The Old Testament calls the structure marked to house the presence of God a Mikdash (sanctuary) because of its future mission, the sanctification of the Jewish people. Rashi interprets the word Mikdash as a "house of holiness," a structure from which holiness will emanate to the nation.

The Rishonim, a group of Rabbis, deal at length with the Mitzvah (good deed) of building the Beit HaMikdash, which seems to assign physical form to God. King Solomon wondered about this when he asked: "Behold, the heavens, even the highest heavens cannot contain You, how much less this house which I have built?" (Kings I, 8:27). Moreover, Isaiah quotes God saying, "The Heavens are My throne and the earth is My footstool. Where is the house you would build for Me? Where is My place of rest?" (Isaiah 66:1).

It is odd that immediately after the Revelation, in which the Bible forbids us to assign physical attributes to God, it issues this command which seems to confine God to a concrete area.