Israel’s Scriptures clarify that “Solomon built the house (בית; bayit) of the Lord in Jerusalem” (1 Chronicles 6:32). Jesus also describes the Temple as God’s abode, saying, “Whoever swears by the Temple swears by it and by him who dwells (κατοικέω; katoikéo) in it” (Matthew 23:21). Since Yeshua affirms that God dwells in the Temple, it is strange to hear Stephan assert that “Solomon built [God] a house, but the Most High does not dwell (οὐχ… κατοικέω; oux… katoikéo) in handmade [houses]” (Acts 7:48; cf. 17:24). Does God dwell in the Temple or not?

When Yeshua says that God “dwells” in the Temple, he reinforces common biblical language. For instance, Hezekiah calls the Temple the “dwelling (משׁכן; mishkah) of the Lord” (2 Chronicles 29:6), and Joel refers to God as the one “dwelling (שׁכן; shokhen) in Zion” (3:17). Yet, if this is so, then why does Stephan seem to suggest that God does not dwell in an earthly abode? As with most interpretive questions, the answer lies in the immediate narrative context.

The whole of Stephan’s proclamation, which includes a quotation from Isaiah, reads, “The Most High does not dwell in [that which is] handmade (χειροποιήτοις; cheiropoiétois), as the prophet says, ‘The skies are my throne, and the land is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me, declares the Lord, or what is the place of my rest? Have not all these been made by my hand (ἐποίησεν ἡ χείρ μου; epoímsen he cheír mou)?’” (Acts 7:48-50; cf. Isaiah 66:1-2 LXX). Stephan is not claiming that the Lord does not dwell in the Temple, but rather that the house in Zion was made by God’s hand—not by human hands. Yes, Solomon may have overseen the building’s construction, but it was really God who built the Temple. This idea aligns with Stephan’s prior recollection that Moses built the tabernacle—the prototype for the Jerusalem Temple—“after the example (τύπος; túpos) he had seen” (Acts 7:44; cf. Exodus 25:40 LXX; Heb 8:5). God does dwell in the Temple, but that holy habitation is made in heaven before its construction on earth.

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18 COMMENTS

  1. If any of the Ten Lost Tribes speak English, they might know this phrase-- "You've been given a great gift, George". So have you... Dr Schaser. Do a Hebrew study on footstools. Call the French to the mat. King David.😂
  2. You addressed Acts. 7:44 & verses 47 & 48 state" But it was Solomon who built the house for him. However, the Most High does not live in houses made by men." Heaven is His throne & earth is His footstool.' Originally David wanted to build a building as a permanent home for the Ark of the Covenant. I Chr.28 :2 NASB which states " King David stood before them and addressed them,"My friends, listen to me, I wanted to build a permanent home for the Ark of the Covenant, the footstool of God. I made preparations for building a temple to honor Him. But he has forbidden me to do it because I am a soldier and have shed too much blood. Vs 5-6 Indicates God chose Solomon ,who gets the plans, to build the temple the way God would want it . The ark of the covenant housed the 10 commandments .It had Cherubim on top. My question after reading commentaries is that God's presence would be in the temple, so could the Ark also be considered His footstool? Psalms 132 vs 7-8 " Let us go to his dwelling place, let us worship at his footstool. Arise O Lord and come to your resting place, you and the ark of your might". We know that nobody was to look upon the ark or touch it. Nobody could look upon God either. Uzzah touched the ark to steady it when it was being moved & died.Is it God's presence with the ark at all times? After all,God is omnipresent.
    • Thanks for your question, Judy. God dwells between the two cherubim on the ark, so one could understand the ark as God's "footstool" insofar as it's a location of earthly divine presence in the wilderness.

      + More answers (1)
    • we should note that like us, God has a finite physical presence as seen in Ezekiel and Revelation, but unlike us an infinite conscious, intelligent and active awareness that transcends all realms (if I make my bed in hell). So he “dwells” in the Temple he commanded (Solomon) to build
  3. In my youth I was told there are no stupid questions, through the years this has proven to be sometimes true, sometimes not. So, at risk of being laughed at by the rest of the class… who is this Stephan??
    • Chikezie, that was Christ speaking not the Father; question is about the Father’s presence which is a big deal. But Christ’s offer of presence is consistent with the prophecy “and he will be a sanctuary (a holy place). That is the New Testament quorum of fellowship
  4. Jesus declared that if The Temple be destroyed He will rebuild it in 3 days. He did not speak of Herod’s Temple. G-d did dwell in Christ for sure and G-d raised (built) Jesus from the dead. Therefore G-d still dwells in the Christ Temple and He himself built the third temple. But as somebody said- the ‘original’ was in Heaven before Moses, Solomon or Post Exiles (later Herod) built it.
  5. It is stated above, Solomon may have overseen the building’s construction, but it was really God who built the Temple.
    Did God have any foremen /overseen when He was creating the heavens and the earth. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.... No overseen here, never had.

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