Asaph’s contemplation in Psalm 74 is about the desolations of the temple of Solomon after its destruction and is a plea for relief from the oppressors. He says ‘the enemy has damaged everything in the sanctuary’ (v.3b) and says in verses 6 & 7, ‘they break down its carved work, all at once with axes and hammers. They have set fire
to your sanctuary; they have defiled the dwelling place of your name to the ground.’
Where was this ‘sanctuary’—the temple?
Note how Asaph described the location of the sanctuary, the temple in verse 2b…’this MOUNT ZION where you have dwelt’ (v.2b).
David had also said, ‘For the LORD has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His dwelling place “This is My resting place forever; Here I will dwell, for I have desired it.”’ (Psalm 132:13-14)
God had chosen MOUNT ZION! David knew God’s plan and that is why he knew he had to wrest the ancient site from the Jebusites who had long held it.
‘Nevertheless David took the stronghold of Zion (that is, the City of David)’ 1 Chronicles 11:5.
‘…the City of David, which is Zion’ 1 Kings 8:1.
There are quite a few other references which equate Zion with the City of David, that somewhat crescent-shaped neck or ridge of land running north/south above the Kidron Valley and the Spring, Gihon (see the City of David area outlined in yellow in the 1930 aerial view above).
David’s conquest of the stronghold called Zion—re-named by him as the City of David—was via the ‘tsinnor’ or water shaft above the Gihon Spring.
There can be no association of that site with the site some 200 -300 metres north which has erroneously become known as Temple Mount.
This site near the Gihon Spring was deeply impressed in the psyche of Israel because it was the site which had become special to the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who all had significant events there and all called the site HaMakom—The Place.
Zion has not moved. The City of David was Zion—and therefore the site of Solomon’s temple, somewhere above Gihon Spring which provided the ‘living water’ that typified the life-giving presence of God among His people.
Get the full story by reading 'THE PLACE, HaMakom: where Jerusalem's temples stood' (Amazon worldwide, Koorong Books, Booktopia etc)
Psalm 36 comes from David, so God’s ‘house’ that he speaks of in verse 8 would have been the temporary tent that he had erected at Gihon for the Ark and the sacred furnishings from the old Tabernacle.
We know that the anointing oil was
there because he instructed the priest and prophet to take Solomon down to Gihon and anoint him there (1 Kings 1:33-35).
So…when David says in Psalm 36:8-9 ‘they are abundantly satisfied with the fulness of your house, and, you give them to drink from the river of your pleasures, for with you is the fountain of life’, the picture is of the site he had created with the tent or tabernacle at the Gihon Spring. Gihon is 'the river' and 'the fountain' at the 'house.'
That site, known as HaMakom throughout the Old Testament was recognised by David as the ‘X’ spot of history which God had marked to the Patriachs with His presence. When he gave his son Solomon the plans God had put in his heart (1 Chronicles 28) it would have been for near the Gihon/HaMakom site where the ‘river of God’ flowed. In my view Gihon’s gushing waters were piped up to service the temple requirements for copious washings. It provided the type of the ‘living water’ that flows at the throne of God.
See details by clicking on 'THE PLACE HaMakom; where Jerusalem's temples stood'
The Temple and the Spring...
In the quote above, Jesus was talking to the Samaritan woman about the kind of water He could give her to drink...‘living water’ that would not only totally quench her deepest thirst, but ‘spring up’ from within her also!
When Jesus demonstrated to her that this amazing living water was springing up from within Him as He disclosed secrets about her life, she started in with a discussion (or argument) that raged between Jews and Samaritans at that time about where they should worship.
She said, “you Jews say that IN Jerusalem is The Place where we should worship” (note: not “Jerusalem is the place”) indicating that she was aware of the nickname for the site which had become known since patriarchal times as, The Place. In the Old Testament Hebrew of the patriarchal narratives, this was HaMakom—The Place. It was where Abraham surrendered Isaac and where Jacob had had his dream ‘and called the place (HaMakom), Bethel’ (Beit-El—House of God).
Because the temple was in the City of David somewhere above Gihon Spring (and not on what falsely became called Temple Mount), it had ‘living water’ springing up within it, just as He promised believers (as His new temple or dwelling place in the earth) would have.
For more on this fascinating subject read 'THE PLACE HaMakom; where Jerusalem's temple stood'
In the Old Testament, the Jewish Temple was where God presenced Himself among His people as the God who was among--and near and accessible to His own.
The Temple practices and rituals enabled God’s people to draw near to Him--
1. To find mercy and forgiveness and to be cleansed and refined
2. To receive life from Him
The mercy and forgiveness was found as the blood of a substitute animal was taken into the Holy of Holies by the high priest and sprinkled on the ‘mercy seat’ where the ‘Presence’ resided.
That this occurred on a place chosen by God which was once a threshing floor where grain was separated and purified or refined typifies the purifying and refining work of God in lives. John the Baptist said (of Jesus) to the Pharisees and Sadducees, “His winnowing fan is in His hand and He will thoroughly clean His threshing floor and gather His wheat” (Matthew 3:12)
The receiving of life from Him was typified by the presence of living (and life-giving) water at the Temple site, flowing from the Gihon Spring.
Yes, on a threshing floor and at a spring...two essential elements typifying the life of Jesus who takes away the sin of the world, refines those who come to Him--and, gives them (as He said) living water to drink!
‘…and he (Jacob) called the name of that place Bethel; but the name of that city had been Luz previously’ (Genesis 28:19)
From Ian Heard