Sunday, January 31, 2016

Bethel, The House of God

The geography of Ezekiel 48 has Ezekiel's Temple not in the city of Jerusalem but miles to the North of it.

One problem existing among a few people who understand that correctly like Jack Kelly of is they have a desire to say Ezekiel's Temple will be the same one The Antichrist will desecrate.  (some say this while still thinking the Temple is in Jerusalem in which case all I need to do is point out Ezekiel's geography).

I've already addressed the error of connecting the Abomination of Desolation to Ezekiel 44 when refuting a heresy far more dangerous then anything Jack Kelly teaches.  The words for Abomination are completely different.

There are a lot of people trying to come up with uninformed interpretations of what the Outer Court being trodden under foot of the Gentiles in Revelation 11 means.  Luke 21:24 however clarifies it, the same terminology is used there, it is about Jerusalem being under foreign occupation.  I believe the same time frame is intended, ending with The Rapture and the Last Trumpet.

The city refereed to as Spiritually Sodom and Egypt where Jesus was Crucified is indisputably Jerusalem.  Some insist the "Holy City" of the first few verses of Chapter 11 can't be the same then.  This duality of Jerusalem is what The Bile is constantly about, it is God's Holy City because of his covenant with David, but it's also constantly in rebellion.  Just read Luke 19:41-44.

Jack Kelly talks about how The Jews refer to Ezekiel's Temple as the Third Temple (but admits those same Jews are expecting to build it in Jerusalem).  The Jews lack the New Testament therefore they are missing pieces of the puzzle.  They are ignorant of Jesus warning that the Abomination of Desolation will happen again.  Revelation has Jerusalem rocked by devastating Earthquakes at least twice, in 11 and 16 in the Seventh Bowl of Wrath.  I think it's unlikely the Antichrist's Temple will survive that.

The Jews seeking to rebuild The Temple may like to say they're going to fulfill Ezekiel 40-48, but their actual plans don't match that.  The Temple institute is expecting to have a Menorah and a Veil and a Wall of Separation and separate courts for Gentiles and Women, and a High Priest.  We Christians know that Ezekiel's lack of mentioning these things isn't taking them for granted, everything lacking in Ezekiel's Temple has New Testament significance.

But Size is the biggest issue, the size of Ezekiel's Temple is larger then the entire modern city of Jerusalem.  And the geography envisioned is dependent on changes to the land that happen in the Seventh Bowl of God's Wrath.  Every theorized location for Ezekiel's Temple has an inhabited city there currently with Jewish and Muslim populations, modern Israel isn't going to permit destroying any of those.

Now that I've addressed that error, let's discus the significance of Ezekiel's Temple being outside the City.

Some might wonder, how does that make sense when the city is called "YHWH is There" in the last verse of Ezekiel?  Well first Ezekiel says The Temple will be open only on Sabbaths, New Moons and the Holy Days.  Only citizens of New Jerusalem, His Bride, get to be with Him 24/7.

I find it interesting how The Ark was constantly separate from The Tabernacle during the time between it leaving Shiloh and the Dedication of Solomon's Temple.  For 60 years The Ark was at Kiriath-Jearim till David brought it to Zion.  The Tabernacle however was at Nob till Ahimelech was killed and then was at Gibeon till The Temple was dedicated.  So from the 8th year of David till the 11th year of Solomon the Ark was in Zion and the Tabernacle further North.

Gibeon can't work in my opinion as equivalent to where Ezekiel's Temple will be since it's not even close to directly north, it's way to the west.  It's merely an interesting type picture.

Where do I think Ezekiel's Temple will be?  My mind has shifted on that.

I first made this post when I favored Shechem or around there, but then I updated it as I leaned towards Shiloh for the longest time (same location Jack Kelly favors).  And I still feel Salem of Melchizedek isn't Jerusalem but rather Shiloh and/or in the Shechem area.

But as I was looking recently at some of the maps of Ezekiel's geography that I consider the most accurate.  The Holy Portion does not seem to go far enough North to include Shiloh.  In fact it occurred to me that Shiloh seems to be in the land allotted to Judah in Ezekiel's allotment.  That struck me as significant since the name of Shiloh is associated with Judah in Genesis 49:10.

I've actually grown skeptical recently of the assumption that Shiloh is a name for The Messiah in that verse.  It's the prior verse Revelation 5 identifies with Jesus.  I see Christians constantly citing Rabbinic opinions that Shiloh is the Messiah, which makes me laugh, they're people who don't think Jesus was The Messiah.  Either way I think it would make sense if in the Messianic Kingdom the capital of Judah is Shiloh.

Anyway as I was observing these maps it started to occur to me Bethel might fit.  I did a google search and others had indeed calculated Bethel about 11 or 12 miles North of Jerusalem would be the center of the Holy Portion.  But these scholars did not see the center as where The Temple is as I do, so they argued for it being the start of a stairway or something leading to The Temple or the City.  The Ladder Jacob saw connected Heaven to Earth, not two Earthly locations.

Genesis 28:16-22 KJV
And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not.  And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.
 And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it.  And he called the name of that place Bethel: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first.
 And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God: And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.
No place in Genesis or the whole Torah is more blatantly defined as the House of God, yet we keep over looking it.  I also wonder if the "Gate of Heaven" comment is a clue to the geography of Revelation 19:11 and how it ties in with Zechariah 12-14 and Isaiah 63.  Something I'm still studying.

In Genesis 31:13 God called Himself "The God of Bethel".

In Genesis Jacob returns there to keep his promise, and God makes further promises to Jacob.  And Deborah, Rebecca's nurse, was buried beneath an oak tree.  Later in Judged 4:5 another more famous Deborah lives under a Tree at Bethel.

It was Jacob who named the place Bethel.  Moses however uses the name retroactively twice when discussing Abraham's travels.  Genesis 12:8.
And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD.
And he returned there in 13:3, most of the events of that chapter take place there.

BTW, in Hebrew "Called upon the name of YHWH" is the same phrase as the end of Genesis 4.  I keep seeing people say the Hebrew really says at the end of Genesis 4 men "profaned the name of The LORD", but like the claims about what the Hebrews says of Nimrod being a mighty hunter "Before The LORD" that claim doesn't hold up in my attempts to verify it.

It's interesting that this is east of Bethel.  Again the size of Ezekiel's Temple complex is huge.  What if Bethel is the site of the Holy Place, and Abraham's altar equates to the Brazen Altar?  (the Hebrew words for Pillar and Altar refer to distinct things).

If you look at diagrams of Ezekiel's Temple, the Brazen Altar is at the center, with three gates leading to it and the Holy Place to the West.  The East Gate is sealed after The Temple is consecrated (Hai which is a different transliteration of Ai, means ruin or heap).

Judges 20:18-27 says the Ark was kept at Bethel at that time, the KJV obscures this by translating the name "the house of God".   Does this contradict other passages like Joshua 18, Judges 19 and 1 Samuel 1-13 that seem place the Ark and Tabernacle in Shiloh all this time?

Judges 21:19 refers to Shiloh as north of Bethel when saying a yearly Feast of YHWH was kept there.  Genesis 49:10 defines Shiloh as Gathering place of the People.  It could be Bethel was the usual keeping place of The Ark but Shiloh was where the Feasts were held.  Or maybe the two cites just weren't as far from each other as the modern archeological identifications would have us think?

1 Samuel 7:16 refers to Bethel as a place Samuel regularly visited.  In 1 Samuel 10:3, Samuel sends Saul to Bethel to the "Hill of God", where he has a profound Spiritual experience.

I've also been contemplating theories about the Geography of Eden.  I've watched this video from Rob Skiba.  I really don't like the Pyramid stuff and I could do without the Flat Earth stuff.  But he still has interesting speculations.

I'm thinking that Adam was created by the shore of the Mediterranean Sea, maybe around Joppa.  And then maybe The Garden was Bethel, and Abraham's Altar where God made animal skin garments for Adam and Havvah.  And maybe the Oak tree that Deborah was buried under was roughly where the Tree of Life was? (not the actual same tree of course).  Deborah means Word.

Now because of Jeroboam the land of Bethel was tainted by a Golden Calf, and it comes up in Amos and Hosea because of that.  But a Prophet of YHWH foretold Josiah would destroy that Idol and cleanse the area.  And indeed he did.  No such cleansing happened for the site of the equivalent Idol set up at Dan, why is that?  Maybe it has something with do the different destinies for Dan and Bethel.

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