The Ark of the Covenant is installed in the Temple

1 Kings 8:1-66   When the Temple is fully furnished, the Ark of the Covenant is brought from Mount Zion, the City of David, to the Temple on Mount Moriah (see 6 on Map 57) When the Ark is brought into the inner sanctuary of the Temple, the glory of the LORD (the radiant presence of God) fills the Temple (see Exodus 24:1-18 and Ezekiel 10:4). The Temple is then dedicated by Solomon, who offers burnt sacrifices to God.

 

The Glory of the Lord

In the Old Testament, the glory of the Lord (‘kabod’ in the Hebrew scriptures, ‘doxa’ in the ‘Septuagint’ – the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible) signified the radiant, shining presence of God himself (also called the ‘Shekinah’ in Hebrew, meaning the 'dwelling' or manifestation of God's divine presence).

The glory of the Lord appeared to Moses on Mount Sinai (see Exodus 24:16), and filled the tabernacle – the tent where the Ark of the Covenant was kept (see Exodus 40:34-35). God’s glory then filled the Temple in Jerusalem when the Ark of the Covenant was moved there by King Solomon (see 1 Kings 8:11). The glory of God's presence here on earth continued to fill the Temple during the period of the divided monarchy.

 

Mount Sinai (Mohammed Moussa)

Mount Sinai, where Moses saw the glory of the Lord  (Mohammed Moussa)

 

But in Ezekiel’s prophetic vision, the glory and dazzling radiance of God’s holy presence (the ‘Shekinah’) left the Temple just before its destruction by King Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC (see Ezekiel 10:18-19).

After the fall of Jerusalem, the prophet Isaiah urged the Jewish exiles in Babylon to prepare the way for the LORD's return, "Then the glory of the LORD will be shown, and all people together will see it" (Isaiah 40:5).

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the radiant, shining presence of God re-appeared on earth again. God’s personal presence was revealed by the glory of the Lord (Greek, ‘doxa’) appearing to the shepherds in the fields on the hillside outside Bethlehem (see Luke 2:9).

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