1 Kings 5-6
Chapter 5: Stones and Timber for the Temple
King Hiriam of Tyre sends some of his servants to go in unto Solomon to help him. King Hiriam has always loved Solomon and therefore upon discovering that he had been anointed king sent aide to build the house of the Lord.
The first part of this chapter has two verses that really stuck out to me; “…David…could not build an house unto the name of the Lord his God for the wars which were about him on every side, until the Lord put them under the soles of his feet. But now the Lord my God hath given me rest on every side, so that there is neither adversary nor evil occurent” (1 Kings 5:3-4). This to me is very interesting, because like Temples of old and the modern day temples of the Restored Church of Jesus Christ (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), evil is opposing the construction of temples since the beginning! Why? Because Satan knows that through the Temple and the ordinances performed there, it is possible for man to return to live with Heavenly Father. Thus completing the Plan of Salvation that God laid out before the foundation of the Earth and the same plan that the Devil has been trying to destroy since that time. There are currently 137 operating Temples throughout the entire world. Every single one of them has been a struggle and a sacrifice, but with so many sacrifices, come so many blessings!
Solomon commands that the Sidonians bring in cedar and fir trees from Lebanon to start work on the Temple. In trade for this work and the trees being provided Solomon gave Hiriam; 20,000 measures of wheat and 20,000 measures of pure oil every year. Because of this, Hiriam and Solomon became great friends and formed a league (my guess was to have a stronger influence in the area and also to achieve the great task of building this temple).
Solomon had 70,000 laborers, 80,000 stone cutters, and 9,300 overseers of the construction of the Temple. Thus the preparation of the construction began.
Chapter 6: Solomon Builds the Temple
The construction of the Temple began 480 years after the children of Israel left the land of Egypt. This was in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign as king and in the second month of the year.
The dimensions of the Temple;
- 60 cubits long = 90 feet
- 20 cubits wide= 30 feet
- 30 cubits high= 45 feet
- The portico at the front of the main hall extended the width of the temple (30 feet) and projected 15 feet.
- Surrounding the temple are houses and a complete wall + compound.
While building the temple all work that required immense noise (like chiseling) was done off site and brought in quietly (in a reverent and respectful way). The portico at the front of the main hall of the temple extended an additional 30 feet and then projected about 10-15 feet from there. All of the windows in the temple were narrow and tall. Against the walls of the main hall, King Solomon had a structure built around the building that had side rooms. The lower floor was 7 feet 6 inches wide, middle flower was 9 feet and the third floor was 9 feet 6 inches wide. The entrance to the lower floor was on the south side of the temple; a stairway led up to the middle level and then onto the third floor. The side rooms were about 8 feet tall and were attached to the temple by beams and cedar planks.
God was pleased with the work and promised Solomon that if him and his people would worship there and follow his commandments that they would be a greatly blessed people. Solomon finishes the temple with details like lining the interior walls with cedar boards, paneling from the floor to the ceiling. At the rear of the temple Solomon sectioned off an area of about 30 sq feet for the “Most Holy Place”. On the interior of the temple all was cedar so that no stone was to be seen.
In the inner sanctuary Solomon prepared it for the Ark of the Covenant, that room was 30x30x30 feet. On top of all the cedar the entire temple was overlaid with Gold. Also on the inner sanctuary Solomon had a pair of cherubims made out of Olive wood; 15 feet tall with wings about 9 feet long. Both cheribums were identical in every way, with one wing of each touching the walls and the other wings touching each other in the middle… and of course overlaid in Gold. The entrance to the inner sanctuary was sealed off by doors made from Olive wood, 1/4 the thickness of the exterior walls (heavy duty doors) and also doors made of juniper wood, each having leaves to open the door. Each door had carvings of open flowers, palm trees and of course overlaid in Gold.
The Temple was finally completed with all its details and specifications 7 years later.