The Agora
Bible Commentary
2 Chronicles

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2 Chronicles 5

2Ch 5:5

From the time when David brought the ark to Zion until now the tabernacle had been at Gibeon (1Ch 16:39).

2Ch 5:9

These staves, or carrying poles, were so long that the ends could be seen if one were to look into the Holy Place (in other words, the staves extended outside the Most Holy Place). The statement about the staves shows that Exo 25:15 was complied with, that is, that the staves were not to be removed from the ark.

Even though the ark was now in its permanent home, the staves remained in place, a reminder of its journeys at the head of God's people. Though all the other furnishings of the Temple had been newly made, the ark, representing the ruling presence of God, was still the same as that made while Israel was encamped at Sinai. It provided an unbreakable link with all that had gone before.

It is good to have reminders of who we are and where we have come from. In our ecclesias, this role is often filled by the older ones, and by the history and stories which they can tell, of earlier generations. In the broader sense, the Bible fills this same role for all of us: its pages demonstrate how our faith, as individuals and as a community, is linked with the faith of others who have gone before. "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses..." (Heb 12:1).

In Acts 1:3 and following, after the resurrection of Christ, the disciples who (being "priests") stood in the holy place of the new "temple", were able to infer by what they had witnessed in the previous forty days, that though they soon would not be able to physically see their Lord (as he was soon to ascend to the Most Holy Place in the heavens, to the side of his Father), they could accept that he would ever be in his Father's presence, acting as their sacrifice, mediating for their forgiveness. And it was these disciples alone -- and not the elite Sadducees and Pharisees -- who could "see" their Lord in the "heavenly place"!

2Ch 5:10

THERE WAS NOTHING IN THE ARK EXCEPT THE TWO TABLETS...: The other contents of the ark -- the pot of manna and Aaron's rod that budded -- seem to have been already lost in the time of Solomon (maybe when the ark was in the hands of the Philistines?). Other possibilities: Exo 16:33,34 and Num 17:10 seem to indicate that Aaron's staff and the golden jar of manna may originally have been kept in front of the ark, rather than in it. How the golden jar and Aaron's staff were stored may have differed over time. Therefore the description in Heb 9:4 on the one hand, and 1Ki 8:9 and 2Ch 5:10 on the other, may be referring to the ark at two different times of Israel's history.

2Ch 5:12

Vv 12-13 links to Acts 1:14,15: (1) 2Ch 5:12 has 120 priests sounding with trumpets; Acts 1:15 has 120 disciples continuing in prayer. (2) 2Ch 5:13 has the trumpeters and singers in unison; Acts 1:14 has the disciples continuing "with one accord". (3) 2Ch 5:13,14 has "the house" (the temple) filled with a cloud, and the
cloud is described as "the glory of Yahweh"; Acts 2:1-2 shows the glory of Yahweh (implied) "filled all the house where they were sitting."

2Ch 5:13

THEN THE TEMPLE OF THE LORD WAS FILLED WITH A CLOUD: Other passages where the house is filled with the Glory of God: 1Ki 8:10,11; 2Ch 5:13,14; 7:1,2; Eze 10:3,4. The future Temple of God will likewise be filled with God's Glory (Hag 2:7; cp Eze 43:5; 44:4).

When Mary anointed Jesus' feet, "the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume" (John 12:3) -- and a link is established between Jesus' death and the glory of God in the house.

After the resurrection of Christ, the "house" is now the ecclesia (2Co 6:16), and it is fitting that the Holy Spirit fills those in the "house" on the Day of Atonement (Acts 2:2).

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