1 Kings 8:4
And they brought up the ark of the LORD, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and all the holy vessels that were in the tabernacle, even those did the priests and the Levites bring up.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(4) The tabernacle of the congregation (see 1Chronicles 16:39-40; 2Chronicles 1:3) was still at Gibeon; and the priests and Levites had hitherto been divided between it and the lesser tabernacle over the ark on Mount Zion. Probably each section of the priests and Levites now brought up in solemn procession the sacred things entrusted to them. According to the order of the Mosaic law (Numbers 3:25-37), the Kohathites had charge on the march of the ark and the vessels, the Gershonites of the Tabernacle and its hangings, and the Merarites of the boards and pillars of the Tabernacle and the outer court. This order, no doubt, was followed, as far as possible, on this its last journey. What became of the Tabernacle and its furniture (so far as this was disused), we are not told; but all was probably deposited, as a sacred relic of antiquity, somewhere in the precincts of the Temple. This seems to be implied in the famous Jewish tradition (see 2 Maccabees 2:4-6), that Jeremiah was enabled to hide by miracle “the Tabernacle and the ark and the altar of incense” on the destruction of the Temple.

1 Kings 8:4. And the tabernacle of the congregation — That made by Moses, which doubtless before this time had been removed from Gibeon to Zion. And all the holy vessels — Namely, the altar of incense, the table of show- bread, the candlestick, and every thing belonging to them; all these were now carried into the temple, and laid up there, to prevent all idolatrous and superstitious use of them, and to oblige the people to come up to Jerusalem, as the only place where sacrifices were now to be offered, and the various ceremonies of public worship performed.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.And the tabernacle of the congregation - Not the tented structure erected for the ark on Mount Zion 2 Samuel 6:17 by David, but the original tabernacle made by Moses, which had hitherto remained at Gibeon (margin reference). The tabernacle and its holy vessels were probably placed in the treasury. 2-6. at the feast in the month Ethanim—The public and formal inauguration of this national place of worship did not take place till eleven months after the completion of the edifice. The delay, most probably, originated in Solomon's wish to choose the most fitting opportunity when there should be a general rendezvous of the people in Jerusalem (1Ki 8:2); and that was not till the next year. That was a jubilee year, and he resolved on commencing the solemn ceremonial a few days before the feast of tabernacles, which was the most appropriate of all seasons. That annual festival had been instituted in commemoration of the Israelites dwelling in booths during their stay in the wilderness, as well as of the tabernacle, which was then erected, in which God promised to meet and dwell with His people, sanctifying it with His glory. As the tabernacle was to be superseded by the temple, there was admirable propriety in choosing the feast of tabernacles as the period for dedicating the new place of worship, and praying that the same distinguished privileges might be continued to it in the manifestation of the divine presence and glory. At the time appointed for the inauguration, the king issued orders for all the heads and representatives of the nation to repair to Jerusalem and take part in the august procession [1Ki 8:1]. The lead was taken by the king and elders of the people, whose march must have been slow, as priests were stationed to offer an immense number of sacrifices at various points in the line of road through which the procession was to go. Then came the priests bearing the ark and the tabernacle—the old Mosaic tabernacle which was brought from Gibeon. Lastly, the Levites followed, carrying the vessels and ornaments belonging to the old, for lodgment in the new, house of the Lord. There was a slight deviation in this procedure from the order of march established in the wilderness (Nu 3:31; 4:15); but the spirit of the arrangement was duly observed. The ark was deposited in the oracle; that is, the most holy place, under the wings of the cherubim—not the Mosaic cherubim, which were firmly attached to the ark (Ex 37:7, 8), but those made by Solomon, which were far larger and more expanded. The tabernacle of the congregation; that made by Moses, which doubtless before this time had been translated from Gibeon to Zion, and now, together with other things, was put into the treasuries of the Lord’s house, to prevent all the superstitious use and profane abuse of it, and to oblige the people to come up to Jerusalem, as the only place where God would now be worshipped.

The priests and Levites; the priests carrying some, and the Levites others. And they brought up the ark of the Lord,.... From the city of David to the temple:

and the tabernacle of the congregation; not the tent David made for the ark, though that might be brought also, but the tabernacle of Moses, which had been many years at Gibeon; but now removed to Zion, and from thence to the temple, where it was laid up, as having been a sacred thing; that it might not be put to common or superstitious uses, and to prevent the being of more places than one for worship:

and all the holy vessels that were in the tabernacle; as the candlestick, shewbread table, incense altar, &c.

even those did the priests and the Levites bring up; some brought one, and some another; the priests brought the ark, and the Levites the vessels.

And they brought up the ark of the LORD, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and all the holy vessels that were in the tabernacle, even those did the priests and the Levites bring up.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
4. and the tabernacle of the congregation] Better, as in other places, the Tent of meeting. This consecrated tent, which had up to this time stood in Gibeon, was now taken down, and the curtains and poles of which it consisted seem to have been brought to the Temple to be preserved. There was probably room enough for their bestowal in the ‘side chambers’ which enclosed the Temple on three sides. Others have suggested a chamber above the most holy place. We have nothing to guide us to a conclusion either in history or tradition. A tradition which points to the preservation of the Tent is found 2Ma 2:4.

those did the priests and the Levites bring up] In the parallel passage in 1 Chronicles 5:5, the conjunction ‘and’ is omitted and special attention is called to Deuteronomy 17:18, where, and in subsequent places of the same book ‘the priests the Levites’ are spoken of. It is noteworthy that Josephus speaks only of the Levites, until the ark is to be brought within the most holy place. Then, he says, all the rest withdrew and the priests carried it to its resting-place. He also describes the procession, and how the road was drenched with libations and with the blood of many sacrifices, while the abundant burning of incense filled all the air with fragrance so that people at a great distance could note that God was, as men would judge, changing His abode and coming to dwell in the house which had been newly built and dedicated to Him. The LXX. (Vat.) omits nearly the whole of 1 Kings 8:2-3, and also a portion of 1 Kings 8:4.Verse 4. - And they brought up the ark of the Lord [which had now been for nearly 40 years "in the tabernacle that David had pitched for it" on the Mount Zion (2 Samuel 6:17) ], and the tabernacle of the congregation [Heb, "the tabernacle of meeting" (Exodus 29:42, 46. See Dict. Bib. 2. p. 1414; Bahr, Symbolik, 1:80, 81). This had been for many years at Gibeon. (Cf. ch. 3:4; 2 Chronicles 1:8; 1 Chronicles 16:39. See note on ch. 3:4.) The tabernacle of Mount Zion is never called "the tabernacle of the congregation" - indeed, it is expressly dis-tingnished from it, 2 Chronicles 1:3, 4. The ark and the tabernacle were now reunited in the temple of Solomon, thus "marking the identity and continuity of the life and ritual of the Hebrew Church" (Wordsworth) ], and all the holy vessels that were in the tabernacle [Perhaps the brazen altar. Certainly the altar of incense, the table of shewbread, the candlestick, and also the brazen serpent (Stanley) ], even those did the priests and Levites bring up. [We are hardly justified in saying (as Keil, al.) that the Levites carried all but the ark. The text rather favours the view that the priests assisted in bringing up the tabernacle and its furniture. So 2 Chronicles 5:5. Neither the tabernacle nor its vessels were designed for further use in the temple; the latter had been replaced by vessels better suited to the enlarged sanctuary - they were simply preserved, so far as we know, as relics of the past. in the treasury or side chambers. The golden vessels of the Holy Place (cf. 2 Chronicles 4:19-22). The vessels enumerated here are divided, by the repetition of סגוּר זהב in 1 Kings 7:49, 1 Kings 7:50, into two classes, which were made of fine gold; and to this a third class is added in 1 Kings 7:50 which was made of gold of inferior purity. As סגוּר זהב is governed in both instances by ויּעשׂ as an accusative of the material, the זהב (gold) attached to the separate vessels must be taken as an adjective. "Solomon made all the vessels in the house of Jehovah (i.e., had them made): the golden altar, and the golden table on which was the shew-bread, and the candlesticks ... of costly gold (סגוּר: see at 1 Kings 6:20). The house of Jehovah is indeed here, as in 1 Kings 7:40, the temple with its courts, and not merely the Holy Place, or the temple-house in the stricter sense; but it by no means follows from this that כּל־הלּלים, "all the vessels," includes both the brazen vessels already enumerated and also the golden vessels mentioned afterwards. A decisive objection to our taking the כּל (all) as referring to those already enumerated as well as those which follow, is to be found in the circumstance that the sentence commencing with ויּעשׂ is only concluded with סגוּר זהב in 1 Kings 7:49. It is evident from this that כּל־הלּלים is particularized in the several vessels enumerated from סגוּר את onwards. These vessels no doubt belonged to the Holy Place or temple-house only; though this is not involved in the expression "the house of Jehovah," but is apparent from the context, or from the fact that all the vessels of the court have already been enumerated in 1 Kings 7:40-46, and were made of brass, whereas the golden vessels follow here. That there were intended for the Holy Place is assumed as well known from the analogy of the tabernacle. יהוה בּית אשׁר merely affirms that the vessels mentioned afterwards belonged to the house of God, and were not prepared for the palace of Solomon or any other earthly purpose. We cannot infer from the expression "Solomon made" that the golden vessels were not made by Hiram the artist, as the brazen ones were (Thenius). Solomon is simply named as the builder of the temple, and the introduction of his name was primarily occasioned by 1 Kings 7:47. The "golden altar" is the altar of incense in the Holy Place, which is called golden because it was overlaid with gold-plate; for, according to 1 Kings 6:20, its sides were covered with cedar wood, after the analogy of the golden altar in the tabernacle (Exodus 30:1-5). "And the table, upon which the shew-bread, of gold." זהב belongs to השּׁלחן, to which it stands in free subjection (vid., Ewald, 287, h), signifying "the golden table." Instead of השּׁלחן we have השּׁלחנות in 2 Chronicles 4:19 (the tables), because there it has already been stated in 2 Chronicles 4:8 that ten tables were made, and put in the Holy Place. In our account that verse is omitted; and hence there is only a notice of the table upon which the loaves of shew-bread generally lay, just as in 2 Chronicles 29:18, in which the chronicler does not contradict himself, as Thenius fancies. The number ten, moreover, is required and proved to be correct in the case of the tables, by the occurrence of the same number in connection with the candlesticks. In no single passage of the Old Testament is it stated that there was only one table of shew-bread in the Holy Place of Solomon's temple.

(Note: Nothing can be learned from 2 Chronicles 29:18 concerning the number of the vessels in the Holy Place. If we were to conclude from this passage that there were no more vessels in the Holy Place than are mentioned there, we should also have to assume, if we would not fall into a most unscientific inconsistency, that there was neither a candlestick nor a golden altar of incense in the Holy Place. The correct meaning of this passage may be gathered from the words of King Abiam in 2 Chronicles 13:11 : "We lay the shew-bread upon the pure table, and light the golden candlestick every evening;" from which it is obvious that here and there only the table and the candlestick are mentioned, because usually only one table had shew-bread upon it, and only one candlestick was lighted.)

The tables were certainly made of wood, like the Mosaic table of shew-bread, probably of cedar wood, and only overlaid with gold (see at Exodus 25:23-30). "And the candlesticks, five on the right and five on the left, before the back-room." These were also made in imitation of the Mosaic candlestick (see Exodus 25:31.), and were probably placed not near to the party wall in a straight line to the right and left of the door leading into the Most Holy Place, but along the two longer sides of the Holy Place; and the same with the tables, except that they stood nearer to the side walls with the candlesticks in front of them, so that the whole space might be lighted more brilliantly. The altar of burnt-offering, on the contrary, stood in front of and very near to the entrance into the Most Holy Place (see at 1 Kings 6:20).

In the following clause (1 Kings 7:49, 1 Kings 7:50) the ornaments of the candlesticks are mentioned first, and then the rest of the smaller golden vessels are enumerated. הפּרח, the flower-work, with which the candlesticks were ornamented (see Exodus 25:33). The word is evidently used collectively here, so that the גּביעים mentioned along with them in the book of Exodus (l.c.) are included. הגּרת, the lamps, which were placed upon the shaft and arms of the candlestick (Exodus 25:37). המּלקחים, the snuffers (Exodus 25:38). ספּות, basins in Exodus 12:22, here probably deep dishes (Schalen). מזמּרות, knives. מזרקות, bowls (Schalen) or cans with spouts for the wine for the libations; according to 2 Chronicles 4:8, there were a hundred of these made. כּפּות, small flat vessels, probably for carrying the incense to the altar. מחתּות, extinguishers; see at Exodus 25:38.

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