The Temple, Intermediaries, and the Ten Tribes
Henry Rhea wrote:
You are involving yourself in philosophical and theological considerations that are beyond our sphere of interest.
The Bible may be read either way.
When the Children of Israel came out of Egypt and received the Torah the ALMIGHTY spoke to them directly (Exodus 19:15, 19).
This was too much for them and so they requested that henceforth Moses serve as intermediary (Exodus 19:16)..
This request was regarded favorably by God.
Later when they thought that Moses had disappeared they requested an intermediary in place of Moses.
The result was the golden calf that they began to worship.
The original intention behind the golden calf had not been something to worship instead of God but rather a substitute for Moses who had determined the will of heaven. Moses had led them until then through the wilderness (Exodus 32:1-6). The unauthorized creation of the golden calf however in itself was considered idolatry and after the calf was made the people worshipped it in an idolatrous manner.
So too, Jeroboam when he induced the Israelites to worship the golden calves at Bethel and Dan may have presented them as intermediaries.
The result was idolatry and the eventual exile of the Ten Tribes and their becoming lost.
[1-Kings 12:28] WHEREUPON THE KING [Jeroboam] TOOK COUNSEL, AND MADE TWO CALVES OF GOLD, AND SAID UNTO THEM, IT IS TOO MUCH FOR YOU TO GO UP TO JERUSALEM: BEHOLD THY GODS, O ISRAEL, WHICH BROUGHT THEE UP OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT.
#THY GODS# Hebrew "Eloheca" in the plural but not necessarily meaning more than one.
The Kuzari by Rabbi Yehudah HaLevi and other sources say that these golden bull calves were intended to represent the God of Israel but because they were made without Divine Sanction it was considered as if they were committing idolatry. Later the calves did indeed take on an outright idolatrous significance.
Whatever the case we have a commandment to build the Temple:
Laws of the Temple
# We are commanded to make a house [i.e., a Temple] for Ha-Shem, as it says "And they shall make Me a Sanctuary" (Ex. 25:8). Since the time of David it is forbidden to make this Temple anywhere but on mount Moriah in Jerusalem, as it says "And David said: This is the house of Ha-Shem the G-d" (I Chronicles 22:1), and it says "This is My eternal resting place" (Psalms 132:14). The Sanctuary and the city of Jerusalem were sanctified by Solomon; they remain holy even when the Temple does not exist. They can be added to only by a king, a prophet, and a Sanhedrin. We are commanded to respect the Temple, as it says "And you shall fear My Sanctuary" (Lev. 19:30). #
The commandment exists. You may theologize and philosophize about it as much as you wish. However you deal with it the commandment is obligatory. The only question that remains is when and how this commandment may be put into effect.
Tradition says that the Lost Ten Tribes will return and will be instrumental in rebuilding the Temple.
The Midrash (Midrash Shmuel 13, Yalkut Shomeoni-2, remez 106, Rashi on Hosea 3;5) tells us:
##Against three things were the Children of Israel [i.e. the Ten Tribes who were the majority of Israel] destined to show contempt: Against the Rule of Heaven, against the Kingdom of David, and against the Holy Temple. This occurred in the Reign of King Jeroboam. They said, WHAT PORTION HAVE WE IN DAVID? In effect this meant rebellion against the Kingdom of Heaven [by whom David had been appointed]. They also said, "NEITHER HAVE WE INHERITANCE IN THE SON OF JESSE": This meant a rejection of the House of David [son of Jesse] in general. They said too, "TO YOUR TENTS, O ISRAEL: NOW SEE TO THINE OWN HOUSE, DAVID": This meant turning their back on the Holy Temple.
[The expression TO YOUR TENTS, O ISRAEL in some opinions was a play on words. The real intention of the expression or the original expression had been "TO YOUR GODS O ISRAEL" (Rashi, Radak, Minchat Shi). The Hebrew for YOUR TENTS and YOUR GODS uses the same letters with only a slight change of order, Elohecha ("Your gods") versus Ohelecha ("Your tents"). The motivation for breaking away from the Kingdom of David had been at least in part a desire to commit idolatry. Jeroboam almost immediately set up two gold calves and all the Northern Kingdom began worshipping them].
The Midrash continues:
##Rabbi Shimeon the son of Menasiah said: Israel will not see a blessing until they return and seek out the three things they rejected. As it says in Hosea:"AFTERWARD SHALL THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL RETURN, AND SEEK THE LORD THEIR GOD, AND DAVID THEIR KING; AND SHALL FEAR THE LORD AND HIS GOODNESS IN THE LATTER DAYS" (HOSEA 3:5). This means:
Messiah son of Joseph, the Ten Tribes, and the Temple
God says that HE will send HIS messenger before HIM to prepare the way and rebuild the Temple (Malachi 3:1). Rav Saadia Gaon (b. ca. 890 CE) and Iben Ezra (1080-1164 CE) said that the MESSENGER is the Messiah son of Joseph. The Messiah son of Joseph, according to the Malbim (1809-1879) and others will be the future head of the Lost Ten Tribes when they return to re-unite with Judah.
At least one Midrash (Pesikta Zutratha Lekach Tov, Balak,
Numbers 24;17) says that the Messiah Son of Joseph will rebuild the
Brit-Am Now no. 1559
#3. Brit-Am Answers to Richard McKay Concerning Rebuilding the Temple.
(a) Rebuilding the Temple, the Ten Tribes, and Messiah son of Joseph: Some Sources
We believe in the literal truth of the Bible and
this means putting the Bible into practice in accordance with Divine Will.