First Kings records a massive outpouring of light and cloud when Solomon’s
temple was dedicated. Is there any record of such an event occurring when
the second temple was dedicated? Can you think of any spiritual
implications of whether such a miraculous outpouring happened?
As far as I know, there is no direct evidence of the sort of miraculous
outpouring of the Holy Spirit/light/clouds etc. with the dedication of the
second temple. Of course lack of evidence does not prove anything, but it
is striking to note that there is no such mention of a miraculous
outpouring at the dedication of the second temple, at least as far as I
know. Having said that, there is the scene in Ezekiel 43. This is a
vision of Ezekiel in which he sees God enter the new temple in Jerusalem
in all his glory. “The glory of the Lord entered the temple by way of the
gate that faced east.” Bear in mind that this is a vision of Ezekiel of
the second temple which occurred about 50 years before it was actually
built, but it certainly implies that at least on a spiritual level, God
did indeed enter the second temple in all his glory. I would cautiously
and tentatively conclude that a dramatic visible event probably did not
occur, but that God definitely was present in the second temple in some
I believe that there is not a lot we can conclude from the assumption that
there was no highly visible evidence of God entering the second temple.
Clearly, God was in the Solomonic temple all along (unless the Bible is
wrong), and the miraculous outpouring of light and smoke only happened at
the dedication as far as we know. Therefore we know that it is normal
that God does not produce such a display. Why God chose not to put on
such a miraculous display when the second temple was built (assuming that
it did not happen, which is not proven) is a matter for speculation.
Perhaps God was moving more toward spiritual rather than physical
manifestation in general. Perhaps the lack of the ark in the second
temple was a factor. I would hesitate to conclude that God never
“occupied” the second temple.
In conclusion, the idea that no miraculous outpouring occurred at the
dedication of the second temple is not proven, although it seems likely to
me. The implications of this are a matter of speculation. For me, I do
not see very much implied in this.