Temple- Its Ministry and Services Term Paper

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An additional type of offering was the peace-offering, which represented a feast where God was a guest and the host. Peace offerings were accompanied by meat and drink offerings. For all offerings, repentance was necessary.

In chapter seven, Edersheim describes a night in the temple. Edersheim points out the connection between Temple services and the Book of Revelations, which he suggests indicates that the Book of Revelation and the Fourth Gospel were written before Temple services actually ceased. Edersheim indicates that there was an evening service in the Temple. Accounting was also done in the evening. The Temple guard worked at night and consisted of ten men. The captain of the guard patrolled and beat any sleeping guards. The priests cast lots for the services of the day. Those who drew the first lot cleansed and prepared the later. Those who drew the second lot were to offer the sacrifice, to cleanse the candlestick, and the altar of incense. Those who drew the third lot were to offer the incense; this lot was cast in both the morning and the evening. Those who drew the fourth lot were to burn the sacrifice on the altar.

In chapter eight, Edersheim describes the morning and evening sacrifice. Although not required under Mosaic Law, by the time of Christ public service was an important part of Temple services. Edersheim attributes widespread public worship to the spread of synagogues. He also links public worship to the rise of the Pharisees. However, this prayer was not genuine, and the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray. The rabbis strictly delineated the attitude of worshippers during prayer. There were two types of prayer: prayers of thanksgiving and prayers of petition. When the Temple's great gates were opened in the morning, a sacrificial lamb was slain. Edersheim then describes in detail the prayers and blessings offered by the priests.

In chapter nine, Edersheim discusses Sabbath in the Temple. First, he points out that the law was not a burden, but a gift. However, by the time of Christ, the Sabbath had become perverted. Edersheim describes the rigid prohibitions against work on the Sabbath as the greatest labor of all. The school of Shammai, the sect of the Essenes, and the Samaritans observed the Sabbath more stringently than others. While the scriptural restrictions on the Sabbath were not extensive, they were stretched into a variety of rules prohibiting almost any type of activity on the Sabbath except for forced festivities and certain priestly functions.

One of those priestly functions was the renewal of the shewbread. There were 12 cakes, made of wheat flour, and placed in two rows of six cakes. Between the cakes were two bowls of incense. The shewbread was changed in a ritual manner, and was eaten during the Sabbath, but only by priests in a state of Levitical purity. The shewbread symbolized life and God's presence. In the Temple was the table on the Arch of Titus, which was made of pure gold. The table had vessels, on which the shewbread was either carried or placed. There is a question whether drink offerings were brought into the Temple.

Edersheim also mentions the Sabbatical year. Every seven years the soil was to be left uncultivated, and anything growing on its own was to be given to the poor. This applied to land in Palestine. Because the farmers could not grow anything during this year, one could not collect debts from farmers. However, to protect creditors Rabbi Hillel devised the Prosbul, which was a declaration that secured debts for money lent in the Sabbatical year. Edersheim believes that the Jews perverted the law of the Sabbath, but points out that Jesus did most of his work during the Sabbath.

In chapter ten, Edersheim discusses the festive cycles and arrangement of the calendar. The cycles are marked by the number seven. The Sabbath is the seventh day, the Feast of the Pentecost occurs seven weeks after the start of the ecclesiastical year, the seventh month is the most sacred, the seventh year is Sabbatical, the 49th year is the year of Jubilee. Furthermore, there are seven days of each year designated as the most festive. Furthermore, the cycles are marked by either two or three cycles; one beginning with the Paschal sacrifice and ending on the Day of Pentecost. The other cycle begins in the seventh month, which marks Israel's possession of the land. The three great festivals were marked by Reiyah, Chagigah, and Simchah. In addition to Mosaic festivals, Jews celebrated Purim and the Dedication of the Temple. All male Israelites had the duty of appearing three times a year in the Temple. The Hebrew year was lunar, not solar, with leap-years done by the insertion of a thirteenth month. Generally, every third year required the addition of a month. Special messengers, called the seven messengers of the new moon, were sent to announce the new moon. Jews divided the week into seven days, but only the last was named.

In chapter eleven, Edersheim discusses the Passover. Initially there were two festivals: the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. However, they were celebrated together and were generally treated as one festival. There were certain peculiarities about Passover which differentiated it from other festivals. For example, it was the first of three feasts in which all males in Israel were bound to appear before the Lord. The feast of unleavened bread celebrated the Jews deliverance from destruction and bondage, and the commencement of their existence as a nation. The term Passover, in Hebrew Pesach, and in Aramaic and Greek Pascha, meant to step over or overleap. There was a differentiation between the Egyptian and the Permanent Passover. Passover involved the slaying of a lamb. The lambs were to be eaten either wholly by a family or by two neighboring families. In the Mishnah, Passover was to be celebrated for seven days. There was an intermission in the celebration of Passover, between the second year after the Exodus and when the Jews reached the Promised Land. Jews began preparing for Passover a month before it occurred. There were three things implied in the command to appear before the Lord: Presence, the Chagigah or peace offering, and Joyousness. The Passover was sacrificed between the evenings of the 14th and 15th of Nisan, with the Paschal Supper taking place on the 15th itself. Only unleavened cakes were to be used during the feast. The Paschal lamb was to be between eight days and one-year-old, and to be served to a group of ten to twenty people. While describing the requirements of the Paschal lamb, Edersheim intersperses information regarding Christ's celebration of Passover. The Hallel was song on Passover, and it celebrated the goodness of God and the deliverance of the Jews from Egypt.

In chapter twelve, Edersheim discusses the Paschal Feast and the Lord's Supper. It is here that he gave them the bread of his body and the wine of his blood. This was only one in a series of events that were extremely important to the Jewish people that occurred during the Passover. The present Passover ritual is not the same as the one celebrated in New Testament times. Jesus' sacrifice at the Passover combined the ideas of the sin-offering and the peace-offering, and was thus distinct from all Levitical sacrifices. Wine was an important part of the Paschal Supper, and even the poorest was to drink four cups of wine during it. The Paschal Supper commenced with people giving thanks, then they drank the first cup of wine, and each washed his hands. After that, they ate the bitter herbs. A child asked why the night was different, and the head of the house gave the history of the entire nation. Then the Paschal dishes were brought back to the table. After carefully investigating the ritual in the Paschal Supper, Edersheim feels comfortable concluding that Judas did not actually partake of the Lord's Supper. He also connects the third cup of Paschal Supper wine with the cup Jesus connected with His own Supper. In fact, Edersheim makes it clear the Jesus was the perfect lamb, and that his sacrifice and obedience was necessary for the salvation of Israel.

In chapter thirteen Edersheim discusses the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Day of Pentecost. Beginning on the Paschal night, Jews were only permitted to eat unleavened cakes for a week. However, this was not the bread of punishment, but a bread of remembrance. The remembrance was of Israel's deliverance, not her bondage; much like the cross became a symbol of life. There were public offerings each day of Passover. However, the Chagigah could not be offered by a person who had contracted Levitical defilement, which is why the Jews did not go with Jesus into the judgment hall. Next, Edersheim goes into an explanation of Judas' betrayal of Jesus. When Jesus was arrested, he went peacefully after securing the freedom…[continue]

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