Lecture 78: Shlomo's Monarchy in Jerusalem (III) Shlomo's Efforts on Behalf of the Temple

  • Rav Yitzchak Levy

 

Mikdash

 

 

Lecture 78: Shlomo's monarchy in Jerusalem (III)

Shlomo's efforts on behalf of the temple

Rav Yitzchak Levi

 

 

            In the previous lecture, we focused on the details of the Temple, on the changes that resulted from the transition from Mishkan to Mikdash, and on the significance of those changes. In this lecture, we will examine the entirety of Shlomo's actions on behalf of the Temple.

 

I.              THE PACT WITH CHIRAM, KING OF TZOR

 

1)      David and Chiram

 

The beginnings of the connection with Tzor traces back to the days of King David. Immediately after describing David's conquest of Jerusalem and the establishment of his monarchy therein, Scripture tells of the assistance that Chiram provided David in connection with the building of his palace – both materials and workers:

 

And Chiram king of Tzor sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, and carpenters, and masons, and they built David a house. (Shmuel II 5:11; parallel found in Divrei Ha-Yamim II 14:1)

 

            This assistance did not come in response to a request on the part of David, but rather on the initiative of Chiram, which some interpret as a sign of Chiram's appreciation of David for his war against Tzor's enemy, the Pelishtim. The friendship between David and Chiram continued throughout the period of David's kingdom (Melakhim I 5:15).

 

2)      Shelomo and Chiram

 

The connection between Shlomo and Chiram is described in Melakhim I 5:15-32; 9:11-14, 26-28; 10:11, and 22 (and in the parallel passages in Divrei Ha-Yamim II 2:2-15; 8:2, 18; 9:10, 21).

 

According to the report in Melakhim, with the foundation of Shelomo's monarchy, Chiram turned to him with the request that he be allowed to continue the warm and friendly relations that he had enjoyed with the kingdom of Israel in the time of David:

 

And Chiram king of Tzur sent his servants to Shlomo, for he had heard that they had anointed him king in place of his father; for Chiram always loved David. (Melakhim I 5:15)

 

            Presumably, Chiram also heard about Shlomo's wisdom, as is reported in the previous verse regarding the rest of the kings. Shlomo responded by asking Chiram to provide him with cedars from the Lebanon, and Chiram agreed to send Shlomo as many cedar and cypress trees as he desires. In exchange, Shlomo provided Chiram with wheat and oil for food for his household year by year (according to the Radak, throughout the period that Chiram's men worked in Shlomo's service). Chiram and Shlomo's workers worked together in transporting the wood and preparing the wood and the stones. Chapter 9 relates that Chiram also provided Shlomo with gold and that Shlomo offered to give him twenty cities in the Galil, but Chiram was not pleased with them. Later in that same chapter, we read about the international gold trade that Shlomo and Chiram developed at Yam Suf.

 

            This extensive and diversified activity led to a pact between the two kings:

 

And the Lord gave Shlomo wisdom, as He promised him, and there was peace between Chiram and Shlomo; and they two made a league together. (Melakhim I 5:26)

 

            There are a number of differences[1] in the report in Divrei Ha-Yamim I, only a few of which we will mention here:

 

        · Whereas in Melakhim, Shlomo wanted to give Chiram twenty cities in the Galil, in Divrei Ha-Yamim, Chiram gave Shlomo cities and Shlomo rebuilt them and settled them with members of the people of Israel (Divrei Ha-Yamim II 8:2).[2]

        · In Divrei Ha-Yamim, there is no mention of a pact between Shlomo and Chiram.

        · According to Melakhim, Chiram – the craftsman that Chiram king of Tzur sent Shlomo for smith work in the Temple – was from the tribe of Naftali and a coppersmith, whereas according to Divrei Ha-Yamim, he was a multi-talented craftsman ("skillful to work in gold and in silver, in brass, in iron, in stone, and in timber, in purple, in blue, and in fine linen, and in crimson; also to engrave any manner of engraving, and to work all kinds of artistic work;" Divrei Ha-Yamim II 2:13) from the tribe of Dan.

 

Incidentally, this joining of the tribe of Dan (Chiram the smith from Tzur) to the tribe of Yehuda (Shlomo) in the construction of the Temple is reflective of Divrei Ha-Yamim's tendency to describe through various literary means the construction of the Mikdash as a continuation of the construction of the Mishkan. Thus writes the midrash:

You find that when the Mishkan was made, two tribes shared in the work. R. Levi said in the name of R. Chama son of R. Chanina: The tribe of Dan and the tribe of Yehuda. The tribe of Yehuda – Betzalel; the tribe of Dan – Oholi'av ben Achisamakh of the tribe of Dan. And similarly in the construction of the first Temple, two tribes were partners. "And King Shlomo sent and fetched Chiram from Tzur" (Melakhim I 7:13), the son of a widow from the tribe of Dan, and Shlomo ben David who was from the tribe of Yehuda. (Pesikta Rabbati 6).[3]

 

3)      THe significance of the pact

 

The pact established between Shlomo and Chiram raises two questions: First of all, how is it possible to enter into a treaty with Chiram?[4] In several places, the Torah forbids Israel to enter into a pact with the nations of the world. Thus, for example, we find in Shemot 23:32: "You shall make no covenant with them, nor with their gods;" similarly, in Shemot 34:12: "Take heed to yourself, lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land to which you go."

 

Second, what is the spiritual significance of the partnership of the people of Tzur in the building of the Temple?[5]

 

In this lecture, we will deal exclusively with the second question.

 

R. Ovadya Seforno (Shemot 38:21-22) finds fault with allowing foreigners to take part in the building:

 

[The Torah] tells us the virtues of this Mishkan, by which reason it was worthy to be everlasting and not to fall into the hands of the enemy. First, because it was the "Tabernacle of Testimony," where the tablets of testimony were [deposited]; second, "as they were rendered according to the commandment of Moshe;" third, because it was through "the service of the Levites by the hand of Itamar,' for indeed the charge of all the parts of the Mishkan were in the hands of Itamar; fourth, "And Betzalel the son of Uri, the son of Chur, of the tribe of Yehuda made…," the leaders of the craftsmen of the Mishkan's work and its articles were noblemen and the righteous ones of the generation, and therefore the Shekhina rested on the work of their hands, and it did not fall into the hands of their enemies. But the Temple of Shelomo [was built by] workers of the nations of the world, and although the Shekhina did rest there, its sections deteriorated and it was necessary to repair the breaches of the house, and eventually it all fell into the hands of the enemy. But the second Temple, which did not meet even one of these conditions [and] the Shekhina did not come to rest in it at all, fell into the hand of the enemy; for indeed, the second Temple was not "the Mishkan of the testimony" since there were no tablets of testimony in it [at all] and it was Koresh who charged it [that it be built], and [also] there were no sons of Levi there, as Ezra attested when he said: "And I inspected the people and the priests but found there none of the sons of Levi" (Ezra 8:15), and among those who occupied themselves with the building were Tzidonites and Tzorites, as is explained in the book of Ezra (3:7). (Seforno, Commentary to Shemot 38:21-22)[6]

 

According to the Seforno, the first and second Temples fell into the hands of the enemy because they were built with the participation of craftsmen from Tzor and Tzidon, whereas the Mishkan, the craftsmen of which were all of noble lineage and among the righteous of the generation, never fell into enemy hands. Accordingly, the Mikdash should have been built exclusively by members of Israel, without the participation of foreign craftsmen.[7]

 

            In the words of the prophets themselves, however, we do not find any criticism whatsoever regarding Shlomo's allowing the artisans and craftsmen of Tzor to participate in the construction. An attempt should, therefore, be made to find positive meaning in the participation of the Tzorites in the building of the Temple.

 

            Various prophets prophesied about Tzor: Yechezkel dedicates three chapters to Tzor (26-28); Yeshayahu – "the burden of Tzor" (chap. 23); and Yo'el (6:6-8) and Amos (1:9-10). These prophecies (and especially the prophecies of Yechezkel, which devote the most attention to Tzor) imply three important characteristics of Tzor.[8]

 

            In chapter 27, Yechezkel likens Tzor to a ship "perfect of beauty" (v. 3), constructed of the most precious and beautiful materials from all over the world. The motif of beauty is repeated also in the next chapter, in a lamentation over the king of Tzor:

 

Son of man, take up a lamentation for the king of Tzor, and say to him, “Thus says the Lord God; You are a seal and a paragon, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. You have been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, the ruby, the crysolithe, and the diamond, the emerald, the shoham, and the jade, the sapphire, the turquoise, and the beryl, and gold; the workmanship of your settings and your sockets was in you, in the day that you were created they were prepared. You were the far covering keruv; and I have set you so. You were upon the holy mountain of God; you have walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.” (Yechezkel 28:12-14)

 

            We have here a detailed description of Tzor being likened to the Garden of Eden, filled with parallels to the Temple (keruv, covering, holy mountain, the stones of the choshen, and others).[9] It is therefore "fitting to take of the beauty of Lebanon which is reminiscent of the beauty of the Garden [of Eden] and establish it in the Temple" (the words of R. Shavivsee note 8).[10]

 

            Another characteristic of Tzor is its cosmopolitanism – it was "a merchant of the peoples" (Yechezkel 27:3). Tzor's location on the Mediterranean coast turned it into an international center of commerce and culture, as is spelled out in the continuation of that chapter (27:12-25; see also Yeshayahu 23:8). In this sense, Tzur was a miniature representation of all the nations in the world, and perhaps its participation in the construction of the Temple heralds the prophetic vision that in the future all the nations will recognize God's kingship and go up to Jerusalem for judgment. In other words, during that period Tzor was a fitting conduit to connect the entire world to the building of the Temple, and when the time comes also to reach the Temple and recognize the monarchy of God.

 

            Another characteristic of Tzor, which connects it to the construction of the Temple in a different way, is its great pride, which is expressed in the pride of its prince:

 

The word of the Lord came again to me, saying, Son of Man, say to the prince of Tzor. Thus says the Lord God: “Because your heart is lifted up, and you have said, ‘I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the heart of the seas;’ yet you are a man, and not God, though you have your heart as the heart of God. Behold, you are wiser than Daniel; there is no secrete that they can hide from you; with your wisdom and with your understanding you have acquired riches and have gotten gold and silver in your treasures. By your great wisdom and by your trading you have increased your riches, and your heart is lifted up because of your riches. Therefore, thus says the Lord God: Because you have set your heart as the heart of God, behold, therefore I will bring strangers upon you, the most terrible of the nations. And they shall draw their swords against the beauty of your wisdom, and they shall defile your brightness. They shall bring you down to the pit, and you shall die the deaths of them that are slain in the heart of the seas. Will you yet say before him that slays you, I am God? But you are a man, and not God, in the hand of him that slays you. You shall die the deaths of the uncircumcised by the hand of strangers: for I have spoken it, says the Lord God. (Yechezkel 28:1-10)

 

            The beauty, the power and the universal recognition of his protection filled the prince of Tzor with pride and the feeling of "I am a God, I sit in the seat of God."[11] The participation of Tzor – which regards itself as the supreme kingdom on earth – in the construction of the Temple is a repair of this conception, inasmuch as it constitutes recognition of the supremacy of God. This point was already noted by the Zohar:

 

Chiram made himself into a god, and when Shlomo came, he removed him from this idea, and Chiram thanked him for that. And we have learned: R. Yitzchak said in the name of R. Yehuda: Shlomo sent Chiram a certain demon who went down to the seventh level of Gehhinom and brought him up. Every day, Shelomo would send Chiram messages with that demon, until he repented, and he thanked Shlomo for that. (Zohar, Vayikra 61a)

 

            In this context, it should also be noted that Tzor had acquired its great riches through wrongdoing and injustice (Yechezkel 28:16-18), and the connection to the Mikdash and Jerusalem, the city of justice, was able to repair this disgraceful trait as well.

 

            This idea of repairing the sins of Tzor, the cosmopolitan kingdom of commerce and culture, which perhaps represents the entire world, fits in well with Shlomo's perception of the Mikdash as an eternal and universal Temple designated for the repair of the entire world. Just as Shlomo's marriages with foreign, idol-worshipping women were meant, according to some opinions, to draw them closer to God (Yerushalmi, Sanhedrin 2:6), so too his covenant with Tzor – which saw itself as the pinnacle of humanity, even though it acquired its wealth unjustly – may have been part of his attempt to repair it, as part of the repair of the entire world, by way of the Temple.[12]

 

            Practically speaking, this goal was not achieved, neither in the days of Shlomo nor during the entire first Temple period.[13] Shlomo himself went after Ashtoret, god of the Tzidonites (Melakhim I 11:5),[14] and over the course of the generations, the commercial connections led to marital alliances: the marriage of Ach'av to Izevel, daughter of Itba'al, king of the Tzidonites. This brought the worship of Ba'al to the kingdom of Israel (Melakhim I 16:31), from where it arrived also in the kingdom of Yehuda by way of Atalya (see Melakhim II 11:14).[15]

 

            In the end, Yechezkel sees the connection between Tzor and Jerusalem in a negative light:

 

Because Tzor has said against Jerusalem, “Aha, she is broken that was the gates of the peoples; she is turned to me,” I shall be filled with her that is laid waste. (Yechezkel 26:2)

 

In the continuation of that very prophecy, the relationship between Tzor and Jerusalem is presented as the reason for the great destruction of Tzor. The gemara (Megilla 6a) learns from the aforementioned verse that there exists an antithetical relationship between Tzor (which is replaced in the gemara by Ceasaria, in accordance with the reality of the period) and Jerusalem:

 

Caesaria and Jerusalem – if someone tells you that both of them have been destroyed, do not believe him; that they are both settled, do not believe him; Caesaria is destroyed and Jerusalem settled, or Jerusalem is destroyed and Caeasaria is settled – believe him. As it is stated: "I shall be filled with her that is laid waste" (Yechezkel  26:2) – if this one is filled, that one is laid waste, if that one is filled, this one is laid waste.[16]

 

            It follows from what we have said that it is possible to relate to the connection with Tzor in different ways. On the one hand, the Seforno criticizes the connection and its consequences, something that also later left its mark on the relationship between the kingdoms of Israel and Yehuda and those of Tzor and Tzidon. On the other hand, in Tzor lies the potential for great repair.

 

4) Lebanon and the temple[17]

 

            When Moshe pleaded to be allowed entry into Eretz Yisrael, he said:

 

I pray you, let me go over, and see the good land that is beyond the Jordan, the goodly mountain region and the Lebanon. (Devarim 3:25)

 

            According to the plain sense of the text, Moshe was referring to two main regions: the central mountain massif of Eretz Yisrael and the Lebanon to its north. The midrashic understanding of "Lebanon" as a reference to the Mikdash stems from the cedars of Lebanon that Chiram sent Shlomo and from which the Mikdash was constructed. This is explicitly stated in Bereishit Rabbah (15:1):

 

R. Yochanan said: The world was not worthy of using the cedars, which were created exclusively for the sake of the Temple. This is [the meaning of] what is written: "The trees of the Lord have their fill; the cedars of Lebanon" (Tehillim 104:16), and Lebanon means the Temple. This is what is written: "The goodly mountain region and the Lebanon." (Devarim 3:25).

 

Yonatan ben Uziel, other opinions in Chazal, and the Rishonim, however, understood differently:

 

"The goodly mountain region" – this refers to Jerusalem; "and the Lebanon" – this refers to the Temple. (Mekhilta De-Rashbi, 17:14)

 

            Calling the Temple by the name "Lebanon" is explained in Midrash Zuta to Shir Ha-Shirim (4:8) as follows:

 

"Come with me from Lebanon, my bride, with me from Lebanon" (Shir Ha-Shirim 4:8). What is Lebanon? This is the Temple, which was called Lebanon. And why was it called Lebanon? Whoever would go up there with a sin in his hand would not leave from there before his sins would become white (mitlabenim) as snow, in fulfillment of what it says: "Though your sins be like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow" (Yeshayahu 1:18).[18]

 

            Yet another interpretation of this designation is found in Vayikra Rabbah (1:2):

 

R. Tavyumi said: Because all hearts (levavot) rejoice in it. This is what is written: "Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth" (Tehillim 48:3). And the Rabbis said: Because of "My eyes and My heart shall be there perpetually" (Melakhim I 9:3).

 

Here the word Lebanon is understood in the sense of "heart" (lev), alluding to the joy that is found in the hearts of all in the Temple, and to God's heart (i.e., Divine providence), which is found there at all times.

 

            The vitality that the metaphor of heart bestows upon the Temple expresses itself in another way in yet another interpretation of the cedars of Lebanon:

 

The cedars which Chiram king of Tzor sent to Shlomo for the construction of the Temple smelled of life and were green. R. Levi said: When Shlomo brought the ark into the Temple, all the trees and cedars that were there turned green and produced fruit, as it is stated: "Those that are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God" (Tehillim 92:14). And they produced fruit and were a source of great income to the young priests, until Menasheh brought an idol into the Holy of Holies, and the Shekhina removed itself, and the fruits dried up, as it is stated: "And the flower of Lebanon fades" (Nachum 1:4). (Tanchuma, Teruma 11)[19]

 

            It is possible that the significance of the connection between the Temple and the Lebanon (and between Shlomo, king of Jerusalem, and Chiram, king of Tzor) should be understood in light of Lebanon's being the northern end of Eretz Yisrael. According to this, the connection between the Temple and the Lebanon expresses the relationship between the heart, which sits in the center, and the outermost reaches of the country: the entirety of Eretz Yisrael – including its northernmost region – is connected to the source, the Temple, and receives its vitality from it. The heart bestows of its vitality even on the most distant and northern (tzafon; and perhaps also concealed – tzafun) end. "Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth: Mount Zion, the sides of the north, the city of the great King" (Tehillim 48:3);[20] "Like the dew of Chermon descending upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord has commanded the blessing, even life for evermore" (ibid. 133:3) – the material abundance and blessing from the north connect with the mountains of Zion, where the eternal blessing is found, "even life for evermore."

 

II.            WHAT DID SHLOMO ACTUALLY DO IN CONNECTION WITH THE CONTSTRUCTION OF THE TEMPLE?

 

1)       What use did Shlomo make of THOSE THINGS THAT had been prepared by His father, David

 

At the end of the description of the construction of the Temple, it is stated:

 

So was ended all the work that king Shlomo made for the house of the Lord. And Shlomo brought in the things which David his father had dedicated; the silver, and the gold, and the vessels, he did put in the treasuries of the house of the Lord. (Melakhim I 7:51; parallel found in Divrei Ha-Yamim II 5:1)

 

            Why didn't Shlomo use what his father David had consecrated? This is explained in Pesikta Rabbati (6):

 

Some [of the Rabbis] explain this to his credit; others explain it to his discredit.

Those who explain this to his credit: David petitioned for this, saying to Him: Master of the universe, I see in my prophecy that the Temple will eventually be destroyed, and all that I have set aside comes from houses of idol worship that I destroyed. Let not the nations of the world say: What did David think? He destroyed the house of our gods and made a house for God; our gods stirred up and took their revenge and destroyed the house of God. Therefore, he prayed that Shlomo should not need them.

And those who explained this to his discredit: During the days of David, there were three years of famine. David had several storehouses filled with silver and gold that he had set aside for the building of the Temple. He should have spent the money to keep the people alive, but he failed to do so. God said to him: My children are dying of hunger and you amass money for the construction of a building. You should have used it to keep people alive, [but] you did not do so. By your life, Shlomo will not need to take anything from it whatsoever.

 

            Abarbanel adds:

 

Just as He did not want David to build the Temple during his lifetime on account of the great amount of blood that he had spilled, so too He did not agree that the Temple should be built with the money that he had amassed in his wars from the spoils of the nations. But Shlomo, who was a man of peace and whose money was amassed in a just and peaceful manner – he was to build the Temple from that money, and not from anything else, for the Lord will give strength to His people, and the Lord will bless His people with peace.[21]

 

It is also possible that we are dealing here with an expression of independence: Shlomo wanted to build the Temple by himself.

 

This notwithstanding, Divrei Ha-Yamim explicitly states that Shlomo made use, at least in part, of what had been prepared by David (and it deals there with spoils of war!):

 

Likewise, from Tivchat and from Kun, cites of Hadar'ezer, David took very much brass, with which Shlomo made the brazen sea, and the pillars, and the vessels of brass. (Divrei Ha-Yamim I 18:8)

 

            Moreover, it seems evident that Shlomo made use of the Temple plans that David had given him; in light of what is stated in Divrei Ha-Yamim I (28:19): "All this, said he, is put in writing by the hand of the Lord who instructed me, all the works of this pattern." In light of Chazal's tradition regarding the Temple scroll that had been handed down from Moshe to David and from David to Shlomo, it does not stand to reason that Shlomo made changes in the original plans. Similarly, there is no reason to assume that Shlomo instituted changes in David's division of the priesthood and the Levites into mishmarot (Divrei Ha-Yamim I 23-26).

 

2)       the things that Shlomo did on his own

 

        · Bringing of the craftsmen and construction materials (including his turning to Chiram regarding craftsmen, cedars, cypress trees and gold).

        · Inviting Chiram the brass worker from Tzor, who was responsible for all the brass work.

        · The actual building of all the structures and vessels.

        · Bringing the ark up from the city of David to the Temple and standing all the vessels in their proper places.

        · All aspects of the dedication of the Temple.

 

III.           THE CONTSTRUCTION OF THE FIRST TEMPLE BY DAVID AND SHLOMO

 

1)      THe temple and Jerusalem – joint project of two kings

 

Until now, we have emphasized, based on the plain sense of Scripture, the part played by each of the two kings in the construction of the Temple. David initiated the building, sought out the place, found it, acquired it, erected an altar, and prepared the plans, the mishmarot, and the ma'amadot. Shlomo added craftsmen and building materials, executed the building of the structure and the vessels, brought up the ark from the city of David to the Temple, and dedicated God's house.

 

In addition, Chazal assert in several places that David was also a partner in the construction proper: David constructed the foundation, and Shlomo the building itself. Thus, for example, we find in the following midrash:

 

"And for a sacrifice of peace offerings" (Bamidbar 7:17) – this refers to David and Shlomo… and both of them built the Temple: David made the foundation and Shlomo built it up. (Bamidbar Rabbah 13:14)

 

Similarly, Tosafot in Berakhot (18a) expound the expression "two lion-hearted men of Mo'av" (Shmuel II 23:20) – "this refers to David and Shlomo, who built the Temple and who came from Ruth the Moabite woman."

 

We see, then, that the Temple – and more than that, Jerusalem in its entirety as the city of the Temple – was the joint project of David and Shlomo. Each of the two kings made his own unique contribution, but only together did they fashion the perfect creation of a city with a Temple at its center:

 

Our Rabbis taught: Which is a coin of Jerusalem? David and Shlomo on one side and the holy city of Jerusalem on the other. (Bava Kama 97b)

 

2)      THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE FACT THAT THE TEMPLE WAS BUILT BY TWO KINGS

 

Why was the Temple built by two kings, rather than by a single king? There are several possible answers to this question.

 

First, this may have been to preclude the situation in which a king feels that it was he who, with his great strength and abilities, "arranged" a place for the Master of the universe, and among his various royal construction projects also built a house for God. The fact that two kings participated in the project lessens such a feeling.

 

Second, the fact that the Temple was built by father and son bestows an element of permanence. The establishment of a permanent royal dynasty is what allowed for the construction of the Temple, and it is this dynasty which built it.

 

And third, the Temple was built by two kings with very different dispositions. David started out in life as a shepherd and engaged in many great struggles before ascending to the throne; David is the model for the trait of lowliness and humility and the feeling of profound dependency upon God, on the one hand, and upon the tribes of Israel, on the other. David's ceaseless devotion to the Temple, which manifested itself even before he served as king in practice and which continued even after he was explicitly told that he himself would not be able to build the Temple, is one of his most striking qualities. Another of his traits was his unmediated connection to the ark, the vessel that more than anything else expresses the resting of the Shekhina. All these account for the fact that the Temple was attributed to David ("A psalm, a song for the dedication of the Temple; of David"), the root of whose soul was in the house of God.

 

Shlomo, on the other hand, was born into the royal court and received on a silver platter a kingdom that enjoyed extensive and peaceful borders and grand economic abundance. The entire world came before him and recognized his wisdom, power, wealth, and influence: not dependence on the tribes, but rather the appointment of a royal mechanism of governors ruling the people; not lowliness and humility, but rather great self-confidence and profound recognition of his value in the eyes of his people and the entire world. As opposed to David, Shlomo's clear connection was not to the ark, but to the high place in Giv'on – to the altar and the sacrificial service. In all of these – his nature, his personality and his qualities – Shlomo complemented David, and thus the Temple was built by the two of them: David – who was the foundation, the starting point - and Shelomo, the successor, who represents permanence in all of its senses.

 

SUMMARY

 

            In this lecture, we completed our analysis of Shlomo's contribution to the construction of the Temple. We examined the details of the covenant with Chiram and its spiritual significance, we investigated where Shelomo made use of what had been prepared by David and where not, and we concluded with a discussion of the significance of the fact that the Temple was built by both David and Shlomo.

 

            In the next lecture, we will discuss the relationship between the house of the king and the house of God.

 

(Translated by David Strauss)

 



[1] The positions of the Malbim and the Abarbanel regarding these differences are quite interesting. The Malbim (Divrei Ha-Yamim II 2:2) writes that "Ezra [in Divrei Ha-Yamim] did not write here anything stated in the book of Melakhim, but only related new things." Abarbanel (Melakhim I 5:15) writes: "And the prophet [in Melakhim] received these things from God, blessed be He, and wrote them in the book, his formulation being very near the truth of the matter. Ezra, however [in Divrei Ha-Yamim], saw fit to write these things and arranged the related matters in a manner most attractive to him. For this is the manner of writers of chronicles, although he spoke with the holy spirit. His intention was to arrange the matter in an attractive manner in agreement with the truth of the event, and there is no change here, or contradiction." Abarbanel's distinction between Melakhim and Divrei Ha-Yamim is fascinating, and it explains changes and contradictions in other places as well.

[2] We will not try to resolve this contradiction here. The Radak speaks of an exchange of territories.

[3] This partnership between the ruling southern tribe (Yehuda) and the northern tribe from the sons of the maidservants (Dan or Naftali; we will not attempt to reconcile the contradiction here) emphasizes that the Mishkan and the Mikdash belong to all of Israel, from Dan to Be'er-Sheva, just as did the acquisition of the site of the Temple with the money of all of Israel.

[4] The various opionions on this issue are cited in R. Yigal Ariel, "Ha-Berit im Tzor," Techumin 4 (1983), pp. 267-277. We will merely note here the view of Tosafot in Yevamot (23a, s.v. ha-hu be-shiv'a umot ketiv), who relate specifically to our question and suggest three answers (my numbering): "1) Perhaps a covenant is only forbidden when established for the sake of idol worship…; 2) Or perhaps Chiram the king of Tzor was a ger toshav; 3) And it further seems to me that the establishment of a covenant is only forbidden with the seven [Cana'anite] nations."

In addition to the issue concerning the covenant itself, Shlomo's handing over of cities to Chiram requires clarification, for it allowed foreign rule in the heart of Israel. This, however, is not the forum in which to examine this difficulty.

[5] It is interesting that regarding the construction of the second Temple as well there was a plan (which in the end did not materialize; see Chaggai 1:8) to have the people of Tzor and Tzidon participate in the building: "They gave money also to the masons, and to the carpenters; and food, and drink, and oil, to those of Tzidon, and of Tzor, to bring cedar trees from the Lebanon to the sea of Yafo, according to the grant that they had from Koresh king of Paras" (Ezra 3:7). On the other hand, Zerubavel answers with an absolute negative to the request of the enemies of Yehuda and Binyamin to participate in the building (an understandable refusal in light of their attitude to the building in general).

[6] As opposed to our argument in the previous note, the Seforno understands that the people of Tzor and Tzidon did, in fact, participate in the building.

[7] It should be emphasized that the significance of the foreign factor on the resting of the Shekhina is very complicated, for the Shekhina rested on the first Temple, but not on the second Temple. R. Yochanan explained that the Shekhina did not rest on the second Temple because "it is written 'God shall enlarge Yefet, and He shall dwell in the tents of Shem' (Bereishit 9:27) – even though 'God enlarges Yefet,' the Shekhina will rest only in the tents of Shem" (Megila 9b). Rash explains (ad loc.): "Even though "God enlarges Yefet," the Persians meriting to build the second Temple, the Shekhina rested only in the first Temple, built by Shlomo, who descended from the seed of Shem." Of course, the part played by the Persians regarding the second Temple, which included granting authorization, patronage, and means, was immeasurably greater than and essentially different from the part played by the foreign workers of which the Seforno speaks.

[8] This issue was dealt with by R. Yehuda Shaviv, "Be-Inyan shel Tzor Ve-Tzidon," Merchavim 5747; R. Yoel Bin Nun, "Tzor Ve-Tzidon Be-Nachalat Asher," Alon Shevut 96. In this framework, we will not deal with the many sins attributed to Tzor by Yoel and Amos, including trading in Jewish slaves.

[9] The parallelism between the Temple and the Garden of Eden is well known. See Yehuda Kil, "Ha-Mishkan, ha-Mikdash, ve-ha-Gan be-Eden," published in his introduction to the Da'at Mikra edition of Bereishit, vol. 1, pp. 102-120.

[10] It should be remembered that Jerusalem is also called "the perfection of beauty" (Eikha 2:15).

[11] Yalkut Shim'oni (Yechezkel, 367) describes in shockingly graphic terms the feeling of divinity and the final end of the prince of Tzor (which it identifies with Chiram, friend of David and Shlomo): "'Because your heart is lifted up, and you have said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God'… Chiram king of Tzor was exceedingly arrogant and boastful. What did he do? He entered the sea, and fashioned for it fourty square iron pillars of equal length, and stood them up in a row, and he fashioned seven heavens and a throne and beasts and thunder and shooting stars and lightning. The first heaven he fashioned out of glass, five hundred cubits by five hundred cubits. And he made in it a sun, a moon and stars. The second heaven he fashioned out of iron, a thousand cubits by a thousand cubits, with a stream of water separating between the first and second heavens. The third was fashioned out of iron, fifteen hundred cubits by fifteen hundred cubits, with a stream of water separating between the second and third heavens. And he made round stones in the heaven, which would knock into each other and sound like thunder. The fourth heaven he made of lead, two thousand cubits by two thousand cubits, with a stream of water separating between the third and fourth heaven. The fifth heaven was made of copper, twenty five hundred cubits by twenty five hundred cubits, with a stream of water separating between the fourth and fifth cubits. The sixth heaven was made of silver, three thousand cubits by three thousand cubits, with a stream of water separating between the fifth and sixth heavens. The seventh heaven was made of gold, thirty five hundred cubits by thirty five hundred cubits, and he set in it precious stones and pearls one cubit by one cubit, seen from this side and that side, from which were fashioned the lightning and shooting stars. He himself shuddered, and those stones would knock into each other and sound thunder. The Holy One, blessed be He, said to Yechezkel: Son of man, say to Chiram, king of Tzor: Why are you proud? You are [but] born of a woman. He said before Him: Master of the Universe, how can I go to him when he is suspended in the air? At that very moment, the Holy One, blessed be He, brough a wind and lifted him up to Chiram. When Chiram saw Yechezkel, he shuddered and trembled. He said to him: Who brought you up here? He said to him: The Holy One, blessed be He, commanded me as follows: Go, say to him: Why are you proud? You are [but] born of a woman. He said to him: I am born of a woman, but I will live and exist forever. Just as the Holy One, blessed be He – his throne is out at sea, so too me – my throne is out at sea. Just as the Holy One, blessed be He, has seventy heavens – so too I have. And what is more, various kings have died, and I [still] exist. And so too twenty one kings of the kings of the house of David, and twenty one of the kings of Israel, and fifty prophets, and ten High priests – I buried them all and I am [still] alive. Surely, then, "I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the heart of the seas." Yechezkel said to him: Surely there were people greater than you who did not do as you did. To what was Chiram likened? To a slave who made a garment for his master. As long as his master wore the garment, the slave saw it and was proud: I made this garment for my master. The master said: I will rend this garment, and so the slave will not be proud before me. Thus, Chiram was proud for having sent cedars for the Temple. The Holy One, blessed be He, said: I will destroy his house so that Chiram not be proud before Me. As it is stated: "Open your doors, O Lebanon, that the fire may devour your cedars" (Zekharya 11:1). And what was his end? The Holy One, blessed be He, bought Nevuchadnetzer upon him, who fornicated with his mother in his presence, and removed him from his throne, and chopped off two fingers worth of flesh every day, dipped them in vinegar and ate them, until he died a strange death. What happened with those palaces? The Holy One, blessed be He, rended them, and hid them away for the righteous in the future."

Shlomo, in contrast, sat "on the throne of the Lord as king" (Divrei Ha-Yamim II 29:23). There is also room to examine the significance of the parallel to the prince of Tzor in connection with Shlomo's wisdom, wealth, pride and fall.

[12] In his Olat Ra'aya (I, p. 40), Rav Kook explains the unique quality of Eretz Israel to turn even the most evil and corrupt content into blessing. Perhaps this idea applies also to the relationship between the Temple and Tzor: the Temple elevates and sanctifies the base and lowly forces that are found in Tzor.

[13] This idea may be found in R. Ariel's Mikdash Melekh, pp. 62-63.

[14] Some of the prophecies relate to Tzor, while others relate to Tzidon, but we did not distinguish between them here.

[15] It is interesting that even in the days of Menashe, at the end of the first Temple period, the prophets connect the expected destruction of Yehuda and Jerusalem with the sins of the house of Ach'av: "Menashe was twelve years old when he began to reign… And he reared up altars for the Ba'al, and made an ashera, as Ach'av king of Israel… And the Lord spoke by His servants the prophets, saying…  And I will stretch over Jerusalem the measuring line of Shomeron, and the plummet of the house of Ach'av: and I will wipe Jerusalem as a man wipes a dish, wiping it, and turning it upside down." (Melakhim II 21:1-13).

[16] Yechezkel's prophecy regarding the destruction of Tzidon (28:20-26) does indeed draw a connection between that destruction and Israel's secure settlement in their land. It is not by chance that in the first half of that chapter, the prophet describes the destruction of Tzor as the destruction of the Garden of Eden, to which Jerusalem is also likened. We find a similar phenomenon in Yeshayahu, which joins the "burden of Tzor" (chap. 23) to the "burden of Gei-Chizayon," which relates to Jerusalem (chap. 22).

Before concluding this section, I wish to note that my revered teacher, R. Yoel Bin-Nun, proposes in his article (see above, note 8) a different way of understanding the connection between Jerusalem and Tzor. He argues that Tzor and Tzidon were Canaanite cities within the boudaries of the land that had been consecrated (see Bereishit 49:13: "Zevulun shall dwell at the shore of the sea; and he shall be a haven for ships; and his border shall be at Tzidon"]. It is possible that they included an Israelite settlement, which had assimilated into Canaanite culture, and David and Shlomo tried, using their connections, to bring their residents back to the Mikdash and the people of Israel.

[17] The sources in this section were collected in Yehuda Etzion's "Bein Levanon le-Levanon," Adar-Nisan, 5759.

[18] Atonement is, undoubtedly, one of the main functions of the Temple. The whitening of the crimson thread on Yom Kippur was also derived from the verse: "Though your sins be like scarlet, they shall be as which as snow" (Yoma 67a).

[19] According to the midrash, bringing the ark into the Temple is what gives it its vitality.

[20] Another explanation of this verse is connected to the fact that "tzafon" is a poetic idolatrous designation of the mountain on which the deity rests (see Yeshayahu 14:13; Iyov 37:22). Accordingly, the verse means that the house of God on Mount Moriya is the true "tzafon" (and indeed it is located north of the city of David) – the resting place of the true God.

[21] With this, Abarbanel also explains why Shlomo began building the Temple only in the fourth year (Melakhim 6:1): He needed three years to collect everything that was necessary for the construction.

Shelomo's tendency to emphasize the issue of peace in the construction of the Temple is expressed in many areas; e.g., expansion of the prohibition to use hewn stone from the altar (Shemot 20:21) to the entire Temple (see Melakhim I 6:7).