ישיבת כרם ביבנה

Haftorah: "The House of Hashem" – Mishkan and Mikdash

הרב אברהם ריבלין, המשגיח הרוחני לשעבר

The difference between the Mishkan (Tabernacle) of Moshe – the topic of this week's parsha, and the Mikdash of Shlomo, the topic of the Haftorah, goes far beyond the mere discrepancy between a temporary and transportable Ohel Mo'ed and a permanent and established House of G-d. The differences are many and significant, both as far as the structures themselves and as far as the klei sharet – the vessels that they contained.

The differences between the Mishkan and the Mikdash that flow from the fact that one was transportable and one was permanent begin with the building materials and the size: "Acacia wood" in the desert, as opposed to "whole stone" in Yerushalayim, and a cubic volume twelve times the volume of the Mishkan.[1] However, there are additional differences. In contrast to the Mishkan, which was divided into two – kodesh (Sanctuary) and kodesh kodoshim (Inner Sanctum), in the Temple there was an additional unit – the "ulam" (Hall) which now becomes an inseparable part of the House of G-d.[2] Furthermore, yetzi'im (annexes) and taim (side-chambers) were added around the Temple, as well as pillars, which adorned the front of the Temple.

As for the vessels, there are many differences, some in shape and some in number, and there were some new vessels that were not mentioned at all in the Tabernacle.[3] The sacrificial Altar and the cherubim of the Ark in the Temple were different and larger than those in the Tabernacle. Our Haftorah tells of ten Menorahs (Melachim I 7:49), in contrast to the one in the days of Moshe. Despite what it says in the Haftorah, "The Table upon which was the showbread" (7:48), in the Temple there were ten Tables. (Divrei Hayamim II 4:8) In the Haftorah we read about various and strange vessels that are not mentioned at all amongst the vessels of the Tabernacle: large vessels, such as the "sea of Shlomo" (7:44) and the "mechonot" (stands of the of the lavers) (7:43), and also small vessels, "the jugs, musical instruments, bowls ... and the hinge-sockets." (7:50)

The obvious question is: How did Shlomo take upon himself to introduce these drastic changes? The Torah dedicates two full parshas, Teruma and Tetzaveh, to command Moshe about every little detail of the Mishkan and its vessels. Where is the parallel to this in the Mikdash that Shlomo built? It is important to mention, that also regarding the building of the Temple itself Shlomo acts on his own, without an explicit command to build the Temple now. He writes to Hiram as follows: "Now Hashem my G-d has granted me rest on all sides ... Therefore I have decided to build a house for the Name of Hashem my G-d." (Melachim I 5:18-19)

However, the Torah does mention numerous times in Devarim, "the place that G-d will choose," and there was also a general directive to David that his son should build the Temple: "As Hashem spoke to my father David, saying, 'Your son, whom I shall place upon your throne in your stead – he will build a house for My Name." (5:19) David, indeed, did command Shlomo to built the Temple: "He summoned his son Shlomo and charged him to build a Temple for Hashem, G-d of Israel." (Divrei Hayamim I 22:6) Thus, Shlomo received an explicit charge from his father to build a Temple.

Yet, these sources do not address the authority to alter the plans of the Temple and the vessels that Shlomo took upon himself. Moreover, there seems to be a pasuk that prohibits altering the sacred vessels, as G-d said to Moshe: "Like everything that I show you, the form of the Tabernacle and the form of all its vessels; and so shall you do." (Shemot 25:9) Rashi explains: "For generations, if one of the vessels is lost, or when you make for Me the vessels of the Temple, such as Tables and Menorahs and lavers and the stands that Shlomo made – you should make them in this form."[4] The Ramban already takes objection on the spot: "I do not know this to be true that Shlomo was obligated to make the vessels of the Temple in the form of these, and the copper Altar that Shlomo made was twenty cubits long and twenty cubits wide."[5]

Indeed, in Divrei Hayamim I (28:11-19) it says explicitly: "David then gave to his son Shlomo the plans for the Hall and its structures, storage rooms, upper chambers and inner rooms, and for the Chamber of the Ark-Cover, and the plans for all that he had with him by Divine inspiration ... Everything is in writing, by the hand of Hashem, which He gave me understanding to know – all the works of the plan." Rashi explains: "Shmuel derived everything from the Torah with ruach hakodesh and taught David so." Similarly, we find in the Yerushalmi, "This is the scroll that Shmuel gave over to David." (Megillah 1:1) [However, Rashi on the Gemara explains: "G-d informed him through Gad the chozeh and Natan the prophet."[6]]

Indeed, the Darchei David explains Rashi (on the Torah) in this manner: "'And so you shall do for generations' – this is only without a prophet and urim vetumim. However, according to their word it is possible to make changes in their form."

The source for the changes is thus the prophet Shmuel, who transmitted [partially via his disciples Gad and Natan] to David the blueprint of the Temple. The relationship between Shmuel and David is complex, and cannot be covered in this context.[7] Let us just mention that besides their meeting at the time of David's anointing, they met only one other time, at "Nayot in Ramah." In these two meetings, the Tanach does not record any direct conversation. The Tanach merely mentions that in the second encounter, David told Shmuel "all that Shaul had done to him." Shmuel does not respond, and the pasuk concludes, "He and Shmuel went and stayed at Nayot." (Shmuel I 19:18) The Gemara asks, "What is the connection between Nayot and Ramah? Rather they were sitting in Ramah and dealing with noyo shel olam (the beauty of the world)." Rashi: "To derive a place for the Temple from the Torah." (Zevachim 54b)[8] Perhaps this is the allusion of the verse: "They were the ones whom David and Shmuel the Seer established in their permanent positions." (Divrei Hayamim I 9:22)[9]

Chazal greatly praise the learning of this unique night: "Rav Huna b. Yosi said: The night that David ran away from Shaul, he learned from Shmuel the prophet what an experienced disciple cannot learn in one hundred years."[10] The Rambam includes this nightly learning as part of the chain of transmission of the Torah: "Shmuel received [the Torah] from Eli and his court, and David received from Shmuel and his court."[11]

Thus, we find an additional parallel in the pasuk, "Moshe and Aharon were among His priests, and Shmuel among those who invoke His Name" (Tehillim 99:6) – both are commanded about building a House of G-d, and both transmit detailed plans for the building of the Mishkan and the Mikdash.

[1] The dimensions of the Mishkan: 30 cubits long, 10 wide, and 10 high = 3,000 cubic amot. The dimensions of the Temple: 60 cubits long, 20 wide, and 30 high (Melachim I 6:2) = 36,000 cubic amot.

[2]  "These are the things that are critical in the building of the Temple: There must be a kodesh and a kodesh kodoshim. Before the kodesh there should be a certain place, which is called ulam. The three of them are called heichal." (Rambam Hil. Beit Habechira 1:5)

[3] Many of those who learn Tanach are not aware of these differences, because we are used to learning the Chumash every year, while, unfortunately, only a few are well-versed also in the Prophets. It should be mentioned that these differences do not come from careful analysis of the commentators or of Chazal's statements in remote Midrashs, but are explicit in the verses themselves.

[4] The source for this is in the Gemara Sanhedrin 16b and Shavuot 15a. However, there a somewhat different topic is discussed: "The city [of Yerushalayim] and the azarot [of the Temple] are not added upon other than through a king, prophet, urim vetumim, and Sanhedrin of seventy one. Where is this [derived] from? ... 'So you shall do' – for generations."

[5] For additional answers to the Ramban's question, see Ohr Hachaim (Shemot 25:9) and the supercommentary of Rav Chavel to the Ramban here.

[6] Rashi to Succah 51b. The Gemara cites this pasuk in regards to the change that was made in the Temple regarding the ezrat nashim. In Da'at Mikra (Divrei Hayamim I 28:19) it says that Gad and Natan are included in the academy of Shmuel.

[7] See my work, Iyunei Mikra, vol. I p. 238, sec. 4-5; Iyunei Mikra II, fifth section.

[8] To complete the issue, see my article, "Kingship of Torah," in the sefer, Be'er Mayim Chaim, a memorial volume in honor of Maran Rosh Hayeshiva Harav Chaim Yaakov Goldvicht zt"l, p. 363.

[9] The pasuk originally deals with the genealogy of Bnei Yisrael.

[10] Midrash Shmuel II 22:4 (cited in Ishei Hatanach, p.108)

[11] Introduction of the Rambam to Yad Hachazaka.

 

 

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