Shiloh Redux

In his temple sermon, Jeremiah warns the people of Jerusalem that Solomon’s temple is going to share the same fate at Shiloh (Jeremiah 7:1-15). Shiloh is where the Mosaic tabernacle was pitched when Israel entered the land. It remained there until the Philistines destroyed it and captured the ark (1 Samuel 4-6).

Jeremiah is saying that Gentiles will destroy the temple, slaughter its priests, and take away its furniture. It’s Shiloh redux.

Theopolis student John Crawford pointed to the sequel in 1 Samuel: Philistines steal the ark, true, but then the ark goes to war in Philistia. Yahweh spreads plague wherever He goes, and makes the Philistine idol Dagon fall in homage until he breaks himself in pieces.

Yahweh allows Himself to be taken into exile, suffering the exile that Israel deserves. He bears their curse, defeats their enemies, and then returns to the land.

That whole story-line is going to play out in Jeremiah’s time. Babylonians will break and burn the temple, and they’ll take Yahweh’s stuff into exile. But there He’ll go to war with idolaters as He did with Dagon. He’ll disturb Belshazzar’s feast and give Babylon into the hands of Persia.

This time, though, Yahweh doesn’t go into exile alone. He takes His people with Him. In Samuel, He bears the sins of His people. In the Babylonian exile, the exiles are privileged to share His exile.

It’s like the two-generation establishment of the new covenant: First, Jesus goes to the cross alone; then He allows His disciples to share in His sufferings. After Head and Body suffer, the new covenant comes in in its fullness.

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