Haftorah 2nd Day Succot – Melachim

The consecration of Solomon’s Temple was celebrated by festivities extending over fourteen days, the last seven of which were the days of Succot (1).

 

When the Temple was completed, the priests brought the Ark containing the stone tablets into the Sanctuary. When they went out, there were clouds and Shlomo said “G-d said He would dwell in the dense cloud. I have built a dwelling place for You, established for Your dwelling forever”. Shlomo knew that the Temple he had built was acceptable in G-d’s eyes, when he saw the clouds. They had been a sign of G-d’s presence in the desert.

 

King David had the merit of building the Temple because it was in his heart to do so, he had chosen the site and laid the plans for its construction. Solomon could build it because he was a man of peace whereas his father was a warrior. David had put the altar in a holy spot, which according to midrash was where Noah had also built an altar and where Abraham had bound Isaac (2).

 

This is the first time that the site of the Temple is mentioned publicly, but not named as Jerusalem until Chronicles 2. Here, Shlomo said that G-d told David that “since the day that I took My people Israel out of Egypt, I never chose a city from all the tribes of Israel to build a house, that My name be there. But now I have chosen David to be over My people Israel.”

 

Abarbanel said that because housing the Ark of the covenant was the main purpose of the Temple, Shlomo singled out the Ark when he said “ I have built the place there for the Ark, in which is the Covenant of G-d that he made with our fathers when He took them out of the land of Egypt”.

 

(1) R’ JH Hertz Soncino Chumash

(2) Yalkut Me’Am Loez Torah Anthology Melachim.

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