6.3.2. Rebuilding the Holy Temple and the sacred geometry
The possibility of finding the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel and their repatriation to the Holy Land generated discussions about the next eschatological step: the rebuilding of the Third Temple and the resuming of the ancient Jewish rituals. The Antichrist has to become the leader of the Jews and to impose the Mosaic beliefs over the people he would conquer. But the ancient rituals cannot be resumed without the Temple. So, through the reconstruction of the Temple a false and deceiving practice of worship is reinstalled. The New Testament says that the Jewish law and the animal sacrificial system brought the world into the slavery of the sin: ... (This text is incomplete. If you wish to read it in full, please purchase the book)
... was imagined as a faultless architect; in some paintings Jesus was depicted holding in his hand a compass with which he measures the heavens and the earth. Beauty was believed to lie in perfect proportions and ideal numbers and the Bible abounds in numbers and proportions indicated by God. Hence, assuming and applying the biblical information in the ecclesiastical architecture came as a natural thing. The Temple, which was built by Solomon through divine guidance, became a prototype of the sacred buildings. In the Middle Ages the places of worship often sheltered relics or sacred objects. To these were added symbols and measurements more or less visible in the architectural plan. Their aim was to endow the place with a bonus of sacredness and a greater connection between the parishioner and God.
In France, the famous Notre-Dame Cathedral has the height of the first level of 30 royal feet, and the height of the second level of 60 royal feet – dimensions taken from the biblical descriptions of the Temple of Solomon (1 Kings 6:2). At the Amiens Cathedral the portion of the center of the building, enclosed by four columns, forms a square with the side of 50 feet, resembling Noah’s Ark (Genesis 6:15). Also, the height of the Amiens Cathedral is 144 Roman feet. Similarly, the Cathedral of Saint Peter of Beauvais has a height of 144 royal feet. Both structures copy the eternal city described by John in Revelation 21:17.691
The clearest example is the Royal Seat of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, built by Philip II of Spain in the 16th century. This is nothing but an attempt to make physically real the plan of the Temple in a Renaissance palace that reflects the harmonious relations of the cosmos: an exterior gallery followed by an open courtyard, followed by a second gallery and an outdoor courtyard, all flanked by arcades and closed passages that lead to the “holy of holies.” The statues of David and Solomon on each side of the entrance of the basilica of El Escorial confirm the original idea of the design.692
At the beginning of the 17th century the Temple came to public attention after the Jesuit Juan Bautista Villalpando published Ezechielem explanationes – a harmonious conjunction between Ezekiel’s vision, his own interpretations and previous attempts of restoring the Temple. Urged by Philip II, Villalpando also made graphic representations of the Temple; his drawings were based on the assumption that the buildings of Jerusalem were built using laws of geometry and that they were located in parallel and orthogonal projection (Roman urban model) – an image compared by Villalpando with the image of God.693 The scholars of the period speculated that there is a connection between classical architectures and the Temple of Solomon. De architectura of the Roman architect Marcus Vitrivius Pollio (d.15 AD), republished during the Renaissance, seemed to show that the biblical measurements are similar to those from Hellenistic architecture. Villalpando considered that the great cultures derived their architecture from that of the Temple. In this way the Jesuit reconciled the Bible with the ancient architecture described in the texts of Vitrivius and brought proofs about the influence of God in classical architecture.694
Thanks to Villalpando in 1628 the German Jew Judah Leon Templo produced a tridimensional model of the Temple and the surrounding buildings and displayed it in front of Charles II of England. In 1642 Templo published at Middelburg a compendious description entitled Retrato del Templo de Selomoh, and in 1654 he published Retrato del Tabernaculo de Moseh, a description of the Tabernacle of Moses, and Tratado de la Arca del Testamento, a work about the Ark of the Covenant.695
In 1666 the Great Fire of London completely destroyed St. Paul’s Cathedral. The reconstruction of the edifice was assigned to the architect Christopher Wren. It cannot be said if he was influenced by Villalpando, but it is known that Wren was a Freemason and he believed that the English nation is the chosen one and London is the New Jerusalem. Hence, it is speculated that Wren took measurements from the Solomon’s Temple and included them in the structure of the “new temple,” the new St. Paul’s Cathedral.696
Isaac Newton dedicated an entire chapter to the subject of the Temple in The chronology of ancient kingdoms amended, published post-mortem in 1728. He was inspired by the First Book of the Kings, a text he personally translated from the original Hebrew and different contemporary and ancient sources, including the work of Villalpando. Newton believed that the ancient texts contain sacred wisdom and that the proportions of the ancient temples are sacred in themselves. This belief drove the English physicist to examine Greek and Roman ancient architectural works in search for an occult knowledge. As the writings of the ancient philosophers, scholars and biblical personalities contain sacred erudition, the same truth is applied to architecture. The ancient architects hid their knowledge in a symbolic and mathematical language that, when it is deciphered, reveals laws of nature.697 Apparently, the measurements of the Temple refer to mathematical problems related to π (Pi – mathematical constant) or the volume of a hemisphere, to Earth’s dimensions or even to the history of the Jews. Moreover, for Newton the geometry of the Temple was more than a gate to the unseen, abstract architecture of the Universe; it was also a way to improve construction techniques, a help given to constructors to build safer and more efficient edifices.698
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