Wednesday, April 23. 2 Chronicles 3 – 5

You will find a more complete accounting of Solomon’s temple in Kings, but there are some features you will only find here:

*The porch (portico) is overlaid with gold. Add to that the inside, and you have one more expensive building.

* The amount of gold used for the Most Holy Place was six hundred talents (about 23 tons) – the same price paid by David to Arunah for the whole temple site (1 Chronicles 21:25).

*There is a curtain separating the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place. This is in addition to the doors (2 Chronicles 4:22) serving the same purpose and corresponding to the veil in the tabernacle.

While the description is shorter, the short version makes for a more pointed observation as to the grandeur of the temple itself. This is to be a magnificent structure. The first readers can consider all this as they plan to rebuild the structure, but everyone knows it will not be as grand as Solomon’s. Some of the glory has gone, and it is all their own fault. As the first temple was a reminder of God’s presence, the second temple will be a reminder of Israel’s sin.

Perhaps Herod got that point as he laid the plans for a new temple being built during Jesus’ time. Perhaps he sought to overcome that lesson by over building. All perhaps. But like the temple of Solomon, Herod’s structure met an ignominious end not long after its building – a lasting rebuke to all those who would enshrine God’s presence in a physical structure rather than a human life.