Posted by / Thursday 2 February 2017 / No comments

The importance of the Temple of Jerusalem

The Temple has been the nerve centre of religious activity before, during and after the time of Jesus. It was the symbol of the presence of God in the lives of the people of Israel. 

 As the House of God
When Solomon built the first Temple, he dedicated it to the Lord and the entire nation of Israel regarded it as the House of God. According to David in Psalm 4:6, the Temple is “the Holy habitation of the Most High”   

House of prayer and worship
The Temple has also been regarded as a place of prayer and worship. Indeed, the nation of Israel congregated in the Temple for worship and for prayers. Apart from praying as a nation to ask for special favours from God, individuals also went to offer personal prayers to request God for one thing or the other.

Place of sacrifice
The temple also served as a place for the offering of sacrifice to the Lord God. The children of Israel came to the temple to offer different kinds of animals to the Lord as sacrifice. The Priests led national sacrifices on the behalf of the people to atone for the sins of the nation or to ask for favours in battles etc.

Used for the celebration of festivals
The Temple was very important as a venue for the celebration of Jewish festivals. Some of these important festivals include the Passover, the Pentecost and the Tabernacles.

Offered accommodation to the High Priest
The Temple was also important as it served as the abode of the High Priest and his family. They dwelt in the Temple as would any resident pastor of today. This probably made his work of supervising the worship of the Lord much easier than if he had to trek from a distance.

Place for carrying out justice
Another importance was that it served as place where the citizens could receive justice if they were wronged or to exact punishment for an earring Jew. The Sanhedrin sat in one of the chambers in the Temple to hold trials.

Source of revenue
The Temple was important as a source of revenue. The revenue was generated through the payment of Temple Tax by all male Jews who were twelve years and above. Half of a shekel was charged per male citizen above 12 years per annum and was used in the maintenance of the Temple.  

Dedication of children
Another essential element of the Temple was that children who were born in Israel were dedicated to the Lord in the Temple.

1. a. Describe the structure of the Temple.
    b. In which four ways is the Temple important in the history of Israel?

2. Highlight six ways in which the Temple of Jerusalem is important to the Jews.

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