11th March 2013, hej
This Article: (4 Pages)
3) Palm trees
The way Ezekiel speaks of the palms in his vision, they form a significant part of what he sees.
They are measured but there appears no measurement for them. Their measurement is that of the the posts on the posts. We can then divide the measurement in two, to account for both sides. Looking at the structural proportion, as gravity won't change that much, and this temple is on earth, this is logical. Sixty cubits is about 30m. At 15m the proportions for the posts' width-to-height are right. It is very high, imagine walking into a lobby which is over 5 stories high. But It's also rational.
What if the palms (plural) on the posts formed the arches (collonade)?The concept of palm trees forming the arches
A building made in 1936-39 has became famous for a palm-tree-like structure. The Johnson wax building began an approach to structure like 'palm trees', though they are called 'lilies'. The beauty of this is that it lets light between the structure.
This idea is even more evident in more recent work by an architect named Santiago Calatrava, now working from out of Switzerland. The 'trees' are, more open, and the light that comes through the structure much brighter.
In the description Ezekiel is given the overall plan dimension then shown
Ezekiel 40:16 narrow windows (perforated) to (near, with or among: -about, according to, after, against, because of, by, for)
and to (near, among) their posts (strong support, lintels, tree) within the gate round about (on all sides), and likewise to the arches (collonade, portico): and windows (perforated) round about inward:
and upon the posts palm trees (plural).
It seems a description of how light enters the space. His eye travels from the chambers up. He describes what he sees between (or among) the structure, right up to the roof and ceiling. The top is described as palm trees being on the post.
If it's to stun the world, it's going to be more remarkable than anything ever seen. What I might dress the plan as might be close, but it's still going to be far short of the glory. Something that we might now imagine, is only as a pale shadow, but which in reality will be stunning.
When Ezekiel was in the collonade, that is standing between the posts, he looked up and saw palm trees. It seems likely, as there is no description of the roof at all, that they are the roof.
It makes even sense that the one measurement is from the post top, up the palm tree over the top of the branch to the other palm tree, to form the collonade. If indeed the palm fronds meet in a smooth arch (not a pointed one), one measurement makes sense as it would be hard to find a point to stop on the smooth curve. Structurally that makes sense too.
How much like a palm tree might it be?
The word for palm trees occurs 18 times in the Bible. Israel camped by 70 palm trees. Jericho is called the city of palm trees. Palm trees were used to decorate the ceiling in the temple,
And the greater house he cieled with fir tree, which he overlaid with fine gold, and set thereon palm trees and chains. (2Chron. 3:5)
The palm tree is associated with the feast of Tabernacles, and is the same word as used in Ezekiel (Leviticus 23:40, Nehemiah 8:15).
In each case it is literal, except the decoration of the ceiling of the Temple. But even in that context the implication is that in some way the literal palm tree was reflected in the decorative ones, including their gracious branches. In the Temple built by Solomon, as in Ezekiel's temple, the palm trees were associated with the ceiling: not the walls.
To understand this we might think of the Jewish Sukkah.
Feast of Tabernacles
The feast of tabernacles features a divine command regarding palm tree branches.
Ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days (Lev 23:40
And that they should publish and proclaim in all their cities, and in Jerusalem, saying, Go forth unto the mount, and fetch olive branches, and pine branches, and myrtle branches, and palm branches, and branches of thick trees, to make booths, as it is written. (Nehemiah 8:15)
Notice that Leviticus only names the palm tree, and allows for others, but Nehemiah names others.
It is specifically mentioned that the Temple will be the place of worship at the feast of tabernacles,
And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. (Zechariah 14:16)
An interesting Jewish commentary, links the branches to the roof, and to seeing through the roof to the heavens.
Hence, the true mission of the Sanctuary – or succah – is to re-create and perfect the earth.
That’s why its architect had to be endowed with the same attributes the Almighty used to create the world. And so on Succot we bring special vegetation – the Four Species – into the Synagogue/Temple, through whose vegetable roof we can see the stars.
And on the last day of the festival – Shmini Atzeret-Simhat Torah – we pray for God’s life-giving waters and take Torah scrolls out into the streets so that every human being may accept the yoke of the heavenly kingship. So we have come full circle advancing from the broken terua to the glorious redemption of the world.
The cycle of Jewish Torah/Tanakh readings ends at the last day of the feast of Tabernacles, and begins again the next day. The first reading is about Creation. The concept of water and the new creation, we can understand as our Lord stood up on the last day of the feast and said, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink” (John 7:37).
The Temple of the kingdom is a picture of the new creation. There were four faces to the Cherubim Ezekiel saw (also over the ark of the Tabernacle and the Temple Solomon built. There are two in the Temple that Ezekiel sees, leaving out the ox and the vulture. The ox was for strength in labour, the vulture for far-sighted care, their absence indicating God's nearness in the new creation.
There would be great significance in the building people saw at the feast of tabernacles featuring an entrance,
in effect a huge succah, roof made from palm fronds (branches).
One to One scale of the Palm Tree
Whereas olive trees are not 15m tall, and they tend to branch out. The palm tree looks like a column, growing straight up, and reaches readily 15m and up to 18m.
Date palm trees can reach up to 60 feet in height with a trunk diameter of 3 feet. ...Cultivators normally plant these palm trees 25 to 35 feet apart.
The date palm has a single stem of 15 to 30 m. Some 12 (0-25 range) flower buds develop during the winter in the axils of some of the leaves just below the growing point. The leaves (4 m long) can live up to 7 years, There are 12 inflorescences every year.
There are male and female plants. The date palm may reach an age of over 100 years and reach up to 30 m in height. Daily water uptake of an adult date palm is estimated with 150 to 200 l. Rain fed date palm cultivation is not possible. To ensure growth and development of the berries irrigation is needed. At the age of 30 years date palms are reaching the high-yielding period.
Date palms are described as 'Umbrella like foliage' - 18 inches diameter after 30 ft high The New Orleans Garden: Gardening in the Gulf South By Charlotte Seidenberg
From this also the spacing of a palm grove, at approximately 7-9m centre to centre of the trees, matches the span of the Temple over each entry. There is ~5m (10 cubits) clear over the threshold and ~1.5m between and the same on the other side which adds up to ~8m. This is within the range for planting date palms.
When Ezekiel saw them, he called them palms, as the structure may have looked like mature palm trees in every respect, at one to one scale.
Looking up into the fronds of a date palm, one can see how they give the sense of being an umbrella.
As the world becomes focussed on Israel and Jerusalem, with even nations leaders who remote from Israel having an opinion, we might consider that it is said that those who touch Jerusalem, touch God's eye.
There is some debate about whether Russia is named in the Bible. Many nations that exist today were named in prophecy. There is some eviednce that Russia is named, actually taking on a name that was given to them before they themselves chose it.
People have heard of the God of Israel being described as Jealous, they have read that his voice may thunder, but it seems people may miss that Yahweh Elohim loves quiet in his dwelling.
This day the Ninth of Av (30 July 2009) is not a memorial given by God. It is a Jewish day for mourning the evil of the sudden absence of God that came with the destruction of the Temple (twice, on the same date, the Ninth of Av, 660 years apart), and 65 years later on the same date, in 135AD the destruction of the last Jewish fortress of the Bar Kochba revolt from Rome, after 3 years of Jewish independence in the Holy Land.