As we have said before, this book was originally one book called the “Divrei Ha Yamim” and this book starts out with the confirmation of Solomon and his kingdom, and how he became well settled and established. His reign will be a picture of the Messianic Kingdom under Yeshua at the high point (2 Chr 1.1-2). Solomon meets Yehovah at Gibeon where the Mishkan was, with all the Kahal (congregation), at the altar made by Bezaleel (Exo 31.2, 1 Chr 16.39-40). Much of the information in this book was covered in Kings so we will not spend as much time covering the same material.
The Mishkan and the Ark was brought to Shilah by Joshua (Josh 18). When Eli was high priest, the Ark was captured and the Mishkan vandalized (1 Sam 4, Psa 78.60-64; Jer 7.12, 26.9). The Ark came back to Kiriath-Jearim (1 Sam 7.1-2). Saul restored the Mishkan at Nob (1 Sam 21) and then eventually moved it to Gibeon (1 Chr 16.39-40). David brought the Ark to Jerusalem and built a temporary tent called the “Ohel David” or the “Tent of David” (2 Sam 6.17; 2 Chr 1.4).
There are several reasons why David did not bring the Mishkan from Gibeon to Jerusalem. First, he may have thought that if the Mishkan was in Jerusalem, the people would not see any need for a Temple. In the past, the Mishkan was only moved when necessary. David was now focused on the Temple and was moving away from having a continuing Mishkan, and this was by Yehovha’s design. David apparently had no word from the Lord to move it.
So, Solomon and the kahal (assembly) came before Yehovah and Solomon offered a thousand “Olot” (burnt offerings) on the Altar of Bronze, the same altar used in the wilderness. That night, Yehovah appeared to Solomon in a dream and the Lord wanted Solomon to ask him for anything. So Solomon asked for wisdom and knowledge so that he could lead the people, and he receives more than he ever expected.
However, he did not ask for the deep communion with Yehovah that his father had, and this would have been better for him in the long run. Solomon fell away at the end of his life (1 Kings 11.1-11) and this shows us that SOlomon lacked something. On the other hand, many believe that Solomon repented from his sins and wrote the Book of Ecclesiastes as a result, which is entirely possible. In the end, did Solomon waste all these gifts from God? Instead of being the wisest of all, he worshiped idols and he became a disappointing character in Scripture.
2 Chr 1.13-17 describes the great riches of Solomon, and he became a trader in the chariot business (v 17). This, however, begins to document the decline of Solomon already. He was not to multiply horses and chariots to himself according to the Torah (Deut 17.6), and he got connected with the Egyptians. He then marries Pharaoh’s daughter, and then started to marry other foreign wives (1 Kings 11.1-4). He then began to build temples to their gods (1 Kings 11.7-8, and eventually begins to worship these other gods himself (1 Kings 11.4-5).
2 Chr 2.1-18 tells us about Solomon’s goal of building the Temple and palace for himself. He conscripted thousands to bear the burdens of building the Temple and hewing stones. He sent to Huram (Hiram) of Tyre to have cedars used for the Temple, and also sent a man who had the skill to work in gold and silver, bronze, iron, stone and wood. he could also work in fabrics. In exchange, Solomon sent wheat, barley, oil and wine.
The timber was cut from Lebanon and it was brought down on rafts by sea to Joppa and it was carried to Jerusalem from there. Solomon numbered all the foreigners who were in Israel, and he found 153,600 of them. Some were used to carry loads (70,000), and some were used to quarry stones in the mountains (80,000), and some (3600) were used as supervisors. Spiritually, Yeshua is building his temple using Jews and non-Jews, not with wood and stone, but with his blood. We have already gone over this in 1 Kings 3.16 to 4.34, 5.16.
2 Chr 3.1 tells us that the Temple will be built on Mount Moriah where Abraham was told by Yehovah to take Isaac and offer him there (Gen 22). This was also the place where Jacob saw his dream and Bethel, the house of God (Gen 28). David was told to put the altar there on the threshing floor of Ornan (1 Chr 21). Yeshua will also be crucified on the same set of hills. Construction of the Temple began on the second day of the second month (Iyar 2) in the fourth year of his reign. This doesn’t mean he delayed obeying the Lord four four years, but it took time to prepare all the materials from Lebanon and other places.
2 Chr 3.3-17 tells us that Solomon built the foundations (rock platform) for the Temple at the place David prepared. He also built the surrounding areas, so there would be four main things he will be building. First, he will build the Temple itself, with two rooms called the Kodesh Ha Kodeshim (Holy of Holies), also known as the “Devir” (to speak) in Scripture (1 Kings 6.19-22) and it is related to the word “davar” meaning “word.” The other room was called the Heichal or the Ha Kodesh (“holy place”).
He also built the Ulam (porch) on the east side of the building. Then you will have the three-storied side chambers (1 Kings 6.5) which surrounded the sanctuary on the north, west and south sides. Then he built a large courtyard surrounding the whole sanctuary (1 Kings 6.36). He decorated the house with precious stones and he carved Keruvim (cherubim, a type of angel) on the walls, as one would encounter in heaven (Psa 80.1; Isa 37.16; Ezek 10.3). It also had palm trees, flowers and pomegranates all over the inside. This was to give the impression of a garden as in the Garden of Eden. It believed that the Eden was the surrounding area and that the garden where God met Adam was where the Temple would stand.
2 Chr 3.8-14 tells us about the Kodesh Ha Kodeshim (Devir). He overlaid it with gold, and he carved two 14-16 foot high keruvim (a class of angel) out of olive wood (1 Kings 6.23) and overlaid them with gold. Their wings were spread out so that one wing was touching one wall and the other wing touching in the center over the Ark (1 Kings 6.27). Then he made a veil over the doors to the Kodesh Ha Kodeshim. He also made two pillars of bronze for the front of the sanctuary. He named the one on the right, as you looked at them, “Yachin” meaning “Yehovah shall establish” and the one on the left was called “Boaz” meaning “Strength.” They will symbolize the Messiah ultimately, but also David and Solomon. Yachin (Yehovah shall establish) alludes to Solomon in that God establishes the Davidic kingship beginning with him. Boaz alludes to David and one of his ancestors. David received the plans for the Temple and Solomon carried them out. Together, they symbolize to all who are weak and feeble that Yehovah will establish us and strengthen us through the Messiah by emunah (faith).
2 Chr 4.1-22 gives us the account of the building of the Temple, of the materials, its parts and the form of it. He made a bronze altar and a cast metal basin or “sea.” He had figures like oxen all around it and it stood on twelve oxen, with three on all four sides. It held 3000 baths and this alludes to the 3000 immersed after they became believers in Acts 2.41. It also alludes to the 3000 years from the resurrection of Yeshua and the end of the Messianic Kingdom (“the third day” in Hos 6.3). He also made ten basins in which to wash and set five on the right and five on the left. These were used to wash korbanot, and the basin was for the priests. He also made ten golden lampstands in the way God prescribed and set them in the Temple, five on the right and five on the left. With the six branches on each, this totals sixty and this is alluded to in Song 3.7. These guarded the “couch” (aperion) of Solomon. Spiritually, these represent the angelic guardians of the Shekinah.
He also made ten tables (stands fore the ten lampstands) and placed them in the Temple, five on the right and left. He also made one hundred golden bowls used for the drink offerings. He also made the courts (azarah) of the priests and the great court (of Israel) and doors for the court, overlaid with bronze (judgment). He set the sea basin southeast of the altar. Huram made pails, shovels and bowls and he finished the work which Solomon gave him to do. These were used to carry away ashes, removing ashes and the bowls for receiving and sprinkling the blood of the korbanot. What follows in verses 12-18 is a list of what he did. The castings were formed in the plains of the Jordan, in the clay ground between Sukkot and Zeredah (Zarthan-1 Kings 7.46).
Then in 2 Chr 4.19-22 we have a list of the items Solomon had made for the Sanctuary: The Golden Altar; the tables with the bread of the faces on them; the lampstands with their lamps of pure gold; to burn in front of the Devir in the way written; the flowers, the lamps, and the golden tongs; the snuffers, the bowls, the spoons; and the entrance of the house, its inner doors for the Holy of Holies, and the doors of the house, that is the the doors leading into the Holy Place.
2 Chr 5.1 tells us that Solomon completed the work, and 1 Kings 6.38 says it was completed in Chesvan, after seven years. 2 Chr 5.2-14 says that the furniture was brought in before the people and the Ark was brought up out of the city of David. All of the people then assembled nearly a year later during the month of Tishri (seventh month on the religious calendar), around the festivals of Rosh Ha Shanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot (1 Kings 8.2-65) to dediate the Temple.
The Kivod (glory of Yehovah) filled the house and the priests could not stand in the Holy Place because they were not comfortable in their sinful state. The kivod of the Lord would stay there until the events described in Ezek 9.3 to 11.23. Jewish tradition says the cloud was there by day, and a fire by night. This first appeared to Israel on Tishri 15. The illumination of the Temple with the four poles and sixteen vats at Sukkot allude to this. This light was called the ‘Light of the World” and it was a light to show the way in the midst of darkness. It was at the Festival of Sukkot in John 7.1 to 8.12 that Yeshua used these lights as a metaphor when he said, “I am the light of the world.” It is also believed that Yeshua was born at the festival of Sukkot.
In 2 Chr 6.1-42 we have the prayer of Solomon at the dedication of the Temple. He said that Yehovah has said that he will dwell (Shkan as in “Mishkan”) in the thick cloud (Shekinah). Then he turned to the people and blessed them. Then in 2 Chr 6.14-42 we have his prayer of dedication on a bronze platform that he had made (v 13), and it is an excellent model for us to follow. This prayer asks Yehovah to hear the prayers of Israel when they sin against each other, or when they are defeated by an enemy because of their sins and they repent. In a time of famine, he asks that Yehovah hear their prayers and forgive the people of the sins that caused the famine.
This also covers the case of a plague, locusts, mildew, blight or if an enemy besieges a city. When they turn towards the Temple to pray (a good practice for today, even with no Temple) he asks that the Lord hear their prayers. And we even have his request on behalf of the non-Jews to hear their prayers. When Israel goes out to battle, he wants Yehovah to hear their prayers and to maintain their cause. If Israel sins and they are taken captive and taken to a foreign land, and they pray for forgiveness and return to the Lord, then he wants the Lord to hear their prayer and and forgive the people.
2 Chr 7.1-22 talks about the Shekinah coming down upon the altar, the dedication of the Temple during the festivals in Tishri, and Yehovah’s promises and warnings. When Solomon was finished with his prayer, fire came down out of heaven and consumed the olot (burnt offerings) and the korbanot. and how the kivod (glory) filled the house, orHoly Place (v 1.3). Then it says that Solomon and all the people offered korbanot before Yehovah, and Solomon offered 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep in dedicating the Temple. This dedication involved both God and man (v 4-7. We also learn that this dedication took place during the month of Tishri, at the time of Sukkot and at the conclusion of Solomon’s work on the Temple (v 8-11).
In 2 Chr 7.12-22 we learn that Yehovah appeared to Solomon again. He was assured that his prayer of dedication in the Temple (6.14 42). This is the second time Yehovah appeared to Solomon. God promised to hear from heaven when his people seek his face and turn from their wicked ways as defined in the Torah, and he would forgive them. He also gave Solomon a warning. If Solomon walked before him as his father David did, then he would establish his throne. He was not asking for perfection, but what God asked for was not impossible. But if Solomon turned away from the Lord and the Torah, then the people will be uprooted and Temple will be cast away and the people chastised. When the other nations pass by and ask why all this has happened, then it will be said it was because they forsook the Lord who had brought them out of Egypt and they worshiped other gods. And it will be known that it was Yehovah who had brought all of this on them.
In Part 2 we will pick up in 2 Chr 8.