FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 13
SCRIPTURE: Chronological: 1 Kings 5-6; 2 Chronicles 2-3
BY: Jeremy Witt
If you were following along with the chronological plan, you will see that I am skipping passages from Song of Solomon and Proverbs. Feel free to read those, but I will not be focusing upon those unless they are directly tied to the Kings/Chronicles passages.
Some folks have the vision and big picture, some folks can put a plan into place, and some folks see all the details to finish the plan. David had the dream and began to get the supplies, and it was up to Solomon to make sure that the plan for building the Temple was started and completed. One of the details was getting all the supplies and we see how Solomon did that.
Hiram was the king of Tyre, and he had been allied with David while he was king. Solomon continued this alliance under his reign. Hiram was not a follower of the LORD, and the people of Tyre worshipped many gods. Despite this, the alliance was necessary to get the best materials for the Temple. In the previous chapters, we read about Solomon asking the LORD for wisdom, and by continuing this alliance, Solomon was able to begin construction for the Temple. The cedars of Lebanon were the best in the ancient Near East region, and Solomon made sure that the LORD’s Temple would be the best he could build. 1 Kings 5 and 2 Chronicles 2 are very similar in content. We see in the Chronicles passage that Solomon not only got materials but got expert craftsmen to help in the building. King Hiram was wise enough to send a craftsman who was part Jewish (2 Chronicles 2:14).
In 2 Chronicles 3 the construction begins. 1 Kings 6:1 gives us an interesting detail of 480 years have passed since the Israelites left Egypt. If we go back to Exodus 26 and the details of the tabernacle, the Temple was exactly the same except doubled in length and width. This is referring to the sanctuary proper, not with all the additional structures surrounding it. In modern lengths, it would be approximately 90-100 long and 30-35 feet wide
The location mentions in 3:1 tells us that it was built on Mount Moriah. The portable tent or Tabernacle was at Gibeon. The Temple was built on a special place for the people of Israel. It was here that God stopped Abraham from sacrificing Isaac as found in Genesis 22:1-18. David purchased this land in 2 Samuel 24:15-25. This is the place that the LORD told David to build an altar and David bought it from the man Araunah the Jebusite (Jebusites lived in Jerusalem before David conquered it) Araunah offered to give it to David for free, but David refused and said in 1 Chronicles 21:24-25, “I insist on paying it for the full price. I will not take what is yours and give it to the LORD. I will not present burnt offerings that have cost me nothing!”
In 1 Kings 5:13-14 Solomon drafted three times the number of men necessary to build the Temple. Why is the big question? He did this so that they would not have to be gone from their homes for as long. Solomon worked the details out so that they worked in shifts. This showed the men that the king cared for them and their families. Solomon knew that the men needed to be home to lead their families and worked out the details so that they could.
The Temple was ornate and beautiful to all who saw it. It was built for the LORD and Solomon used the best materials and best craftsmen to get the job done well. They honored the LORD in the big picture and even in the details. The rocks were cut in the quarry so that no hammering sound would be heard at the Temple site 1 Kings 6:7. The value that was being placed on the Temple demonstrated the people’s awe, fear, worship, and reverence for the LORD. The Temple represented that the LORD’s presence was there. In total, it took 7 years to be built (1 Kings 6:38)
I wonder if and how we demonstrate this to the LORD. I wonder how detailed we are in seeking the LORD, listening to Him, following His instructions, and faithful we are to honor Him. This is something for us all to think about.