|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
8:1-11 The bringing in the ark, is the end which must crown the work: this was done with great solemnity. The ark was fixed in the place appointed for its rest in the inner part of the house, whence they expected God to speak to them, even in the most holy place. The staves of the ark were drawn out, so as to direct the high priest to the mercy-seat over the ark, when he went in, once a year, to sprinkle the blood there; so that they continued of use, though there was no longer occasion to carry it by them. The glory of God appearing in a cloud may signify, 1. The darkness of that dispensation, in comparison with the light of the gospel, by which, with open face, we behold, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord. 2. The darkness of our present state, in comparison with the sight of God, which will be the happiness of heaven, where the Divine glory is unveiled.
Verse 10. - And it came to pass, when the priests were come out [Rather, as the priests came out] of the holy place [It has been supposed that "the holy" (הַקֹּדֶשׁ) is here put for the most holy place, as in Ezekiel 41:23. But this is not by any means the necessary interpretation. The cloud may obviously have filled the entire building only as the priests left it. It would seem, however, from verse 11 as if the priests, having left the oracle, were about to min later in the holy place], that the cloud [Observe the article; the well known cloud which betokened the Divine presence. It had rested upon the tabernacle on the day that it was dedicated (Exodus 40:34), had ac companied it in its journeys (ib. ver. 38), and had apparently been specially displayed at certain junctures in the history of Israel (Numbers 12:5, 10; Numbers 16:42; Deuteronomy 31:15). ]t was thus the acknowledged symbol of God's presence, and as such was a visible sign that He now accepted the temple, as He had formerly accepted the tabernacle, as His shrine and dwelling place. It is hardly correct to identify the cloud with the Shechinah of the Targums (Rawlinson), for it is noticeable that the Targums never render "the cloud" or "the glory" by "the Shechinah." In fact, as regards the use of the word by Jewish writers, it would seem to be a periphrasis for God (Dict. Bib. 3. p. 1241). We may see in the cloud, however, the seat of the Shechinah (Kitto, Cyclopedia, 3. p. 821) filled the house of the Lord.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place,.... The most holy place, having set up the ark of the Lord there, who were all sanctified that were there, and did not wait by course as at other times, see 2 Chronicles 5:11, where in 2 Chronicles 5:12 it is said, that at this time, the Levites, who were singers of the families of Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun, arrayed in fine linen, with their musical instruments in their hands, stood at the east end of the altar of burnt offering, and one hundred and twenty priests, blowing their trumpets, praised the Lord together with one sound, declaring his goodness and his mercy, which endure for ever: and then it was
that the cloud filled the house of the Lord; the whole temple, both the holy of holies and the holy place, and the court of the priests; so that it was visible to all, and was a token of the divine presence of God, of his taking possession of his house, and of his taking up his residence in it.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
10, 11. the cloud filled the house of the Lord—The cloud was the visible symbol of the divine presence, and its occupation of the sanctuary was a testimony of God's gracious acceptance of the temple as of the tabernacle (Ex 40:34). The dazzling brightness, or rather, perhaps, the dense portentous darkness of the cloud, struck the minds of the priests, as it formerly had done Moses, which such astonishment and terror (Le 16:2-13; De 4:24; Ex 40:35) that they could not remain. Thus the temple became the place where the divine glory was revealed, and the king of Israel established his royal residence.
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