2 Chronicles Chapter 5

Solomon had been given the instruction to build a temple, before he had become the king of Israel. As far as the scriptures have recorded, this was the commandment that occupied the mind of his father, King David, for the last several years of his life. Once his reign had been established, Solomon had started the work of constructing the temple and made it a priority for his kingdom. This chapter continues the record of this, and begins with the following:

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 was completed. Solomon took all the things that King David had dedicated for the temple during the last part of his life, and placed them along with the valuable things he had made for the house of the Lord. (see also 1 Kings 8)

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.
3 Wherefore all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto the king in the feast which was in the seventh month.
4 And all the elders of Israel came; and the Levites took up the ark.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.

The elders of Israel and tribe leaders were gathered to Jerusalem, so that the ark of the covenant could be brought to the temple on mount Zion. They had their traditional feast, the Feast of Tabernacles known to be held in the seventh month, and the Levites and priests brought the ark and the tabernacle, along with all that was a part of it, into Jerusalem. The people gathered there, worshiped the Lord with a great number of sacrifices. The ark was placed in the holy of holies, under the cherubim wings within the temple, which was its intended resting place. Within the ark, was the two tablets containing the ten commandments Moses had received at Mount Horeb (also known as Mount Sinai). This verse says that was the only thing in the ark, however, Hebrews 9:4 teaches the ark also contained the “pot of manna” and “Aaron’s rod that budded,”. These items had also been included in the things the children of Israel were commanded to keep “before the Testimony” along with the tablets.

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:
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:)
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 musick, 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;
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.

Once all had been properly placed within the temple by the priests, the temple musicians, which were all gathered at the end of the altar, dressed in white and ready with their instruments, began to play in praise and thanksgiving to the Lord. They sang in praise of the Lord, of his eternal goodness and mercy. Then the glory of the Lord was manifested in the temple, by a cloud, which filled the space and caused the priests to be unable to stand to minister. Music is not something created by men for our enjoyment. Music is of God. The temple was complete and all was placed within it, but the glory of the Lord came when the people praised God with music. Music is seen by God as a prayer, as indicated in Doctrine and Covenants 25:12. “For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads.” If one song could invite the glory of the Lord to abide in the temple in the days of Solomon, then a single song has a lot of power spiritually. This should cause us to consider what songs we sing, the power they have, and what we might invite into our lives and our personal temples or “tabernacles of clay”, as we sing and dance. What kinds of prayers are we singing to God in our everyday lives?

I cannot begin to imagine the excitement and joy that must have been there among the elders of Israel and the Levites. After so many years in the land of promise, the ark of the covenant had finally found its resting place. So much effort had gone into the building of this glorious temple. Then, as they worshiped the Lord, his acceptance was made known to them as the cloud filled the temple. I do not know how often, if much at all, the cloud had been present with the tabernacle in the promised land. I am sure that they all knew the stories of the cloud that covered the tabernacle as their ancestors had traveled in the wilderness. In any case, this must have been a glorious time of celebration for the Israelites, and especially for Solomon. The Lord had accepted their sacrifices, both those in building the temple and those they made when it was completed, and they were able to witness his presence among them.

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