Shelomo's Monarchy in Jerusalem (III): Shelomo's Efforts on Behalf of the Temple

  • Rav Yitzchak Levy
The Israel Koschitzky Virtual Beit Midrash

Jerusalem in the Bible
Yeshivat Har Etzion


Shiur #13: Shelomo's Monarchy In Jerusalem (III)

Shelomo's Efforts on Behalf of the Temple

 

Rav Yitzchak Levi

 

 

            In the previous shiur 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 shiur we wish to examine the entirety of Shelomo'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 trace back to the days of King David. Immediately after his conquest of Jerusalem and the establishment of his monarchy therein, Scripture tells of the assistance that Chiram provided David with respect to 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. (II Shemuel 5:11; parallel found in I Divrei Ha-yamim 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 understand as a sign of Chiram's appreciation of David for his war against the Pelishtim, the enemies of Tzor. The friendship between David and Chiram continued throughout the period of David's kingdom (I Melakhim 5:15).

 

2)         SHELOMO AND CHIRAM

 

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

 

According to what is reported 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 all the days of David:

 

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

 

            Presumably, Chiram heard also about Shelomo's wisdom, as it is reported in the previous verse regarding the rest of the kings. Shelomo responds by asking Chiram to provide him with cedars from Lebanon, and Chiram agrees to send Shelomo as many cedar and cypress trees as he desires. In exchange Shelomo provides Chiram with wheat and oil for food to his household year by year (according to the Radak: throughout the period that Chiram's men worked in Shelomo's service). Chiram and Shelom's workers worked together in transporting the wood and preparing the wood and the stones. In chapter 9, it is related that Chiram also provided Shelomo with gold, and that Shelomo 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 Shelomo and Chiram develop at Yam Suf.

 

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

 

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

 

            There are a number of differences[1] in Divrei Ha-yamim, only a few of which we shall mention here:

 

*     Whereas in Melakhim Shelomo wants to give Chiram twenty cities in the Galil, in Divrei Ha-yamim Chiram gives Shelomo cities and Shelomo rebuilds them and settles them with members of the people of Israel (II Divrei Ha-yamim 8:2).[2]

*     In Divrei Ha-yamim, there is no mention of a pact between Shelomo and Chiram.

*     According to Melakhim, Chiram – the craftsman that Chiram King of Tzor sent Shelomo for smith work in the Temple – was from the Tribe of Naftali and a coppersmith, whereas according to Divrei Ha-yamim he is 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"; II Divrei Ha-yamim 2:13) from the Tribe of Dan.

 

Incidentally, this joining of the Tribe of Dan (Chiram the smith from Tzor) to the Tribe of Yehuda (Shelomo) in the construction of the Temple, is part 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. Rabbi Levi said in the name of Rav Chama son of Rav 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 second Temple two tribes were partners. "And King Shelomo sent and fetched Chiram from Tzor" (I Melakhim 7:13), the son of a widow from the Tribe of Dan, and Shelomo ben David who was from the Tribe of Yehuda. (Pesikta Rabbati 6).[3]

 

3)         the significance of the pact

 

The pact established between Shelomo and Chiram raises two questions. First of all, how at all is it possible to enter into a treaty with Chiram?[4] Second, what is the spiritual significance of the partnership of the people of Tzor in the building of the Temple?[5] Here we shall deal with the second question.

 

Rabbeinu 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, 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. According to him, 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 Shelomo'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); Yishayahu – "The Burden of Tzor" (chap. 23); and so too Yoel (6:6-8) and Amos (1:9-10). These prophecies (and especially the prophecy of Yechezkel, who 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 Rav Shavivsee note 8).[10]

 

            Another characteristic of Tzor is its cosmopolitanism – its being "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; and see also Yishayahu 23:8). In this sense Tzor is 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 finds expression 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 Daniyyel; 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, 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 a recognition of the supremacy of God. This point was already noted in the Zohar:

 

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

 

            In this context, it should 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 Shelomo's perception of the Mikdash as an eternal and universal Temple designated for the repair of the entire world. Just as Shelomo's marriages with foreign, idol-worshipping women was meant, according to some opinions, to draw them closer to God (Yerushalmi, Sanhedrin 2:6; see also Lesson no. 10), 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 Shelomo nor during the entire First Temple period.[13] Shelomo himself went after Ashtoret, god of the Tzidonites (I Melakhim 11:5),[14] and over the course of the generations, the commercial connections led to marital alliances: the marriage of Achav to Izevel, daughter of Itba'al, King of Tzidon. This brought the worship of Ba'al to the Kingdom of Israel (I Melakhim 16:31), from where it arrived also in the Kingdom of Yehuda by way of Atalya (see II Melakhim 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]

 

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 Lebanon to its north. However, Yonatan ben Uziel, Chazal and the Rishonim, 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" (Yishayahu 1:18).[18]

 

            According to the simple understanding, the designation of the Temple as "Lebanon" follows from the cedars of Lebanon that Chiram sent to Shelomo and from which the Temple was constructed. This is stated explicitly in Bereishit Rabba (15, 1):

 

Rabbi Yochanan said: The world was not fit to use the cedar trees, which were created only for use in the Temple. This is what is written: "The trees of the Lord have their fill; the cedars of Lebanon" (Tehillim 104:16). And Lebanon refers only to the Temple. This is what is stated: "The goodly mountain region and the Lebanon" (Devarim 3:25).

 

            Yet another interpretation of this designation is found in Vayikra Rabba (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" (I Melakhim 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) that 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 Shelomo for the construction of the Temple smelled of life and were green. Rabbi Levi said: When Shelomo 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)

 

            It is possible that significance of the connection between the Temple and the Lebanon (and between Shelomo, 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 Lebanon expresses the relationship between the heart that 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);[19] "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 SHELMO ACTUALLY DO IN CONNECTION WITH THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE TEMPLE

 

1)         WHAT USE DID SHELMO MAKE OF THAT WHICH HAD BEEN PREPARED BY HIS FATHER, DAVID

 

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

 

So was ended all the work that King Shelomo made for the house of the Lord. And Shelomo 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. (I Melakhim 7:51; parallel found in II Divrei Ha-yamim 5:1)

 

            Why did Shelomo not use that which 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 Shelomo 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, Shelomo 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 Shelomo who was a man of peace, and his 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.[20]

 

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

 

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

 

Likewise from Tivchat and from Kun, cites of Hadarezer, David took very much brass, with which Shelomo made the brazen sea, and the pillars, and the vessels of brass. (I Divrei Ha-yamim 18:8)

 

            Moreover, it seems evident that Shelomo made use of the Temple plans that David had given him; in light of what is stated in I Divrei Ha-yamim (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") and in light of Chazal's tradition regarding the Temple scroll that had been handed down from Moshe to David and from David to Shelomo, it does not stand to reason that Shelomo made changes in the original plans. So too there is no reason to assume that Shelomo instituted changes in David's division of the priesthood and the Levites into mishmarot (I Divrei Ha-yamim 23-26).

 

2)         THE THINGS THAT SHELMO 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 CONSTRUCTION OF THE FIRST TEMPLE BY DAVID AND SHELOMO

 

1)         THE TEMPLE AND JERUSALEM – JOINT PROJECT OF TWO KINGS

 

Until now we have emphasized 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, prepared the plans, the mishmarot, and the ma'amadot. Shelomo 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 Shelomo 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 Shelomo… and both of them built the Temple: David made the foundation and Shelomo built it up. (Bamidbar Rabba 13, 14)

 

Similarly, Tosafot in Berakhot (18a) expound the expression "Two lion-hearted men of Moav" (II Shemuel 23:20) – "This refers to David and Shelomo 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 Shelomo. 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 Shelomo 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 this dynasty which built it.

 

And third, the Temple was built by two kings having 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 clear trait of his is 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.

 

Shelomo, on the other hand, was born into the royal court, and received a kingdom on a silver platter that enjoyed extensive and peaceful borders and grand economic abundance. The entire world comes before him and recognizes 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, Shelomo's clear connection is 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 – Shelomo complements David, and thus the Temple is built by the two of them: David – who is the foundation, the starting point; and Shelomo, the successor, who represents permanence in all of its senses.

 

SUMMARY

 

            In this shiur we tried to complete our analysis of Shelomo'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 had been built by both David and Shelomo.

 

            In the next shiur we shall deal with the relationship between the house of the king and the house of God.



 

 

 

 

 



[1] The positions of Malbim and Abravanel regarding these differences are quite interesting. Malbim (II Divrei Ha-yamim 2:2) writes that "Ezra [in Divrei Ha-yamim; Y.L.] did not write here anything stated in the book of Melakhim, but only related new things." Abravanel (I Melakhim 5:15) writes: "And the prophet [in Melakhim; Y.L.] 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; Y.L] 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, thugh he spoke with the holy spirit. His intention was to arrange the matter in an attractive manner in agreement with truth of the event, and there is no change here, or contradiction." Abravanel's distinction between Melakhim and Divrei Ha-yamim is fascinating, and it can explain changes and contradictions in other places as well.

[2] We shall not try to resolve the 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 shall 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 Rav Yigal Ariel, "Ha-Berit im Tzor," Techumin 4 (1983), pp. 267-277. We shall merely note here the view of Tosafot in Yevamot (23a, s.v. ha-hu be-shiva umot ketiv), who relate specifically to our question and suggest three answers [my numbering; Y.L.): "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."

[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 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 ot the grant that they had from Koresh king of Persia" (Ezra 3:7). On the other hand, Zerubavel answer with an absolute negative to the request of the enmies 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 very resting of the Shekhina is very complicated, for the Shekhina rested on the First Temple, but not on the Second Temple. Rabbi 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" (Megilla 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 Shelomo, 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 spoke.

[8][8] This issue was dealt with by Rav Yehuda Shaviv, "Be-Inyan Shel Tzor ve-Tzidon," Merchavim 5747; Rav Yoel Bin Nun, "Tzor ve-Tzidon be-Nachalat Asher," Alon Shevut 96. In this framework we shall 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 Shimoni (Yechezkel, 367) describes in shockingly graphic terms the feeling of divinity and final end of the prince of Tzor (which it identifies with Chiram, friend of David and Shelomo): "'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 seam, 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 twent-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. …And what was his end? The Holy One, blessed be He, bought Nevuchadnetzer upon him, who fornicated with his mother before him, and removed him from his throne, and chop off two fingers worth of flesh every day, dip them in vinegar and eat it, 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."

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

[12] In his Olat Ra'aya (I, p. 40), Rav Kook explains the unique quality of Eretz Yisrael 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 the base and lowly forces that are found in Tzor.

[13] This idea may be found in Rav 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 Menasheh, 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 Achav: "Menasheh was twelve years old when he began to reign… And he reared up altars for the Ba'al, and made an asheira, as Achav king of Israel… And the Lord spoke by His servants the prophets, saying…  And I will stretch over Jerusalem the measureing line of Shomeron, and the plummet of the house of Achav: and I will wipe Jerusalem as a man wipes a dish, wiping it, and turning it upside down." (II Melakhim 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 as well is likened. We find a similar phenomenon in Yishayahu, which joins the "burden of Tzor" (chap. 23) to the "burden of Gei-Chizayon," which relates to Jerusalem (chap. 22).

[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] Another explanation of this verse is connected to "tzafon" being a poetic idolatrous designation of the mountain on which the deity rests (see Yishayahu 14:13; Iyyov 37:22). According to this, the verse means that the house of God on Mount Moriah is the true "tzafon" (and indeed it is located north of the City of David) – the resting place of the true God.

[20] With this Abarbanel also explains why Shelomo began building the Temple only in the fourth year (I 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 finds expression in many areas; e.g., expansion of the prohibition to use hewn stone from the altar (Shemot 20:21) to the entire Temple (see I Melakhim 6:7).