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Greater Things > Essays > The Threshing Floor -- Restoring Jerusalem's Temple

The Threshing Floor -- Restoring Jerusalem's Temple

Christopher gives us a couple of interesting installments on the scriptural etymology and evolution of the names Zion and Jerusalem. He mentioned that Zion was first a military fortress and then, with the temple, became synonymous with a more spiritual center and symbol of peace. In his first post he mentioned that Jerusalem used to be named Jebus or "threshing floor."

It turns out that the temple itself has a "threshing floor" name history because of Ornan the Jebusite.

Back in the earlier days of David, when he numbered the people (e.g. was worried about statistics and appearances -- which J J Dewey teaches us is a primary obsession of deceivers: pleasing the people, telling them what they want to hear so the numbers of followers grows very fast) contrary to the express demands of God, the Lord told him he would give him a choice of three consequences: (1) famine for three years; (2) war for three months in which his enemy would prevail, or (3) pestilence for three days. David chose the last to get it over with. In three days 70,000 of the elders of Israel were dead by the pestilence.

David then prayed to God to stop the pestilence. God appeared to him there. It was on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. That was where the temple of Solomon was built, in memory of that event. That location (mount Moriah) is also where Abraham had his test to see if he would sacrifice his son, as a type for our Father in heaven sacrificing his only begotten son in the flesh for the sake of mankind. (I just had a thought. I wonder if Abraham had in mind that somehow the offering of his son would have a salvation effect on behalf of others, perhaps many others.)

Anyway, the temple spot has some ironic history.

Now for the point I wish to make.

Prophecy speaks of the restoration of the temple in Jerusalem in the last days.

Today if you were to ask anyone, they would think of that as meaning that the temple of Solomon will be rebuilt and the animal sacrifices reinstated.

Let me paint a picture for you.

What took place in that temple was essentially a massive slaughterhouse of animals. There was literally a river of blood flowing from the temple because of all the animal sacrifices that took place as part of the Law of Moses -- which law Christ fulfilled and superceded -- which law was given to the Israelites in the first place because of their hard-heartedness. They wanted ritual (having come from the very gaudy Egyptian culture in which ritual was everything), so God gave them the desires of their heart. What God had first wished to give them was very simple. He wished for everyone of them to purify their own hearts and come into his very presence, but that scared the tar out of them, so they told Moses, "No, you go talk to him and tell us what he says."

Anyway, I'm leaving out things and probably missing a tad in my retelling of these events.

The point I want to get to is this.

Can you imagine that God really intends for the bloody temple of Solomon to be restored? Does God delight in his people being known as the most blood-letting people on the planet? (It's no wonder they crucified their Messiah, having practiced so much on their animals.)

I dare say that the temple that will be restored in Jerusalem will be the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite -- a simple threshing floor for wheat. The symbolism of simplicity, of bareness, of "decision," separating the wheat from the chaff. The bareness of the broken heart and contrite spirit which is brought before God and answered with the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost.

This is one of the first "revelations" that I received when I first started discovering what I now call the "Alphabetics Word-Number Code." This is what I saw in the words of scripture in their bare alphabetical sequence. I've written that up elsewhere in several places. See for example

I don't recall all of what I found, but I do remember very clearly the conclusion, and to this day I must say that it sits very well when I run it by my soul. It has to do with the fact that the most important temple of all is the temple of our body and spirit, of heaven and earth coming together in our own soul.

For those of you with an LDS background, I might mention an interesting validation in the writings of Joseph Smith about the fact that God does not intend for animal sacrifices to be reinstated in Jerusalem. On pages 172 and 173 of the Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith is a discussion of the restoring of all ordinances in righteousness. In a superficial reading of the text, one could continue to think that the animal sacrifices of the Law of Moses will be reinstated as part of the restitution of all things. In fact, without a careful reading, this false paradigm could be strengthened very much, for Joseph is very specific about the blood-letting ordinances in making the point that the meat was used for food for the priests while, "the blood is sprinkled, and the fat and certain other portions are consumed."

Then in the next paragraph, which begins with the heading, "All ordinances Restored," Joseph continues, "These sacrifices, as well as every ordinance belonging to the Priesthood, will, when the Temple of the Lord shall be built, and the sons of Levi be purified, be fully restored..." The clarifying catch for the observant is found a few sentences down. "It is not to be understood that the law of Moses will be established again with all its rites and variety of ceremonies."

The very ceremony he mentioned in the previous paragraph, referencing Leviticus 2:2-3 is part of the Law of Moses, and hence will not be restored. One has to be on his toes to catch that one.

One could get tripped up again, however, in the words following that in which Joseph states, "but those things which existed prior to Moses' day, namely, sacrifice, will be continued."

The question is, then, what was that sacrifice about? I've not yet got strong reasons to support this logically, but my feeling is that this one is up-side-down too, and that the true sacrifice is as it has always been and will always be, namely, a broken heart and contrite spirit -- the threshing floor, the valley of decision.

With this in mind, J J's statement takes on new life:

>If we put all of these meanings
>together we can create a statement
>such as: "Zion is a city of love which
>shows the way to peace, or an
>ensign to peace, which has risen
>out of a polluted land."



bullet  On Jerusalem

From: "Christopher Wynter" <>
To: "The Keys of Knowledge List" <>
Sent: Friday, January 07, 2000 5:04 AM
Subject: [keys-l] Re: Jerusalem

At 09:46 PM 7/01/00 , you wrote:
>Jerusalem was originally
>called "Jebus" which means a 
>loathsome or polluted place.

Jebus = Threshing floor

The Jubusites were the 'people of the threshing floor'... an indigenous Semetic tribe who, it is suggested actually lived outside the city walls ... but did not occupy the fortress .. ruled over by a king named Adonai-zedek at the time.

Urusalim or Ur-sa-lim-mu was the name of this geographical fortress as mentioned in the Tellel-Amarna letters of 14th century BC and the name is not of Hebrew origin but of cognate Assyrian ... literally translated as "City of Peace" of which Melchizadek is mentioned as an early ruler.

It is further suggested that Zion was the name of the mountain on which the fortress Jerusalem stood ..

and it was captured for political and strategic reasons as it stood on the Benjamin-Judah border.

BTW the capture of the fortress was effected by David's army entering through the sewer and disrupting the water supply.

> After it was
>captured by the IsraELites it was named
>Jerusalem or YeRUWSHALAYIM which
>means "to instruct or show the way to 
>peace." It was also called the City
>of David. David means "loving". 
>It was also called Zion which is an
>ensign. If we put all of these meanings 
>together we can create a statement
>such as: "Zion is a city of love which 
>shows the way to peace, or an
>ensign to peace, which has risen 
>out of a polluted land."

Christopher Wynter

{Information on Jerusalem provided by DF Payne .. lecturer in Biblical History University of Sheffield.  There is a further bibliography listed in this extract.  Plus some information I have from a friend who was on the council involved in the Translation of the NIV who is multilingual in many of the ancient languages .. and has neither a Christian Background nor Christian Genetic Background as his parents were a Taoist Priest and a Yogini .. he did hid DD at Leyden in Holland}


bullet  On Zion

From: "Christopher Wynter" <>
To: "The Keys of Knowledge List" <>
Sent: Friday, January 07, 2000 5:13 AM
Subject: [keys-l] Re: ZION

> The Bible gives us an interesting
> prerequisite for the second coming of
> Christ: "When the Lord shall build
> up Zion, he shall appear in his glory."
> Psalms 102:16.
> If this scripture is literally true then
> a place called Zion must be built
> before the Lord can make his appear-
> ance. The natural question is what is
> Zion? And How is it to be built? Are
> not the modern Jews building Zion in
> Israel today?
> Zion comes from the Hebrew word:
> TSIYOWN which signifies a guiding sign or
> an ensign. The Word "Zion" was first
> used by David when he captured the
> ancient city of Jebus and renamed it
> Jerusalem. It was also known as the
> "City of David".

ZION [ZIE un] - the city of David and the city of God. The designation of Zion underwent a distinct progression in its usage throughout the Bible. The first mention of Zion in the Bible is in 2 Samuel 5:7: "David took the stronghold of Zion (that is, the City of David)." Zion, therefore, was the name of the ancient Jebusite fortress situated on the southeast hill of Jerusalem at the junction of the Kidron Valley and the Tyropoeon Valley. The name came to stand not only for the fortress but also for the hill on which the fortress stood. After David captured "the stronghold of Zion" by defeating the Jebusites, he called Zion "the City of David" (1 Kin. 8:1; 1 Chr. 11:5; 2 Chr. 5:2).

When Solomon built the Temple on Mount Moriah (a hill distinct and separate from Mount Zion), and moved the ark of the covenant there, the word "Zion" expanded in meaning to include also the Temple and the Temple area (Ps. 2:6; 48:2, 11-12; 132:13). It was only a short step until Zion was used as a name for the city of Jerusalem, the land of Judah, and the people of Israel as a whole (Is. 40:9; Jer. 31:12). The prophet Zechariah spoke of the sons of Zion (Zech. 9:13). By this time the word "Zion" had come to mean the entire nation of Israel.

The most important use of the word "Zion" is in a religious or theological sense. Zion is used figuratively of Israel as the people of God (Is. 60:14). The spiritual meaning of Zion is continued in the New Testament, where it is given the Christian meaning of God's spiritual kingdom, the church of God, the heavenly Jerusalem (Heb. 12:22; Rev. 14:1; Sion, KJV).

Christopher Wynter

{From the Nelson Electronic Library and was collated from their Bible Reference Dictionary.  Also from The New Bible Dictionary ... London Intervarsity Fellowship, Organizing Editor JD Douglass}


bullet  See also:

Words Around "Ornan" in English (Appendix of Book A Mighty Change For a New World)


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