, in front of the inner sanctuary. He overlaid it with gold. Next he overlaid the whole house with gold, in order that the whole house might be perfect. Even the whole altar that belonged to the inner sanctuary he overlaid with gold.”

Solomon finished the temple. He lined the walls with cedar planks to the ceilings. The floors were made of cypress boards. However, the rear of the building had cedar planks from the floor to the rafters for 20 cubits square, 30 feet on sides of the most holy place. This was where the Ark of the Covenant would stay. There was a nave to the holy place that was 40 cubits (60 feet) long, twice as long as the holy place. The inner most holy place was overlaid with gold. Then he put chains of gold in front of the inner sanctuary, the holy place, not the most holy place. In fact, the altar was overlaid with gold. This was a lot of cedar wood and gold.