Solomon’s Temple

1 Kings 5:1-18 and 6:1-38. The Temple built by King Solomon was from material supplied by his father King David. The plans were also given to King David by God.

The Temple was started in 966BC in Solomon’s fourth year of his reign and completed seven years later.

At the dedication of the temple, after Solomon had finished praying fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices.

The people worshiped God saying, “He is good; his love endures forever.”

Background Reading:

Solomon’s Preparations to Build the Temple

5:1 King Hiram of Tyre sent his servants to Solomon when he learned that Solomon had been anointed king to replace his father, because Hiram had been David’s lifelong friend. 2 Solomon sent this message to Hiram:

3 “You know that my father David was unable to build a temple dedicated to the LORD his God because he was busy fighting wars all around him until the LORD defeated his enemies. 4 But now the LORD has given me rest all around, since I have neither foreign adversaries nor domestic crises. 5 So now I’m planning to build a temple dedicated to the LORD my God, just as the LORD told my father when he said, ‘Your son, whom I will set on your throne to replace you, will build the Temple dedicated to me.’ 6 Now therefore please order that cedars of Lebanon be cut for me. My servants will work with your servants, and I will pay your servants whatever wages you set, because you know there is no one among us who knows how to cut timber like the Sidonians do.”

7 As soon as Hiram received the message from Solomon, he became so ecstatic that he exclaimed, “Blessed be the LORD today, who has given David a wise son to rule this great people!” Then he sent this message to Solomon:

8 “I have read the letter that you sent me. I’ll do what you’ve asked about the cedar and cypress timber. 9 My servants will transport them from Lebanon to the sea, where we’ll make them into rafts and float them by sea to the port that you tell me to send them. We’ll have them prepared for transport there and then you can carry them from there. You can meet my needs by providing provisions for my household.”

10 That’s how Hiram came to provide Solomon as much cedar and cypress timber as he needed. 11 In return, Solomon paid Hiram 20,000 kors of wheat as food for his household, and 20 kors of beaten oil. Solomon provided this amount every year during the construction.

12 The LORD continued giving Solomon wisdom, just as he had promised, and Hiram and Solomon entered into a peace treaty between themselves.

Conscripted Labor for the Building Program

13 King Solomon conscripted laborers from throughout Israel. The work force numbered 30,000 men. 14 He sent 10,000 men to Lebanon in shifts lasting one month. They worked one month in Lebanon for every two months they worked at home. Adoniram was placed in charge of the conscripted labor. 15 Solomon also employed 70,000 heavy-lift workers and 80,000 stonecutters in the hill country. 16 Solomon also employed 3,300 officials to supervise the work and to manage the people employed in the construction. 17 The king specified that large, expensive stones be quarried so the foundation of the Temple could be laid with cut stones. 18 As a result, Solomon’s builders worked with Hiram’s builders, accompanied by the Gebalites, to quarry the stone and to prepare the timber and other stone for the Temple’s construction.
1 Kings 5:1-18

also read: 2 Chronicles 2:1-18.


Temple Construction Begins

6:1 During the month of Ziv, which was the second month of the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, 480 years after the Israelis left the land of Egypt, Solomon began to build the LORD’s Temple. 2 The Temple for the LORD that Solomon was building was 60 cubits long and 20 cubits wide. 3 A portico extended in front of the Temple for 20 cubits outward, corresponding to the width of the Temple. Along the front of the Temple its depth was ten cubits. 4 Solomon also constructed windows in the Temple with specially designed frames.

5 Against the wall of the Temple he built a series of rooms that encompassed the exterior of the Temple walls around the inner sanctuary. He built these side chambers all around the building. 6 The lower structures were five cubits wide, the middle structures were six cubits wide and the third structures were seven cubits wide. Offsets were placed all around the Temple so that beams would not protrude through the walls of the Temple. 7 The Temple was constructed of stone precut at the quarry so that no hammer, axe, or any other iron implement would be heard in the Temple while it was being built. 8 A passageway to the side chamber was constructed on the south side of the Temple by which people could ascend winding stairs to the middle story, then from there to the third story.

Interior Finishing with Gold and Cedar

9 After Solomon built the Temple and finished it, he covered the Temple with beams and planks made of cedar. 10 He constructed this structure to adjoin the entire Temple, five cubits high, and fastened it to the Temple with cedar timbers.

11 Then this message from the LORD came to Solomon: 12 “Concerning this Temple that you’re building, if you live your life according to my statutes, carry out my ordinances, and keep all of my commands, and live according to them, then I will do what I promised to your father David. 13 I will reside among the Israelis and will never abandon my people Israel.”

14 So Solomon kept on building the Temple and finished it. 15 Then he built the inside walls of the Temple, lining them from floor to ceiling with cedar boards, and overlaying the Temple floor with boards made of cypress wood. 16 He lined 20 cubits of the rear part of the Temple from floor to ceiling with cedar boards specially constructed for the inside to serve as the Most Holy Place. 17 The rest of the main nave in the front was 40 cubits long. 18 Cedar carvings in the form of gourds and blooming flowers covered the entire interior of the Temple so that no stone could be seen.

19 Solomon also prepared an inner sanctuary within the Temple where the LORD’s Ark of the Covenant was placed. 20 The inner sanctuary was 20 cubits long, 20 cubits wide, and 20 cubits high, and overlaid with pure gold. The altar was also overlaid with cedar. 21 Solomon overlaid the inside of the Temple with pure gold, fastened gold chains across the front of the inner sanctuary, and overlaid it with gold. 22 He finished the Temple by overlaying it entirely with gold, including overlaying with gold the whole altar that was by the inner sanctuary.

Temple Furnishings

23 Inside the inner sanctuary Solomon placed two cherubim crafted from olive wood, each ten cubits high. 24 Each wing of one cherub was five cubits long, and each wing of the other cherub was five cubits long, so that the distance from the end of one wing to the end of the other wing was ten cubits. 25 Each cherub was ten cubits high, and both were of the same size and shape, 26 the height of one cherub being ten cubits,cc as was the height of the other.

27 Solomon placed the cherubim in the middle of the inner sanctuary, with their wings spread in such a way that the wing of one was touching the one wall and the opposite wing of the other cherub was touching the opposite wall. Furthermore, their wings in the center of the wall were touching each other wing-to-wing. 28 Each cherub was overlaid with gold.

29 Solomon also inlaid all the inner walls of the Temple—both the inner and outer sanctuaries—with carved engravings of cherubim, palm trees, and blooming flowers. 30 He also overlaid the floor of the Temple with gold in both the inner and outer sanctuaries.

31 Solomon also provided doors, lintels, and five-sided doorposts for the entrance to the inner sanctuary. 32 He installed two doors made of olive wood, inlaying them with carvings of cherubim, palm trees, and blooming flowers, and overlaying them with gold. Then he added more gold to cover the cherubim and palm trees.

33 Solomon also provided four-sided doorposts made of cypress wood for the entrance to the outer sanctuary, 34 along with two doors of cypress wood, one door of which had two leaves that turned on hinges, as did the other door, which also had two leaves that turned on hinges.

35 Solomon also inlaid the doors with cherubim, palm trees, and blooming flowers. He overlaid them with gold that was carefully applied on the engraved work. 36 He constructed the inner court with three rows of precut stone and a row of cedar beams.

Temple Construction is Completed

37 The foundation for the LORD’s Temple was laid in the month of Ziv during the fourth year of Solomon’s reign, 38 and the Temple was completely finished according to its plans and specifications in the eighth month of the eleventh year of Solomon’s reign, that is, during the month of Bul. It took about seven years to build..
1 Kings 6:1-38
Also read: 2 Chronicles 3:1-14, 2 Chronicles 4:1-10, 19-22; 5:1.

Other slides in this module: