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Bible Highlights: 1 Kings 7-8 | Week Starting July 6

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Research for Highlights of : 1 Kings 7-8


(1 KINGS 7:2)

“And he built the House of the Forest of Lebʹa•non 100 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high on four rows of cedar pillars; and there were cedar beams on the pillars.”

*** it-1 p. 424 Cedar ***
“The House of the Forest of Lebanon,” constructed later, was probably so named because of its 45 pillars of cedarwood. (1Ki 7:2, 3)

*** it-1 p. 1156 House of the Forest of Lebanon ***
A problem arises in regard to the number of rows of pillars, as mentioned in the foregoing. For the Hebrew text says that there were four rows and later speaks of 45 pillars, then says: “There were fifteen to a row.” (1Ki 7:2, 3) Some have thought that the text here applies to the chambers in three tiers, 15 chambers to a row, and that there may have been a greater number of pillars placed in the four rows. Others prefer the Septuagint reading of “three” rows of pillars. A number of translations alter the reading of the text so that the “forty-five” refers to the beams rather than to the upright pillars, or columns.—See NE, NAB, AT, AS.

*** it-1 p. 1156 House of the Forest of Lebanon ***
The House of the Forest of Lebanon was 100 cubits (44 m; 146 ft) long, 50 cubits (22 m; 73 ft) wide, and 30 cubits (13 m; 44 ft) high. It appears to have had stone walls (1Ki 7:9), with cedar beams the ends of which were laid into the walls and were additionally supported by four rows of pillars (“four” in the Hebrew text; “three” in the Greek Septuagint). Above the pillars, there were evidently cedar-paneled chambers. Some suggested reconstructions of this house have three tiers of chambers above the pillars and these face an unroofed court in the middle of the building.

(1 KINGS 7:3)

“It was paneled above with cedar on the girders that rested on the pillars; they numbered 45, with 15 to a row.”

*** it-1 p. 1156 House of the Forest of Lebanon ***
The House of the Forest of Lebanon was 100 cubits (44 m; 146 ft) long, 50 cubits (22 m; 73 ft) wide, and 30 cubits (13 m; 44 ft) high. It appears to have had stone walls (1Ki 7:9), with cedar beams the ends of which were laid into the walls and were additionally supported by four rows of pillars (“four” in the Hebrew text; “three” in the Greek Septuagint). Above the pillars, there were evidently cedar-paneled chambers. Some suggested reconstructions of this house have three tiers of chambers above the pillars and these face an unroofed court in the middle of the building.

*** it-1 p. 1156 House of the Forest of Lebanon ***
A problem arises in regard to the number of rows of pillars, as mentioned in the foregoing. For the Hebrew text says that there were four rows and later speaks of 45 pillars, then says: “There were fifteen to a row.” (1Ki 7:2, 3) Some have thought that the text here applies to the chambers in three tiers, 15 chambers to a row, and that there may have been a greater number of pillars placed in the four rows. Others prefer the Septuagint reading of “three” rows of pillars. A number of translations alter the reading of the text so that the “forty-five” refers to the beams rather than to the upright pillars, or columns.—See NE, NAB, AT, AS.

(1 KINGS 7:4)

“There were three rows of framed windows, and each window was opposite another window in three tiers.”

*** it-1 p. 1156 House of the Forest of Lebanon ***
The chambers were said to have “an illumination opening opposite an illumination opening in three tiers.” This seems to have meant that, looking out over the court, there were openings or large windows that faced corresponding windows in the chambers on the opposite side of the court. Or, it possibly meant that there was a window in each chamber facing the court and one facing the outside. The entrances (likely the doorways leading to the chambers and perhaps between them) “were squared with the frame.” They were therefore not arch-shaped or vaulted. The windows were of like shape.—1Ki 7:2-5.

(1 KINGS 7:5)

“All the entrances and the doorposts had square frames, as did the front of the windows that were opposite each other in three tiers.”

*** it-1 p. 1156 House of the Forest of Lebanon ***
The chambers were said to have “an illumination opening opposite an illumination opening in three tiers.” This seems to have meant that, looking out over the court, there were openings or large windows that faced corresponding windows in the chambers on the opposite side of the court. Or, it possibly meant that there was a window in each chamber facing the court and one facing the outside. The entrances (likely the doorways leading to the chambers and perhaps between them) “were squared with the frame.” They were therefore not arch-shaped or vaulted. The windows were of like shape.—1Ki 7:2-5.

(1 KINGS 7:6)

“And he built the Hall of Pillars 50 cubits long and 30 cubits wide, and there was a porch in front of it with pillars and a canopy.”

*** it-2 p. 654 Porch ***
Porch of Pillars. One of the official buildings Solomon constructed in the temple area sometime after he completed the temple was the Porch of Pillars. (1Ki 7:1, 6) Since mention of the Porch of Pillars is made between comments about the House of the Forest of Lebanon and comments about the Porch of the Throne, it is quite possible that the Porch of Pillars was S of the temple and between these other two official buildings. Thus, one coming from the S might pass through or around the House of the Forest of Lebanon and then enter the Porch of Pillars, walking through it into the Porch of the Throne.
The building was 50 cubits (22.3 m; 72.9 ft) long and 30 cubits (13.4 m; 43.7 ft) wide. Its very name suggests that it was made up of rows of impressive pillars. First Kings 7:6 mentions another porch in front with pillars and a canopy. Perhaps this means that one first came to a porch having an extending canopy supported by pillars. Then this porch merged right into the Porch of Pillars proper. If the dimensions given apply just to the Porch of Pillars, then the size of the canopied portion is not given.
This building may have served as a grand entranceway to the Porch of the Throne and as a place where the king conducted the ordinary business of the kingdom and received some visitors.

(1 KINGS 7:7)

“He also built the Hall of the Throne, where he would judge—the Hall of Judgment—and they paneled it with cedar from the floor to the rafters.”

*** it-2 p. 654 Porch ***
Porch of the Throne. Another building that Solomon constructed after the temple was completed was the Porch of the Throne. (1Ki 7:1, 7) “The porch of judgment” referred to in the text seems to be synonymous with “the Porch of the Throne.” So “the Porch of the Throne” evidently was where Solomon placed his ornate ivory and gold throne and did judging.—1Ki 10:18-20.
The entire description of this building is: “He made the porch of judgment; and they covered it in with cedarwood from the floor to the rafters.” (1Ki 7:7) The Masoretic text actually says, “from floor to floor,” leading some to believe that there was cedar from the floor of this building to the floor of the Porch of Pillars mentioned in the preceding verse. However, the Syriac Peshitta reads “from floor to ceiling,” and the Latin Vulgate says “from floor to top.” So, certain translators believe that the cedar was some sort of splendid paneling from the floor of the Porch to its rafters or ceiling. (NW, RS, JB, Ro) Though other architectural details are lacking, this would suggest a building not having open pillars on a side or sides, as may have been the case with the House of the Forest of Lebanon and the Porch of Pillars.
Since the Porch of the Throne is listed right after the Porch of Pillars, it is possible that this latter building served as a grand entrance to the Porch of the Throne. A person coming from the S may have had to walk through the Porch of Pillars to enter the porch of judgment.

(1 KINGS 7:9)

“All of these were made of expensive stones hewn according to measure, trimmed with stonesaws inside and out, from the foundation up to the coping, and outside as far as the great courtyard.”

*** it-1 p. 1156 House of the Forest of Lebanon ***
The House of the Forest of Lebanon was 100 cubits (44 m; 146 ft) long, 50 cubits (22 m; 73 ft) wide, and 30 cubits (13 m; 44 ft) high. It appears to have had stone walls (1Ki 7:9), with cedar beams the ends of which were laid into the walls and were additionally supported by four rows of pillars (“four” in the Hebrew text; “three” in the Greek Septuagint).

(1 KINGS 7:13)

“King Solʹo•mon sent for Hiʹram and brought him from Tyre.”

*** it-1 pp. 1121-1122 Hiram ***
2. The skilled artisan who made many of the furnishings of Solomon’s temple. His father was a Tyrian, but his mother was a widow “from the tribe of Naphtali” (1Ki 7:13, 14) “of the sons of Dan.” (2Ch 2:13, 14) This apparent difference resolves itself if we take the view, as some scholars do, that she was born of the tribe of Dan, had been widowed by a first husband of the tribe of Naphtali, and then was remarried to a Tyrian.
Hiram, the king of Tyre (No. 1), sent this Hiram to supervise the special construction for Solomon because of his ability and experience in working with materials such as gold, silver, copper, iron, stone, and wood. Hiram was also unusually skilled in dyeing, engraving, and designing all sorts of devices. No doubt from childhood on he received some of his technical training in the industrial arts of the times from his Tyrian father, who himself was an accomplished craftsman in copper.—1Ki 7:13-45; 2Ch 2:13, 14; 4:11-16.

(1 KINGS 7:14)

“He was the son of a widow from the tribe of Naphʹta•li, and his father was a Tyrʹi•an coppersmith; and he had great skill, understanding, and experience for all kinds of work in copper. So he came to King Solʹo•mon and did all his work.”

*** w05 12/1 p. 19 par. 1 Highlights From the Book of Second Chronicles ***
2:14—Why is the lineage of the craftsman described here different from the one found at 1 Kings 7:14? First Kings refers to the craftsman’s mother as “a widowed woman from the tribe of Naphtali” because she had married a man of that tribe. She herself, though, was from the tribe of Dan. After her husband’s death, she married a man of Tyre, and the artisan was an offspring of that marriage.

*** it-1 pp. 1121-1122 Hiram ***
2. The skilled artisan who made many of the furnishings of Solomon’s temple. His father was a Tyrian, but his mother was a widow “from the tribe of Naphtali” (1Ki 7:13, 14) “of the sons of Dan.” (2Ch 2:13, 14) This apparent difference resolves itself if we take the view, as some scholars do, that she was born of the tribe of Dan, had been widowed by a first husband of the tribe of Naphtali, and then was remarried to a Tyrian.
Hiram, the king of Tyre (No. 1), sent this Hiram to supervise the special construction for Solomon because of his ability and experience in working with materials such as gold, silver, copper, iron, stone, and wood. Hiram was also unusually skilled in dyeing, engraving, and designing all sorts of devices. No doubt from childhood on he received some of his technical training in the industrial arts of the times from his Tyrian father, who himself was an accomplished craftsman in copper.—1Ki 7:13-45; 2Ch 2:13, 14; 4:11-16.

(1 KINGS 7:15)

“He cast the two pillars of copper; each pillar was 18 cubits high, and it took a measuring cord 12 cubits long to encircle each of the two pillars.”

*** it-1 p. 412 Capital ***
CAPITAL
The uppermost section and crowning decoration of a building’s column. Massive capitals topped Jachin and Boaz, the pillars that stood in front of Solomon’s temple. (2Ch 3:15-17) These capitals and the pillars upon which they rested were made under the direction of the craftsman Hiram at the time of the temple’s construction (1034-1027 B.C.E.) and survived over 400 years until Jerusalem was sacked by the Babylonians in 607 B.C.E. (2Ch 4:11-13; Jer 52:17, 22) In every reference to these capitals, except for one, the Hebrew word ko•theʹreth is used. It comes from the root ka•tharʹ (‘surround’; Jg 20:43) and is related to keʹther (“headdress”; Es 1:11). The Hebrew word for “capital” occurring in 2 Chronicles 3:15 (tseʹpheth) comes from the root verb tsa•phahʹ, meaning “overlay.”—Ex 25:11.
The pillars themselves were of cast copper, about 1.7 m (5.6 ft) in diameter and 18 cubits (8 m; 26 ft) high. In addition, the capitals were 5 cubits (2.2 m; 7.3 ft) high. (1Ki 7:15, 16) In view of the passages indicating that the capitals were five cubits high, a number of scholars have concluded that the reference to “three cubits” in 2 Kings 25:17 is a scribal error. That is why some Bible translations (for example, JB, NAB) have replaced “three cubits” with “five cubits.” Since the pillars were hollow, with walls about 7.5 cm (3 in.) thick, it is reasonable to suppose that the capitals were of similar construction and were also cast in clay molds “in the District of the Jordan.”—2Ch 4:17; Jer 52:21.

(1 KINGS 7:16)

“And he made two capitals cast in copper to put on the tops of the pillars. One capital was five cubits high, and the other capital was five cubits high.”

*** it-1 p. 412 Capital ***
CAPITAL
The uppermost section and crowning decoration of a building’s column. Massive capitals topped Jachin and Boaz, the pillars that stood in front of Solomon’s temple. (2Ch 3:15-17) These capitals and the pillars upon which they rested were made under the direction of the craftsman Hiram at the time of the temple’s construction (1034-1027 B.C.E.) and survived over 400 years until Jerusalem was sacked by the Babylonians in 607 B.C.E. (2Ch 4:11-13; Jer 52:17, 22) In every reference to these capitals, except for one, the Hebrew word ko•theʹreth is used. It comes from the root ka•tharʹ (‘surround’; Jg 20:43) and is related to keʹther (“headdress”; Es 1:11). The Hebrew word for “capital” occurring in 2 Chronicles 3:15 (tseʹpheth) comes from the root verb tsa•phahʹ, meaning “overlay.”—Ex 25:11.
The pillars themselves were of cast copper, about 1.7 m (5.6 ft) in diameter and 18 cubits (8 m; 26 ft) high. In addition, the capitals were 5 cubits (2.2 m; 7.3 ft) high. (1Ki 7:15, 16) In view of the passages indicating that the capitals were five cubits high, a number of scholars have concluded that the reference to “three cubits” in 2 Kings 25:17 is a scribal error. That is why some Bible translations (for example, JB, NAB) have replaced “three cubits” with “five cubits.” Since the pillars were hollow, with walls about 7.5 cm (3 in.) thick, it is reasonable to suppose that the capitals were of similar construction and were also cast in clay molds “in the District of the Jordan.”—2Ch 4:17; Jer 52:21.

(1 KINGS 7:20)

“The capitals were on the two pillars, just above the rounded portion adjoining the network; and there were 200 pomegranates in rows all around on each capital.”

*** it-1 p. 282 Belly ***
The Hebrew beʹten (belly) is also used as an architectural term at 1 Kings 7:20, referring to a protuberance, a rounded projection.

(1 KINGS 7:21)

“He set up the pillars of the porch of the temple. He set up the right-hand pillar and named it Jaʹchin, and then he set up the left-hand pillar and named it Boʹaz.”

*** it-1 p. 348 Boaz, II ***
BOAZ, II
(Boʹaz) [possibly, In Strength].
The northernmost of the two huge copper pillars erected before the porch of Solomon’s glorious temple was named Boaz, possibly meaning “In Strength.” The southern pillar was called Jachin, meaning “May [Jehovah] Firmly Establish.” So, putting the two together and reading from right to left as one faced the E would convey the thought ‘May [Jehovah] firmly establish [the temple] in strength.’—1Ki 7:15-21; see CAPITAL.

(1 KINGS 7:23)

“Then he made the Sea of cast metal. It was circular in shape, 10 cubits from brim to brim and 5 cubits high, and it took a measuring line 30 cubits long to encircle it.”

*** it-2 p. 425 Molten Sea (Copper Sea) ***
MOLTEN SEA (COPPER SEA)
When the temple was constructed during Solomon’s reign, a “molten [that is, cast or poured] sea” replaced the portable basin of copper used with the earlier tabernacle. (Ex 30:17-21; 1Ki 7:23, 40, 44) Built by Hiram, a Hebrew-Phoenician, it was evidently called a “sea” because of the large quantity of water it could contain. This vessel, also of copper, was “ten cubits [4.5 m; 14.6 ft] from its one brim to its other brim, circular all around; and its height was five cubits [c. 2.2 m; 7.3 ft], and it took a line of thirty cubits [13.4 m; 44 ft] to circle all around it.”—1Ki 7:23.
Circumference. The circumference of 30 cubits is evidently a round figure, for more precisely it would be 31.4 cubits. In this regard, Christopher Wordsworth quotes a certain Rennie as making this interesting observation: “Up to the time of Archimedes [third century B.C.E.], the circumference of a circle was always measured in straight lines by the radius; and Hiram would naturally describe the sea as thirty cubits round, measuring it, as was then invariably the practice, by its radius, or semi-diameter, of five cubits, which being applied six times round the perimeter, or ‘brim,’ would give the thirty cubits stated. There was evidently no intention in the passage but to give the dimensions of the Sea, in the usual language that every one would understand, measuring the circumference in the way in which all skilled workers, like Hiram, did measure circles at that time. He, of course, must however have known perfectly well, that as the polygonal hexagon thus inscribed by the radius was thirty cubits, the actual curved circumference would be somewhat more.” (Notes on the King James Version, London, 1887) Thus, it appears that the ratio of three to one (that is, the circumference being three times the diameter) was a customary way of stating matters, intended to be understood as only approximate.

(1 KINGS 7:24)

“And there were ornamental gourds below its brim, completely encircling it, ten to a cubit all around the Sea, with two rows of the gourds cast in one piece with it.”

*** it-1 p. 991 Gourd ***
The gourd-shaped ornaments (Heb., peqa•ʽimʹ) adorning the molten sea and the cedarwood paneling inside Solomon’s temple may have been round like the fruit of the colocynth.—1Ki 6:18; 7:24; 2Ch 4:3.

(1 KINGS 7:26)

“And its thickness was a handbreadth; and its brim was made like the brim of a cup, like a lily blossom. It would hold 2,000 bath measures.”

*** w08 2/1 p. 15 Did You Know? ***
What was the size of the molten sea at Solomon’s temple?
The account at 1 Kings 7:26 refers to the sea as containing “two thousand bath measures” of water used by the priests, whereas the parallel account at 2 Chronicles 4:5 speaks of it as containing “three thousand bath measures.” This has led to the claim that the difference is the result of a scribal error in the Chronicles account.
However, the New World Translation helps us understand how these two texts can be harmonized. First Kings 7:26 reads: “Two thousand bath measures were what it would contain.” Notice that 2 Chronicles 4:5 says: “As a receptacle, three thousand bath measures were what it could contain.” So 2 Chronicles 4:5 refers to the maximum capacity of the temple basin, what it could contain, whereas 1 Kings 7:26 states the quantity of water that was usually put into the temple basin. In other words, it was never filled to maximum capacity. It appears that it was customarily filled to only two thirds of its capacity.

*** w05 12/1 p. 19 par. 4 Highlights From the Book of Second Chronicles ***
4:5—What was the total capacity of the molten sea? When filled, the sea could hold three thousand bath measures, or about 17,400 gallons [66,000 L]. The normal level, however, was probably about two thirds of its capacity. First Kings 7:26 states: “Two thousand bath measures [11,600 gallons [44,000 L]] were what [the sea] would contain.”

*** it-2 pp. 425-426 Molten Sea (Copper Sea) ***
The brim of the sea resembled a lily blossom. The thickness of this large vessel was “a handbreadth [7.4 cm; 2.9 in.].” (1Ki 7:24-26) This huge quantity of copper came from the supplies King David had obtained in his conquests in Syria. (1Ch 18:6-8) The casting was done in a clay mold in the region of the Jordan and was indeed a remarkable feat.—1Ki 7:44-46.
Capacity. The account at 1 Kings 7:26 refers to the sea as ‘containing two thousand bath measures,’ whereas the parallel account at 2 Chronicles 4:5 speaks of it as ‘containing three thousand bath measures.’ Some claim that the difference is the result of a scribal error in the Chronicles account. However, while the Hebrew verb meaning “contain” in each case is the same, there is a measure of latitude allowable in translating it. Thus some translations render 1 Kings 7:26 to read that the vessel “held” or “would contain” 2,000 bath measures, and translate 2 Chronicles 4:5 to read that it “had a capacity of” or “could hold” or “could contain” 3,000 bath measures. (AT, JB, NW) This allows for the understanding that the Kings account sets forth the amount of water customarily stored in the receptacle while the Chronicles account gives the actual capacity of the vessel if filled to the brim.
There is evidence that the bath measure anciently equaled about 22 L (5.8 gal), so that, if kept at two thirds capacity, the sea would normally hold about 44,000 L (11,620 gal) of water. For it to have had the capacity indicated, it must not have had straight sides, but instead, the sides below the rim, or lip, must have been curved, giving the vessel a bulbous shape. A vessel having such a shape and having the dimensions stated earlier could contain up to 66,000 L (17,430 gal). Josephus, Jewish historian of the first century C.E., describes the sea as “in the shape of a hemisphere.” He also indicates that the sea’s location was between the altar of burnt offering and the temple building, somewhat toward the south.—Jewish Antiquities, VIII, 79 (iii, 5); VIII, 86 (iii, 6).

(1 KINGS 7:38)

“He made ten copper basins; each could hold 40 bath measures. Each basin measured four cubits. There was one basin for each of the ten carriages.”

*** it-1 p. 261 Basin ***
Each of the ten copper basins (lavers, AT; RS) Hiram made for temple use could hold “forty bath measures,” or about 880 L (230 gal) of water. If these basins were hemispherical in shape this would mean that they had a diameter of perhaps 1.8 m (6 ft). Of course, if they bulged and tapered somewhat toward the top, the measurements would be different, and it must be observed that the Bible does not provide detailed information on their form, though it says that “each basin was four cubits.” Each basin was placed on a four-wheeled carriage skillfully made with ornamental work and engravings, five being placed on the right and five on the left side of the house.—1Ki 7:27-39.

(1 KINGS 7:46)

“The king cast them in clay molds in the district of the Jordan, between Sucʹcoth and Zarʹe•than.”

*** si p. 65 par. 4 Bible Book Number 11—1 Kings ***
Archaeology too supports many of the statements in the book. For example, at 1 Kings 7:45, 46 we read that it was “in the District of the Jordan . . . between Succoth and Zarethan” that Hiram cast the copper utensils for Solomon’s temple. Archaeologists digging on the site of ancient Succoth have unearthed evidence of smelting activities there.

*** it-2 pp. 1219-1220 Zarethan ***
The first reference to it is at Joshua 3:16, where the account is given of the miraculous damming up of the waters of the Jordan “at Adam, the city at the side of Zarethan.” Later the record states that at the time of the casting of copper items for the temple, such casting was done in the District of the Jordan, “in the clay mold, between Succoth and Zarethan.” (1Ki 7:46) The clay available in the Jordan Valley contributed toward the feasibility of such copper-casting operations in this area.
Since the site of Adam is generally placed at Tell ed-Damiyeh (on the E side of the Jordan opposite the entrance to the Wadi Farʽah) and since Succoth is considered to be located about 13 km (8 mi) NNE of Adam, these texts would indicate that Zarethan lay on the W side of the Jordan not far from Adam and Succoth.

*** it-2 p. 1220 Zarethan ***
In the account at 2 Chronicles 4:17, which parallels that of 1 Kings 7:46, “Zeredah” appears in place of Zarethan, perhaps representing a variant spelling of the name.

(1 KINGS 7:50)

“the basins, the extinguishers, the bowls, the cups, and the fire holders, of pure gold; and the sockets for the doors of the inner house, that is, the Most Holy, and for the doors of the house of the temple, of gold.”

*** it-1 p. 788 Extinguishers ***
EXTINGUISHERS
Mezam•meʹreth, the Hebrew word variously translated “snuffers” (AS), “knives” (JB), and “extinguishers” (NW), is derived from a root (za•marʹ) meaning “trim; prune.” Hence some believe that scissorlike utensils designed for trimming the lampwicks are meant. However, all that is definitely known about these utensils is that they were made of gold or copper and were used in connection with the services at the temple.—1Ki 7:50; 2Ki 12:13; 25:14; 2Ch 4:22; Jer 52:18.

(1 KINGS 8:1)

“At that time Solʹo•mon congregated the elders of Israel, all the heads of the tribes, the chieftains of the paternal houses of Israel. They came to King Solʹo•mon at Jerusalem to bring up the ark of the covenant of Jehovah from the City of David, that is, Zion.”

*** it-1 p. 591 David, City of ***
From Solomon’s Reign Onward. Solomon transferred the Ark to the newly constructed temple on the more spacious plateau to the N of the City of David. The expression that they ‘brought up the ark out of the City of David’ shows that the temple area lay on higher ground, Mount Moriah being higher than the southern spur. (1Ki 8:1)

(1 KINGS 8:2)

“All the men of Israel assembled before King Solʹo•mon at the festival in the month of Ethʹa•nim, that is, the seventh month.”

*** nwt p. 1698 Glossary ***
Ethanim. The name of the seventh month of the Jewish sacred calendar and the first month of the secular calendar. It ran from mid-September to mid-October. After the Jews’ return from Babylon, it was called Tishri. (1Ki 8:2)—See App. B15.

*** nwt p. 1796 B15 Hebrew Calendar ***
TISHRI (ETHANIM) September—October
1 Trumpet blast
10 Day of Atonement
15-21 Festival of Booths
22 Solemn assembly
Summer ends, early rains begin
Plowing

(1 KINGS 8:8)

“The poles were so long that the tips of the poles were visible from the Holy in front of the innermost room, but they were not visible from outside. And they are there to this day.”

*** w01 10/15 p. 31 Questions From Readers ***
Questions From Readers
How were the poles for carrying the ark of the covenant positioned, since 1 Kings 8:8 indicates that they were visible from the Holy?
When Jehovah gave Moses the design for the tabernacle in the wilderness, a key feature was the ark of the covenant. This rectangular, gold-covered chest held the tablets of the Law and other items. It was kept in the innermost compartment, the Most Holy. On the cover of the Ark were two gold figures of cherubs with outstretched wings. On each side of the Ark, there were rings so that it could be carried with two poles, made of acacia wood covered with gold. Logically, the poles ran through the rings and along the length of the Ark. Thus, with the Ark in its place in the Most Holy of the tabernacle, which faced east, the poles were oriented north-south. The same was true later when the Ark was in the temple that Solomon built.—Exodus 25:10-22; 37:4-9; 40:17-21.
A curtain separated the Most Holy from the Holy (the outer room). Priests in the Holy could not look into the Most Holy and view the Ark, over which God presented himself. (Hebrews 9:1-7) Thus, 1 Kings 8:8 might seem puzzling: “The poles proved to be long, so that the tips of the poles were visible from the Holy in front of the innermost room, but they were not visible outside.” The same point is made at 2 Chronicles 5:9. How were the poles visible to anyone in the Holy of the temple?
Some have imagined that the poles touched the curtain, producing visible bumps. But that would not be so if the poles were in a north-south orientation, with the curtain parallel to the poles. (Numbers 3:38) There is a more reasonable explanation. The poles might have been visible if there was a slight gap between the curtain and the wall of the temple or when the high priest had to enter the Most Holy. The curtain obstructed any view of the Ark itself, but the poles extending to each side might have shown through the gap. While this explanation is plausible, we cannot be dogmatic about it.
Clearly, there are many details that we may yet learn. The apostle Paul mentioned a few aspects in his letter to the Hebrews. Then he commented: “Now is not the time to speak in detail concerning these things.” (Hebrews 9:5) The coming resurrection of faithful ones should open up stimulating opportunities to learn from such men as Moses, Aaron, Bezalel, and others who were personally acquainted with the design and function of the tabernacle.—Exodus 36:1.
[Footnote]
The poles were not to be removed from the rings even when the Ark was in place in the tabernacle. Consequently, the poles could not be used for any other purpose. Also, the Ark would not have to be touched; had the poles been taken out of the rings, each portage would require handling the sacred Ark to reinsert the poles in the rings. The comment at Numbers 4:6 about ‘putting in the poles’ may refer to arranging or adjusting the poles in preparation for carrying the heavy chest to a new encampment.

(1 KINGS 8:9)

“There was nothing in the Ark but the two stone tablets that Moses placed there at Hoʹreb, when Jehovah made a covenant with the people of Israel while they were coming out of the land of Egypt.”

*** it-1 p. 166 Ark of the Covenant ***
The Ark served as a holy archive for the safekeeping of sacred reminders or testimony, the principal contents being the two tablets of the testimony, or the Ten Commandments. (Ex 25:16) A “golden jar having the manna and the rod of Aaron that budded” were added to the Ark but were later removed sometime before the building of Solomon’s temple. (Heb 9:4; Ex 16:32-34; Nu 17:10; 1Ki 8:9; 2Ch 5:10)

(1 KINGS 8:19)

“However, you will not build the house, but your own son who is to be born to you is the one who will build the house for my name.’”

*** it-2 p. 262 Loins ***
LOINS
The abdominal region and the area about the hips. The Bible uses both the Hebrew words chala•tsaʹyim (loins) and moth•naʹyim (hips) to refer to this area. (Isa 5:27; 2Ki 4:29) The Greek o•sphysʹ is also applied in the ordinary sense in describing John the Baptizer as clothed about the loins with a leather girdle.—Mt 3:4.
The section of the body designated by the word “loins” contains the reproductive organs; therefore offspring are said to ‘come out of the loins.’ (Ge 35:11; 1Ki 8:19; Ac 2:30)

(1 KINGS 8:27)

““But will God really dwell on the earth? Look! The heavens, yes, the heaven of the heavens, cannot contain you; how much less, then, this house that I have built!”

*** it-1 p. 1060 Heaven ***
Solomon, the constructor of the temple at Jerusalem, stated that the “heavens, yes, the heaven of the heavens” cannot contain God. (1Ki 8:27) As the Creator of the heavens, Jehovah’s position is far above them all, and “his name alone is unreachably high. His dignity is above earth and heaven.” (Ps 148:13) Jehovah measures the physical heavens as easily as a man would measure an object by spreading his fingers so that the object lies between the tips of the thumb and the little finger. (Isa 40:12) Solomon’s statement does not mean that God has no specific place of residence. Nor does it mean that he is omnipresent in the sense of being literally everywhere and in everything. This can be seen from the fact that Solomon also spoke of Jehovah as hearing “from the heavens, your established place of dwelling,” that is, the heavens of the spirit realm.—1Ki 8:30, 39.

(1 KINGS 8:30)

“And listen to your servant’s request for favor and to the request by your people Israel that they pray toward this place, and may you hear from your dwelling place in the heavens; yes, may you hear and forgive.”

*** g 4/11 p. 28 Is God Omnipresent? ***
The Bible’s Viewpoint
Is God Omnipresent?
MANY people believe that God is omnipresent, meaning that he is literally everywhere and in everything. Wise King Solomon made this request to Jehovah in prayer: “May you yourself hear from the heavens, your established place of dwelling.” (1 Kings 8:30, 39) According to the Bible, then, Jehovah God has a place of dwelling. Solomon referred to that place as “the heavens.” But what does that mean?
The Bible sometimes uses the words “heaven” and “heavens” to refer to the physical realm surrounding the earth. (Genesis 2:1, 4) However, since God created all things, his dwelling place must have existed before he formed the material universe. Hence, God must exist in a realm that is not bound by material things. Therefore, when the Bible speaks of heaven as the dwelling place of Jehovah God, it is referring, not to a location in the sky or in outer space, but to a spirit realm.

(1 KINGS 8:39)

“then may you hear from the heavens, your dwelling place, and may you forgive and take action; and reward each one according to all his ways, for you know his heart (you alone truly know every human heart),”

*** g 4/11 p. 28 Is God Omnipresent? ***
The Bible’s Viewpoint
Is God Omnipresent?
MANY people believe that God is omnipresent, meaning that he is literally everywhere and in everything. Wise King Solomon made this request to Jehovah in prayer: “May you yourself hear from the heavens, your established place of dwelling.” (1 Kings 8:30, 39) According to the Bible, then, Jehovah God has a place of dwelling. Solomon referred to that place as “the heavens.” But what does that mean?
The Bible sometimes uses the words “heaven” and “heavens” to refer to the physical realm surrounding the earth. (Genesis 2:1, 4) However, since God created all things, his dwelling place must have existed before he formed the material universe. Hence, God must exist in a realm that is not bound by material things. Therefore, when the Bible speaks of heaven as the dwelling place of Jehovah God, it is referring, not to a location in the sky or in outer space, but to a spirit realm.

(1 KINGS 8:43)

“may you then listen from the heavens, your dwelling place, and do all that the foreigner asks of you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as your people Israel do, and may know that your name has been called on this house that I have built.”

*** w11 8/1 p. 27 Does God Dwell in One Place? ***
Actually, the Bible speaks of God as having a specific place of dwelling—the heavens. It records a prayer of King Solomon in which he called upon God: “May you yourself listen from the heavens, your established place of dwelling.” (1 Kings 8:43) When teaching his disciples how to pray, Jesus Christ told them to address their prayers to “Our Father in the heavens.” (Matthew 6:9) After his resurrection, Christ entered “into heaven itself, now to appear before the person of God,” states the Bible.—Hebrews 9:24.
These verses clearly indicate that Jehovah God dwells, not everywhere, but only in heaven. Of course, “the heavens” mentioned in these passages does not refer to the atmosphere surrounding the earth nor to the vast expanse of outer space. The physical heavens cannot contain the Creator of the universe. (1 Kings 8:27) The Bible tells us that “God is a Spirit.” (John 4:24) He resides in the spiritual heavens, a realm independent of the physical universe.—1 Corinthians 15:44.

(1 KINGS 8:50)

“and forgive your people who have sinned against you, forgiving all their transgressions they committed against you. You will make them objects of pity before their captors, and they will pity them”

*** it-2 p. 646 Pity ***
Jehovah God set the example in manifesting pity for those in distress, and he can move men to show this loving feeling. That is why King Solomon could appropriately pray that Jehovah would make the Israelites objects of pity before their captors if they became captives because of unfaithfulness. (1Ki 8:50)

(1 KINGS 8:64)

“On that day the king had to sanctify the middle of the courtyard that is before the house of Jehovah, for there he had to offer up the burnt sacrifices, the grain offerings, and the fat pieces of the communion sacrifices, because the copper altar that is before Jehovah was too small to contain the burnt sacrifices, the grain offerings, and the fat pieces of the communion sacrifices.”

*** it-1 p. 83 Altar ***
Despite the fact that it covered an area of over 79 sq m (850 sq ft), this copper altar proved too small for the immense quantity of sacrifices made then, and so a portion of the courtyard was sanctified for that purpose.—1Ki 8:62-64.

(1 KINGS 8:65)

“At that time Solʹo•mon held the festival together with all Israel, a great congregation from Leʹbo-haʹmath down to the Wadi of Egypt, before Jehovah our God for 7 days and then another 7 days, 14 days in all.”

*** it-2 pp. 927-928 Shihor ***
Similarly, a correspondency is noted between the reference to David’s congregating the people of Israel from Shihor (“the river of Egypt,” NW) to Hamath (when endeavoring to bring the ark of the covenant up to Jerusalem) and the congregating of the people in Solomon’s day from “the entering in of Hamath down to the torrent valley of Egypt.” (1Ch 13:5; 1Ki 8:65) The explanation for this may be that in the latter case (Solomon’s time) the account gives the practical boundaries of Israelite residence. The region between the Wadi el-ʽArish and the eastern arm of the Nile is basically desert territory and scrubland, so this wadi, or torrent valley, fittingly marked the limit of territory suitable for Israelite inhabitation, whereas in the former case (David’s) the description may be that of the entire region of Israelite activity, the region effectively dominated by David, which indeed ran to the border of Egypt.

No. 1: 1 Kings 8:27-34 (3 min. or less)


(1 Ki. 8:27-34) “But will God really dwell on the earth? Look! The heavens, yes, the heaven of the heavens, cannot contain you; how much less, then, this house that I have built! 28 Now pay attention to the prayer of your servant and to his request for favor, O Jehovah my God, and listen to the cry for help and to the prayer that your servant is praying before you today. 29 May your eyes be open toward this house night and day, toward the place of which you said, ‘My name will be there,’ to listen to the prayer that your servant prays toward this place.30 And listen to your servant’s request for favor and to the request by your people Israel that they pray toward this place, and may you hear from your dwelling place in the heavens; yes, may you hear and forgive. 31 “When a man sins against his fellow man and is made to take an oath and is brought under liability to the oath, and while under the oath he comes before your altar in this house,32 may you then hear from the heavens and act and judge your servants by pronouncing the wicked one guilty and bringing what he did on his own head, and by pronouncing the righteous one innocent and rewarding him according to his own righteousness. 33 “When your people Israel are defeated by an enemy because they kept sinning against you, and they return to you and glorify your name and pray and beg you for favor in this house, 34 may you then hear from the heavens and forgive the sin of your people Israel and bring them back to the land that you gave to their forefathers.

No. 2: Cornelius—Theme: Jehovah God Is Not Partial—it-1 p. 513 (5 min.)


***it-1 p. 513 Cornelius***
CORNELIUS
(Cor•neʹlius).
An army officer (centurion, KJ) in command of 100 soldiers of the Italian band. (See ARMY OFFICER.) Stationed at Caesarea, he had his own house. His Roman name suggests that he may have belonged to a noble family in the imperial city. He was “a devout man” who “made many gifts of mercy to the people and made supplication to God continually,” “a man righteous and fearing God and well reported by the whole nation of the Jews.” It was to this man that an angel appeared in a vision in the fall of 36 C.E., saying: “Your prayers and gifts of mercy have ascended as a remembrance before God.” The angel also told Cornelius to send to Joppa for Peter.—Ac 10:1-22.
When Peter arrived, Cornelius, in the presence of “his relatives and intimate friends,” said to the apostle: “We are all present before God to hear all the things you have been commanded by Jehovah to say.” (Ac 10:24, 33) “While Peter was yet speaking . . . the holy spirit fell upon all those hearing the word.” Thus this group of which Cornelius is named as the most notable became the first uncircumcised Gentiles or non-Jews to receive “the free gift of the holy spirit.” (Ac 10:44, 45) Water baptism immediately followed. Nothing more is known of the life and activity of Cornelius after this.
Why was the conversion of Cornelius a particularly noteworthy event?
Cornelius was not a proselyte member of the Jewish community as some contend, even though he was acquainted with the writings of the prophets, gave gifts of mercy to the Jews, feared God, prayed continually, and used the name Jehovah. The Scriptures prove conclusively that this army officer was an uncircumcised Gentile in the fullest sense. If Cornelius had been a proselyte, Peter would not have said it was unlawful for him, a Jew, to associate with this “man of another race,” in view of what was written in the Law concerning an alien resident. (Le 19:33, 34; Ac 10:28) If he had been a proselyte, the six other Jews with Peter would not have been “amazed” at seeing the holy spirit poured out “upon people of the nations.” (Ac 10:45; 11:12) If he had been a proselyte, why did “supporters of circumcision” contend with Peter over this matter?—Ac 11:2.
In reality, Cornelius was the firstfruits of the uncircumcised non-Jews to become a Christian, showing that by this time it was not necessary for Gentiles to become Jewish proselytes like the Ethiopian eunuch before being accepted into the Christian congregation. “For a certainty,” Peter exclaimed on that historic occasion, “I perceive that God is not partial, but in every nation the man that fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him.” (Ac 10:34, 35) As Peter was the first to open up The Way to the Jews at Pentecost, so in this instance he was the first to bring good news of salvation to the uncircumcised Gentiles. James also agreed that it was “the first time” that God turned his attention to “the nations.”—Ac 15:7, 14.

No. 3: How Can You Cope With Anxiety?—nwt p. 28 ¶1-3 (5 min.)


***nwt p. 28 pars. 1-3 Question 16: How can you cope with anxiety?***
“Throw your burden on Jehovah, and he will sustain you. Never will he allow the righteous one to fall.”
Psalm 55:22
“The plans of the diligent surely lead to success, but all who are hasty surely head for poverty.”
Proverbs 21:5
“Do not be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be anxious, for I am your God. I will fortify you, yes, I will help you, I will really hold on to you with my right hand of righteousness.”
Isaiah 41:10

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