Old Testament Summary Lesson 30: “Come To The House Of The Lord”
- Hezekiah, Highly Favored among the Jews: We also know that several things in his life were powerful metaphors of the Savior. Bringing “Living Water” to Jerusalem and another was bringing the people to the Lord and the Temple by awakening the scriptures to them. “Hezekiah is remembered as a great king by Jews, both for his religious virtue and his political and military skill.” “. . . a king who purified the religion of the people of Judah by eliminating idolatry . . . Through his piety, Hezekiah was responsible for a national awakening in Judah.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
- Hezekiah’s Tunnel: Hezekiah reinforced the walls of Jerusalem, repaired the temple and extended the short tunnel from David’s time and built a longer water tunnel capable of supplying the city in times of emergency. He covered the Gihon spring outside the walls “sending” the water to the pool of Siloam, the name meaning “sent” (Shiloah in Hebrew).
- Presently Judaism has No Immersion for “Forgiveness of Sins” Like the Red Heifer purification of the Past: Prayers asking for forgiveness are always required prior to immersions. In the past, “. . . from the Siloam pool . . . water was taken for the Red Heifer ceremony in Temple times.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.) As stated in the Book of Numbers (19:1-9), the Red Heifer ritual was for forgiveness of sins. Jews have a tradition that this red calf offering had to be high on the Mount of Olives, above the Temple itself and opposite the Gate Beautiful. Those who have had the experience of sitting on the upper part of the Mount of Olives opposite of the present day Gate Beautiful can attest to the spirit of Gethsemane (well away from the traditional Church of Gethsemane on the lower part of the mount).
- Scriptures Discovered, Call to Repentance: During the renovation of the temple, the book of Deuteronomy, a distinctive part of the “Torah” was discovered in one of the storage chambers. “When the Book was read to Josiah he was deeply shocked by its prophesies of doom. He immediately sent a delegation to the prophetess Hulda to ask her advice. The answer was forthright and not reassuring — Jerusalem and the Temple were doomed, but Josiah himself would not live to see their destruction. Josiah led the people to the Temple in repentance.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)