“The foundation of the Lord’s Temple was laid in midspring, in the month of Ziv, during the fourth year of Solomon’s reign. The entire building was completed in every detail by mid-autumn, in the month of Bul, during the eleventh year of his reign. So it took seven years to build the Temple” (I Kings 6:37-38, NLT).
We’ve seen a general description. Now take a look at its ornamentation:
“So Solomon finished building the Temple. The entire inside, from floor to ceiling, was paneled with wood. He paneled the walls and ceilings with cedar, and he used planks of cypress for the floors. He partitioned off an inner sanctuary – the Most Holy Place – at the far end of the Temple. It was 30 feet deep and was paneled with cedar from floor to ceiling. The main room of the Temple, outside the Most Holy Place, was 60 feet long. Cedar paneling completely covered the stone walls throughout the Temple, and the paneling was decorated with carvings of gourds and open flowers” (I Kings 6:14-18).
“He prepared the inner sanctuary at the far end of the Temple, where the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant would be placed. This inner sanctuary was 30 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 30 feet high. He overlaid the inside with solid gold. He also overlaid the altar made of cedar. Then Solomon overlaid the rest of the Temple’s interior with solid gold, and he made gold chains to protect the entrance to the Most Holy Place. So he finished overlaying the entire Temple with gold, including the altar that belonged to the Most Holy Place” (I Kings 6:19-22).
“He made two cherubim of wild olive wood, each 15 feet tall, and placed them in the inner sanctuary. The wingspan of each of the cherubim was 15 feet, each wing being 7 1/2 feet long. The two cherubim were identical in shape and size; each was 15 feet tall. He placed them side by side in the inner sanctuary of the Temple. Their outspread wings reached from wall to wall, while their inner wings touched at the center of the room. He overlaid the two cherubim with gold” (I Kings 6:23-28).
“He decorated all the walls of the inner sanctuary and the main room with carvings of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers. He overlaid the floor in both rooms with gold” (I Kings 6:29-30).
“For the entrance to the inner sanctuary, he made double doors of wild olive wood with five-sided doorposts. These double doors were decorated with carvings of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers. The doors, including the decorations of cherubim and palm trees, were overlaid with gold” (I Kings 6:31-32).
“Then he made four-sided doorposts of wild olive wood for the entrance to the Temple. There were two folding doors of cypress wood, and each door was hinged to fold back upon itself. These doors were decorated with carvings of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers – all overlaid evenly with gold” (I Kings 6:33-35).
“The walls of the inner courtyard were built so that there was one layer of cedar beams between every three layers of finished stone” (I Kings 6:36).
Never had there been a more beautiful building constructed. Solomon insisted on the best of the best for every part of it.
“Solomon also built a palace for himself, and it took him thirteen years to complete the construction” (I Kings 7:1).
The Temple is described in detail while Solomon’s palace barely gets an honorable mention. His priorities were straight. The Temple came first. What about us? God deserves our very best. Is that what we’re giving Him?
Copyright © 2013
Judy Woodward Bates