From Gilgal to Jerusalem
Lesson 14 | Sabbath, 1 October 2022
“For I have not dwelt in an house since the day that I brought up Israel unto this day; but have gone from tent to tent, and from one tabernacle to another.” 1 Chronicles 17:5.
“The greatness of God is to us incomprehensible. ‘The Lord’s throne is in heaven’ (Psalm 11:4); yet by His Spirit He is everywhere present. He has an intimate knowledge of, and a personal interest in, all the works of His hand.” –Education, p.132.
“The psalmist represents the presence of the Infinite One as pervading the universe. ‘If I ascend up into heaven, Thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, Thou art there.’ We can never find a solitude where God is not.
“The Lord God omnipotent, who reigneth in the heavens, declares, ‘I am with you.’ He assures His people that those who are obedient are in a position where He can bless them, to the glory of His name…. He will be a present help to all who serve Him in preference to serving self.” –The Faith I Live By, p. 62.
- After crossing the Jordan River and entering Canaan, what was the first place where Israel set up their camp? Therefore, what was the firstplace where the sanctuary was set up in the land of Canaan?
Joshua 4:19; 5:10 And the people came up out of Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and encamped in Gilgal, in the east border of Jericho…. 5:10And the children of Israel encamped in Gilgal, and kept the passover on the fourteenth day of the month at even in the plains of Jericho.
“Heretofore Gilgal had been the headquarters of the nation and the seat of the tabernacle. But now the tabernacle was to be removed to the place chosen for its permanent location.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 514.
The tent of meeting in Shiloh
- Still during the life of Joshua, what was the second place where the tabernacle was set up? Although he was still very young, whom did the Lord call and speak to in Shiloh?
Joshua 18:1; 19:51 And the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh, and set up the tabernacle of the congregation there. And the land was subdued before them…. 19:51These are the inheritances, which Eleazar the priest, and Joshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel, divided for an inheritance by lot in Shiloh before the Lord, at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. So they made an end of dividing the country.
1 Samuel 3:20, 21 And all Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the Lord. 21And the Lord appeared again in Shiloh: for the Lord revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the Lord.
“This was Shiloh, a little town in the lot of Ephraim. It was near the center of the land, and was easy of access to all the tribes. Here a portion of country had been thoroughly subdued, so that the worshipers would not be molested. ‘And the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh, and set up the tabernacle of the congregation there.’ The tribes that were still encamped when the tabernacle was removed from Gilgal followed it, and pitched near Shiloh. Here these tribes remained until they dispersed to their possessions.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 514.
- In Eli’s time, what happened to the ark of the covenant in Shiloh? What message did the Lord give to the conquerors when they put the ark in the temple of Dagon?
1 Samuel 4:10, 11; 5:1-5; 6:1, 2 And the Philistines fought, and Israel was smitten, and they fled every man into his tent: and there was a very great slaughter; for there fell of Israel thirty thousand footmen. 11And the ark of God was taken; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were slain…. 5:1And the Philistines took the ark of God, and brought it from Ebenezer unto Ashdod. 2 When the Philistines took the ark of God, they brought it into the house of Dagon, and set it by Dagon. 3 And when they of Ashdod arose early on the morrow, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the earth before the ark of the Lord. And they took Dagon, and set him in his place again. 4And when they arose early on the morrow morning, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the ground before the ark of the Lord; and the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands were cut off upon the threshold; only the stump of Dagon was left to him. 5 Therefore neither the priests of Dagon, nor any that come into Dagon’s house, tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod unto this day…. 6:1 And the ark of the Lord was in the country of the Philistines seven months. 2And the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners, saying, What shall we do to the ark of the Lord? tell us wherewith we shall send it to his place.
“The Philistines made a fierce assault, which resulted in the defeat of Israel, with great slaughter. Thirty thousand men lay dead upon the field, and the ark of God was taken, the two sons of Eli having fallen while fighting to defend it. Thus again was left upon the page of history a testimony for all future ages–that the iniquity of God’s professed people will not go unpunished. The greater the knowledge of God’s will, the greater the sin of those who disregard it….
“The ark remained at Shiloh for three hundred years, until, because of the sins of Eli’s house, it fell into the hands of the Philistines, and Shiloh was ruined. Theark was never returned to the tabernacle here, the sanctuary service was finally transferred to the temple at Jerusalem, and Shiloh fell into insignificance. There are only ruins to mark the spot where it once stood. Long afterward its fate was made use of as a warning to Jerusalem. ‘Go ye now unto My place which was in Shiloh,’ the Lord declared by the prophet Jeremiah, ‘where I set My name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of My people Israel…. Therefore will I do unto this house, which is called by My name, wherein ye trust, and unto the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh.’ Jeremiah 7:12-14.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 583, 584, 514, 515.
The ark in Bethshemesh
- What happened to the Philistines while the ark was in their territory? After leaving that territory, in what village did the cows pulling the ark stop? What happened there?
1 Samuel 5:6, 8-10, first part; 6:12-14, first part But the hand of the Lord was heavy upon them of Ashdod, and he destroyed them, and smote them with emerods, even Ashdod and the coasts thereof…. 8 They sent therefore and gathered all the lords of the Philistines unto them, and said, What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel? And they answered, Let the ark of the God of Israel be carried about unto Gath. And they carried the ark of the God of Israel about thither. 9 And it was so, that, after they had carried it about, the hand of the Lord was against the city with a very great destruction: and he smote the men of the city, both small and great, and they had emerods in their secret parts. 10Therefore they sent the ark of God to Ekron. And it came to pass, as the ark of God came to Ekron, that the Ekronites cried out,… 6:12 And the kine took the straight way to the way of Bethshemesh, and went along the highway, lowing as they went, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left; and the lords of the Philistines went after them unto the border of Bethshemesh. 13 And they of Bethshemesh were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley: and they lifted up their eyes, and saw the ark, and rejoiced to see it. 14And the cart came into the field of Joshua, a Bethshemite, and stood there,…
“The men of Bethshemesh were curious to know what great power could be in that ark, which caused it to accomplish such marvelous things. They looked upon the ark alone as being so powerful, and were not accrediting the power to God. None but men sacredly appointed for the purpose could look upon the ark, divested of its coverings, without being slain, for it was as though looking upon God Himself. And as the people gratified their curiosity and opened the ark to gaze into its sacred recesses, which the heathen idolaters had not dared to do, the angels attending the ark slew above fifty thousand of the people.
“And the people of Bethshemesh were afraid of the ark, and they said, ‘Who is able to stand before this holy Lord God? and to whom shall He go up from us? And they sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kirjath-jearim, saying, The Philistines have brought again the ark of the Lord; come ye down, and fetch it up to you.’” –The Story of Redemption, p. 191.
- After what happened to the inhabitants of Bethshemesh because of their irreverence with the ark, whom did they call to take it from them?
1 Samuel 6:20, 21; 7:1, 2 And the men of Bethshemesh said, Who is able to stand before this holy Lord God? and to whom shall he go up from us? 21 And they sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kirjathjearim, saying, The Philistines have brought again the ark of the Lord; come ye down, and fetch it up to you…. 7:1 And the men of Kirjathjearim came, and fetched up the ark of the Lord, and brought it into the house of Abinadab in the hill, and sanctified Eleazar his son to keep the ark of the Lord. 2 And it came to pass, while the ark abode in Kirjathjearim, that the time was long; for it was twenty years: and all the house of Israel lamented after the Lord.
“The people of Kirjath-jearim brought the ark of the Lord to the house of Abinadab and sanctified his son to keep it. For twenty years the Hebrews were in the power of the Philistines, and they were greatly humbled and repented of their sins, and Samuel interceded for them, and God was again merciful to them. And the Philistines made war with them, and the Lord again wrought in a miraculous manner for Israel, and they overcame their enemies.” –The Story of Redemption, p. 191.
- Where was the sanctuary in the time of King Saul?
1 Samuel 21:1, 6 Then came David to Nob to Ahimelech the priest: and Ahimelech was afraid at the meeting of David, and said unto him, Why art thou alone, and no man with thee?… 6So the priest gave him hallowed bread: for there was no bread there but the shewbread, that was taken from before the Lord, to put hot bread in the day when it was taken away.
“The king’s son returned to Gibeah, and David hastened to reach Nob, a city but a few miles distant, and also belonging to the tribe of Benjamin. The tabernacle had been taken to this place from Shiloh, and here Ahimelech the high priest ministered. David knew not whither to flee for refuge, except to the servant of God. The priest looked upon him with astonishment, as he came in haste and apparently alone, with a countenance marked by anxiety and sorrow. He inquired what had brought him there. The young man was in constant fear of discovery, and in his extremity he resorted to deception.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 655, 656.
- Where was the tabernacle located before it was moved to Jerusalem?
1 Chronicles 21:29; 16:39 For the tabernacle of the Lord, which Moses made in the wilderness, and the altar of burnt offering, were at that season in the high place at Gibeon…. 16:39 And Zadok the priest, and his brethren the priests, before the tabernacle of the Lord in the high place that was at Gibeon.
“In his youth Solomon made David’s choice his own, and for many years he walked uprightly, his life marked with strict obedience to God’s commands. Early in his reign he went with his counselors of state to Gibeon, where the tabernacle that had been built in the wilderness still was, and there he united with his chosen advisers, ‘the captains of thousands and of hundreds,’ ‘the judges,’ and ‘every governor in all Israel, the chief of the fathers,’ in offering sacrifices to God and in consecrating themselves fully to the Lord’s service. 2 Chronicles 1:2.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 27.
The ark transferred to Jerusalem
- What desire did David have for the ark of the Lord? At his initiative, what was done with it?
1 Chronicles 13:1, 3, 4; 15:3, 12 And David consulted with the captains of thou- sands and hundreds, and with every leader…. 3 And let us bring again the ark of our God to us: for we enquired not at it in the days of Saul. 4And all the congregation said that they would do so: for the thing was right in the eyes of all the people…. 15:3 David gathered all Israel together to Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the Lord unto his place, which he had prepared for it…. 12 And said unto them, Ye are the chief of the fathers of the Levites: sanctify yourselves, both ye and your brethren, that ye may bring up the ark of the Lord God of Israel unto the place that I have prepared for it.
“Now that David was firmly established upon the throne and free from the invasions of foreign foes, he turned to the accomplishment of a cherished purpose– to bring up the ark of God to Jerusalem. For many years the ark had remained at Kirjath-jearim, nine miles distant; but it was fitting that the capital of the nation should be honored with the token of the divine Presence….
“Then the gates were opened wide, the procession entered, and with reverent awe the ark was deposited in the tent that had been prepared for its reception. Beforethe sacred enclosure altars for sacrifice were erected; the smoke of peace offerings and burnt offerings, and the clouds of incense, with the praises and supplications of Israel, ascended to heaven. The service ended, the king himself pronounced a benediction upon his people.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 704, 708.