Israel had gone for 400 years with only a tent as God's dwelling place among the people. Apparently the tent had satisfied God (II Samuel 7:5-7). Now that it seemed expedient to build a Temple, God wanted to have a say as to the kind of building it should be. Therefore, He gave David the plans for the building in his "own handwriting" (I Chronicles 28:19). It was to be "exceeding magnificent, of fame and glory in all the earth" (I Chronicles 22:5).
Though God did not allow David to actually build the Temple, David laid the plans for it, and devoted a large part of his reign to collecting vast stores of gold and silver, and all kinds of building material. It was to be the crowning glory of the kingdom.
The Temple was built of great stones, cedar beams and boards, overlaid within with gold. The gold and silver, and other material, used in building the Temple is variously estimated to equal, in our money, from two to five billions of dollars; no doubt the most costly and resplendent building on earth at that time.
The Temple was built after the general plan of the Tabernacle, and faced the east. The west thirty feet constituted the Most Holy Place, and the east sixty feet was the Holy Place. The two were separated by a veil.
The Ark of God was placed in the Most Holy Place, overshadowed by the two Cherubim. In the Holy Place, next to the veil, in the center, was the Golden Altar of Incense. There were five golden candlesticks on the north side, five golden candlesticks on the south side, five tables of shewbread on the north side, and five on the south side.
Tomorrow we will conclude our comments on the Temple.
Index of Daily Devotions