ASK Commentary
September 21, 2002 

A Name for the Temple of God

Breaking News for September 21, 2002 — Beth Shem

The Temple of God was called by several names by the Israelites after the time of Samuel. One of those names was "The House of the Name" or Beth Shem in Hebrew. This is abundantly shown in many verses of the bible, especially in the books of Kings, Chronicles and Jeremiah.

This term "The House of the Name" or "The House for My Name" was used in the Copper Scroll in a very interesting passage. The Copper Scroll is written with Hebrew characters pressed into the copper metal with a stylus. The Copper Scroll talks about a "fountain" within the "House of the Name." This is a strikingly similar account to the report of a fountain or spring written about by Aristeas around 265 B.C.E. and by the historian Tacitus in Roman times as Dr. Martin accounts in his book The Temples that Jerusalem Forgot. I shall show you this passage in the Copper Scroll next time. For now, consider the abundant evidence that the Temple was indeed called "The House of the Name."

NOTE: The block quotes are not bold as usual, so that special emphasis can be given.

"He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever."

• 2 Samuel 7:13

"Only the people sacrificed in high places, because there was no house built unto the name of the LORD, until those days."

• 1 Kings 3:2

"Thou knowest how that David my father could not build an house unto the name of the LORD his God for the wars which were about him on every side, until the LORD put them under the soles of his feet. 4 But now the LORD my God hath given me rest on every side, so that there is neither adversary nor evil occurrent. 5 And, behold, I purpose to build an house unto the name of the LORD my God, as the LORD spake unto David my father, saying, Thy son, whom I will set upon thy throne in thy room, he shall build an house unto my name."

• 1 Kings 5:3-5

"Since the day that I brought forth my people Israel out of Egypt, I chose no city out of all the tribes of Israel to build an house, that my name might be therein; but I chose David to be over my people Israel. 17 And it was in the heart of David my father to build house for the name of the LORD God of Israel. 18 And the LORD said unto David my father, ‘Whereas it was in thine heart to build an house unto my name, thou didst well that it was in thine heart. 19 Nevertheless thou shalt not build the house; but thy son that shall come forth out of thy loins, he shall build the house unto my name.’  20 And the LORD hath performed his word that he spake, and I am risen up in the room of David my father, and sit on the throne of Israel, as the LORD promised, and have built house for the name of the LORD God of Israel."

• 1 Kings 8:16-20 (2 Chronicles 6:5–10)

"That thine eyes may be open toward this house night and day, even toward the place of which thou hast said, My name shall be there: that thou mayest hearken unto the prayer which thy servant shall make toward this place."

• 1 Kings 8:29 (2 Chronicles 6:20)

"Hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and do according to all that the stranger calleth to thee for: that all people of the earth may know thy name, to fear thee, as do thy people Israel; and that they may know that this house, which I have builded, is called by thy name. 44 If thy people go out to battle against their enemy, whithersoever thou shalt send them, and shall pray unto the LORD toward the city which thou hast chosen, and toward the house that I have built for thy name."

• 1 Kings 8:43 (2 Chronicles 6:33–34)

"And so return unto thee with all their heart, and with all their soul, in the land of their enemies, which led them away captive, and pray unto thee toward their land, which thou gavest unto their fathers, the city which thou hast chosen, and the house which I have built for thy name."

• 1 Kings 8:48 (2 Chronicles 6:38)

3 "And the LORD said unto him, 'I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication, that thou hast made before me: I have hallowed this house, which thou hast built, to put my name there for ever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually. ... 7 "Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people."

• 1 Kings 9:3, 7 (2 Chronicles 7:16, 20)

4 "And he built altars in the house of the LORD, of which the LORD said, In Jerusalem will I put my name. 7 And he set a graven image of the grove that he had made in the house, of which the LORD said to David, and to Solomon his son, ‘In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all tribes of Israel, will I put my name for ever.’"

• 2 Kings 21:4, 7 (2 Chronicles 33:4, 7

27 "And the LORD said, I will remove Judah also out of my sight, as I have removed Israel, and will cast off this city Jerusalem which I have chosen, and the house of which I said, My name shall be there."

• 2 Kings 23:27

7 "And David said to Solomon, My son, as for me, it was in my mind to build an house unto the name of the LORD my God: 8 But the word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘Thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars: thou shalt not build an house unto my name, because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in my sight. 9 Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about: for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days. 10 He shall build an house for my name; and he shall be my son, and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel for ever.’"

• 1 Chronicles 22:7-10

19 "Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God; arise therefore, and build ye the sanctuary of the LORD God, to bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and the holy vessels of God, into the house that is to be built to the name of the LORD."

• 1 Chronicles 22:19

3 "But God said unto me, Thou shalt not build an house for my name, because thou hast been a man of war, and hast shed blood."

• 2 Chronicles 28:3

16 "O LORD our God, all this store that we have prepared to build thee an house for thine holy name cometh of thine hand, and is all thine own."

• 2 Chronicles 29:16

"And Solomon determined to build an house for the name of the LORD, and an house for his kingdom. ... 4 Behold, I build an house to the name of the LORD my God, to dedicate it to him, and to burn before him sweet incense, and for the continual shewbread, and for the burnt offerings morning and evening, on the sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the solemn feasts of the LORD our God."

• 2 Chronicles 2:1, 4

9 "If, when evil cometh upon us, as the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we stand before this house, and in thy presence, (for thy name is in this house,) and cry unto thee in our affliction, then thou wilt hear and help."

• 2 Chronicles 20:9

7 "And he set a carved image, the idol which he had made, in the house of God, of which God had said to David and to Solomon his son, In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen before all the tribes of Israel, will I put my name for ever."

• 2 Chronicles 33:7

10 "And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations? 11 Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the LORD. 12 But go ye now unto my place which was in Shiloh, where I set my name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel. 13 And now, because ye have done all these works, saith the LORD, and I spake unto you, rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not; 14 Therefore will I do unto this house, which is called by my name, wherein ye trust, and unto the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh."

• Jeremiah 7:10-14

"For the children of Judah have done evil in my sight, saith the LORD: they have set their abominations in the house which is called by my name, to pollute it."

• Jeremiah 7:30

34 "But they set their abominations in the house, which is called by my name, to defile it."

• Jeremiah 32:34

15 "And ye were now turned, and had done right in my sight, in proclaiming liberty every man to his neighbor; and ye had made a covenant before me in the house which is called by my name."

• Jeremiah 34:15-16

Clearly, the Temple of God as constructed by Solomon was termed Beth Shem or House of the Name. That name lingered even to the time of the Copper Scroll.

David Sielaff
David@askelm.com

Go to ASK Home Page •  Print Page

© 1976-2014 Associates for Scriptural Knowledge - ASK is supported by freewill contributions