III. Implications from Solomon’s Temple Dedication and Other OT Temple Texts (A)
The immediate context links the “one new man” and the Ephesians 3 prayer together. [See chart III.1.a]
1. The Solomon temple dedication antecedent relationship to Paul’s Ephesians 2 “one new man” (v. 15c). There is lexical and conceptual associations to suggest this connection between Ephesians 2 and Solomon’s temple dedicatory speeches/prayers in 2 Chronicles 1-7 and 1 Kings 6-8. The centrality of “peace” in Solomon's prayers links the temple-building imagery of Ephesians 2 and points back to the first builder of the temple, making a type-antitype that is both Christological and ecclesiological regarding the Solomon, the man of peace, David’s son, and the temple that he built. Thus, the temple dedication and its wider context (2 Chron 1-7 and 1 Kgs 6-8) is a reasonable place to give intra-biblical background to the “one new man,” and thus, Paul’s reference to the Ephesians 3 “inner man.”
2. Support for my argument is further established by observing the dimension-language in Ephesians 3:18 (τὸ πλάτος καὶ μῆκος καὶ ὕψος καὶ βάθος, the breadth and length and height and depth). This language is used in describing how the temple was to be build and, as well, there is multiple-reference in its use similar to language throughout Ezekiel’s vision of the future restored temple. Interestingly, the same language is used in Ezekiel’s description of the altar in the eschatological temple described in Ezekiel 41:22. Also, we note that the highest prevalence of dimension language in the LXX is in Ezekiel 40-47 where it is used to refer to the dimensions of the new temple.
3. The immediate context for the Ephesians 3 prayer indicates that believing-Gentiles, now, by faith, are freely made fellow co-inheritors, co-heirs with believing-Jews into the body of Messiah (3:4–6), the church, which results in equal and full access to the Father (2:18ff.; 3:12; cf. 1:11-14). This clearly links the Ephesians 2 “one new man” with the temple-dedication prayer. Interestingly, the language of “near” and “far” also finds an antecedent in 2 Chron 6:36, noting its use prior to Isaiah 57:19, the reference Paul quotes in Ephesians 2:17.
“When they sin against You (for there is no man who does not sin) and You are angry with them and deliver them to an enemy, so that they take them away captive to a land far off or near (2 Chron 6:36, μακρὰν ἢ ἐγγὺς; cf. 1 Kgs 8:46; Isa 57:19; Eph 2:13, 17)
1. Ephesians 3:14–21 denotes Paul rhetorically kneeling in prayer (v. 14) for the new temple (2:18–22) to be filled with the presence of God, mirroring the posture and prayer of Solomon and having the same result: “. . . then [Solomon] knelt on his knees” (2 Chronicles 6:13) and “ . . . the glory of the Lord filled the temple” (7:1). Similarly, Paul’s prayer culminates in church being “filled with all the fullness of God” (3:19). The conceptual imagery is parallel, suggesting that 2 Chron 1-7 (and 1 Kgs 6-8) are, at least in part, the antecedent background for Paul’s prayer for the saints in Ephesus.
2. The question Solomon poses in his temple dedication prayer, “will God dwell with man on earth” (2 Chron 6:18), seems to be answered (i.e., fulfilled), first, in the Ephesians 2 “one new man” and, then, is certified in the Ephesians 3 prayer. Particularly note the use of κατοικέω (dwell) in Eph 3:17 and its use in the Solomonic dedication prayer for the temple (2 Chron 2:2; 6:18, 21; 8:27, 30; 1 Kings 8:27/3 Kings 8:27 (LXX); 1 Kings 8:30/ 3 Kings 8:30 (LXX); cf. God’s dwelling place, 2 Chron 6:30, 33, 39; 1 Kings 8/3 Kings (LXX) 8:29, 43, 49; cf. 3 Kings 8:53a (LXX)).
3. The dwelling: The building and dwelling language makes for antecedent linkage to Solomon’s temple prayer very strong: so that Christ may dwell [κατοικῆσαι] in your hearts through faith . . . (Eph 3:17a).
Then Solomon sent word to Huram the king of Tyre, saying, “As you dealt with David my father [τοῦ πατρός] and sent him cedars to build him a house to dwell in [τοῦ οἰκοδομῆσαι ἑαυτῷ οἶκον κατοικῆσαι], so do for me. Behold, I am about to build a house for the name [τῷ ὀνόματι] of the Lord my God, dedicating it to Him, to burn fragrant incense before Him and to set out the showbread continually, and to offer burnt offerings morning and evening, on sabbaths and on new moons and on the appointed feasts of the Lord our God, this being required forever in Israel (2 Chron 2:3–4).
“But will God indeed dwell [κατοικήσει] with mankind on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain You; how much less this house which I have built. 19Yet have regard to the prayer of Your servant and to his supplication, O Lord my God, to listen to the cry and to the prayer which Your servant prays before You; 20that Your eye may be open toward this house day and night, toward the place of which You have said that You would put Your name there, to listen to the prayer which Your servant shall pray toward this place. 21Listen to the supplications of Your servant and of Your people Israel when they pray toward this place; hear from Your dwelling place [κατοικήσεώς], from heaven; hear and forgive (2 Chron 2:18–21)
[T]hen hear from heaven Your dwelling place [κατοικητηρίου], and forgive, and render to each according to all his ways, whose heart You know for You alone know the hearts of the sons of men, 31that they may fear You, to walk in Your ways as long as they live in the land which You have given to our fathers. 32“Also concerning the foreigner who is not from Your people Israel, when he comes from a far country for Your great name’s sake and Your mighty hand and Your outstretched arm, when they come and pray toward this house, 33then hear from heaven, from Your dwelling place[κατοικητηρίου], and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to You, in order that all the peoples of the earth may know Your name, and fear You as do Your people Israel, and that they may know that this house which I have built [ᾠκοδόμησα] is called by Your name (2 Chron 6:30–33)
[I]f they return to You with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their captivity, where they have been taken captive, and pray toward their land which You have given to their fathers and the city which You have chosen, and toward the house which I have built for Your name, 39then hear from heaven, from Your dwelling place [κατοικητηρίου], their prayer and supplications, and maintain their cause and forgive Your people who have sinned against You (2 Chron 6:38–39)
4. The place given to the “foreigner” (2 Chron 6:32; 1 Kings 8:41) also suggests a link between the “one new man” and the Ephesians 3 prayer. The foreigner in the temple dedicatory prayer (especially in Chronicles) is in distant (far) lands (ἐκ γῆς μακρόθεν), a distinct connection to the Ephesians 2, and thus they journey to the temple to pray so that that Yahweh would hear their prayers. The result implies mission, evangelism, and church growth: “so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear” Yahweh (2 Chron 6:32–33). Furthermore, the temple is built by an appointed Gentile skilled craftsman, along with Gentile and Israelite laborers (note 2 Chron 2, particularly a leader who is both Gentile and Israelite, vv. 13–14; 1 Kgs 5). This conceptual link (acceptance of Gentiles) between the temple dedicatory prayer and Ephesians 2:11–22 strengthens the likelihood of a relationship with the Ephesians 3 prayer as well.
5. The emphasis on “forgiveness” and exile return offer a link as well. Solomon prophetically anticipated that Israel would stray from the law and the meaning of the temple itself. He asks that God would hear their prayers from exile and forgive them (2 Chron 6:25, 27, 28, 36; cf. 2 Chon 6:21; 7:14). The exile context and the result of “forgiveness” as God’s action in Messiah Jesus offer further linkage (Ephesians 1:7; 4:32; note the parallels in Colossians, 1:14; 2:13; 3:13).
6. The combination of God giving wisdom and understanding is used also in Exod 31:3 as that which is given to enable building of the tabernacle (also in Exodus 35:31, 35). In 1 Chron 22:12 and 2 Chron 1:10–11, it is what Solomon asks for and is given by God. (Aside from these occurrences, we see the same combination in Daniel 2:21, where it is part of Daniel’s praise to God that he gives wisdom and understanding to men.) Building the temple is a “wisdom” thing in both 2 Chon (1 Kgs) and Ephesians (1:8; 3:10; and prayed for in 1:17)
If these blogs and teachings benefit you in some way, please consider supporting the ministry of Christ Presbyterian Church in The Hill. Our church plant and ministry in the Hill is dependent on the kind and generous financial support from outside the Hill. The Hill is one of Connecticut's poorest and under-resourced, self-sustaining neighborhoods; we will be dependent on outside support for some time. Please consider supporting us with a one time donation or join us as a financial partner in ministry.
You may donate online through our website or send a donation to our anchor church marked for CPC in The Hill @ 135 Whitney Ave, New Haven, CT 06510 (checks are to be made out to Christ Presbyterian Church or simply CPC; and in the memo please indicate Hill/CA). For more information or to receive our Hill News Updates, please contact me, Pastor Chip, through this email address: ChipCPCtheHill@gmail.com.
 Stirling, “Transformation and Growth,” 99.
 Stirling, “Transformation and Growth,” 141.
 Although not in the full scope of this paper, the fact that there is an exiled-condition associated with future restoration even here in the Solomonic dedication of the temple (goes to the purpose of the Chronicler) is significance, for God’s action in Messiah Jesus is the exile-remedy for which both Jews and Gentiles benefit, a theme in Ephesians.
 Stirling, “Transformation and Growth,” 99.
 Note: “Overlap between semantic fields with both ἀλλότριος and ξἐνος being used to translate ָנ ְכ ִרי, which is rendered ἀλλότριος in both 1 Kgs 8:43 and 2 Chron 6:32–33” (Stirling, “Transformation and Growth”)