Torah Study Notes 3-9-13

March 9, 2013
p. 637
This is the Shabbat that comes closest to the Hebrew month of Nissan. It begins with the notion that you are in control of your own time – this is the first act of freedom. The analogous Torah portion deals with the construction of the mishkan.
7:51 We are starting with the last verse of the previous section – that connects with the building of the tabernacle. This suggests that the location of the Temple is not the location of Zion – that the Temple is in a slightly different location – on a plateau just to the north.
8:2 Note that the priests are attending to the holy objects but that the sacrifice is being done by the King and the community. At the time this is being written however the priests had control of the process of sacrificing. This probably harks back to an earlier time. We have no idea what happened to the sacrificed animals – were they eaten? In Leviticus we learn that a division was made between what was burned for God and what was given to the people. CL: In other cultures the sacrifice was in fact consumed by the people.
8:6 A description of the Arc of the Covenant as situated in the Temple. SF: This is a dramatic and emotional moment for the devout. Note that the decision of the translators was to make verse 8 in parenthesis. “:…they are standing there to this day.” This seems to suggest that the space for the Ark would be smaller than it’s placement in the Tabernacle and Tent of Meeting.
8:10 God’s presence pushes the priests out of the Tabernacle. It is dark – which suggests that one must struggle to see God – even at a small holy location. The quote within a quote makes for some confusion as to who said what. The Temple is the palace of God but He must remain mysterious and unseen. Compare the movement of the Ark as described in 1 Samuel. The Ark was used by David as a way to draw priests from the north and south to Jerusalem. David was originally instructed to build the Temple but the implementation of this command was left to Solomon. Jerusalem means City of Peace.
8:14 A speech that also operates as a prayer. Note that this is all occurring during Succoth – a time of temporary structures – which here becomes permanent.
6:17 Solomon has a different explanation for David’s failure to build the Temple. Originally, it was because David had “blood on his hands.” Here Solomon confirms his right to dynastic succession by carrying out the assignment of his father, LL: This seems terribly self-aggrandizing. The Hebrew word “Melach” refers to “one who rules” without reference to dynastic succession. The fact that David “set his heart” on building the Temple is what gives him sufficient merit to build a dynasty.
6:20 Solomon declaims that the building of the Temple carries out the covenant made with “our ancestors.” This refers to the covenant made to the people as they left Egypt – that they would have their own land and community. We can conclude that the bricks and mortar may be gone but the people survive – as well as the land. SF: You build a Temple within your body and a Tabernacle within your heart.

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