Degrees of glory
In Latter-day Saint theology and cosmology, there are three degrees of glory which are the ultimate, eternal dwelling place for nearly all who lived on earth after they are resurrected from the spirit world. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that Paul the Apostle described these degrees of glory in 1 Corinthians 15:40-42, in 2 Corinthians 12:2. Joseph Smith elaborated on Paul's descriptions based upon a vision he received with Sidney Rigdon in 1832 and recorded in Doctrine and Covenants section 76. According to this vision, all humans will be resurrected and at the Final Judgment will be assigned to one of three degrees of glory, called the celestial kingdom, the terrestrial kingdom, the telestial kingdom. A small number of individuals who commit the unpardonable sin will not receive a kingdom of glory, but will be banished to outer darkness with Satan where they will be "sons of Perdition"; the three degrees of glory are most described in section 76 of the Doctrine and Covenants.
In the preface to section 76, the following explanatory text is given: A vision given to the Prophet Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon, at Hiram, February 16, 1832. Prefacing the record of this vision, Joseph Smith’s history states: "Upon my return from Amherst conference, I resumed the translation of the Scriptures. From sundry revelations, received, it was apparent that many important points touching the salvation of man had been taken from the Bible, or lost before it was compiled, it appeared self-evident from what truths were left, that if God rewarded every one according to the deeds done in the body the term'Heaven,' as intended for the Saints' eternal home, must include more kingdoms than one. Accordingly... while translating St. John's Gospel and Elder Rigdon saw the following vision." At the time this vision was given, the Prophet was translating John 5:29. Assignment to a particular kingdom in the resurrection is contingent upon the desires and actions exhibited during mortal and post-mortal life.
The LDS Church teaches that these different kingdoms are what Jesus was referring to when he said "n my Father's house are many mansions". Additionally, the LDS Church teaches that 1 Corinthians 15:40–41 speaks of these three degrees of glory, comparing them with the glory of the sun and stars; the Church's doctrine of the three degrees of glory is said to be consistent with a particular reading of Revelation 22:10–11, where John says: 10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. 11 He, unjust, let him be unjust still: and he, filthy, let him be filthy still: and he, righteous, let him be righteous still: and he, holy, let him be holy still. However, this doctrine of three heavenly kingdoms appears in the writings of St. Gregory of Sinai in his On Commandments and Doctrines: "By'many dwelling-places' the Savior meant the differing stages of spiritual ascent and states of development in the other world; that is to say, there is place for both heavenly and earthy men according to their virtue, their knowledge and the degree of deification that they have attained.'For there is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, another glory of the stars, for one star differs from another star in glory'.
In addition to St. Gregory of Sinai, in the Byzantine tradition, St. Symeon Metaphrasis expounded a similar doctrine in Paraphrase of the Homilies of St. Makarios of Egypt: "Just as many lamps may be lit from the same oil and from a single light, yet do not give out an equal radiance, so the gifts that come from different virtues reflect the light of the Holy Spirit in different ways. Or as the many inhabitants of a single city all use bread and water, though some of them are men, some infants, some children, some old people, there is a great variety and difference among them; this is the significance of the phrase,'Star differs from star in glory"." The celestial kingdom is the highest of the three degrees of glory. It is thought by Mormons to be the "third heaven" referred to by the Apostle Paul in the King James Version of 2 Corinthians 12:2 and it is said to correspond to the "celestial bodies" and "glory of the sun" mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15:40–41; the celestial kingdom will be the residence of those who have been righteous, accepted the teachings of Jesus Christ, made and lived up to all of the required ordinances and covenants.
Individuals may receive these ordinances and covenants during their mortal lives. For those who did not have the opportunity while living, they will have the opportunity in the post-mortal spirit world, where they can accept ordinances performed on their behalf by Latter-day Saints in temples. All children who die before the age of eight automatically inherit the celestial kingdom without the reception of ordinances; the celestial kingdom is the permanent residence of God the Father and Jesus
Brahmaloka, is the abode of Lord Brahma, the creator god and part of a Trimurti along with Vishnu and Shiva in Hinduism. Located on Mount Meru, It is referred to as Brahmapura or Satyaloka or Satya bagecha in the puranas. Brahmaloka is a garden of all kinds of flowers, it is stated. However, Buddha adds. Brahmaloka is a beautiful garden made up of flower. Vedanta considers all spheres of existence, including the highest one namely Brahmaloka, to be temporary and only the absolute reality of infinite Pure Consciousness-Bliss is immortal and permanent. Brahmapura is the topmost loka within this material universe. Brahmaloka is a planet composed of Brahman, considered superior to svarga and is full of eternity and bliss, the planet of the Bhagavān; the Second Canto equates Brahmaloka with the spiritual world, mūrdhabhiḥ satya-lokas tu brahma-lokaḥ sanātanaḥ "Satyaloka, the topmost planetary system, is situated on the head of the form. The spiritual planet Brahmaloka, however, is eternal." The statement shows Brahmaloka is an eternal Vaikuntha, neither created nor within the material realm, Brahman-lokah esa atma-lokah "Brahmaloka is the planet of the Supreme Soul."
The Chāndogya Upaniṣad says in 8:1 "within the Brahmapura is an abode, a small lotus-flower within, a small space. What is within that, should be searched out. That, assuredly, is what one should desire to understand." Brahmaloka, The highest of the celestial worlds, the abode of the Brahmas. It consists of twenty heavens: the nine ordinary Brahma-worlds, the five Suddhāvāsā, the four Arūpa worlds, the Asaññasatta and the Vehapphala. All except the four Arūpa worlds are classed among the Rūpa worlds; the inhabitants of the Brahma worlds are free from sensual desires. The Brahma world is the only world devoid of women. Rebirth in the Brahma world is the result of great virtue accompanied by meditation; the Jātakas contain numerous accounts of ascetics who practised meditation, being born after death in the Brahma world. When the rest of the world is destroyed at the end of a kappa, the Brahma world is saved and the first beings to be born on earth come from the ābhassara Brahma world; the Brahmās are represented as taking an interest in the affairs of men.
Thus, Nārada descends from the Brahma-world to dispel the heresies of King Angati. Vaikuntha Brahman Paramatma Bhagavan Self-Realization Brahmaanubhava: The Advaitic Perspective of Shankara: Brahmaanubhava: The Advaitic Perspective of Shankara von Vensus A. George von Council for Research in Values & - page 103 Sharma, Shubhra. Life In The Upanishads. Abhinav Publications. Illuminated Way Publishing. ISBN 0-914766-91-0 Twitchell, The Far Country as PDF Brahmapura
Jahannam in Islam refers to an afterlife place of punishment for evildoers. The punishments are carried in accordance. In Quran, Jahannam is referred as an-Nar النار, Jaheem جحيم, Hutamah حطمة, Haawiyah هاوية, Ladthaa لظى, Sa’eer سعير, Saqar سقر. and the names of different gates to hell. Just like the Islamic heavens, the common belief holds that, Jahannam coexists with the temporary world. Suffering in hell is both physical and spiritual, varies according to the sins of the condemned; as described in the Quran, Hell has seven levels. Not all Muslims and scholars agree whether hell is an eternal destination or whether some or all of the condemned will be forgiven and allowed to enter paradise. Most of how Muslims picture and think about Jahannam comes from the Qur'an, according to scholar Einar Thomassen, who found nearly 500 references to Jahannam/hell in the Qur'an. Jahannam appears in the Qur'an 77 times, Al-Jaheem 23 times; the Qur ` an uses a number of different phrases to refer to hell. Al-nar is used 125 times, jahannam 77 times, jaheem 26 times.
One collection of Quranic descriptions of hell include "rather specific indications of the tortures of the Fire": flames that crackle and roar. Its wretched inhabitants sigh and wail, their scorched skins are exchanged for new ones so that they can taste the torment anew, drink festering water and though death appears on all sides they cannot die, they are linked together in chains of 70 cubits, wearing pitch for clothing and fire on their faces, have boiling water that will be poured over their heads, melting their insides as well as their skins, hooks of iron to drag them back should they try to escape, their remorseful admissions of wrongdoing and pleading for forgiveness are in vain. The description of Jahannam as a place of blazing fire appears in every verse in the Qur'an describing hell. Jahannam is described as being located below heaven, having seven gates, each for a specific group or at least a different "portion" or "party" of sinners; the Quran mentions wrongdoers having "degrees according to their deeds" which scholar believe refers to the seven gates.
The one mention of levels of hell is that hypocrites will be found in its bottom. The Quran mentions three different sources of food in hell: Ḍari‘, a dry desert plant, full of thorns and fails to relieve hunger or sustain a person; the Hadiths introduce punishments and revelations not mentioned in the Quran. In both Quranic verses and hadiths, "the Fire" is "a gruesome place of punishment, always contrasted with Jannah, "the Garden". Whatever characteristic "the Garden offered, the Fire offered the opposite conditions." Several hadith describes a part of hell, cold rather than hot, known as Zamhareer. According to Bukhari, lips are cut by scissors. Other traditions added flogging. An Uighur manuscript mentions drowning and falling from heights. Based on hadiths, the sinners are thought to carry signs in accordance with their sins. In addition to the Quran and hadith are "Eschatological manuals"; these were written after the other two sources and developed descriptions of Jahannam "in more deliberate ways".
While the Quran and hadith tend to describe punishments that unbelievers are forced to give themselves, the manuals illustrate external and more dramatic punishment, through devils and snakes. Manuals dedicated to the subject of Jahannam include Ibn Abi al-Dunya's Sifat al-nar, al-Maqdisi's Dhikr al-nar. Other manuals—such as texts by al-Ghazali and the 12th-century scholar Qadi Ayyad -- "dramatise life in the Fire", present "new punishments, different types of sinners, the appearance of a multitude of devils," to exhort the faithful to piety, his hell has a structure with a specific place for each type of sinners. Al Ghazali, in his book The Remembrance of Death and the Afterlife and discusses the "wrongdoer" and graphic, sometimes violent scenes of Jahannam. According to theologian Al-Ghazali, Afterlife will start with the "Day of the Arising" and a trumpet blast which will wake the dead from their graves. "The Perspiration" —when all created beings, including men, jinn and animals gather and sweat unshaded from the sun—will follow.
Sinners and unbelievers will suffer and sweat longer on this day, which lasts for "50,000 years". God will judge each soul, accept no excuses, examine every act and intention—no matter how small, it is believed those whose good deeds outweigh the bad will be assigned to Jannah, those whose bad deeds outweigh the good to Jahannam. The souls will traverse over hellfire via the bridge of sirat. For sinners, it is believed the bridge will be thinner than hair and sharper than the sharpest sword, impossible to walk on without falling below to arrive at their destination. According to Leor Halevi, between the moment of death and the time of their burial ceremony, "the spirit of a deceased Muslim takes a quick journey to Heaven and Hell, where it beholds visions of the bliss and torture awaiting humanity at the
Vaikuntha Chaturmurti or Vaikuntha Vishnu is a four-headed aspect of the Hindu god Vishnu found in Kashmir. The icon represents Vishnu as the Supreme Being, he has a lion head, a boar head and a demonic head. Sometimes three-headed aspects of Vishnu where the demonic rear head is dropped are considered to represent Vaikuntha Chaturmurti. Though iconographical treatises describe him to eight-armed, he is depicted with four. Vaikuntha Chaturmurti is shown standing but sometimes he is depicted seated on his vahana Garuda; the concept of a four-headed Vishnu first appears in the Hindu epic Mahabharata, but the complete iconography was first found in a 5th-century Pancharatra text. The icon reflects influences from the Gandhara architectural tradition. While as per one interpretation, the animal heads represent Vishnu's avatar Narasimha and Varaha, another theory based on Pancharatra texts relates the four heads to Chaturvyuha – Vasudeva, Samkarshana and Aniruddha – four vyuhas of Vishnu. A cult centered on Vaikuntha Chaturmurti developed in Kashmir in the 8–12th century, when the deity enjoyed royal patronage in the region.
The Lakshmana Temple of Khajuraho suggests his worship in the Chandela kingdom in the 10th century. The icon is known by various names: Vaikuntha, Chaturmurti, Para Vasudeva Narayana, Vishnu Chaturmurti, Vishnu Chaturanana and Vaikuntha Chaturmukhi; the Vishnudharmottara Purana calls him Vishnu-Vaikuntha. The icon may be called Chaturvyuha, when identified with the four manifestations or vyuhas of Vishnu. Vaikuntha refers to Vishnu's abode, but in the Mahabharata and the Puranas, this term is used as an epithet of Vishnu. Though no clear etymology of vaikuntha exists, the term is believed to be derived from vi-kuntha meaning "not blunt"; the earliest scriptures like the Vedas and Brahmanas connect the epithet to Indra, the king of the gods and the Supreme god of the era. By the time of the Mahabharata, Vishnu gained the role of Indra and the epithet vaikuntha was transferred to him; the use of vaikuntha in the name suggests that the form represents the Para form of Vishnu. The name Chaturmurti appears in the Vishnu sahasranama.
The Pancharatra text Jayakhya-Samhita mentions that Vaikuntha Chaturmurti has four faces: Vaikuntha, Narasimha and Kapila and four arms holding the usual attributes of Vishnu: shankha, chakra and padma. In the Vishnudharmottara Purana, Vaikuntha Chaturmurti is described as having eight arms and four faces, human facing the East, lion on the South, boar on the North and demonic facing the west. In one of earliest Vaikuntha Chaturmurti images dating from the Gupta era – c. 6th century, the positions of the boar and lion heads are reversed, though this is a rare aberration. The central front face may be smiling. Sometimes, the back face may be omitted; the fourth head may be replaced by a Chakrapurusha. The kapila head may have a moustache, bulging large eyes, a third eye, grinning teeth, fangs, a short chin, broad eyebrows and a ferocious, grim or sad expression, his hair are tied up in a large knot – a jata like a sage. The name of the fourth head as Kapila is interpreted in two ways. Taking the literal meaning of kapila as red, it is interpreted as meaning angry.
The epithet kapila is associated with the fire god Agni and the solar deity Surya in early canonical texts. Another theory relates to Vishnu's sage avatar and founder of Samkhya philosophy, described as having a wrathful nature and cursing the sons of Sagara to turn into ashes for insulting him; the head-dress jatajuta is typical of Brahmin sages like Kapila. The Agni Purana describes the icon having four heads, without describing the nature of each; the iconographical treatises Aparajitapriccha and the Rupamandana mention that the fourth head is Shri and Stri however no sculptures with a fourth female head have been discovered. The back face may be carved on the halo behind the central three heads in low relief or in a space between the halo. In the iconography of Kashmir, during the 8th and 9th centuries, the gods of Hindu Trimurti – Brahma and Shiva – each are depicted with three heads. In a sculpture displayed in the Metropolitan Art Museum of New York, the four-headed Brahma as well as Shiva are shown with three visible heads.
Vishnu is depicted with three visible heads. Vaikuntha Chaturmurti is depicted standing, he wears rich clothes as well as various ornaments like a crown, necklaces etc. symbolic of royalty and the yagnopavita. In his eight arms, he is prescribed in the texts to carry gada, sword and the Sudarshana Chakra in his left hands and shankha, shield and lotus in his right hands. However, in sculpture, he is four-armed and in two of his hands, he holds a lotus and a conch, while his other hands rest on the heads of
Vaishnavism is one of the major traditions within Hinduism along with Shaivism and Smarthism. It is called Vishnuism, its followers are called Vaishnavas, it considers Vishnu as the Supreme Lord; the tradition is notable for its avatar doctrine, wherein Krishna is revered in one of many distinct incarnations. Of these, ten avatars of Vishnu are the most studied. Rama, Narayana, Hari, Kesava, Govinda, Sri Nathji and Jagannath are among the popular names used for the same supreme being; the tradition has traceable roots to the 1st millennium BCE, as Bhagavatism called Krishnaism. Developments led by Ramananda created a Rama-oriented movement, now the largest monastic group in Asia; the Vaishnava tradition has many sampradayas ranging from the medieval era Dvaita school of Madhvacharya to Vishishtadvaita school of Ramanuja. The tradition is known for the loving devotion to an avatar of Vishnu, it has been key to the spread of the Bhakti movement in South Asia in the 2nd millennium CE. Key texts in Vaishnavism include the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Pancaratra texts and the Bhagavata Purana.
Vaishnavism originates in the latest centuries BCE and the early centuries CE, as an amalgam of the heroic Krishna Vasudeva, the "divine child" Bala Krishna of the Gopala traditions, syncretism of these non-Vedic traditions with the Mahabharata canon, thus affiliating itself with Vedism in order to become acceptable to the orthodox establishment. Krishnaism becomes associated with bhakti yoga in the medieval period. Although Vishnu was a Vedic solar deity, he is mentioned more compared to Agni and other Vedic deities, thereby suggesting that he had a major position in the Vedic religion. Other scholars state that there are other Vedic deities, such as water deity Nara, who together form the historical roots of Vaishnavism. In the late-Vedic texts, the concept of a metaphysical Brahman grows in prominence, the Vaishnavism tradition considered Vishnu to be identical to Brahman, just like Shaivism and Shaktism consider Shiva and Devi to be Brahman respectively; the ancient emergence of Vaishnavism is unclear, the evidence inconsistent and scanty.
According to Dalal, the origins may be in Vedic deity Bhaga. According to Preciado-Solís, the Vedic deities Nara and Narayana form one of the Vedic roots of Vaishnavism. According to Dandekar, Vaishnavism may have emerged from merger of several ancient theistic traditions, where the various deities were integrated as different avatars of the same god. In Dandekar theory, Vaishnavism emerged at the end of the Vedic period before the second urbanisation of northern India, in the 7th to 4th century BCE. Vasudeva and Krishna, "the deified tribal hero and religious leader of the Yadavas," gained prominence, merged into Bhagavan Vasudeva-Krishna, due to the close relation between the Vrsnis and the Yadavas; this was followed by a merger with the cult of Gopala-Krishna of the cowherd community of the Abhıras at the 4th century CE. The character of Gopala Krishna is considered to be non-Vedic. According to Dandekar, such mergers consolidated the position of Krishnaism between the heterodox sramana movement and the orthodox Vedic religion.
The "Greater Krsnaism", states Dandekar merged with the Rigvedic Vishnu. Syncretism of various traditions and Vedism resulted in Vaishnavism. At this stage that Vishnu of the Rig Veda was assimilated into non-Vedic Krishnaism and became the equivalent of the Supreme God; the appearance of Krishna as one of the Avatars of Vishnu dates to the period of the Sanskrit epics in the early centuries CE. The Bhagavad Gita was incorporated into the Mahabharata as a key text for Krishnaism; the Narayana-cult was included, which further brahmanized Vaishnavism. The Nara-Narayana cult may have originated in Badari, a northern ridge of the Hindu Kush, absorbed into the Vedic orthodoxy as Purusa Narayana. Purusa Narayana may have been turned into Arjuna and Krsna; this complex history is reflected in the two main historical denominations of Vishnavism. The Bhagavats, worship Vasudeva-Krsna, are followers of brahmanic Vaishnavism, while the Pacaratrins regard Narayana as their founder, are followers of Tantric Vaishnavism.
According to Hardy, there is evidence of early "southern Krishnaism," despite the tendency to allocate the Krishna-traditions to the Northern traditions. South Indian texts show close parallel with the Sanskrit traditions of Krishna and his gopi companions, so ubiquitous in North Indian text and imagery. Early writings in Dravidian culture such as Manimekalai and the Cilappatikaram present Krishna, his brother, favourite female companions in the similar terms. Hardy argues that the Sanskrit Bhagavata Purana is a Sanskrit "translation" of the bhakti of the Tamil alvars. Devotion to southern Indian Mal may be an early form of Krishnaism, since Mal appears as a divine figure like Krishna with some elements of Vishnu; the Alvars, whose name can be translated "sages" or "saints", were devotees of Mal. Their poems show a pronounced orientation to the Vaishnava, Krishna, side of Mal, but they do not make the distinction between Krishna and Vishnu on the basis of the concept of the Avatars. Yet, according to Hardy the term "Mayonism" should be used instead of "Krishnaism" when referring to Mal or Mayon.
Most of the Gupta kings, beginning with Chandragupta II were known as Parama Bhagavatas or Bhagavata Vaishnavas. After the Gupta age, Krishnaism rose to a major current of Vaishnavism, Vaishnavism developed into various sects and subsects
The afterlife is the belief that the essential part of an individual's identity or the stream of consciousness continues after the death of the physical body. According to various ideas about the afterlife, the essential aspect of the individual that lives on after death may be some partial element, or the entire soul or spirit, of an individual, which carries with it and may confer personal identity or, on the contrary, may not, as in Indian nirvana. Belief in an afterlife is in contrast to the belief in oblivion after death. In some views, this continued existence takes place in a spiritual realm, in other popular views, the individual may be reborn into this world and begin the life cycle over again with no memory of what they have done in the past. In this latter view, such rebirths and deaths may take place over and over again continuously until the individual gains entry to a spiritual realm or Otherworld. Major views on the afterlife derive from religion and metaphysics; some belief systems, such as those in the Abrahamic tradition, hold that the dead go to a specific plane of existence after death, as determined by God, or other divine judgment, based on their actions or beliefs during life.
In contrast, in systems of reincarnation, such as those in the Indian religions, the nature of the continued existence is determined directly by the actions of the individual in the ended life, rather than through the decision of a different being. Theists believe some type of afterlife awaits people when they die. Members of some non-theistic religions tend to believe in an afterlife, but without reference to a deity; the Sadducees were an ancient Jewish sect that believed that there was a God but no afterlife. Many religions, whether they believe in the soul's existence in another world like Christianity and many pagan belief systems, or in reincarnation like many forms of Hinduism and Buddhism, believe that one's status in the afterlife is a reward or punishment for their conduct during life. Reincarnation is the philosophical or religious concept that an aspect of a living being starts a new life in a different physical body or form after each biological death, it is called rebirth or transmigration, is a part of the Saṃsāra doctrine of cyclic existence.
It is a central tenet of all major Indian religions, namely Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikhism. The idea of reincarnation is found in many ancient cultures, a belief in rebirth/metempsychosis was held by Greek historic figures, such as Pythagoras and Plato, it is a common belief of various ancient and modern religions such as Spiritism and Eckankar and is found as well in many tribal societies around the world, in places such as Australia, East Asia and South America. Although the majority of denominations within the Abrahamic religions of Judaism and Islam do not believe that individuals reincarnate, particular groups within these religions do refer to reincarnation; the historical relations between these sects and the beliefs about reincarnation that were characteristic of Neoplatonism, Hermeticism and Gnosticism of the Roman era as well as the Indian religions have been the subject of recent scholarly research. Unity Church and its founder Charles Fillmore teach reincarnation. Rosicrucians speak of a life review period occurring after death and before entering the afterlife's planes of existence, followed by a judgment, more akin to a final review or end report over one's life.
Heaven, the heavens, seven heavens, pure lands, Jannah, Valhalla, or the Summerland, is a common religious, cosmological, or transcendent place where beings such as gods, jinn, saints, or venerated ancestors are said to originate, be enthroned, or live. According to the beliefs of some religions, heavenly beings can descend to earth or incarnate, earthly beings can ascend to heaven in the afterlife, or in exceptional cases enter heaven alive. Heaven is described as a "higher place", the holiest place, a paradise, in contrast to hell or the underworld or the "low places", universally or conditionally accessible by earthly beings according to various standards of divinity, piety, faith or other virtues or right beliefs or the will of God; some believe in the possibility of a heaven on Earth in a world to come. In Indian religions, heaven is considered as Svarga loka. There are seven positive regions the soul can go to after seven negative regions. After completing its stay in the respective region, the soul is subjected to rebirth in different living forms according to its karma.
This cycle can be broken after a soul achieves Nirvana. Any place of existence, either of humans, souls or deities, outside the tangible world is referred to as otherworld. Hell, in many religious and folkloric traditions, is a place of torment and punishment in the afterlife. Religions with a linear divine history depict hell as an eternal destination, while religions with a cyclic history depict a hell as an intermediary period between incarnations; these traditions locate hell in another dimension or under the earth's surface and include entrances to hell from the land of the living. Other afterlife destinations include limbo. Traditions that do not conceive of the afterlife as a place of punishment or reward describe hell as an abode of the dead, the grave, a neutral place located under the surface of earth; the afterlife played an i
In the Book of Ezekiel in the Hebrew Bible, New Jerusalem is Ezekiel's prophetic vision of a city centered on the rebuilt Holy Temple, the Third Temple, to be established in Jerusalem, which would be the capital of the Messianic Kingdom, the meeting place of the twelve tribes of Israel, during the Messianic era. The prophecy is recorded by Ezekiel as having been received on Yom Kippur of the year 3372 of the Hebrew calendar, it will be inhabited by people to live eternally in spirit form, created by God as a gift to mankind. Not everyone will reside in New Jerusalem, as most will stay on Earth. In the Book of Revelation in the New Testament, the city is called the Heavenly Jerusalem, as well as being called Zion in other books of the Christian Bible; the Babylonian threat to the Kingdom of Judah began as the Babylonian Empire conquered Assyria and rose to power from 612-609 BCE. Jerusalem surrendered without major bloodshed to Babylon in 597. An Israelite uprising brought the destruction of Nebuchadnezzar’s army upon Jerusalem in 586 BCE.
The entire city, including the First Temple, was burned. Israelite aristocrats were taken captive to Babylon; the Book of Ezekiel contains the first record of the New Jerusalem. Within Ezekiel 40-48, there is an extended and detailed description of the measurements of the Temple, its chambers and walls. Ezekiel 48:30-35 contains a list of twelve Temple gates named for Israel’s tribes; the Book of Zechariah expands upon Ezekiel’s New Jerusalem. After the Second Temple was built after the exile, Jerusalem’s population was only a few hundred. There were no defensive city walls until 445 BCE. In the passage, the author writes about a city wall of fire to protect the enormous population; this text demonstrates. In Ezekiel, the focus is on the human act of Temple construction. In Zechariah, the focus shifts to God’s intercession in the founding of New Jerusalem. New Jerusalem is further extrapolated in Isaiah, where New Jerusalem is adorned with precious sapphires and rubies; the city is described as a place full of righteousness.
Here, Isaiah provides an example of Jewish apocalypticism, where a hope for a perfected Jerusalem and freedom from oppression is revealed. As the original New Jerusalem composition, Ezekiel functioned as a source for works such as 4 Ezra, 2 Baruch, Qumran documents, the Book of Revelation; these texts used similar measurement language and expanded on the limited eschatological perspective in Ezekiel. Judaism sees the Messiah as a human male descendant of King David who will be anointed as the king of Israel and sit on the throne of David in Jerusalem, he will gather in the lost tribes of Israel, clarify unresolved issues of halakha, rebuild the Holy Temple in Jerusalem according to the pattern shown to the prophet Ezekiel. During this time Jews believe an era of global peace and prosperity will be initiated, the nations will love Israel and will abandon their gods, turn toward Jerusalem, come to the Holy Temple to worship the one God of Israel. Zechariah prophesied that any family among the nations who does not appear in the Temple in Jerusalem for the festival of Sukkoth will have no rain that year.
Isaiah prophesied. The city of YHWH Shamma, the new Jerusalem, will be the gathering point of the world's nations, will serve as the capital of the renewed Kingdom of Israel. Ezekiel prophesied that this city will have one gate for each of the tribes of Israel; the book of Isaiah closes with the prophecy "And it will come to pass, that from one new moon to another, from one sabbath to another, all flesh will come to worship before Me, says YHWH". The Animal Apocalypse within 1 Enoch, is another example where conflict sparks hopes for the New Jerusalem. First Enoch is an apocalyptic response to the persecutions under Seleucid Emperor Antiochus IV. In 167 BCE, Emperor Antiochus returned from fighting in Egypt to quell a revolt in Jerusalem led by Jason, the former High Priest. An agitated Antiochus imposed harsh restrictions on Jewish religion. Circumcision, feast celebration, Sabbath observance were all banned. Antiochus ordered the burning of Torah copies. Jews were required to eat pork; the worst oppression came in the desecration of the Temple.
A polytheistic cult was formed, worship of YHWH abolished. A statue to a Seleucid deity was constructed on the Jewish altar. First Enoch was written in the wake of this calamity between 166 BCE-163 BCE. For the author of 1 Enoch, history is a steep descent into evil from the utopia in Eden; the author’s vision of the eschaton centers on the restoration of Jerusalem: "I saw until the owner of the sheep brought a house and larger and loftier than the former". In this New Jerusalem passage, the sheep are the Jewish people, the builder is God, the house is the Temple. During the same time period, the Dead Sea scrolls contain a New Jerusalem tradition formed out of strife; as a tiny Jewish sect living in the caves of Qumran, the Essenes opposed Temple leadership and the High Priesthood in Jerusalem. Their condemnation of the Temple focused on criticizing High Priests, they were frustrated that Judean Kings were given the role of High Priest. The Essenes were not against the institution of its cult per se.
The Essenes at Qumran predicted the reunified twelve tribes to rise together against Roman occupation and incompetent Temple leadership and re-establish true Temple worship. The surviving New Jerusalem texts in Qumran literature focus on the twelve city gates, on the dimensions of the entire new city. In 4Q554, the gates of Simeon, Joseph, an