WHAT OTHERS HAVE SAID ON:
JERUSALEM AS A PICTURE OF THE HEART
Saint Peter Damian (1998)
“For of what benefit is chastity of the body, of what benefit is chastisement or affliction of the flesh, if purity and cleanness be wanting? “Blessed,” indeed, “are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” And so Jeremiah, using Jerusalem as a type, says to the soul that thinks harmful thoughts, “Wash your heart of malice, Jerusalem, so that you may become saved; how long will harmful thoughts remain in you?” (Letters: 91-120)
“The fourteenth chapter opens with a new scene, and commences a fresh series of emblems aud allegories. The apostle says, ” and I looked, and lo! a Lamb stood upon the mount Zion.” Griesbach, Lachmann, and Bloomfield have here ” the Lamb,” which is certainly a better reading; seeing the Lamb here mentioned is obviously the same as that which had been previously described, and which has been shewn to be a type of the human nature of Christ, viewed as distinct from his divine nature. The translation ” stood” scarcely conveys accurately the sense here implied, for the verb is in the perfect participle, so leading to the inference that the action has been continued for some time past. The Lamb does not now for the first time stand upon the mount Zion, but has been long standing there, although the attention of the apostle is now for the first time called to this particular fact.
Seeing the Lamb is to be understood in an allegorical or metaphorical sense, it would be an obvious incongruity to take “the mount Zion” in a literal sense as referring to the hill of that name upon which the temple of Jerusalem stood; and this the more especially as we are, in other parts of Scripture, taught to regard the mount Zion of Jerusalem as a type or allegory.
The metaphysical meaning of this type is partly unfolded in Hebrews xii. 18—22, “For ye are not come unto the mount, that might be touched, and that burned with fire; but ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem.” Here it is evident that the apostle places mount Sinai and mount Zion in contradistinction to each other—the former as representing the Mosaic, the latter the Christian dispensation. This explanation of the allegory is still further developed in Gal. iv. 22—26, ” for it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bond-maid, the other by a free woman; but he of the bond-woman was born after the flesh, but he of the free woman by promise; which things arc an allegory ; for these are the two covenants, the one from mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children; but Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.” From this passage it is evident that mount Sinai is regarded as a type of the covenant of the law which was promulgated from its summit, but that mount Zion and the heavenly Jerusalem are typical of the covenaut of grace, and the scheme of salvation by Jesus Christ.” (Journal of sacred literature, Volume 14, p. 21,22)
“[T]ropologically, the history of Jerusalem can be understood as a model for the history of the soul (secundum tropologiam). Just as David conquered Jerusalem and set up the Lord’s throne there, so Jesus, His Son, conquers the inner city of the sinner and consecrates him as a saint, a holy one.” (Ascent to Love, pp. 22)
Under this line of thought, where we discuss scripture interpreting scripture, I want to post a few parallels. I will change up the topics as time goes on.
Consider the overwhelming parallel between these two chapters.
In Galatians 4:
Slave Woman = Old Jerusalem from Below = old covenant
Free Woman = Jerusalem from above (new covenant)
In Romans 7-8:
Slave to sin (flesh) = law of sin and death = old covenant
Slave to righteousness = In Christ = new covenant
Galatians 4:21 Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. 23 His son by the slave woman was born in the ordinary way; but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a promise. 24 These things may be taken figuratively, for the women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written: “Be glad, O barren woman, who bears no children; break forth and cry aloud, you who have no labor pains; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband.” 28 Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29 At that time the son born in the ordinary way persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now. 30 But what does the Scripture say? “Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son.” 31 Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.
Romans 7:14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do–this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. 21 So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God–through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
Rom 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4 in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. 5 Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7 the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. 9 You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you. 12 Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation–but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14 because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.
Is it possible that the Jerusalem below was only there to represent the flesh and the magnification of the external?
Galatians 4:30 But what does the Scripture say? “Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son.” 31 Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.
And Romans 8: 14 because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.
Since most preterists agree that the kingdom is within and written on the heart and that the Spirit brought us to life and into an eternal covenant (the new covenant on the heart), then isn’t the description of the Jerusalem from above warranted and accurate as a portrayal of our heart in Christ vs. the Jerusalem from below as our heart under the law?