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There was great resemblance between the TABERNACLE, which was made in the days of Mosesand Solomon's TEMPLE; only, as the former was designed to be occasionally removed, and the latterto be fixed, one was made of more durable materials than the other: their use was the same, to serve as a repository for the Ark of the TESTIMONY, which might be considered as God's earthly throne, on which he manifested his DIVINE PRESENCE.
Instead of the curtains and boards which composed · the different apartments and courts of the Tabernacle,
the Temple was built with the most costly stones and timber that could be procured, and ornamented with gold, silver, and jewels, purchased with the natural produce of that land which the LORD had sanctified; and with these commodities were the foreign artificers also paid.
What is called the House or TEMPLE, answered to the Holy Place or SANCTUARY in the Tabernacle. The 'ORACLE built for the reception of the ark was a square room within the temple. The VAIL served to divide the HOLY PLACE from the Most Holy, and there was a door besides. The PORCH, which stood before the Temple added grandear to the building; and it is supposed that there was a wall to separate them, so that the TEMPLE might stand wholly by itself, and also be shut up occasionally.
In respect to the number and uses of the CHAMBER'S which were built against the wall of the house it is not possible to come to any certainty; but as there was a staircase from the temple, it is supposed that some of the sacred things were deposited there; and also that they served for the accommodation of the priests, to keep the utensils of the TEMPLE, and the 'sacred vestments; and also for the priests to eat their portion of the sacrifices in. Besides the chambers adjoining to the temple, there were others in the courts for various uses.
The two large pillars, which Solomon erected, are supposed to have been inscribed with the words JACHIN and Boaz, from whence they took their names. JACHIN signified, he shall establish. Boaz Strength is in him ; intended to remind the king and people of their entire dependance on the Lord.
The Priests' court was separated from the court of the CONGREGATION by a wall sufficient to keep the people from obstructing the business of the priests, but low enough for them without to see what was doing within.
The BRAZEN Sea or Lavers were for the washings and purifications, which the law required to be performed; and there was a great number of vessels besides ; but it is not material to enlarge on their uses, as our religion does not enjoin us to offer sacrifices. We shall, in the next section, read for what purpose the BRAZEN SCAFFOLD was erected.
As no steps were allowed to go up to the altar, which was placed in the midst of the court, it is supposed that there were easy Ascents to it, both for the king and people, the entrances to which were by Gates; of these there were three on three sides of the temple, east, north, and south; and two on the west. At one of the western gales was the King's ascent, built in a very superb and costly manner; at the other western gate was a way for the people in general: at the south gate was the House of AssuPPIM, supposed to be the place where the priests and Levites assembled at times, about business relating to the temple.
Solomon must have had great satisfaction in erecting this noble edifice for such holy purposes ; especially as the LORD vouchsafed to assure him, that on condition he would be mindful of the covenant made with David, His Divine Presence should certainly dwell amongst his people, and never forsake them.
THE DEDICATION OF SOLOMON'S TEMPLE.
From 1 Kings, Chap. vii, viii. Thus all the work that Solomon made for the house. of the LORD was finished; and Solomon brought in all the things that David his father had dedicated; and the silver and the gold, and all the instruments put he among the treasures of the house of God.
Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel, unto Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord out of the city of David, which is Zion,
Wherefore all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto the king in the feast, which was in the seventh month.
And all the elders of Israel came; and the Levites took up
the ark. And they brought up the ark, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and all the holy vessels that were in the tabernacle, these did the priests and the Levites
Also king Solomon, and all the congregation of Israel that were assembled unto him before the ark, sacrificed sheep and oxen, which could not be told or numbered for multitude.
And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the Lord unto his place, to the oracle of the house, into the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims.
For the cherubims spread forth their wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubims covered the ark and the staves thereof above. I 6
And they drew out the staves of the ark, that the ends of the staves were seen from the ark before the oracle; but they were not seen without. And there it is unto
There was nothing in the ark save the two tables which Moses put therein at Horeb, when the LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of Egypt.
And all tlie priests that were present were sanctified, and did not then wait by course: also the Levites which were the singers, all of them of Asaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, being arrayed in white linen, having cymbals and psalteries and Harps, stood at the east end of the altar, and with them an hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets:
It came even to pass, when the priests that were come out of the Holy Place, and as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lond; and when they lift up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals, and instruments of music, and praised the LORD, saying, For He is good; for His
mercy endureth for ever : that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the LORD;
So that the priests could not stand' to minister by reason of the cloud : for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
David conducted the Ark to JERUSALEM with every estimony of respect that it was in his power to shew; but the magnificence of the present solemnity far exceeded that of the former. David had himself provided for this by appointing the number and offices of the attendants on the temple service.
When David assembled the princes, &c. a little before his death*, the Levites amounted to 38,000:24,000were to forward the work of the House of the LORD; 6,000 were officers and judges ; 4,000 were the guards of the Temple; and 4,000 were to praise the Lord with musical instruments; and, as more would be wanted after the Temple was built, instead of waiting till they were thirty years old, they were for the future to enter on their employments at twenty. David directed that the priests and Levites should be divided into twenty-four courses by lot; each course to give a weekly attendance at the Temple in their turns. The men who were skilful in singing, amounted at that time to 288: 12 of these were to stand with cymbals, and psalteries, and harps, on com. mon days, every morning and evening, to praise the LORD, and to be joined by at least 166 of their bre. thren, who played upon various musical instruments.
On the great festivals all the singers attended, to sing and play successively, and at least 4,000 musicians. We find, that the whole body of priests and Levites were assembled at the dedication of the Temple.
What a grand and solemn service must this have been ! especially with the addition of David's Psalms, which : were given to the chief musician to be set to music, and sung in order to commemorate the signal mercies of God to David and his people: and also to preserve the prophecies contained in them, which were inspired by the HOLY SPIRIT. Singing these divine hymns made a very delightful part of public worship, and served at once to publish David's gratitude, and to excite the same senti. ment in the minds of the people. Many of the Psalms were so particularly applicable to the dedication of the Temple, that they assist the imagination in forming an
* 1 Chron, XXIX, 3, 4, 5.