The reading plan split Kings’ & Chronicles’ description of Solomon’s moving the arc of the covenant to the Temple and blessing the Temple into two days. So, I waited until today to blog about them.
Solomon really is the greatest King of Israel. He unifies the territory from Gaza to the Euphrates. He unifies power by defeating the various people who had believed themselves to be heir to the throne. And in this passage, he seems to finally bring the mystical power of the ancient religion under civil authority.
Recall that the prophets opposed the creation of a king, and at first God opposes the building of a temple. Even after David had built a palace. Nonetheless, by the end, God acquiesces and comes into the Temple, as indicated by a dark cloud so thick that the priests cannot complete their rituals. And Solomon, the king, no any prophet or priest dedicates the Temple.
It really is a magnificent story of unification. Of course, like Camelot, it will be a relatively brief moment.