2 CHRONICLES CHAPTER 5
The Beginning of the Dedication Ceremonies.
THE ARK BROUGHT TO THE MOST HOLY PLACE. — V. 1. Thus all the work that Solomon made for the house of the Lord was finished, 1 Kings 7, 51. And Solomon brought in all the things that David, his father, had dedicated, all the free-will offerings which David had consecrated to Jehovah, 1 Chron. 22, 14-16; 29, 3. 4; and the silver and the gold and all the instruments, the vessels used in the worship of the Temple, put he among the treasures of the house of God. V. 2. Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, the hereditary princes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel, as representatives of the entire nation, unto Jerusalem, to bring up the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord out of the City of David, which is Zion. David’s Tabernacle, where the ark had temporarily been placed, was near his palace, and from this place it was now transported to the heights of Mount Moriah, to its resting-place in the Most Holy Place of the Temple. V. 3. Wherefore all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto the king in the feast, which was in the seventh month, just before the Feast of Tabernacles. V. 4. And all the elders of Israel came; and the Levites, priests of the tribe of Levi, took up the ark. V. 5. And they brought up the ark and the Tabernacle of the Congregation, the latter being borne by the Levites proper, as usual, to be preserved in one of the chambers of the Temple as a sacred relic, and all the holy vessels that were in the Tabernacle; these did the priests and the Levites bring up. V. 6. Also King Solomon and all the congregation of Israel that were assembled unto him before the ark, as it was being transported to its place in the Temple on that great eighth of Ethanim, sacrificed sheep and oxen, which could not be told nor numbered for multitude, no attempt being made to keep an exact account. V. 7. And the priests brought in the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord unto his place, to the Oracle of the house, into the Most Holy Place, even under the wings of the cherubim, which had been placed there for that purpose, chap. 3, 10-13; v. 8. for the cherubim spread forth their wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubim covered the ark and the staves thereof above, their height of ten cubits causing them to tower above the ark with its mercy-seat. V. 9. And they drew out the staves of the ark, those inserted in rings at its corners to carry it with, that the ends of the staves were seen from the ark before the Oracle; but they were not seen without, 1 Kings 8, 8. And there it is unto this day, namely, at the time this account was written, as used by the chronicler. V. 10. There was nothing in the ark save the two tables which Moses put therein at Horeb, when the Lord made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of Egypt, Deut. 10, 2. 5. All this solemnity was not a mere outward ceremony, but an expression of the deepest conviction of the heart, as it should actuate all believers at all times.
THE GLORY OF THE LORD IN THE TEMPLE. — V. 11. And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the Holy Place; (for all the priests that were present were sanctified and did not then wait by course; on account of the greatness of the festival and the unusual number of sacrifices all the priests were required, and so they all, without regard to any courses, were sanctified for the work; v. 12. also the Levites which were the singers, all of them of Asaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun, in the companies as fixed by the order of David, 1 Chron. 25, 1, with their sons and their brethren, being arrayed in white linen, having cymbals and psalteries and harps, stood at the east end of the altar, near the entrance to the Court of the Priests, and with them an hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets, cp. 1 Chron. 15, 17-28;) v. 13. it came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, voices and instruments rising in one wonderful sound of rejoicing, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord. And when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music and praised the Lord, saying, For He is good, for His mercy endureth forever, that then, when this climax in the celebration was reached, the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord, the entire Sanctuary, v. 14. so that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud, this being the well-known light cloud (shechinah) dwelling in the Tabernacle since the time of Moses; for the glory of the Lord, manifesting His gracious presence in this wonderful cloud, had filled the house of God. In the New Testament we have a much more wonderful manifestation of the gracious presence of God, since the eternal Word was made flesh and dwelt among men, revealing to them His glory, a glory as of the Only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.