Show reverence to the temple

The Literal Commandment

'You shall keep My sabbaths and revere My sanctuary; I am the LORD.
(Leviticus 19:30)

 

The Hebrew word translated here as "revere" literally means "to fear", "to revere", or "to dread".1

When we consider the sovereign G-d over all creation dwelling in majesty in the tabernacle it is indeed a place of power, might, and awe. Like we might be in fear and dread around a 10,000 volt high power line, we should have an even greater fear and dread of the Most High dwelling in His sanctuary.

Nadab and Abihu (the sons of Aaron the high priest) did not approach G-d and the sanctuary with the appropriate reverence but offered strange fire before Him and they were consumed by fire that went out from His presence (Levitcus 10:1-2). That pictures the consequence of violating this commandment.

 

Messiah Says

Messiah implicitly affirmed this commandment when He spoke about the Law:

"Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-19)

 

Pictures of Messiah

Both the Tabernacle and the Temple were holy places built by men so that G-d might dwell among them. The building (in and of itself) is just a thing. It is G-d's presence that makes it special and worth revering.

In a similar way Messiah was (in His flesh) just a man, born of a woman in Bethlehem. (Philippians 2:8) In that body, however, the fullness of Deity dwelled (Colossians 2:9) which made Him worthy of reverence.

 

How Messiah Fulfilled

Messiah showed reverence towards the Temple and drove out those who did not have the appropriate reverence with a scourge of cords. (John 2:14-17) He also spoke of His body as "the Temple" that He would raise in three days (John 2:19-21).

 

Traditional Observance

Although the Temple was destroyed in 70 CE, the western wall of the Temple mount area remains. Jews today traditionally observe this commandment by treating even those foundation stones with reverence.

 

Other Notes

Although it may seem an odd thought, Peter describes believers as "living stones" being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood (1 Peter 2:5). We should have a measure of reverence towards the body of believers as the place of the abode of G-d's presence in this world.

This commandment is dependent upon a Temple/Tabernacle being in place. We are unable to literally fulfill this commandment today.

 

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Footnotes

1. Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries, Dictionaries of Hebrew and Greek Words taken from Strong's Exhaustive Concordance by James Strong, S.T.D., LL.D., 1890. [back]


Commandment Details

  • Mishneh Torah # 304
  • Mishneh Torah Book # 8
  • Mishneh Torah Book Service
  • Mishneh Torah Category 39- The Chosen House
  • Reference Leviticus 19:30
  • Scripture Book Leviticus
  • Chapter 19
  • Verse 30
  • English You shall keep My sabbaths and revere My sanctuary; I am the LORD.
  • Hebrew ל אֶת-שַׁבְּתֹתַי תִּשְׁמֹרוּ, וּמִקְדָּשִׁי תִּירָאוּ: אֲנִי, יְהוָה.
  • Greek 30 Τὰ σάββατά μου φυλάξεσθε καὶ ἀπὸ τῶν ἁγίων μου φοβηθήσεσθε· ἐγώ εἰμι κύριος.
  • Parashah 30- Kedoshim
  • Positive/Negative Positive
  • Sefer Hachinuch # 254
  • Sef. Hach. Command The precept of reverent awe for the sanctuary
  • Category Temple and Sacred Objects
  • We can fullfill today Yes

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