But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built?
Read Chapter 8
Clement Of Alexandria
Solomon the son of David, in the books styled The Reigns of the Kings, comprehending not only that the structure of the true temple was celestial and spiritual but had also a reference to the flesh, which he who was both the son and the Lord of David was to build up, both for his own presence, where, as a living image, he resolved to make his shrine, and for the church that was to rise up through the union of faith, says expressly, “Will God in very deed dwell with humans on the earth?” He dwells on the earth clothed in flesh, and his abode with humans is effected by the conjunction and harmony that obtain among the righteous and that build … a new temple. For the righteous are the earth, being still encompassed with the earth; and earth, too, in comparison with the greatness of the Lord. Thus also the blessed Peter does not hesitate to say, “You also, as living stones, are built up, a spiritual house, a holy temple, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”...
Afterwards Solomon, hearing his father David say these things, and having built a wondrous house and foreseeing him who would come to it, says in astonishment, “Is it then to be thought that God should indeed dwell on earth?” Yes, says David in anticipation in the psalm inscribed “For Solomon,” wherein it is said, “He shall be like rain coming down on the fleece”; “rain” because of his heavenly origin but “on the fleece” because of his humanity. For rain, falling on fleece, falls noiselessly; so that, the mystery of his birth being unknown, the wise men said, “Where is he that is born king of the Jews?” And Herod, being troubled, inquired concerning him who had been born, and said, “Where is the Christ born?” - "Catechetical Lectures 12.9"
Therefore, the one God, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, fills up the whole, contains the whole; as the whole is in each thing, so the whole is in everything; as the whole is in small things, so the whole is in the largest creatures. This is true of nature but not of grace. When it creates human beings, it does not by the same act save them. While it makes them, it does not by the same act remake them. While it makes that sun to rise over the good and the evil, it does not do the same when the sun of justice rises on those on whom the light, not of the flesh but of the heart, is poured by the gift of prevenient mercy. As it belongs to all to be born through nature, it does not in the same way belong to all to be reborn through grace. Since the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit by nature are one God, eternal and infinite, there is nothing in heaven, nothing on earth, nothing above the heavens, nothing in any nature that he made that has not been made, where the same one ...
Earth. Full of admiration, he breaks out into this pathetic exclamation, wondering that God should deign to accept of what he had done; and that, by the symbol of his presence, he should engage to honour this temple in a more particular manner, and to shower down his graces with a more liberal hand on those who should there present themselves before him. This wise prince was not ignorant that God's immensity fills all places.
Heavens. We know not how many haveans the Jews admitted. We find, 1. the air, 2. the region of the stars, 3. the residence of God, thus specified; and this last is here denoted as the most excellent of all. St. Paul styles it the third heaven, 2 Corinthians xii. 2. The Basilidians counted as many heavens as there are days in the year. (St. Iren us i. 23.)