Temple to Temple(s)

Volume 18, Nr. 3 (March 2023)


One of the promises and blessings granted to the covenant people of God in the Mosaic Covenant was His special presence in their midst. Hence, once the Tabernacle is finished we read:

So Moses finished the work.Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. (Exodus 40:33-34)

Similarly, when Solomon completed construction of the Temple:

And when the priests came out of the Holy Place,a cloud filled the house of the LORD,so that the priests could not stand to ministerbecause of the cloud, for the glory of the LORDfilled the house of the LORD.
(1 Kings 8:10-11; also 2 Chronicles 7:1)

Sadly, after the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem by the Babylonians, Ezekiel has a vision in which he sees the glory of god departing from the Temple:

Then the glory of the LORD went out from the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubim. (Ezekiel 10:18)

After the return from exile, the Temple is rebuilt, and the priesthood and sacrificial system are reinstituted. However, we never read of the glory of God entering this new Temple. The next time we read of the glory of God dwelling in the midst of His people is in the person of Jesus Christ:

And the Word became flesh and dwelt (lit. “tabernacled”) among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

Luke’s Gospel

The Gospel of Luke begins and ends with worship, and highlights the beginning of an important transition in the locus of worship:

WORSHIP IN THE TEMPLE: Now while [Zechariah] was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense. (1:8-10)

WORSHIP OF JESUS: While He blessed them, He parted from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped Him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. (24:51-52) (Though the transition was not yet quite complete, as Luke continues: and were continually in the temple blessing God. (24:53)

Where does God dwell in the midst of His people? The Temple theme through Scripture

Jewish Tabernacle/Temple

The glory of the LORD filled the Tabernacle . . . the glory fo the LORD the house of the Lord [Temple]. (Exodus 40:34; 1 Kings 8:11)


The Word became flesh and dwelt (“tabernacled”) among us. . . . John 1:14)

He was speaking about the temple of His body. (John 2:21)

The individual believer

Or do you [singular] not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you? (1 Corinthians 6:19)

The Church

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? (1 Corinthians 3:13)

What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God. (2 Corinthians 6:16)

. . . in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. (Ephesians 2:21)



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