Jacob’s TempleAugust 21, 2012 - 5:00 am
“Many nations will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.’ The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” — Micah 4:2
In a prophecy about the End of Days, Micah says that the Temple will be rebuilt and that people will stream there in order to learn the Word of God. Curiously, when the prophet speaks about the Temple, he calls it the “temple of the God of Jacob.” The Talmud asks the obvious: Is He the God of Jacob and not the God of Abraham and Isaac?
The Talmud answers: “At the time of the redemption, the Holy Temple will not be as it was in the days of Abraham when it was called a ‘mountain,’ as it says, ‘On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided’ (Genesis 22:14). Nor will it be as it was in the days of Isaac when it was referred to as a ‘field,’ as it says, ‘He went out to the field one evening to meditate’ (Genesis 24:63). Rather it shall be as it was in the days of Jacob, who called it a ‘house,’ as it says, ‘He called that place Bethel’” (Genesis 28:19). Bethel means “House of God.”
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob each came to the place where the Temple was destined to be built. Each of them perceived this sacred place in a different light.
When Abraham first approached the site, he saw a rugged, bleak mountain. It appeared untouched, as if it had no owner. This symbolizes an era when God’s existence was denied.
When Isaac came along, he saw a field. A field shows signs of an owner; crops are growing in an organized manner. However, one does not see the owner himself. The owner doesn’t live there. This represents a time when most people recognize a Creator, but not a God that is involved in their lives.
When Jacob experienced a vision there, he called the Temple Mount “the House of God.” He understood that this place was destined to resemble a house, where the owner is constantly seen. A Temple would be built and God would reveal His glory there on a permanent basis.
Jacob’s vision teaches that there will come a time when every person will know their Creator intimately — not as some abstract figure in the sky, but as a very real presence, right here on earth.
Sometimes, when something is so close, you can’t see it, but you can feel it, and you know it is there. God is here; the owner is in the house. I know it, you know it, and one day, the whole world will know it too.