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Bible Commentaries
2 Chronicles 5

Old & New Testament Restoration CommentaryRestoration Commentary

Introduction

Second Chronicles Chapter 5

2 Chronicles 5:1 “Thus all the work that Solomon made for the house of the LORD was finished: and Solomon brought in [all] the things that David his father had dedicated; and the silver, and the gold, and all the instruments, put he among the treasures of the house of God.”

The temple, which began in the fourth year of the reign of Solomon, took 7 years to construct. Verse 1, above, is re-capping the fact that much of the materials to build the temple and the things used in the services were given by king David before he died. We remember, the value of the silver and gold ran into the billions of dollars.

2 Chronicles 5:2 "Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel, unto Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the city of David, which [is] Zion."

The ark was in Jerusalem, where David had it carried. It was housed in the tent that David had prepared for it. Now, it would be moved into the temple and placed in the holy of holies. The ark would be moved with the dignitaries of the land looking on. This is a very important occasion in the lives of all Israel. This is why it was so important for the elders and the heads of the tribes to witness the moving. Notice, this Scripture explicitly calls the city of David, Zion. This is still Jerusalem, but was where the threshingfloor had been. This was the place God had chosen for the temple.

2 Chronicles 5:3 "Wherefore all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto the king in the feast which [was] in the seventh month."

All, here, does not mean every individual male in Israel. This means representatives of all of them came. The feast of Tabernacles occured in the seventh month on the fifteenth day. The moving occurred during the feast of Tabernacles, then.

2 Chronicles 5:4 "And all the elders of Israel came; and the Levites took up the ark."

David had learned a good lesson about who was to move the ark and how it was to be moved. We may be assured that David had passed this information on to Solomon. The Levites, who were chosen to serve God, would be those to actually move the ark.

2 Chronicles 5:5 "And they brought up the ark, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and all the holy vessels that [were] in the tabernacle, these did the priests [and] the Levites bring up."

This makes it appear to be two different people, when it speaks of the priests and the Levites. The priests are Levites, but they alone of the Levitical tribe can handle the ark. Even they must not touch the ark. The staves that go through the rings on the sides of the ark for carrying purposes. The descendents of Aaron were the priests.

2 Chronicles 5:6 "Also king Solomon, and all the congregation of Israel that were assembled unto him before the ark, sacrificed sheep and oxen, which could not be told nor numbered for multitude."

This means the priests sacrificed the animals that Solomon and the congregation had offered for sacrifice. There were literally thousands of animals offered.

2 Chronicles 5:7 "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 cherubims:"

The cherubims were already in place, when the ark was placed before them. We see, again, the place of the ark was the most holy place. We remember from an earlier lesson, that the wings covered with gold were so large they covered the entire back wall of the temple.

2 Chronicles 5:8 "For the cherubims spread forth [their] wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubims covered the ark and the staves thereof above."

It appears from this Scripture, that the staves stayed in place while the ark was in the most holy place.

2 Chronicles 5:9 "And they drew out the staves [of the ark], that the ends of the staves were seen from the ark before the oracle; but they were not seen without. And there it is unto this day."

In this Scripture, they appear to have been removed and been left somewhere in the room. It is our understanding that is not clear, not in error in Scripture.

2 Chronicles 5:10 "[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."

In the original ark, there were the two tables of stone with the ten commandments on them, Aaron’s rod that bloomed, and the golden pot with the manna. Perhaps, the golden pot with the manna and Aaron’s rod that bloomed had been removed, when the ark had been in the hands of the enemy. Mount Horeb was believed to be a lower peak of Mount Sinai. This is the spot where God gave Moses the tables with the ten commandments.

2 Chronicles 5:11 "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:"

These priests took turns ministering in the temple. For this great occasion, they were all there. They were all sanctified and could watch this wonderful event for all of Israel.

2 Chronicles 5:12 "Also the Levites [which were] the singers, all of them of Asaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun, 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, and with them an hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets:)"

White linen symbolized righteousness. In an earlier lesson, we learned that Asaph was the overseer of the praise and worship with singing and musical instruments. All 24 of the choirs were there for this very special occasion. The trumpets were being blown as a victory sound. The ark was in the temple.

2 Chronicles 5:13 "It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers [were] as one, 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] for ever: that [then] the house was filled with a cloud, [even] the house of the LORD;"

God inhabits the praises of His people. This beautiful praising in word, song, and music was in perfect harmony. Notice, the things that were said of the LORD. He is good. His mercy endureth forever. This was the presence of the LORD that was in the smoke that entered the temple. God had accepted the temple and the people. This was shown by His presence.

2 Chronicles 5:14 "So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of God."

This just means that the priests fell on their faces in worship to their LORD. Their strength had all left them, and they fell before the LORD. The LORD had moved into the temple that Solomon and all the people had built for Him.

2 Chronicles 5 Questions

1. Who had dedicated much of the material and the vessels for the temple?

2. When had Solomon begun the temple?

3. How many years did it take to build the temple?

4. Who did Solomon assemble?

5. Where did he assemble them?

6. Where was the ark located, at the time the temple was finished?

7. What does 2 Chronicles 5:2 call the city of David?

8. What is meant by all the men assembled themselves?

9. When did they move the ark to the temple? 1

0. What feast was taking place at the time?

11. Who took up the ark?

12. What did he bring, besides the ark, to the temple?

13. The priests are __________.

14. How must the priests handle the ark?

15. How many animals were sacrificed?

16. Who sacrificed the animals?

17. How large were the wings of the cherubims?

18. Where were they positioned?

19. What did the ark contain, at the time it was moved to the temple?

20. What, besides this, had been in the ark before?

21. When does the author believe the other things might have been removed?

22. Which of the priests were in the temple for the moving of the ark?

23. White linen symbolizes _____________.

24. What instruments were they playing in the temple?

25. Who blew the trumpets?

26. What happened, as they were playing and singing praises to the LORD?

27. What did the smoke represent?

28. What effect did this have on the priests?

Verse 1

2Ch 5:1

2 Chronicles 5:1

THE ARK PLACED IN TEMPLE;

GOD’S GLORY FILLS THE HOUSE;

DEDICATED THINGS WERE DEPOSITED IN TEMPLE

"Thus all the work that Solomon wrought for the house of Jehovah was finished. And Solomon brought in the things that David his father had dedicated, even the silver, and the gold, and all the vessels, and put them in the treasuries of the house of God."

E.M. Zerr:

2 Chronicles 5:1. Solomon respected his father’s interest in the work of the Lord. 1 Ki. 29 gives an account of the things David had prepared and dedicated for the work.

Verses 2-10

2Ch 5:2-10

2 Chronicles 5:2-10

THE ARK BROUGHT INTO THE HOLY OF HOLIES

"Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the princes of the fathers’ houses of the children of Israel, unto Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of Jehovah out of the city of David, which is Zion. And all the children of Israel assembled themselves unto the king at the feast, which was in the seventh month. And all the elders of Israel came: and the Levites took up the ark; and they brought up the ark, and the tent of meeting, and all the vessels that were in the Tent; these did the priests the Levites bring up. And king Solomon and all the congregation of Israel, that were assembled unto him, went before the ark, sacrificing sheep and oxen, that could not be counted nor numbered for multitude. And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of Jehovah unto its place, into the oracle of the house, to the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubim. For the cherubim spread forth their wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubim covered the ark and the staves thereof above. And the staves were so long that the ends of the staves were seen from the ark before the oracle; but they were not seen without: and there it is unto this day. There was nothing in the ark save the two tables that Moses put there at Horeb, when Jehovah made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of Egypt."

"All of 2 Chronicles 5,2 Chronicles 6,2 Chronicles 7 is virtually identical with 1 Kings 8:1 to 1 Kings 9:9, the few additions giving mainly liturgical information." Our Commentary on 1Kings has our discussion of what is contained in this section.

"The city of David, which is Zion" (2 Chronicles 5:2). Zion was the old citadel and stronghold of the Jebusites which David captured. The temple was located north of Zion on the elevation known as Moriah.

"And there it is unto this day" (2 Chronicles 5:9). These words are from the ancient source quoted by the Chronicler (Ezra); because the temple no longer stood when Chronicles was written.

E.M. Zerr:

2 Chronicles 5:2. The transfer of the ark was to be an event of much importance. The sacred vessel had been separated from its proper place since the early days of Saul. (1 Samuel 4). David had secured royal possession of it and housed it in a tent devoted to its exclusive use, located in Mount Zion in Jerusalem. Solomon called for this representative gathering of great men to witness the event.

2 Chronicles 5:3. Feast . . seventh month. This was the feast of atonement. (Leviticus 16:29-30.) It was the time when the high priest went into the Most Holy place in the tabernacle, where the ark had formerly been kept.

2 Chronicles 5:4-5. All the elders of Israel, meaning the more experienced and influential men had a part in this great movement. There were some things, however, that none but Levites were allowed to do, hence they are mentioned in connection with the elders. Brought up the ark and the tabernacle. This sounds as if the transaction was one and the same as to location. Such was not the case, though, for the ark was right there in Jerusalem, while the tabernacle and the other articles of service were at Gibeon. It was not destined ever to be used again in the service, but was brought to the capital city and stored out of due respect.

2 Chronicles 5:6. This great sacrifice was a sort of celebration or rededication of the ark, which was the most exclusive piece of furniture in the tabernacle or temple.

2 Chronicles 5:7-8. The priests were the proper ones to have charge of the ark. Oracle and most holy place were names for corresponding rooms. The latter was what it was called in the tabernacle, and the other in the temple. They were alike in that no one but a priest had any right to go into them while they were in service. (Hebrews 9:7.)

2 Chronicles 5:9. This strange verse is explained in my comments on 1 Kings 8:8.

2 Chronicles 5:10. Nothing in the ark save, etc. Hebrews 9:4 names the three things that had been put into the ark, and Exodus 16:33-34; Numbers 17:10, and Exodus 25:16 gives the account of their being put there. I can find no information as to how or when two of them came to be missing when Solomon moved the ark into the temple.

Verses 11-14

2Ch 5:11-14

2 Chronicles 5:11-14

A CLOUD SYMBOLIZING GOD’S GLORY FILLED THE TEMPLE

"And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place (for all the priests that were present had sanctified themselves, and did not keep their courses; also the Levites who were the singers, all of them, even Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun, and their sons and their brethren, arrayed in fine linen, with cymbals and psalteries and harps, stood at the east end of the altar, and with them a hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets); and it came to pass, when the trumpeters and the singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking Jehovah; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised Jehovah, saying, For he is good; for his lovingkindness endureth forever; that the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of Jehovah, so that priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of Jehovah filled the house of God."

"The significance of the temple is made specific in the ceremonies that accompanied its dedication. They designated the Temple to be the lineal successor to Israel’s previous sanctuaries." The ark of the covenant and the tent of meeting were brought into the temple, and God recognized the temple as the place where his name was recorded and where a manifestation of his earthly presence would dwell.

In view of all the sins and rebellions of Israel, and of the sins and failures of David, and especially of Solomon, and in consideration of the basic truth that God never commanded the building of the temple in the first place .... in spite of all this, God remained firm and immovable in his promise to Abraham that, "in him and in his seed (singular) "(Genesis 12:3), all the families of mankind would be blessed. To fulfill that glorious promise to the patriarchs, it was impossible for God to reject Messiah had been delivered, no matter what misunderstandings or outright sins and rebellions marked the behavior of the Chosen People. We may state it bluntly that, God was stuck with Israel until He had achieved the Grand Objective, namely, that of bringing the Prince of Life into our lost and ruined race. This simple truth explains why God accepted the temple, honored it with his presence, and sent fire from heaven as another positive indication of his approval (2 Chronicles 7:1-10).

"The cloud of God’s glory that filled the temple (2 Chronicles 5:11-14), was called the [~shekinah]."

E.M. Zerr:

2 Chronicles 5:11. In 1 Chronicles 24 is an account of the arrangement for the priests to serve in their turn. On this special occasion the rule was suspended, and all of the men eligible for the office participated. Let us note, however, that before they did so they were sanctified for the occasion.

2 Chronicles 5:12. This verse refers to the choir that had been collected by David, and consecrated to sing and play on the musical instruments.

2 Chronicles 5:13-14. Some effort has been made to draw a distinction between the place where these instruments were used, and that part of the building that was considered holy. The point attempted is to show that God did not favor instrumental music even in Old Testament times, and neither does he now. The point is erroneous and unnecessary; God favored many things then that he does not now. But a close study of this passage will show us these facts: God endorsed this instrumental music by shedding his glory on the service. Furthermore, the spot where it took place and that was filled with the glory of the Lord is called the house of God. This glory was so great that it was too much for the physical endurance of the priests

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on 2 Chronicles 5". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/2-chronicles-5.html.
 
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