Shekinah

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The section which follows is a chapter from Fred P Miller’s
book, Zechariah and Jewish
Renewal

Prophecies of the return of the “Shekinah,” which had left the
Temple and city of Jerusalem in the days of Ezekiel, are repeated
in Zechariah. These same prophecies are also fulfilled in the
historical period and record of Zechariah. To better understand
these prophecies it is necessary to have an acquaintance with the
history of the “Shekinah.”

Objection is made that the word “Shekinah,” (), is not
found in the scripture in its noun form and that it describes a
concept that is not scriptural. It is said that the word is
coined by Post-biblical Rabbinic scholars. While it is admitted
that the Rabbinic concept of God being a hovering non-personal
force is an unacceptable extension of meaning, the concept of a
physical manifestation of God’s localized dwelling is
none-the-less scriptural. We have chosen to use the word
“Shekinah,” (shknh) , to name this “presence” since this meaning
is in general distribution among many Christians, albeit ignorant
of the origin of the word.

The word was coined from verbal cognates in the Bible which
describe the “presence” of God in a locality. The verbal
cognates are copiously used to describe the “Shekinah”
appearances. The word “Shekinah,” itself is not in the
biblical text but the concept, as I have defined it, clearly is.
The word most certainly is derived from “shakan,” and whoever
first used the word “Shekinah” coined it as a substantive (noun
form) from the verbal forms used to describe the “abiding,
dwelling, or habitation” of the physical manifestations of God
described in Ex 24:16;
Ex 40:35, Nu 9:16-18; and numerous other
places where “shakan” is used. The word is also used to describe
the mystical “Shekinah” presence in the tabernacle. The word
“mishkan,” (), a derivative of
“shakan,” (), is often
translated “tabernacle.” The Hebrew for tabernacle is more often
simply “ohel,” (), or tent. “Mishkan” means “dwelling
place.” That is, the “dwelling place” of “Him who dwells” or
“Shekinah.”

“Shekinah” in Hebrew is a a feminine noun, It is interesting that Isaiah refers to the Shekinah using
feminine pronouns. Especially in Isaiah 51.
Particularly in Isaiah 51:9and 10 and its context the pronouns are
feminine. In verse 10 the KJV uses thou and it to refer to the Shekinah. Both pronouns are feminine in
Hebrew. The Qumran text makes the feminine form certain by adding a yod to
2fs. Literally feminine “you she” translated in KJV “thou it.” Without doubt this is why the inter-testament Rabbis coined the word Shekinah to describe the events where the physical presence performed miracles to guide and protect Israel. In the same passage (Isa 51:9) there is a phrase “arm of YHWH” that is used exclusively for the Messiah. This means Jesus was the Shekinah presence in the Old Testament events. That is why the coming of the Messiah and the return of the Shekinah to the second temple are intermixed in the extraordinarily mystically mixed passage of Zechariah 2:8-11.

Zechariah uses cognates of the word in referring to the return
of, the then absent, “presence” which he supposed was imminent.
We will show that Zechariah previewed an imminent restoration of
what Ezekiel (seventy years previously) saw depart in his day and
then predicted the return of to a restored temple. What ever
noun one calls it, such physical representations of the
“presence” are in the Bible. What did Ezekiel see leave the
temple? It is certain that what ever name you call the
“presence” it is linked with the fiery cloud of Sinai. We have
chosen to use the word “Shekinah” to name the biblically
described mystical thing “dwelling” or thing “abiding.”

I also accept that “Cavod YHWH,” () (glory of the LORD) and
“Shekinah” are identical in the contexts I make reference to,
such as the fire enfolding cloud on Sinai, (Ex. 24:15-17) the
dedication of Solomon’s temple, and that which is associated with
Ezekiel’s vision of the departure and return.

To say that “Shekinah” is not in a text where the presence of
God is described by a cognate of “shakan” may be closely akin to
saying “baptism” does not appear in the great commission passages
and Acts 2:38 because verbal cognates (baptized, baptizing) are
used and not the noun “baptism” itself.

The Hebrew verb “shakan,” (), simply means to take up
residence with long continuity in a neighborhood. The
distinction between this word and “yashav” which is also
translated “dwell” is just this: You can use the latter to mean
an individual doing the dwelling without reference to others or
to duration while “shakan” means a protracted dwelling in the
midst of a neighborhood or a group of people or might be limited
to one other person but only by extension. The primary meaning is
to reside and continue as a member of the community. This is a
common word used for all classes to convey this idea. However,
when it refers to God it takes on an added mysticism which is
obvious upon small consideration.

When verbal forms are translated as nouns the word sometimes
means “habitat.” It is the habitat of animals and birds as well
as humans and God. (Dan. 4:21) Grammatically, when verbal forms
are translated as nouns, in Hebrew, they are called
“substantives.” Technically, “Shekinah”, therefore is a
substantive rather than a noun.

God speaks of his “desire” for this relationship with his
people. The “Shekinah” therefore refers to the presence of God
that was, but is not now, physically manifested in the time-
space continuum. It could be seen. The presence was a vehicle of
the person of God in the three dimensional world. The
understanding of Solomon that God can not actually be limited to
Temples on earth because of his eternal nature is seen in 1Ki.
8:27:

“But will God indeed dwell [“yashav”] on the earth?
behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain you; how
much less this house that I have built?”

This omniscient eternal presence of the Almighty, that Solomon
recognized, is the heavenly, but not the earthly, “Shekinah.”
Although the infinite spiritual presence is and was coincident
with the physically discernable “Shekinah,” it was distinguished
from the physical even in Mosaic times. It is only in this
infinite way that the “Shekinah” is now manifested. He indwells
his people as a spirit. Isa. 57:15 says as much:

“For thus says the high and lofty One who inhabits
(“shakan”) eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell (“shakan”) in
the high and holy place, and with him also that is of a contrite
and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to
revive the heart of the contrite ones.”

“Who inhabits” In this passage the word
“shokeyn,” () translated “who inhabits,” is as close to the meaning
and direct use of the word “Shekinah” (), in the Bible, as
one will find. The Hebrew letters, in the order they are
pronounced, are sh = sh, = o, k = k, = ey, n = n. The
unpointed original Hebrew is simply (). The form is a
masculine participle and literally means “He who inhabits” or
“the one who is inhabiting.” This refers to God Himself.
According to this verse, He is the “Inhabiter” of heaven and
human hearts at one and the same time! The word “Shekinah”
, which describes the physical thing which was “proof” of
his “dwelling” on earth in the Mosaic dispensation, is akin to
this construction. In fact, it is the identically same word,
only the gender is changed. If you simply add the feminine
ending to change it from a masculine to a feminine participle
“shokeyn,” (shkn), becomes “Shekinah” (shknh). Thus, the
masculine form of the substantive “Shekinah” does appear in the
Bible in Isaiah 57:15.

In the Mosaic period the added physical “Shekinah” presence was
evidence of the real which is omnipresent and unseen. In the
Mosaic dispensation the “Shekinah” presence was physically
disturbing. The presence was not God. It was a physical
manifestation of the actual presence of God among his people and
is to be distinguished from the “angel of the LORD.” It was
first evident in the crossing of the Red Sea in the escape from
Egypt. There the “Shekinah” appeared as a cloudy pillar in the
day and a fiery pillar at night. The nation was led by the
“Shekinah” for forty years after which the “holy presence” of the
omniscient God inhabited the tabernacle and the land of Israel.
It was not always afterward physically manifested. Thus:

(Num. 35:34) “Defile not therefore
the land which you shall inhabit, wherein I dwell: [“shakan”] for
I the LORD dwell [“shakan”] among the children of Israel.”

However when that presence was physically
manifested it was frightening to those who beheld
it.

(Ex. 24:15) And Moses went up into
the mount, and a cloud covered the mount. (Ex. 24:16) And the
glory of the LORD [“Cavod YHWH”] abode [“shakan”] upon mount
Sinai and the cloud covered it six days; and the seventh day he
called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud. (Ex. 24:17) And
the sight of the glory of the LORD [“Cavod YHWH”] was like
devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the
children of Israel.

Earlier, the seventy elders had gone up into the cloud and
actually saw the “Shekinah” glory, and they were so afraid they
asked Moses never to take them again. As far as they were
concerned, they saw God! You can only imagine their hair on end
and their wide eyed appearance as they came down from the
mountain exclaiming “We saw God! It was terrible!”

(Ex. 24:10) And they saw the God of
Israel; and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a
sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his
clearness. (Ex. 24:11) And upon the nobles of the children of
Israel he laid not his hand; also they saw God, and did eat and
drink.

The mixture of clarity and confusion in similar passages is
evidence of the mystical nature of the experience. They were
disoriented and afraid and the later writing of the event records
the confusion.

The appearance a few days earlier of the physical presence of
God on Mount Sinai is described as fire and cloud and thick
darkness when the ten commandments were given. The Psalms
contains a description of this event calling it a “Shekinah”
presence. The description is in a Messianic portion and the
Messiah is the “Shekinah” presence. He indwells [“shakan”] his
people.

(Ps. 68:16) “Why do you leap, you
high hills? this is the hill [Sinai] which God desires to dwell
[“shakan”] in; yea, the LORD will dwell in it for ever. (Ps.
68:17) The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of
angels: the LORD is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place.
(Ps. 68:18) You have ascended on high, you have led captivity
captive: you have received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious
also, that the LORD God might dwell [shakan] among
them.”

He was on Mt. Sinai when the hills leaped, and verse 18 speaks
of the resurrection and ascension which results in the indwelling
of his people! These are New Testament applications that place
Jesus of Nazareth in the events of Sinai in the Old Testament.

Later the physical “Shekinah” presence of God took up residence
in the completed tabernacle and was apparent to the whole nation.

This is recorded in Ex. 40:34:

Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation,
and the glory of the LORD [“Cavod YHWH”] filled the tabernacle.
(Ex. 40:35) And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the
congregation, because the cloud abode [shakan] on it, and the
glory of the LORD [“Cavod YHWH,”] filled the tabernacle. (Ex.
40:36) And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle,
the children of Israel went onward in all their journeys; (Ex.
40:37) But if the cloud were not taken up, then they journeyed
not till the day that it was taken up. (Ex. 40:38) For the cloud
of the LORD was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by
night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all
their journeys.

The same event is recorded in Num. 9:15

And on the day that the tabernacle was reared up
the cloud covered the tabernacle, namely, the tent of the
testimony: and at even there was upon the tabernacle as it were
the appearance of fire, until the morning. (Num. 9:16) So it was
always: the cloud covered it by day, and the appearance of fire
by night. (Num. 9:17) And when the cloud was taken up from the
tabernacle, then after that the children of Israel journeyed; and
in the place where the cloud abode, there the children of Israel
pitched their tents.

There are other mystical moments when the direct intervention
of God was manifest in a “Shekinah” presence to Moses. At the
time of the setting up of the tabernacle before it was furnished
God spoke to Moses out of the cloud and Moses realized the
“Shekinah” was a vehicle and not God. He asked for more — to
“see” God! God allowed him to see a larger portion of his
physical presence. Thus:

(Ex. 33:18) “And he said, I beseech
you, show me your glory. [He was speaking to God’s voice coming
from the “Shekinah.”] (Ex. 33:19) And he said, I will make all my
goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the
LORD before you, and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious,
and will show mercy on whom I will shew mercy. (Ex. 33:20) And he
said, You can not see my face; for no man shall see me, and
live.”

After the entrance into the promised land God’s presence was
manifested spiritually in the tabernacle and not often in a
physical way. The actual presence was always accepted as being
in the tabernacle, and later in the Temple, but was not always
physically confirmed by the visible “Shekinah.” But to the
people of that dispensation under the Mosaic covenant there were
occasional renewals of a miraculous appearance of the “Shekinah.”

This happened again when the Temple of Solomon was dedicated.
There was an initial appearance in a vision when the LORD
promised that he would “shakan” or dwell in the house that
Solomon was constructing.

(1Ki. 6:11) And the word of the
LORD came to Solomon, saying, (1Ki. 6:12) Concerning this house
which you are building, if you will walk in my statutes, and
execute my judgments, and keep all my commandments to walk in
them; then will I perform my word with you, which I spoke to
David your father; (1Ki. 6:13) And I will dwell [“shakan”] among
the children of Israel, and will not forsake my people Israel.
(1Ki. 6:14) So Solomon built the house, and finished
it.

Solomon then visited the tabernacle which was not in Jerusalem
but at Gibeon. The ark of the covenant was in Jerusalem, however
in a different tent.

(1Ch 16:39) And Zadok the priest,
and his brethren the priests, before the tabernacle of the Lord
in the high place that was in Gibeon, (1Ch 21:29) For the
tabernacle of the Lord, which Moses made in the wilderness, and
the altar of the burnt offering, were at that season in the high
place at Gibeon.

The ark of the covenant, which had been taken from the
tabernacle by the sons of Eli and was captured by Philistines,
had then been sent by the Philistines back to Judah. Eli’s
daughter-in-law called the taking of the ark the departure of the
glory of Israel.

(1Sa 4:21) And she named the child Ichabod, saying, The glory
is departed from Israel: because the ark of God was taken, and
because of her father in law and her husband.

After an unhappy experience with the ark the Philistines sent
it back to Israel. Cows heavy with milk had left their calves
and borne the ark from the Philistines to the house of Obed Edom.

It was from there after many years that David would bring up the
ark to Jerusalem, in the part of the city called Zion, where he
set it in a specially prepared tent. It was not restored to the
Tabernacle.

(2Ch 1:4) But the ark of God had David brought up
from Kiriath Jearim to the place which David had prepared for it:
for he had pitched a tent for it at Jerusalem
.

But the tabernacle stayed in Gibeon about ten miles
north of Jerusalem.

(1Ch 21:29) For the tabernacle of the Lord, which
Moses made in the wilderness, and the altar of the burnt
offering, were at that season in the high place at
Gibeon

It was from there about ten miles north, that its furniture was
brought to the completed Temple of Solomon.

(2Ch 5:2) Then Solomon assembled the elders of
Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers
of the children of Israel, to Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of
the covenant of the Lord out of the city of David, which is
Zion…(2Ch 5:5) And they brought up the ark, and the tabernacle
of the congregation, and all the holy vessels that were in the
tabernacle, these did the priests and the Levites bring up.

They brought the tabernacle and its furniture from Gibeon and
the ark was brought from Zion, less than a mile from the Temple.
Then the Temple was dedicated.


(2Ch 5:13) It came to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as
one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the
Lord; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and
cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the Lord, saying,
For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: that then the
house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord;

Thus the same incident is recorded in 1 Ki.8, when on the day
of the dedication of Solomon’s Temple there was a physical
miracle of the presence of God. The “Shekinah” would no longer
be associated with the tabernacle but was to be transferred to
the Temple; therefore this manifestation was necessary to that
generation because the Law of Moses was being amended in this
point, and God showed his approval of the amendment to His legal
system by the manifestation of the “Shekinah.”

(1Ki. 8:10) And it came to pass, when the priests
were come out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house
of the LORD, (1Ki. 8:11) So that the priests could not stand to
minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD [“Cavod
YHWH”] had filled the house of the LORD. (1Ki. 8:12) Then spoke
Solomon, The LORD said that he would dwell [shakan] in the thick
darkness. (1Ki. 8:13) I have surely built you an house to dwell
in, a settled place for you to abide in for
ever.

There are conditions connected to God’s “forever” promises as
is already seen since he was to indwell the tabernacle forever.
Thus, at the destruction of the first Temple, He did not allow
his “Shekinah” presence to stay in the Temple after a certain
level of corruption had taken place. The surprise is that God’s
indwelling remained so long. He evidently loves us so much that
he endures more than any human judge would think possible.
Jerusalem was more corrupt than we would think God would endure
all of the last days of Jehoiakim and Jehoiachin and most of the
reign of Zedekiah. However, Ezekiel’s vision of the departure of
the “Shekinah” from the Temple and city was not until after the
beginning of the final siege of the city by Nebuchadnezzar just
before its destruction.

Ezekiel’s description of the “Shekinah” is more detailed but is
similar to what the seventy elders saw on Mount Sinai recorded in
Ex. 24. (It might be inserted here as a warning to those who have
the Holy Spirit living in them that Nadab and Abihu were among
those who “saw God.”) Ezekiel’s description of the “Shekinah” in
chapter one of his prophecy is physically exciting just to read.
Imagine actually seeing it! It is described as fire enfolding
itself borne by cherubic creatures whose appearance pulsated with
undulating light, themselves borne by gyroscopic double wheels.
Lightning came out of the midst of the fire surrounded by clear
sapphire where a man like person on a throne sat in an electric
eye. If electricity is anachronistic, the word is none the less
“chashmal” which is the modern Hebrew word for electricity. The
Septuagint has “electrum” and so does the Vulgate! What ever
“chashmal” and “electrum” meant to the ancients who used these
words it can only be said that “‘eyn chashmal” in Hebrew and
“opsin electrou” in Greek and “speciem electri” found in Latin in
Eze. 1:27 is not “amber” as in the English translation. The word
“color” does not appear in the text. There are other
descriptions of the elements of the “Shekinah” that Ezekiel saw
leaving a then desolate Temple. The building was still there but
was desolate before it was destroyed!

The Departure and Return of the
“Shekinah.”

Ezekiel saw both the departure of the “Shekinah” and the return
in two separate visions separated in time by a number of years.
The “Shekinah” would later return to the Temple after the
initiation of the building under Zerubbabel but before the
arrival of Ezra and Nehemiah. Ezekiel saw the restored Temple in
a vision while it actually lay desolate and Jerusalem and Judea
were all but uninhabited. Ezekiel’s vision, of events that
happened after his own death, describes the same “skekinah,”
which he saw first in chapter one, afterward leave the Temple in
chapter ten. At the beginning of chapter ten the “Shekinah” was
still in the Temple:

(Eze. 10:4) Then the glory of the LORD [“Cavod YHWH”]
went up from the cherub, and stood over the threshold of the
house; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was
full of the brightness of the LORD’s glory [“Cavod YHWH”].

But preparations were made to take the “Shekinah”
from the Temple and then from the city itself.

(Eze. 10:19) And the cherubim lifted up their wings,
and mounted up from the earth in my sight; when they went out,
the wheels also were beside them, and every one stood at the door
of the east gate of the LORD’s house; and the glory of the God of
Israel was over them above.

Then the actual departure is
recorded:

(Eze. 11:23) And the glory of the LORD [“Cavod YHWH”]
went up from the midst of the city, and stood on the mountain
which is on the east side of the city.

Ezekiel, still in a vision, returned to the captives in Babylon
and reported this event. He would later see in a vision the
restored second Temple which is recorded in chapters 40-43. In
his vision of the Temple, as it would be after it would have been
rebuilt, Ezekiel saw the “Shekinah” return to the Temple. Thus
is that event recorded which he says was the same “Shekinah” that
left the Temple and would then be returned to a future restored
Temple:

(Eze. 43:2) And, behold, the glory of the God of
Israel came from the way of the east; and his voice was like a
noise of many waters; and the earth shined with his glory. (Eze.
43:3) And it was according to the appearance of the vision which
I saw, even according to the vision that I saw when I came to
destroy the city; and the visions were like the vision that I saw
by the river Chebar; and I fell on my face. (Eze. 43:4) And the
glory of the LORD [“Cavod YHWH”] came into the house by the way
of the gate whose prospect is toward the east. (Eze. 43:5) So the
spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and,
behold, the glory of the LORD [“Cavod YHWH”] filled the house.
(Eze. 43:6) And I heard him speaking to me out of the house; and
the man stood by me. (Eze. 43:7) And he said to me, Son of man,
the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet,
where I will dwell [shakan] in the midst of the children of
Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no
more defile, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom,
nor by the carcasses of their kings in their high places.

This event which Ezekiel saw in a vision was fulfilled. It
happened in the days of Zerubbabel and is recorded by Zechariah.
The lives of Zechariah and Ezekiel overlapped. They were both
prophets and priests. Surely they knew of each other and it is
likely they met. Zechariah knew of the visions of the departure
of the “Shekinah” and the return and therefore he records the
predictions of the return that would fulfill the same future
event which Ezekiel saw. Thus God first foretells his “Shekinah”
return.

(Zec. 2:10) Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion:
for, lo, I come, and I will dwell [shakan] in the midst of you,
says the LORD.

This verse is a prediction of the return of the “Shekinah”
which was imminent but had not happened yet when Zechariah wrote
this in the second year of Darius. In what follows he foretells
the, future but imminent, long period of continuity of the
restored “Shekinah” called “that day,” meaning that the period of
time beginning with the restoration of the “Shekinah” would
extend to the call of the Gentiles.

(Zec. 2:11) And many nations shall be joined to the
LORD in that day, and shall be my people; and I will dwell
[“shakan”] in the midst of you, and you shall know that the LORD
of hosts has sent me to you.

This verse also introduces references to a dual “Shekinah”
return and presence. One is to take place at the completion of
the Temple and the other to extend to the presence of the one who will actually be the “Shekinah, whom YHWH will have sent to call the Gentiles.

See also notes on Zecariah 2:8-11.

The Return of the “Shekinah” to the Restored
Temple

From the time that Zechariah began to prophesy in the second
year of Darius it would be approximately four years before the
Temple would be finished and dedicated. The building itself
would be partially finished and complete enough after two years
of committed rebuilding that it would be called, in chapter
seven, “the house of God.” It is in chapter eight that God
speaks and says that He has returned the “Shekinah.” There is no
record of the actual event. Whether it was associated with
physical phenomena is not told. The only physical description is
in the vision of Ezekiel which was not a material event.
Nonetheless the “Shekinah” and the real presence of the
omniscient God returned to the rededicated Temple on time, either
at the dedication or in anticipation as noted in
Zec. 8:3.

“Thus says the Lord; I am returned to Zion, and
will dwell [“shakan”] in the midst of Jerusalem; and Jerusalem
shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the LORD of
hosts the holy mountain.”

(See notes in the text on these verses where the tenses of the
verbs are discussed. The reason for different translations of
the tenses of the verbs in several different versions which say
that the “Shekinah” has returned or shall return is discussed
there)

Before the dedication of the Temple Darius the Persian, a
non-Jewish believer, sent letters, to the neighboring Syrians in
response to their attempts to stop the rebuilding then
progressing under Zerubbabel, in which he spoke of the “Shekinah”
as present in Jerusalem.

(Ezr. 6:12) And the God that has caused his name to dwell
[shakan] there destroy all kings and people, that shall put to
their hand to alter and to destroy this house of God which is at
Jerusalem. I Darius have made a decree; let it be done with
speed.

Here Darius attributes to God his decision to dwell or
“shakan,” as being completed. Thus the return of his “Shekinah”
presence in Jerusalem is considered as a fact. This is before
the dedication of the completed Temple and was before or would
nearly coincide with the time of Zec. 7:1 and Zec. 8:3.

A generation later a new Persian king would send
Ezra and mention the “Shekinah.”


(Ezr. 7:15) And to carry the silver and gold, which the king and
his counsellors have freely offered unto the God of Israel, whose
habitation [Heb. mishkan] is in Jerusalem.

This last comment is made by Artaxerxes Longimanus who
commissioned Ezra and who says the habitation [“Shekinah”] of God
is in Jerusalem. These sources are quoted by Porten, an active
Jewish writer currently living in Jerusalem. His position seems
to favor the return of the “skekinah” before the actual
dedication.

The Golden Age to come, which Zechariah said was to follow the
return of the “Shekinah,” describes the city and surrounding
areas being at peace in an age where people can grow old in a
secure environment. To those who lived in Jerusalem, in the
hearing of Zechariah, that would indeed be a marvel, so great was
the continuing desolation of the place. This continuing
desolation, after the return but before the rebuilding, was
portrayed by Daniel:

(Dan. 9:12) And he has confirmed his words, which he
spoke against us, and against our judges that judged us, by
bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven has not
been done as has been done upon Jerusalem.

But of the conditions which will follow the return of
the “Shekinah” Zechariah says:

(Zec. 8:4) Thus says the LORD of hosts; There shall
yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and
every man with his staff in his hand for very age. (Zec 8:5) And
the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing
in its streets. (Zec 8:6) Thus says the Lord of hosts, If it be
marvelous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these
days, should it [not] also be marvelous in my eyes? says the Lord
of hosts.

The Golden Age is described in the chapter on the
“Silent Years” in this book and in the verse by verse exposition of the
text. Zechariah tells in his prophecy that there will be times
of trouble in the distant future after the “Golden Age” and
speaks of the presence of God who would then stand on Mt. Olive.
We know that that one who stood on Mt. Olive is the embodiment of
the mystery of the Godhead. “In him all the fullness of the
Godhead dwells bodily.”

Jesus of Nazareth, himself the embodiment of God, the
manifestation of the Almighty, lived in Israel while the
“Shekinah” indwelt the Temple! He prophesied the departure of
the “Shekinah” which would make the Temple desolate:

(Mt. 23:37) “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the
prophets, and stone them which are sent to you, how often would I
have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her
chickens under her wings, and you would not! (Mt. 23:38) Behold,
your house is left to you desolate.”

When he died on the cross and his spirit left the body there
were accompanying earthquakes, darkness, and that slippage
between time and eternity that one would expect at such
extraordinary, inexplicable moments when the finite and infinite
meet. The dead bodies of many arose and walked in the city as a
result of his resurrection from the dead! But when he died, at
that very moment:

(Mt. 27:51) “the veil of the Temple was torn in two
from the top to the bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks
rent.”

That the veil of the Temple was rent in two indicates the
departure of the “Shekinah” from the then desolate Temple. The
Temple became desolate with the departure of the “Shekinah,” not
at the time of its destruction. It was made desolate by the
departure of the presence of God. Daniel, when prophesying of
the destruction of the city and the Temple, says that the
destruction would be poured out on that which had already been
made desolate. Dan. 9:26,27.

From thenceforth the Temple would be manifested in two ways.
Not in buildings but in the hearts of spiritual Israel, the
exiled ones called from among the Gentiles to bring their
treasures to Jerusalem. The assembled body of believers also has
the indwelling presence of which the “Shekinah” was a
representation in type. This same presence is in each obedient
believer. These dual aspects of the “Shekinah” were seen by
Zechariah who completes the Old Testament references to the
“Shekinah” events.

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