Good morning! Today’s reading from 2 Chronicles 1-5 may inspire a sense of déjà vu in you. These chapters, first introducing Solomon and then focusing on the temple, are a near-complete echo of texts we’ve already heard in 1 Kings. There are five chapters in this passage, but because so much of it is familiar it will hopefully not take too long to read.
Chapter 1 introduces us to King Solomon, and strangely he bears almost no resemblance to the man David repeatedly referred to in 1 Chronicles as young and liable to get things wrong. Indeed, we have again here Solomon’s prayer for wisdom and God’s generous reply. One other thing to note in passing is the discontinuity in verses 2 and 3 about whether Solomon went to Gibeon or Jerusalem to consult God at the ark, within the tabernacle. Multiple narratives have come together here, and the wrinkle that’s not quite ironed out is one clue that reveals this to careful readers like ourselves.
Chapter 2-5 refer to the building and consecrating of the temple in Jerusalem. As in 1 Kings, Solomon trades for supplies with Hiram (here “Huram”) of Tyre. This reveals nothing of the sense that David collected all the supplies needed for the temple’s construction. Nor is there any hint in chapter 3 that the dimensions and building of the temple are from David, as we hear in 1 Chronicles. Instead, “These are Solomon’s measurements” (3:2). The temple’s construction, and the creation of furnishings for everywhere in it, form the rest of chapters 3 and 4. I found it interesting to read this in light of what we’ve already read in Kings—how all this fabulous wealth was raided and taken away, then carefully replaced in part by later kings, that then given away to buy protection, again and again until finally the temple itself was destroyed and its pillars pulled down at last. Without knowing any of that future, all Israel must certainly have celebrated the final procession of the ark in chapter 5 from the tabernacle in Jerusalem to the temple mount, Moriah. The dedication of the temple culminates in a great song of praise, and the cloud of God’s glory fills the temple. Happy reading!
Please join discussion of this passage at the Daily Bible Facebook group, or comment below. The passage for tomorrow is 2 Chronicles 6-8. Thanks for reading!