I Kings describes King Solomon's construction of the first temple, with its Holy of Holies, and it calls this most sacred space "the House of the Lord." Solomon, having finished the job, then declares to his God, in verse:
I have now built for YouA stately House,A place where YouMay dwell forever.
However, a few lines later Yahweh has departed, and this sanctuary has been given a new inhabitant. It is now not "the House of the Lord" but "the House for the name of the Lord." For Solomon has come to doubt the original Holy-of-Holies project as outlined in Exodus: "But will God really dwell on earth?" he asks. "Even the heavens to their uttermost reaches cannot contain You, how much less this House that I have built."
If Solomon himself has now concluded that there is no space anywhere that can house such an elusive God, how could Pompey expect to have found Him in that little room? How could even a high priest expect to meet Him there? The Holy of Holies must, in this view, be empty of God. And - based on what Solomon, "the wisest of all men," has suggested here - even the heaven's may be empty of such an uncontainable God.
That which, according to Solomon's reformulation, will occupy the sanctuary he has build is, to be sure, a distinguished resident in its own right: Yahweh's name is treated with great delicacy and respect by the Hebrews; it is to be pronounced, according to some versions of the tradition, only on that one day of the year in the Holy of Holies. Still, the name of the Lord is a very different tenant from the Lord Himself.
According to this new version of the lease, Solomon's Holy of Holies would contain no cloud or fire, just a word. This was more than a millennium before the arrival of silent reading, so Yahweh's name may have been among the first pieces of writing in human history that were not to be read out loud. The Holy of Holies - by this reckoning and on the assumption that the silent is less tangible than the enunciated - was the House of the world's most abstract word.
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should be “he has bulit is,”
delete the apostrophe, last line, in ‘heavens’
This is fascinating. Cf the ‘dominion’ over the planet, the animals and all things that God bestows upon Adam simply by giving him the power to name these; by naming, domesticating. Thus, to build a house for the name of the Lord is a symbolic way (as you’re gonna say later on) to domesticate (literally to make ‘at home’), to make present, to make visible for our limited field of vision [or, to contain/delimit] what is ‘not’… what is vast and w/out limit. And by doing so, presumably to discourage ‘doubt’…?
If the term in the original language (Hebrew?) could denote “word” rather than (or in addition to) “name”, then one could speculate that the “word of the Lord” inhabiting the chamber was the Commandments, i.e. the Ark.
As (apparently) Yuri Gagarin discovered when finally humans arrived in “space”!
Wasn’t there to be incense that would provide representation of the cloud?
And did not the name of a thing represent the essence itself in many ancient cultures, particularly in Mesopotamia and particularly in Israel? Hence the ban against using the name of God in an unworthy manner–declaring a prophecy or truth by his name (or authority–as if given direct knowledge) and later simply by speaking his name (or making your words authoritative by invoking his authority in using his name)? You make some good points but you don’t always seem to give justice to the traditions.
Not quite right: it is well known that after earlier being said freely, the tradition arose (perhaps around 300 BCE) that it was to be read aloud in a substituted form —
“my lord” – instead of the pronunciation of the letters as written.
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