Properly Understanding The Prophet's Meaning of The Holy of Holies

Continued from Part 2

Anointing the Holy of Holies

The expression “and to anoint the Holy of Holies” refers to the reestablished Second Temple (Ezekiel 46:12) and the office of high priest (1 Chronicles 23:13).3  With all the tremendous positive strides made during the Second Temple period a national and spiritual disunity prevailed.  

Temple expansion by the cruel Herod the Great, an avarice priestly hierarchy starting with the Hasmoneans debased the priesthood and its function impeding the termination of sin and iniquity through corrupt practices.  At a time when Jerusalem was surrounded by the Romans internecine deeds weakened the defenders of Jerusalem.  Sectarian groups arose during this period endangering the spiritual welfare of Israel.

The vision expresses succinctly the ideal expectation God desired of the returnees from exile.  At the same time, it indicates that this ideal would not find its complete fulfillment and that once more the nation would go into exile.  The irony of this exile would be that the greatest tormentors of the Jewish people were a metamorphic offshoot deriving from one of the sects of this period  ̶ ̶  the followers of Jesus of Nazareth.

Was Jesus the awaited Messiah coming to save his people and, as claimed, the whole of mankind?  Is it true that the Seventy Week passage predicts the coming of Jesus as Messiah?

The Seventy Week passage does not make any predictions about Jesus.  Even if one assumed for a moment that the passage was messianic in content it would still not refer to Jesus.  Israel waits for the arrival of the true Messiah but the negatives that could be found in the national milieu do not indicate that it needed the intrusion of this false messianic personality called Jesus of Nazareth.  Christian interpretations strain at credulity in attempts to identify this passage with Jesus, but these attempts do not remain true to either the biblical text or historical data found in secular sources.

3 The term Kodesh kadashim (“holy of holies”) is used in the Scriptures in a variety of ways, of material objects particularly sacred to God and of sacred places including the Devir or innermost shrine of the Temple.  Thus, it refers to the altar (Exodus 29:37, 30:10), the holy objects of the Holy Place or Temple (Numbers 18:10; Ezekiel 43:12, 45:3; 48:12; Daniel 9:24), the holy incense (Exodus 30:36), the showbread (Leviticus 24:9), the priestly portion of peace offerings (Leviticus 2:3,10; 6:10; 10:12), the sin offerings (Leviticus 6:18, 22), offerings in general (Leviticus 21:22; Numbers 18:9; Ezekiel 42:13,44:13  Ezra 2:63; Nehemiah 7:65; 2 Chronicles 31:14), the Holy Place of the Tabernacle or Temple (Exodus 26:33-34; 1 Kings 6:16, 7:50, 8:6; Ezekiel 41:4; 2 Chronicles 3:8, 10).

© Gerald Sigal