I was reviewing my material for this week’s S.S. lesson and realized our temples aren’t anything like Solomon’s Temple. We tend to think our temples and our temple worship can be traced back to the ancient temples. We talk about the Holy of Holies and the Veil of the temple in Solomon’s time and think they relate to our modern temples….I don’t see it.
When I compare Solomon’s temple and modern ones I see three similarities. One the name temple, two the Holy of Holies and three the veil. The purpose, the usage, the sacred items in the temple, the meaning of those items are all either missing or completely different today.
Maybe I have just come to realize that I have been deceived or at least mis-guided in my temple understanding. Growing up, it seemed like I was taught that modern temples were closely connected to the ancient ones. That temple worship was been around forever. That ordainances we perform in the temple were performed in ancient temples. Everyone else probably was taught different and already sees and accepts these differences I’m talking about and it’s no big deal.
The Holy of Holies in those modern temples that have them is very different than the one in Solomon’s temple. The High Priest was allowed in only one time per year, to go in and sprinkle blood on the floor and on the mercy seat. He had to go thru an elaborate purification process to become worthy. Only he was allowed in, in fact he had a rope tied around his foot, in case he died while inside, the other priests could pull him out without going into the holy of holies.
The veil separated the holy place from the holy of holies. It was a thick, very thick cloth veil…no special marks in it as with modern temple veils. Our veil separates the Terrestial world from the Celestial world, a totally different concept.
I guess if I were really looking at this right, Solomon’s temple is as different in concept and usage to our modern temples as is the difference between ancient synagogues and our modern church buildings. And the church for that matter is very different today when compared with it anciently.
Why do we get so hung up on trying to make what we have today "like" what they had then?