2 Chronicles 5

2 CHRONICLES CHAPTER 5

Completion of the Gold Furnishings (Continued)

      • When all the work that Solomon had done for Yahweh’s house was completed, he brought in the items that his father David had consecrated- the silver, the gold, and all the other articles- and put them in the treasuries of the house of God.

Solomon Moves the Ark into the Temple

        • ESV Study Bible writes, “The Chronicler’s account of the dedication of the temple is notably longer than his description of the building work (77 verses compared to 40), since he is more concerned with the meaning of the temple than with its physical structure. This interest is conveyed through the two theophanies (5:14; 7:1-3), Solomon’s great prayer of dedication (6:14-42), and God’s message to Solomon (7:12-22).”

      • At that time Solomon assembled the elders of Israel- all the heads of the tribes, and the leaders of the ancestral houses of Israel- to Jerusalem in order to bring the ark of Yahweh’s covenant up from the city of David (that is, Zion). All the men of Israel assembled before the king at the time of the festival that is in the seventh month. When all the Israelite elders had arrived, the Levites lifted the ark. The priests and the Levites brought up the ark, along with the tent of meeting, and all the holy items in the tent. King Solomon and the entire community of Israel who had assembled with him were in front of the ark sacrificing so many sheep and cattle that they couldn’t be counted.

        • ESV Study Bible includes the following commentary:

          • Just as David had summoned all the leaders of Israel to retrieve the ark from Kiriath-jearim (1 Chronicles 13; 15), Solomon also assembled them for the ark’s final journey from its tent in the city of David (see 1 Chron 16:1).

        • With regard to what festival occurs in the seventh month, “The Feast of Booths [also known as the Feast of Tabernacles or Festival of Shelters] (see Lev 23:33-43). The temple was completed in the eighth month of Solomon’s eleventh year (see 1 Kings 6:38 = 959 or 952 BC), and the dedication took place 11 months later. The Israelites had been instructed to live in temporary shelters during this feast, to commemorate the exodus. It was observed annually in the seventh month of the Jewish calendar (September-October).”

          • Moses’ tent of meeting and its holy vessels were brought up from Gibeon (1:3) to join the ark. Similarly, the Levitical priests Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun (5:12; see 1 Chron 16:7, 42) were united for this ceremony. Henceforth, all of Israel’s worship would be focused on the Jerusalem temple.”

      • The priests brought the ark of the covenant of Yahweh to its place in the inner sanctuary of the house- in the Most Holy Place- underneath the wings of the cherubim. The wings of the cherubim spread out over the place where the ark sat so that the cherubim formed a cover above the ark and its carrying poles. These poles were so long that their ends were visible from the Holy Place, in front of the inner sanctuary, but they could not be seen from outside the Holy Place. They are still there to this day. There was nothing in the ark except the two tablets that Moses had placed there at Horeb. It was at Horeb that Yahweh had made a covenant with the Israelites after they came out of Egypt.

        • ESV Study Bible points out that, “The ark had once contained the jar of manna and Aaron’s rod (Heb 9:4; see Ex 16:32-34; Num 17:10-11), but now held only the two tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments.”

        • With regard to the Chronicler’s statement that the ark and its poles are there “to this very day,” HCSB notes that, “that is, the day of the Chronicler’s source, which in this case is 1 Kg 8:8. The poles may or may not have still been there at the time the Chronicler wrote.”

      • Then the priests left the Holy Place. All the priests who were there had consecrated themselves, regardless of whether or not their division was on duty that day. All the Levites who were musicians- including Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, and their sons and relatives- stood on the east side of the altar, dressed in fine linen, playing cymbals, harps, and lyres. They were accompanied by 120 priests sounding trumpets. The trumpeters and musicians played in unison, praising and giving thanks to Yahweh. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals, and other musical instruments, they loudly praised Yahweh, singing: “He is good. His love endures forever.” Then a cloud filled the house of Yahweh, and the priests were unable to continue their service because of the cloud- because the glory of Yahweh filled the house of God.

        • The Chronicler inserts a lengthy sentence (vv. 11b-13) into his source (1 Kings 8:10) to describe a highly festive scene, suggesting that the cloud of God’s glory (see Ex 13:21-22) that filled the temple came in response to the Levites’ and the priests’ worship. The Chronicler’s own generation should draw a similar lesson, that God will surely be present when his people offer praise and thanksgiving. The appearance of the cloud and the inability of the priests even to stand to minister in God’s presence signified that God in his majesty was taking up residence in his temple. There is an evident parallel here, and in 2 Chron 7:3, with the appearance of the glory cloud in the tabernacle and over the tent of meeting (cf Ex 40:34-35). The visible manifestation of God’s glory and presence was known in later Judaism as the ‘Shekinah,’ and it provides the background to John’s comment about the incarnate Son: ‘we have seen his glory’ (John 1:14). The praise of 2 Chron 5:13b appears again in 20:21b. God’s steadfast love (Hb hesed) in particular denotes his covenant commitment to David (1 Chron 17:13), which has finally resulted in this temple.”

The priests could not carry out their duties because of the cloud; the Lord’s splendor filled God’s temple (2 Chronicles 5, 14). Wood engraving, published in 1886.

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