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    12 THE TEMPLE

    IT now pleased God that the sanctuary should take a more permanent form. All necessity for a movable structure, to be temporarily located in different places, had ceased to exist. The period of Israel’s journeyings had long gone by. The period of the Judges, during which the affairs of Israel were often uncertain and the times troublous, though exceeding in duration more than four times the length of the existence of our own government, was at length ended. The tribes of Israel were consolidated into a new and powerful kingdom. Under David, the Hebrew scepter established its broadest sway.STTHD 143.1

    At length God gave him rest from all his enemies round about. 2 Samuel 7 and 8. Then came the house of God into his mind, and to the prophet Nathan he thus spoke: “See now, I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains.” This doubtless refers to the tent which he had pitched for it in the city of David, of which the words of Uriah the Hittite, 2 Samuel 11:11, may also probably be understood.STTHD 143.2

    The prophet approved of what was implied in the language of David, that he purposed to prepare a suitable structure for the permanent abiding-place of the ark of God, and he said, “Do all that is in thine heart; for God is with thee.” But the Lord the same night reversed the decision of the prophet, saying to the king that he could not build a house for him to dwell in; for he had been a man of war and had shed much blood. This was an important and a holy work. In this house the olive branch of peace was to be held out by Heaven to a rebellious world, and none but those whose lives had been passed in peace could be employed in its erection.STTHD 144.1

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