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Bible Commentaries
2 Chronicles 5

Dr. Constable's Expository NotesConstable's Expository Notes

Verse 1

B. The Building of the Temple 2:1-5:1

Solomon was a model of the ultimate Davidic temple builder. Consequently the writer gave his temple construction much attention. This was Solomon’s major accomplishment from this writer’s point of view.

3. The temple furnishings 3:10-5:1

The cherubim (2 Chronicles 3:10-13) represented angelic beings (cf. Genesis 3:24). Probably they looked more like the sculptured combination human-animal-bird creatures that archaeologists have discovered in the ancient Assyrian and Babylonian capitals, than like pudgy-winged children. The child image is traceable back to medieval Christian artists. The cherubim evidently stood against the back (west) wall of the temple and faced east toward the ark. [Note: Eugene H. Merrill, "2 Chronicles," in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: Old Testament, p. 622.] They were twice as high as human beings. There were two freestanding cherubim beside the ark, as well as two smaller cherubim mounted on top of the ark (Exodus 25:18), for a total of four in the holy of holies.

The two pillars (2 Chronicles 3:15-17) were evidently freestanding objects that served as visual aids designed to emphasize God’s faithfulness and strength in establishing Israel (cf. 1 Kings 7:21; 2 Chronicles 7:16). They were probably 18 rather than 35 cubits high (cf. 1 Kings 7:15). [Note: For my comments and other sources of information on the remaining temple furnishings that the Chronicler mentioned, see my notes on 1 Kings 7.]

God designed the temple furnishings (ch. 4) to enable the priests to carry out the instructive ritual that the Mosaic Law prescribed. The furnishings and ritual taught and reminded everyone who viewed them lessons about God, man, and the relationship between them that God’s grace had made possible.

"The Chronicler . . . fashioned his account of Solomon as temple builder, with his helper Huram-Abi (2 Chronicles 4:16), on that of Bezalel, the tabernacle supervisor of building, and his helper Oholiab (Exodus 36:1-2). Solomon is seen as the new Bezalel and Huram-Abi as the new Oholiab." [Note: Thompson, pp. 41-42.]

The whole temple was a tribute to the greatness of Yahweh. It enhanced His reputation (2 Chronicles 2:4).

Verses 2-10

C. The Dedication of the Temple 5:2-7:10

The dedication ceremony consisted of four parts: the installation of the ark, Solomon’s address to the people, Solomon’s prayer, and the celebration of the people.

"There can be little doubt that this ceremony, together with God’s response which immediately follows it, marks one of the major climaxes in the Chronicler’s presentation." [Note: H. G. M. Williamson, 1 and 2 Chronicles, p. 213.]

Verses 2-14

1. The installation of the ark 5:2-14

Solomon dedicated the temple during the Feast of Tabernacles (2 Chronicles 5:3). The priests brought the ark and the utensils, that had been in the tent David had pitched for the ark, into the temple. The temple site was north of, and higher than, the "city of David" where the Jerusalemites lived. Sacrifices of worship accompanied the installation. The descent of the cloud (shekinah) signified that God’s presence now abode in the most holy place in a localized sense (cf. Exodus 40:34-35). From then on God dwelt there among His people until the Babylonians destroyed the temple in 586 B.C. (cf. Ezekiel 10). His presence was the basis for Solomon’s address to the people and his prayer that followed.

The statement in 2 Chronicles 5:9 that the poles of the ark were visible "to this day" suggests that someone wrote Chronicles before the destruction of the temple. However, most scholars believe the evidence for a postexilic date of composition is overwhelming, and that this reference is a copyist’s mistake. Probably it came into this text from 1 Kings 8:8. [Note: See Payne, p. 460; and C. F. Keil, The Books of the Chronicles, p. 324.] Evidently the veil did not extend the full width of the sanctuary.

Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 5". "Dr. Constable's Expository Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcc/2-chronicles-5.html. 2012.
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