1 Kings 6
Solomon builds the temple
In the four hundred and eightieth[a] year after the Israelites came out of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, the second month, he began to build the temple of the Lord.
The temple that King Solomon built for the Lord was sixty cubits long, twenty wide and thirty high.[b] The portico at the front of the main hall of the temple extended the width of the temple, that is twenty cubits,[c] and projected ten cubits[d] from the front of the temple. He made narrow windows high up in the temple walls. Against the walls of the main hall and inner sanctuary he built a structure around the building, in which there were side rooms. The lowest floor was five cubits[e] wide, the middle floor six cubits[f] and the third floor seven.[g] He made offset ledges around the outside of the temple so that nothing would be inserted into the temple walls.
In building the temple, only blocks dressed at the quarry were used, and no hammer, chisel or any other iron tool was heard at the temple site while it was being built.
The entrance to the lowest[h] floor was on the south side of the temple; a stairway led up to the middle level and from there to the third. So he built the temple and completed it, roofing it with beams and cedar planks. And he built the side rooms all along the temple. The height of each was five cubits, and they were attached to the temple by beams of cedar.
The word of the Lord came to Solomon: ‘As for this temple you are building, if you follow my decrees, observe my laws and keep all my commands and obey them, I will fulfil through you the promise I gave to David your father. And I will live among the Israelites and will not abandon my people Israel.’
So Solomon built the temple and completed it. He lined its interior walls with cedar boards, panelling them from the floor of the temple to the ceiling, and covered the floor of the temple with planks of juniper. He partitioned off twenty cubits at the rear of the temple with cedar boards from floor to ceiling to form within the temple an inner sanctuary, the Most Holy Place. The main hall in front of this room was forty cubits[i] long. The inside of the temple was cedar, carved with gourds and open flowers. Everything was cedar; no stone was to be seen.
He prepared the inner sanctuary within the temple to set the ark of the covenant of the Lord there. The inner sanctuary was twenty cubits long, twenty wide and twenty high. He overlaid the inside with pure gold, and he also overlaid the altar of cedar. Solomon covered the inside of the temple with pure gold, and he extended gold chains across the front of the inner sanctuary, which was overlaid with gold. So he overlaid the whole interior with gold. He also overlaid with gold the altar that belonged to the inner sanctuary.
For the inner sanctuary he made a pair of cherubim out of olive wood, each ten cubits high. One wing of the first cherub was five cubits long, and the other wing five cubits – ten cubits from wing tip to wing tip. The second cherub also measured ten cubits, for the two cherubim were identical in size and shape. The height of each cherub was ten cubits. He placed the cherubim inside the innermost room of the temple, with their wings spread out. The wing of one cherub touched one wall, while the wing of the other touched the other wall, and their wings touched each other in the middle of the room. He overlaid the cherubim with gold.
On the walls all round the temple, in both the inner and outer rooms, he carved cherubim, palm trees and open flowers. He also covered the floors of both the inner and outer rooms of the temple with gold.
For the entrance to the inner sanctuary he made doors out of olive wood that were one fifth of the width of the sanctuary. And on the two olive-wood doors he carved cherubim, palm trees and open flowers, and overlaid the cherubim and palm trees with hammered gold. In the same way, for the entrance to the main hall he made doorframes out of olive wood that were one quarter of the width of the hall. He also made two doors out of juniper wood, each having two leaves that turned in sockets. He carved cherubim, palm trees and open flowers on them and overlaid them with gold hammered evenly over the carvings.
And he built the inner courtyard of three courses of dressed stone and one course of trimmed cedar beams.
The foundation of the temple of the Lord was laid in the fourth year, in the month of Ziv. In the eleventh year in the month of Bul, the eighth month, the temple was finished in all its details according to its specifications. He had spent seven years building it.
- 1 Kings 6:1 Hebrew; Septuagint four hundred and fortieth
- 1 Kings 6:2 That is, about 27 metres long, 9 metres wide and 14 metres high
- 1 Kings 6:3 That is, about 9 metres; also in verses 16 and 20
- 1 Kings 6:3 That is, about 4.5 metres; also in verses 23-26
- 1 Kings 6:6 That is, about 2.3 metres; also in verses 10 and 24
- 1 Kings 6:6 That is, about 2.7 metres
- 1 Kings 6:6 That is, about 3.2 metres
- 1 Kings 6:8 Septuagint; Hebrew middle
- 1 Kings 6:17 That is, about 18 metres
1 Kings 7:1-22
Solomon builds his palace
It took Solomon thirteen years, however, to complete the construction of his palace. He built the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon a hundred cubits long, fifty wide and thirty high,[a] with four rows of cedar columns supporting trimmed cedar beams. It was roofed with cedar above the beams that rested on the columns – forty-five beams, fifteen to a row. Its windows were placed high in sets of three, facing each other. All the doorways had rectangular frames; they were in the front part in sets of three, facing each other.[b]
He made a colonnade fifty cubits long and thirty wide.[c] In front of it was a portico, and in front of that were pillars and an overhanging roof.
He built the throne hall, the Hall of Justice, where he was to judge, and he covered it with cedar from floor to ceiling.[d] And the palace in which he was to live, set farther back, was similar in design. Solomon also made a palace like this hall for Pharaoh’s daughter, whom he had married.
All these structures, from the outside to the great courtyard and from foundation to eaves, were made of blocks of high-grade stone cut to size and smoothed on their inner and outer faces. The foundations were laid with large stones of good quality, some measuring ten cubits[e] and some eight.[f] Above were high-grade stones, cut to size, and cedar beams. The great courtyard was surrounded by a wall of three courses of dressed stone and one course of trimmed cedar beams, as was the inner courtyard of the temple of the Lord with its portico.
The temple’s furnishings
King Solomon sent to Tyre and brought Huram,[g] whose mother was a widow from the tribe of Naphtali and whose father was from Tyre and a skilled craftsman in bronze. Huram was filled with wisdom, with understanding and with knowledge to do all kinds of bronze work. He came to King Solomon and did all the work assigned to him.
He cast two bronze pillars, each eighteen cubits high and twelve cubits in circumference.[h] He also made two capitals of cast bronze to set on the tops of the pillars; each capital was five cubits[i] high. A network of interwoven chains adorned the capitals on top of the pillars, seven for each capital. He made pomegranates in two rows[j] encircling each network to decorate the capitals on top of the pillars.[k] He did the same for each capital. The capitals on top of the pillars in the portico were in the shape of lilies, four cubits[l] high. On the capitals of both pillars, above the bowl-shaped part next to the network, were the two hundred pomegranates in rows all around. He erected the pillars at the portico of the temple. The pillar to the south he named Jakin[m] and the one to the north Boaz.[n] The capitals on top were in the shape of lilies. And so the work on the pillars was completed.
- 1 Kings 7:2 That is, about 45 metres long, 23 metres wide and 14 metres high
- 1 Kings 7:5 The meaning of the Hebrew for this verse is uncertain.
- 1 Kings 7:6 That is, about 23 metres long and 14 metres wide
- 1 Kings 7:7 Vulgate and Syriac; Hebrew floor
- 1 Kings 7:10 That is, about 4.5 metres; also in verse 23
- 1 Kings 7:10 That is, about 3.6 metres
- 1 Kings 7:13 Hebrew Hiram, a variant of Huram; also in verses 40 and 45
- 1 Kings 7:15 That is, about 8.1 metres high and 5.4 metres in circumference
- 1 Kings 7:16 That is, about 2.3 metres; also in verse 23
- 1 Kings 7:18 Two Hebrew manuscripts and Septuagint; most Hebrew manuscripts made the pillars, and there were two rows
- 1 Kings 7:18 Many Hebrew manuscripts and Syriac; most Hebrew manuscripts pomegranates
- 1 Kings 7:19 That is, about 1.8 metres; also in verse 38
- 1 Kings 7:21 Jakin probably means he establishes.
- 1 Kings 7:21 Boaz probably means in him is strength.