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Solomon’s Temple

“And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the Lord.” 1 Kings 6:1

The Lord told David that he could not build a temple, but that his son could. The son chosen to rule after David was Solomon. He was a teenager when he took the thrown and asked God to, “Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad…” 1 Kings 3:9. He asked God to grant him an understanding heart and discernment. God was so impressed with Solomon’s answer he said, “…I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days.” 1 Kings 3:12-13.

The tabernacle or temple of God had been a tent after Moses received the Law from God and 418 years had passed and the Ark of the Covenant and all the things used during the worship of the Lord were still in a massive elaborate tent. Now good King Solomon was on the thrown and because of his father David, he had peace all around him, so now the temple could be built. It was started in Jerusalem about 960 BC and was completed about 7½ years later. The outside was made of hewn stones and the inside was constructed of cedars with fir tree floors from Lebanon. When completed it was about 180 feet long, 90 feet wide and 50 feet high and the entire interior woodwork was overlaid with gold. The walls, floors, carvings, steps, everything covered in gold. It must have been very impressive. All construction had to take place off site because the temple was required to be built in reverent silence – to the best of human ability. The skill required to cut stone and cut timber into boards and beams off site and then bring them in and have them fit into place perfectly (without noise) was impressive. The following link shows a pretty good description of the temple, with one important exception. The Holy of Holies had carved olive wood Cherubim overlaid in gold, not gryphons. I’m not sure what the artist was thinking, but the Bible says they were Cherubim (Angels with 4 wings) and in King Solomon’s Temple they were about 15 feet tall and each had a wing span of about 15 feet.

God doesn’t need a house, but the Temple Solomon built made a very impressive and awe inspiring place to worship the one and only living God, YHWH.

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