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 OXYGEN Volume 09

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Here’s a brief outline of this chiasmus:

*  The Lord is praised (blessed)

**  God’s lovingkindness is forever

A  House

B  Filled

C  Cloud

D  Priests could not stand to minister

C’  Cloud

B’  Filled

A’  House

**’  God’s dwelling place is forever

*’  The people are blessed

I like the vividness of this passage.  There’s pageantry and drama.  The arrival of the ark of the covenant.  Instruments, Singing:  People.  A cloud filling the Temple.  The passage builds to the A B C D C’ B’ A’ chiasmus and the overwhelming presence of the Lord.  …  Nice.

I like the way God’s presence is presented in the center.  It’s physical and experiential.  The priests become weak in the presence of God.  Their bodies waver, their knees give way, and they find themselves unable to stand before their Holy God.  …  It’s a nice, short one-line picture.  An intriquing center.

In some ways it’s nice to consider the chiasmus from the inside out.  At the center we have God’s presence, surrounded by the clouds that have filled the space; surrounded by the house.  Then you bring in the idea that this is an everlasting thing.  God’s love is forever.  The situation is forever.  Then finally, you surround the episode with praise for God and with a blessing for the people.  In a center-out read, it all flows from the center’s ‘presence of God’.

This story reminds me a bit of the Christmas story.  Both are about God drawing near to man.  Immanuel:  ‘God with us’.  Perhaps it can be thought of as an Old Testament ‘Christmas story’?  A foretaste of things to come?  An indication of God’s ultimate desire:  to draw near and be present.

_____

7  Then the priests brought the ark of the covenant of the LORD to its place, into the inner sanctuary of the house, to the holy of holies, under the wings of the cherubim.  8  For the cherubim spread their wings over the place of the ark, so that the cherubim made a covering over the ark and its poles.  9  And the poles were so long that the ends of the poles of the ark could be seen in front of the inner sanctuary, but they could not be seen outside; and they are there to this day.  10  There was nothing in the ark except the two tablets which Moses put there at Horeb, where the LORD made a covenant with the sons of Israel, when they came out of Egypt. 

*   11  And when the priests came forth from the holy place (for all the priests who were present had sanctified themselves, without regard to divisions),  12  and all the Levitical    a    singers, Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, and their sons and kinsmen, clothed in fine linen, with    b    a    cymbals, harps, and lyres, standing east of the altar, and with them one hundred and twenty priests blowing    b    trumpets  13  in unison  /  when    b’    the trumpeters and    a’    the singers were to make themselves heard with one voice to praise and to glorify the LORD,  /  and when    a    they lifted up their voice    b    accompanied by    b’    trumpets    a’    and cymbals and instruments of music, and when they praised the LORD saying,

**   “He indeed is good for His lovingkindness is everlasting  [Hebrew: olam]  ,”

A    a    then the house,

B    b    was filled

C    b’   with a cloud –    a’    the house of God,

D    14  so that the priests could not stand to minister

C’   because of the cloud,

B’   filled – with the glory of the Lord,

A’   the house of God.

**’   6:1  Then Solomon said, “The LORD has said that He would dwell in the thick cloud.  2  “I have built Thee a lofty house, And a place for Thy dwelling forever  [Hebrew: olam]  .” 

*’   3  Then the king faced about and blessed all the assembly of Israel, while all the assembly of Israel was standing.

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