Thursday, August 22, 2019

Flaunting His Success

Thanks to his trading ventures with Hiram of Tyre and the Phoenicians, and leasing out certain cities, Solomon had a vast fixed income, as I Kings 10:14-15 tells us.  “Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred threescore and six talents of gold, Beside that he had of the merchantmen, and of the traffic of the spice merchants, and of all the kings of Arabia, and of the governors of the country.”  Besides the money from his business ventures, he charged fees for being in business, tafiffs for crossing the land, and inport and export tariffs. He also colledted tribute from the various groups David had conquered in present day Syria, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia. 

With such a vast income, Solomon adopted an extravagant an life style, showing off his extreme wealth, as demonstrated by his furnishings and the uniforms of his guards.  I Kings 10:16-21.  “And king Solomon made two hundred targets of beaten gold: six hundred shekels of gold went to one target.  And he made three hundred shields of beaten gold; three pound of gold went to one shield: and the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon.

Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with the best gold.  The throne had six steps, and the top of the throne was round behind: and there were stays on either side on the place of the seat, and two lions stood beside the stays.  And twelve lions stood there on the one side and on the other upon the six steps: there was not the like made in any kingdom.  And all king Solomon's drinking vessels were of gold, and all the vessels of the house of the forest of Lebanon were of pure gold; none were of silver: it was nothing accounted of in the days of Solomon.” 

The gold shields were purely for show, as they would be too thin and soft to provide protection.  The throne built of ivory large enough to support twelve lions, and overlaid with the purest gold would be extremely expensive, representing vast numbers of elephants being killed for their tusks.  Twelve lions acting like house pets on the throne would be quite intimidating to othe people. and that all his dishes and utensils were of gold would only add to the impression of unlimited wealth.  

Solomon had a trading venture with Hiram of Tyre, based out on Eziongeber on the north end of the Gulf of Aqaba that traded along the coasts of Africa and India.  He also had trading ventures with Hiram and what would become the Phoenician Empire in the Mediterranean Sea, extending all the way to Spain and for a time even including France and England.  He charced huge fees as a consultant for various governments and major businesses, as we see in I Kings 10:22-25.  “For the king had at sea a navy of Tharshish with the navy of Hiram: once in three years came the navy of Tharshish, bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks.   So king Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth for riches and for wisdom.  And all the earth sought to Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart.  And they brought every man his present, vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and garments, and armour, and spices, horses, and mules, a rate year by year. “

With so much money available, Solomon began to llo for things to spend it on.  One of the most obvious places was updating and strengthening their defenses.  Solomon built up the army mightily as we see in I Kings 10:26-29.  “And Solomon gathered together chariots and horsemen: and he had a thousand and four hundred chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen, whom he bestowed in the cities for chariots, and with the king at Jerusalem.  And the king made silver to be in Jerusalem as stones, and cedars made he to be as the sycamore trees that are in the vale, for abundance.  And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and linen yarn: the king's merchants received the linen yarn at a price.  And a chariot came up and went out of Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver, and an horse for an hundred and fifty: and so for all the kings of the Hittites, and for the kings of Syria, did they bring them out by their means.”To defray the cost, Solomon had the chariots and horses loaded with linen yarn which he then wholesaled to the businessmen in Israel for a profit.  Just as many people today won’t bother to pick up a penny, in Solomon’s day gold and silver were so common place most people wouldn’t even bother to pick up a silver coin. 

While strengthening their defenses seems like a logical and wise choice, it reveals a change in Solomon’s relationship with God.  In Deuteronomy 17:14-16, God had commanded, “When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me; Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother.  But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.”  Solomon was going directly against God’s command.    Instead of trusting God for protection he is beginning to trust in his army, putting human logic ahead of God’s command.  

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Solomon’s Growing Reputation

Solomon spent a great deal of time studying science and the things around him, and God had given him a special ability to understand what he studied.  Over time, he became well known for his understanding and wisdom as a result, not just in Israel, but in other countries as well.  Eventually hs fame spread as far as present day Somalia and Eritrea, known at the time as Sheba.  The queen of Sheba came to consult with Solomon about some things she needed to know, but she tested his knowledge and understanding before accepting him as being ghe expert people said he was, in I Kings 10:1-2.  “And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to prove him with hard questions.  And she came to Jerusalem with a very great train, with camels that bare spices, and very much gold, and precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart.”   

Many times when reporters talk about asking hard questions, they are more interested in promoting their own agenda than in learning the truth.  The queen of Sheba had legitimate questions which would require serious thought to answer.  I Kings 10:3 tells us Solomon was able to answere all the questions.  “And Solomon told her all her questions: there was not any thing hid from the king, which he told her not.”

The queen of Sheba had not thought anyone knew the answers to some of her questions.  After seeing How God had blessed in giving Solomon such understanding, and how he used it to accomplish things in Israel, from the construction of the Temple to his agricultural research, She was thoroughly impressed, as I Kings 10:4-9 tells us.  “And when the queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon's wisdom, and the house that he had built, And the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel, and his cupbearers, and his ascent by which he went up unto the house of the LORD; there was no more spirit in her.

And she said to the king, It was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and of thy wisdom.  Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard.  Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom.  Blessed be the LORD thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel: because the LORD loved Israel for ever, therefore made he thee king, to do judgment and justice.”

The claims had seemed so unbelievable, she didn’t think anyone could do what she had heard, but when she met with him she learned he far exceeded the claims.  As a token of her respect, she gave  huge and very expensive gifts, including over eight thousand pounds of gold, a huge quantity of spices, and precious stones, in I Kings 10:10.  “And she gave the king an hundred and twenty talents of gold, and of spices very great store, and precious stones: there came no more such abundance of spices as these which the queen of Sheba gave to king Solomon.”

Solomon responded in a similar fashion, not only providing for her and her retinue while they were there, but giving her any thing she wanted from his stores, as I Kings 10:13 tells us.  “And king Solomon gave unto the queen of Sheba all her desire, whatsoever she asked, beside that which Solomon gave her of his royal bounty. So she turned and went to her own country, she and her servants. “

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Expanding Government

To build government programs and and structures costs quite a bit, and Solomon’s constructions were no different  Hiram had demanded his workers and people be given their food for doing the work, but in addition. Solomon agreed to let him buy twenty towns in the area around the Sea of Galilee, as I kings 9:10-14 describes.  “And it came to pass at the end of twenty years, when Solomon had built the two houses, the house of the LORD, and the king's house, (Now Hiram the king of Tyre had furnished Solomon with cedar trees and fir trees, and with gold, according to all his desire,) that then king Solomon gave Hiram twenty cities in the land of Galilee.  And Hiram came out from Tyre to see the cities which Solomon had given him; and they pleased him not.  And he said, What cities are these which thou hast given me, my brother? And he called them the land of Cabul unto this day.  And Hiram sent to the king sixscore talents of gold.” 

Hiram paid a hundred twenty talents or 8400 pounds of gold for the cities, even though they were not exactly what he wanted.   This provided a lot of the money to pay workmen and buy materials for the various building projects, some of which are described in I Kings 9:15-19.  “And this is the reason of the levy which king Solomon raised; for to build the house of the LORD, and his own house, and Millo, and the wall of Jerusalem, and Hazor, and Megiddo, and Gezer.  For Pharaoh king of Egypt had gone up, and taken Gezer, and burnt it with fire, and slain the Canaanites that dwelt in the city, and given it for a present unto his daughter, Solomon's wife.  And Solomon built Gezer, and Bethhoron the nether, 1ki 9:18 And Baalath, and Tadmor in the wilderness, in the land, And all the cities of store that Solomon had, and cities for his chariots, and cities for his horsemen, and that which Solomon desired to build in Jerusalem, and in Lebanon, and in all the land of his dominion.”

To do all the work, Solomon required that the descendants of the peoples who had originally owned the land spend a certain amount of time each year working on Government projects, while only Jewish people were allowed to serve as overseers, government officials and military personnel, as I Kings 9:20-25 describes.  “And all the people that were left of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, which were not of the children of Israel, Their children that were left after them in the land, whom the children of Israel also were not able utterly to destroy, upon those did Solomon levy a tribute of bondservice unto this day.  But of the children of Israel did Solomon make no bondmen: but they were men of war, and his servants, and his princes, and his captains, and rulers of his chariots, and his horsemen. 1ki 9:23 These were the chief of the officers that were over Solomon's work, five hundred and fifty, which bare rule over the people that wrought in the work.”

Here again we see a major contrast between David and Solomon’s attitudes.  David had allowed other groups to serve in his army, even making a Philistine from Gath, Ittai one of his generals in II Samuel 18:2.  Because of the way he treated them even former enemies had surrendered to David and became his subjects.  Later they reberl agains Solomon and his descendants because of the way they were treated, in violation of God’s commands in Leviticus 19:33-34.  “And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him.  But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.”  Solomon was more concerned with accomplishing his goals than with obeying God.   

The expenses did not stop with the completion of the Temple, but were ongoing like probably every government in history, as we see in I Kings 9:24-25.  “But Pharaoh's daughter came up out of the city of David unto her house which Solomon had built for her: then did he build Millo.  And three times in a year did Solomon offer burnt offerings and peace offerings upon the altar which he built unto the LORD, and he burnt incense upon the altar that was before the LORD. So he finished the house.”

Before long the sale of the cities, forced labor and taxes were not enough to meet the governments demands, and Solomon negotiated a partnership with Hiram or Tyre to establish a port on the northern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba and send trading ships along the alng the coasts of Africa and India.  It was a profitable venture as I Kings 9:26-28 tells us.  “And king Solomon made a navy of ships in Eziongeber, which is beside Eloth, on the shore of the Red sea, in the land of Edom.  And Hiram sent in the navy his servants, shipmen that had knowledge of the sea, with the servants of Solomon.  And they came to Ophir, and fetched from thence gold, four hundred and twenty talents, and brought it to king Solomon.”

Throughout history, governments have expanded until the peope were not able to support them.  When that time comes governments often begin to try to get into business, like Solomon in the trading business, but eventually even that cannot cover the everincreasing costs.  When he died, the people would beg his son to reduce the taxes because they had become such a burden.    

Monday, August 19, 2019

God Warns Solomon Of Danger

When Solomon started out, he loved the Lord, and although he sacrificed in the high places he seemed devoted to God.  He had spent thirteen years building his own house, and seven building the temple, as well as various other things.  When they dedicated the Temple God’s spirit had so filled the building they couldn’t stay inside to minister, clearly indicating God was pleased.  After they finished dedicating, God appeared to Solomon again, stating clearly that he had accepted the Temple as his place of worship, in I Kings 9:1-3.  “And it came to pass, when Solomon had finished the building of the house of the LORD, and the king's house, and all Solomon's desire which he was pleased to do, That the LORD appeared to Solomon the second time, as he had appeared unto him at Gibeon.  And the LORD said unto him, I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication, that thou hast made before me: I have hallowed this house, which thou hast built, to put my name there for ever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.”

God also rminded him that if he would be faithful to God, he would bless his family, conveying all the promises he had made to David to Solomon, in I Kings 9:4-5.  “And if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my judgments: Then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel for ever, as I promised to David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel.”

Unfortunately, it is easy for people who have been successful  with no major problems to become  proud and forget that their success came from God and begin to act on their own. God knew this would be a special temptation for Solomon, so in I Kings 9:6-9, God warned him of the danger.  “But if ye shall at all turn from following me, ye or your children, and will not keep my commandments and my statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods, and worship them: Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people: And at this house, which is high, every one that passeth by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss; and they shall say, Why hath the LORD done thus unto this land, and to this house?  And they shall answer, Because they forsook the LORD their God, who brought forth their fathers out of the land of Egypt, and have taken hold upon other gods, and have worshipped them, and served them: therefore hath the LORD brought upon them all this evil.”

Solomon and his children would be leaders of Israel.  God warned that if they themselves turned away from God, as the leaders, they would cause the people to turn away from God as well, eventually causing them to lose the land God had given them, and the Temple to be destroyed.  Israel would be a nation, but they would be known as the people who lost everything because they chose to practice other religions instead of following what God commanded. 

In any organization or group, the leaders set the example as to the attitudes and moral and ethical practices of the group or organization.  Caring, moral and ethical leaders tend to develop and promote caring, moral and ethical followers while selfish, immoral and corrupt leaders develop and encourage those who are selfish, immoral and corrupt because of the example they set.  This is why God sets such stringent standards for those who are chosen to be pastors or church leaders.   When leaders are unhappy with their people they need to examine the example they are setting, whether it is in the home, school, church, business, or government.

Friday, August 16, 2019

The Dedication Ceremony And Celebration

After finishing his prayer, asking God to honor their efforts to please him, Solomon addressed the people, reminding them what God had done for them in the past and reminding them that if God was to bless them in the future in the same way, they would need to follow his commandments.  When they did so, other peoples would know that God is the oly God, in I Kings 8:54-62.  “And it was so, that when Solomon had made an end of praying all this prayer and supplication unto the LORD, he arose from before the altar of the LORD, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven.

And he stood, and blessed all the congregation of Israel with a loud voice, saying, Blessed be the LORD, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant.  The LORD our God be with us, as he was with our fathers: let him not leave us, nor forsake us: That he may incline our hearts unto him, to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and his statutes, and his judgments, which he commanded our fathers.  And let these my words, wherewith I have made supplication before the LORD, be nigh unto the LORD our God day and night, that he maintain the cause of his servant, and the cause of his people Israel at all times, as the matter shall require: That all the people of the earth may know that the LORD is God, and that there is none else.  Let your heart therefore be perfect with the LORD our God, to walk in his statutes, and to keep his commandments, as at this day.”

At that moment Solomon and all the people’s desire was to serve God.  They willingly sacrificed vast amounts of livestock to show their excitement toward God, as I Kings 8:62-64 describes.  “And the king, and all Israel with him, offered sacrifice before the LORD.  And Solomon offered a sacrifice of peace offerings, which he offered unto the LORD, two and twenty thousand oxen, and an hundred and twenty thousand sheep. So the king and all the children of Israel dedicated the house of the LORD. The same day did the king hallow the middle of the court that was before the house of the LORD for there he offered burnt offerings, and meat offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings: because the brazen altar that was before the LORD was too little to receive the burnt offerings, and meat offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings.”

The new altar in the Temple sixteen times as large as the one in the Tabernacle, but it were not nearly large enough to handle all the sacrifices that were offered.  In order to handle all the sacrifices, Solomon had the area infront of the Temple where the people gathered purified so that they could use it for making sacrifices as well, as II Chronicles 7:7 explains.  “Moreover Solomon hallowed the middle of the court that was before the house of the LORD: for there he offered burnt offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings, because the brazen altar which Solomon had made was not able to receive the burnt offerings, and the meat offerings, and the fat.” 

They had spent seven days getting everything moved into the Temple and dedicating it.  They spent the next seven days in a tremendous feast, celebrating the completion of the Temple and God’s blessings, as I Kings 8:65-66 describes.  “And at that time Solomon held a feast, and all Israel with him, a great congregation, from the entering in of Hamath unto the river of Egypt, before the LORD our God, seven days and seven days, even fourteen days.”    On the eighth day he sent the people away: and they blessed the king, and went unto their tents joyful and glad of heart for all the goodness that the LORD had done for David his servant, and for Israel his people.” Jews from the Syrian border to the border with Egypt came to take part in the celebration, and returned home excited about their country and God’s blessings. 

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Solomon’s Prayer Of Dedication

After reminding the people why they had built the Temple, Solomon prayed, asking God to bless the temple and the people of Israel, thanking Him for all the many things He had done for Israel and for David and Solomon.  His prayer gives and example of Paul’s instruction in Philippians 4:6.  “…in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”

Solomon startd out by thanking God for his promises to David and that he has kept them, requesting that he continue to keep them in I Kings 8:22-26.  “And Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven: And he said, LORD God of Israel, there is no God like thee, in heaven above, or on earth beneath, who keepest covenant and mercy with thy servants that walk before thee with all their heart:  Who hast kept with thy servant David my father that thou promisedst him: thou spakest also with thy mouth, and hast fulfilled it with thine hand, as it is this day. Therefore now, LORD God of Israel, keep with thy servant David my father that thou promisedst him, saying, There shall not fail thee a man in my sight to sit on the throne of Israel; so that thy children take heed to their way, that they walk before me as thou hast walked before me.  And now, O God of Israel, let thy word, I pray thee, be verified, which thou spakest unto thy servant David my father.”

Solomon realized that big and impressive as it was, the Temple they had built was only a token that could never approach God’s glory.  In spite of that he asked that God would honor their efforts and Hear their prayers in I Kings 8:27-30.  “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?  Yet have thou respect unto the prayer of thy servant, and to his supplication, O LORD my God, to hearken unto the cry and to the prayer, which thy servant prayeth before thee to day: That thine eyes may be open toward this house night and day, even toward the place of which thou hast said, My name shall be there: that thou mayest hearken unto the prayer which thy servant shall make toward this place.  And hearken thou to the supplication of thy servant, and of thy people Israel, when they shall pray toward this place: and hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place: and when thou hearest, forgive.”

Knowing their sinful nature, Solomon realized they would fail God repeatedly, and asked that he would judge, condemning the wicked and justifying the righteous so that people would realize the consequences of sin and turn back to him.  He asked that when they repented, God forgive them and bless tham again, in I Kings 8:31-32.  “If any man trespass against his neighbour, and an oath be laid upon him to cause him to swear, and the oath come before thine altar in this house: Then hear thou in heaven, and do, and judge thy servants, condemning the wicked, to bring his way upon his head; and justifying the righteous, to give him according to his righteousness.

If they sinned so much God was forced to take drastic measures against them, he prayed that the Lord would forgive if they turned back to him and restore their land, in I Kings 8:33- 40.  “When thy people Israel be smitten down before the enemy, because they have sinned against thee, and shall turn again to thee, and confess thy name, and pray, and make supplication unto thee in this house: Then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy people Israel, and bring them again unto the land which thou gavest unto their fathers.

 When heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou afflictest them: Then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, that thou teach them the good way wherein they should walk, and give rain upon thy land, which thou hast given to thy people for an inheritance.

If there be in the land famine, if there be pestilence, blasting, mildew, locust, or if there be caterpillar; if their enemy besiege them in the land of their cities; whatsoever plague, whatsoever sickness there be; What prayer and supplication soever be made by any man, or by all thy people Israel, which shall know every man the plague of his own heart, and spread forth his hands toward this house: Then hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and do, and give to every man according to his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou, even thou only, knowest the hearts of all the children of men;) That they may fear thee all the days that they live in the land which thou gavest unto our fathers.”

Solomon also prayed for those who would turn to the Lord as a result of Israel serving God, that he would bless tham as well, in I Kings 8:41-43.  “Moreover concerning a stranger, that is not of thy people Israel, but cometh out of a far country for thy name's sake; (For they shall hear of thy great name, and of thy strong hand, and of thy stretched out arm;) when he shall come and pray toward this house; Hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and do according to all that the stranger calleth to thee for: that all people of the earth may know thy name, to fear thee, as do thy people Israel; and that they may know that this house, which I have builded, is called by thy name.”

He prayed that they would be blessed in battle when they worshipped God in the Temple, In I Kings 8:44-45.  “If thy people go out to battle against their enemy, whithersoever thou shalt send them, and shall pray unto the LORD toward the city which thou hast chosen, and toward the house that I have built for thy name: Then hear thou in heaven their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause.”

And finally he prayed that if they turned away from God and he was forced to take their land away, that God would forgive and protect them in what ever land they might be transported to, in I Kings 8:46-53.  “If they sin against thee, (for there is no man that sinneth not,) and thou be angry with them, and deliver them to the enemy, so that they carry them away captives unto the land of the enemy, far or near; Yet if they shall bethink themselves in the land whither they were carried captives, and repent, and make supplication unto thee in the land of them that carried them captives, saying, We have sinned, and have done perversely, we have committed wickedness; And so return unto thee with all their heart, and with all their soul, in the land of their enemies, which led them away captive, and pray unto thee toward their land, which thou gavest unto their fathers, the city which thou hast chosen, and the house which I have built for thy name: Then hear thou their prayer and their supplication in heaven thy dwelling place, and maintain their cause, And forgive thy people that have sinned against thee, and all their transgressions wherein they have transgressed against thee, and give them compassion before them who carried them captive, that they may have compassion on them: For they be thy people, and thine inheritance, which thou broughtest forth out of Egypt, from the midst of the furnace of iron: That thine eyes may be open unto the supplication of thy servant, and unto the supplication of thy people Israel, to hearken unto them in all that they call for unto thee.  For thou didst separate them from among all the people of the earth, to be thine inheritance, as thou spakest by the hand of Moses thy servant, when thou broughtest our fathers out of Egypt, O Lord GOD.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Completion Of The Temple

Solomon started building the Temple in the second month of his fourth year as king.   In the seventh month of his eleventh year, construction was finished, and they moved the Ark of the Covenant into its permanent place in the Temple, along with the various implements and furnishings from the Tabernacle, as I Kings 8:1-9 tells us.  “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 king Solomon in Jerusalem, that they might bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the city of David, which is Zion.  And all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto king Solomon at the feast in the month Ethanim, which is the seventh month.  And all the elders of Israel came, and the priests took up the ark.  And they brought up the ark of the LORD, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and all the holy vessels that were in the tabernacle, even those did the priests and the Levites bring up.”

 And king Solomon, and all the congregation of Israel, that were assembled unto him, were with him before the ark, sacrificing sheep and oxen, that could not be told nor numbered for multitude.  And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the LORD unto his place, into the oracle of the house, to the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims.  For the cherubims spread forth their two wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubims covered the ark and the staves thereof above.  And they drew out the staves, that the ends of the staves were seen out in the holy place before the oracle, and they were not seen without: and there they are unto this day.  There was nothing in the ark save the two tables of stone, which Moses put there at Horeb, when the LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt.”

When Moses finished the Tabernacle, the Glory of th Lord had so filled the Tabernacle that even Moses could not go inside, according to Exodus 40:33-35.  “And he reared up the court round about the tabernacle and the altar, and set up the hanging of the court gate. So Moses finished the work.  Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.  And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.”

The same thing happened when Solomon finished the Temple, in I Kings 8:10-11.  “And it came to pass, when the priests were 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 glory of the LORD had filled the house of the LORD.”  Solomon recognized this as a sign that God had accepted the Temple, in I Kings 8:12-13.  “Then spake Solomon, The LORD said that he would dwell in the thick darkness.  I have surely built thee an house to dwell in, a settled place for thee to abide in for ever.”

With the assurance that God was pleased, Solomon addressed the people reminding them how the Temple came about, in I Kings 8:14-21.  “And the king turned his face about, and blessed all the congregation of Israel: (and all the congregation of Israel stood;) And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, which spake with his mouth unto David my father, and hath with his hand fulfilled it, saying, Since the day that I brought forth my people Israel out of Egypt, I chose no city out of all the tribes of Israel to build an house, that my name might be therein; but I chose David to be over my people Israel.

And it was in the heart of David my father to build an house for the name of the LORD God of Israel.  And the LORD said unto David my father, Whereas it was in thine heart to build an house unto my name, thou didst well that it was in thine heart.  Nevertheless thou shalt not build the house; but thy son that shall come forth out of thy loins, he shall build the house unto my name.  And the LORD hath performed his word that he spake, and I am risen up in the room of David my father, and sit on the throne of Israel, as the LORD promised, and have built an house for the name of the LORD God of Israel.  And I have set there a place for the ark, wherein is the covenant of the LORD, which he made with our fathers, when he brought them out of the land of Egypt.”