1 Kings 6

Solomon builds the temple

1 So, Solomon began to build the temple of the LORD. It was 480 years after the Jews had come out from Egypt. Solomon had been king for 4 years. It was in the month called Ziv, the second month of the year. 2 The temple that Solomon the king built for the LORD was 60 cubits long. It was 20 cubits wide and 30 cubits high. 3 The temple had a group of columns. It was at the front of the larger room. This group was as wide as the temple. That is, it was 20 cubits wide. It was 10 cubits from the front of the columns to the temple itself. 4 And Solomon made narrow windows near the tops of the temple walls. 5 Outside the walls of the temple Solomon built rooms at the side. These were outside the larger room of the temple and the holy of holies. The side rooms had three storeys. 6 The lowest storey was 5 cubits wide. The middle storey was 6 cubits wide and the third one was 7 cubits wide. Beams of wood kept the storeys up. The beams rested on stone pillars so they did not go into the temple walls. 7 When they made the temple, there was no sound of hammers, axes or any iron tools. They used only big stones that they had cut already. They cut them into the right shape at the place where they found them. 8 The door to the lowest storey was on the south side of the temple. And stairs went up to the middle storey and to the top storey. 9 So Solomon built the temple and he finished it. He made the roof out of beams of wood and cedar boards. 10 And he built the rooms all along the sides of the temple. Each room was 5 cubits high. Cedar beams fastened the rooms to the temple.

11 And the word of the LORD came to Solomon. The LORD said,

12 ‘You are building this temple. I will do everything for you that I promised to your father David. But you must:

Obey my laws.

Obey my rules.

Do everything that I order you to do.

13 If you do those things, I will live among the Israelites. And I will not leave my people Israel.’

14 So Solomon built the temple and he finished it. 15 He put boards that his men made from cedar wood on the inside walls. The boards went from the floor of the temple to its ceiling. He covered the floor of the temple with pine wood. 16 Solomon made a Most Holy Place at the back of the temple. It was inside the temple and it was 20 cubits long. It had cedar boards from floor to ceiling. It made a very special place. It was called the Most Holy Place. 17 The room in front of this Most Holy Place was 40 cubits long. 18 They made the inside of the temple with cedar wood. They made pictures on the wood of plants like flowers. They made everything out of cedar wood. You could not see any stone. 19 Solomon made the Most Holy place inside the temple for the ark of the LORD's covenant. 20 This Most Holy Place was called the inside sanctuary. It was 20 cubits long, 20 cubits wide and 20 cubits high. Solomon put pure gold on everything in the sanctuary. He also did this with the cedar altar. 21 Solomon covered everything inside the temple with pure gold. Also, he put a curtain that they made out of gold in front of the sanctuary. Everything in the sanctuary he covered with gold. 22 So he covered everything inside the temple with gold. He also covered with gold the altar by the inside sanctuary.

23 In the inside sanctuary, Solomon made two cherubs from olive wood. Each one was 10 cubits high. 24 One wing of the first cherub was 5 cubits long. Its other wing was also 5 cubits long. So it was 10 cubits from the end of one wing to the end of the other wing. 25 The second cherub was also 10 cubits long. The two cherubs were the same in size and shape. 26 Each cherub was 10 cubits high. 27 Solomon put the cherubs in the inside room of the temple. Their wings were very wide. The wing of one cherub touched one wall of the temple. The wing of the other cherub touched the other wall. And their wings touched each other in the middle of the room. 28 Solomon covered the cherubs with gold.

29 Solomon made pictures in the wood of cherubs, palm trees and open flowers. He put them on the walls, all round both the rooms in the temple. 30 He also covered the floors of both the rooms in the temple with gold. 31 He made the doors to the sanctuary out of olive wood. The wood that held the doors had 5 sides. 32 And on the doors he put pictures in the wood of cherubs, palm trees and open flowers. Then he covered the cherubs and the palm trees with very thin gold. 33 The olive wood that held the doors to the temple itself had 4 sides. 34 Solomon also made two doors out of pine wood. Each door had two parts that turned separately. 35 He put pictures of cherubs, palm trees and open flowers on the doors. He covered them with gold. 36 He also built a yard called a courtyard, round the temple. The wall round the courtyard was three stones high. There were cedar wood boards on top of it.

37 They put down the first stones of the temple of the LORD in the 4th year that Solomon was king. It was in the month called Ziv. 38 They finished building the temple in the 11th year that Solomon was king. It was the 8th month, the month called Bul. Everything was as it was in the plans. It had taken him 7 years to build it.

Notes about chapter 6

6:38Verse 2. A cubit was about 18 inches. So 60 cubits means about 30 yards or 28 metres.
6:38Verse 4. The windows were narrow. They may have let smoke out rather than let light in.
6:38Verse 5. There were only two rooms inside the temple. There was a larger room and a smaller room, called the ‘holy of holies’. Only the leader of the priests could go in to it, and that only on one day every year. Buildings with two or three storeys means that they have one or two floors upstairs.
6:38Verse 8. Each storey was about 7½ feet (2.3 metres) high. So this is why the windows were high up, verse 4.
6:38Verses 16-38. It says ‘Solomon made’. But it means that his men did the work. He told them what they should do. The temple itself was the Holy Place. They believed that God lived there. Because the holy God lived there it also was called holy. Only the priests could go into this temple. At the back was a Most Holy Place. Only the leader of the priests could go in to it, and that only on one day every year. The usual name for this Most Holy Place was the sanctuary, or the holy of holies. A sanctuary is the most holy part of any temple or church. Bible students have many problems with these verses. Here are two of them.
6:38Was the altar in verse 22 in the temple, or in the inside sanctuary? Or were there two altars?
6:38Was the wall in verse 36 low enough for people to look over? Or was the whole courtyard three stones high with wood on top? Only the priests could go into this courtyard.
6:38We may never know the answers to these questions.