Archive for the 'The Old Testament' Category

2 Chronicles Chapter 6

The presence of the glory of the Lord, was a manifestation of God’s acceptance of the temple that Solomon had built. The only thing remaining before the temple would be put to regular use, was to dedicate it to the Lord and His purposes. This chapter begins:

1 Then said Solomon, The Lord hath said that he would dwell in the thick darkness.
2 But I have built an house of habitation for thee, and a place for thy dwelling for ever.
3 And the king turned his face, and blessed the whole congregation of Israel: and all the congregation of Israel stood.
4 And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who hath with his hands fulfilled that which he spake with his mouth to my father David, saying,
5 Since the day that I brought forth my people out of the land of Egypt I chose no city among all the tribes of Israel to build an house in, that my name might be there; neither chose I any man to be a ruler over my people Israel:
6 But I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there; and have chosen David to be over my people Israel.
7 Now it was in the heart of David my father to build an house for the name of the Lord God of Israel.
8 But the Lord said to David my father, Forasmuch as it was in thine heart to build an house for my name, thou didst well in that it was in thine heart:
9 Notwithstanding thou shalt not build the house; but thy son which shall come forth out of thy loins, he shall build the house for my name.
10 The Lord therefore hath performed his word that he hath spoken: for I am risen up in the room of David my father, and am set on the throne of Israel, as the Lord promised, and have built the house for the name of the Lord God of Israel.
11 And in it have I put the ark, wherein is the covenant of the Lord, that he made with the children of Israel.

Solomon declared to God, that the temple was built as a house for God. Then, he blessed the congregation of Israel. He was grateful for the Lord’s help in fulfilling the commandment given to His father, David. The Lord had chosen Jerusalem to be the city where the temple would be built, after a very long time with the Israelites inhabiting the land of promise. David had been chosen by God, to rule over His people. David had desires to build the temple for the Lord, but it was given to David to build it. David was blessed for his desires and was told that his son would build the temple. Solomon spoke of the fulfillment of this through him. Solomon had placed the ark of the covenant in the temple, so that He could continue to keep the covenants made with the children of Israel by his presence being among them. (see also 1 Kings 8)

12 And he stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands:
13 For Solomon had made a brasen scaffold, of five cubits long, and five cubits broad, and three cubits high, and had set it in the midst of the court: and upon it he stood, and kneeled down upon his knees before all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven,
14 And said, O Lord God of Israel, there is no God like thee in the heaven, nor in the earth; which keepest covenant, and shewest mercy unto thy servants, that walk before thee with all their hearts:
15 Thou which hast kept with thy servant David my father that which thou hast promised him; and spakest with thy mouth, and hast fulfilled it with thine hand, as it is this day.
16 Now therefore, O Lord God of Israel, keep with thy servant David my father that which thou hast promised him, saying, There shall not fail thee a man in my sight to sit upon the throne of Israel; yet so that thy children take heed to their way to walk in my law, as thou hast walked before me.
17 Now then, O Lord God of Israel, let thy word be verified, which thou hast spoken unto thy servant David.
18 But will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth? behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built!
19 Have respect therefore to the prayer of thy servant, and to his supplication, O Lord my God, to hearken unto the cry and the prayer which thy servant prayeth before thee:
20 That thine eyes may be open upon this house day and night, upon the place whereof thou hast said that thou wouldest put thy name there; to hearken unto the prayer which thy servant prayeth toward this place.
21 Hearken therefore unto the supplications of thy servant, and of thy people Israel, which they shall make toward this place: hear thou from thy dwelling place, even from heaven; and when thou hearest, forgive.

After finishing this message to the people, Solomon stood upon a riser, before the altar and offered a dedicatory prayer. In the prayer, he recognized that God is unlike anything or anyone else in all the world or in heaven. God keeps His covenants perfectly and is a merciful God to the righteous who strive to walk with Him. Solomon said that God had fulfilled His words that day, with the completion of the temple. Solomon prayed that the promises made to his father, that the line of David would continue upon the throne in Israel, would continue to be fulfilled as well. Solomon recognized that God could not be contained by the temple built by men, but asked that the Lord would watch over the temple day and night. He asked that God would put his name upon the temple, as had been told to David, and that the prayer of Solomon would be heard and answered. Solomon prayed that the Lord would hear all the prayers offered toward the temple, and that the Lord would forgive.

22 If a man sin against his neighbour, and an oath be laid upon him to make him swear, and the oath come before thine altar in this house;
23 Then hear thou from heaven, and do, and judge thy servants, by requiting the wicked, by recompensing his way upon his own head; and by justifying the righteous, by giving him according to his righteousness.

Solomon prayed that their oaths would be recognized by the Lord judging and rewarding them justly according to their wickedness or righteousness.

24 And if thy people Israel be put to the worse before the enemy, because they have sinned against thee; and shall return and confess thy name, and pray and make supplication before thee in this house;
25 Then hear thou from the heavens, and forgive the sin of thy people Israel, and bring them again unto the land which thou gavest to them and to their fathers.

He prayed that when the Lord allowed their enemies to have power over them, the repentant sinners would be forgiven and brought back to the land of promise given to their ancestors.

26 When the heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; yet if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou dost afflict them;
27 Then hear thou from heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, when thou hast taught them the good way, wherein they should walk; and send rain upon thy land, which thou hast given unto thy people for an inheritance.

If they sinned and the consequence was drought, Solomon prayed for the Lord to forgive penitent Israel and bless them with rain upon the promised land.

28 If there be dearth in the land, if there be pestilence, if there be blasting, or mildew, locusts, or caterpillers; if their enemies besiege them in the cities of their land; whatsoever sore or whatsoever sickness there be:
29 Then what prayer or what supplication soever shall be made of any man, or of all thy people Israel, when every one shall know his own sore and his own grief, and shall spread forth his hands in this house:
30 Then hear thou from heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and render unto every man according unto all his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou only knowest the hearts of the children of men:)
31 That they may fear thee, to walk in thy ways, so long as they live in the land which thou gavest unto our fathers.

Additionally, if there is any curse upon the land of any kind, he prayed that God would forgive those who repent and pray to the Lord, and they would receive forgiveness and blessings according to their good works. Solomon said that this was so that the people would reverence the Lord, following the commandments, because they would recognize that they received their blessings from God according to their faith.

God is all-knowing and therefore, He knows us. He knows are needs. He knows are dispositions. He knows our temptations. He knows our weaknesses as well as our strengths. He knows the things that we desire in the deepest parts of our hearts. He knows these things perfectly and in ways that we do not even know ourselves. He is waiting to bless us as our loving Father in Heaven, but he desires that we have every opportunity for growth in this life. Because of this, He expects us to repent and return to Him to ask for forgiveness, in order for us to receive those blessings. When the Israelites turned back to the temple, where the presence of the Lord was in their day, they could be forgiven by their all-knowing God, and through receiving promised blessings they would recognize the power, forgiveness, mercy and goodness of God.

32 Moreover concerning the stranger, which is not of thy people Israel, but is come from a far country for thy great name’s sake, and thy mighty hand, and thy stretched out arm; if they come and pray in this house;
33 Then hear thou from the heavens, even from thy dwelling place, and do according to all that the stranger calleth to thee for; that all people of the earth may know thy name, and fear thee, as doth thy people Israel, and may know that this house which I have built is called by thy name.
34 If thy people go out to war against their enemies by the way that thou shalt send them, and they pray unto thee toward this city which thou hast chosen, and the house which I have built for thy name;
35 Then hear thou from the heavens their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause.
36 If they sin against thee, (for there is no man which sinneth not,) and thou be angry with them, and deliver them over before their enemies, and they carry them away captives unto a land far off or near;
37 Yet if they bethink themselves in the land whither they are carried captive, and turn and pray unto thee in the land of their captivity, saying, We have sinned, we have done amiss, and have dealt wickedly;
38 If they return to thee with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their captivity, whither they have carried them captives, and pray toward their land, which thou gavest unto their fathers, and toward the city which thou hast chosen, and toward the house which I have built for thy name:
39 Then hear thou from the heavens, even from thy dwelling place, their prayer and their supplications, and maintain their cause, and forgive thy people which have sinned against thee.
40 Now, my God, let, I beseech thee, thine eyes be open, and let thine ears be attent unto the prayer that is made in this place.
41 Now therefore arise, O Lord God, into thy resting place, thou, and the ark of thy strength: let thy priests, O Lord God, be clothed with salvation, and let thy saints rejoice in goodness.
42 O Lord God, turn not away the face of thine anointed: remember the mercies of David thy servant.

Solomon prayed the the prayers of foreigners, made towards the temple, would also be heard and answered by the Lord. He prayed for this, because all men, everywhere, would be able to see the blessings and know the God of Israel. He asked for the blessings of the Lord, to be upon the host of Israel who prayed towards the temple as they went to defend the children of Israel from their enemies. If they would be captured by their enemies because they sinned against the Lord and remember and return to the Lord with all of their heart and soul, praying towards the temple from the land of their bondage, then Solomon asked that the Lord hear their prayers and forgive them. He prayed that every prayer be heard that was made in the temple. He then dedicated the temple to the Lord as His resting place, asking for blessing upon the priests who would serve there, that the saints might rejoice.

Why would it be important to know of this dedication? Isaiah 56:7 reads, “Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.” During His mortal ministry, Jesus said, “…It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves. (Luke 19:46)” Again in more modern times, when talking of the temple, the Lord instructed Joseph Smith, “Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer… (Doctrine and Covenants 88:119).” The temples of the Lord, modern and ancient, are houses of prayer. Temples have been dedicated to the Lord by prayer. Sacrifices made to the Lord in temples have been dedicated by prayer. Sacred covenants are made there by prayer. The faithful seek revelation, guidance and answers through prayer when within the walls of the temple. This is necessary, because God wants to communicate with His people. This is a main purpose for the building of temples around the world. He desires for His children to separate themselves from the world spiritually and physically, and speak to Him, commit to Him, and love Him. We should be a prayerful people. I am grateful for the experiences I have had in hearing dedicatory prayers for a few of the modern temples. I am sure that all those present in the days of Solomon’s dedication of the temple in Jerusalem, were greatly blessed by that experience as well.

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.

2 Chronicles Chapter 4

As part of the building of the temple in Jerusalem, King Solomon needed to craft all of the sacred items for use in the temple. Chapter 4 tells of those items and how they were made.

1 Moreover he made an altar of brass, twenty cubits the length thereof, and twenty cubits the breadth thereof, and ten cubits the height thereof.

The items designed, included a brass altar, which was 20 cubits square and ten cubits high. This was patterned after the altar in the tabernacle, but made larger. With the need to carry the altar, the one created for the tabernacle had to be crafted at its smaller size. In the temple Solomon built, it was designed in a larger size meant to be both a permanent fixture and to allow for more sacrifices at one time.

2 Also he made a molten sea of ten cubits from brim to brim, round in compass, and five cubits the height thereof; and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.
3 And under it was the similitude of oxen, which did compass it round about: ten in a cubit, compassing the sea round about. Two rows of oxen were cast, when it was cast.
4 It stood upon twelve oxen, three looking toward the north, and three looking toward the west, and three looking toward the south, and three looking toward the east: and the sea was set above upon them, and all their hinder parts were inward.
5 And the thickness of it was an handbreadth, and the brim of it like the work of the brim of a cup, with flowers of lilies; and it received and held three thousand baths.

The basin, or molten sea, was circular and ten cubits in diameter. It stood 5 cubits in height and was ornamented with lilies. It was placed on twelve oxen to represent the twelve tribes of Israel. Three oxen faced outward each direction: north, south, east, and west. (See also 1 Kings 7) This is the pattern for the baptismal fonts in temples of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints built today, which are circular as well, and rest on the backs of twelve oxen set in this same way.

6 He made also ten lavers, and put five on the right hand, and five on the left, to wash in them: such things as they offered for the burnt offering they washed in them; but the sea was for the priests to wash in.
7 And he made ten candlesticks of gold according to their form, and set them in the temple, five on the right hand, and five on the left.
8 He made also ten tables, and placed them in the temple, five on the right side, and five on the left. And he made an hundred basins of gold.

There were ten lavers, made for washing the offerings, while the larger basin was for the priests to wash. Ten golden candlesticks, or lamp stands, were made as had been for the tabernacle, and placed in the temple. These would be used to keep light continuously in the temple. Ten tables were made as well along with 100 golden basins.

9 Furthermore he made the court of the priests, and the great court, and doors for the court, and overlaid the doors of them with brass.
10 And he set the sea on the right side of the east end, over against the south.
11 And Huram made the pots, and the shovels, and the basins. And Huram finished the work that he was to make for king Solomon for the house of God;
12 To wit, the two pillars, and the pommels, and the chapiters which were on the top of the two pillars, and the two wreaths to cover the two pommels of the chapiters which were on the top of the pillars;
13 And four hundred pomegranates on the two wreaths; two rows of pomegranates on each wreath, to cover the two pommels of the chapiters which were upon the pillars.
14 He made also bases, and lavers made he upon the bases;
15 One sea, and twelve oxen under it.
16 The pots also, and the shovels, and the fleshhooks, and all their instruments, did Huram his father make to king Solomon for the house of the Lord of bright brass.
17 In the plain of Jordan did the king cast them, in the clay ground between Succoth and Zeredathah.
18 Thus Solomon made all these vessels in great abundance: for the weight of the brass could not be found out.

The court of the priests was made, as well as the great court with brass doors. The basin was placed in the south-east end of the temple. Huram, a metal-worker of Tyre, crafted the brass (or polished bronze) pots, shovels and basins. He also designed the ornaments of the pillars, bases for the lavers (washbasins), the basin and oxen, pots, shovels, flesh-hooks, and all the other various items to be used in the temple.

19 And Solomon made all the vessels that were for the house of God, the golden altar also, and the tables whereon the shewbread was set;
20 Moreover the candlesticks with their lamps, that they should burn after the manner before the oracle, of pure gold;
21 And the flowers, and the lamps, and the tongs, made he of gold, and that perfect gold;
22 And the snuffers, and the basins, and the spoons, and the censers, of pure gold: and the entry of the house, the inner doors thereof for the most holy place, and the doors of the house of the temple, were of gold.

Solomon had all the golden vessels made, such as the golden altar, tables for the shewbread, candlesticks, flowers, lamps, tongs, snuffers, basins, spoons, and censers. The entrance of the temple, doors of the holy place and the doors of the temple, were also made with gold.

The temple that Solomon built, was not just a building of beauty, but it was a building of purpose. It was created for the sacred worship of God through sacrifices and service. In order to perform the rites and rituals that had been established by the Lord, they needed all of these items that Solomon made. Each item had a dedicated purpose and a specific way they were to be used. This can be related as well, to our bodies, which are also a type of temple. In 1 Corinthians 3:17 we read, “If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” Additionally in chapter 6, verse 19, we read, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God…?” Our bodies are temples of out spirits and they are not just for beauty, but they are created for specific purposes designed by God. We worship God through the sacrifice and service of our own bodies. Each part has been created by God, with a specific purpose and use and we can choose to dedicate it to the Lord. I am forever grateful for the body I have been given and the things I am able to do with this gift. I pray each day that I might use it for good. Likewise, I am grateful for the temples of the Lord built today, and the service and covenants for which they are built. Temples are an evidence of the love we have for the Lord, and more importantly, the love God has for us. To have been given a place where we can commit ourselves more fully to Him, so that we can be made holy and complete, is a witness that God desires for us all to return to Him. Each temple is beautiful and glorious, as the temple of Solomon was in antiquity, but the blessing of the temple is so much more if we are willing to make the changes and sacrifices necessary to use it personally.

2 Chronicles Chapter 3

Once Solomon had the materials to build the temple, the construction of it started. The temple was to be of the finest workmanship and materials, including the best wood from fir trees and pure gold. This chapter describes some of these details of the temple and begins as follows:

1 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.
2 And he began to build in the second day of the second month, in the fourth year of his reign.

The house of the Lord was laid in Mount Moriah, within Jerusalem, during the fourth year of the reign of Solomon. This was a sacred place, because it was the site where King David had been when he saw the Lord. At that time, an angel of the Lord had destroyed 70,000 men for what David had done in numbering Israel. The angel had been by this threshing floor. The prophet Gad, under the direction of an angel of the Lord, had told David to build an altar there in order to repent of his sin. So David purchased the land from Ornan (Araunah), built an altar, and offered sacrifice. The Lord accepted of his sacrifice by heavenly fire and the angel no longer destroyed the people. David had chosen that location to make sacrifices and was intending to build the temple there. (See also 1 Kings 6, 2 Samuel 24 and 1 Chronicles 21)

3 Now these are the things wherein Solomon was instructed for the building of the house of God. The length by cubits after the first measure was threescore cubits, and the breadth twenty cubits.
4 And the porch that was in the front of the house, the length of it was according to the breadth of the house, twenty cubits, and the height was an hundred and twenty: and he overlaid it within with pure gold.
5 And the greater house he ceiled with fir tree, which he overlaid with fine gold, and set thereon palm trees and chains.
6 And he garnished the house with precious stones for beauty: and the gold was gold of Parvaim.
7 He overlaid also the house, the beams, the posts, and the walls thereof, and the doors thereof, with gold; and graved cherubims on the walls.
8 And he made the most holy house, the length whereof was according to the breadth of the house, twenty cubits, and the breadth thereof twenty cubits: and he overlaid it with fine gold, amounting to six hundred talents.
9 And the weight of the nails was fifty shekels of gold. And he overlaid the upper chambers with gold.
10 And in the most holy house he made two cherubims of image work, and overlaid them with gold.

Solomon had been given specific instructions as to the building of the temple. It was to be 60 cubits in length and 20 cubits in width. (A cubit was about 18 inches, or the length from elbow to fingertip.) The entrance at the front, was to be 20 cubits by 20 cubits, with the height at 120 cubits. Solomon had the walls inside it, overlaid with gold. The rest of the temple had wooden ceilings overlaid with gold and decorated with palm trees and chains. The temple was ornamented with precious stones. All of the beams, posts, walls, doors and such, were overlaid with gold. There were engravings on the walls of cherubims. The inner holy house was about 20 by 20 cubits. It was also covered in six hundred talents worth of gold. Even the nails used, were gold. The upper chambers were covered in gold as well. Inside it, were two gold covered cherubim statues.

11 And the wings of the cherubims were twenty cubits long: one wing of the one cherub was five cubits, reaching to the wall of the house: and the other wing was likewise five cubits, reaching to the wing of the other cherub.
12 And one wing of the other cherub was five cubits, reaching to the wall of the house: and the other wing was five cubits also, joining to the wing of the other cherub.
13 The wings of these cherubims spread themselves forth twenty cubits: and they stood on their feet, and their faces were inward.

The cherubim wings were each 5 cubits in length. One wing touched the wall of the temple, while the other touched the wing of the second cherub, which also had a wing reaching the opposing wall of the temple. The cherubim were standing with faces pointed inward.

14 And he made the veil of blue, and purple, and crimson, and fine linen, and wrought cherubims thereon.
15 Also he made before the house two pillars of thirty and five cubits high, and the chapiter that was on the top of each of them was five cubits.
16 And he made chains, as in the oracle, and put them on the heads of the pillars; and made an hundred pomegranates, and put them on the chains.
17 And he reared up the pillars before the temple, one on the right hand, and the other on the left; and called the name of that on the right hand Jachin, and the name of that on the left Boaz.

The fine linen veil of the temple was blue, purple, and red. It also had cherubims on it. Two pillars were placed at the entrance of the temple, which were 35 cubits tall. Each had a top piece, or capital, that was 5 cubits. They were decorated with chains ornamented with pomegranates. These pillars were both extremely large and beautifully decorated in their description. Each pillar was given a name, which had been done with other pillars detailed in the bible. The right was called Jachin and the left was called Boaz. In the Bible Dictionary entry for these pillars, it states the meanings of their names as “He will establish” and “In Him is strength.”

Earlier in the Bible, men of God had experiences with sacred things, and followed these up by raising a pillar of some type in remembrance of what had occurred in that place. For example, when Jacob dreamt of the ladder reaching to heaven, he awoke and placed stone pillar in the place, consecrated it with oil and named the place Beth-el (House of God). Again, when Jacob spoke with God and made covenants with him, receiving the name Israel, he built a stone pillar and poured oil on it, calling the place Beth-el. Later, when Moses and the host of Israel made covenants with the Lord to keep the commandments, he made twelve pillars for the twelve tribes. (see Genesis 28, Genesis 35, and Exodus 24) Pillars therefore, were created for other reasons than to bear the weight of a structure, or to mark an entrance. God had made his presence known in that place, when David had been king. It was a sacred place to Solomon and likely to the faithful in Israel. The pillars of Solomon’s temple, were possibly a visual reminder of the covenants made between God and the children of Israel. They were given names that pointed to God. By entering the gate of the temple, where these pillars stood, they were showing God they had faith in Him and in the promises of his protection and power in their lives if they worshipped Him there.

This temple must have been beautiful to behold and unlike anything else ever built by the children of Israel. Solomon was dedicated to making the house of the Lord a place of magnificence. The parts of the temple dedicated to the most sacred things, such as the inner sanctuary, were not going to be seen by the general public. They were not for men’s eyes to behold, but they were made glorious for the Lord. Solomon built this temple to truly be the house of the Lord in his day. As I read this chapter, I cannot help but reflect on the beauty of each temple raised today by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They are built with the finest craftsmanship and materials. They are magnificent to behold. The doors of the temple have the words “Holiness to the Lord” and “The House of the Lord”. They remind those who enter, that the temple is a place where we are made holy through making covenants with God. The temples are the houses of the Lord, for his purposes and for his Spirit to reside. When we enter the temples today, we show God that we, like the children of Israel, have faith in Him and the promises of his continued protection and power in our lives today.

2 Chronicles Chapter 2

During the reign of Solomon, the temple of the Lord was built in Jerusalem. This chapter is about the beginning of that work, which was a huge task in that day.

1 And Solomon determined to build an house for the name of the Lord, and an house for his kingdom.
2 And Solomon told out threescore and ten thousand men to bear burdens, and fourscore thousand to hew in the mountain, and three thousand and six hundred to oversee them.

Solomon was obedient to the commands of his father, David, who had charged him with this great task. Not only did he plan to build the temple, but he prepared to build a palace as well. 70,000 men were tasked with bearing loads, 80,000 were tasked with cutting stones in the mountains, and 3,600 were assigned to oversee the work they did.

3 And Solomon sent to Huram the king of Tyre, saying, As thou didst deal with David my father, and didst send him cedars to build him an house to dwell therein, even so deal with me.
4 Behold, I build an house to the name of the Lord my God, to dedicate it to him, and to burn before him sweet incense, and for the continual shewbread, and for the burnt offerings morning and evening, on the sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the solemn feasts of the Lord our God. This is an ordinance for ever to Israel.
5 And the house which I build is great: for great is our God above all gods.
6 But who is able to build him an house, seeing the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain him? who am I then, that I should build him an house, save only to burn sacrifice before him?
7 Send me now therefore a man cunning to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in iron, and in purple, and crimson, and blue, and that can skill to grave with the cunning men that are with me in Judah and in Jerusalem, whom David my father did provide.
8 Send me also cedar trees, fir trees, and algum trees, out of Lebanon: for I know that thy servants can skill to cut timber in Lebanon; and, behold, my servants shall be with thy servants,
9 Even to prepare me timber in abundance: for the house which I am about to build shall be wonderful great.
10 And, behold, I will give to thy servants, the hewers that cut timber, twenty thousand measures of beaten wheat, and twenty thousand measures of barley, and twenty thousand baths of wine, and twenty thousand baths of oil.

Solomon sent a request to Huram, king of Tyre, to assist him as he had helped his father to build his house (see also 1 Kings 5 regarding Hiram). Huram was a friend to both Solomon and his father David. He told Huram, that he planned to build a house to the Lord, which would be dedicated to God for burning incense and making offerings according to the ordinances in Israel. He explained that this house was to be great, because God is great and above all other Gods. Solomon was not equal to the task he had been given and he needed help, so he asked Huram to send craftsmen who were skilled with working with gold, silver and other metals, as well as other materials they would need. These men would be needed to help those he had already in Judah and Jerusalem. He also asked Huram to provide trees of cedar, fir and algum from Lebanon, along with skilled me for doing the work of cutting the trees along with the servants of Solomon. Solomon was going to need a great amount of wood, in order to build the temple. In return for their work, Solomon was prepared to given the servants wheat, barley, wine and oil.

11 Then Huram the king of Tyre answered in writing, which he sent to Solomon, Because the Lord hath loved his people, he hath made thee king over them.
12 Huram said moreover, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, that made heaven and earth, who hath given to David the king a wise son, endued with prudence and understanding, that might build an house for the Lord, and an house for his kingdom.
13 And now I have sent a cunning man, endued with understanding, of Huram my father’s,
14 The son of a woman of the daughters of Dan, and his father was a man of Tyre, skilful to work in gold, and in silver, in brass, in iron, in stone, and in timber, in purple, in blue, and in fine linen, and in crimson; also to grave any manner of graving, and to find out every device which shall be put to him, with thy cunning men, and with the cunning men of my lord David thy father.
15 Now therefore the wheat, and the barley, the oil, and the wine, which my lord hath spoken of, let him send unto his servants:
16 And we will cut wood out of Lebanon, as much as thou shalt need: and we will bring it to thee in floats by sea to Joppa; and thou shalt carry it up to Jerusalem.

Huram sent a response, which said that the Lord made Solomon King of Israel, because He loved the people. He glorified the Lord for blessing David with a wise, prudent and understanding son. It seems that Huram knew David had wanted to build the temple and praised the Lord for allowing the son of David to do that work. He sent a very talented and skillful artisan and designer or architect along with the letter, just as Solomon had requested. He mentioned that this man was the son of both Tyre, by his father and Israel through Dan, by his mother. He also would be adding the help of cutting trees needed and sending it to Joppa, which Solomon could then have brought up to Jerusalem. Huram, or Hiram, is an example of the kindness of friendship. This was not a small thing for his kingdom to do, but was a great service and kindness extended to Solomon, his friend.

17 And Solomon numbered all the strangers that were in the land of Israel, after the numbering wherewith David his father had numbered them; and they were found an hundred and fifty thousand and three thousand and six hundred.
18 And he set threescore and ten thousand of them to be bearers of burdens, and fourscore thousand to be hewers in the mountain, and three thousand and six hundred overseers to set the people a work.

Solomon had a count done of all the strangers or foreigners found in Israel, which were in number 153,600. As mentioned above, he assigned 70,000 to carry loads, 80,000 to cut the materials needed from the mountain, and 3,600 as supervisors of the work. With this the preparations for building the temple had begun and Solomon could begin the task his father had given him.

Why would this information be included in the records of the Bible? To understand this, it seems there is a need to understand just how significant the temple was. The Lord commanded the people of Israel to have the tabernacle in their midst, so that there would be a sacred place the people could go to, and know that the presence of the Lord was in their midst. The tabernacle led them in the wilderness for over forty years and was the physical representation of the people coming unto God. This temple that Solomon was to build, would continue to represent that promise to Israel, so long as the people continued to be sanctified and bring sacrifices to the Lord. The temple was a place which was sacred, holy and dedicated to the Lord. Knowing the work and sacrifices it would take to build such a place, shows the dedication of the people of Israel, and of Solomon, to put the Lord first. It should be an example to us in modern times, of the efforts we should be willing to go to, to make a place for the Lord in our own lives.

2 Chronicles Chapter 1

Second Chronicles is a continuation of a record of the children of Israel from the creation until the time when they would be allowed to return to their lands, after many were taken into Babylon. The beginning of the second book of Chronicles, starts with the reign of Solomon. Solomon was the son of David and Bathsheba. 2 Samuel 12 teaches that, “he called his name Solomon: and the Lord loved him.” (see 2 Samuel 12:24) Solomon was chosen by the Lord to be king, before his birth. In 1 Chronicles 22:9 we read the word of the Lord to David. “Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about: for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days.” This chapter begins:

1 And Solomon the son of David was strengthened in his kingdom, and the Lord his God was with him, and magnified him exceedingly.
2 Then Solomon spake unto all Israel, to the captains of thousands and of hundreds, and to the judges, and to every governor in all Israel, the chief of the fathers.
3 So Solomon, and all the congregation with him, went to the high place that was at Gibeon; for there was the tabernacle of the congregation of God, which Moses the servant of the Lord had made in the wilderness.
4 But the ark of God had David brought up from Kirjath-jearim to the place which David had prepared for it: for he had pitched a tent for it at Jerusalem.
5 Moreover the brasen altar, that Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, had made, he put before the tabernacle of the Lord: and Solomon and the congregation sought unto it.
6 And Solomon went up thither to the brasen altar before the Lord, which was at the tabernacle of the congregation, and offered a thousand burnt offerings upon it.

The kingdom of Solomon was blessed by the Lord. Solomon was magnified by the Lord as well.
Then, Solomon gathered the leaders of Israel to the tabernacle in Gibeon, where the brasen altar was and he offered 1,000 burnt offerings on the altar.

7 In that night did God appear unto Solomon, and said unto him, Ask what I shall give thee.
8 And Solomon said unto God, Thou hast shewed great mercy unto David my father, and hast made me to reign in his stead.
9 Now, O Lord God, let thy promise unto David my father be established: for thou hast made me king over a people like the dust of the earth in multitude.
10 Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people: for who can judge this thy people, that is so great?
11 And God said to Solomon, Because this was in thine heart, and thou hast not asked riches, wealth, or honour, nor the life of thine enemies, neither yet hast asked long life; but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself, that thou mayest judge my people, over whom I have made thee king:
12 Wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee; and I will give thee riches, and wealth, and honour, such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee, neither shall there any after thee have the like.

That night, The Lord appeared to Solomon and told him he would give him what he asked of the Lord. After recognizing the mercy shown to his father, Solomon asked that the promises made to his father David would be fulfilled. Solomon asked the Lord for wisdom and knowledge, to be able to rule over and judge the children of Israel who were so great in number. It would seem that, like so many others who are called to lead, he did not feel he was adequate for the calling he had received. God blessed Solomon for such a righteous desire, and because he did not ask for personal riches, wealth, honor, or a long life. He gave him wisdom and knowledge, as well as riches, wealth and honor. God blessed him to be greater than any king who had lived or who would ever live.

13 Then Solomon came from his journey to the high place that was at Gibeon to Jerusalem, from before the tabernacle of the congregation, and reigned over Israel.
14 And Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen: and he had a thousand and four hundred chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen, which he placed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem.
15 And the king made silver and gold at Jerusalem as plenteous as stones, and cedar trees made he as the sycomore trees that are in the vale for abundance.
16 And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and linen yarn: the king’s merchants received the linen yarn at a price.
17 And they fetched up, and brought forth out of Egypt a chariot for six hundred shekels of silver, and an horse for an hundred and fifty: and so brought they out horses for all the kings of the Hittites, and for the kings of Syria, by their means.

Solomon returned to Jerusalem and reigned in Israel. His kingdom was blessed with a great number of chariots and horsemen, silver and gold in large amounts, cedar trees in abundance, Egyptian horses, linen yarn, and a chariot and horse from Egypt, as well as horses for the kings of the Hittites and Syria. His kingdom was truly blessed with wealth and riches.

Wisdom and knowledge are Godly attributes that all men should aspire to have. Solomon was not without them in total, because he knew to worship the Lord and pray for the guidance he needed, which other men would not have done. God blessed him for his goodness and his desire to lead in a manner that was pleasing to Him. Our Father in Heaven is not a respecter of persons and He desires to bless us as well. If we approach Him in prayer, with an honest heart and a desire to do what is right, He will help us as he helped Solomon in his need.

1 Chronicles Chapter 29

The book of 1 Chronicles records the history of the people of God from the creation through the rule of King David. As the last chapter in this book, the words of David to his successor and his people are wrapped up. David had been a great leader for the children of Israel, even with his personal flaws and transgressions. He had fought the enemies of the land valiantly. As a result, the land of Israel had finally been made ready for a permanent house of the Lord, which Solomon was to build during his reign. This final chapter begins with the following:

1 Furthermore David the king said unto all the congregation, Solomon my son, whom alone God hath chosen, is yet young and tender, and the work is great: for the palace is not for man, but for the Lord God.
2 Now I have prepared with all my might for the house of my God the gold for things to be made of gold, and the silver for things of silver, and the brass for things of brass, the iron for things of iron, and wood for things of wood; onyx stones, and stones to be set, glistering stones, and of divers colours, and all manner of precious stones, and marble stones in abundance.
3 Moreover, because I have set my affection to the house of my God, I have of mine own proper good, of gold and silver, which I have given to the house of my God, over and above all that I have prepared for the holy house,
4 Even three thousand talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and seven thousand talents of refined silver, to overlay the walls of the houses withal:
5 The gold for things of gold, and the silver for things of silver, and for all manner of work to be made by the hands of artificers. And who then is willing to consecrate his service this day unto the Lord?

David, speaking to all the Israelites, said that the work given to Solomon was a huge task for a leader who was still young. The Lord has often called those who are young, to perform great tasks for Him. David himself, who had fought Goliath in his youth, had been chosen by God at a young age to become the king of Israel. In youth, people are more humble and teachable, and less hardened by life experiences. In humility, the Lord can bless the weak to become strong, because they rely on Him and have greater faith and trust in the Lord.

David, in his own sincere desire to have the house of the Lord built, had done all that he could to prepare for it. Since he could not build it himself, he had saved all the treasures and supplies, that he could. He had a good amount of gold, silver, brass, iron, wood, and stones, which he had gathered. He had even given a great deal of his own treasures, and dedicated them to the house of the Lord. The Lord had given instruction regarding specific materials to use for specific purposes in the construction of the temple as well as the design of all the tools and vessels. David told the people that the the things he had gathered were for their specific items within the temple, to be crafted by skilled workers. He then called for all who were willing, to consecrate their service to this great work.

6 Then the chief of the fathers and princes of the tribes of Israel, and the captains of thousands and of hundreds, with the rulers of the king’s work, offered willingly,
7 And gave for the service of the house of God of gold five thousand talents and ten thousand drams, and of silver ten thousand talents, and of brass eighteen thousand talents, and one hundred thousand talents of iron.
8 And they with whom precious stones were found gave them to the treasure of the house of the Lord, by the hand of Jehiel the Gershonite.
9 Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the Lord: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy.

The leaders of the tribes of Israel gave willingly to the construction of the temple. They gathered gold, silver, brass, iron, and precious stones. Jehiel, the Gershonite (possibly mentioned in 1 Chronicles 23:8 as leader of the sons of Laadan, who were Levites who served at the temple, though there were others by this name listed), worked to gather and give these treasures to house of the Lord.

The Israelites rejoiced because they willingly gave this offering to the Lord. David rejoiced also for their offerings to the Lord. God does not need men to give him their treasures in order to be able to have a House built to his name, because he could provide a way for these things to be handled without them. However, this is a sacrifice and a consecration of means and time, which God asks of men in order to show commitment to Him. This sacrifice of the Israelites, was much like the tithing that God asks of His people today. All things are His and when we contribute willingly to the building up of His kingdom on Earth, we show that we recognize that we are willing to do our part for Him. This commitment is worthy of rejoicing and having a grateful heart, as it was to the Israelites.

10 Wherefore David blessed the Lord before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed be thou, Lord God of Israel our father, for ever and ever.
11 Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all.
12 Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.
13 Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.
14 But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee.
15 For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding.
16 O Lord our God, all this store that we have prepared to build thee an house for thine holy name cometh of thine hand, and is all thine own.
17 I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of mine heart I have willingly offered all these things: and now have I seen with joy thy people, which are present here, to offer willingly unto thee.
18 O Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, our fathers, keep this for ever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of thy people, and prepare their heart unto thee:
19 And give unto Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep thy commandments, thy testimonies, and thy statutes, and to do all these things, and to build the palace, for the which I have made provision.

David publicly praised the Lord as he dedicated all that had been offered to the Lord. He acknowledged that all things belonged to God, both in heaven and in the earth, and that all things were and are part of the Lord’s kingdom. He also recognized that God rules over all, just as the Savior did in what is known as the Lord’s prayer. Matthew 6:9-10 and 13 record he Savior’s words, “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. …For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” These thoughts of both David and Jesus the Christ, are absolute truths related to God, the Father. They are eternal truths that should continue to be recognized today. People today can and should acknowledge God publicly and privately for His divine majesty.

Continuing, David acknowledged the power and might of God, and that God gives to men the ability to be great and strong. David thanked and praised God, adding that they were only able to give so freely of things because they belonged to the Lord and He made it possible. Again, this is an absolute truth and can and should be recognized by people today. All things, both in the earth and made by man, come of God. He has created all of it and it all belongs to Him. We are only here on earth, for a short time, with the permission granted to us to use all that He has created. When we give to the Lord in ways such as tithes and offerings, as the Israelites did, we are returning to the Lord what He has made possible for us to use. In this, we should be continually grateful, as David was.

David humbly recognized that the children of Israel were strangers and travelers as their ancestors had been. This idea again applies to all men. We are all strangers to this life. We were spiritually created first, and lived in Heaven with God. We spend our time in this earthly life, as strangers, needing the prevailing guidance of our Father. That time is ever-changing, short and never standing still, as a shadow changes each moment with the movement of the sun.

As he went on, David spoke of the ways of God to test the hearts of his people, and of His pleasure in finding uprightness in them. David had willingly given his offering out of his own uprightness of heart, or honesty and goodness, and he found joy in seeing the people give willingly as well. He prayed to the Lord, that the people would remember this and prepare their hearts for the Lord. Moreover, he prayed that the Lord would bless his son, Solomon, with a perfect heart. That Solomon would keep the commandments and statutes of God, and do all in his power to build the temple for which David had prepared greatly.

20 And David said to all the congregation, Now bless the Lord your God. And all the congregation blessed the Lord God of their fathers, and bowed down their heads, and worshipped the Lord, and the king.
21 And they sacrificed sacrifices unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings unto the Lord, on the morrow after that day, even a thousand bullocks, a thousand rams, and a thousand lambs, with their drink offerings, and sacrifices in abundance for all Israel:
22 And did eat and drink before the Lord on that day with great gladness. And they made Solomon the son of David king the second time, and anointed him unto the Lord to be the chief governor, and Zadok to be priest.
23 Then Solomon sat on the throne of the Lord as king instead of David his father, and prospered; and all Israel obeyed him.
24 And all the princes, and the mighty men, and all the sons likewise of king David, submitted themselves unto Solomon the king.
25 And the Lord magnified Solomon exceedingly in the sight of all Israel, and bestowed upon him such royal majesty as had not been on any king before him in Israel.

The gathered people were told to worship the Lord, which they did through prayer, sacrifices, and burnt offerings. Their worship continued as they feasted with great gladness. Solomon was anointed king by the people, with Zadok as the priest. Solomon took the throne and prospered. Israel became subject to him, including all the leaders who had served under David. Solomon was truly blessed by the Lord, in ways that had not been known to the Israelites before this time.

26 Thus David the son of Jesse reigned over all Israel.
27 And the time that he reigned over Israel was forty years; seven years reigned he in Hebron, and thirty and three years reigned he in Jerusalem.
28 And he died in a good old age, full of days, riches, and honour: and Solomon his son reigned in his stead.
29 Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of Samuel the seer, and in the book of Nathan the prophet, and in the book of Gad the seer,
30 With all his reign and his might, and the times that went over him, and over Israel, and over all the kingdoms of the countries.

David had been king in Hebron for 7 years and in Jerusalem for 33 years, making his total reign in Israel, 40 years. He died at a good age for his day, which was about 70 (his rule began when he was 30, according to 2 Samuel 5:4), having been blessed with wealth and honor. There are other accounts of David’s reign, which are not all had in the Bible and are lost writings, but his reign was great and established much for the nation of Israel.

David was a good example to the people of his time, as well as to all the world since that time, to praise God with gratitude. He had been a memorable leader for Israel, serving them and remembering God. He had his shortcomings and was not a perfect man, but he recognized this in himself and ended his days looking to God. As the successful king he was, he could have chosen to withhold his gratitude as many others do. However, David knew from his youth, that his successes and greatness came from the hand of the Lord. As we go through our lives today, it is important for us to remember this as well. We owe so much to God for all He does for us, and we will be blessed and become more, if we humbly look to God with a grateful heart and openly praise Him.

1 Chronicles Chapter 28

The book of 1 Chronicles continues in its record of the rule of King David. A fair amount of this information has been already recorded in the books of Kings (1 Samuel to 2 Kings). This chapter can be compared to 2 Samuel 7 and 1 Kings 2. It begins:

1 And David assembled all the princes of Israel, the princes of the tribes, and the captains of the companies that ministered to the king by course, and the captains over the thousands, and captains over the hundreds, and the stewards over all the substance and possession of the king, and of his sons, with the officers, and with the mighty men, and with all the valiant men, unto Jerusalem.
2 Then David the king stood up upon his feet, and said, Hear me, my brethren, and my people: As for me, I had in mine heart to build an house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and for the footstool of our God, and had made ready for the building:
3 But God said unto me, Thou shalt not build an house for my name, because thou hast been a man of war, and hast shed blood.
4 Howbeit the Lord God of Israel chose me before all the house of my father to be king over Israel for ever: for he hath chosen Judah to be the ruler; and of the house of Judah, the house of my father; and among the sons of my father he liked me to make me king over all Israel:
5 And of all my sons, (for the Lord hath given me many sons,) he hath chosen Solomon my son to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of the Lord over Israel.
6 And he said unto me, Solomon thy son, he shall build my house and my courts: for I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father.
7 Moreover I will establish his kingdom for ever, if he be constant to do my commandments and my judgments, as at this day.
8 Now therefore in the sight of all Israel the congregation of the Lord, and in the audience of our God, keep and seek for all the commandments of the Lord your God: that ye may possess this good land, and leave it for an inheritance for your children after you for ever.

David gathered the leaders of Israel, including the princes, captains of his men as well as the armies, stewards, his sons, and his mighty men (named in the previous chapters). They were called to Jerusalem where David told them that he had desired to build a house of the Lord, where they could place the ark of the covenant of the Lord. But when he asked the Lord, God told him he was not to build it because his duty had been as a man of war. David had been chosen and raised by the Lord to be a man of war. He battled Goliath as a boy and as he grew he was led to fight for Israel by the hand of God. The fact that he was a man of war was not a bad thing, but it had been his calling by God and raising the temple was not. Each person has an opportunity to accept the calling that God has for them and these callings are all different. For some, it is to lead, while for others it is to follow. For some, it is to become parents during this life, while for others it is to go without children for now and to be a light to children in other ways. We can learn what that calling is for us, by aligning ourselves with God and His will, through following the commandments he gives to us.

David continues to tell them that he had been chosen by the Lord, out of all of his brothers, to be king. Likewise, out of all of his many sons, the Lord had chosen Solomon to be the next king. The Lord told David that Solomon would be he one to build the temple of the Lord. He would bless Solomon, that his kingdom would be established forever, if he would remain faithful to God’s commandments. The Lord instructed Solomon and Israel, to keep and seek the commandments so that the land would remain their land from that time on, forever. This promise made to Solomon and the men gathered there, to have the inheritance of the land for keeping the commandments of God continually, is much like the promise to the family of Lehi found in 1 Nephi 2:20. It reads, “And inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments, ye shall prosper, and shall be led to a land of promise; yea, even a land which I have prepared for you; yea, a land which is choice above all other lands.” The blessing of prosperity in the land of promise continues today for those who remain faithful.

9 And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.
10 Take heed now; for the Lord hath chosen thee to build an house for the sanctuary: be strong, and do it.

Solomon, who knew the things of God, was instructed to serve him with all his heart and with a willing mind. Because God knows the hearts of men, and understands all thoughts, He is there for those who seek him. If instead, He is forsaken, He casts men off forever. Solomon was counseled to be careful, because he had been chosen to build the temple and he needed to have the strength needed to do it. This task was one of a very sacred responsibility, which required God’s continued guidance at every step if it was to be accepted by Him for his holy purposes.

11 Then David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the porch, and of the houses thereof, and of the treasuries thereof, and of the upper chambers thereof, and of the inner parlours thereof, and of the place of the mercy seat,
12 And the pattern of all that he had by the spirit, of the courts of the house of the Lord, and of all the chambers round about, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries of the dedicated things:
13 Also for the courses of the priests and the Levites, and for all the work of the service of the house of the Lord, and for all the vessels of service in the house of the Lord.
14 He gave of gold by weight for things of gold, for all instruments of all manner of service; silver also for all instruments of silver by weight, for all instruments of every kind of service:
15 Even the weight for the candlesticks of gold, and for their lamps of gold, by weight for every candlestick, and for the lamps thereof: and for the candlesticks of silver by weight, both for the candlestick, and also for the lamps thereof, according to the use of every candlestick.
16 And by weight he gave gold for the tables of shewbread, for every table; and likewise silver for the tables of silver:
17 Also pure gold for the fleshhooks, and the bowls, and the cups: and for the golden basins he gave gold by weight for every basin; and likewise silver by weight for every basin of silver:
18 And for the altar of incense refined gold by weight; and gold for the pattern of the chariot of the cherubims, that spread out their wings, and covered the ark of the covenant of the Lord.
19 All this, said David, the Lord made me understand in writing by his hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern.
20 And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the Lord God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the Lord.
21 And, behold, the courses of the priests and the Levites, even they shall be with thee for all the service of the house of God: and there shall be with thee for all manner of workmanship every willing skilful man, for any manner of service: also the princes and all the people will be wholly at thy commandment.

Then, David instructed Solomon in the construction for the temple. He told him what the pattern of the temple was to be according to the spirit, or according to what he had been told by the spirit. He also instructed him in the work of the priests and Levites and their service in the temple. He told him of the use of all the vessels or instruments and how all these things were to be created by their weight in gold and silver. Additionally, he taught him how the tables and altars were to be made by weight in gold and silver. And instructions were given on the seat for the ark of the covenant, with its cherubim. These instructions were as those given by God to Moses when the tabernacle was first made. David told Solomon that he had come to know these things by the hand of the Lord. As the king, David had access to the records of Moses, which gave instruction as to the making of all things for the tabernacle. With the Lord’s spirit for understanding, all these things were made known to him and he could counsel Solomon in them as well.

David also gave Solomon counsel to be strong and courage. Solomon was instructed to fear not, because the Lord would be with him and God would not fail or forsake him. With the help of the Lord, Solomon could finish this sacred charge that he had been given with the temple. David left him with somewhat of a blessing, that all the help he would need from priests, Levites, skilled workmen, leaders of the tribes, and the host of Israel, would be given to him at his command.

The building of this temple, must have been somewhat of an overwhelming charge given to Solomon, let alone being called by God to be the next king of Israel. However, the Lord had all the plans laid out for him, as they had been laid for Moses and the children of Israel many years before this. Having direction from the Lord and the promise of his help to accomplish the task, must have been a great comfort for Solomon. David’s words of counsel to his son, remind me of the words of Nephi found in 1 Nephi 3:7, which reads, “And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.” There is absolute truth in this verse, that can be a source of comfort and strength to the faithful. The Lord will not give any person a commandment, that He is not willing to help them accomplish. We simply need to have the faith to rely on Him. It is His work and He wants it to be done because that is how we will all be able to return to Him. David knew this because his life experiences had taught him this was true. Like David, we can learn to rely on the Lord, as we are faithful to the commandments he gives us, and we will be greatly blessed as we do.

1 Chronicles Chapter 27

In this chapter, the responsibilities given to certain Israelites continues to be recorded. There were many who served the king in the armies, over his household and as his personal entourage. It begins:

1 Now the children of Israel after their number, to wit, the chief fathers and captains of thousands and hundreds, and their officers that served the king in any matter of the courses, which came in and went out month by month throughout all the months of the year, of every course were twenty and four thousand.
2 Over the first course for the first month was Jashobeam the son of Zabdiel: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.
3 Of the children of Perez was the chief of all the captains of the host for the first month.
4 And over the course of the second month was Dodai an Ahohite, and of his course was Mikloth also the ruler: in his course likewise were twenty and four thousand.
5 The third captain of the host for the third month was Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, a chief priest: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.
6 This is that Benaiah, who was mighty among the thirty, and above the thirty: and in his course was Ammizabad his son.
7 The fourth captain for the fourth month was Asahel the brother of Joab, and Zebadiah his son after him: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.
8 The fifth captain for the fifth month was Shamhuth the Izrahite: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.
9 The sixth captain for the sixth month was Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.
10 The seventh captain for the seventh month was Helez the Pelonite, of the children of Ephraim: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.
11 The eighth captain for the eighth month was Sibbecai the Hushathite, of the Zarhites: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.
12 The ninth captain for the ninth month was Abiezer the Anetothite, of the Benjamites: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.
13 The tenth captain for the tenth month was Maharai the Netophathite, of the Zarhites: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.
14 The eleventh captain for the eleventh month was Benaiah the Pirathonite, of the children of Ephraim: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.
15 The twelfth captain for the twelfth month was Heldai the Netophathite, of Othniel: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.

There were 24,000 men who were set as officers, captains, and chief fathers in Israel at a time. These men collectively served the king all throughout the year, with anything he ordered. They were assigned by the months of the year. For the first month, was Jashobeam with 24,000 men. The leader of the captains of the host was of the children of Perez. In the second month, Dodai and 24,000 men, with Mikloth as the leader. Third was Benaiah, along with 24,000 men and his son, Ammizabad. Benaiah was a chief priest and mighty among men. He had the strength to defeat lion-like Moabites as well as an actual lion. He was over thirty. He was a valiant and honorable man who did not seek for honor for his might. He would later prove to be loyal to David when others were not. (see also 2 Sam. 23:20-23)

The fourth month was Asahel and his son Zebadiah, with 24,000 men. Asahel was the brother of Joab and the Bible Dictionary says that he was “celebrated for his swiftness of foot, an accomplishment much valued in ancient times”. He was one of David’s 30 heroes. Fifth, was Shamhuth with 24,000. Ira, was the sixth captain, over his 24,000 men. Then, Helez was seventh, over his 24,000. For the eighth month, it was Sibbecai over his 24,000. Ninth, was Abiezer as captain of 24,000. Tenth, was Maharai as captain of his 24,000. The eleventh captain was Benaiah, one of David’s mighty men, with his 24,000. And finally, the twelfth captain was Heldai over his 24,000.

16 Furthermore over the tribes of Israel: the ruler of the Reubenites was Eliezer the son of Zichri: of the Simeonites, Shephatiah the son of Maachah:
17 Of the Levites, Hashabiah the son of Kemuel: of the Aaronites, Zadok:
18 Of Judah, Elihu, one of the brethren of David: of Issachar, Omri the son of Michael:
19 Of Zebulun, Ishmaiah the son of Obadiah: of Naphtali, Jerimoth the son of Azriel:
20 Of the children of Ephraim, Hoshea the son of Azaziah: of the half tribe of Manasseh, Joel the son of Pedaiah:
21 Of the half tribe of Manasseh in Gilead, Iddo the son of Zechariah: of Benjamin, Jaasiel the son of Abner:
22 Of Dan, Azareel the son of Jeroham. These were the princes of the tribes of Israel.

Each of the twelve tribes of Israel, had a leader or a prince. Eliezer was over the tribe of Reuben, Shephatiah was over Simeon, and Hashabiah was over Levi. Zadok was specifically over those Levites who were from the family of Aaron and therefore priests. He would be a faithful priest, loyal to David and the priest to anoint Solomon. Elihu, David’s brother, was over Judah. Omri was over Issachar, Ishamaiah was over Zebulun, Jerimoth was over Naphtali, Hoshea was over Ephraim, Joel was over the first half of Manasseh, Iddo was over the other half in Gilead, Jaasiel was over Benjamin, and Jeroham was over the tribe of Dan.

23 But David took not the number of them from twenty years old and under: because the Lord had said he would increase Israel like to the stars of the heavens.
24 Joab the son of Zeruiah began to number, but he finished not, because there fell wrath for it against Israel; neither was the number put in the account of the chronicles of king David.

There was no record made of the children in his kingdom, because the Lord had promised the Israelites they would increase so greatly, and they had. Joab, David’s nephew and captain of the army’s, began to take a record according to orders of David, but did not finish because he brought the wrath of God upon Israel. No number was recorded in the king’s chronicles either.

25 And over the king’s treasures was Azmaveth the son of Adiel: and over the storehouses in the fields, in the cities, and in the villages, and in the castles, was Jehonathan the son of Uzziah:
26 And over them that did the work of the field for tillage of the ground was Ezri the son of Chelub:
27 And over the vineyards was Shimei the Ramathite: over the increase of the vineyards for the wine cellars was Zabdi the Shiphmite:
28 And over the olive trees and the sycomore trees that were in the low plains was Baal-hanan the Gederite: and over the cellars of oil was Joash:
29 And over the herds that fed in Sharon was Shitrai the Sharonite: and over the herds that were in the valleys was Shaphat the son of Adlai:
30 Over the camels also was Obil the Ishmaelite: and over the asses was Jehdeiah the Meronothite:
31 And over the flocks was Jaziz the Hagerite. All these were the rulers of the substance which was king David’s.
32 Also Jonathan David’s uncle was a counsellor, a wise man, and a scribe: and Jehiel the son of Hachmoni was with the king’s sons:
33 And Ahithophel was the king’s counsellor: and Hushai the Archite was the king’s companion:
34 And after Ahithophel was Jehoiada the son of Benaiah, and Abiathar: and the general of the king’s army was Joab.

The king had many workers that took care of things such as his crops and animals, which were each given a leader. Azmaveth was put over the treasury of the king, Jehonathan was put in charge of the storehouses, Ezri was put in charge of the workers of the fields, Shimei was put in charge of the vineyards, and Zabdi was put in charge of the produce from the vineyards. Baal-hanan was put in charge of the trees in the low plains, including olive trees and sycomores. Joash was put in charge of the cellars, Shitrai was in charge of the herds in Sharon, and Shaphat was over the herds in the valleys. Obil was in charge of the camels, Jehdeiah was over the donkeys, and Jaziz was over the flocks, which I think means the sheep.

Finally, David had those who worked the closest with him. His nephew, Jonathan, was a counselor, a wise man and scribe. Jehiel served the king’s sons, Ahithophel was the king’s advisor and the grandfather of Bathsheba, Hushai was his companion (perhaps something like a body guard or a personal assistant), Johoiada and Abiathar were other counsellors to the king, and Joab, as mentioned above, was the general of the king’s army.

The scriptures do not always record the details of the kings and those who served him, because those things were reserved for other records, but there was significance to the establishment of the kingdom of David. This record shows that there were many who helped to lead Israel at this time in its history. This is a mere handful of the children of Israel at this time, but they helped to make the kingdom of David strong and successful.

1 Chronicles Chapter 26

The Levites were give specific duties within the tribes of Israel, most of which pertained to service in the temple. Some were set apart as musicians. Some were the sons of Aaron and were set apart as priests who served with the sacred priesthood responsibilities of the temple. This chapter begins with those who were set apart as porters and goes on to explain those in charge of the treasures and other business in Israel.

1 Concerning the divisions of the porters: Of the Korhites was Meshelemiah the son of Kore, of the sons of Asaph.
2 And the sons of Meshelemiah were, Zechariah the firstborn, Jediael the second, Zebadiah the third, Jathniel the fourth,
3 Elam the fifth, Jehohanan the sixth, Elioenai the seventh.
4 Moreover the sons of Obed-edom were, Shemaiah the firstborn, Jehozabad the second, Joah the third, and Sacar the fourth, and Nethaneel the fifth,
5 Ammiel the sixth, Issachar the seventh, Peulthai the eighth: for God blessed him.
6 Also unto Shemaiah his son were sons born, that ruled throughout the house of their father: for they were mighty men of valour.
7 The sons of Shemaiah; Othni, and Rephael, and Obed, Elzabad, whose brethren were strong men, Elihu, and Semachiah.
8 All these of the sons of Obed-edom: they and their sons and their brethren, able men for strength for the service, were threescore and two of Obed-edom.
9 And Meshelemiah had sons and brethren, strong men, eighteen.
10 Also Hosah, of the children of Merari, had sons; Simri the chief, (for though he was not the firstborn, yet his father made him the chief;)
11 Hilkiah the second, Tebaliah the third, Zechariah the fourth: all the sons and brethren of Hosah were thirteen.
12 Among these were the divisions of the porters, even among the chief men, having wards one against another, to minister in the house of the Lord.

Porters were doorkeepers in charge of the gates, or the entrances of the temple. There were divided in their duties of the temple. There were porters of the Korhites and children of Merari. In the family of Korhites, and the line of Asaph and Kore, there was Meshelemiah. He was the father of Zechariah, Jediael, Zebadiah, Jathniel, Elam, Jehohanan, and Elioenai. Of their family, there were 18 men for service. There was also Obed-edom, the father of Shemaiah, Jehozabad, Joah, Sacar, Nethaneel, Ammiel, Issachar, and Peulthai. (Obed-edom had been the man who housed the ark before it was returned to its proper place in Israel.) Shemaiah was the father of men of valour, including Othni, Rephael, Obed, and Elzabad, along with Elihu and Semachiah. The sons of Obed-edom were 62 in total and were capable men for the service they were given. Of the children of Merari, there was Hosah, the father of Simri, Hilkiah, Tebaliah, an Zechariah. The sons of Hosah were thirteen in number, with Simri as the leader. Simri was not the firstborn, but he was given the role as their leader.

13 And they cast lots, as well the small as the great, according to the house of their fathers, for every gate.
14 And the lot eastward fell to Shelemiah. Then for Zechariah his son, a wise counsellor, they cast lots; and his lot came out northward.
15 To Obed-edom southward; and to his sons the house of Asuppim.
16 To Shuppim and Hosah the lot came forth westward, with the gate Shallecheth, by the causeway of the going up, ward against ward.
17 Eastward were six Levites, northward four a day, southward four a day, and toward Asuppim two and two.
18 At Parbar westward, four at the causeway, and two at Parbar.
19 These are the divisions of the porters among the sons of Kore, and among the sons of Merari.

Lots were cast among the sons of Kore and Merari, to determine the gate responsibility each group would have. If this is understood correctly, the east gate was assigned to Shelemiah, and there was to be six men serving there at a time. The north gate was assigned to Zechariah, the wise cousellor and son of Shelemiah, and there was to be four men serving there each day. The south gate was assigned to Obed-edom and the house of Asuppim, and there were to be four men serving there each day as well. The west gate was assigned to Shuppim and Hosah, along with the gate Shallecheth, by the causeway (a separate raised path), and there were to be four serving there each day. Two served at Parbar, which may have been a suburb of the temple.

20 And of the Levites, Ahijah was over the treasures of the house of God, and over the treasures of the dedicated things.
21 As concerning the sons of Laadan; the sons of the Gershonite Laadan, chief fathers, even of Laadan the Gershonite, were Jehieli.
22 The sons of Jehieli; Zetham, and Joel his brother, which were over the treasures of the house of the Lord.
23 Of the Amramites, and the Izharites, the Hebronites, and the Uzzielites:
24 And Shebuel the son of Gershom, the son of Moses, was ruler of the treasures.
25 And his brethren by Eliezer; Rehabiah his son, and Jeshaiah his son, and Joram his son, and Zichri his son, and Shelomith his son.
26 Which Shelomith and his brethren were over all the treasures of the dedicated things, which David the king, and the chief fathers, the captains over thousands and hundreds, and the captains of the host, had dedicated.
27 Out of the spoils won in battles did they dedicate to maintain the house of the Lord.
28 And all that Samuel the seer, and Saul the son of Kish, and Abner the son of Ner, and Joab the son of Zeruiah, had dedicated; and whosoever had dedicated any thing, it was under the hand of Shelomith, and of his brethren.

Ahijah was assigned to be over the treasures of the temple, as well as those treasures that had been dedicated. Those serving with him included Zetham and Joel, who were sons of Jehieli of the sons of the Gershonite Laadan. Also over treasures was Shebuel, the son of Gershom, who was the son of Moses. The sons of Eliezer, including Rehabiah, Jeshaiah, Joram, Zichri, and Shelomith, were responsible for the dedicated treasures. These treasures were dedicated from the spoils of battles by King David, the chief fathers, and the captains of the host. They were also dedicated by Samuel the seer, King Saul, Abner the captain of Saul’s armies, and Joab, among others.

29 Of the Izharites, Chenaniah and his sons were for the outward business over Israel, for officers and judges.
30 And of the Hebronites, Hashabiah and his brethren, men of valour, a thousand and seven hundred, were officers among them of Israel on this side Jordan westward in all the business of the Lord, and in the service of the king.
31 Among the Hebronites was Jerijah the chief, even among the Hebronites, according to the generations of his fathers. In the fortieth year of the reign of David they were sought for, and there were found among them mighty men of valour at Jazer of Gilead.
32 And his brethren, men of valour, were two thousand and seven hundred chief fathers, whom king David made rulers over the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh, for every matter pertaining to God, and affairs of the king.

The outward business of the Israelites, of officers and judges, was the responsibility of the Izharites, the family of Chenaniah. Hashabiah and his family of the Hebronites, 1,700 men of valour, became officers in the business of the Lord and in service of the king, on the west side of the Jordan. Jerijah was their chief leader. During the fortieth year of David’s reign, there was a search for mighty men of valor, and they were found at Jazer and Gilead. 2,700 of his brethren were assigned to take care of the business of the Lord and service of the king, on the east side of the Jordan, among the Reubenites, Gadites and half of the tribe of Manasseh.

The responsibility of porters was important, though it may seem a bit strange. It can sound like they were a type of ancient-day bouncer, guarding the doors of the temple, but its not quite that. The holy house of the Lord should have been kept holy by allowing only those who were worthy to enter there. In modern temples, there are priesthood holders who are called and set apart to welcome patrons to the temple, as well as to verify that they are indeed worthy to enter the house of the Lord. Worthiness to worship in the temple is important for both the maintaining of a sacred edifice for the Lord, and for the patrons, who are to be held to a standard of worthiness for the covenants made there. I am grateful for the expectations of worthiness on my part as well as others who enter the temple, because it means that I can depend on the blessings of the spirit of the Lord in that space, when the world is becoming increasingly confusing and dark around me.


About My Scripture Study Buddy

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.
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