Monday, January 18, 2010

The Stone of Destiny

The Stone of Destiny is the Bible's most famous stone. The scriptures are full of references to "stones", both literal and symbolic. One such stone is identified as the stone upon which the patriarch Jacob rested his head when he dreamed of the heavenly ladder. This stone has not received the attention it deserves from Bible scholars, because they generally assume it was left where Jacob found it.

However, this is not the case. The stone that Jacob later annointed with oil and declared to be "God's House" (Beth-El) did not remain lost in the wilderness of Luz; it continued to play an important part in the destiny of Jacob's descendants. In the past, such suggestions have been dismissed as fascinating legend and tradition, but there are pertinent historical writings and visible evidence worthy of consideration.

Does Jacob's stone exist today? Does it bear witness to God's amazing plan for our planet? The questions are puzzling, and the answers are startling, throwing new light on the Bible's most famous "stone".
The Stone at Bethel

As Jacob was journeying from Beersheba to Padanaram he slept one night on a "pillow-stone" and dreamed an amazing dream. He was so taken with the event that he set up the stone as a pillar, sanctified it by annointing it with oil and gave it the name "Bethel" meaning God's House. Not only did he name the place or locality Bethel but he specifically declared "this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house".

(Gen 28:10-22) And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran. (11) And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep. (12) And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. (13) And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; (14) And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. (15) And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of. (16) And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not. (17) And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven. (18) And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it. (19) And he called the name of that place Bethel [house of God]: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first. (20) And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, (21) So that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God: (22) And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.

Years later, Jacob was directed by the God of Bethel (Gen. 31:13) to return to the same place.

Genesis 35:9-15
And God appeared unto Jacob again, when he came out of Padanaram, and blessed him. (10) And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob [heel catcher], but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel [he will rule as God]. (11) And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins; (12) And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land. (13) And God went up from him in the place where he talked with him. (14) And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he talked with him, even a pillar of stone: and he poured a drink offering thereon, and he poured oil thereon. (15) And Jacob called the name of the place where God spake with him, Bethel.

While the bible does not state explicitly that Jacob took the Bethel Stone with him when he journeyed from Bethel, one has to ask would he have simply left a monument with such remarkable associations to lie in the fields and be lost. Or rather, is it more likely that this special Stone would have been kept and venerated down through the ages?

Isn't it possible that Jacob kept the stone with him as part of his possessions when he went to visit Laban and even when he moved to Egypt? An interesting reference was made by Jacob on his deathbed proclamation of the future of each of his twelve sons. When speaking of Joseph's destiny, he stopped mid-sentence to speak of the stone from Bethel, which came from the area which fell to the House of Joseph when Canaan was divided among the children of Jacob. This suggests that not only the place, Bethel, was given to the birthright recipient but also Bethel, the pillar-stone. (Gen 49:24) When Joseph died, the stone would have passed to Ephraim according to Jacob's blessing in Gen 48:20.

Coronation of Kings

In the coronation of the kings of Israel, the stone reappears to play an important role. When Joash was proclaimed the heir of David's Throne and was annointed King, he stood by, or upon, a particular pillar belonging to those who were annointed King.

2Ki 11:13-14 And when Athaliah heard the noise of the guard and of the people, she came to the people into the temple of the LORD. (14) And when she looked, behold, the king stood by a pillar, as the manner was, and the princes and the trumpeters by the king, and all the people of the land rejoiced, and blew with trumpets: and Athaliah rent her clothes, and cried, Treason, Treason.

2Ch 23:13 And she looked, and, behold, the king stood at his pillar at the entering in, and the princes and the trumpets by the king: and all the people of the land rejoiced, and sounded with trumpets, also the singers with instruments of musick, and such as taught to sing praise. Then Athaliah rent her clothes, and said, Treason, Treason.

The Stone was of such importance as kings were said to be annointed of God and were indeed by the priest of the day. Kings of Israel were ceremonially annointed by the priest while standing on or by the pillar stone.

Stone Which The Builders Rejected

This same stone reemerges at the building of Solomon's Temple. Masonic tradition speaks of a stone called "Jacob's Pillar" which was rejected by the builders. Not only was this stone :"in the rough" but it contained a crack which, possibly, could have split the stone in two pieces at any moment. It is further prophetically intimated that early in the building of the Temple the attention of the architects had been incidentally invited to this very stone, for use in the Temple. After inspecting the stone, the builders forthwith condemned it as unfit for any such purpose. (Ps 118:22; Acts 4:11)

The stone which was refused by the builders of Solomon's Temple did become the "head of the corner" as the pillar or Coronation Stone on which the kings of the House of David were crowned. The first attitude of the builders toward this stone was prophetic of the attitude and rejection of Jesus Christ by the Chief Priests and a majority of the people of the Nation of the Jews.

From Bethel to Westminster Abbey

The coronation stone eventually migrated through Egypt and Spain with Jeremiah to Tara in Ireland where he was called Ollam Folla, Hebrew for "revealer" or "prophet". With him were King Zedekiah's daughters who were spared during the fall of Jerusalem to Babylon and later made their way to Egypt. One of the daughters, Tea Tephi, the tender twig, served to maintain the royal sceptre bloodline of Judah. The stone changed hands three times as it was overturned again to Scotland where Fergus Earcus was crowned King of Scotland on the Stone of Destiny. The third overturning occurred when King Edward I absconded with it to Westminster Abbey in Britain in the year 1296. A special chair was built around the stone, called "King Edward's Chair" or simply the Coronation Chair.

From the time of King Edward I onward, all the Monarchs of England have been crowned on the "Stone of Destiny" and the Coronation Chair with the exception of Mary I (known as Bloody Mary). The present Queen Elizabeth II was crowned upon the Stone in 1953.

The overturns complete, the throne of David awaits its rightful owner.

Luke 1:32-33 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: (33) And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

(Psalm 89:34-37
) My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. (35) Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. (36) His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me. (37) It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven. Selah.

On November 15, 1996, the Stone of Destiny was returned to Scotland from England. The right was reserved to borrow it back should it be required for any future coronations.

Scotland's 'Stone of Scone' finds its way home
November 15, 1996
Web posted at: 11:25 p.m. EST

From Correspondent Richard Blystone

LONDON (CNN) -- The British government gave Scotland a precious stone Friday -- and it's about time, say Scots, since it was stolen from them seven centuries ago.

The Stone of Scone (pronounced skoon) left Scotland in shame in the hands of an English conqueror.

It returned in triumph to the winsome tunes of bagpipes, though it was guarded closely in a closed Land Rover over the bridge at Coldstream. That's where King Edward I carried off the "stone of destiny" in 1296.

The stone, for centuries a coronation seat of Scottish kings, spent recent memory surrounded by other special stones, at London's Westminster Abbey.

The rock was fitted beneath the seat of a regal wooden chair, and it has been part of every British coronation since it was stolen, including that of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.

One legend says the stone is a fake, as the canny Scots hid the real one when they saw King Edward coming. But the people in Edinburgh's streets Friday gave it a genuine welcome.

"Without it we lacked something in the past which we'll be able to have," said one man. "It will give us an identity now."

The royal stone will rest in Scotland's unofficial capital, Edinburgh Castle, where it's reported the Scots will charge the public the equivalent of $10 to see it.

What the British government bills as a gesture of reconciliation is seen by some Scots as a political ploy by Prime Minister John Major to scrape up a few votes. Scottish nationalists are influential and active.

"We'll take what he's giving us back, and then we'll ask for more," said Alex Salmond of the Scottish National Party. "And the more we're going to ask for is not just a symbol of power but the substance, our own democratic parliament."

Some Scots would even like to see a Scottish monarch on a Scottish throne once more.

Whoever gets the job might want to bring a cushion for the coronation. The old saying, "Heavy lies the head that wears the crown," doesn't begin to express all the discomforts of monarchy.

Reference -

Jacob's Pillar - Stone of Destiny

The Royal House of Britain

The Stone of Destiny (the Liath Fàil) and the Honours of Scotland

Friday, January 1, 2010

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Primitive Christianity in Crisis
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Judaism - Revelation of Moses, or Religion of Men?
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2020: Our Common Destiny and The Anti Communitarian Manifesto
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