Handout 26: Solomon, Schlomo, Rehoboam, Adonijah, temple built, promises of God, Ark, temple info, cherubim, Rehoboam, Jeroboam, temple mount July 2014

Torah provides ancestral history of Israelites and sets down a series of laws. Under David and Solomon the monarchic period emerged: state political structure. Then kingdom divided under subsequent rulers.

Solomon (Heb: Schlomo) (Jedidiah). Israel’s king, son of David. 970-930 b.c. Third king of United Monarchy and final before Israel/Judah split. One of 48 prophets, builder of First Temple in Jerusalem. Great wisdom, wealth, power, but idolatrous and turning from God. He asked God for an understanding heart.

The book of 1st Kings is narrative history and prophecy. Author is anonymous. Written about 560-538 B.C. Key personalities are David, Solomon, Rehoboam, Jeroboam, Elijah, Ahab, and Jezebel. The purpose of 1st Kings is to contrast those who obey and disobey God throughout the ruling kings of Israel and Judah. The book describes the rule of Solomon as the last king of Israel and then the split of the kingdom after his death. Includes a great prayer to the Lord in chapter 8. Builds the first Temple in Jerusalem. Discusses events of Northern and Southern kingdoms after the division.

1 Kings 1-11: David was very old. His 4th son Adonijah (2 Sam 3:4) exalted himself as king, the natural heir to the throne. When David heard he told Zadok and Nathan to anoint Solomon as king. David charged Solomon to keep the law and to punish Joab and Shimei. Then David died. Solomon,through an intrigue with Bat-Sheba had Adonijah, Joab and Shimei executed. He thought Adonijah, because he wanted to marry David’s concubine, Abishag, was aiming for the crown. Solomon also marries the pharaoh’s daughter.

Solomon begins building temple – 480 yrs after Exodus from Egypt. Solomon succumbs to worship of gods of his wives.

Solomon obeys God’s laws, God appears to him in a dream and offers to grant the new king one wish. Solomon asks for wisdom to govern with justice and to know the difference between right and wrong. God is so impressed with Solomon’s humble request that he promises Solomon the additional gifts of wealth and long life. Solomon lives in great opulence and his empire stretches from Egypt to the Euphrates River. He earns international fame for his wise sayings and scientific knowledge.

Vss 16-22: Two women claim the same child as their own. His solution was to find the real mother and deliver the child to her. It is a remarkable testimony to the goodness and generosity of Solomon. Not many kings would take the time to settle a dispute between two prostitutes or inn-keepers.

With his vast resources, Solomon builds an elaborate temple to God as well as a palace for himself in Jerusalem. Solomon conscripts thousands of laborers for the work and imports materials from neighboring countries. He has levied huge taxes on his people. The Temple is lined with gold and features large, hand-sculpted angels and pillars. Solomon places the Ark of the Covenant inside, and all of Israel gathers for the dedication. After sacrificing herds of animals on the altar, Solomon prays for God’s blessing on the Temple. God appeared to Solomon and promised to dwell in the Temple so long as Solomon and the Israelites are obedient to his laws. If they are not, God will remove his presence from the Temple, destroying both the temple and the nation.We also have these promises:

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (Matthew 7:7)

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. (John 15:7)

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. (1 John 5:14)

When Solomon strayed, the tribe of Judah was allowed to remain but the kingdom is broken. Solomon dies. Son Rehoboam, (rahav-enlarge + am= people) he who enlarges the people) son of Na-amah the Ammonitess (1Kings 24:21) was reluctant to make changes – loved the luxuries – caused a rebellion and Rehoboam (Judah) fled to Jerusalem. Jeroboam was made king of Israel. Rehoboam collected an army but prophet Shemaiah convinced him not to war (1Kings 14:22-24). Heathen idol worship was thoroughly implanted by then.

Solomon made special sacrifices at Gibeon because that was the great high place – like a temple. What made it different was that the tabernacle was there, though the Ark of the Covenant was in Jerusalem.

Joshua brought both the ark and the tabernacle to Shiloh (Josh 18) In the days of Eli the ark was captured and the tabernacle wrecked (1 Sam 4, Psalm 78:60-64, Jer. 7:12 and 26:9) The ark came back to Kiriath-Jearim (1 Sam 7:1-2) Saul restored the tabernacle at Nob (1 Sam 21) Saul moved the tabernacle to Gibeon (1 Chron 16:39-40) David brought the ark to Jerusalem and built a temporary tent for it (2 Sam 6:17, 2 Chron 1:4) He may have believed if the tabernacle was there the people would be satisfied with that and they would lose the passion and vision for the temple God wanted built.

Temple of Solomon (Beit ha Mikdash) in Jerusalem. The First Temple there. David drew the plans. Was supposed to be permanent resting place of Ark of Covenant containing Ten Commandments. According to II Chronicles: suggests that the inside ceiling was was 180 feet long, 90 feet wide, and 50 feet high. The highest point on the Temple that King Solomon built was actually 120 cubits tall (about 20 stories or about 207 feet).

Solomon spared no expense for the building’s creation. He ordered vast quantities of cedar wood from King Hiram of Tyre (I Kings 5:20¬25), had huge blocks of the choicest stone quarried, and commanded that the building’s foundation be laid with hewn stone. To complete the massive project, he imposed forced labor on all his subjects, drafting people for work shifts that sometimes lasted a month at a time.
Some 3,300 officials were appointed to oversee the Temple’s erection (5:27¬30). Solomon assumed such heavy debts in building the Temple that he is forced to pay off King Hiram by handing over twenty towns in the Galilee (IKings 9:11).

When the Temple was completed, Solomon inaugurated it with prayer and sacrifice, and even invited non¬Jews to come and pray there. He urged God to pay particular heed to their prayers: “Thus all the peoples of the earth will know Your name and revere You, as does Your people Israel; and they will recognize that Your name is attached to this House that I have built” (I Kings 8:43).

Sacrifice was the predominant mode of divine service in the Temple until it was destroyed by the Babylonians some four hundred years later, in 586 BCE. Seventy years later, after the story of Purim, a number of Jews returned to Israel – led by the prophets Ezra and Nehemiah – and the Second Temple was built on the same site. Sacrifices to God were once again resumed. During the first century B.C.E., Herod, the Roman appointed head of Judea, made substantial modifications to the Temple and surrounding mountain, enlarging and expanding the Temple. The Second Temple, however, met the same fate as the first and was destroyed by the Romans in 70 C.E., following the failure of the Great Revolt.

As glorious and elaborate as the Temple was, its most important room contained almost no furniture at all. Known as the Holy of Holies (Kodesh Kodashim), it housed the two tablets of the Ten Commandments inside the Ark of Covenant. Unfortunately, the tablets disappeared when the Babylonians destroyed the Temple and, therefore, during the Second Temple era the Holy of Holies was reduced to small, entirely bare room. Only once a year, on Yom Kippur, the High Priest would enter this room and pray to God on behalf of the Israelite nation. A remarkable monologue by a Hasidic rabbi in the Yiddish play The Dybbuk conveys a sense of what the Jewish throngs worshiping at the Temple must have experienced during this ceremony:

“God’s world is great and holy. The holiest land in the world is the land of Israel. In the land of Israel the holiest city is Jerusalem. In Jerusalem the holiest place was the Temple, and in the Temple the holiest spot was the Holy of Holies….

“There are seventy peoples in the world. The holiest among these is the people of Israel. The holiest of the people of Israel is the tribe of Levi. In the tribe of Levi the holiest are the priests. Among the priests, the holiest was the High Priest…. There are 354 days in the [lunar] year. Among these, the holidays are holy. Higher than these is the holiness of the Sabbath. Among Sabbaths, the holiest is the Day of Atonement, the Sabbath of Sabbaths….

“There are seventy languages in the world. The holiest is Hebrew. Holier than all else in this language is the holy Torah, and in the Torah the holiest part is the Ten Commandments. In the Ten Commandments the holiest of all words is the name of God…. And once during the year, at a certain hour, these four supreme sanctities of the world were joined with one another. That was on the Day of Atonement, when the High Priest would enter the Holy of Holies and there utter the name of God. And because this hour was beyond measure holy and awesome, it was the time of utmost peril not only for the High Priest but for the whole of Israel. For if in this hour there had, God forbid, entered the mind of the High Priest a false or sinful thought, the entire world would have been destroyed.”

“To this day, traditional Jews pray three times a day for the Temple’s restoration. Over the centuries, the Muslims who eventually took control of Jerusalem built two mosques on the Temple Mount, the site of the two Jewish Temples. It is a common Islamic custom to build mosques on the sites of other people’s holy places. Since any attempt to level these mosques would lead to an international Muslim holy war (jihad) against Israel, the Temple cannot be rebuilt in the foreseeable future,” (on that spot). Text from www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org

The Babylonians destroyed the Temple in 587 B.C.E. (about four hundred years after the Temple’s initial construction). Under the command of King Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian army attacked the city of Jerusalem. After an extended siege they finally succeeded in breaching the city walls and burned the Temple along with most of the city.

Today Al Aqsa – a mosque that includes the Dome of the Rock – exists on the site of the Temple. The destruction of the Temple was a tragic event in Jewish history that is remembered to this day during the holiday of Tisha B’Av. In addition to this fast day, Orthodox Jews pray three times a day for the restoration of the Temple.

Returning to the story of Solomon’s building of the Temple, we know that he had to tax families to pay for luxury materials for outside the kingdom and for the craftsman-quality labor needed for certain aspects of the Temple. Once that edifice was built, the requirement that all pilgrimage feasts take place there would mean the people had to travel long distances, bypassing their local shrines, to come to Jerusalem. Worshippers would bring their sacrifices to the Temple, and a portion of each sacrifice would serve the priests, with the rest coming back to the family.

Because of the increased distance that people had to travel, bringing an animal from home for the purpose of sacrifice would have been difficult for some. As a result, over time, people were allowed to sell an animal in their home district and take the silver with them to Jerusalem to buy a calf or sheep or wine for use in the Temple sacrifice. We see the gradual development of a money economy centered on the Temple. The Temple had its own treasury that was distinguished from the royal treasury.

Judah remained the capital of Judah, and Solomon’s temple remained the focal point for its worship. On the other hand, Jeroboam (931-910 b.c.) not only had to choose a capital for Israel but had to make provisions for the national religious cult. He established centers for the worship of Yahweh at Bethel and Dan, cities near the southern and northern borders of his kingdom. He placed golden statues of young bulls within the temple, but they were probably thought sacred to Yahweh, Israel’s traditional god, who was thought to be invisibly enthroned above the Ark of the Covenant between two large statues of cherubim.

Cherubim were winged-sphinx-like semi-divine figures with human heads and the bodies of bulls or lions. In Canaanite mythology, they were thought to guard divinities and kings and were often depicted on the sides of royal thrones.

The Jerusalem temple was a rectangular structure measuring 165 by 85 feet and divided into three rooms. It was a “straight axis” temple with an east west orientation and was surrounded by an inner and outer courtyard. As one approached the temple, concentric courtyards marked the movement into increasingly sacred space.

Inner courtyard – huge bronze basin called “yahm” (sea). Presumably it held water and was mounted on backs of 12 bronze oxen. We have the likeness in our temples today.

Also were ten large bronze cult stands having panels set in frames and in the frames were lions, oxen and cherubim (1Kgs 7:28-29). Each placed on four bronze wheels.

The temple was considered the dwelling place of the Israelite god; the average pilgrim to Jerusalem would never enter it. Many of its features reflect the ancient Israelite house complex.

The outer courtyard was where people gathered. The entrance was marked by two bronze pillars with ornately decorated capitals. Only priests entered through them into the first room, and then into the main room, which was ornately decorated. The account in Kings repeatedly emphasizes that everything was overlaid with gold.

The innermost room of the sanctuary, the Holy of Holies, is where Solomon is said to have placed the Ark of the Covenant, marking the place symbolically as the throne room of the deity. Our best description comes from Isaiah 6. He describes receiving his commission to prophesy while standing in this room.

Moving to the Gospel of Luke, the account begins with the Temple, at the altar of incense before the veil, as the righteous priest Zacharias performs his duty (Luke 1:5-25). Book ends with disciples “continually in the temple, praising and blessing God”. Jesus’ first recorded words occur while he is in the temple and his final words before his death are an address to the God of the temple. Most people don’t know that Jesus, not being an Aaronic priest nor the high priest, or an ordained rabbi, could not enter the temple – the Holy Place or the Holy of Holies.

Luke lays stress on Jesus’ actions when he enters the temple and drives out the merchants in preparation for his proclamation of the good news in the temple. Another important episode where temple plays significant role: When the Savior speaks to his Father through the torn curtain of the temple. His activities during his ministry in Jerusalem (yeru salem = city of peace, will see peace, where it rains peace) are so intertwined with the religious celebrations of the temple that knowledge of the historical background of ancient temple worship if necessary.

Jerusalem , located on a plateau in the Judean Mountains between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea, is one of the oldest cities in the world. It is considered holy to the three major Abrahamic religions: Judaism,
Christianity and Islam. Israelis and Palestinians both claim Jerusalem as their capital, as Israel maintains its primary governmental institutions there and the State of Palestine ultimately foresees it as its seat of power;

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