13. "Holiness to the Lord" and Personal Temple Worship

By Gaye Strathearn

Gaye Strathearn, “‘Holiness to the Lord’ and Personal Temple Worship,” in The Gospel of Jesus Christ in the Old Testament, The 38th Annual BYU Sidney B. Sperry Symposium (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2009).

“Holiness to the Lord” and Personal Temple Worship

Gaye Strathearn

Gaye Strathearn is an assistant professor of ancient scripture at Brigham Young University.

Over twenty years ago, I embarked on a three-day excursion into the Sinai Peninsula and the traditional site of Mount Sinai. This mountain is in the middle of a mountainous desert, miles from anywhere. We arrived there in the early evening and had dinner in a Bedouin camp and then bunked down in some tents, waiting for 3:00 a.m. to arrive. That is when we were to make the 2,500-foot ascent, because our leaders said that it would be much too hot if we waited until the sun came up. Somewhere along the line, I ended up being the one who carried a huge first aid kit up the mountain. It was hard work climbing that mountain, especially with the extra weight of that pack. It took us about two hours, and toward the end I was not even sure that it was worth continuing on—after all, I was up pretty high and I had a pretty good view of things from where I was. Why not just watch the sunrise from where I was? Besides, I was not sure that my legs would carry me another step. But somehow I kept telling myself that I had come this far, I may as well finish it out.

At the point where I could see the end in sight and thought that there was some chance of reaching the summit, I came to the famous (or infamous) seven hundred steps, built by monks centuries ago. Now, when people have been climbing a mountain for some two and a half hours and their quadriceps are already like jelly, the last thing they want to see is seven hundred uneven steps! But my friends were cheering me on and encouraging me to keep going. I think those stairs were the hardest part of all, but just as I collapsed at the top, I looked up and the first rays of sunlight peeked over the horizon. What a tremendous sight! If I live to be a hundred, I will never forget that experience. Somehow, as I stood up and surveyed God’s handiwork in its pristine glory, I forgot about the weight of the first aid kit, I forgot about the past two hours of torture, and I forgot about my jellified knees. Somehow those bodily inconveniences had lost their significance.

We then divided into three classes, took out our Bibles, and studied the Exodus account of Moses’s ascents into this holy mountain and then had a testimony meeting. Mount Sinai was sacred space, set apart both geographically and spiritually from the rest of the world, because on that mount Moses entered the presence of God. My time on Mount Sinai was a very sacred experience for me. In a sense, on that day we also entered the presence of God, because the presence of the Holy Ghost was so strong it was almost tangible. As hard as the journey up the mountain was for me, it was worth every step. I have since contemplated the events of that day and thought about what would have happened if I had decided to stop halfway up the mountain. Certainly the sunrise would have still been magnificent, but I would have missed the supernal experience of the class discussion and the testimony meeting and the Spirit that attended both. Twenty years later, I am so glad that I kept going.

When we returned to Jerusalem, Ann Madsen gave a fireside entitled “Dare to Ascend,” where she built on our experience at Sinai and taught us that, spiritually speaking, many people think that going halfway up the mountain is good enough, and so they become satisfied with the view from where they are. As a result, they keep themselves from participating in the type of supernal spiritual experiences that God wants them to have. We must resist the temptation to think that “near enough is good enough” in the journey up our spiritual mountains. We must keep pressing forward, even though the journey is difficult at times. I have thought of this experience and Sister Madsen’s teaching often as I have studied the accounts of Moses in the Old Testament.

The scriptures describe Mount Sinai as a holy place. It is not just like any other mountain. Rather, according to Exodus 3:1, it is “the mountain of God.” When Moses first climbed this mountain and approached the burning bush, the Lord called to him and said, “Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground” (Exodus 3:5; see also Acts 7:33).

The next time that Moses ascended Mount Sinai was just after he led the Israelites out of Egypt. While they camped at its base, Moses again climbed the mount to enter into God’s presence. The Lord then informed Moses, “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel” (Exodus 19:5–6). It is noteworthy that in this visit the Lord again emphasized holiness, but this time the emphasis was not on the geographical space where Moses stood, but on the Lord’s desire to make the children of Israel holy.

“Graded Holiness”

Holiness is an important concept in the Old Testament. It was the determining factor in God’s desire for Israel to be a peculiar people. “For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God, and the Lord hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth” (Deuteronomy 14:2). Holiness was the antithesis of the profane and the unclean. In Leviticus 10:10 we read, “And that ye may put difference between holy and profane [ol], and between clean and unclean” (author’s translation). Holiness, however, was not a one-dimensional state, where you were either in a state of holiness or you were not. Rather, there were levels of holiness.[1] Perhaps the most obvious example of this was the Tabernacle, in which the inner sanctum was called the holy of holies—or, in other words, the most holy (qōdeš haqodašīm)—and was separated from the holy place (haqōdeš) by a veil (see Exodus 26:33).

There is a distinction between the Lord’s command to Moses to put off his shoes because the ground was holy and his hope that Israel would be a holy people. The English translation for both of these verses does not do justice to the nuances of the original Hebrew words. Although in both instances the word translated “holy” comes from the Hebrew root qdš, two different forms are used. When speaking of the ground, the Lord uses the noun form qōdeš (accented on the first syllable, and the final consonant sounds like “sh”). In and of itself the ground was not holy, but it had been made holy by the presence of God. When he speaks of his desire for the children of Israel, however, he uses the adjectival form qadōš (accented on the second syllable).

E. Jan Wilson has shown that there is a significant difference in meaning between these two forms of qdš. In the Old Testament these two words “are not used in the same contexts: i.e. the one is not just the adjectival form of the other, but rather, they have linguistic ranges that do not overlap significantly. . . . While qōdeš simply denotes a state of belonging to the realm of the divine, those things which are qadōš all possess the ability to move things (or people) into, or at least toward, the realm of the divine” (emphasis added).[2] This lexical nuance is important: qōdeš refers to a static state that encompasses the divine realm, whereas qadōš is much more dynamic, with a characteristic of enabling others to enter a state of holiness. In what follows I will discuss how an understanding of the nuances in these two words in the Old Testament can help modern temple patrons better appreciate the Lord’s purposes in inviting them to enter temples where the phrase “Holiness to the Lord” is engraved above the entrance.

Holy (qadōš)

Wilson argues that God is qadōš because he is “the source of holiness” and “the primary agent of sanctification” (i.e., making someone or something holy).[3] Thus, in the Old Testament God is never described as qōdeš, only qadōš. Isaiah writes, “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy [qadōš]; I dwell in the high and holy place [qadōš], 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” (Isaiah 57:15). Not only is God qadōš, but so is his “great and terrible name,” according to the Psalmist (Psalm 99:3). A number of mortals also acknowledge that he is qadōš. When Joshua taught his people about the importance of choosing to serve God rather than “strange gods,” he used qadōš to describe the holiness of God (Joshua 24:20). For Hannah and the men of Beth-shemesh, qadōš was intimately tied to the great power of God. When Hannah prayed in gratitude after finally giving birth to Samuel, she acknowledged, “There is none holy [qadōš] as the Lord” (1 Samuel 2:2). When the Israelites of Beth-shemesh were slain for looking into the ark of the covenant, the survivors declared, “Who is able to stand before this holy [qadōš] Lord God? (1 Samuel 6:20). Habakkuk’s concern that God would use the wicked Chaldeans to punish Israel led him to cry out, “Art thou not from everlasting, O Lord my God, mine Holy One [qadōš]?” (Habakkuk 1:12).

Although God is the ultimate source of the power to sanctify, at times he also uses certain people or places to sanctify, and therefore the Old Testament also describes them as qadōš. For example, the sacrificial court of the Tabernacle or Temple is described as a holy place (qadōš) (see Exodus 29:31; Leviticus 6:16, 26, 27; 7:6; 10:13; 24:9; Ezekiel 42:13) because the sacrifices bring people into the realm of holiness. Those who administer the sacrifices are also described as qadōš. The Lord declared of the priests, “And ye shall be holy [qadōš] unto me: for I the Lord am holy [qadōš], and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine” (Leviticus 20:26). The account of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, all of whom were Levites and held the priesthood, serves as an important commentary on the state of priestly qadōš. These three men challenged the authority of Moses and Aaron by declaring, “Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy [qadōš], every one of them, and the Lord is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the Lord?” (Numbers 16:3). Moses responded by falling upon his face and said, “Even to morrow the Lord will shew who are his, and who is holy [qadōš]; and will cause him to come near unto him: even him whom he hath chosen will he cause to come near unto him” (Numbers 16:5). Moses and Korah seem to have a different understanding of what it means to be qadōš. Korah argued that the presence of the Lord qualified every member of the congregation to be qadōš. Moses’s response, however, showed that being qadōš is not something that was automatic. Thus Moses instructed Korah “that the man whom the Lord doth choose, he shall be holy [qadōš].” This incident teaches that qadōš is special; even the Levites who held the priesthood were not automatically qadōš.

Though generally a layperson could not share in priestly holiness (i.e., qadōš), there were avenues available for them to become qadōš, even if it was for a short period of time. For example, they could participate in a Nazarite vow.[4] Those entering into the vow are also described as qadōš for the period of their vow (see Numbers 6:1–8). Likewise, God sometimes described Israel as being a qadōš people (see Deuteronomy 14:2, 21), or at least he hoped that they would become such (see Exodus 19:6; Deuteronomy 26:19; 28:9). Speaking to Israel, God said, “Ye shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping thing that creepeth, neither shall ye make yourselves unclean with them, that ye should be defiled thereby. For I am the Lord your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy [qadōš]; for I am holy [qadōš]” (Leviticus 11:43).[5] Thus God’s greatest desire for his people is that they become as he is. This was the reason that he brought his people out of the land of Egypt. “For I am the Lord that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy [qadōš], for I am holy [qadōš]” (Leviticus 11:45).

The Lord’s first attempt to have his people become qadōš occurred when Moses went up into Mount Sinai while the Israelites waited below. As we have noted, Moses was commanded to teach Israel that if they would obey his voice and keep his covenant they would become a peculiar people and a holy nation (see Exodus 19:5–6). Therefore, the Lord commanded Moses to sanctify his people, “for the third day the Lord will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai” (Exodus 19:11). In theory, at least, Israel would become qadōš because the Lord, who is qadōš, would be among them (see Numbers 16:3).

Unfortunately, the children of Israel were not ready for such a transformation. When “all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear, but let not God speak with us, lest we die” (Exodus 20:18–19). The Doctrine and Covenants provides some additional information about this experience. “For without this [i.e., the greater priesthood and its ordinances], no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live. Now this Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness, and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God; but they hardened their hearts and could not endure his presence; therefore, the Lord in his wrath, for his anger was kindled against them, swore that they should not enter into his rest while in the wilderness, which rest is the fulness of his glory” (D&C 84:22–24). Israel rejected the opportunity to enter into God’s rest and receive the fullness of his glory; they rejected the opportunity to become qadōš. Thus we see that not only does God confer holiness upon his priests but he desires all Israel to become qadōš, but they have to want it.

Holiness (qōdeš)

When Israel rejected the opportunity to have God dwell in their presence and to become qadōš, he introduced a Temple system whereby the priests and high priests represented the people before God. Israel forfeited direct access to God. Instead the responsibility of the priests and high priests were to create on earth a realm of qōdeš, the static quality of belonging to the realm of the divine. The Old Testament uses qōdeš primarily to describe the Temple (see Exodus 28:29, 35, 43; 29:30; 35:19; 39:41; 2 Chronicles 5:11; 29:5, 7; 35:5), including priesthood garments (see Exodus 28:2, 4; 31:10), the Temple altar and the laver (see 30:28–29), and the holy mountain (see Ezekiel 28:14; Daniel 9:20; 11:45). In these instances it refers to a specific geographic area and the things contained therein that have been designated as qōdeš. However, at times it is also used to describe the Sabbath day (see Exodus 12:16; 16:23) and holy festivals (see Leviticus 23:2, 4, 7, 8). Less frequently it is used to describe Jerusalem (see Jeremiah 31:40; Daniel 9:24; Joel 3:17); objects devoted to God, including tithes (see Leviticus 27:28, 30, 33); the covenant (see Daniel 11:28, 30); worship (see Psalms 29:2; 96:9); and the people of Israel (see Ezra 8:28; Jeremiah 2:3; Daniel 12:7), including the holy seed (see Ezra 9:2; Isaiah 6:13).

Within the Temple, the roles of the priest and the high priest were particularly important in preparing a state of qōdeš. We have already noted that the priests were considered to be qadōš (see Leviticus 20:26), but they are also described as being qōdeš. As such they “stand in a special relationship with Yahweh [Jehovah] and as such belong to the divine sphere itself, a situation imposing on them the obligation to maintain cultic purity and enjoining the congregation to accord them special respect.”[6] Moses was directed to “anoint Aaron and his sons, and consecrate [make holy; Piel form of qdš] them, that they may minister unto me in the priest’s office” (Exodus 30:30). But in Leviticus 21 we see the dual nature of them being both qadōš and qōdeš. “They shall be holy [qadōš] unto their God, and not profane the name of their God: for the offerings of the Lord made by fire, and the bread of their God, they do offer: therefore they shall be holy [qōdeš]. . . . Thou shalt sanctify him therefore; for he offereth the bread of thy God: he shall be holy [qadōš] unto thee: for I the Lord, which sanctify you, am holy [qadōš]” (Leviticus 21:6, 8). As representatives of God, he declared them qadōš because their work helped bring others to the divine realm, and they were also qōdeš because they officiated within the divine realm of the Tabernacle. Thus we can understand this dual state to mean that priests are in a state of qōdeš except when they are actively engaged in sanctifying others, and then they are qadōš.

The holy garments that the priest wore are also described as qōdeš (see Exodus 28:2). In particular, the high priest wore a “turban-like headband”[7] with a golden plate, on which the words “holiness to the Lord” (qōdeš leadonai) were engraved (see Exodus 28:36–37). The symbolism of the phrase “holiness to the Lord” on Aaron’s headband suggests that it was not just a declaration that he had become holy so that he could officiate in the Tabernacle. If that was the case, it could have been embroidered on his sleeve or some other part of his clothing. Instead it was placed on his forehead, indicating that he must constantly be thinking about holiness while he officiated in the Tabernacle, particularly as he entered the presence of God. This same phrase is found five additional times in the scriptures, all of them in the Old Testament (see Exodus 28:36; 39:30; Isaiah 23:18; Jeremiah 2:3; Zechariah 14:20–21; Malachi 2:11).

Holiness and Personal Temple Worship

So what does all this have to do with Temple worship today? These laws of sacrifices and rituals seem far removed from our day, but there are lessons we can learn. Our Temple experience is different from that of the Israelites because when Jesus died and “the veil of the temple was rent from the top to the bottom” (Mark 15:38), he became our High Priest. Under the law of Moses, “the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing” (Hebrews 9:8). Through Christ’s atoning sacrifice, we have the opportunity to be qadōš, or sanctified, and we are now encouraged to have “boldness to enter into the holiest” (Hebrews 10:19). Thus as individuals, even though we don’t belong to the Levitical priestly class, we now have the opportunity, if we are worthy, to enter the Temple and enter the realm of qōdeš. But even more important, we have the opportunity to enter the presence of God and become qadōš.

When we enter the Temple today, we enter into the physical realm of qōdeš. While we may no longer be required to remove our shoes as we enter the Temple because it is holy ground, nevertheless there are ways that we must, like Moses and Joshua, prepare ourselves to enter the realm of qōdeš. In our physical preparations for the Temple, we must symbolically, physically, and spiritually prepare ourselves to leave behind the world as we enter into the divine realm. Therefore, we can begin to physically and spiritually prepare long before we enter the Temple doors. Some examples are the following. We can start by thinking more seriously about the sacrament. We partake of the sacrament so that we can petition the Lord for an endowment of his Spirit for the upcoming week. We can create opportunities in our lives where the still, small voice does not have to compete with the constant noise of our busy life. Unless we make a concerted effort, the radio, the TV, or the iPod can overwhelm his gentle promptings. Maybe it would be helpful to turn off the radio as we drive to the Temple. We can also prepare to enter the realm of qōdeš by participating in activities that invite the Spirit into our lives, such as actively participating in our Church membership, pondering the things of eternity by studying our scriptures and the conference talks, participating in conversations with our Father through prayer, and preparing to actively participate in our Church meetings. All of these things will help us to be worthy as we enter the realm of qōdeš in the Temple.

As we enter the Temple, we should consciously take note that the same phrase engraved on Aaron’s headband is also engraved upon the Temple. In the dedicatory prayer of the Kirtland Temple, the Prophet Joseph Smith pled with the Lord “that all people who shall enter upon the threshold of the Lord’s house may feel thy power, and feel constrained to acknowledge that . . . it is thy house, a place of thy holiness” (D&C 109:13). Just as Aaron wore the phrase “Holiness to the Lord” on his forehead, so we must remember in everything we do and say while we are in the Temple for a short time that we have left behind the world and have entered into the realm of qōdeš. Modern prophets and apostles have encouraged us to increase our appreciation for the relationship between the Temple and our quest to become holy. President Howard W. Hunter declared, “The temple is a place of beauty, it is a place of revelation, it is a place of peace. It is the house of the Lord. It is holy unto the Lord. It should be holy unto us.”[8] President James E. Faust directed, “We must try harder to be a holy people.”[9]

But entering the realm of the divine and becoming qōdeš must be only the beginning, not the destination, of our Temple worship. God’s hope for us, as it was for Israel, is that we not only become holy, but more importantly, become as he is. Therefore, by worthily entering the Temple, and keeping our thoughts centered on holiness, we are in a position to seek to become qadōš. In the Temple, we can receive a measure of being holy because we are surrounded by holiness, and because we make covenants that, through the Atonement, confer holiness upon us. Thus, in the Temple we seek for the same promise God gave to the Israelites as they lived their covenantal obligations: “Thou mayest be an holy [qadōš] people unto the Lord thy God, as he hath spoken” (Deuteronomy 26:16). Our Temple experience, therefore, should do something more to us than just becoming temporarily qōdeš because we enter a holy place. It is meant to transform us so that we become holy as God is holy and do the work of helping to sanctify. I think this is what Sister Elaine S. Dalton meant when she taught, “When we are worthy, we can not only enter the temple, the temple can enter us.”[10]

In a perfect, ideal setting, we would now be holy and be in the same state as our Father in Heaven. But our Temples, as beautiful as they are, are just an imitation of the celestial Temple where God and his Son reside. Hebrews 8:1–2 reads, “We have . . . an high priest [i.e., Christ], who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man” (emphasis added). Further, our ministrations in the earthly Temple are a “shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount” (Hebrews 8:5). As wonderful and as powerful as our Temples are, and in contrast to the heavenly Temple, the reality is we must leave them and return to the world. The measure of holiness we receive as the Temple enters into us can have a residual effect as we return to the world. Remember that when Moses came down from Mount Sinai, his face was shining (see Exodus 34:29–35). He had a residual effect from his Temple experience in the presence of God. It was so visibly manifest that he had to cover his face with a veil. We also, can take with us a portion of that holiness as we leave the Temple, return to the world, and work to help others become sanctified.

Unfortunately, just as the shining eventually dissipated from Moses’s face, so too the level of holiness we gain in the Temple can fade as we return to the world. Robert J. Matthews, the first president of the Mount Timpanogos Temple, once compared going to the Temple to lifting weights. He said that lifting weights only has the power to increase our strength if we do it regularly enough that the effect of our last workout does not wear off. Lifting weights once, twice, or even three times a year will not increase our strength. Brother Matthews’s analogy reminds us that if we are to become holy we must go to the Temple often enough that the residual effects do not wear off. That does not mean that we should mandate a specific frequency with which we should attend the Temple. Instead, the Brethren encourage us to attend “as frequently as time and means and personal circumstances allow.”[11] But do we understand the principle? Going to the Temple can confer holiness because we are in a holy place, but the goal of Temple worship is that we become holy beings. That is one important reason why the Lord has directed us to seek out our ancestors and do Temple work for them. Doctrine and Covenants 128:18 teaches us that the dead cannot be made perfect without the ordinance work that we perform for them. But it also teaches us that we cannot be made perfect without them. What does that mean? In part, at least, it means that doing the work for our dead ancestors provides us an opportunity we need to return often to the Temple so that we can build on the holiness received from our previous Temple experiences. It also provides us an opportunity to help them, and thus we become holy.

If we are diligent in worthily going to the Temple, having the phrase “Holiness to the Lord” indelibly imprinted upon our thoughts, we can become holy. We will achieve the Father’s greatest desire for us, and we will be able to enter his presence, not just to stand and be judged (see 2 Nephi 2:10) but to dwell with him and be as he is, working to bring salvation to others. As we begin to develop a state of holiness, the changes will be manifest outside of the Temple as well. We will leave the Temple with a greater desire and a more focused resolve to help people move into the realm of the divine, not just through Temple work but with missionary work, home and visiting teaching, and magnifying our callings to an even greater extent.

I think that is what President Gordon B. Hinckley was referring to when he declared, “I make a promise to you that every time you come to the temple you will be a better man or woman when you leave than you were when you came. That’s a promise. I believe it with all my heart.”[12] These changes will not be externally motivated, but they will be motivated by an internal yearning to have others participate with us in holiness. Although he does not use the word qadōš, President Faust has described this state of being: “Holiness is the strength of the soul. It comes by faith and through obedience to God’s laws and ordinances. God then purifies the heart by faith, and the heart becomes purged from that which is profane and unworthy. When holiness is achieved by conforming to God’s will, one knows intuitively that which is wrong and that which is right before the Lord. Holiness speaks when there is silence, encouraging that which is good or reproving that which is wrong.”[13]

Although Israel rejected their opportunity to become holy at Mount Sinai, it appears that the people of Enoch were able to achieve it. “The Lord came and dwelt with his people, and they dwelt in righteousness. . . . And the Lord called his people Zion. . . . And it came to pass in his days, that he built a city that was called the City of Holiness” (Moses 7:16, 18–19).

Conclusion

In an address on becoming a Zion people, Elder D. Todd Christofferson taught, “We are to become not only good but holy men and women.”[14] Over twenty years ago, I climbed Mount Sinai. It was a difficult physical challenge for me. There were many times when I thought that “near enough was good enough” as I ascended the mountain and entered the realm of qōdeš. That journey required a strong measure of commitment and endurance on my part. I am so grateful that I had people surrounding me, encouraging me to continue until I completed the journey. While the memories and feelings of that physical journey and the experiences I had on top of Mount Sinai have stayed with me these twenty years, I have come to learn that they were just a foretaste of what can come from the power of Temple worship. Temple worship is much more than removing my shoes because I am standing on holy ground; it is embarking on a journey so that I can have God come and dwell with me, so that I can become as he is. This journey also requires a strong measure of commitment and endurance on my part to complete the journey rather than settle for something less. I must dare to ascend the mountain. It is not something that happens instantly, but, as I am learning, the journey is worth it. By participating in this journey I have learned that I must not settle for the view from halfway up the mountain, settle for being in the realm of holiness. Rather, I want to become holy so that I can act as an instrument in God’s hands to help others become holy. The Temple can enable me to become a Mount Sinai—to help others achieve what God originally hoped for his people on Mount Sinai. That goal is the motivating power that returns me each time to the Temple.

Notes



I am particularly grateful to Dan Belnap for introducing me to the nuances of holiness in the Old Testament, for his careful reading of a draft of this paper, and his suggestions that have helped strengthen this paper.

[1] For a detailed discussion of holiness in the priestly material of the Old Testament, see Philip Peter Jenson, Graded Holiness: A Key to the Priestly Conception of the World, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series 106 (Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1992).

[2] E. Jan Wilson, “Holiness” and “Purity” in Mesopotamia, Alter Orient und Altes Testament 237 (Kevelaer: Butzon & Bercker; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener, 1994), 87–88. Wilson uses a definition of holiness that was first coined by Jenson (Graded Holiness, 48). Wilson’s distinction between qadōš and qōdeš is a refinement of Jenson’s definition. He shows that this distinction is found throughout the Old Testament, and is not just confined to the priestly material. I am grateful to Dan Belnap for introducing me to Wilson’s article.

[3] Wilson, “Holiness” and “Purity,” 88.

[4] David P. Wright, “Holiness (OT),” in The Anchor Bible Dictionary, ed. David Noel Freedman (New York: Doubleday, 1992), 3:238–39.

[5] Wilson identifies other places that are also described as qadōš, but which are outside the scope of this paper: “the day on which Ezra reads the law (Nehemiah 8:9, 10, 11), and the water used to test the woman suspected of adultery (Numbers 5:17)” (Wilson, “Holiness” and “Purity,” 88).

[6] Helmer Ringgren, “שדק qdš,” in Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament, ed. G. Johannes Botterweck, Helmer Ringgren, and Heinz-Josef Fabry, trans. Douglas W. Stott (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2003), 12:533.

[7] Ludwig Köhler and Walter Baumgartner, “מצנפת,” in Ludwig Köhler and Walter Baumgartner, Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament, rev. Walter Baumgartner and Johann Jakob Stamm; trans. M. E. J. Richardson (New York: E. J. Brill, 1995), 2:624.

[8] Cited by Jay M. Todd, “President Howard W. Hunter: Fourteenth President of the Church,” Ensign, July 1994, 5.

[9] James E. Faust, “Standing in Holy Places,” Ensign, May 2005, 68.

[10] Elaine S. Dalton, “Look toward Eternity!” Ensign, November 2006, 32.

[11] Todd, “President Howard W. Hunter,” 5.

[12] Gordon B. Hinckley, Discourses of President Gordon B. Hinckley (Salt Lake City: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2005), 2:331.

[13] Faust, “Standing in Holy Places,” 62.

[14] D. Todd Christofferson, “Come to Zion,” Ensign, November 2008, 39.