Summary Lesson 20: "The Kingdoms Of Glory" | Israel Revealed

Summary Lesson 20: “The Kingdoms Of Glory”

  1. “Heaven and Hell:” Even though there is little discussion of after life among the Jews, heaven and hell appear in much Jewish commentary. “The souls of the righteous enter paradise . . . ‘there is no eating or drinking . . . no envy, hatred or competition . . . the souls of the wicked enter hell . . . where they undergo purification before they too can enter paradise . . . not longer than 11 months . . . permanent in the case of exceedingly wicked . . .” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
  2. An Image of Heavenly Living: The pattern of living in the “City of our Lord” (Isaiah 60:14) can be seen in Israelite dwelling places such as tents with their poles (stakes) and curtains that may represent the organized facilities and order of heaven. 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. “. . . the Tabernacle was erected at the very center of the camp . . . it was through the Tabernacle that they felt their connection with God.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
  3. Original Use of “Stakes:” Is it possible that the areas of responsibility and assigned living were “staked” out with stakes, poles or standards that identified the living areas? “The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron saying ‘The Israelites shall camp each with his standard under the banners of their ancestral house’ (Numbers 2:2). The standards borne by the 12 tribes served the same purpose as heraldic devices.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.) Each Tribe had colors and emblems as ensigns.
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  5. Curtains Between Posts: 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. “Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities: 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)
  6. “Stakes of Zion:” This latter-day organizational unit may have the same purpose in reminding us to live in dignity and sacredness and commune with God as a community. “Until the day cometh when there is found no more room for them; and then I have other places which I will appoint unto them, and they shall be called stakes, for the curtains or the strength of Zion.” (Doctrine & Covenants 101:21)
  7. Jewish Marriage and “Stakes:” When Jews marry, a ‘Huppah’ is used. It is a remnant of the ancient temple garments, a Tallit, supported by four poles or stakes! “Today, the term huppah refers to the decorative canopy under which the wedding ceremony is performed . . . the Talmud relates that there was an ancient custom to make staves of the huppah from a cedar and a pine tree planted specifically for this purpose at the birth of a male and female child respectively. In medieval France, it was customary for the groom to cover the bride’s head with his tallit as a symbol of sheltering her” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
  8. His House, His Kingdom, Heals: Another name for the Lord is Water or Living Water. The name for heaven in Hebrew is “Shamayim.” It means, “from the waters!” Water comes from heaven and so does the Lord. There are many images of water used in the scriptures that can be connected to Him. For example, water coming from the temple to heal the Dead Sea is a metaphor of the Lord coming from his abode, heaven (the temple, after all, is His house–a part of heaven on earth), to heal all the imbalances of the world.

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