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Friday, June 21st, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
2 Chronicles 3

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-17

Chapter 3

Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where the Lord appeared unto David his father, in the place that David had prepared in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite. And he began to build in the second day of the second month, in the fourth year of his reign ( 2 Chronicles 3:1-2 ).

He began to build on Mount Moriah. Where in the world did we hear of Mount Moriah before? As we go back to the book of Genesis, "And God did tempt Abraham and said unto him, 'Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, and offer him as a sacrifice on a mountain that I will show thee.' Abraham took Isaac and the servants and they saddled the donkeys and they journeyed. And after three days Abraham left the servants and the donkeys and he said, 'You wait here. I and the lad will go and worship God and we will come again.' And as Abraham and Isaac were journeying together, Isaac said unto Abraham, 'Here is the wood, here is the fire, where is the sacrifice?' And Abraham said, 'God will provide Himself a sacrifice.' And they journeyed together to Mount Moriah. And there Abraham built an altar and he placed Isaac upon it. And he raised his knife and God said, 'Abraham, stop. I see now that you are obedient and will withhold nothing from Me. Behold, the ram caught by its horns in the thicket. Take and offer it.' And Abraham took the ram and offered it as a sacrifice unto the Lord. And Abraham called the name of the place Jehovah-Jireh, the Lord will provide. And he prophesied, he said, 'In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.'" ( Genesis 22:1-14 ). Earlier he said, "The Lord will provide." "Father, where is the sacrifice?" "The Lord will provide Himself a sacrifice." What a prophetic statement. God's going to provide Himself as the sacrifice. And he called the name of the place Jehovah-Jireh. And then referring to the previous prophecies said, "In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen."

So the place of worship and the place of sacrifice for the nation of Israel was moved from Gibeon to Jerusalem. And there the temple was built on Mount Moriah, the same mount that God showed to Abraham where he offered his son Isaac with the prophecy, "The Lord will provide Himself a sacrifice. In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen."

Now the temple was actually built on the side of Mount Moriah, not on the top, which is interesting in itself. Because among all of the pagan religions, they always built their altars and their places of worship at the tops of the mountains. You go to Athens, and at the top of each mountain in Athens there are the ruins of the pagan temples of the past. Always on the top. The Acropolis, right at the top of the mountain. There in Corinth, the top of the mountain above Corinth, the temple of Aphrodite. And so it is interesting, number one, that the temple was not built on the top of Mount Moriah, but on the side of the mount.

For Mount Moriah continues up, slopes upwards from the temple site and the top of Mount Moriah is actually Mount Calvary or Golgotha. And you can look at the whole topography of that area and you can see how Mount Moriah gently slopes from the temple mount right on up to the top which would be Calvary, Golgotha. And the skull is formed there in the cliff because of the quarries where they excavated out that portion of the mount. And you look back towards the city of Jerusalem and you can see where they've actually cut away the mountain, built the wall of the city right up over the bedrock which continues from there, or did continue at the time of Abraham, and crested on the top. Golgotha, the place of the skull, where God provided Himself a sacrifice. And the prophecy of Abraham was fulfilled in the death of Jesus Christ.

So Mount Moriah. It is interesting that the Bible locates it for us for all time, that we would know, so that God can tie together the interesting types and shadows from the Old Testament with their fulfillment in the New. Thus, the place of Isaac's sacrifice was the place where God provided.

He began to build the temple there in Mount Moriah there at the threshingfloor.

Now these are the things that Solomon was instructed for the building of the house of God. The building was to be ninety feet by thirty feet. [The very building itself.] The porch was in the front of it, and the length was according to the breadth of the house, the height of it was a hundred and twenty: and he overlaid it within with pure gold ( 2 Chronicles 3:3-4 ).

So a building this size and now inside is just overlaid completely with pure gold.

The greater house he ceiled with fir trees, and he overlaid those with fine gold, and he set thereon palm trees and chains. And he garnished the house with precious stones for beauty: and the gold was the gold of Parvaim. He overlaid also the house, with the beams, and the posts, and the walls thereof, and the doors thereof, with gold; and he carved cherubims on the walls. And he made the most holy place, the length according to the breadth of the house, was thirty feet, and the breadth of it thirty feet: and he overlaid it with fine gold, which came to six hundred talents ( 2 Chronicles 3:5-8 ).

Or, at the thirty-dollar-an-ounce price, about eighteen million dollars. What it would be today, of course, with gold at 500-something an ounce you can figure out yourself. But this was just for the holy of holies within. So the amount of the value of this whole temple that was built by Solomon is valued at somewhere in the billions of dollars. The estimates, of course, range.

Now the weight of the nails was fifty shekels of gold. And he overlaid the upper chambers with gold. And the most holy house he made two cherubims, and he overlaid them with gold. And the wings of the cherubim were thirty feet long: one wing of the one cherub was seven and a half cubits, reaching to the wall of the house: and the other wing was likewise seven and a half cubits, reaching to the wing of the other cherub ( 2 Chronicles 3:9-11 ).

So that is the total wingspan of the cherub. The two cherubs were twenty feet. There was cherubs, their wings would touch in the middle. And this, remember, is all a little model of heaven. The holy of holies is a model of heaven and the throne of God. And so the cherubim about the throne of God that John saw in the book of Revelation and that Ezekiel saw.

And he made the veil of blue, and purple, and crimson, and fine linen, and he wrought the cherubim ( 2 Chronicles 3:14 ).

They wove cherubim into this veil of the temple.

Also he made before the house two pillars of thirty and five cubits ( 2 Chronicles 3:15 ),

So that will be about forty-seven and a half, fifty feet tall.

And there was this ornamental work on the top of each of them of seven and a half feet. And he made chains, as in the oracle, and he put them on the heads of the pillars; and made a hundred pomegranates, and put them on the chains. And he reared up the pillars before the temple, one on the right hand, and the other on the left; and he called the name on the right hand Jachin, and the name on the left Boaz ( 2 Chronicles 3:15-17 ). "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 3". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/2-chronicles-3.html. 2014.
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