Thus all the work that King Solomon performed in the house of the LORD was finished.
1 Kings 7:51
Then Solomon said, “The LORD has said that He would dwell in the thick cloud.”
1 Kings 8:12 NASB
After the temple is finished, key word—finished—the ark is brought in and the glory of the Lord fills it with a dark cloud. This whole process prophesies of the future completing of the real temple of God. God’s ultimate trajectory and where all his zeal is concentrated, is at the end. When his work is complete.
The Hebrew for “thick cloud” (the NASB translators are shy about it’s meaning) is araphel which means “gloomy or dark cloud.” This has stumped commentators and translators alike for centuries because the expectation is that God should be showing himself beautiful and bright in his “holy temple”, right? But God is prophesying! And that temple was not his temple, but a foreshadowing of it. This gloomy cloud, araphel is spoken of in Exo. 20:21, Deut. 4:11, 5:22, 2 Sam. 22:10, 1 Kin. 8:12, 2 Chron. 6:1, Job 22:13, Job 38:9, Ps. 18:9, Ps. 97:2, Isa. 60:2, Jer. 13:16, Eze. 34:12, Joel 2:2, and Zeph. 1:15. In every instance it is in the singular. The word “cloud”, anan, is also always in the singular in these verses. Every translation translates the word “clouds” which is incorrect. Only the Young’s Literal Translation gets it right. The YLT however misses it in one important place: Ezekiel 30:3. It properly reads,
For the day is near, the day of the LORD is near; it will be a day of cloud, a time of doom for the nations.
Take note of this cloud. This forms the backdrop of a rather provocative revelation:
And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud, Gen. 9:14 ASV
Take a look around you. That bow floating around the entire West right now is God’s own sign. Thus God says, “You are not to say, ‘It is a conspiracy!’ In regard to all that this people call a conspiracy, And you are not to fear what they fear or be in dread of it.” Because it is his judgement coming upon the whole land. He will do this once, but never again.
Solomon’s Temple was the first time the temple was finished. There was a thick darkness.
Jesus on the cross was the second time the temple was finished. There was a thick darkness. At noon. For three hours.
You do the math.