King Solomon’s crowning achievement during his reign over Israel was the erection of a magnificent Temple in Jerusalem. David had longed to build a permanent home for the Ark of the Covenant (the ornate “box” that held the 10 commandments) utilizing a similar pattern to the Tabernacle in the Wilderness; however, he was denied the privilege by the Lord God due to all the blood that he had shed in war. (1 Chronicles 28:3). YHWH confirmed to David that his son Solomon was the one appointed to build Him a Temple. Solomon, the wisest man in the world, later summed up the actual truth about building a house for Almighty God. Yes, Solomon would build a Grand Temple in Jerusalem to house the Ark of the Covenant, and upon which the Glory of YHWH would rest, but the reality is that God is so Great, so Grand, that no house made with human hands could ever contain HIM.
2 Chronicles 2:6: “But who is able to build a house for Him, for the heavens and the highest heavens cannot contain Him? So who am I, that I should build a house for Him, except to burn incense before Him?
1 Chronicles 28:5: Of all my sons—and the Lord has given me many—he has chosen my son Solomon to sit on the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel. 6 He said to me: ‘Solomon your son is the one who will build my house and my courts, for I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father. 7 I will establish his kingdom forever if he is unswerving in carrying out my commands and laws, as is being done at this time.’
The Journey of the Ark of the Covenant…
- In the Promised Land, the Ark came to rest in Shiloh, where the Tent of Meeting was set up. Shiloh and The Tent of Meeting was later destroyed by the Philistines.
- 1 Samuel 6, the Philistines captured the Ark, bringing it to Ashkelon, Ashdod, Gath, Gaza and Ekron. Because the Lord became very angry and struck the Philistines with horrible, festering boils and tumors, they returned the Ark to the Israelites with a guilt offering consisting of 5 golden tumors, 1 for each Philistine City.
In the days of King David, David tried to bring the Ark up to Jerusalem, but when Uzzah was struck dead for trying to steady the Ark, David grew fearful of the Ark and left it at the house of Obed Edom where it stayed for 3 months.
- David brought the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem where he pitched a tent for it.
- Solomon constructed a Grand Temple in Mt. Moriah, Jerusalem similar to the pattern of the Tabernacle given to Moses on Mt. Sinai. The Ark rested in the Holy of Holies for 419 years.
Although David was not permitted to build the Temple, he did establish the spot on Mount Moriah where the Temple would be built. David built an alter on the very spot where Abraham bound his son Isaac. This spot would eventually become the very place that Solomon would build the Temple.
Indeed, the Sages of Israel teach that a “Temple Scroll” had been given to Moses by God, and handed down in every generation. This document was a Divinely-ordained plan that contained details, drawings, and diagrams for the Temple and its vessels, including variations and innovations that could be made to suit the changing needs of the growing nation.
Essentially, Solomon’s Temple was similar to the Tabernacle of the desert in its basic layout and design, only on a larger scale. Solomon increased the number of sacred vessels in use, according to the needs of Israel and the enlarged size of the Temple. For example, he built not one menorah, but ten, as well as ten lavers and tables. He also constructed vessels which were unique to this Temple. He made special “carts” which transported the lavers from place to place within the Temple. The “brazen sea,” a large reservoir of water resting on twelve oxen, was one of the wonders of the ancient world. This water was used by the priests to purify themselves before attending to their sacred duties. The twin, sculptured pillars, “Yachin” and “Boaz” were also a hallmark of the unique edifice built by King Solomon.The Temple Institute
The Temple was built in Silence.
1 Kings 6:7 The house, while it was being built, was built of stone prepared at the quarry, and there was neither hammer nor axe nor any iron tool heard in the house while it was being built.
In both its unique beauty and its silent assemblage, the temple is a striking type of the spiritual temple now being erected by the Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 2:19: So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holytemple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.
Once the Temple was complete, Solomon prayed a prayer of Dedication in the presence of the Assembly of Israel.
2 Chronicles 6:18 “But will God indeed dwell with mankind on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain You; how much less this house which I have built. 19 Yet have regard to the prayer of Your servant and to his supplication, O Lord my God, to listen to the cry and to the prayer which Your servant prays before You; 20 that Your eye may be open toward this house day and night, toward the place of which You have said that You would put Your name there, to listen to the prayer which Your servant shall pray toward this place.
The Lord heard Solomon’s Prayer & saw the animal sacrifices offered up on the Golden Alter (substitution principle), and this was His Response.
2 Chronicles 7 :Now when Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the house. 2 The priests could not enter into the house of the Lord because the glory of the Lord filled the Lord’s house.3 All the sons of Israel, seeing the fire come down and the glory of the Lord upon the house, bowed down on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave praise to the Lord, saying, “Truly He is good, truly His lovingkindness is everlasting.”
The period of Solomon’s Temple lasted for 410 years, until it was destroyed by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon in 587BCE. As sad as the destruction of this beautiful Temple was, it didn’t seem as sad as when the Glory of the Lord departed from the Temple. In Ezekiel 10, during the Babylonian exile, the Glory of the Lord left the Temple prior to its Destruction.
In the New Covenant, the Believer in YESHUA (JESUS) IS the Temple of God because the HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD literally dwells within us!