By Jeremy McMillan and Rabbi Moshe Perets
Gentiles were welcomed to bring their sacrificial offerings for God to the First and Second Temples in Jerusalem, and they will participate even more at the Third Temple, especially during the festival of Sukkot (Zechariah 14:16).
In his commentary on the Torah section beginning with Genesis 12:1, Ramban (Nachmanides) wrote: “Even in the time of Joshua, … the Gentiles knew that this place was the most august of all, that it was at the center of the inhabited world; and [Torah] Tradition had taught them that it corresponds in this world to the celestial Temple where Divine Majesty, called (righteousness), resides.”
When the First Temple was inaugurated by King Solomon, he beseeched God with an eloquent prayer that included the following words (Kings I, 8:41-43) - which show that in the past, Gentiles were welcomed to the First and Second Temples, and that they will participate even more in the Third Temple: “If a foreigner who is not of Your People Israel comes from a distant land for the sake of Your Name – for they shall hear about Your Great Name and Your Mighty Hand and Your Outstretched Arm – when he comes to pray toward this House, oh, hear in Your heavenly abode and grant all that the foreigner asks from You.
Thus all the peoples of the earth will know Your Name and revere You, as does Your people Israel; and they will recognize that Your name is attached to this House that I have built.” Torah Law holds that Gentiles are allowed to bring burnt offerings to God in the Temple when it is standing in Jerusalem. There is a specific commandment to let us know that an animal (sheep, goat or bullock) offered in the Temple by a Gentile must be unblemished, to the same degree as the offering of a Jew. (Leviticus 22:25).
The Prophet Isaiah foretold us about the even greater participation of Gentiles that will take place at the Third Temple (Isaiah 2:2-3): “And it will come to pass at the end of days that the mountain of God’s House will be firmly established, even higher than the peaks, and all the peoples will flow toward it as a river. And many nations will go and will cry, ‘Let us go up toward the mountain of God’s House, to the House of the Lord of Jacob, and we will learn from His ways and walk in His paths, for out of Zion goes forth Torah and the word of G-d from Jerusalem.’ “
Rabbi Moshe Perets is the President of the Noahide Academy of Israel, Founder and Executive Director of NoahideAcademy.org, the world’s largest Noahide informational website. He accomplished his Rabbinical Studies at the Chabad Yeshiva and his medical studies at the University of Louvain in Brussels, Belgium.
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