We are in a conversation and discussion about John Walton’s (professor at Wheaton) new book, The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate.
Proposition 8 of Walton’s book, and one that can reorient everything one sees in Genesis 1:
The cosmos is a temple.
The ancient near east creation narratives drew close connections between cosmos and temple. And temples were often considered symbols of the cosmos.
Josephus, a 1st century AD Jewish historian, stated that everyone of the objects in the Temple recalled and represented the universe.
Walton sees it like this in the Temple complex: the courtyard represented the cosmic spheres outside of the organized cosmos (sea and pillars), the antechamber represented food and light, and the veil separated the heavens and the earth. Major texts include Isa 66:1-2, 1 Ki 8:27, Exod 40:34.
So, temple and cosmos are connected.
So what? Genesis 1 is designed to reveal that the cosmos is the temple of God, the cosmos is a place for God to dwell, and humans are dwelling in God’s temple.