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[Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, the leaders of the ancestral houses of the Israelites, before King Solomon in Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of Yahweh out of the city of David, which is Zion. Then the priests brought the ark of the covenant of Yahweh to its place, in the inner sanctuary of the house, in the most holy place, underneath the wings of the cherubim. And when the priests came out of the holy place, a cloud filled the house of Yahweh, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud; for the glory of Yahweh filled the house of Yahweh.]
Then Solomon stood before the altar of Yahweh in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands to heaven. He said, “Yahweh elohe Israel, there is no elohim like you in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and steadfast love for your servants who walk before you with all their heart, the covenant that you kept for your servant my father David as you declared to him; you promised with your mouth and have this day fulfilled with your hand. Therefore, Yahweh elohe Israel, keep for your servant my father David that which you promised him, saying, ‘There shall never fail you a successor before me to sit on the throne of Israel, if only your children look to their way, to walk before me as you have walked before me.’ Therefore, elohe Israel, let your word be confirmed, which you promised to your servant my father David.
“But will elohim indeed dwell on the earth? Even heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, much less this house that I have built! Regard your servant’s prayer and his plea, Yahweh elohay, heeding the cry and the prayer that your servant prays to you today; that your eyes may be open night and day toward this house, the place of which you said, ‘My name shall be there,’ that you may heed the prayer that your servant prays toward this place. Hear the plea of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place; O hear in heaven your dwelling place; heed and forgive.
“Likewise when a foreigner, who is not of your people Israel, comes from a distant land because of your name —for they shall hear of your great name, your mighty hand, and your outstretched arm—when a foreigner comes and prays toward this house, then hear in heaven your dwelling place, and do according to all that the foreigner calls to you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your people Israel, and so that they may know that your name has been invoked on this house that I have built.
This is the Track 1 optional Old Testament reading selection for the thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost [Proper 16], Year B, according to the lectionary for the Episcopal Church. If chosen, this reading will be partnered with a singing of Psalm 84, which sings, “Happy are they who dwell in your house! they will always be praising you.” Both will then precede a reading from Ephesians, where Paul wrote, “Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” All will accompany the Gospel selection from John, where Jesus said, “It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless.”
I wrote about this reading selection in 2018 and published it on my website then. By clicking on this link it can be read, now on this website. I stand behind my views then, as they are still relative today. I will point out that now, three years later, I correct the language of the English translation, so it shows the proper name “Yahweh,” which is used eight times [not “Lord”]. In addition, there are six variations of the word “elohim,” which do not translated to “God,” so I have restored them to the spellings as written. Because of those changes, I will address how that plays into my additional views today.
It is important to realize that Moses was instructed by Yahweh to build an ark for the covenant stones, as well as a tent [tabernacle] in which the ark would be placed, when Moses spent forty days on top of the mountain. In Exodus 40:34-38 is written:
“Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the
tabernacle. Moses could not enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on
it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. In all the travels of the Israelites,
whenever the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle, they would set out; but if the cloud
did not lift, they did not set out—until the day it lifted. So the cloud of the Lord was over
the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, in the sight of all the Israelites
during all their travels.”
In Exodus 40:12-15, after Moses had set up the tabernacle for use, is written:
[Moses said] “Bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance to the tent of meeting and wash
them with water. Then dress Aaron in the sacred garments, anoint him and consecrate
him so he may serve me as priest. Bring his sons and dress them in tunics. Anoint them
just as you anointed their father, so they may serve me as priests. Their anointing will
be to a priesthood that will continue throughout their generations.”
On the “sacred garment,” Exodus 39:2 states, “They made the ephod of gold, and of blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and of finely twisted linen.” In 2 Samuel 6, when David brought the Ark into the City of David, we read:
“Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before Yahweh with all his might, while he
and all Israel were bringing up the ark of Yahweh with shouts and the sound of
trumpets.” [2 Samuel 6:14-15]
“They brought the ark of Yahweh and set it in its place inside the tent that David had pitched for it, and David sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings before Yahweh. After he had finished sacrificing the burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, he blessed the people in the name of Yahweh of hosts.” [2 Samuel 6:17-18]
When David moved the Ark from the place it had been kept for fifty years [Kiriath-jearim], when they had moved it halfway the Ark seemed to slip on the cart it was moved on, which cause one of the house of Abinadab to touch it and die [Uzza]. That took place at Nachon’s threshing room (a winery), where the cart with Ark was left for about two months. The death made David give second thoughts about his moving it, seeing the death as a sign not to go further. That death probably played a role in David’s wild dancing before the Ark, as a display to Yahweh that his motives for moving the Ark were to marry Israel with the stronghold that had been Jebus.
This respect for the Ark is mildly stated in this chapter from First Kings. The fact that the Ark was taken from a tent designed to be mobile and placed into a building of stone, the symbolism that must be seen is not a marriage celebration, but a funeral.
In the dedication of the grand temple, where Solomon stood prominently and “blessed all the assembly of Israel,” he said, “Blessed be Yahweh elohe Israel, who with his hand has fulfilled what he promised with his mouth to my father David.” In the use of the combination of words that say, “Yahweh elohe Israel,” the truth of those words says, “Yahweh’s gods in human form where each is He Retaining God.” That is the divine understanding, but Solomon, in all his wisdom, would have told the English translators, “Write the Lord God of Israel,” because the possessive form says I, as King of Israel, possess God, so He does what I want. Solomon, therefore, spoke the truth without understanding it, because his soul was not married to Yahweh.
Subconsciously, that is stated above in Solomon stating, “he [Yahweh] promised with his mouth [Yahweh’s voice] to my father David.“ Solomon was not even a figment in David’s corrupted imagination when Yahweh appeared in a dream to Nathan and told Nathan to tell David, “I have moved about with all the sons of Israel,” meaning David [a true son of Israel – one who retained God] was a tabernacle unto Yahweh, so wherever David moved, so too did Yahweh. Therefore, Solomon only knew what Nathan told him about that divine dream; and with all Solomon’s wisdom he could not discern the meaning of what Nathan said to him.
Solomon referenced “my father David,” while calling Yahweh blessed by his words. Solomon was not so blessed; and, because Solomon was not one of the “sons of God,” he could not bless the people, as had his father David. Four times in the speech made by Solomon he said, “my father David,” which took all the responsibility for a fixed building, instead of a tabernacle, away from Solomon and made it seem as if he were doing the plan of his father David. When Solomon then went into his prayer of dedication, three times he said, “your servant my father David,” not once implying he was also a servant of Yahweh [as “your servant and mind”].
In verse twenty-eight, where the NRSV has Solomon say, “Regard your servant’s prayer and his plea, O Lord my God, heeding the cry and the prayer that your servant prays to you today,” the reality is “Yahweh elohay” was written, which makes “my God” [“elohay”] need to be more closely examined.
The meaning of “elohay” is it expresses the possessive case that changes “elohim” [the plural of “god,” as “gods”] into a word stating “my gods” [not “God”]. By seeing the egotism of Solomon, who thinks he is as wise as Yahweh, from having eaten of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil – as the serpent suggested, an equal to God – him saying “Yahweh of my gods” means Solomon saw Yahweh as his personal servant god, with him an equal god, thus the two made “Yahweh gods.” Thus, all times that Solomon followed by saying “your servant,” this suggests more that Solomon was the one served by Yahweh, because Solomon only served himself.
In verse twenty-nine, when Solomon said, “that your eyes may be open night and day toward this house, the place of which you said, ‘My name shall be there,’ that you may heed the prayer that your servant prays toward this place,” that too requests that Yahweh follow the orders of Solomon and stay put in this place he has built. In the command given by Yahweh to Nathan, to pass on to David, Yahweh said of David’s “seed” “will build a house for my name.” That means the seed of David would be a soul who would make Yahweh a tabernacle that moves within his body of flesh. That “seed” would be minimally the prophets to come afterwards, but certainly Jesus, all of whom would be houses built righteously unto Yahweh. Again, Solomon’s wisdom misunderstood the words of Nathan; and, with David’s death removing the Spirit of Yahweh from nearness to Nathan, it is likely that Nathan could no longer talk to Yahweh to confirm things said.
When Solomon asked the question, “But will elohim indeed dwell on the earth?” [the NRSV translates “God”], the only possible meaning that can come from such a question asks, “Will human souls be married to Yahweh and become His temples?” It would be a clear statement that Solomon did not believe Yahweh truly existed, or the Ark was a tool available for his use. Solomon answered his question by saying [NRSV], “Even heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you, much less this house that I have built!” This relates back to the dream Solomon had, when he spoke to both Yahweh and Satan. In the end, Solomon realized “it was a dream,” meaning his newfound wisdom said dreams are not real. As such, Solomon saw himself as a god on earth, as the reality of power, influence, and wisdom; so, there would be no problem burying Yahweh and His Ark in a mausoleum named after the god Solomon.
To add insult to injury [done by Solomon to his soul and the future of the Israelite people], Solomon prayed that Yahweh would bow down, roll over, and do tricks for foreigners coming to town. This, of course, was when the kingdom created by David was firmly set, with no major threats to its place from outsiders. That would change greatly after Solomon would welcome foreign influences within his Israel. He had married an Egyptian woman as a way to form an alliance with Egypt, which would help keep the Philistines appeased. In this prayer for foreigners, Solomon was taking a major step towards making Israel a nation like other nations [the lands of kings and royalty], no longer being a nation of people whose God was Yahweh.
As a reading selection for the thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost, when one’s own personal ministry to Yahweh should already be well underway, the lesson of the dedication to the Temple of Solomon is to beware all institutions that have the pretense of being a religion unto Yahweh [when they dare say His name, preferring to call Him “Lord”]. Solomon was the first to place Yahweh in a tomb, but all models of churches ever since are dedications and prayers to the entombed “Lord,” so that humans can assume all the powers of a god, in the name of the true God. It is a Satanic road to travel. So, beware how you walk this road.