2 Chronicles
Introduction 1-2 Building the Temple 3 The Foundation 4-7 The Front Porch and the Holy Place 8-9 The Holy of Holies 10-13 The Cherubim 14 The Veil 15-17 The Two Pillars
Introduction

The building and dedication of the temple play an important role in the life of Solomon. The building is described in 2 Chronicles 3-4. In 2 Chronicles 3:1 Solomon starts to build. The description of the building runs until 2 Chronicles 4:10. He is seen as the builder, although others have actually built. The same goes for the Messiah who will build the temple by others.

There are seven temples in Scripture:
1. the temple of Solomon (destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar);
2. the temple of Zerubbabel (after the exile; this temple was changed and expanded by Herod and destroyed in the year 70 by the Roman armies led by Titus);
3. the temple in which the antichrist will show up;
4. the temple of Ezekiel, built in Jerusalem in the kingdom of peace.
These are all material temples.

There are also three spiritual temples, temples in which the Spirit of God dwells:
1. the physical body of the Lord Jesus (Jn 2:2121But He was speaking of the temple of His body.);
2. the church of God, the spiritual body of Christ and the spiritual house of God (1Cor 3:1616Do you not know that you are a temple of God and [that] the Spirit of God dwells in you?; 1Tim 3:1515but in case I am delayed, [I write] so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.);
3. the body of the individual believer (1Cor 6:1919Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?).

For us, the deeper meaning of the temple of Solomon is its spiritual meaning. In the temple, just like in the tabernacle, we have in the picture a revelation of God’s glory in Christ. Of Him we read “and dwelt among us”, which is literally “and tabernacled among us” (Jn 1:1414And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.). Everything in the temple refers to Him.

There is a significant difference between the description of the temple in the first book of Kings and that in the second book of Chronicles. In the first book of Kings the description is longer and gives much more details. In the second book of Chronicles, written after the exile, the description may be more concise because the description of the first book of Kings already exists. In the second book of Chronicles we have a description of the altar and the veil. This is not in the first book of Kings, while that book describes the dwellings of the priests and we do not find these in the second book of Chronicles.

We can say that the main differences in description are seen in the following aspects:
1. The temple is the dwelling place of God. That’s more what comes out in the first book of Kings. There we also find priestly dwellings connected to the temple. That underlines the main idea of dwelling. This has a spiritual application. Just as God bodily dwelt in Christ when He was on earth and also dwells in Him now He is heaven (Col 1:1919For it was the [Father’s] good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him,; 2:99For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form,), so He dwells in the church as a temple.
2. The temple is a place of worship, where man can approach God on the basis of sacrifice. That is more the side of the description in the second book of Chronicles. There we find the altar to sacrifice and the veil that speaks of approaching.

There are some other differences between the tabernacle and the temple.
1. The tabernacle is a movable tent, while the temple is a permanent building.
2. Therefore, as a next difference, everything in the temple can be bigger and more numerous.
3. The temple has priestly dwellings, you can dwell there. In the tabernacle there are only ‘pitches’.
4. The temple has its singers.
5. There are also the huge cherubim.

Everything in the temple is much larger and more than in and around the tabernacle. This is in accordance with the extent to which God is known and served in the land.

The only thing that stands in its original size and as the only sample both in the tabernacle and in the temple is the ark with the mercy seat and the cherubim.

The tabernacle is found in the letter to the Hebrews, which we can call a ‘wilderness letter’. This letter speaks about the life of the believer on earth. Israel has travelled through a literal wilderness, believers travel through a world that is compared to a wilderness. The Hebrews live in the country. They have never seen the tabernacle and are only familiar with the temple. Yet the letter to them does not refer to the temple, but to the tabernacle, for the previously mentioned reason that they are seen as living in the wilderness of this world. The letter to the Ephesians places us spiritually in the promised land and in that letter we hear about the temple (Eph 2:21-2221in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord,22in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.). There the believers of the church are in the heavenly places in possession of all the blessings of the land (Eph 1:33Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly [places] in Christ,).

An Israelite comes to the temple on three special occasions: on the occasion of the Passover, the Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Booth (Deu 16:1-151“Observe the month of Abib and celebrate the Passover to the LORD your God, for in the month of Abib the LORD your God brought you out of Egypt by night.2You shall sacrifice the Passover to the LORD your God from the flock and the herd, in the place where the LORD chooses to establish His name.3You shall not eat leavened bread with it; seven days you shall eat with it unleavened bread, the bread of affliction (for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste), so that you may remember all the days of your life the day when you came out of the land of Egypt.4For seven days no leaven shall be seen with you in all your territory, and none of the flesh which you sacrifice on the evening of the first day shall remain overnight until morning.5You are not allowed to sacrifice the Passover in any of your towns which the LORD your God is giving you;6but at the place where the LORD your God chooses to establish His name, you shall sacrifice the Passover in the evening at sunset, at the time that you came out of Egypt.7You shall cook and eat [it] in the place which the LORD your God chooses. In the morning you are to return to your tents.8Six days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a solemn assembly to the LORD your God; you shall do no work [on it].9“You shall count seven weeks for yourself; you shall begin to count seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the standing grain.10Then you shall celebrate the Feast of Weeks to the LORD your God with a tribute of a freewill offering of your hand, which you shall give just as the LORD your God blesses you;11and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God, you and your son and your daughter and your male and female servants and the Levite who is in your town, and the stranger and the orphan and the widow who are in your midst, in the place where the LORD your God chooses to establish His name.12You shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and you shall be careful to observe these statutes.13“You shall celebrate the Feast of Booths seven days after you have gathered in from your threshing floor and your wine vat;14and you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter and your male and female servants and the Levite and the stranger and the orphan and the widow who are in your towns.15Seven days you shall celebrate a feast to the LORD your God in the place which the LORD chooses, because the LORD your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you will be altogether joyful.). We find these three feasts also in Leviticus 23 among the seven feasts mentioned there (Lev 23:1-361The LORD spoke again to Moses, saying,2“Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘The LORD’s appointed times which you shall proclaim as holy convocations—My appointed times are these:3‘For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a sabbath of complete rest, a holy convocation. You shall not do any work; it is a sabbath to the LORD in all your dwellings.4‘These are the appointed times of the LORD, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at the times appointed for them.5In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at twilight is the LORD’s Passover.6Then on the fifteenth day of the same month there is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD; for seven days you shall eat unleavened bread.7On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not do any laborious work.8But for seven days you shall present an offering by fire to the LORD. On the seventh day is a holy convocation; you shall not do any laborious work.’”9Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,10“Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you enter the land which I am going to give to you and reap its harvest, then you shall bring in the sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest.11He shall wave the sheaf before the LORD for you to be accepted; on the day after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.12Now on the day when you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a male lamb one year old without defect for a burnt offering to the LORD.13Its grain offering shall then be two-tenths [of an ephah] of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering by fire to the LORD [for] a soothing aroma, with its drink offering, a fourth of a hin of wine.14Until this same day, until you have brought in the offering of your God, you shall eat neither bread nor roasted grain nor new growth. It is to be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwelling places.15‘You shall also count for yourselves from the day after the sabbath, from the day when you brought in the sheaf of the wave offering; there shall be seven complete sabbaths.16You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh sabbath; then you shall present a new grain offering to the LORD.17You shall bring in from your dwelling places two [loaves] of bread for a wave offering, made of two-tenths [of an ephah]; they shall be of a fine flour, baked with leaven as first fruits to the LORD.18Along with the bread you shall present seven one year old male lambs without defect, and a bull of the herd and two rams; they are to be a burnt offering to the LORD, with their grain offering and their drink offerings, an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to the LORD.19You shall also offer one male goat for a sin offering and two male lambs one year old for a sacrifice of peace offerings.20The priest shall then wave them with the bread of the first fruits for a wave offering with two lambs before the LORD; they are to be holy to the LORD for the priest.21On this same day you shall make a proclamation as well; you are to have a holy convocation. You shall do no laborious work. It is to be a perpetual statute in all your dwelling places throughout your generations.22‘When you reap the harvest of your land, moreover, you shall not reap to the very corners of your field nor gather the gleaning of your harvest; you are to leave them for the needy and the alien. I am the LORD your God.’”23Again the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,24“Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘In the seventh month on the first of the month you shall have a rest, a reminder by blowing [of trumpets], a holy convocation.25You shall not do any laborious work, but you shall present an offering by fire to the LORD.’”26The LORD spoke to Moses, saying,27“On exactly the tenth day of this seventh month is the day of atonement; it shall be a holy convocation for you, and you shall humble your souls and present an offering by fire to the LORD.28You shall not do any work on this same day, for it is a day of atonement, to make atonement on your behalf before the LORD your God.29If there is any person who will not humble himself on this same day, he shall be cut off from his people.30As for any person who does any work on this same day, that person I will destroy from among his people.31You shall do no work at all. It is to be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwelling places.32It is to be a sabbath of complete rest to you, and you shall humble your souls; on the ninth of the month at evening, from evening until evening you shall keep your sabbath.”33Again the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,34“Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘On the fifteenth of this seventh month is the Feast of Booths for seven days to the LORD.35On the first day is a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work of any kind.36For seven days you shall present an offering by fire to the LORD. On the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation and present an offering by fire to the LORD; it is an assembly. You shall do no laborious work.). Several of the seven feasts of the LORD are harvest feasts, which also include Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Booth. In a way, this also applies to the Passover with which the Feast of the First fruits is connected. On the occasion of the various harvests in Israel, the Israelite then goes to the temple with the fruit of the harvest, the blessing of the land, and brings it before God. This fruit is not in the wilderness. To have fruit, the people must live in the promised land.

God has a temple in the promised land, that the fruit of the land may be brought there. For us this has a spiritual meaning. Everything that has to do with Christ as the blessing of the land, we may bring to God. That is, we can tell God what we have all seen from the Lord Jesus and what heavenly blessings we have received from Him.


Building the Temple

1Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where [the LORD] had appeared to his father David, at the place that David had prepared on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 2He began to build on the second [day] in the second month of the fourth year of his reign.

The place where Solomon starts to build the house of the LORD is indicated in connection with several names. It is “in Jerusalem”, that is the city God has chosen for it. It is the city of His election. It is “on Mount Moriah”. The threshing floor of Ornan (1Chr 21:18-3018Then the angel of the LORD commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up and build an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.19So David went up at the word of Gad, which he spoke in the name of the LORD.20Now Ornan turned back and saw the angel, and his four sons [who were] with him hid themselves. And Ornan was threshing wheat.21As David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and saw David, and went out from the threshing floor and prostrated himself before David with his face to the ground.22Then David said to Ornan, “Give me the site of [this] threshing floor, that I may build on it an altar to the LORD; for the full price you shall give it to me, that the plague may be restrained from the people.”23Ornan said to David, “Take [it] for yourself; and let my lord the king do what is good in his sight. See, I will give the oxen for burnt offerings and the threshing sledges for wood and the wheat for the grain offering; I will give [it] all.”24But King David said to Ornan, “No, but I will surely buy [it] for the full price; for I will not take what is yours for the LORD, or offer a burnt offering which costs me nothing.”25So David gave Ornan 600 shekels of gold by weight for the site.26Then David built an altar to the LORD there and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. And he called to the LORD and He answered him with fire from heaven on the altar of burnt offering.27The LORD commanded the angel, and he put his sword back in its sheath.28At that time, when David saw that the LORD had answered him on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, he offered sacrifice there.29For the tabernacle of the LORD, which Moses had made in the wilderness, and the altar of burnt offering [were] in the high place at Gibeon at that time.30But David could not go before it to inquire of God, for he was terrified by the sword of the angel of the LORD.; 22:11Then David said, “This is the house of the LORD God, and this is the altar of burnt offering for Israel.”) appears to be here on Mount Moriah. It is the mountain where Abraham offered his son (Gen 22:22He said, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.”). Moriah is reminiscent of the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus. We do not see a God who demands a sacrifice, but a God who gives a sacrifice. The sacrifice that God has given in His Son forms the basis for the building of God’s temple now, which is the church.

The next name is that of David to whom the LORD has appeared. In the first book of Chronicles there is talk of “the angel of the LORD” who appears to David (1Chr 21:1616Then David lifted up his eyes and saw the angel of the LORD standing between earth and heaven, with his drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders, covered with sackcloth, fell on their faces.), while here it is said that the LORD himself appears to David. This is a clear indication that by the angel of the LORD the LORD himself is meant. God the Son appears before He becomes Man as the Angel of the LORD.

The LORD appears to David the moment He stretches out the sword over Jerusalem. However, the verdict is not carried out. The place designated for the temple has to do with the judgment that has raged and been brought to an end (1Chr 21:15-1815And God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it; but as he was about to destroy [it], the LORD saw and was sorry over the calamity, and said to the destroying angel, “It is enough; now relax your hand.” And the angel of the LORD was standing by the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.16Then David lifted up his eyes and saw the angel of the LORD standing between earth and heaven, with his drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders, covered with sackcloth, fell on their faces.17David said to God, “Is it not I who commanded to count the people? Indeed, I am the one who has sinned and done very wickedly, but these sheep, what have they done? O LORD my God, please let Your hand be against me and my father’s household, but not against Your people that they should be plagued.”18Then the angel of the LORD commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up and build an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.). This is “the place David had prepared” to build the temple there. The threshing floor is from the heathen, the Jebusite Ornan, but was taken from him – and thus from the Canaanites – and made into a place where God can have His house built. In the time of the New Testament, which is the time after the cross and since the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, God has also conquered a place from the Gentiles and built His temple there.

After the indication of the place where Solomon starts building the temple, we are informed when building starts (verse 22He began to build on the second [day] in the second month of the fourth year of his reign.). The chronicler only mentions that Solomon starts building in the fourth year of his government. If we compare this with the dating in the first book of Kings it is striking that the chronicler does not make a relation with the exodus from Egypt (1Kgs 6:11Now it came about in the four hundred and eightieth year after the sons of Israel came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD.). He will have omitted that mention because he is more focused on those who have left Babylon to come and live in Israel again.


The Foundation

3Now these are the foundations which Solomon laid for building the house of God. The length in cubits, according to the old standard [was] sixty cubits, and the width twenty cubits.

Verses 3-173Now these are the foundations which Solomon laid for building the house of God. The length in cubits, according to the old standard [was] sixty cubits, and the width twenty cubits.4The porch which was in front of the house was as long as the width of the house, twenty cubits, and the height 120; and inside he overlaid it with pure gold.5He overlaid the main room with cypress wood and overlaid it with fine gold, and ornamented it with palm trees and chains.6Further, he adorned the house with precious stones; and the gold was gold from Parvaim.7He also overlaid the house with gold—the beams, the thresholds and its walls and its doors; and he carved cherubim on the walls.8Now he made the room of the holy of holies: its length across the width of the house [was] twenty cubits, and its width [was] twenty cubits; and he overlaid it with fine gold, [amounting] to 600 talents.9The weight of the nails was fifty shekels of gold. He also overlaid the upper rooms with gold.10Then he made two sculptured cherubim in the room of the holy of holies and overlaid them with gold.11The wingspan of the cherubim [was] twenty cubits; the wing of one, of five cubits, touched the wall of the house, and [its] other wing, of five cubits, touched the wing of the other cherub.12The wing of the other cherub, of five cubits, touched the wall of the house; and [its] other wing of five cubits was attached to the wing of the first cherub.13The wings of these cherubim extended twenty cubits, and they stood on their feet facing the [main] room.14He made the veil of violet, purple, crimson and fine linen, and he worked cherubim on it.15He also made two pillars for the front of the house, thirty-five cubits high, and the capital on the top of each [was] five cubits.16He made chains in the inner sanctuary and placed [them] on the tops of the pillars; and he made one hundred pomegranates and placed [them] on the chains.17He erected the pillars in front of the temple, one on the right and the other on the left, and named the one on the right Jachin and the one on the left Boaz. give the description of the building. Solomon builds according to the plan his father David showed him (1Chr 28:1111Then David gave to his son Solomon the plan of the porch [of the temple], its buildings, its storehouses, its upper rooms, its inner rooms and the room for the mercy seat;). In this way we must also be busy building the church according to the plan God has laid down in His Word.

First the foundation is mentioned, the basis on which to build. The foundation for the church is the confession of Peter: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Mt 16:1616Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”). Peter can say that, as the Lord Jesus then declares, because the Father has revealed it to him (Mt 16:1717And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal [this] to you, but My Father who is in heaven.). Then the Lord adds a new revelation to the Father’s revelation to Peter. That is the revelation that the confession of Peter is the rock upon which the church will be built (Mt 16:18a18I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.).

The confession of Peter – that Christ is the Son of the living God – means that life is in the Lord Jesus. It is also connected with this that He has life-giving power. That He is the Son of the living God means that He has this life in Himself. What is built on it has that life and cannot be affected by death or anything connected to it. The life of God cannot be nullified. The church is founded on His Person. He is the rock, the unshakeable foundation.

For the revelation of the foundation of the church, the Lord Jesus uses the meaning of the name of Peter. By saying to him ‘you are Peter’ (Peter means ‘stone’) the Lord indicates that Peter is one of the stones that will be built on the rock (in Greek ‘petra’), that is He Himself. That Peter has understood the allusion of the Lord to his name, we see in his first letter. In it he writes about the believers as living stones that together form a spiritual house (1Pet 2:5a5you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.). The believers are living stones because they have come to Him Who is the living stone and therefore are connected to Him (1Pet 2:44And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God,).

The apostles and prophets in their teaching have pointed to that foundation, to that rock, and built upon it in God’s way (Eph 2:2020having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner [stone],). Paul is well aware of the responsibility not to build on any other foundation and to do so with the right material: “According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1Cor 3:10-1110According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it.11For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.). In a spiritual sense, Solomon also works in this way by keeping to what his father told him.

The sizes are given. No new sizes are used. The original specifications, “the old standard”, are maintained. Nothing is added to it and nothing is taken from it (cf. Ecc 3:1414I know that everything God does will remain forever; there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from it, for God has [so] worked that men should fear Him.). As calculated by David using the old measure, Solomon performs it. He doesn’t dare to use the sizes that have become common in his time. He does not work according to his own ideas.


The Front Porch and the Holy Place

4The porch which was in front of the house was as long as the width of the house, twenty cubits, and the height 120; and inside he overlaid it with pure gold. 5He overlaid the main room with cypress wood and overlaid it with fine gold, and ornamented it with palm trees and chains. 6Further, he adorned the house with precious stones; and the gold was gold from Parvaim. 7He also overlaid the house with gold—the beams, the thresholds and its walls and its doors; and he carved cherubim on the walls.

These verses describe the building of the porch which was in front and the holy place, that is “the main room” (verse 55He overlaid the main room with cypress wood and overlaid it with fine gold, and ornamented it with palm trees and chains.). We can see the following spiritual meaning in the materials used. The “pure gold” and “fine gold” represent the glory of God in Christ. The “cypress wood” represents the true Manhood of the Lord Jesus. The “palm trees” speak of victory. Christ is the Victor. The “chains” are a symbol of the bonds of love through which the believers are connected. The “precious stones” represent the believers in whom Christ becomes visible (Col 3:1212So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;).


The Holy of Holies

8Now he made the room of the holy of holies: its length across the width of the house [was] twenty cubits, and its width [was] twenty cubits; and he overlaid it with fine gold, [amounting] to 600 talents. 9The weight of the nails was fifty shekels of gold. He also overlaid the upper rooms with gold.

The holy of holies has the form of a cube. This refers to “the breadth and length and height and depth” of Christ’s love, which in its true meaning transcends knowledge (Eph 3:18-1918may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,19and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.). The love of Christ is perfect on all sides. In Him we see Who God is in His perfection, without ever being able to fully understand Who God is.

The golden “nails” serve to keep the golden wallcovering in place. This speaks of what serves to uphold the testimony of the Godhead of Christ. We use such ‘nails’ when we quote words from God’s Word in which the Godhead of Christ is expressed. An example is: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (Jn 1:11In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.). Here we find unambiguously that Christ is the eternal God (Jn 5:17-1817But He answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.”18For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.; Rom 9:55whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.; Heb 1:88But of the Son He says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, And the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom.; 1Jn 5:2020And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.).

In his book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon also speaks of nails: “The words of wise men are like goads, and masters of [these] collections are like well-driven nails; they are given by one Shepherd” (Ecc 12:1111The words of wise men are like goads, and masters of [these] collections are like well-driven nails; they are given by one Shepherd.). They are nails that are given by the Lord Jesus, the one Shepherd, in His care for His own. The Christian must be a master in collecting these ‘nails’. They must first be well driven [literally: planted] deep into himself to then occasionally use them to plant them deep into others.


The Cherubim

10Then he made two sculptured cherubim in the room of the holy of holies and overlaid them with gold. 11The wingspan of the cherubim [was] twenty cubits; the wing of one, of five cubits, touched the wall of the house, and [its] other wing, of five cubits, touched the wing of the other cherub. 12The wing of the other cherub, of five cubits, touched the wall of the house; and [its] other wing of five cubits was attached to the wing of the first cherub. 13The wings of these cherubim extended twenty cubits, and they stood on their feet facing the [main] room.

The two cherubim are given extensive attention. They fill the entire room and have a view of the house. They watch, as it were, how people behave. They are symbolic expressions of God’s judgmental and reigning power (Gen 3:2424So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.). They close the way to blessing for the fallen man. But in the tabernacle and the temple the way is opened by virtue of the sacrifice. Blood was sprinkled on and in front of the ark. Yet God’s holiness must also be maintained, even if it concerns a redeemed people.

There are four cherubim. On the ark are two small cherubim. They stand with their wings down and with their faces they look down, on the mercy seat. They form a whole with the mercy seat. There are also these two big cherubim, which cover everything and face the main room.

The cherubim watch and protect. They ensure that God’s glory is maintained and they protect God’s people. The fact that they fill the entire room with their wings indicates the all-encompassing character of the protection of the dwelling place of God Who dwells among the cherubim on the ark.

The cherubim that form a whole with the mercy seat on the ark, look down, on the law in the ark, the holy demands of God. But first they see the blood on the mercy seat. The large, covering cherubim face the main room, in the direction of the holy place, that is to the east (verse 1313The wings of these cherubim extended twenty cubits, and they stood on their feet facing the [main] room.). They see, as it were, everything that happens in the house of God. They keep watch over the service. Their presence and impressive size make it clear: here lives in truth the holy God!


The Veil

14He made the veil of violet, purple, crimson and fine linen, and he worked cherubim on it.

The veil is another means of guarding the holiness of the holy of the saints. The cherubim attached to the veil ensure that no unauthorized person enters the holy of the saints. The colors speak of Christ. In the violet or blue purple we see Him as the heavenly Man. In [red] purple and crimson we see His royal dignity. In the fine linen we see His perfect life.

The veil represents the flesh of the Lord Jesus, that is, His Person as He walked on earth. The moment the Lord Jesus dies, the veil tears “in two from top to bottom” (Mt 27:50-51a50And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.51And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split.; Lk 23:4545because the sun was obscured; and the veil of the temple was torn in two.). Perhaps we could say that the veil in the Gospel according to Matthew tears so that man may enter, and that in Gospel according to Luke it tears because God comes out to man, for He is kind towards him. For us the veil is no longer an obstacle, but an entrance by grace, by the blood of Christ (Heb 10:19-2019Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus,20by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh,).


The Two Pillars

15He also made two pillars for the front of the house, thirty-five cubits high, and the capital on the top of each [was] five cubits. 16He made chains in the inner sanctuary and placed [them] on the tops of the pillars; and he made one hundred pomegranates and placed [them] on the chains. 17He erected the pillars in front of the temple, one on the right and the other on the left, and named the one on the right Jachin and the one on the left Boaz.

The two pillars, each seventeen and a half meters high, are also not present in the tabernacle. The pillars are in front of the house, Jachin on the right, that is on the north side, and Boaz on the left, that is on the south side. The names indicate on which God’s building rests. Jachin means ‘God confirms’ and Boaz means ‘in Him is strength’. The two pillars illustrate that the building of God is a fixed building, well attached, unshakeable and supported by the power of God.

The church is “the pillar and support of the truth” (1Tim 3:1515but in case I am delayed, [I write] so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.). In the house of God believers experience what these pillars mean. In this house believers are established in their connection with the Lord. They also receive power from the Lord there. Coming to the church means being confirmed and receiving strength. Believers can become pillars in God’s temple if they faithfully hold fast to God’s Word (Rev 3:12a12He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name.; cf. Gal 2:9a9and recognizing the grace that had been given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, so that we [might go] to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.).


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