28 Aug. 1 Kings 6:1-22,38

28 Aug.  Solomon builds the Temple in Jerusalem

“Solomon began to build the Temple 480 years after the people of Israel had left Egypt. This was during the fourth year of King Solomon’s rule over Israel. It was the second month, the month of Ziv.”

“The Temple was 30 metres long, 10 metres wide and 15 metres high. The porch in front of the main room of the Temple was 5 metres deep and 10 metres wide. This room ran along the front of the Temple itself. Its width was equal to that of the Temple. The Temple also had windows that opened and closed.”

“Solomon also built some side rooms against the walls of the main room and the inner room of the Temple. He built rooms all round. The rooms on the bottom floor were 2.5 metres wide. Those on the middle floor were 3 metres wide, and the rooms above them were 3.5 metres wide. The Temple wall that formed the side of each room was thinner than the wall in the room below. These rooms were pushed against the Temple wall, but they did not have their main beams built into this wall.”

“The stones were prepared at the same place where they were cut from the ground. Since these stones were the only ones used to build the Temple, there was no noise of hammers, axes or any other iron tools at the Temple.”

“The entrance to the ground floor beside the Temple was on the south side. From there, stairs went up to the first floor. And from there, stairs went on to the second-floor rooms. Solomon put a roof made from beams and cedar boards on the Temple. So he finished building the Temple as well as the ground floor that was beside the Temple. This ground floor was 2.5 metres high and was attached to the Temple by cedar beams.”

“The LORD said to Solomon: ‘If you obey all my laws and commands, I will do for you what I promised your father David. I will live among the Israelites in this Temple, and I will never leave my people Israel.’”

“So Solomon finished building the Temple. The inside walls were covered from floor to ceiling with cedar boards. The floor was made from pine boards. A room 10 metres long was built in the back part of the Temple. This room, called the Most Holy Place, was separated from the rest of the Temple by cedar boards which reached from floor to ceiling.”

“The main room, the one in front of the Most Holy Place, was 20 metres long. Everything inside the Temple was covered with cedar, which was carved with pictures of flowers and plants. A person could not see the stones of the wall, only the cedar.”

“Solomon prepared the inner room at the back of the Temple to keep the Ark of the [Covenant] Agreement with the LORD. This inner room was 10 metres long, 10 metres wide and 10 metres high. He covered this room with pure gold, and he also covered the altar of cedar. He covered the inside of the Temple with pure gold, placing gold chains across the front of the inner room, which was also covered with gold. So all the inside of the Temple, as well as the altar of the Most Holy Place, was covered with gold…”

“The Temple was finished during the eleventh year he was king, in the eighth month, the month of Bul. It was built exactly as it was planned. Solomon had spent seven years building it.”

          (1 Kings 6:1-22 & 38)

 

 

Solomon's Temple was built in c.967BC on the rocky summit of Mount Moriah on land purchased by his father David fourteen years earlier (see 2 Samuel 24:11-25) where Abraham had been called to sacrifice Isaac eight hundred and fifty years earlier in c.1820BC (see Genesis 22:1-14). Building commenced 480 years after the people of Israel had left Egypt in c.1447BC (see 1 Kings 6:1 & Exodus 14:21-22).

The Temple was built using local limestone quarried close to the site of the structure itself. The underground quarries, entered from beneath the north wall of the Old City in Jerusalem, can still be seen todayIn order to minimise the continuous noise from hammers and chisels (and because the soft limestone was easier to work before it hardened on being exposed to the air) all the stone was dressed in the underground quarries before being taken to the Temple (see 1 Kings 6:7).

The Temple was roofed and lined with planks of cedar from Lebanonwhile pine was used for the floor (see 1 Kings 5:8). An inner sanctuary was built to house the Ark of the Covenant. The walls of the Most Holy Place were covered in gold, as was the altar. After seven years (seven is the Hebrew number signifying perfection), the Temple was completed in c.960BC.

The site of Solomon’s Temple can be visited today on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The original square platform on which Solomon built the Temple was subsequently extended north and south by Herod the Great to form the roughly rectangular Temple Mount seen today.

It’s likely that Solomon’s Temple stood on the site now occupied by the Dome of the Rock, begun in 688AD. In the very centre of this beautiful building, the shallow rectangular pit that can be seen on the surface of the exposed rocky summit of Mount Moriah may have been the resting place of the Ark of the Covenant in the Most Holy Place of the Inner Sanctuary.

The photo shows the south-east corner of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

You can read more about Solomon’s Temple @ https://thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/31-the-golden-age-of-israel-under-king-solomon/solomon-build-the-temple-in-jerusalem/


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