A cosmic representation of the earth and sky

Nàon and hahehkahàl are terms expressing in two different languages the same meaning. Which? It’s the sanctuary. The Greek for sanctuary is nàon, which refers to the innermost cell of the temple. The corresponding Hebrew word is hahehkahàl, the palace. Nàon is a word deriving from a verb and meaning to inhabit. This is why the temple has to be considered a representation of the inhabited heavens and inhabited earth.

A poetic parallelism

There are many passages in the Bible where the sanctuary is put into a sort of poetic parallelism with the heavens and the earth. You can infer this by the letter to the Hebrew  9:1 where Paul wrote:

“Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary.”

κοσμικόν

The original Greek reads the following: Εἶχε μὲν οὖν καὶ ἡ πρώτη δικαιώματα λατρείας τό τε ἅγιον κοσμικόν. (Westcott and Hort)

The use of the adjective cosmicόn is not random. It can be translated earthly, worldly, mundaine, but also cosmic, i.e. representative of the earthly cosmic reality.

Hebrew 9:24 states: “For Christ did not enter into a holy place made with hands, which is a copy of the reality, but into heaven itself, so that he now appears before God on our behalf”.

A copy of the reality

So, as you can deduce,  the temple is a copy, a model of the cosmic reality. A copy of the reality: αντίτυπα τῶν ἀληθινῶν, which, in different translations is rendered as:

  • which are copies of the true things, English Standard Version
  • only a model of the true one, Christian Standard Bible
  • which are representations of the true, New Heart English Bible
  • which was the symbol of the real one, Aramaic Bible in Plain English
  • He didn’t go into a model of the real thin,. God’s Word Translation
  • merecopy of the true one, New American Standard
  • -a mere copy of the reality-, Weymouth New Testament

An image reflected

Aντίτυπα is a representation, a copy, an image reflected.  A thing resembling another and its counterpart. The corresponding Latin is the word exemplar. Aληθινῶν is a plural genitive case from ἀληθινός which, as the adjective ἀληθής, means true, veracious or sincere. The earthly holy place was a copy or a model of something greater, the real cosmos. Searching for evidence,  you could read in the book of Psalms where you find a verse like this: “He made his sanctuary as enduring as the heavens, Like the earth that he has established forever.” (Ps 78:69) It’s a verse that refers to the fact the sanctuary was a representation of the earth and the heavens.

An order to measure the temple

So, when the angel, as reported in the book of Revelation, says John to measure the temple, the order given is to measure the earth. “And a reed like a rod was given to me as he said: “Get up and measure the temple sanctuary of God and the altar and those worshipping in it”. Revelation 11:1

An angel who is standing on the sea and on the earth

Just before, as reported in the previous chapter, John received and ate a little scroll. “And I heard the voice out of heaven speaking again with me and saying: “Go, take the opened scroll that is in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the earth.”   I went to the angel and told him to give me the little scroll. He said to me: “Take it and eat it up, and it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth, it will be sweet like honey.”  I took the little scroll out of the hand of the angel and ate it, and in my mouth, it was sweet like honey, but when I had eaten it, my stomach was made bitter.”

John came to be in the final part of the days

The scroll contained the truth about the earth and its cosmic situation. It is an amazing prophecy for the time of now. All the contents revealed to John where for the time of the end. “A revelation by Jesus Christ, which God gave him, to show his slaves the things that must shortly take place. And he sent his angel and presented it in signs through him to his slave John, who bore witness to the word God gave and to the witness Jesus Christ gave, yes, to all the things he saw. Happy is the one who reads aloud and those who hear the words of this prophecy and who observe the things written in it, for the appointed time is near.” (Revelation 1:1-3) and later on: “By inspiration, I came to be in the Lord’s day”. (Revelation 1:10) So, all this is what John states. He was writing things belonging to the final parts of the days. Thus, the fact that today you are getting a clearer idea of the earth morphology is something that makes the prophecy true.

Earth and Ark as interchangeable words

That’s true, the Bible establishes a clear parallelism between the temple and the earth. The temple is a copy of our earthly reality. There’s even much more. You can find a passage in the Bible where the words for earth and ark look alike, being interchangeable. It’s in the book of the Judges:  “After that the Danites set up the carved image for themselves, and Jonathan the son of Gershom, the son of Moses, and his sons became priests to the tribe of the Danites until the day that the inhabitants of the land went into exile” Judges 18:30

Referring to this verse, there’s in some Bible a footnote, where you can read more or less this: “The land’s.” Heb., ha·ʼaʹrets. Some contend that this should read “ark’s” (ארון, ʼarohnʹ) instead of “land’s” (ארץ, ʼaʹrets), referring to 1Sa 4:3–7:2.

Measuring the temple

So, there are several passages in the Bible where the measuring of the temple is focused. Think for instance of Ezekiel chapters 40-48 where an angel shows the prophet details of the temple, measuring the walls, gates, guard chambers, dining rooms and the temple itself. Well, Revelation chapter 11 accounts for the same situation.

A shadow of higher things

Moreover, objects kept inside the holy place of the temple at Moshe’s time can open a better understanding of the underlying meanings. They were a shadow of higher things. “A tabernacle was set up. In its first room were the lampstand and the table with its consecrated bread; this was called the Holy Place.” Hebrew 9:2

The lampstand was a representation of the sky with its luminaries and stars, the table a representation of the earth. Besides, the temple had a special unit of measure.

The Earth’s measuring unit

The ark is actually the measuring unit to measure the earth.

Revelation 11, which is one of the fundamental chapters accounting for the measurement of the earth,  at the last verse the 19 one, reads: “And the temple sanctuary of God that is in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen in his temple. And there were flashes of lightning and voices and thunders and an earthquake and a great hail. ”

The measures of the ark of the covenant

The cubit was a peculiar unit of 44,4 cm. The ark of the covenant had outstanding measures, too: 111cm long, 66.6cm wide, 66.6cm high. All these are really astonishing numbers. You probably remember that each degree in the latitude of the earth has the value of 111 km.

The cubit

This is the basis for all the biblical measurement system. Jesus used it even to measure time when he said:Who of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his life span?” (Matthew 6:27) So, the temple was built according to the use of this homogeneous measurement system: the cubit. It is a measure grounded upon the multiplying of the number 111. Many measurement units in the Bible are multiples of this number. The measures of the ark of the covenant were its multiples. All the earth geometry has this number as a unit.

A few Hebrew unit measures

Liquid measures Dry measures Linear measures
Cor   220 liters Homer  220 liters Cubit 44.4 cm
Bat     22 liters Ephah      22 liters Span  22.2 cm
Log 0.66 pt Seah   6.66 dry qt

The Siloam Inscription

Also, the opening image of the post is the original Hebrew writing of the same inscription dated to the 8th century BCE on the basis of the writing style, Paleo-Hebrew alphabet. It is the only known ancient inscription from the wider region which commemorates a public construction work.

The metric value of a cubit 

This way, for the metric value of a cubit, I’m referring to this inscription found in the tunnel built by King Hezekiah, where this unit is corresponding to 44.4 cm. It was a tunnel which channeled water from the Gihon spring in the Kidron valley to a protected reservoir on the west side of the city, thus allowing Jerusalem to survive the siege of the Assyrian King Sennacherib. The old inscription states being 1200 cubits long. So it was easy to calculate, by measuring the tunnel in meters, which was the real value of the cubit unit.

Repeated units in the Bible

In addition, you could remember the 22000 cattle offered at the temple inauguration, the great convention held on the 22nd of the month of Ethanim, the weight of the gold that came to Solomon in one year that amounted to six hundred and sixty-six talents of gold, and much other. (2Ch 9:13)

About Ezekiel’s wheels

So, finally, let’s try to understand in which sense the earth is staying forever. No man, of course, could ever catch a complete and general glimpse of the earth, but Ezekiel had a faithful vision of the ensemble when “the heavens were opened”, in order that he could get aware of the cosmic reality.

So, in the first chapter of his book, there is the description of the four wheels full of eyes. This prophecy is also known as the prophecy of the chariot. In the book, the word chariot is not mentioned, but to find it you have to rely on 1Chronicles  28:18 where the Bible refers to “the representation of the chariot, namely the cherubs of gold for spreading their wings out and screening over the ark of the covenant “. The chariot was the ark of the covenant. This way, the ark has a close connection with the wheels in Ezekiel chapter 1.

A wheel in the middle of a wheel

Ezekiel presents the platform of the earth as a frameset with four similar flat wheels. Something as the appearance of torches was moving back and forth, something like the tracks of the sun and moon orbiting over the extension of each of the wheels. There were smaller wheels rotating inside the bigger ones: “a wheel was in the middle of a wheel “.

Here you have to imagine the wheels as lying horizontally instead of standing vertically. They are a representation of the four worlds, Eden, Noah’s world, our world and the new earth and the new heaven to come. Near to every wheel, there’s a living creature. It is an earth full of living creatures, the Vulgate names them animalia, that is to say, all living beings, human, animal organic creatures, all of them full of eyes.

The likeness of an expanse

Ezekiel says: “And over the heads of the living creatures there was the likeness of an expanse…”  You can find this term, expanse, in Genesis,  Job, Psalms, Daniel, and many other Bible books. It is used to convey the sense of the extended surface of the skies and of the earth. Ra.qi’a’, raqa and terms derived mean properly an expanse which is spread out. The word firmament, that indicates what is firm or fixed, is taken from the Greek ste.re’o.ma,  used in the Septuagint and conveys the idea that the heavens above us are a solid concave.

He that spread forth the earth

Isaiah 42:5 gives the idea that not only the heavens are an expanse, raqia, but the earth also is roqà: here the Creator of heavens is pictured as “the Grand One stretching them out; the one laying out the earth”. The James Version says: “He that spread forth the earth…” These sort of terms are particular and are used for beating money or golden plates, for embroidery,  garments, wafers, etc… They do not convey the idea of spherical objects but of flat surfaces,  textures and the like. Similarly, there’s a Bible which, referring to “the One laying the earth above the waters” (Psalm 136:6)  has a footnote explaining the verb: “spreading out as if by beating out”.

Paul traveling to Paradise

In 2 Corinthians 12: 1-7, there is a passage where Paul says he was caught away to the third heaven. Where did the Apostle go?  Was he caught to Eden, somewhere, in a place still existing now? Ezekiel seems to answer showing in a vision a forth heaven. So from heaven to heaven the living creatures were keeping going: “Wherever the spirit inclined to go, they would go, the spirit inclining to go there.” (1:19-21) Up to the universal flood the creatures were keeping on living their life in their old world but after the beginning of the flood, they could be seen as living inside another world, the world of now. And now they are staying there until a new transfer will occur when righteous men will be lifted up to another new wheel…

The transfer from one world to another

A sort of transfer from one world to another was possible. There are gates. From Eden to the old world, for Adam, from the old to the present,  for Noah, from the present to the new one for the contemporary believers, from the new earth to Eden after Satan’s being hurled into the lake of fire and sulfur. Rev 20:

Time does not turn back

“When they went they would go on their four respective sides. They would not turn another way when they went.” Eze 1: 17; or as stated in Eze 10:11: “They would not change direction when they went, because the place to which the head would face, after it they would go.” Time does not turn another way when it goes. It cannot turn back, it cannot change direction. A return to Eden would not be possible for Adam nor for Noah to the world of old.

The gate that is facing toward the east.

Going on reading Ezekiel’s book, chapter 43:4, when the measurements of the whole temple building had been completed, the prophet says: “Then he made me go to the gate, the gate that is facing toward the east. And look!… It was like the appearance of the vision that I had seen, like  the vision that I saw when I came to bring the city to ruin; and there were appearances like the appearance that I saw by the river Chebar….”  A footnote in the Bible With References adds: “LXX, “the vision of the chariot that I saw (was).” Here, of course, no mention is made of the ark, but the same living God enters the sanctuary and “the earth  itself  shone because of his glory.” (43:2)

 When I come to bring the city to ruin

What does this mean? The vision of the chariot is a prophecy written for which future time? The expression looks rather enigmatic. A reference note reads: “When I prophesied for mankind [the city] waste away.” It’s something referring to our time. The measuring of the earth was a secret left for the times of the end.

 

 

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