1 Kings 6

Solomon builds the temple

6:1King Solomon did not do the work himself. He told his officers what they must do.

1 Solomon began to build the Lord's temple 480 years after the Israelites had left Egypt. It was in the fourth year that he had ruled Israel as king. He started the work in the month called Ziv, the second month of the year.

6:1This was probably in April or May 966 BC.

2 The temple that King Solomon built for the Lord was 27 metres long. It was 9 metres wide. It was 13.5 metres high. 3 The temple had an entrance room in front of its big hall. The entrance room was as wide as the temple, 9 metres wide. It came 4.5 metres out from the front of the temple itself. 4 Solomon made narrow windows near the tops of the temple walls. 5 Solomon built rooms around the outside of the temple walls. These rooms continued outside the big hall and the inside room. The side rooms were on three levels. 6 The lowest level of rooms was 2.3 metres wide. The middle level was 2.7 metres wide and the top level was 3.2 metres wide. Each floor was built on wooden beams. The beams rested on stones in the temple walls, so that there were no holes that they cut into the walls.

6:4The windows were narrow. They may have let smoke out rather than let light in.
6:5There were only two rooms inside the temple. There was a big hall and a smaller room, called the ‘Most Holy Place’. Around the outside there were small rooms. They were on three levels. That means that they built the rooms above each other. There were stairs which went to the rooms that were above the ground level.

7 When they built the temple, they used stones that were the right shape. Workers had already cut the stones at the place where they came from. There was no sound of hammers, axes or any iron tools at the place of the temple. 8 The door to the lowest level of rooms on the sides of the temple was on the south side of the temple. Stairs went up to the middle level and to the top level.

6:8Each level was about 2.3 metres high. That is why the windows were high up (verse 4).

9 Solomon finished building the temple. He made the roof with wooden beams and with cedar boards. 10 He also built the rooms around the sides of the temple. Each room was 2.3 metres high. Cedar beams fixed the rooms to the temple building.

11 Then the Lord gave this message to Solomon:

12 ‘I will make my home in this temple that you are building. I will do everything for you that I promised to your father David. But you must obey my laws, rules and commands. 13 Then I will live among my people, the Israelites. I will never leave them.’

14 So Solomon finished building the temple. 15 He used cedar boards to cover the walls on the inside of the temple. The boards went from the floor of the temple up to its ceiling. He covered the floor of the temple with wood from pine trees. 16 He built a wall across the inside of the temple to make a separate room. That wall was 9 metres from the back wall of the temple. The inside room was the Most Holy Place. The walls were covered with cedar boards from the floor to the ceiling. 17 The big hall in front of the Most Holy Place was 18 metres long. 18 The inside of the temple was covered with boards made of cedar wood. The workers cut pictures of fruits and flowers on the wood. The cedar boards completely covered the stone walls, so you could not see any stone.

6:16The big hall of the temple was the Holy Place. At the back of the temple, the inside room was the Most Holy Place. Only the leader of the priests could go in there on one day every year.

19 Solomon prepared the inside room to be the Most Holy Place where they would put the Lord's Covenant Box. 20 The inside room was 9 metres long, 9 metres wide and 9 metres high. Solomon used pure gold to cover the walls of this room. He also covered the cedar altar with gold. 21 Solomon covered all the walls inside the temple with gold. He also hung gold chains across the entrance to the Most Holy Place. He covered everything there with gold. 22 So he covered everything inside the whole temple with gold. That included the altar that was inside the Most Holy Place.

23 Solomon used olive wood to make models of two cherubs to stand in the Most Holy Place. Each cherub was 4.4 metres tall. 24 The first cherub had two wings that were 2.2 metres long each. So it was 4.4 metres from the end of one wing to the end of the other wing. 25 The second cherub was also 4.4 metres across its wings. The two cherubs were the same size and the same shape. 26 Each cherub was 4.4 metres high. 27 Solomon put the cherubs in the inside room of the temple. Their wings went from one wall of the temple to the other wall. One cherub's wing touched one wall of the temple. One of the other cherub's wings 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's workers cut pictures in the wood on the walls of the big hall and the inside room. They were pictures of cherubs, palm trees and flowers. 30 They also covered the floors of both the rooms with gold. 31 They used olive wood to make doors for the entrance to the Most Holy Place. The doors were fixed to wooden pillars which had five sides. 32 The wooden doors had pictures of cherubs, palm trees and flowers. Solomon covered the pictures of the cherubs and the palm trees with very thin gold. 33 The doors to the big hall of the temple were fixed to pillars made of olive wood. Those pillars had four sides. 34 Solomon also made two doors from pine wood. Each door had two separate parts that could turn. 35 He cut pictures of cherubs, palm trees and flowers on those doors too. He covered them with gold in the same way.

36 Solomon also built a yard around the temple building. The wall around the yard had three rows of special stones, then a row of cedar beams, and so on.

37 They built the foundation of the Lord's temple in the fourth 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 eighth month, the month called Bul. So they built the temple in seven years, exactly as the plans showed that it should be.