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Bede's De Tabernaculo And De Templo

The Temple of Solomon is the most frequently mentioned building in the Bible. The dimensions, a description of the overall plan and the artefacts of the Temple, are described in I Kings 6-8 and Ezekiel 40-42. However, the architectural plan and




  vo{ume 1- eooT 6ede's de cabenrnruIoarfr de cetnplo Tessa Morrison Abstract The Temple of Solomon is the mostfrequently mentioned building in the Bible. Thedimensions, a description of the overallplan and the artefacts of the Temple, are described in I Kings 6-8and Ez*iel 40-42. However,thearchitecturalplan anddesign of the features of theTemple are a forgottenmemorythat hasbeen the subject of much speculation. Not a single stone or anycontemporary image that can beidentifiedwith the Temple of Solomon has survived. However, this has notprevented the Temple frombeing one of the mostimportantandinfluential buildings, in bothphilosophical and physicalmanifestations,throughout time. In I Corinttrians,Paul ofTarsus claimedthathe was like amaster-builderlaying the foundations of theternple ofGod; this ternple was built offaithfulsouls. Paul tumed away from a physicaltemple to the congregation and the spiritual temple. Solomon'sTemple andPaul's master builder analogy become a powerful and enduringtemplemetaphorinChristian writings. Bede's DeTabernaculo nd De Templo reflect this tradition by claiming that the building of the Tabemacle and Solomon's Temple signified oneand the same Church of Christ. This paper explores Bede's vision of Solomon'sTemple, the building and the metaphor. The Tabernacle andtheTemple of Solomon The plans of the Tabernacle and the Temple of Solomon are described in Exodus 25-27,King6-8 and Ezekiel 40-43. TheTabernacle of Moses was aportableshrine in a nomadictent that served as a temple of God among the exiled Israelites during their years of wbndering in the wifderness. In Exodus25-27its architectural features and its contents are described in detail. It was erected for the last time when the Israelitessettled in theland of Canaanand was eventually replaced by theTemple of King Solomon. After the erection of theTemple, the Tabernaclewas notmentioned again in the Bible. However, its architectural featuresevolved into a stron! symbolic architecture of exile through the ageS.r TheTabernaclebecame linked with the history of the Temple of Solomon as its predecessor both spiritually and architecturally.TheTemple of Solomonis the mostfrequently mentioned building in the Bible: it is mentioned in 23 out of the 39 books in the Hebrew Scriptures and in I I out of 27 books in the Christian Scriptures.Biblical scholars claimthat Solomonreigned for 40years,andthe date given for the building of theTemple of Solomon is 959 BCE.2 The desfiuction of the S Tigerman, The Architecture ofExile(New Yorlq 1988). A Panot, TheTemple ofJerusalem,hans B EHooke (London,1957\ 12.  n 'eg z 's a r '6 u7 e o 'yw am 6 '1wo aw I 'udash L ' uD e 1 te qg s D V (g J ussee u ' L d 6 q long K d e dS l1 e enens p63 1 l tn P u C 'n d B 7 P t o o d g. ue u P $p sq u J B,q q p Eqssp j de J q e .g S pd oe Pn ws eq Ep 6es sl? F udo8ee (meI s g 8 u ad odJ p seo s p o o use iC q 3 d J p 'ea u d ge n e o qrn S ?o nh 1 e s e uu e e le eom e z o ls us V uo E q J gu u u p oo pp lu Eo os e d 3s u eo 1 sE ,J g e ^ p s m e? Jc qq g pm e $ e "e o e p p g ? ?d  volume I - zooT Temple wasbesieged by Pompey'stroops in 63 BCE, but it was not looted ordestroyed. It was in a bad state of repair and was torn down in 20-19 BCE whln King Herod builta further Temple.l3 Accounts of Herod'sTemple are in Josephus's Antiqities XV.2 and lVars of the Jews V.5.r4 Thearea occupied by Herod's temple enclosurewas approximately 35 acres,lt which was a substantial increase compared with the estimated area of theenclosure of Solomon'sTemple of eight acres.t6Accordingto Josephus,rT llcrod had douhledthe area thatthe second Temple had occupied. In 70 ('l:. atle'r a gencral insurrcclion in Palestine. tlre enrperor Titus caused this tlrird l'cnrplc to hc dcslrorcdhy lirt'. and norv only' thal partknown as the \l'ailing \f,'all rcnrnins. lhc llcritxlian 'l'cmplc.and the remains of the prcrkrustcmplcs. strxrd on thcsitc shich is norv occupied by the seventh- ccnlun Mosquc ol' Ontar: the Dorne of the Rock.'n This renders any excavation of the site extremely unlikely. Thus, any suggestion of archaeological proof of the existence of Solomon's Temple must remainspeculative. However, a significantbody of philosophy, architectureand art has been based on speculativeconclusions regarding the Temple. The Temple possessed a unique authorityover architecture as well as the theologicalminds of both the Jewishand Christian worlds until at least the nineteenth century. In the Christianhaditionwriters such as Augustine haveperceived Solomon's Templeto be not only an earthlyTemple of divine proportionsbut also asymbbl of theTemple in heaven having tle Abelard, a pupil of Thierry, compared the New Jerusalem described in theRevelation of John tothetemple precinctof Solomon as God's regal palace: thisanalory is found in the apocryphal Book of Wisdom 9:8. Abelard claimed that the Temple of Solomon was permeated by the divine harmoniesinways thatrbflected thecelestial sphere.2o The seventeenth century in England was an era of religious turmoil, civil and internationalwar, plagueand catastrophes such as the 1666 fire of London. Attempts to justifr and explainwhat appeared to be an apocalypticera (not helped by the number of theyear of the fire) led to a strange l3l4l5t6t7l8l9 20 Prrot"The Temple of Jerusalem,78. Josephus, Antiquities and llars of the "/ews hans W Whiston,"/osephus:Complete Ilorks (Cnand Rapids, 1960). Votaw, 'TheTemple at Jerusalem in Jesus' Day',174, Barton,'The Jerusalem of David and Solomon', l6 Josephus, llarsl,v;r.i. Votaw, 'TheTemple at Jerusalem in Jesus' Day', l7l; Ousterhou! 'TheTemple,the Sepulchre,andthe Martyrionof the Savior', 49; Barton,'The Jerusalem of David and Solomon', 16. Augustine, The Cityof God ed andtrans H S Bettenson (Harmondsworth, 1972)l7 .3, l7 .20, 18.45,18.48, 21.26. P Abelard, TheologiaChristianoII.384 trans V Cousin(Paris, 1859).  g ' 1maViu o 'G5 no p ea W r Ce u p' s e , c o a w n1 um 'z ( u a P u ' 'u c oN H ( u Qw ou { p sa K W Pod d o u - J m ,gZ p m s oou D 'uo dec eEa u u P ns rp ? u p q le u e de Jug qJ J q o d oJ d A Jm m J ? s w R o o s wus e q q J e qu ssse up e J u q ,ed D q p J u q ds un ?es Ium ?q e em J q e udo 3 rL u qs $ q e JJ sq s qJug d o Jn p s a &ulsF s B pe ? c IE e , oN zuo d J Je lu u u s ,u s d J q ppos u E J u p 9 gb E t  votume 3 - rooT 731.28 In abrief autobiographical note in Historia Ecclesiastico Gentis Anglorum, Bedeclaimed that I have spent allmy life in this monastery,applying myself entirely to the study of the Scriptures; . . .it has always been my delight to learn orto teach or to write ... I have made it my business, for my own benefit and that ofmy brothers, tomake brief extracts from the works of the venerablefathers onthe holy Scriptures, or to add notes ofmy own to clarify their sense andinterpretation.2e It would follow that Bedeg purpose in writing scriptural exegesis such as De Tabernaculo and De Templowashis own edification and that of hisbrothers. He carefully executed a verse-by-versecommentary on the Biblicaltexts of Exodus and Kings,which is largely composed of descriptions of architectural detail of the Tabernacle of Moses and the Temple of Solomon. Every architectural feature, the measurements, the objectsand thebuilding materialwereexamined in a systematic manner. To Bede, theplan andfeatures of theTabernacleand the Temple created a harmoniousand balanced whole, which werean allegory of theChristian church. Although both the sanctuaries were allegorical of the Christianchurch, Bede drew a notable distinction between them. He designated the Tabernacle the building of the present chwch, since it was builtin thewildernesswhen the Israelites were on the road to the promised land, while he designated the Temple the repose of the future church, because it was built aftertheIsraelites had taken possession of thepromisedland and the kingship of that landhad been established. The Temple was to be interpreted as a'vision ofpeace'.3oFor Bede,the differencein the features ofthe sanctuaries could be generalised as follows. The workmanship of the tabernacle is thetime of thesynagogue (thatis, of the ancientpeople of God), but the workmanship of the temple sigrrifies the church(that is that multitude of elect which has come to faith after the Lord'sincarnation).For Moses completed the tabernacle with the people of the Hebrews alone, but Solomon finished [building] the temple with a multitude of proselytes gathered 2930 J O'Reilly, 'lntroduction' xviiJv in Bede: On the Temple trans S Connolly(Liverpool, 1995) at p xvii. Bede, Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum trans translator The Ecclesiastical History of the EnglishPeople (Oxford, 1994) Chapter 24.Bede, De Tabernaculo Eans A GHolder,On the Tabernacle (Liverpool, 1994) 2.1.42.