III. Implications from Solomon’s Temple Dedication and Other OT Temple Texts (B)
The sematic range of use of esō (inner) plays a corresponding role throughout the temple building project and in the restoration of the temple as envisioned by Ezekiel. Although the New Testament use of esō as in Eph 3:16c, what is easily noted is that the use of esō, esōtatos, and esōteros is prevalent (widely used) in the 1 Kings and 2 Chronicles, as well as Ezekiel’s vision of the future temple, to describe the construction, design, furnishings, and direction of its structure and temple items. The esō-terms can refer to many parts, entrances, or directions within the temple structure and furnishings, but yet, it should not escape our notice that the inner court and the most holy place share in this words use as well.
- Use in the NT is primarily spatial, not as a reference to “self”: Mt 26:58, Mk 14:54, Mk 15:16, Jn 20:26, Acts 5:23; note OT use Gen 39:11, simply inside a house.
- Potential non-spatial use have contexts where corporate representation is most likely: Rom 7:22, 1 Cor 5:12, 2 Cor 4:16, Eph 3:16.
- There is the inner veil or inside of the veil of the first holy of holies, i.e., the tabernacling sanctuary of the wilderness wanderings: Lev 10:18; Number 3:10 (LXX) [καὶ Ααρων καὶ τοὺς υἱοὺς αὐτοῦ καταστήσεις ἐπὶ τῆς σκηνῆς τοῦ μαρτυρίου καὶ φυλάξουσιν τὴν ἱερατείαν αὐτῶν καὶ πάντα τὰ κατὰ τὸν βωμὸν καὶ ἔσω τοῦ καταπετάσματος καὶ ὁ ἀλλογενὴς ὁ ἁπτόμενος ἀποθανεῖται]. My very rough translation: “And Aaron and his sons shall keep the sanctuary of the testimony and guard their priesthood, and all things according to the altar and inner of the veil and the stranger/foreigner who touches it shall be killed.” Interestingly, this reference is about “access” to God. The NASB translation: “So you shall appoint Aaron and his sons that they may keep their priesthood, but the layman who comes near shall be put to death.”
- Note other associations with the temple and its structure: 3 Kings 6:15; 3 Kings 7:22, 2 Chr 4:4; 2 Chr 29:16, 18 (inner part of the temple cleansing after exile); cf. Ez 9:6.
- Associated with the inner court/inner house: 3 Kings 6:36; 3 Kings 6:27
- Inner holy place: 3 Kings 7:36 (LXX) —καὶ τὰ πρόθυρα καὶ οἱ ἧλοι καὶ αἱ φιάλαι καὶ τὰ τρύβλια καὶ αἱ θυίσκαι χρυσαῖ σύγκλειστα καὶ τὰ θυρώματα τῶν θυρῶν τοῦ οἴκου τοῦ ἐσωτάτου ἁγίου τῶν ἁγίων καὶ τὰς θύρας τοῦ οἴκου τοῦ ναοῦ χρυσᾶς
- Although esō (inner) is more typical in NT usages, the rare use of esōteros is instructive:
- Acts 16:24 “inner prison”
- Heb 6:19, “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil” See Ex 26:33 (LXX): “You shall hang up the veil under the clasps, and shall bring in the ark of the testimony there within the veil; and the veil shall serve for you as a partition between the holy place and the holy of holies” (cf. Lev 16:2, the Most Holy Place within the veil (LXX); cf. Lev 16:12, 15).
- Associated with the holy of holies:
“and the snuffers, the bowls, the spoons and the firepans of pure gold; and the entrance of the house, its inner doors for the holy of holies [καὶ ἡ θύρα τοῦ οἴκου ἡ ἐσωτέρα εἰς τὰ ἅγια τῶν ἁγίων] and the doors of the house, that is, of the nave, of gold” (2 Chron 4:22).
- Note the use of esōtatos in 1 Kings 7:50 (3 Kings 7:36) —“and the cups and the snuffers and the bowls and the spoons and the firepans, of pure gold; and the hinges both for the doors of the inner house, the most holy place[καὶ τὰ θυρώματα τῶν θυρῶν τοῦ οἴκου τοῦ ἐσωτάτου ἁγίου τῶν ἁγίων], and for the doors of the house, that is, of the nave, of gold.”
- Associated with the “inner court” of the temple: Ez 40:23, Ez 40:44, Ez 46:1, Ez 40:28, Ez 40:34, Ez 44:21 (LXX), Ez 44:27, Ez 40:27, Ez 42:3, Ez 43:5; Ez 44:17, Ez Ez 45:19.
- The cloud of God’s glory filling the temple: Ez 8:16, Ez 10:3 (cloud filled), Ez 40:17 (LXX); cf. Ez 8:3, Ez 41:3.
- Associated with the design and artistry: 3 Kings 6:29 (LXX); 1 Kings 6:29.
- Associated with David (note the inner most sacred space): 1 Chr 28:11—“Then David gave to his son Solomon the plan of the porch of the temple, its buildings, its storehouses, its upper rooms, its inner rooms and the room for the mercy seat.”
2 Chron 5:11–14: “When the priests came forth from the holy place (for all the priests who were present had sanctified themselves, without regard to divisions), 12and all the Levitical singers, Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, and their sons and kinsmen, clothed in fine linen, with cymbals, harps and lyres, standing east of the altar, and with them one hundred and twenty priests blowing trumpets 13in unison when the trumpeters and the singers were to make themselves heard with one voice to praise and to glorify the Lord, and when they lifted up their voice accompanied by trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and when they praised the Lord saying, ‘He indeed is good for His lovingkindness is everlasting,’ then the house, the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud, 14so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God.
2 Chron 7:1–3: “Now when Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the house. 2The priests could not enter into the house of the Lord because the glory of the Lord filled the Lord’s house. 3All the sons of Israel, seeing the fire come down and the glory of the Lord upon the house, bowed down on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave praise to the Lord, saying, ‘Truly He is good, truly His lovingkindness is everlasting.’
Ezek 43:1–5: “Then he led me to the gate, the gate facing toward the east; 2and behold, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the way of the east. And His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory. 3And it was like the appearance of the vision which I saw, like the vision which I saw when He came to destroy the city. And the visions were like the vision which I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell on my face. 4And the glory of the Lord came into the house by the way of the gate facing toward the east. 5And the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house.
There is a strong link between Ezekiel’s restoration chapters (37-48) and the Ephesians 2 “one new man” and Paul’s Ephesians 3 prayer:
1. Ezekiel 43:5 (LXX), καὶ ἀνέλαβέν με πνεῦμα καὶ εἰσήγαγέν με εἰς τὴν αὐλὴν τὴν ἐσωτέραν [And the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house.] The glory of God plays a key role, first in its departure in Ezekiel 1 and, then, in its return in chapter 43. Additionally, in Ezekiel 1 and 8, the prophet’s vision includes his “glimpse of part of the heavenly temple.”
1Then he led me to the gate, the gate facing toward the east; 2and behold, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the way of the east. And His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory. 3And it was like the appearance of the vision which I saw [Ezek 1-8], like the vision which I saw when He came to destroy the city. And the visions were like the vision which I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell on my face. 4And the glory of the Lord came into the house by the way of the gate facing toward the east. 5And the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house (Ezekiel 43:1-5).
This is the law of the house: its entire area on the top of the mountain all around shall be most holy. Behold, this is the law of the house (Ezekiel 43:12).
Then he went inside and measured each side pillar of the doorway, two cubits, and the doorway, six cubits high; and the width of the doorway, seven cubits (Ezekiel 41:3).
Then he brought me to the inner court by the south gate; and he measured the south gate according to those same measurements (Ezek 40:28).
The inner court (ἐσωτέρᾳ) had a gate opposite the gate on the north as well as the gate on the east; and he measured a hundred cubits from gate to gate (Ezek 40:23)
From the outside to the inner gate were chambers for the singers in the inner (ἐσωτέραν) court, one of which was at the side of the north gate, with its front toward the south, and one at the side of the south gate facing toward the north (Ezek 40:44)
On the day that he goes into the sanctuary, into the inner (ἐσωτέραν) court to minister in the sanctuary, he shall offer his sin offering,” declares the Lord God (Ezek 44:27).
‘Thus says the Lord God, “The gate of the inner (ἐσωτέρᾳ) court facing east shall be shut the six working days; but it shall be opened on the sabbath day and opened on the day of the new moon (Ezekiel 46:1)
Then He brought me into the inner (ἐσωτέραν) court of the Lord’s house. And behold, at the entrance to the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men with their backs to the temple of the Lord and their faces toward the east; and they were prostrating themselves eastward toward the sun (Ezek 8:16).
Now the cherubim were standing on the right side of the temple when the man entered, and the cloud filled the inner (ἐσωτέραν) court (Ezek 10:3).
He said to me, “Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell among the sons of Israel forever (Ezek 43:7; note the language of Eph 1:22–23, cf. Ps. 8)
Now let them put away their harlotry and the corpses of their kings far from Me; and I will dwell [κατασκηνώσω] among them forever (Ezek 43:9).
Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle (Exod 40:34)
Then the glory of the Lord went up from the cherub to the threshold of the temple, and the temple was filled with the cloudand the court was filled with the brightness of the glory of the Lord (Ezek 10:4).
And the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner (ἐσωτέραν) court; and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house(Ezek 43:5).
so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord (1 Kgs 8:11)
Zechariah 6:11–15 and the future temple. Zechariah 6 combines a wide range of themes found in Chronicles (Kings), Ezekiel, and, as well, Ephesians concerning the (future) temple: The Branch-Son-temple-builder and those “far off” come to rebuild the temple.
11Take silver and gold, make an ornate crown and set it on the head of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest. 12Then say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Behold, a man whose name is Branch, for He will branch out from where He is; and He will build the temple of the Lord. 13Yes, it is He who will build the temple of the Lord, and He who will bear the honor and sit and rule on His throne. Thus, He will be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace will be between the two offices.”’ 14Now the crown will become a reminder in the temple of the Lord to Helem, Tobijah, Jedaiah and Hen the son of Zephaniah. 15Those who are far off [οἱ μακρὰν] will come and build the temple of the Lord.” Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you. And it will take place if you completely obey the Lord your God
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 Note the LXX utilizes esō, esōtatos, and esōteros with little lexical difference, save whatever the context is implying.
 1 Macc 9:54 (“the inner court of the Temple,” τῆς αὐλῆς τῶν ἁγίων τῆς ἐσωτέρας)
 G.K. Beale, The Temple and the Church’s Mission: A biblical theology of the dwelling place of God (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2004), 337.
 Jason Eric Beals, “National Restoration and the Divine Dwelling Place in Ezekiel 37:15–28,” Masters thesis (Master’s Seminary, Sun Valley, CA, April 2013), 12. Also see Schmitt and Laney, “Messiah’s Coming Temple.” Also Ralph Alexander, “Ezekiel,” 6:943-96; Cooper, Ezekiel, 349-428.
 G. K. Beale, “Eden, the Temple, and the Church’s Mission in the New Creation,” J. Ev. Theol. Soc. 48/1 (March 2005) 5-31.
 An interesting OT text in light of Paul’s words of prohibition (And do not get drunk with wine . . .) and the (likely) temple reference (i.e., πληροῦσθε ἐν πνεύματι, be filled in Spirit) in Eph 5:18.
 See Beale, The Temple and the Church’s Mission, 337.
 Also Daniel 2, 7, the heavenly powers, and the whole earth. Christ’s expanded rule over the cosmos exercises authority over both the earth and the heavens: this makes total sense, namely the role of the temples where to illustrate and provide the means to appease both the earthly rulers and the heavenly deities who control the life upon the earth. The reference to “heavenly places” points to a cosmological mission, as Paul’s prayer implies, becomes localized in Ephesus through his body, his fullness in that place. The Daniel 7 “Son of Man” is linked in language and concept to the Ephesians 2 “one new man” (and Dan 7-8 present the one-and-the-many concept between the Son of Man and the saints of the Most High).