Scripture reading – 2 Chronicles 3

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Our chronological Scripture reading continues with 2 Chronicles 3 and an expanded record of Solomon building the Temple in Jerusalem. Pertinent historical details are recorded, including the place where the Temple was built (2 Chronicles 3:1) and when it was constructed (2 Chronicles 3:2). Also, the dimensions of the “house of God” and its front porch are recorded, along with a stunning observation: Solomon “overlaid it within with pure gold” (2 Chronicles 3:3-4).

The Temple’s magnificence was embellished with carved engravings, while the ceiling beams, doors, frames, and walls were overlaid in pure gold. Precious stones also added to the beauty of the LORD’s house of worship (2 Chronicles 3:5-7).

Commencing 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” (2 Chronicles 3:8). The ark of the covenant, with its mercy seat representing the LORD’s throne in heaven, was shadowed by two cherubim, carved from wood and overlaid with gold (2 Chronicles 3:10-13; the same was described in 1 Kings 6:23-28). The wingspan of the two cherubim was detailed as a total of 20 cubits, or roughly 30 feet (2 Chronicles 3:11-13). Lest they become an object of idol worship, the cherubim, like sentries, faced inward toward the Ark (2 Chronicles 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 was present in the Tabernacle (Exodus 26:31). It separated the outer chamber, known as the holy place, from the Holy of Holies and the Ark.

Two pillars supported the front of the Temple and were decorated with chains on which one hundred pomegranates were hung (3:15-16). The pillars were named, but the meanings of the names have yet to be discovered (3:17). A description of the furnishings will continue in our next devotional (2 Chronicles 4-5).

Closing thoughts –  

I conclude today’s devotional by inviting you to consider the veil (i.e., vail) of the Temple (3:14). Though unmentioned in 1 Kings 6, the veil served as a divider, a curtain of separation that excluded all but the high priest from the holy place. No one could enter the holy of holies and live, and only the high priest could 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 torn in two from the top to the bottom as Christ died on the Cross (Matthew 27:50-51). His sacrificial death and resurrection from the dead made the veil obsolete and forever removed the curtain separating 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 the Book 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.

 

Questions to consider –

1) Where was Solomon’s Temple located? (3:1)

2) What precious metal was used to decorate the interior of the Temple? (3:4-5)

3) Whose likeness had wings and adorned the holy place? (3:10-13)

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith 

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