The Temple in Torah Prophecy: Toldot (Generations)
The Tent of Meeting
Along with the goats, Rebekah gives Jacob bread, symbolizing the Bread of Faces in the Holy Place. The following verse is a key:
Rebekah said to her son Jacob, "Behold, I heard your father speak to your brother Esau, saying,'Bring me some game and prepare a savory dish for me, that I may eat, and bless you in the presence of the LORD before my death.' (Ge 27:1-7)
Rebekah knows that the imminent blessing will take place literally in the presence of Adonai. The Hebrew word for presence in this verse is "panim," or face, also which suggests the Bread of Faces in the Holy Place.
Jacob puts on his brother's raiment, the mantle of the goel, to go into his father's tent for the blessing of the birthright, just as the high priests of the next generations (toldot) took the place of their fathers and put on their garments. The text is specific, "And Rebekah took the best garments of her elder son Esau..." Garment(s) is plural. On the Day of Atonement, the High Priest changed from white linen to the golden vestments, depending upon what part of the service he officiated. This required frequent changes of dress.
Jacob, a man of the tents, is a type of the priest in the tent of meeting with his Father alone, just as on the Yom Kippur, the Day of Coverings, the High Priest entered the Holy of Holies alone. Jacob was covered by his mother (who represents the Shekinah, or the Holy Spirit) with the skins of goats. Before Adam and Eve were given skins to wear, the glory was their covering.
Rebekah, or mystically the Indwelling of the Presence, places the hairy goat hides, the glory, on Jacob's hands and neck.
The neck is significant. "And he (Joseph) fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck and wept, and Benjamin wept on his neck" (
Genesis 45:14). There is a mistranslation in many English Bibles in this verse. The Hebrew reads, "And he fell upon his brother Benjamin's necks (tsavrei) and wept, and Benjamin wept on his neck." Compare that to the blessing given to Benjamin in Deuteronomy 33:12:
"Of Benjamin he said, 'The beloved of HaShem shall dwell in safety by him; shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders.'"
The Temple was built on Benjamin's inheritance, between his shoulders. Rashi explains that the apparent error in Bereishit is therefore not an error, but a prophecy. Two Temples were built and destroyed between Benjamin's shoulders, his two necks on which Joseph wept. The Temple is described as a "neck." Maharal explains that a person's neck connects his head to the body. Thus in Midrash Rabbah, the Temple is called a "neck." Benjamin also wept on Joseph's neck (singular), signifying the Tabernacle in Shiloh, located in Joseph's inheritance.
The neck thus symbolizes the connection between the upper and lower Kingdoms, the conduit through which the will of Israel on earth receives the message from the will of the Father in Heaven, whether Tent of Meeting (Tabernacle) or House (Temple). The seven vertebrae in the neck are also significant physical clues to the spiritual connection, like the sign of the rainbow. They connect the Ruach above with the men and women from lowly dust.
Song of Songs 4:12 reads, "Your neck is like the tower of David." This also refers to the Temple, because the neck is the highest point on the Body of Messiah short of the Head, which is Yeshua HaMashiach. Israel is likened to the living stones of the Temple, and just as the Temple was the only high place permitted under the Torah, we are to pull down all the high places in our lives, for what fellowship does the Temple of God have with idols?
The neck contains the vocal chords, and thus it is the origin of the voice or words. "The voice is Jacob's." Isaac's figurative presence as the Father speaking to the High Priest in the Holy of Holies resonates in Isaac's words:
"Bring me some game and prepare a savory dish for me, that I may eat, and bless you in the presence of the LORD..." (Ge 27:7)
It was the voice of HaShem that spoke to the High Priest in the Holy of Holies. His words are infinite, without beginning and without end. It was The Word, the Living Torah, that spoke to mankind from the Temple, which we are. As Yeshua was faithful in all His House, His Temple of living stones, we also must be faithful servants in this house of flesh. Guard the ruach, nefesh, and body with all the diligence that the High Priest exercised in guarding the Temple precincts.
Upon the neck goes the yoke of the Kingdom, which Yeshua said is easy, and will not break necks in the Temple of this body from of dust. It won't kill Esau, nor will it kill Yeshua's disciples. It is nevertheless work, worship, and service in the Kingdom to take the yoke on the neck, just as Moses and the priests served in the Temple. This is the significance of Jacob's neck being covered with goat hair. It symbolized the glory that would cover the Temple, and it symbolized Jacob's acceptance of the yoke of priesthood in the covenant, a yoke later handed down to his son Levi.
Consider the following Temple or Yom HaKippurim parallels:
- The blessing Jacob receives is imparted by placing one's hands on the recipient's head, and the anointing of the high priest is by pouring oil over his head to cover it so that it drips down over the beard. The Day of Yom Kippur is the Day of Covering, from which we derive words like kippah, or cap.
- The priest offered the blood of the goat on the horns (strength) of the altar. Jacob offered the flesh of the goats to Isaac as an offering in the place of Esau, Edom, which means red, spelled with the same root as Adam, mankind. Dam means blood. He was redeeming the firstborn, and the kid, az, means strength.
- Isaac's vision is obscured, just as the cloud of incense obscured the vision of the priest in the Most Holy Place.
- Jacob desired the blessing of the firstborn to go with the birthright he purchased, which will make him the priest of the family, the goel; his toldot can make atonement for the household just as the High Priest made atonement for all Yisrael on Yom Kippur.
- As the incense and aroma of the nefesh sacrifice is a pleasant aroma to the LORD, so the smell of the field and the savoury meat is pleasing to Isaac, producing the blessing.
- Just as the scapegoat is turned over "to the hand of a man who stands in readiness," who escorts him to the wilderness, Jacob encounters YHVH in HaMakom (the Place), and is assured that YHVH will never leave him until He accomplishes for Jacob all He had promised him.
May we all wear the "best garments" of our kinsman redeemer, Yeshua, and may we inherit the priestly service of our fathers in faith.
which is Mashiach in the Father
which is the Body of Mashiach
Even the English word "cup" denotes the cupping of the palm, which holds fluids. The kippah is shaped like a cup, related to khaf, which is the palm of the hand that holds the oil and is placed in blessing; this will be explored more in Volume Three: Vayikra.
A Gentile specially appointed (Second Temple era)
"The Place," or HaMakom, Jacob called Beth-El, or House of God. It is understood to be the place where Abraham offered Isaac and the future Temple site.
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