Friday, August 30, 2013

Daily Old Testament and Early Christian Writings: 2 Chronicles 3-4 and Augustine's Treatise on the Profit of Believing 12

2 Chronicles 3 – The building is located at the place David designated, “on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite” (3:1) on Mt. Moriah. It is started on the 2nd day of the 2nd month [mid-spring] of the 4th year of his reign. The measurements are all given in “cubits of the old standard”—60 by 20 [90 feet long and 30 feet wide]. The vestibule 20 cubits long and 120 cubits high.

It is overlaid with pure gold. The nave [main room] is lined with cypress and covered with fine gold.  The house is adorned with precious stones. Cherubim are carved on the walls. “The total wingspan of the two cherubim standing side by side was 30 feet. One wing of the first figure was 7 and ½ feet long, and it touched the Temple wall” (3:10-11).

The curtains are made of blue and purple and crimson fabric and fine linen with cherubim worked (embroidered) in (3:14).  In front of the Temple there are two pillars 27 feet high with a capital of 7.5 feet on top. Chains are set on top of the pillars and pomegranates are on the chains.  The pillars—one to the right and one to the left of the temple are named Jakin and Boaz.

2 Chronicles 4 – The altar is made of bronze—30 feet long, 30 feet wide and 15 feet high (4:1).  “Then he cast a great round basin, 15 feet across from rim to rim, called the Sea. It was 7 ½ feet deep and about 45 feet in circumference. It was encircled just below its rim by two rows of figures that resembled oxen”(4:2-3). It is encircled with panels and stands on 12 oxen, three facing north, three south, etc. Their faces face outward. There are ten basins to wash in, five on each side and ten tables.  The doors to the court of the priests are overlaid with bronze. The Sea is at the southeast corner of the house.

Huram-abi also makes pots, shovels and basins. Solomon makes all the things that were in the temple—the golden altar, tables for the bread of the Presence (4:19) lampstands, lamps of gold, flowers, lamps, tongs, snuffers, basins, ladles, and firepans. The doors to the holy of holies and the doors of the nave of the temple were also of gold.

Augustine (354-439)
On the Profit or Benefit of Believing
12 - Wherefore I would that they would tell me, in what kind they place the, supposed, error of the Catholic Church. If in the first [some falsity that the reader is supposed to believe is true even though the writer knew it was not true], it is altogether a grave charge; but it needs not a far-fetched defense: for it is enough to deny that we so understand, as the persons, who inveigh against us, suppose [it is enough or an adequate defense if we say we do not accept the falsity as truth]. If in the second [when both writer and reader accept something as truth that is not true], the charge is not less grave but they shall be refuted by the same saying [that the interpretation put forward is simply not true and can be shown to be not true]. If in the third, it is no charge at all [because no harm comes from the falsity – it is interpreted in a way that makes the end of it all not a problem].

Proceed, and next consider the Scriptures themselves. For what objection do they raise against the books of (what is called) the Old Testament? Is it that they are good, but are understood by us in an ill [incorrect] sense? But they themselves do not receive them. Or is it that they are neither good, nor are well understood? But our defense above is enough to drive them from this position. Or is it this that they will say, although they are understood by you in a good sense, yet they are evil? What is this other than to acquit living adversaries, with whom they have to do, and to accuse men long ago dead, with whom they have no strife?

I indeed believe that both those men profitably delivered to memory all things, and that they were great and divine. And that that Law was published, and framed by the command and will of God: and of this, although I have but very slight knowledge of books of that kind, yet I can easily persuade any, if there apply to me a mind fair and no way obstinate: and this I will do, when you shall grant to me your ears and mind well disposed: this however when it shall be in my power: but now is it not enough for me, however that matter may stand, not to have been deceived?

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