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Spoke 2 - Bet

Exodus, Jeremiah, 1 Corinthians

Spoke 2 - Bet - The House of God

For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. ... Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

1 Corinthians 3:9ff (Spoke 2, Cycle 3)

Bet KeyWords

The name of the Second Letter is based on the common Hebrew word for a house (bayit) found in over 2000 verses. Its shape in the ancient script represented a tent the typical house of the Hebrews as they wandered in the wilderness. When rotated, it became the lower case Latin b. As with many KeyWords, God presented its meaning in the plain text of Scripture in the story of Jacob's Ladder: "this is the House of God ... and he called the name of that place Bethel" (Gen 28:17ff). The third entry in the table shows that Bethel is simply the name of the Second Letter followed by the Aleph KeyWord El (God, BW book pg 122). Many Christians know Bet via Bethlehem (House of Bread), where Jesus, the Bread of Life, entered the world to become housed in human flesh. Rabbi Ginsburgh summarized the traditional Jewish understanding in his online article This link takes you off the Bible Wheel site and opens a new window on the second letter:

The house symbolizes the ultimate purpose of all reality: to become a dwelling place below for the manifestation of G-d's presence.

This coheres, of course, with the Christian understanding of the consummation of God's Plan of the Ages when He will "dwell with his people" (Rev 21:3, BW book pg 69). The Book of Exodus records God's first big step towards fulfilling His Plan to build a "dwelling place below," that is, here on earth. It is in Exodus that God first mentions His Tabernacle as the House of the Lord (Bet YHVH, Exo. 23:19). This is one of the primary themes of the Second Book which contains the design, given directly from God to Moses atop Mount Sinai, of the pattern of the Tabernacle. Over a third of Exodus (its last fifteen chapters), is devoted to its design and construction, and the Book ends with the Tabernacle being filled with the Glory of God, representing His Presence amongst His People. This is a major theme of the Second Book, and it is based on the literal meaning of the name of the Second Letter, Bet (House).

God designed the "House of the Lord" as a typological image of Jesus Christ, His Son (Ben) in whom "dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily" (Col. 2:9). He is the Word of God who was "made flesh and dwelt (literally tabernacled) amongst us" (John 1:14), in perfect agreement with the Type of the Tabernacle which housed the Ten Commandments, the prototypical Word of God. And just as the Tabernacle was the focus of God's glory on earth which covered it as a bright cloud, so when the Son became flesh, "we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the father" (John 1:14, see BW book pg 355). There is no end to the depth of the typological correlation between the second letter, the Tabernacle, and the Second Person of the Trinity. Christ Himself made the typology explicit in the Second Chapter of John:

And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise. And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up. Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things? Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body. When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.

The Tabernacle of the Lord is one of the greatest overarching types given in Scripture. It was designed by God as a picture of His whole purpose of creation, first established in the Tabernacle in the Wilderness (BW book pg 173). This set the stage for Christ as Emmanuel (God with us) which then blossomed into the image of each member of His Body as an individual "Temple of God (1 Cor 3:16) with all the members collectively symbolized as "living stones" "fitly framed together" to form the Body of Christ, "a holy temple in the Lord." Finally, the Book of Revelation consummates this image, prophetically declaring the time when "the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God" (Rev 21:3). This entire typological theme is contained in the Archetype of the House, the essential symbolic power of the Second Letter.

Next article: A Son over the House of God

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