Synopsis:The temple is now ready so they prepare to bring the ark. They sacrificed so many sheep and oxen that they could not count them. The priests brought the ark and put it in it’s place and drew out the staves and put them to the side. The ark only holds the 2 tables of stone from Moses. As soon as the priests left, a cloud filled the house of the Lord. Solomon then spoke and told people – if you sin and god harms you – come here and ask for forgiveness. Solomon entreats God to listen to the prayers of the supplicants at this temple. He then offers a peace sacrifice of 2 and 20,000 oxen, 120,000 sheep. In the middle court he offered burnt offerings and meat offerings and the fat of peace offerings. They then held a great feast that lasted 14 days. Then everyone was sent home to their tents.
In other words:The temple of Solomon is completed and dedicated with a 14 day feast and a massive slaughter.
Favorite bit:1 Kings 8:6-8 – the description of the ark and where is was put inside the temple.
Least favorite bit:The sheer number of animals sacrificed to dedicate this temple. (1 Kings 8:5 & 1 Kings 8:63) No wonder the feast lasted 14 days – that is a LOT of slaughtered animals. How many people can 120,000 sheep and 20,000 oxen feed?
Most ironic bit:1 Kings 8:66 – after the feast at this amazing new temple – shining in gold with a crap load and then some of freshly cooked food – they send the people home to their tents, joyful. These are still people living in tents.
How did they do it?1 Kings 8:10-12 – “And it came to pass, when the priests we come out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the gory of the Lord had filled the house of the Lord. Then spake Solomon, the Lord said that he would dwell in the thick darkness.” Smoke and mirrors. Well, maybe not the mirrors, but definitely the smoke.
Most interesting bit:The entire chapter – but mostly 1 Kings 8:13-53. Basically – they expect to piss god off and for god to punish them. The purpose of this temple is to give them a place to meet with god in person so that they can ask him for forgiveness. It takes 40 verses to say that. It takes up most of this chapter and it’s highly repetitive.
Moral Lesson Learned:
- Always ask for forgiveness (1 Kings 8)
- Give forgiveness when asked (1 Kings 8)