16.5.3. Solomon’s Temple

In the days of David’s kingdom, Israel dwelt permanently in the land and the kingdom was administered from Jerusalem. After a time, David realized the inequity of dwelling in a kingly palace while God’s presence resided in the more humble temporary structure of the Tabernacle. Although he desired to build a permanent Temple, he was disallowed from doing so because he was a man of war (1Chr. 1Chr. 17:4; 1Chr. 22:8; 1Chr. 28:3). However, David was able to further the work toward building the Temple. He was given plans by the Holy Spirit (1Chr. 1Chr. 28:12, 1Chr. 28:19; Heb. Heb. 8:5), purchased the location where it was to be built (2S. 2S. 24:24; 1Chr. 1Chr. 21:24-26; 2Chr. 2Chr. 3:1), and procured materials for its construction (1Chr. 1Chr. 29:1-9). As with the Tabernacle, the Temple service included elaborate procedures by which man could approach God’s presence in a limited way. When the Temple was dedicated, God’s presence came to the Temple (1K. 1K. 8:10-11; 2Chr. 2Chr. 5:13-14). In the days of Ezekiel, after the civil war and after the Northern Kingdom had fallen into apostasy and been judged by Assyria, the sin of the Southern Kingdom, where Jerusalem and the Temple were located, was so severe as to drive God from His sanctuary. God no longer met with Israel in the Temple because it was no longer His House (Eze. Eze. 8:6; Eze. 9:3; Eze. 10:4, Eze. 10:18-19; Eze. 11:22-23 cf. Mtt. Mat. 23:38-39; Mtt. Mat. 24:3; Luke Luke 13:35). Soon thereafter, the Temple was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar and the Jews that remained were exiled to Babylon. Thus, an important historic principle was established concerning the Temple: when God leaves His House, it becomes subject to destruction. When God is “at Home” in the Temple, no force in the universe can destroy it. In the sequence of events which led up to the final destruction of Jerusalem and Solomon’s Temple by Nebuchadnezzar, some of the Temple articles were taken to Babylon (2Chr. 2Chr. 36:7, 2Chr. 36:10, 2Chr. 36:18; Dan. Dan. 5:2-3, Dan. 5:23) as Jeremiah had prophesied (Jer. Jer. 20:5). The destruction of Solomon’s Temple fell on the 9th day of the Jewish month of Av, a date which became famous in Jewish history and is known as Tish Bʿav (9th of Av).1

Five events of national tragedy have been associated with this date. The first of these national tragedies, and the supposed cause of all that followed, was the failure of the Israelites to enter the Promised Land under Moses [Num. Num. 14:23]. . . oral tradition recounts that this lamentation took place on the Ninth of Av. . . The next four events occurring on the Ninth of Av all relate to the Temple. The second and third disasters involve Solomon’s first Temple and Herod’s second Temple, which were both destroyed on the same day 656 years apart. The last two disasters occurred 65 years later on the same day (A.D. 135). The first of these was the defeat of the army of Bar Kokhba at Betar. The second followed as a consequence of the first. It was the plowing of the site of the Temple Mount by the Roman governor of Judea, Tineius Rufus.2


Notes

1 The Jewish month of Av (also Ab) is the 5th month of the sacred year and 11th month of the civil year and falls in the months of July-August. [W. A. Criswell and Paige Patterson, eds., The Holy Bible: Baptist Study Edition (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1991), 1314]

2 Thomas Ice and Randall Price, Ready to Rebuild (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1992), 212-213.