The Temple, and the Veil of Separation (2 Chronicles 3)

Scripture reading – 2 Chronicles 3

We continue our Scripture reading with 2 Chronicles 3, and an expanded record of Solomon building the Temple in Jerusalem. We find in today’s reading pertinent details regarding the place where the Temple was built (3:1), and the time of its construction (3:2). Once again, the dimensions of the “house of God,” and its front porch are recorded, along with a stunning fact: Solomon had “overlaid it within with pure gold” (3:3-4).

The Temple’s magnificence was embellished with engravings, while the beams of the ceiling, doors and frames, and walls, were all overlaid in pure gold. Precious stones also added to the beauty of the LORD’S house of worship (3:5-7).

Beginning with 2 Chronicles 3:8, and continuing through 2 Chronicles 5:1, the Temple’s furnishings are stated and described, including the Holy of Holies, called “the most holy house” (3:8). The ark of the covenant, with its mercy seat representing the throne of God in heaven, was shadowed by two cherubim, carved from wood and overlaid with gold (3:10-13; the same was described in 1 Kings 6:23-28). The wingspan of the two cherubim is stated as a total of 20 cubits, or roughly 30 feet (3:11-13). Lest they become an object of idol worship, the cherubim, like sentries, faced inward, toward the Ark (3:13).

Not mentioned in 1 Kings 6, but described in 2 Chronicles 3, was “the vail of blue, and purple, and crimson, and fine linen, and wrought cherubims thereon” (3:14). The vail in Solomon’s Temple was in color like the vail that had been present in the Tabernacle (Exodus 26:31), that separated the holy place from the Holy of Holies, where the Ark was set, from the outer chamber.

There were also two pillars that supported the front of the Temple, and were decorated with chains upon which were hung one hundred pomegranates (3:15-16). The pillars were named, but the meanings of the names are not known (3:17). A description of the furnishings will continue in our next devotional (2 Chronicles 4-5).

Closing thoughts – I conclude today’s devotional inviting you to consider the veil (i.e., vail) of the Temple (3:14). Though unmentioned in 1 Kings 6, the presence of the veil and its purpose was to serve as a divide, a curtain of separation that excluded all but the high priest from the holy place. None could enter the holy of holies and live, and only the high priest when he sprinkled the blood on the Day of Atonement on the mercy seat.

The veil was present in Herod’s Temple, until it was rent in two from the top to the bottom as Christ died upon the Cross (Matthew 27:50-51). Christ’s sacrificial death, and His resurrection from the dead, made the veil obsolete, and forever removed the curtain that separated sinners from the LORD. Christ’s death, and resurrection, made it possible for all who will repent, to approach God’s throne through the blood of Jesus Christ. In the words of the author of Hebrews:

Hebrews 4:15–1615For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
16Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Copyright © 2021 – Travis D. Smith