1 Ki 6.1-38; Solomon; Solomon Builds the Temple
1 Ki 7.1-12; Solomon; Solomon Builds His Palace
1 Ki 7.13-51; Solomon; The Temple Furnishings
Passage and Comments
Now that Solomon’s rule has been established he can proceed to build the temple. David has given him instructions and materials he will need to build it.
6 In the four hundred and eightieth year after the people of Israel came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, which is the second month, he began to build the house of the LORD. (1 Ki 6:1)The event is dated from Israel's exodus from Egypt. Solomon begins to build the house of the LORD 480 years after Israel's birthday.
2 The house that King Solomon built for the LORD was sixty cubits long, twenty cubits wide, and thirty cubits high. 3 The vestibule in front of the nave of the house was twenty cubits long, equal to the width of the house, and ten cubits deep in front of the house. 4 And he made for the house windows with recessed frames. 5 He also built a structure against the wall of the house, running around the walls of the house, both the nave and the inner sanctuary. And he made side chambers all around. 6 The lowest story was five cubits broad, the middle one was six cubits broad, and the third was seven cubits broad. For around the outside of the house he made offsets on the wall in order that the supporting beams should not be inserted into the walls of the house. (1 Ki 6:2–6)Here are some dimensions regarding the size of the house. I've always struggled to give these details a huge amount of attention. But the care in which a structure is designed and constructed reflects its importance. The record preserves its design for later generations.
7 When the house was built, it was with stone prepared at the quarry, so that neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron was heard in the house while it was being built. (1 Ki 6:7)Out of respect for the LORD they did not create unnecessary construction sounds to intrude upon the house.
8 The entrance for the lowest story was on the south side of the house, and one went up by stairs to the middle story, and from the middle story to the third. 9 So he built the house and finished it, and he made the ceiling of the house of beams and planks of cedar. 10 He built the structure against the whole house, five cubits high, and it was joined to the house with timbers of cedar. (1 Ki 6:8-10)The temple has three different levels to it connected by stairs.
11 Now the word of the LORD came to Solomon, 12 “Concerning this house that you are building, if you will walk in my statutes and obey my rules and keep all my commandments and walk in them, then I will establish my word with you, which I spoke to David your father. 13 And I will dwell among the children of Israel and will not forsake my people Israel.” (1 Ki 6:11–13)The house has been built to signify the LORD's presence among his people. Once Solomon finishes dedicating and consecrating the temple the LORD will make a show of coming into the temple (1 Ki 8.10-11). During the dedication Solomon gives his own high priestly prayer which is what we will look at tomorrow.
Story of Israel
The temple of the LORD will remain a central symbol of the Hebrew people. It was the centre of their religious life and worship. It was looked after by scores of priests set aside to serve the LORD and serve the people from there. Unfortunately the temple was disrespected just as the LORD was. At times Israel allowed male cult prostitutes to operate in the temple, they neglected to maintain it, and they lost the book of the law in it. We will see this in the book of kings.
Story of Jesus
The centre of Christianity is not the temple. It is Jesus Christ. Jesus prophesied the destruction of the temple. But he said it would be rebuilt.
And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ ” (Mt 27.40-43)In three days Jesus will be raised from the dead. The LORD's people have him as the centre of their life. Is this something you want?