Brazilian President Jair Bolosnaro recently visited the Temple of Solomon, a church built as a replica of the original Temple of Solomon that once stood in Jerusalem. The purpose of his visit was literally “Messianic”: to be anointed as the leader in the manner that King David was anointed with oil by the Prophet Samuel.
The Temple of Solomon (Templo de Salomão in Portuguese) of the Universal Church Kingdom of God denomination was truly a magnificent setting for the presidential event. After four years of construction at a cost of $300 million, the Temple of Solomon was Inaugurated in July 2014. The building is four times the size of the original but precise in every detail. More than 17 million visitors have passed through its doors since it opened.
Bolsonaro was anointed by Bishop Edir Macedo during the first Sunday service of September in front of 10,000 people who filled the main sanctuary.
“The Lord has chosen this man to lead the more than 210 million people in this country,” Bishop Macedo said as the president knelt in preparation for the ceremony. “The Lord knows that our work has been dedicated to the suffering, and we have been imbued with faith to consecrate him and to pour out the oil that represents God’s spirit over his head. We are sure that through [President Bolsonaro] the Lord will guide the nation.”
The Hebrew word משיח (Mashiach) which is literally “the one anointed with oil.” The custom of anointing with oil is a ritual act designed to elevate those designated for priestly, royal or sometimes even prophetic roles (such as the prophet Elisha). It is mistranslated as ‘Messiah’ in some parts of the Bible.
Bolsonaro is a member of the Roman Catholic Church while his wife and a son of his are Evangelical Christians. However, according to The New Yorker reporter Jon Lee Anderson, “he had himself baptized as an evangelical [Protestant] early in his campaign, by being ceremonially dunked in the Jordan River.”He is reported to have attended a Baptist church for 10 years.
The event also marked a personal milestone for the president, marking exactly one year since he survived being stabbed at a campaign event.
The Bishop added a prayer that many people from nations around the world would feel necessary in their own countries.
“We must keep praying for our president,” Bishop Macedo said. “All of the media is against him, and I understand. [The church] also experiences the hell of the media and its plots. But I am here, and the president will be there and we will never break.”
Bolsonaro was visibly moved, wiping away tears during the ceremony. Asked what he found most striking during the special visit to Solomon’s Temple, the president said:
“First, it was Bishop Macedo’s humble person, because he has a large image for those who do not know him, but in fact, he is a humble personality. He is sincere and God-fearing. Moreover, this place where I am is meant to tell those who believe they can achieve their goals. I have been to Israel twice, and being here is like returning to that temple, being here in this place.”Bolsonaro, former Captain in Brazil’s army, has a strong following among the right-wing and religious voters in Brazil and for this reason, is frequently compared to U.S. President Donald Trump. In a 2017 speech, Brazil’s new president stated, “God above everything. There is no such thing as this secular state. The state is Christian and the minority will have to change if they can.”
Rabbi Yosef Dayan, a member of the Sanhedrin and a descendant of King David, was enthusiastic, noting that the anointing of a leader of one of the 70 nations was a “landmark event at a significant juncture in history.”
“This is something the Jews could learn from the non-Jews,” Rabbi Dayan told Breaking Israel News. “Israel was established with a non-Biblical government and now, with the mess created by these last two elections, we see that it simply does not work.”
The rabbi noted that the Sanhedrin is currently running a conference for an Organization of 70 Nations intended to replace the United Nations.
“Of course there is a divine aspect in nationalism and the nation,” Rabbi Dayan said. “The leader embodies the entire nation and if it is to be a nation under God, he needs to reflect this.”
Unlike previous administrations in Brazil, Bolsonaro is vocally pro-Israel. He paid a four-day visit to Israel in February, earning the ire of the Palestinians by praying at the Western Wall.
A controversial figure, he won the second round of voting with 55 percent of the votes after failing to achieve the required 50 percent in the first round. His political positions are identical to those of right-wing politicians in the U.S. (pro-life, pro-gun, anti-same-sex marriage). He also opposes immigration, particularly from Haiti, Africa and the Middle East. He openly praises President Trump, to whom he has been compared by the media, and, like Trump, he is frequently lambasted in the media for his off the cuff remarks.
Also like Trump, Bolosnaro made a yet-to-be-realized campaign promise to move his country’s embassy to Jerusalem and to close the PLO’s office in his country’s capital.