Toward the beginning of his lecture, Dr. Gabriel Barkay spoke about some new things that have tempted my own curiosity for a dive to go further into the Temple history— it all has to do with connectedness. It is profound to me the statement he made, “The foundation of the Temple was created by the Almighty as the foundation of the world.” I am vacillating on my opinion in which I want to find the truth, textual evidence for this. I’ve come to believe the “Temple” as Jesus the Messiah himself after it had been demolished when he spoke to the Woman at the well that she and her generations would no longer worship on that hill nor in Jerusalem (John 4:21). These two statements seem in contradiction with each other, but it provides enough questions to dig deeper.
Dr. Barkay mentioned many connections with Mount Moriah: a first portion on top which created Adam, The location at which Isaac was bound (Gen. 22), the threshing floor which David purchased, and where Solomon builds the House of God. Just when I think I have learned a lot— but wait, there comes more! I was captivated that through no notes or other aids, Dr. Barkay’s 64-year span of being consumed by the Temple Mount read like the back of his hand, clear distinction of what it is and the excitement to this day of finding new things in relation to it.
As he took us around the Temple Mount I could envision the places we have already discovered and were given additional information to the entrances and exits of the Second-Temple layout. With a bit of historical narrative Dr. Barkay marched us up until the time of Herod’s construction with the use of “diplomatic acrobatics” he was able to convince the Jews to build this glorious structure to worship the One True God. Herod’s effort was done because he was obsessed with the fact that he was not recognized as the King of the Jews, but being the King UPON (as in forced upon) the Jews. Although Herod longed in the past for confrontation, he also wanted to show Rome he could build and rescue a city and bring it to its fullness in glory.
The last two statements that made an impact on me through Dr. Barkay’s lectures were the visual narrative he used to describe the Temple as a “Crouching Lion.” The representative nature of God is the Lion of Judah ran through my mind. A God who is ready to pounce on wickedness and save his family from danger. This is Abba Father a caring and compassionate God who longs to dwell with us forever. The Father, Son, Sacrifice, and Jerusalem are important reminders given through this walk around the Temple in that these motifs will come once again and be fulfilled through the Christ-event of his life, death, and resurrection.
Having visited the Temple Mount prior to this lecture gave me perspective in which to visualize where Dr. Barkay wanted to illuminate for us as the sun illuminated the inner portions of the Temple as it rose in the morning. What a beautiful site that must have been— and what a beautiful sight it will be when Messiah Jesus returns.