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2 Chronicles 4-6The Message (MSG)

Temple Furnishings

He made the Bronze Altar thirty feet long, thirty feet wide, and ten feet high.

2-5 He made a Sea—an immense round basin of cast metal fifteen feet in diameter, seven and a half feet high, and forty-five feet in circumference. Just under the rim, there were two parallel bands of something like bulls, ten to each foot and a half. The figures were cast in one piece with the Sea. The Sea was set on twelve bulls, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south, and three facing east. All the bulls faced outward and supported the Sea on their hindquarters. The Sea was three inches thick and flared at the rim like a cup, or a lily. It held about 18,000 gallons.

He made ten Washbasins, five set on the right and five on the left, for rinsing the things used for the Whole-Burnt-Offerings. The priests washed themselves in the Sea.

He made ten gold Lampstands, following the specified pattern, and placed five on the right and five on the left.

He made ten tables and set five on the right and five on the left. He also made a hundred gold bowls.

He built a Courtyard especially for the priests and then the great court and doors for the court. The doors were covered with bronze.

10 He placed the Sea on the right side of The Temple at the southeast corner.

11-16 He also made ash buckets, shovels, and bowls.

And that about wrapped it up: Huram completed the work he had contracted to do for King Solomon:

two pillars;
two bowl-shaped capitals for the tops of the pillars;
two decorative filigrees for the capitals;
four hundred pomegranates for the filigrees (a double row of pomegranates for each filigree);
ten washstands with their basins;
one Sea and the twelve bulls under it;
miscellaneous buckets, forks, shovels, and bowls.

16-18 All these artifacts that Huram-Abi made for King Solomon for The Temple of God were made of burnished bronze. The king had them cast in clay in a foundry on the Jordan plain between Succoth and Zarethan. These artifacts were never weighed—there were far too many! Nobody has any idea how much bronze was used.

19-22 Solomon was also responsible for the furniture and accessories in The Temple of God:

the gold Altar;
the tables that held the Bread of the Presence;
the Lampstands of pure gold with their lamps, to be lighted
    before the Inner Sanctuary, the Holy of Holies;
the gold flowers, lamps, and tongs (all solid gold);
the gold wick trimmers, bowls, ladles, and censers;
    the gold doors of The Temple, doors to the Holy of Holies, and the doors to the main sanctuary.

That completed the work King Solomon did on The Temple of God. He then brought in the holy offerings of his father David, the silver and the gold and the artifacts. He placed them all in the treasury of God’s Temple.

Installing the Chest

2-3 Bringing all this to a climax, Solomon got all the leaders together in Jerusalem—all the chiefs of tribes and the family patriarchs—to move the Chest of the Covenant of God from Zion and install it in The Temple. All the men of Israel assembled before the king on the feast day of the seventh month, the Feast of Booths.

4-6 When all the leaders of Israel were ready, the Levites took up the Chest. They carried the Chest, the Tent of Meeting, and all the sacred things in the Tent used in worship. The priests, all Levites, carried them. King Solomon and the entire congregation of Israel were there before the Chest, worshiping and sacrificing huge numbers of sheep and cattle—so many that no one could keep track.

7-10 The priests brought the Chest of the Covenant of God to its place in the Inner Sanctuary, the Holy of Holies, under the wings of the cherubim. The outspread wings of the cherubim formed a canopy over the Chest and its poles. The ends of the poles were so long that they stuck out from the entrance of the Inner Sanctuary, but were not noticeable further out—they’re still there today. There was nothing in the Chest itself but the two stone tablets that Moses had placed in it at Horeb where God made a covenant with Israel after bringing them up from Egypt.

11-13 The priests then left the Holy Place. All the priests there were consecrated, regardless of rank or assignment; and all the Levites who were musicians were there—Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, and their families, dressed in their worship robes; the choir and orchestra assembled on the east side of the Altar and were joined by 120 priests blowing trumpets. The choir and trumpets made one voice of praise and thanks to God—orchestra and choir in perfect harmony singing and playing praise to God:

Yes! God is good!
His loyal love goes on forever!

13-14 Then a billowing cloud filled The Temple of God. The priests couldn’t even carry out their duties because of the cloud—the glory of God!—that filled The Temple of God.

Solomon’s Dedication and Prayer

1-2 Then Solomon said,

God said he would dwell in a cloud,
But I’ve built a temple most splendid,
A place for you to live in forever.

The king then turned to face the congregation that had come together and blessed them:

4-6 “Blessed be God, the God of Israel, who spoke personally to my father David. Now he has done what he promised when he said, ‘From the day I brought my people Israel up from Egypt, I haven’t set apart one city among the tribes of Israel in which to build a temple to honor my Name, or chosen one person to be the leader. But now I have chosen both a city and a person: Jerusalem for honoring my Name and David to lead my people Israel.’

7-9 “My father David very much wanted to build a temple honoring the Name of God, the God of Israel, but God told him, ‘It was good that you wanted to build a temple in my honor—most commendable! But you are not the one to do it. Your son, who will carry on your dynasty, will build it for my Name.’

10-11 “And now you see the promise completed. God has done what he said he would do; I have succeeded David my father and now rule Israel; and I have built a temple to honor God, the God of Israel, and have secured a place for the Chest that holds the Covenant of God, the covenant he made with the people of Israel.”

12-16 Before the entire congregation of Israel, Solomon took his position at the Altar of God and stretched out his hands. Solomon had made a bronze dais seven and a half feet square and four and a half feet high and placed it inside the court; that’s where he now stood. Then he knelt in full view of the whole congregation, stretched his hands to heaven, and prayed:

God, O God of Israel, there is no God like you in the skies above or on the earth below, who unswervingly keeps covenant with his servants and unfailingly loves them while they sincerely live in obedience to your way. You kept your word to David my father, your promise. You did exactly what you promised—every detail. The proof is before us today!

Keep it up, God, O God of Israel! Continue to keep the promises you made to David my father when you said, “You’ll always have a descendant to represent my rule on Israel’s throne, on the one condition that your sons are as careful to live obediently in my presence as you have.”

17 O God, God of Israel, let this all happen—
    confirm and establish it!

18-21 Can it be that God will actually move into our neighborhood? Why, the cosmos itself isn’t large enough to give you breathing room, let alone this Temple I’ve built. Even so, I’m bold to ask: Pay attention to these my prayers, both intercessory and personal, O God, my God. Listen to my prayers, energetic and devout, that I’m setting before you right now. Keep your eyes open to this Temple day and night, this place you promised to dignify with your Name. And listen to the prayers that I pray in this place. And listen to your people Israel when they pray at this place.

Listen from your home in heaven
    and when you hear, forgive.

22 When someone hurts a neighbor and promises to make things right, and then comes and repeats the promise before your Altar in this Temple,

23 Listen from heaven and act;
    judge your servants, making the offender pay for the offense
And set the offended free,
    dismissing all charges.

24-25 When your people Israel are beaten by an enemy because they’ve sinned against you, but then turn to you and acknowledge your rule in prayers desperate and devout in this Temple,

Listen from your home in heaven;
    forgive the sin of your people Israel,
    return them to the land you gave to them and their ancestors.

26-27 When the skies shrivel up and there is no rain because your people have sinned against you, but then they pray at this place, acknowledging your rule and quit their sins because you have scourged them,

Listen from your home in heaven,
forgive the sins of your servants, your people Israel.
Then start over with them;
train them to live right and well;
Send rain on the land
you gave as inheritance to your people.

28-31 When disasters strike, famine or catastrophe, crop failure or disease, locust or beetle, or when an enemy attacks their defenses—calamity of any sort—any prayer that’s prayed from anyone at all among your people Israel, their hearts penetrated by disaster, hands and arms thrown out for help to this Temple,

Listen from your home in heaven, forgive and reward us:
reward each life and circumstance,
For you know each life from the inside,
(you’re the only one with such inside knowledge!),
So they’ll live before you in lifelong reverence and believing
obedience on this land you gave our ancestors.

32 And don’t forget the foreigner who is not a member of your people Israel but has come from a far country because of your reputation—people are going to be attracted here by your great reputation, your wonderworking power—and who come to pray to this Temple.

33 Listen from your home in heaven
and honor the prayers of the foreigner,
So that people all over the world
will know who you are and what you’re like,
And live in reverent obedience before you,
just as your own people Israel do,
So they’ll know that you personally
make this Temple that I’ve built what it is.

34-35 When your people go to war against their enemies at the time and place you send them and they pray to God toward the city you chose and The Temple I’ve built to honor your Name,

Listen from heaven to what they pray and ask for
and do what is right for them.

36-39 When they sin against you—and they certainly will; there’s no one without sin!—and in anger you turn them over to the enemy and they are taken captive to the enemy’s land, whether far or near, but repent in the country of their captivity and pray with changed hearts in their exile, “We’ve sinned; we’ve done wrong; we’ve been most wicked,” and turn back to you heart and soul in the land of the enemy who conquered them, and pray to you toward their homeland, the land you gave their ancestors, toward the city you chose, and this Temple I have built to the honor of your Name,

Listen from your home in heaven
to their prayers desperate and devout;
Do what is best for them.
Forgive your people who have sinned against you.

40 And now, dear God, be alert and attentive to prayer, all prayer, offered in this place.

41-42 Up, God, enjoy your new place of quiet repose,
you and your mighty covenant Chest;
Dress your priests up in salvation clothes,
let your holy people celebrate goodness.
And don’t, God, back out on your anointed ones,
keep in mind the love promised to David your servant.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

John 10:24-42The Message (MSG)

22-24 They were celebrating Hanukkah just then in Jerusalem. It was winter. Jesus was strolling in the Temple across Solomon’s Porch. The Jews, circling him, said, “How long are you going to keep us guessing? If you’re the Messiah, tell us straight out.”

25-30 Jesus answered, “I told you, but you don’t believe. Everything I have done has been authorized by my Father, actions that speak louder than words. You don’t believe because you’re not my sheep. My sheep recognize my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them real and eternal life. They are protected from the Destroyer for good. No one can steal them from out of my hand. The Father who put them under my care is so much greater than the Destroyer and Thief. No one could ever get them away from him. I and the Father are one heart and mind.”

31-32 Again the Jews picked up rocks to throw at him. Jesus said, “I have made a present to you from the Father of a great many good actions. For which of these acts do you stone me?”

33 The Jews said, “We’re not stoning you for anything good you did, but for what you said—this blasphemy of calling yourself God.”

34-38 Jesus said, “I’m only quoting your inspired Scriptures, where God said, ‘I tell you—you are gods.’ If God called your ancestors ‘gods’—and Scripture doesn’t lie—why do you yell, ‘Blasphemer! Blasphemer!’ at the unique One the Father consecrated and sent into the world, just because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? If I don’t do the things my Father does, well and good; don’t believe me. But if I am doing them, put aside for a moment what you hear me say about myself and just take the evidence of the actions that are right before your eyes. Then perhaps things will come together for you, and you’ll see that not only are we doing the same thing, we are the same—Father and Son. He is in me; I am in him.”

39-42 They tried yet again to arrest him, but he slipped through their fingers. He went back across the Jordan to the place where John first baptized, and stayed there. A lot of people followed him over. They were saying, “John did no miracles, but everything he said about this man has come true.” Many believed in him then and there.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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