David wanted to build the Temple, but God stopped him. God told Nathan (the prophet) that David wasn't going to be the one to create his home. 1 Chronicles 17 and 2 Samuel 7 discuss David's desire to build the Temple and God's response. Many people wonder why David, who was “a man after God’s own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22), wasn’t considered worthy of building the Temple. We’ll focus on that as we look at this chapter.
One group theorizes that Solomon was chosen because of his wisdom. They believe that Solomon constructed a hidden room in the Temple, with the help of his Egyptian bride, to conceal the Ark. Although no mention of the Ark is made from the time it enters the first Temple onward, they believe it is still in Jerusalem in this hidden space. Egypt is known for their expertise in hiding things; in fact new chambers may have been recently discovered in one of the pyramids just last year (2016). If the Egyptians were involved with the process it seems likely that a hidden room is possible. Of course, God could have given David (or Solomon) this knowledge directly if He wanted to; there was no need to include an Egyptian to accomplish this.
If this theory proves true, it seems to me that the plan was carried out by Solomon without inspiration from God. Kings were not to marry foreign women and God would have possessed the knowledge to create a secret chamber. It seems odd that God would send Solomon to the Egyptians to carry out such a task. Of course, it is also possible that the Egyptian princess was meant to help and Solomon decided to make her his wife on his own. It is one of the Bible's many mysteries.
The Bible Speaks
But the word of the Lord came to me, saying, Thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars: thou shalt not build an house unto my name, because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in my sight.
While the theory mentioned above is interesting, the Bible actually tells us why David wasn't allowed to build the Ark in 1 Chronicles 22. David may have had great faith, but David was a man of war who killed many people. In short, David was violent. God shows His preference that we be wise and peaceful over violent when he tasks Solomon with building the Temple instead. (Note this doesn’t mean Solomon didn’t create a secret location to hide the Ark—just that Solomon was not chosen for that reason.)
References and Footnotes
- Edoardo Recanati. "The Ark of the Covenant". Israelhai.org; visited February 2017
- Adam Boult . "Scientists discover two mysterious ‘chambers’ in the Great Pyramid of Giza". The Telegraph. October 18, 2016
- Owen Jarus. "Chambers Hidden in Great Pyramid? Scientists Cast Doubt". Live Science. October 17, 2016
- may be of interest since 2 Samuel 7 discusses David’s desire to build the Temple.2 Samuel 5-10: David’s Military Success
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