The First Book of Kings
The First Book of Kings
The Temple of Solomon
[1-Kings 6:1] 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
WHICH IS THE SECOND MONTH, THAT HE BEGAN TO BUILD THE HOUSE OF THE LORD.
It says that the building of the Temple began 480 years after the Coming
out of Egypt. We understand this passage in its simple sense. We would say that
the year was ca. 960 BCE and that the Children of Israel came out of Egypt in
ca. 1480 BCE. Not everyone would agree with us on these
In Hebrew "Ziv" or "Ziw". This is the equivalent of the month now called
in Hebrew Iyar. At present (February 2006) we are in the month Shevat, then
comes Adar (Purim), then Nissan (Pesach), then Iyar (overlaps April-May), then
[1-Kings 6:2] AND THE HOUSE WHICH KING
SOLOMON BUILT FOR THE LORD, THE LENGTH THEREOF WAS THREESCORE CUBITS, AND THE
BREADTH THEREOF TWENTY CUBITS, AND THE HEIGHT THEREOF THIRTY CUBITS.
Length 60, width 20, height 30. These measurements are internal ones and
do not take account of the external walls.
[1-Kings 6:3] AND THE PORCH BEFORE THE
TEMPLE OF THE HOUSE, TWENTY CUBITS WAS THE LENGTH THEREOF, ACCORDING TO THE
BREADTH OF THE HOUSE; AND TEN CUBITS WAS THE BREADTH THEREOF BEFORE THE HOUSE.
THE PORCH. In Hebrew "Ulam". This
was a kind of preliminary hall (Portico?) for entrance purposes. It was 10
cubits long and 20 wide. According to the simple meaning of 2-Chronicles 3:4
it was 120 cubits high. See pictures below.
[1-Kings 6:4] AND FOR THE HOUSE HE MADE
WINDOWS OF NARROW LIGHTS.
NARROW LIGHTS. In Hebrew "shekufim (transparent) atumim (closed, opaque. DM in
the light of the Talmud says that the windows could be looked out from but not
looked into. They let the light in. Another explanation says they let light out
but not in. There were candles in the Temple that may have served for illumination.
[1-Kings 6:5] AND AGAINST THE WALL OF
THE HOUSE HE BUILT CHAMBERS ROUND ABOUT, AGAINST THE WALLS OF THE HOUSE ROUND
ABOUT, BOTH OF THE TEMPLE AND OF THE ORACLE: AND HE MADE CHAMBERS ROUND ABOUT:
[1-Kings 6:6] THE NETHERMOST CHAMBER WAS
FIVE CUBITS BROAD, AND THE MIDDLE WAS SIX CUBITS BROAD, AND THE THIRD WAS SEVEN
CUBITS BROAD: FOR WITHOUT IN THE WALL OF THE HOUSE HE MADE NARROWED RESTS ROUND
ABOUT, THAT THE BEAMS SHOULD NOT BE FASTENED IN THE WALLS OF THE HOUSE.
THAT THE BEAMS SHOULD. This may
be implied but the words are not in the Hebrew original. It does not expressly
mention "the beams".
The basic structure of the Temple was built around the "House" with the "Ulam"
(120 cubit high entrance Porch) in front of it. The House was 30 bubits high.
According to DM the walls of the "House" were built in three layers of 10 cubits
each. The first layer was 6 cubits thick, the second 5 cubits, and the third
four cubits. In front of the wall on each side were three-storied verdandas
split up into "cells". The veranda on the bottom floor was five cubits wide, on
the second six, and on the third seven. This was because for each story of the
House the wall became "thinner" by a cubit as one went upward.
See picture below: We do not agree with this picture but it was what was
available and it shows something of what we mean.
[1-Kings 6:7] AND THE HOUSE, WHEN IT WAS
IN BUILDING, WAS BUILT OF STONE MADE READY BEFORE IT WAS BROUGHT THITHER: SO
THAT THERE WAS NEITHER HAMMER NOR AXE NOR ANY TOOL OF IRON HEARD IN THE HOUSE,
WHILE IT WAS IN BUILDING.
According to the simple meaning the stone blocks for the building were prepared
according to their exact measurments outside of the Temple Mount and then
brought in where they were put together like "Leggo" blocks.
[1-Kings 6:8] THE DOOR FOR THE MIDDLE
CHAMBER WAS IN THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE HOUSE: AND THEY WENT UP WITH WINDING STAIRS
INTO THE MIDDLE CHAMBER, AND OUT OF THE MIDDLE INTO THE THIRD.
See picture below:
[1-Kings 6:9] SO HE BUILT THE HOUSE, AND
FINISHED IT; AND COVERED THE HOUSE WITH BEAMS AND BOARDS OF CEDAR.
[1-Kings 6:10] AND THEN HE BUILT
CHAMBERS AGAINST ALL THE HOUSE, FIVE CUBITS HIGH: AND THEY RESTED ON THE HOUSE
WITH TIMBER OF CEDAR.
We understand this to be referring to the Verandas (see 6:5-6 above). Each wall
had a three-story 30 cubit high protuberance running along its outside. Each
story was 10 cubits high. The bottom half of each storey facing outside had a
five cubit high wall (of cedar wood?) and after that the next five cubits were
open to the air.
The external wall with its windows BEFORE which according to our understanding on each floor there was an additional veranda.
[1-Kings 6:11] AND THE WORD OF THE LORD
CAME TO SOLOMON, SAYING,
[1-Kings 6:12] CONCERNING THIS HOUSE
WHICH THOU ART IN BUILDING, IF THOU WILT WALK IN MY STATUTES, AND EXECUTE MY
JUDGMENTS, AND KEEP ALL MY COMMANDMENTS TO WALK IN THEM; THEN WILL I PERFORM MY
WORD WITH THEE, WHICH I SPAKE
UNTO DAVID THY FATHER:
[1-Kings 6:13] AND I WILL DWELL AMONG
THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL, AND WILL NOT FORSAKE MY PEOPLE ISRAEL.
God will dwell amongst the Children of Israel if we and our leaders keep the
We all have to do as well as we can. We all have a responsibility. We cannot
rely on our leaders. Nevertheless a leader of Israel has an EXTRA obligation to
conduct themelves according to the Divine Will.
[1-Kings 6:14] SO SOLOMON BUILT THE
HOUSE, AND FINISHED IT.
[1-Kings 6:15] AND HE BUILT THE WALLS OF
THE HOUSE WITHIN WITH BOARDS OF CEDAR, BOTH THE FLOOR OF THE HOUSE, AND THE
WALLS OF THE CEILING: AND HE COVERED THEM ON THE INSIDE WITH WOOD, AND COVERED
THE FLOOR OF THE HOUSE WITH PLANKS OF FIR.
[1-Kings 6:16] AND HE BUILT TWENTY
CUBITS ON THE SIDES OF THE HOUSE, BOTH THE FLOOR AND THE WALLS WITH BOARDS OF
CEDAR: HE EVEN BUILT THEM FOR IT WITHIN, EVEN FOR THE ORACLE EVEN FOR THE MOST
THE ORACLE. Hebrew "Devir"
meaning the "Kadosh HaKadoshim" (Holy of Holies) or Inner Sanctuary.
The Temple was dividied into three:
a. The Ulam (Porch).
b. The House (main hall)
c. The Devir. Unlike the Tabernacle and the Second Temple where the Holy of
Holies was separated from the main hall only by a curtain the Devir was
separated from the hall by a wall in which there was a doorway. According to
Rashi the Devir was also lower in height than the hall and therefore a separate
part of the building altogether.
[1-Kings 6:17] AND THE HOUSE, THAT IS,
THE TEMPLE BEFORE IT, WAS FORTY CUBITS LONG.
[1-Kings 6:18] AND THE CEDAR OF THE
HOUSE WITHIN WAS CARVED WITH KNOPS AND OPEN FLOWERS: ALL WAS CEDAR; THERE WAS
NO STONE SEEN.
[1-Kings 6:19] AND THE ORACLE HE
PREPARED IN THE HOUSE WITHIN, TO SET THERE THE ARK OF THE COVENANT OF THE LORD.
[1-Kings 6:20] AND THE ORACLE IN THE
FOREPART WAS TWENTY CUBITS IN LENGTH, AND TWENTY CUBITS IN BREADTH, AND TWENTY
CUBITS IN THE HEIGHT THEREOF: AND HE OVERLAID IT WITH PURE GOLD; AND SO COVERED
THE ALTAR WHICH WAS OF CEDAR.
[1-Kings 6:21] SO SOLOMON OVERLAID THE
HOUSE WITHIN WITH PURE GOLD: AND HE MADE A PARTITION BY THE CHAINS OF GOLD
BEFORE THE ORACLE; AND HE OVERLAID IT WITH GOLD.
[1-Kings 6:22] AND THE WHOLE HOUSE HE
OVERLAID WITH GOLD, UNTIL HE HAD FINISHED ALL THE HOUSE: ALSO THE WHOLE ALTAR
THAT WAS BY THE ORACLE HE OVERLAID WITH GOLD.
[1-Kings 6:23] AND WITHIN THE ORACLE HE
MADE TWO CHERUBIMS
OF OLIVE TREE, EACH TEN CUBITS HIGH.
[1-Kings 6:24] AND FIVE CUBITS WAS THE
ONE WING OF THE CHERUB, AND FIVE CUBITS THE OTHER WING OF THE CHERUB: FROM THE
UTTERMOST PART OF THE ONE WING UNTO THE UTTERMOST PART OF THE OTHER WERE TEN
[1-Kings 6:25] AND THE OTHER CHERUB WAS
TEN CUBITS: BOTH THE CHERUBIMS
WERE OF ONE MEASURE AND ONE SIZE.
[1-Kings 6:26] THE HEIGHT OF THE ONE
CHERUB WAS TEN CUBITS, AND SO WAS IT OF THE OTHER CHERUB.
[1-Kings 6:27] AND HE SET THE
WITHIN THE INNER HOUSE: AND THEY STRETCHED FORTH THE WINGS OF THE
SO THAT THE WING OF THE ONE TOUCHED THE ONE WALL, AND THE WING OF THE OTHER
CHERUB TOUCHED THE OTHER WALL; AND THEIR WINGS TOUCHED ONE ANOTHER IN THE MIDST
OF THE HOUSE.
See picture below:
[1-Kings 6:28] AND HE OVERLAID THE
[1-Kings 6:29] AND HE CARVED ALL THE
WALLS OF THE HOUSE ROUND ABOUT WITH CARVED FIGURES OF
AND PALM TREES AND OPEN FLOWERS, WITHIN AND WITHOUT.
[1-Kings 6:30] AND THE FLOORS OF THE
HOUSE HE OVERLAID WITH GOLD, WITHIN AND WITHOUT.
[1-Kings 6:31] AND FOR THE ENTERING OF
THE ORACLE HE MADE DOORS OF OLIVE TREE: THE LINTEL AND SIDE POSTS WERE A FIFTH
PART OF THE WALL.
[1-Kings 6:32] THE TWO DOORS ALSO WERE
OF OLIVE TREE; AND HE CARVED UPON THEM CARVINGS OF
AND PALM TREES AND OPEN FLOWERS, AND OVERLAID THEM WITH GOLD, AND SPREAD GOLD
UPON THE CHERUBIMS,
AND UPON THE PALM TREES.
[1-Kings 6:33] SO ALSO MADE HE FOR THE
DOOR OF THE TEMPLE POSTS OF OLIVE TREE, A FOURTH PART OF THE WALL.
These doors were at the entrance to the main hall.
[1-Kings 6:34] AND THE TWO DOORS WERE OF
FIR TREE: THE TWO LEAVES OF THE ONE DOOR WERE FOLDING, AND THE TWO LEAVES OF
THE OTHER DOOR WERE FOLDING.
[1-Kings 6:35] AND HE CARVED THEREON
AND PALM TREES AND OPEN FLOWERS: AND COVERED THEM WITH GOLD FITTED UPON THE
[1-Kings 6:36] AND HE BUILT THE INNER
COURT WITH THREE ROWS OF HEWED STONE, AND A ROW OF CEDAR BEAMS.
[1-Kings 6:37] IN THE FOURTH YEAR WAS
THE FOUNDATION OF THE HOUSE OF THE LORD LAID, IN THE MONTH
[1-Kings 6:38] AND IN THE ELEVENTH YEAR,
IN THE MONTH BUL,
WHICH IS THE EIGHTH MONTH, WAS THE HOUSE FINISHED THROUGHOUT ALL THE PARTS
THEREOF, AND ACCORDING TO ALL THE FASHION OF IT. SO WAS HE SEVEN YEARS IN
In Modern Hebrew this month is know as "Cheshvan" or "Marcheshvan".
It is considered the eighth month. It is just after Tishrei (Rosh HaShanah, Yom
Kippur). It overlaps October-November.
He began in the fourth year of his reign and finished in the eleventh year,
seven years in all.