Solomon Builds The Temple

Clark Clifford shares this reminiscence of his former boss, Harry S. Truman: Every morning at 8:30 the President would have a staff meeting. One day the mail clerk brought in a lavender envelope with a regal wax seal and flowing purple ribbons. Opening it, the President found a … More

Respect

The author begins chapter 6 by describing the building of the temple. It began in mid-spring during the fourth year of Solomon’s reign (v. 1). This was 480 years after Israel was delivered from Egypt. The temple was not made according to the pattern of the Tabernacle, which had been built in the wilderness and used at that time. It did, however, include a Holy Place and a Most Holy Place.

A description of the Temple is given as follows. It was 90 feet long, 30 feet wide and forty-five feet high (v. 2). The vestibule was 30 feet wide and extended the entire width of the Temple like a porch (v. 3). Although it was not massive in size (about the size of a large home today) it was strikingly beautiful in appearance (vv. 4-6). The Temple was made of white limestone, cedar and gold (vv. 14-22). The limestone was quarried beneath the northern wall of the City. Because this was to be a place of worship, Solomon apparently felt that the noise of construction should be held to a minimum. He had the stones cut and fitted at the quarry so they could be assembled quietly on the site (v. 7). The Temple faced east but the entrance was on the south (vv. 8-9). The inner walls of the side rooms were attached to the temple by cedar beams (v. 10).

During the temple construction God reaffirmed to Solomon the promise He had previously made to David. That was that He would “establish the throne of David’s kingdom forever” (vv. 11-13; II Sam. 7:13). This was with the stipulation that Israelites would obey Him (v.12). History reveals that they failed to do this and are still suffering the consequences today.

Application

The people’s honor and respect for God extended to every aspect of constructing the house of worship. All of this detail is recorded not to teach me how to build a church but to show me the importance of honor and respect for God and His dwelling place which is presently in my body.

I Kings 6:1-22 (English Standard Version)

In the four hundred and eightieth year after the people of Israel came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, which is the second month, he began to build the house of the LORD. The house that King Solomon built for the LORD was sixty cubits long, twenty cubits wide, and thirty cubits high. The vestibule in front of the nave of the house was twenty cubits long, equal to the width of the house, and ten cubits deep in front of the house. And he made for the house windows with recessed frames. He also built a structure against the wall of the house, running around the walls of the house, both the nave and the inner sanctuary. And he made side chambers all around. The lowest story was five cubits broad, the middle one was six cubits broad, and the third was seven cubits broad. For around the outside of the house he made offsets on the wall in order that the supporting beams should not be inserted into the walls of the house. When the house was built, it was with stone prepared at the quarry, so that neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron was heard in the house while it was being built. The entrance for the lowest story was on the south side of the house, and one went up by stairs to the middle story, and from the middle story to the third. So he built the house and finished it, and he made the ceiling of the house of beams and planks of cedar. He built the structure against the whole house, five cubits high, and it was joined to the house with timbers of cedar. Now the word of the LORD came to Solomon, "Concerning this house that you are building, if you will walk in my statutes and obey my rules and keep all my commandments and walk in them, then I will establish my word with you, which I spoke to David your father. And I will dwell among the children of Israel and will not forsake my people Israel." So Solomon built the house and finished it. He lined the walls of the house on the inside with boards of cedar. From the floor of the house to the walls of the ceiling, he covered them on the inside with wood, and he covered the floor of the house with boards of cypress. He built twenty cubits of the rear of the house with boards of cedar from the floor to the walls, and he built this within as an inner sanctuary, as the Most Holy Place. The house, that is, the nave in front of the inner sanctuary, was forty cubits long. The cedar within the house was carved in the form of gourds and open flowers. All was cedar; no stone was seen. The inner sanctuary he prepared in the innermost part of the house, to set there the ark of the covenant of the LORD. The inner sanctuary was twenty cubits long, twenty cubits wide, and twenty cubits high, and he overlaid it with pure gold. He also overlaid an altar of cedar. And Solomon overlaid the inside of the house with pure gold, and he drew chains of gold across, in front of the inner sanctuary, and overlaid it with gold. And he overlaid the whole house with gold, until all the house was finished. Also the whole altar that belonged to the inner sanctuary he overlaid with gold.

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »