Old Testament Lesson #44
The temple helps us understand the relationship between God and people. In the temple, people progress through space that is increasing sacred. Modern temples, like the ancient temple of Jerusalem, incorporate imagery of the Creation and the Garden of Eden. The river in Ezekiel’s vision brings life and healing.
"'That I May Dwell among Them': Liminality and Ritual in the Tabernacle," by Daniel L. Belnap, Ascending the Mountain of the Lord: Temple, Praise, and Worship in the Old Testament
The symbols and rites performed in the temple in ancient Israel “were meant to teach us familiar gospel principles and that Israel worshipped in Old Testament times as sincerely as we do today.” In the temple we “recognize the worth of God and in return receive relation concerning God’s appreciation of our worth.”
In Ezekiel 10, the cherubim act as “beings that surround God and bear him from place to place. Not only did the cherubim serve to mark the space in which one could interact with God, but their presence also signified that the space was not permanent, thus the embroidered cherubim images on the veil would have indicated that liminal nature of the veil.”
“Approaching Holiness: Sacred Space in Ezekiel," by Jacob Rennaker, Ascending the Mountain of the Lord: Temple, Praise, and Worship in the Old Testament
“Close study of individual temple texts can provide insights regarding the nature of temples by examining non-Latter-day Saint scholarship on Ezekiel’s temple vision (Ezekiel 40–48). I will provide examples of two ways that scholars have tried to make sense of the sacred space that Ezekiel describes. While these two approaches may seem contradictory, I will suggest a way to reconcile these views. Ultimately, I hope to show how open-mindedness in engaging with a variety of scholarly and religious literature (both biblical and nonbiblical) can help Latter-day Saints better appreciate their own temple tradition.”