Heart of Glass


Peter Leithart writes:

Solomon’s temple had windows, but they are mentioned only once, in 1 Kings 6:4. Ezekiel’s description of the visionary temple uses the word “window” twelve times.

One can see out of, and look into, Solomon’s temple. From Ezekiel’s temple, Israel can look out the twelve windows to the world, and the temple is opened to the world.

This seems new: How strange is it to have the temple wall perforated with windows? Pretty strange, I suspect. Temples are supposed to be closed-off holy spaces. But Ezekiel wants to open the windows of heaven. [1]

This is great. The first thought I had was that this observation can be extended both forwards and backwards in time.

Extending it backwards, we have the Tabernacle which had no windows. No natural light was allowed into the tent. The only light was the Lampstand (and the Shekinah, of course). Solomon’s temple opens the mystery of God a little; the nations get a fleeting glimpse of the mystery.

Ezekiel’s Temple was never built. Actually, yes it was. It was built out of believing Gentiles, with the Jews of the Restoration era as a priesthood within it. The revelation of the mystery is getting closer: in Ezra, all the Jews are concerned about their genealogy, not just the priests; a single Jew and Gentile body under a single emperor in “the age to come” is prefigured by the oikoumene. The Herod’s failed to discern the nature of this Temple, and the nature of the Restoration commission of the Jews. Did Herod’s Temple have any windows?

When the age to come came, what do we find? The New Jerusalem, a city that is nothing but a window into the very heart of heaven, the slain Lamb. [2] With a priesthood of all believers, everyone can see inside the Tent. This structure, too, is built out of people.

[1] Peter J. Leithart, Windows of Heaven.
[2] See also: Crystal Walls – 1: God’s Bouncers and Crystal Walls – 2: Godly Intolerance.

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