Sunday, January 21, 2024

No Temple (21.22–27)


And I did not see a temple in it, because the Lord God the Almighty is its temple, and the lamb. And the city has no need for the sun, nor for the moon to shine in it, since God’s glory is its light, and the lamb is its lamp. And the nations will walk by its light, and the earth’s kings will bring their glory into it. And its gates will never shut at day, since there will be no night. And they will bring the nations’ glory and honor into it. And all the common, and those who do abomination and lie will never enter it—only the ones written in the lamb’s scroll of life.


The complete absence of a material temple from the new creation is unusual, but the temple element survives in non-literal form. The references to ‘the lamb’ are frequently recognized as forced, given the poor grammar. The city’s exclusivity hints that sin and imperfection will still exist in some fashion even in the perfected new creation, but that Jerusalem will be strictly, eternally off-limits to anyone outside the righteous redeemed.



52.1 Put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city; for the uncircumcised and the unclean shall enter you no more.

60.3, 5, 11 Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. […] the wealth of the nations shall come to you. […] Your gates shall always be open; day and night they shall not be shut, so that nations shall bring you their wealth, with their kings led in procession.

60.19–20 The sun shall no longer be your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you by night; but Yhwh will be your everlasting light, and your god will be your glory. Your sun shall no more go down, or your moon withdraw itself; for Yhwh will be your everlasting light, and your days of mourning shall be ended.

66.1 Thus says Yhwh: Heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool; what is the house that you would build for me, and what is my resting-place?


3.16–18 And when you have multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, says Yhwh, they shall no longer say, ‘The ark of the covenant of Yhwh.’ It shall not come to mind, or be remembered, or missed; nor shall another one be made. At that time Jerusalem shall be called the throne of Yhwh, and all nations shall gather to it, to the presence of Yhwh in Jerusalem, and they shall no longer stubbornly follow their own evil will. In those days the house of Judah shall join the house of Israel, and together they shall come from the land of the north to the land that I gave your ancestors for a heritage.


23.1–4, 6–8 No one whose testicles are crushed or whose penis is cut off shall be admitted to the assembly of Yhwh. Those born of an illicit union shall not be admitted to the assembly of Yhwh. Even to the tenth generation, none of their descendants shall be admitted to the assembly of Yhwh. No Ammonite or Moabite shall be admitted to the assembly of Yhwh. Even to the tenth generation, none of their descendants shall be admitted to the assembly of Yhwh, because they did not meet you with food and water on your journey out of Egypt, and because they hired against you Balaam son of Beor, from Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse you. […] You shall never promote their welfare or their prosperity as long as you live. You shall not abhor any of the Edomites, for they are your kin. You shall not abhor any of the Egyptians, because you were an alien residing in their land. The children of the third generation that are born to them may be admitted to the assembly of Yhwh.


14.6–7, 14, 21 On that day there shall not be either cold or frost. And there shall be continuous day (it is known to Yhwh), not day and not night, for at evening time there shall be light. […] And the wealth of all the surrounding nations shall be collected—gold, silver, and garments in great abundance. […] And there shall no longer be Canaanites in the house of Yhwh of armies on that day.


3.17 And Jerusalem shall be holy, and strangers shall never again pass through it.

1 Enoch

90.29 And I saw until the Lord of the sheep brought a new house, larger and higher than that first one, and he erected it on the site of the first one that had been rolled up. And all its pillars were new, and its beams were new, and its ornaments were new and larger than the first one, the old one that he had removed. And all the sheep were within it.

Testament of Levi

18.6 The heavens will be opened, and from the temple of glory sanctification will come upon him

Testament of Benjamin

9.2 ‘But in your allotted place will be the temple of God, and the latter temple will exceed the former in glory’


13.11 A bright light will shine to all the ends of the earth; many nations will come to you from far away, the inhabitants of the remotest parts of the earth to your holy name, bearing gifts in their hands for the King of heaven. Generation after generation will give joyful praise in you; the name of the chosen city will endure for ever.

Dead Sea Scrolls

11QT 47 The city which I will sanctify, causing my name and my sanctuary to abide in it, shall be holy and pure of all impurity with which they can become impure. Whatever is in it shall be pure. […] You shall not profane the city where I cause my name and my sanctuary to abide.

Sibylline Oracles

2.325–329 No longer will anyone say at all 'night has come' or 'tomorrow' or 'it happened yesterday,' or worry about many days. No spring, no summer, no winter, no autumn, no marriage, no death, no sales, no purchases, no sunset, no sunrise. For he will make a long day.

Revelation of Zephaniah

2.7 ‘darkness does not exist in that place where the righteous and the holy ones are, but rather they always exist in the light.’

Psalms of Solomon

17.30–31 And he shall have the peoples of the nations to be subject to him under his yoke, and he shall glorify the Lord in the mark of all the earth, and he shall purify Jerusalem in holiness as it was at the beginning so that nations may come from the end of the earth to see his glory, bringing as gifts her sons who are exhausted, and to see the glory of the Lord with which God has glorified her.

2 Enoch

65.10 But they will have a great light for eternity, an indestructible wall, and they will have a great garden, the shelter of an eternal residence.

4 Ezra

10.27, 44 When I looked up, the woman was no longer visible to me, but a city was being built, and a place of huge foundations showed itself. […] The woman whom you saw is Zion, which you now behold as a city being built.

2 Baruch

6.7–9 And I saw that he descended in the Holy of Holies and that he took from there the veil, the holy ephod, the mercy seat, the two tables, the holy raiment of the priests, the altar of incense, the forty-eight precious stones with which the priests were clothed, and all the holy vessels of the tabernacle. And he said to the earth with a loud voice: Earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the mighty God, and receive the things which I commit to you, and guard them until the last times, so that you may restore them when you are ordered, so that strangers may not get possession of them. For the time has arrived when Jerusalem will also be delivered up for a time, until the moment that it will be said that it will be restored forever.

3 Baruch

48A.10 At once Israel shall be saved from among the nations and the Anointed One shall appear to them and bring them up to Jerusalem with great joy. Moreover, the kingdom of Israel, gathered from the four quarters of the world, shall eat with the Anointed One, and the nations shall eat with them

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