December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- David assembled at Jerusalem all the leaders of Israel, the heads of the tribes, the commanders of the divisions who were in the service of the king, the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, the overseers of all the king's estates and possessions, and his sons, together with the courtiers, the warriors, and every important man.
- 1 King David rose to his feet and said: "Hear me, my brethren and my people. It was my purpose to build a house of repose myself for the ark of the covenant of the LORD, the footstool for the feet of our God; and I was preparing to build it.
- But God said to me, 'You may not build a house in my honor, for you are a man who fought wars and shed blood.'
- However, the LORD, the God of Israel, chose me from all my father's family to be king over Israel forever. For he chose Judah as leader, then one family of Judah, that of my father; and finally, among all the sons of my father, it pleased him to make me king over all Israel.
- And of all my sons--for the LORD has given me many sons--he has chosen my son Solomon to sit on the LORD'S royal throne over Israel.
- For he said to me: 'It is your son Solomon who shall build my house and my courts, for I have chosen him for my son, and I will be a father to him.
- I will establish his kingdom forever, if he perseveres in keeping my commandments and decrees as he keeps them now.'
- Therefore, in the presence of all Israel, the assembly of the LORD, and in the hearing of our God, I exhort you to keep and to carry out all the commandments of the LORD, your God, that you may continue to possess this good land and afterward leave it as an inheritance to your children forever.
- "As for you, Solomon, my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a perfect heart and a willing soul, for the LORD searches all hearts and understands all the mind's thoughts. If you seek him, he will let himself be found by you; but if you abandon him, he will cast you off forever.
- See, then! The LORD has chosen you to build a house as his sanctuary. Take courage and set to work."
- Then David gave to his son Solomon the pattern of the portico and of the building itself, with its storerooms, its upper rooms and inner chambers, and the room with the propitiatory.
- He provided also the pattern for all else that he had in mind by way of courts for the house of the LORD, with the surrounding compartments for the stores for the house of God and the stores of the votive offerings,
- as well as for the divisions of the priests and Levites, for all the work of the service of the house of the LORD, and for all the liturgical vessels of the house of the LORD.
- He specified the weight of gold to be used in the golden vessels for the various services and the weight of silver to be used in the silver vessels for the various services;
- likewise for the golden lampstands and their lamps he specified the weight of gold for each lampstand and its lamps, and for the silver lampstands he specified the weight of silver for each lampstand and its lamps, depending on the use to which each lampstand was to be put.
- He specified the weight of gold for each table to hold the showbread, and the silver for the silver tables;
- the pure gold to be used for the forks and pitchers; the amount of gold for each golden bowl and the silver for each silver bowl;
- 2 the refined gold, and its weight, to be used for the altar of incense; and, finally, gold for what would suggest a chariot throne: the cherubim that spread their wings and covered the ark of the covenant of the LORD.
- He had successfully committed to writing the exact specifications of the pattern, because the hand of the LORD was upon him.
- Then David said to his son Solomon: "Be firm and steadfast; go to work without fear or discouragement, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or abandon you before you have completed all the work for the service of the house of the LORD.
- The classes of the priests and Levites are ready for all the service of the house of God; they will help you in all your work with all those who are eager to show their skill in every kind of craftsmanship. Also the leaders and all the people will do everything that you command."
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1  The ark . . . , the footstool . . . of our God: the Lord, who was invisibly entroned upon the cherubim that were associated with the ark of the covenant at Shiloh and later in the Jerusalem temple, had the ark as his footstool; cf Psalm 99:5; 132:7. The propitiatory (1 Chron 28:11) and the chariot throne (1 Chron 28:18) reflect the different circumstances of the postexilic community, for whom only the place of the ark was a focal point of worship, though the ark itself was no longer present.
2  Chariot throne: probably suggested by Ezekiel 1:4-24; 10:1-22.
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