Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 8

The temple’s opening ceremony

1 Kings 8:1-2

The great building called the temple was at last complete and ready for use. This building would become God’s house on the earth. So, Solomon now needed to place the evidence of God’s relationship with Israel, God’s special nation, in the temple. That evidence was in the special box, called the ark, which God told Moses to make (Exodus 25:10-22).

The ark was already in Jerusalem. It stood in a special tent that David had made for it (2 Samuel 6:17). So it was a simple matter to bring it into the most holy place of the temple. However, Solomon realised the great importance of this matter. For that reason, he wanted every leader in Israel to be present during the ceremony to move the ark.

In fact, if possible he wanted everyone in Israel to be present. For that reason, he organised the ceremony at the time of the sacred holiday called the Feast of Tabernacles. That holiday happens at the end of the harvest in Israel. On modern calendars in Israel, the month is called Tishri. At the time of Solomon, that same month was called Ethanim; and the Bible describes it as the seventh month of the year.

The Feast of Tabernacles is a joyful occasion that usually lasts for 8 days (Leviticus 23:33-43). During it, Israel’s people live in the temporary shelters called tabernacles. They enjoy feasts, or good meals, and especially the fruits from the harvest.

Next part: Arrangements to bring Israel's most sacred objects to the temple (1 Kings 8:3-5)


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