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Priceless

When the first Jerusalem temple, “Solomon’s Temple,” was being planned, resources were collected for its construction. The account in 1 Chronicles 29, found in the section known generally as the Old Testament of the Bible, notes the gifts that were contributed to the project. Between David and other leaders of the people, 8,000 talents of gold and 17,000 talents of silver were donated. If we correctly understand a talent measure to be approximately 75 pounds, then the value of the gold in today’s market ($1,950/oz.) would be about 19 billion dollars, U.S. The silver would ring up just under $500 million.

Those are astounding sums! Enough to build twelve Burj Khalifas, the tallest building in the world, found in Dubai, United Arab Emirates! And that’s only with the gold and silver totals committed to Solomon’s Temple; not including the brass, iron, wood, and precious stones listed in the Chronicles account! No wonder Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, made it a target of his invasion in 586 BCE.

(That amount could instead build 1.5 Nimitz class nuclear aircraft carriers at $13 billion each.)

Here’s another comparison. When Jesus was challenged by critics as to His disciples’ Sabbath practices, Jesus, referring to Himself in the conversation, stated, “But I say unto you that something greater than the temple is here.” (Matthew 12:6, NASB) Greater than the temple? In what way greater? “Greater” can also be understood as “more.” More than Solomon’s Temple.

Solomon’s Temple was a stunning display of beauty. Jesus was a stunning display of God Himself, Immanuel. Come to bridge the gap in the Abrahamic Covenant that promised that Abraham’s specially, lovingly chosen descendants would be a blessing to the entire world. Ultimately the church, the living “body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:15-16), would help fill that role, when all people groups, all “races,” could now be united under one banner, one head of the body – Jesus, Messiah Himself.

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