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Bible Commentaries

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

2 Chronicles 3

 

 

Verses 1-9

2. The temple proper3:1-9

The mention of Mount Moriah as the site of the temple ( 2 Chronicles 3:1) recalls God"s provision of a substitute sacrifice for Isaac on that very spot ( Genesis 22:2; Genesis 22:14). [Note: See Asher Kaufman, "Where the Ancient Temple of Jerusalem Stood," Biblical Archaeology Review9:2 (March-April1983):40-59.] The temple would later stand there, and the high priest would offer a substitute sacrifice for Israel on the Day of Atonement each year there.

The glory of the temple was not so much its size as its quality and appearance. The writer stressed the gold that overlaid it and its general magnificence. Its significance was that it represented the glory of Yahweh, the greatest of all "gods" ( 2 Chronicles 2:5). In the ancient Near East a god"s house (temple) represented the god.


Verse 10

3. The temple furnishings3:10-5:1

The cherubim ( 2 Chronicles 3:10-13) represented angelic beings (cf. Genesis 3:24). Probably they looked more like the sculptured combination human-animal-bird creatures that archaeologists have discovered in the ancient Assyrian and Babylonian capitals, than like pudgy-winged children. The child image is traceable back to medieval Christian artists. The cherubim evidently stood against the back (west) wall of the temple and faced east toward the ark. [Note: Eugene H. Merrill, " 2 Chronicles ," in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: Old Testament, p622.] They were twice as high as human beings. There were two freestanding cherubim beside the ark, as well as two smaller cherubim mounted on top of the ark ( Exodus 25:18), for a total of four in the holy of holies.

The two pillars ( 2 Chronicles 3:15-17) were evidently freestanding objects that served as visual aids designed to emphasize God"s faithfulness and strength in establishing Israel (cf. 1 Kings 7:21; 2 Chronicles 7:16). They were probably18 rather than35 cubits high (cf. 1 Kings 7:15). [Note: For my comments and other sources of information on the remaining temple furnishings that the Chronicler mentioned, see my notes on1Kings7.]

God designed the temple furnishings (ch4) to enable the priests to carry out the instructive ritual that the Mosaic Law prescribed. The furnishings and ritual taught and reminded everyone who viewed them lessons about God, Prayer of Manasseh , and the relationship between them that God"s grace had made possible.

"The Chronicler . . . fashioned his account of Solomon as temple builder, with his helper Huram-Abi ( 2 Chronicles 4:16), on that of Bezalel, the tabernacle supervisor of building, and his helper Oholiab ( Exodus 36:1-2). Solomon is seen as the new Bezalel and Huram-Abi as the new Oholiab." [Note: Thompson, pp41-42.]

The whole temple was a tribute to the greatness of Yahweh. It enhanced His reputation ( 2 Chronicles 2:4).

 


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Bibliography Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 3:4". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/2-chronicles-3.html. 2012.

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