This morning’s account is yet another reminder of what a changed man Jacob was upon choosing to follow God who had revealed himself to his grandfather Abraham, his father Isaac and, finally, to Jacob himself. As we saw at the end of chapter 33, after returning from Paddan Aram he set up an altar in the city of Shechem in Canaan where he chose to settle and called the altar El Elohe Israel, or mighty is the God of Israel.[1] As our passage opens, God again appears to him, saying, verse 1, “Go up to Bethel and settle there, and build an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you were fleeing from your brother Esau.” If you’ll recall, after Jacob had stolen Esau’s blessing and inheritance—by pretending to be him—Esau vowed to kill Jacob once their father had passed. So Rebekah encouraged Isaac to send Jacob to Paddan Aram to find a wife from her father’s household rather than his marrying one of the Hittite women. Isaac complied with his wife’s request and sent Jacob away to find a wife.[2] And it was as he was on his way to Paddan Aram that Jacob first encountered the LORD in a dream in which angels were ascending and descending on a stairway. At that time, the LORD identified himself as the God of his grandfather Abraham and his father Isaac. When Jacob awoke from this divine dream, he did two things: First, he took the stone he had placed under his head, set it up as a pillar, poured oil on it and called that place Bethel. Second, he made a vow to God that if he would watch over and provide for him on his journey, he would declare the LORD to be his God, return to this place, and make this pillar into God’s house.[3] The time had arrived for Jacob to make good on his promise as God now told him to return to Bethel, settle there, and build an altar to God as he had promised so many years ago.

This Jacob did. But first he “said to his household and to all who were with him,” verse 2, “Get rid of the foreign gods you have with you, and purify yourselves and change your clothes.” These instructions indicate that Jacob had indeed embraced as his own the God who had appeared to Abraham and Isaac. Therefore, in his desire to show his exclusive allegiance to God, he was literally cleaning house. He was making sure that any foreign gods would be expunged. This is all in keeping with the LORD’s later revelation to Moses when he declared himself to be a jealous God.[4] And we can’t help but remember that Rachel, Jacob’s wife, unbeknownst to Jacob had earlier stolen the gods from her father’s household when they first left Paddan Aram.[5] If she still owned them, she, too, would have had to get rid of them.

Jacob went on to say, verse 3: “Then come, let us go up to Bethel, where I will build an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and who has been with me wherever I have gone.” Again, God had kept his side of Jacob’s request from years ago to watch over him on his journey, giving him food to eat and clothes to wear, so that he could safely return to his father’s household. And now Jacob was being asked by God to keep his end of the bargain, namely, to set up a pillar to be God’s house.[6] This is why Jacob now testified and declared that God had answered him in his distress and been with him wherever he went.

Jacob’s household and all who were with him did as he asked, verse 4: “So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods they had and the rings in their ears, and Jacob buried them under the oak at Shechem.”[7] In addition to getting rid of the foreign gods, they also got rid of the rings in their ears which, according to one commentator, “…were amulets associated with pagan worship.”[8] Then, having done away with these false gods, we read in verse 5 how they “set out, and the terror of God fell on the towns all around them so that no one pursued them.” Now given that this encounter with God occurred subsequent to Simeon and Levi killing Hamor and Shechem and all of the Hivite men from their tribe, the fact that “the terror of God” had fallen upon the neighboring towns takes on added significance. For last week we saw the concern Jacob expressed after this massacre as he said to Simeon and Levi, “You have brought trouble on me by making me obnoxious to the Canaanites and Perizzites, the people living in this land. We are few in number, and if they join forces against me and attack me, I and my household will be destroyed.”[9] However, despite the fact that Jacob and his family had been put in peril by Simeon and Levi’s violent act, God continued to be with Jacob, guarding and protecting him as he embarked upon this task. As stated in verses 6–7, “Jacob and all the people with him came to Luz (that is, Bethel) in the land of Canaan. There he built an altar, and he called the place El Bethel,[10] because it was there that God revealed himself to him when he was fleeing from his brother.” Again, by building this altar to God, Jacob fulfilled the vow he once made and to which he now testified concerning God’s faithfulness to him throughout those many years.

Next we see the death and burial of Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, noted in verse 8. Deborah had been with Rebekah at least since the time that she was single when she had agreed to go with Abraham’s servant in order to marry Isaac.[11] Though not named, at that time we’re told that Rebekah’s family “sent their sister Rebekah on her way, along with her nurse and Abraham’s servant and his men.”[12] That Deborah was loved is evident in that she was “was buried under the oak outside Bethel” which they named Allon Bakuth which means “oak of weeping.”

Next we’re told in verse 9 how God again appeared to Jacob after he returned from Paddam Aram and blessed him. Part of what God reiterated was the previous name change he had first declared when Jacob had wrestled with him.[13] As stated in verse 9, God told him, “Your name is Jacob, but you will no longer be called Jacob; your name will be Israel.” Again, whereas the name Jacob translates as a Hebrew idiom meaning “he deceives”—literally “he grasps the heel”—the name Israel means “he struggles with God.” So God, for a second time, had confirmed this change in Jacob’s name.

Next God revealed himself to Jacob by identifying himself as “God Almighty” or “El-Shaddai.” If you’ll recall, this is the same name he had used in revealing himself to his grandfather Abraham when God changed his name from Abram to Abraham and then went on to establish the covenant of circumcision.[14] Too, Jacob’s father Isaac had used this form of God’s name when he first sent Jacob to Paddan Aram to find a wife from among Rebekah’s kinsmen.[15] In the first half of verse 11 we see that God said to Jacob, “I am God Almighty; be fruitful and increase in number.” This command to be fruitful is one we see repeated throughout Scripture for God first commanded Adam and Eve to be fruitful[16] and he reiterated this command to Noah and his sons after the destruction by the flood.[17] The second part of verse 11 goes on to state, “A nation and a community of nations will come from you, and kings will be among your descendants. 12 The land I gave to Abraham and Isaac I also give to you, and I will give this land to your descendants after you.” The promise of fruitfulness, nations, and land was one that God had given to both Jacob’s grandfather Abraham[18] and his father Isaac.[19] And now he did so to Jacob as well.

Once God “went up from him at the place where he had talked with him,” verse 13, verses 14–15 state how “14 Jacob set up a stone pillar at the place where God had talked with him, and he poured out a drink offering on it; he also poured oil on it. 15 Jacob called the place where God had talked with him Bethel.”[20] Again, we have echoes here of previous encounters with God in Jacob’s life. After the LORD appeared to him in the dream of angels ascending and descending upon the stairway or ladder, as we’ve already noted Jacob took the stone he had been sleeping on and made a pillar of it, anointing it with oil.[21] Here now he “set up a stone pillar at the place where God had talked with him” and poured both a drink offering and oil on it. And we once again see him naming the place where God had spoken with him “Bethel” which means “house of God.”

Now we’ll return to this opening account momentarily but first I want to touch briefly upon the remainder of the chapter. What immediately follows is the account of Jacob’s favorite wife, Rachel, dying while giving birth to his twelfth son, Benjamin. Beginning with verse 16, “16 Then they moved on from Bethel. While they were still some distance from Ephrath, Rachel began to give birth and had great difficulty. 17 And as she was having great difficulty in childbirth, the midwife said to her, ‘Don’t despair, for you have another son.’” Given that Jacob had spent twenty years with Rachel and Leah in Paddan Aram before returning home, by this time Rachel would not have been a young woman. That she had “great difficulty” giving birth doesn’t come as a surprise. Therefore the midwife sought to encourage her, saying, “Don’t despair, for you have another son.” Though we don’t know if this midwife would have been present when Rachel gave birth to Joseph, her only other child, perhaps she knew that after naming Joseph Rachel had said, “May the Lord add to me another son.”[22] Though that prayer had now been answered, Rachel wouldn’t have opportunity to enjoy this second son. As stated in verse 18, her dying words[23] were to name him “Ben–Oni,” a name that means “son of my trouble.” However Jacob changed their son’s name to “Benjamin” which means “son of my right hand.” Rachel never made it to Ephrath which, as noted in verse 19, was another name for the city of Bethlehem, but died and was buried on her way there. Verse 20 states that Jacob set up another pillar, this one marking Rachel’s tomb.

Now in verse 21, we see Jacob referred to as Israel, the new name God had given him, noting that “Israel moved on again and pitched his tent beyond Migdal Eder.” Therefore, unlike Peter whose original name, Simeon, was changed to Peter by Christ[24] and who subsequently went almost exclusively by the name Peter, Jacob will continue to be referred to by both “Jacob” and “Israel” in the remainder of the book of Genesis and beyond. This is akin to the New Testament at times referring to the apostle Paul by Saul, his Jewish name,[25] and at others by Paul, when he was preaching to the Greeks and Gentiles.[26]

Moving on to verse 22, we’re told of a sinful and ominous event: “While Israel was living in that region, Reuben went in and slept with his father’s concubine Bilhah, and Israel heard of it.” Being Jacob’s firstborn, Reuben may have done this in order to establish his leadership as the eldest son. Though at this point this incident is mentioned without any further comment, as last week we saw occur with Simeon and Levi’s massacre of Hamor, Shechem, and all their men, Jacob does comment on this event near the end of his life when he gathers his sons in order to tell them what is to come.[27] At that time, he’ll say to Reuben, “3 Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might, the first sign of my strength, excelling in honor, excelling in power. 4 Turbulent as the waters, you will no longer excel, for you went up onto your father’s bed, onto my couch and defiled it.”[28] Though once filled with promise, Reuben would suffer the consequences of having slept with his father’s concubine.[29] As one commentator observes, for having committed this sin, Reuben gave up his status as the firstborn and his leadership thereof.[30] What is more, neither would this status of the firstborn pass on to Simeon, his second-born, nor Levi, his third for, as already noted, they were similarly passed over due to their grave sin. No, the status of firstborn would leap over Jacob and Leah’s first three sons and be granted instead to Judah, their fourth-born son who[31] would become ancestor to none other than God’s promised Messiah, Jesus Christ,[32] our Savior and Lord.

In verses 23–26, the twelve sons of Jacob are listed. The list begins with Leah’s sons, “Reuben the firstborn of Jacob, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun,” verse 23. Next are Rachel’s two sons, Joseph and Benjamin, verse 24. Then the sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s servant, Dan and Naphtali, verse 25. And finally in verse 26, Gad and Asher, the sons of Zilpah, Leah’s servant. This verse closes by stating, “These were the sons of Jacob born to him in Paddan Aram” This is a generalization because, technically, as we’ve just seen, Benjamin wasn’t born in Paddam Aram but, according to Jewish tradition, was born somewhere between Ephrath, or Bethlehem, and Jerusalem.[33]

This chapter closes with the death of Isaac who has more or less been invisible since chapter 28 when he first sent Jacob away to Paddan Aram to find a wife. Starting with verse 27, we read “27 Jacob came home to his father Isaac in Mamre, near Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had stayed. 28 Isaac lived a hundred and eighty years. 29 Then he breathed his last and died and was gathered to his people, old and full of years. And his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.” As Abraham’s sons, Isaac and Ishmael, had come together to bury their father when he died,[34] so now did Isaac’s sons, Esau and Jacob, do for him.

Well as we turn to Hebrews 10 in the New Testament, I want to focus upon the importance of proper conduct in the house of God. As we’ve noted in the opening account from Genesis 35, before Jacob returned to Bethel to build an altar to God, he had “his household and…all who were with him” get rid of any and all foreign gods and purify themselves.[35] Though this account predates worship in the later tabernacle,[36] the even later temple, and the still later synagogue which continues to exist today among Jewish believers, the account in Genesis 35 establishes a theme concerning the importance of approaching God’s holiness with a proper attitude and conduct.

Hebrews 10 provides a similar emphasis as the author exhorts, beginning with verse 19, “19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body,….” These verses hearken back to when Jesus died on the cross and “the curtain of the temple” that separated the Holy place from the Most Holy place, or Holy of Holies,[37] “was torn in two from top to bottom,”[38] providing us, through Christ and Christ alone, direct access to our heavenly Father. The only reason believers in Christ can have confidence to enter “the Most Holy Place,” the Holy of Holies—a place that in former times could only be approached by the high priest who could do so only one day a year on the Day of Atonement—is because Jesus’ death, the sacrifice of his body and his blood, has made this possible. As stated in verse 21, Jesus is “a great priest over the house of God.” In other words, Jesus is a great priest over us. For believers in Christ are now “Bethel,” the house of God. As the author of Hebrews earlier declares, “But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.”[39] As Paul similarly admonishes, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?”[40] As those who individually and corporately are indwelled by God’s Holy Spirit, we are God’s temple. We are God’s house. We are Bethel, the house of God.

Because of this, the author of Hebrews admonishes all followers of Christ to do the following:

First, verse 22: “let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” Because of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for us and our salvation, we can—without fear—draw near to him; we can—because of him—have the full assurance that faith brings. For he’s sprinkled our hearts with his sacrifice and cleansed our guilty consciences with the baptismal waters signifying our dying with Jesus, our being cleansed by his sacrifice, and our rising from death in and through him and him alone;

Second, verse 23: “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” We can have an unswerving, a steadfast, an unshakeable hope in the truth of who Christ Jesus is not because of anything in us but because Christ Jesus who promised, because God who promised, is faithful. For in and through Christ, and by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit he so generously gives, our heavenly Father will keep every promise he has made;

Third, verses 24–25: “24 …let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Having addressed our God-ward relationship, the author of Hebrews turns to our relationship with one another for we are Christians not only individually but corporately. We are, together, Christ’s temple; we are, together, Bethel, the house of God. Therefore we’re to emulate our dear Jesus by spurring one another on toward love and good deeds; therefore we’re to meet together—unlike the habit of some—so that we might encourage one another. And as was true at the time at which Hebrews was written, we must remember the Day of Christ’s final return, the day in which he returns as Judge to separate the sheep—those who believe he is God’s Son and have committed their lives to serving him—from the goats—those who don’t believe this.[41]

We see in this that proper conduct in the household of God requires from us that wonderful triad of faith, hope, and love:[42]

The assurance that faith brings allows us to draw near to God with a sincere heart (verse 22);

Therefore we can have unswerving hope in God who is faithful (verse 23);

Thus can we put our love for him and one another in action as we spur one another toward love and good deeds, don’t neglect meeting together, and encourage one another knowing that the Day of Christ’s judgment and return is upon us.

Dear brothers and sisters, if we do these things as we live out the earthly part of our lives, we will be able to testify, along with Jacob, how God has answered us in our day of distress and been with us wherever we have gone (Genesis 35:3). As we seek to persevere and live our lives on the anchors of faith, hope, and love for God, let us remember that Jesus Christ, who is ever the Son of God and as God will keep every promise he has made, told his disciples after rising from death and ascending to heaven, “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”[43]

Let us pray.

Benediction: 2 Corinthians 13:14: May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

 

[1] Genesis 33:18–20: 18 After Jacob came from Paddan Aram, he arrived safely at the city of Shechem in Canaan and camped within sight of the city. 19 For a hundred pieces of silver, he bought from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem, the plot of ground where he pitched his tent. 20 There he set up an altar and called it El Elohe Israel.

[2] These events are recorded in Genesis 27. See sermon preached on October 11, 2020, Treasure God, on Genesis 21:41–28:9.

[3] These events are recorded in Genesis 28. See sermon preached on October 18, 2020, Let’s Follow the Angels!, on Genesis 28:10–22.

[4] See Exodus 34:14: Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.; This underscores the first commandment God gave Moses Exodus 20:4–6:You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.;

[5] Genesis 31:9: When Laban had gone to shear his sheep, Rachel stole her father’s household gods.

[6] Genesis 28:20–22: If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear 21 so that I return safely to my father’s household, then the Lord will be my God 22 and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God’s house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.

[7] According to the Reformation ESV Study Bible note on Genesis 35:4, this may have been the sacred tree—or “terebinth” tree—associated with the LORD appearing to Abraham. The incident referred to is found in Genesis 12:6–7:Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. The Lord appeared to Abram and said, ‘To your offspring I will give this land.’ So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him.”

[8] Reformation ESV Study Bible note on Genesis 35:4.

[9] Genesis 34:30.

[10] i.e., the God of Bethel.

[11] The Crossway ESV Study Bible note on Genesis 35:8 goes so far as to state, “Her presence with Jacob may suggest that she had been sent to him by Rebekah in fulfillment of her promise….” This would have been the promise she made when she first sent Jacob away after he stole Esau’s inheritance in Genesis 27:41–45: 41 Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him. He said to himself, “The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob.” 42 When Rebekah was told what her older son Esau had said, she sent for her younger son Jacob and said to him, “Your brother Esau is planning to avenge himself by killing you. 43 Now then, my son, do what I say: Flee at once to my brother Laban in Harran. 44 Stay with him for a while until your brother’s fury subsides. 45 When your brother is no longer angry with you and forgets what you did to him, I’ll send word for you to come back from there. Why should I lose both of you in one day?” Yet given the events described at the time of Jacob’s return, I think this possibility unlikely. Genesis 31:1–3 indicates a different reason for Jacob’s return, namely, “1 Jacob heard that Laban’s sons were saying, “Jacob has taken everything our father owned and has gained all this wealth from what belonged to our father.” And Jacob noticed that Laban’s attitude toward him was not what it had been. Then the Lord said to Jacob, “Go back to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and I will be with you.”

[12] Genesis 24:59. Emphasis added.

[13] Genesis 32:28: Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.” See sermon preached on November 15, 2020, Jacob’s Prayer to the God of Abraham and Isaac, on Genesis 32.

[14] Genesis 17:1, 4–5, 11: 1When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless….“As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations…. 11 You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you.

[15] Genesis 28:3: May God Almightybless you and make you fruitful and increase your numbers until you become a community of peoples.

[16] Genesis 1:28: God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

[17] Genesis 9:1: Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth….”

[18] Genesis 12:1–3: 1 The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. 2 I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”; Genesis 13:16: I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted.; Genesis 15:5–6:He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.; And, as already noted, Genesis 17:5–7:No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you; Genesis 22:16–18: “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”

[19] Genesis 26:23–24: 23 From there he went up to Beersheba. 24 That night the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bless you and will increase the number of your descendants for the sake of my servant Abraham.”

[20] Bethel means “house of God.”

[21] Genesis 28:18–19: 18 Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it. 19 He called that place Bethel, though the city used to be called Luz.

[22] Genesis 30:24.

[23] Crossway ESV Study Bible note on Genesis 35:18 translates the beginning of the verse not “As she breathed her last” as does the NIV but “her soul was departing,” noting: “This is one place in the OT [sic] where the word ‘soul’ (Hb. Nephesh) denotes what gives life to the body.”

[24] Mark 3:16: These are the twelve [Jesus] appointed: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter),….

[25] E.g., Acts 9:22–25: 22 Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah.

23 After many days had gone by, there was a conspiracy among the Jews to kill him, 24 but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him. 25 But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall.  

[26] See, for example, Acts 13:9: Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said,….

[27] As noted last week, Jacob later told Simeon and Levi, as recorded in Genesis 49:5–7: 5 Simeon and Levi are brothers—their swords are weapons of violence. 6 Let me not enter their council, let me not join their assembly, for they have killed men in their anger and hamstrung oxen as they pleased. 7 Cursed be their anger, so fierce, and their fury, so cruel! I will scatter them in Jacob and disperse them in Israel.

[28] Genesis 49:3–4.

[29] Genesis 29:28–29: 28 And Jacob did so. He finished the week with Leah, and then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife. 29 Laban gave his servant Bilhah to his daughter Rachel as her attendant.

[30] Reformation ESV Study Bible note on Genesis 35:22.

[31] Genesis 49:10: The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he to whom it belongs shall come and the obedience of the nations shall be his.

[32] Matthew 1:1–2: 1 This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham: Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,….

[33] Crossway ESV Bible Study note on Genesis 35:16–20.

[34] Genesis 25:7–10: Abraham lived a hundred and seventy-five years. Then Abraham breathed his last and died at a good old age, an old man and full of years; and he was gathered to his people. His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah near Mamre, in the field of Ephron son of Zohar the Hittite, 10 the field Abraham had bought from the Hittites. There Abraham was buried with his wife Sarah.

[35] Genesis 35:2: So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Get rid of the foreign gods you have with you, and purify yourselves and change your clothes.

[36] E.g., the LORD said to Moses in Exodus 25:8–9, 22:“Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you…. 22 There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the covenant law, I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites.

 

[37] Exodus 26:33b: The curtain will separate the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place.

[38] Matthew 27:51. See also Mark 15:38: The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.

[39] Hebrews 3:6. Emphasis added.

[40] 1 Corinthians 3:16. See also 1 Peter 2:5: …you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house [or temple of the Spirit] to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ

[41] See Matthew 25:31–46. The King tells the sheep, verses 34–36: “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” But the King tells the goats, verses 41–43: “‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.”

[42] See 1 Corinthians 13:13: And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

[43] Matthew 28:20b.