Old Testament Summary Lesson 40: “Enlarge The Place Of Thy Tent”
- Living in the “City of Our Lord” with Our Lord: Dwelling places such as tents with their poles (stakes) and curtains may represent the organized facilities and order of heaven. “. . . The city of the LORD (Ether 13:5) The “camp” of Israel was organized in a “City of the Lord,” likened to the “House of the Lord.” The families were on the outside; the priests (Levites) were next. They surrounded the holiest place (the Ark) where the Lord’s prophet communed with God. It may be likened to the terms telestial, terrestrial and celestial.
- King Benjamin’s Organized Camp: Even in the Book of Mormon, such an organized camp could be imagined as a special holy convocation was being held. “. . . they came up to the temple, they pitched their tents round about, every man according to his family . . . with the door thereof towards the temple, that thereby they might remain in their tents and hear the words which king Benjamin should speak unto them;” (Mosiah 2:5-6)
- Stakes of Ancient Zion: Areas of responsibility and assigned living were “staked” out. Stakes, poles or standards identified the living areas. “‘. . . each with his standard under the banners of their ancestral house’ (Numbers 2:2) . . . heraldic devices . . . colors and emblems were: Reuben red; emblem mandrakes. Simeon green; emblem the town of Shechem. Levi white, black and red; emblem the Urim and Thummim (Deuteronomy 33:9). Judah azure; emblem a lion. Issachar black; emblem a strong- boned ass or sun and moon. Zebulun white; emblem a ship. Dan sapphire; emblem a tent or a lion. Naphtali rose; emblem a hind. Asher aquamarine; emblem an olive-tree. Ephraim and Manasseh black, embroidered with a picture of Egypt; emblem: Ephraim, a bullock and Manasseh, a wild ox. Benjamin 12 colors; emblem a wolf.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
- Sacred Curtains: In the ancient days, the inner two courtyards were draped or had curtains draped between the stakes or poles and cords so that the sacredness and dignity of the priestly area and the Lord’s habitation were maintained. “. . . thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken.” (Isaiah 33:20)
- Puzzle Pieces Restored: Someday, when the sacred teachings given in latter-day restored temples (the Lord’s Houses) can be given to all of God’s children, we will be able to enlarge the place of the Lord’s House and live in “The City of the Lord” – a millennial expectation!