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John 1:14; The Tabernacle

As we continue our study in the book of John, we will now look closer at verse 14. Just as in verse 13 where the word "blood" in the English text did not show us that it was indeed plural with deep significant theological meaning, so does the English hide from us the meaning of the word "dwelt" in verse 14 . The word "dwelt" in verse 14 is the word " - eskenosen" (verb) which is from the word " - skenos" (noun), which means tabernacle. In addition this word (skenos) is also used in the New Testament figuratively for the body as the frail and temporary abode of the soul (2 Corinthians v. 1). 2 Corinthians 5:1 (KJV) For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle ( ) were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands , eternal in the heavens. The definition of this word is as follows;

Strong's (G4636) - skay'-nos

From G4633; a hut or temporary residence, that is, (figuratively) the human body (as the abode of the spirit): - tabernacle.

Thayer Definition i. ii. a tabernacle, a tent metaphorically of the human body, in which the soul dwells as in a tent, and which is taken down at death u euter; A Related W rd by Thayer /Str g Number: fr m G4633

Part f Speech:

Many teach that the word dwelt (tabernacle) in verse John i. 14 implies a temporary dwelling among us; Christ's stay among us was only but temporary; The Word was made flesh (ref. John i. 1-14), to do the will of the father (ref. John iv. 34; v. 30; vi. 38, 40), died and rose again the third day (ref. 1 Corinthians xv. 4), defeating death (ref. Romans vi. 9) ,ascended to heaven sitting at the right hand of God making intercession for His elect (ref Romans viii. 34), and that Christ, the Word, is in no longer with us in the physical flesh; his stay among us in flesh was only temporary (ref John i. 14). While this is true, yes, the question remains, "Is this what John was referring to, or was there more to the word than what is perceived; was John referring only to a temporary stay among us, or was there a deeper meaning to the word tabernacle (dwelt)?


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John 1:14 KJV And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt () among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John 1:14 GTR (and) (the) (verb; tabernacled) (u ) (Word) (flesh) (made) (and)

en; prep. governing the dat. In, on, at, by any place or thing, with the primary idea of rest. As compared with eis (G1519), into or unto, and ek (G1537), out of or from, it stands between the two; eis implies motion into, and ek motion out of, while en, in, means remaining in place. source: The Complete Word Study Dictionary This word, "dwelt", in which John used he also used in four other places in the scriptures, and with each reference made the word was used in a permanent sense, one remaining, not temporary. Dwell ( )

Revelation 7:15 KJV Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell (tabernacle; ref. John i. 14; Lev. xxvi. 11; Isa. iv. 5, 6; Ezek. xxxvii. 27) among them. Revelation 12:12 KJV Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell (tabernacle; ref. John i. 14; Rev. vii. 15; xiii. 6; xxi. 3) in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. Revelation 13:6 KJV And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell (tabernacle; ref. Rev. xii. 12) in heaven. Revelation 21:3 KJV And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell (tabernacle; ref. Rev. Ezek. xxxvii. 27, 28) with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. What then is it to tabernacle, to dwell? Rather than restating what has been written on the word "dwelt / dwell (tabernacle)", let us turn to the commentaries of men well versed in topic.

and dwelt tabernacled or pitched his tent; a word peculiar to John, who uses it four times, all in the sense of a permanent stay (Rev. vii. 15; xii. 12;xiii. 6; xxi. 3). For ever wedded t ur fle h, He ha e tered thi taber acle t g m re ut. The allu i i to that tabernacle where dwelt the Shekinah (see on Mat. xxiii. 38, 39), or manifested GLORY OF THE LORD, a d with refere ce t G d perma e t dwelli g am g Hi pe ple (Lev. xxvi. 11; Psa. lxviii. 18; cxxxii. 13, 14; Eze. xxxvii. 27). This is put almost beyond doubt by what immediately f ll w , A d we beheld hi gl ry [Luc e, Meyer, De Wette which la t critic, rising higher than usual, says that thus were perfected all former partial manifestations of God in an essentially Personal and historically Human manifestation].


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source Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary


Dwelt (

Literally, tabernacled, fixed, or had His tabernacle: from , a tent or tabernacle. The verb is used only by John: in the Gospel only here, and in Rev. vii. 15; xii. 12; xiii. 6; xxi. 3. t ccur i cla ical wri g , a i e ph , , he pitched his tent in the plai (A aba i , vii., 4, 11). S Plat , argui g agai t the pr p iti that the u ju t die by the i here t de tructive p wer f evil, ay that i ju ce which murder ther eep the murderer alive - aye, a d u leepi g t ; , i.e., literally, far ha her te t bee pread fr m bei g a h u e f death (Republic, 610). The figure here is from the Old Testament (Lev. xxvii. 11; 2 Sam. vii. 6; Psa. lxxviii. 67 sqq.; Ezek. xxxvii. 27). The tabernacle was the dwelling-place of Jehovah; the meeting-place of God and Israel. So the Word came to men in the person of Jesus. As Jehovah adopted for His habitation a dwelling like that of the people in the wilderness, so the Word assumed a community of nature with mankind, an embodiment like that of huma ity at large, a d became fle h. That which wa fr m the begi i g, we heard, we saw, we beheld, we handled. Our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Chri t (1 John i. 1,2,3. Compare Phi. ii. 7,8). Some find in the word tabernacle, a temporary structure (see the contrast between , taber acle, a d , building, in 2 Cor. v. 1), a suggestion of the transitoriness of our Lord's stay upon earth; which may well be, although the word does not necessarily imply this; for in Rev. xxi. 3, it i aid f the heave ly Jeru alem the taber acle f G d i with men, and He will set up His tabernacle ( ) with them. Da te allude t the i car ati i the eve th ca t f the Paradi :

- the human species down below Lay sick for many centuries in great error, Till to descend it pleased the Word of God To where the nature, which from its own Maker Estranged itself, He joined to Him in person By the sole act of His eternal love. source Vincent Word Studies Lastly, let us look to the Ante Nicene Fathers. For from this we can see that the word in which John used, "dwelt", may not have been in the temporary sense, but one that is permanent; for as the OT is a shadow of things to come, Christ once tabernacled among us in the flesh, but now He is in us, His Church, the Elect of God. Therefore He became flesh, and having become flesh, " He tabernacled among us," not dwelling without us ; and after tabernacling and dwelling within us, He did not continue in the form in which He first presented Himself, but caused us to ascend to the lofty mountain of His word, and showed us His own glorious form, and the splendour of His garments ; and not His own form alone, but that also of the spiritual law, which is Moses, seen in glory along with Jesus. He showed


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to us, moreover, all prophecy, which did not perish even after His incarnation, but was received up into heaven, and whose symbol was Elijah. And he who beheld these things could say, " We beheld His glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." source Ante Nicene Fathers vol. ix pg. 604, ref. 6 Cf. John i. 14 And as God dwelt between the cherubim's, He now dwells, remains, tabernacles, in us - His elect, the Church, His bride whom He, Christ , died for. Hebrews 3:6 KJV But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. Hebrews 9:8 KJV The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all (in order to anoint the most holy is not a literal temple, not a literal tabernacle) was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: Hebrews 9:9 KJV Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; Perfect - teleioo - to complete. The ritual of the OT tabernacle could not perfect you or complete you; only a blood baptism could, and that was the blood of Christ. Hebrews 9:10 KJV Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings (baptismas), and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation. Hebrews 9:11 KJV But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle (the elect, the church), not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; perfect - to seven oneself, as to take an oath to God. We have the tabernacle in us, that is Christ in us, not made with hands. - skene - tabernacle from skeuos - a wife that is useful to her husband. The tabernacle of God is His wife, and that wife is the church, not the world. Hebrews 10:19 KJV Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest (spiritual - our hearts) by the blood of Jesus (the high priest for ever after the order Melchizedek. Jesus will sprinkle his own blood on our hearts. This is anointing the most holy, the elect, his bride, the church.) Ephesians 5:25 KJV Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it ( personal pronoun, singular (not the world) feminine - it says her in the Greek, not it. Christ only died for her His Church); Hebrews 10:20 KJV By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh (his flesh is the bread, his bread is the body, the body the church);


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Hebrews 10:21 KJV And having an high priest over the house of God (ref Heb 3:6, we - the elect are now the house of God); Hebrews 10:22 KJV Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure (living) water (the holy spirit). For the other three studies on John 1:11-13 please see our other articles. John 1:11-13; Part 1 http://www.scribd.com/doc/94945724/John-1-11-13-part1 John 1:11-13; Part 2 http://www.scribd.com/doc/94945726/John-1-11-13-part2 John 1:11-13; Part 3 http://www.scribd.com/doc/94945731/John-1-11-13-part-3

Agape and Phileo.


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