It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD; . . . that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the LORD; so that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of God. (verses 13 and 14)
The work was finished! Solomon brought in all the things that his father, David, had dedicated to the LORD. Solomon then brought the Ark of the Covenant up (without incident!) out of Zion and placed it in the Holy of Holies. The priests and Levites also brought up the tabernacle and its vessels out of Gibeon and placed them in the Temple.
Verse 9 says that the Ark and its staves were there "unto this day" but we are told elsewhere in scripture that it was not found in the post-exilic temple built by Zerubbabel. It would seem that Ezra copied the whole passage from the notes taken during the reigns of David's descendants, which ended at the time of the Babylonian captivity. Although the people would have rejoiced at being allowed to return to their home in Jerusalem in Ezra's time, they would have mourned that the symbol of their covenant with God had vanished. It seems to me that this is only fitting since the Davidic dynasty was not restored at that time either and that also is a symbol of God's covenant with Israel.
At the placement of the Ark of the Covenant the singers/psalm writers and their families as appointed by David, led a worship service with cymbals, psalteries, and harps, which was then blended with 120 trumpets blown by priests. At that time the glory of the LORD filled the house and the priests could not see to minister!
Does God issue any commands?
- Solomon learned a lesson from his father about the proper way to move the Ark of the Covenant. This time there was no breach upon anyone for improperly touching the most holy symbol of the atonement because Solomon rightly sanctified the priests for their responsibility of moving it as per God's previous commands given to Moses.
Does God make any promises?
- God showed His approval of the Temple when His glory came down upon it and filled it just as He had done to the tabernacle during the Exodus. This was His promise that He accepted this new place of worship which was meant to be a permanent structure and sign of their mutual covenant.
Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?
- The work of Solomon was complete. He had done his father's will. This is a type of Jesus who said on the cross that the work is finished! He had done His Father's will!
- The Ark of the Covenant was placed in the inner sanctuary, the Holy of Holies. It was the curtain of the Holy of Holies that tore from top to bottom when Jesus shed His blood for the remission of our sins.
- Jesus is the fulfillment of the Covenant, the personification of the Mercy Seat of the Ark, and the Sovereign who meets the qualifications for the everlasting dynasty of David. The Ark was a symbol of the covenant between God and the Children of Israel and the Children of Israel had broken their covenant. Jesus is the fulfillment of that covenant.
Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?
- This chapter rehearses the time when the Ark of the Covenant (or Testament) was placed in Solomon's Temple. It is a symbol of God's promise to Abraham, Isaac, Israel, David, and Solomon, and their descendants. It remained in the Temple until the time of the Babylonian conquest, which was the judgment that came because the Children of Israel and their kings had broken the covenant. The Ark was not put into the second temple which was built by Zerubbabel. This fits with Jeremiah's prophecy in Jeremiah 3:16. However, in Revelation 11:19 John said that he saw the Ark of the Testament in the temple of God in heaven and since it was seen by John it is likely that we will see it when we are there.