1 Kings Chapter 6
Verses 1-38 (see 2 Chron. 3:1-17; 7:15-22).
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 month Zif, which [is] the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD.”
Since the division of the kingdom can accurately be given as 931 B.C., the beginning of Solomon’s 40-year “reign” (11:42), would be 971 B.C. Accordingly, the “fourth year” would be 967 B.C. Adding the 480 “years” given here to 967 gives a date of 1447 B.C. for the date of Israel’s Exodus from “Egypt”. Thus a literal reading (of verse 1), demands an early date for the Exodus as opposed to a thirteenth century date favored by many scholars.
“Fourth year”: “Four hundred and eightieth year”: Solomon began to build the temple by laying its foundation (verse 37), 480 years after the Exodus from Egypt. The 480 years are to be taken as the actual years between the Exodus and the building of the temple, because references to numbers of years in the book of Kings are consistently taken in a literal fashion. Also, the literal interpretation correlates with Jephthah’s statement recorded (in Judges 11:26).
The tabernacle was portable; the temple was permanent. The permanence of this worship center was further proof that God had given Israel the Promised Land.
There are a number of things we need to see in all of this. The temple is a permanent structure of what the tabernacle was. They both faced east. Both the tabernacle and the temple had three parts. As we study the temple, watch for the similarities. We see in the verse above, 480 years after the children of Israel entered their Promised Land, work began on the temple. Some believe this began just over three thousand years after the birth of Adam. Solomon was born about 965 B.C., so this would be just about right. Zif on the Jewish calendar is about the same as our month of May. They have chosen Mount Moriah in Jerusalem for the location the temple was to be built. From this time on, Jerusalem will be known as the holy city.
Verses 2-4: The temple was about 90 feet long, 30 feet wide and 45 feet high. By modern standards, it was a fairly small worship center. “Windows with beveled frames” signaled the permanency of this structure. It would truly be a “house,” an earthly home, for the Lord.
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.”
The temple is called a “house”, for it was the place where a transcendent, sovereign, and Holy God condescended to dwell with His people. The basic plan of the temple was that of the previous tabernacle except for the doubling of the length and width of the sanctuary and the increasing of its height. For the temple site (see the note on 2 Sam. 24:24).
“Cubits”: Normally the cubit was about 18 inches. This would make the temple structure proper 90 feet long, 30 feet wide and 45 feet high. However (2 Chron. 3:3), may indicate that the longer royal cubit of approximately 21 inches was used in the construction of the temple. On this measurement, the temple structure proper would have been 105 feet long, 35 feet wide and 52-1/2 feet high. The dimensions of the temple seem to be double those of the tabernacle (see Exodus 26:15-30; 36:20-34).
It was half as tall as it was long, and three times as long as it was wide. This did not include the porch, or the side chambers. This was the main building.
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” was situated before the front of “the temple” on its east side. According to (7:21), at the side of the entrance to the porch were erected two freestanding pillars. The pillar on the right or south side was named Jachin; the one on the left or north side was named Boaz (2 Chron. 3:15-17). The directions given with regard to the temple are from God’s vantage point in the Holy of Holies (Most Holy Place), looking outward from west to east.
This porch was about 15 feet long in front of the temple building proper.
The length of the porch was 20 cubits or 30 feet, which made the entire building 80 cubits long. The porch was just 10 cubits wide. There seemed to be walls on both sides and a roof with the front of the porch open.
1 Kings 6:4 “And for the house he made windows of narrow lights.”
“Windows”: Placed high on the inner side of the temple wall, these openings had lattices or shutters capable of being opened, shut, or partially opened. They served to let out the vapors of the lamps and the smoke of incense, as well as to give light.
These were very narrow windows to let in a little light, but not as big as the windows in a home.
Verses 5-10: These verses describe the three storied side rooms.
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:”
“Chambers”: Another attached structure surrounded the main building, excluding the porch. It provided rooms off of the main hall to house temple personnel and to store equipment and treasure (7:51).
It appears the side chambers were in three floors. The smaller chamber at the bottom and the next was a little larger. The third is larger than the second. The temple inside was not divided up like this.
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.”
“Nethermost chamber … middle … third”: This attached structure to the temple was 3 stories high. Each upper story was one cubit wider than the one below it. Instead of being inserted into the temple walls, beams supporting the stories rested on recessed ledges in the temple walls themselves.
“Nethermost” means lower or bottom. This means the bottom floor was 5 cubits, or 7 1/2 feet wide. The floor just above this was 6 cubits, or 9 feet wide. The top floor was 7 cubits, or 10 1/2 feet wide. Each floor was held up by rests.
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.”
“Stone made ready”: The erection of the temple went much faster by utilizing pre-cut and pre-fitted materials moved on rollers to the temple site. In addition, the relative quiet would be consistent with the sacredness of the undertaking.
The temple was built with reverence, avoiding the use of any iron tool on the stones per God’s command (in Exodus 20:25 and Deut. 27:5-6).
We read earlier of the thousands, who prepared the stones for use in the building of the temple. The stones were brought in, and not carved at the temple. There was to be no noise in the temple.
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.”
“Door … stairs”: The entrance to the side rooms was on the south side, probably in the middle. Access to the second and third stories was by means of a spiral staircase that led through the middle story to the third floor.
This is speaking of the stairs that led from the first floor to the second and then to the third. The stairs were against the wall on the right side of the building.
1 Kings 6:9 “So he built the house, and finished it; and covered the house with beams and boards of cedar.”
The body of it, including the walls of the holy and most holy place. With the chambers on the sides of them, and the porch at the end that led into them.
“And covered the house with beams and boards of cedar”: With hollow boards, as the Targum, which formed an arch ceiling to it, and made it look very grand and beautiful. And then over them were laid beams and planks of cedar. Not properly as a flat roof to it, but rather as a flooring for other buildings. For upon this (as in 1 Kings 6:10), there were chambers built.
The “house”, spoken of here, is speaking of the main part of the temple. The boards for the walls are cedar, which will not deteriorate. Beams of cedar would be strong and durable.
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.”
Which some understand of the same chambers (in 1 Kings 6:5). Here made mention of again for the sake of giving the height of them, not before given. But they were built against, or upon the wall of the house, these against, or rather upon the whole house itself; and are the chambers referred to (see 1 Kings 6:2). This consisting of three stories of ninety cubits, raised the whole house to an equal height with the porch (2 Chron. 3:4). As is there intended; these are the upper chambers (in 2 Chron. 3:9). And they rested on the house with timber of cedar; or on the timber of cedar, the beams of cedar, with which the house was covered (as in 1 Kings 6:9). On these the chambers rested, being built upon them. And in one of these chambers the disciples might be after Christ’s ascension (Acts 1:13).
The three floors of chambers were each 7-1/2 feet high. When it says against all of the house, it is speaking of the north, west, and south side. The east side of the temple had a porch and no chambers.
Verses 11-13: During the construction of the temple, the Lord spoke to Solomon, probably through a prophet, and reiterated that the fulfillment of His Word to David through his son was contingent on Solomon’s obedience to His commands (2:3-4; 3:14; 9:4-8). The use of the same words, “I will dwell among the sons of Israel” (in verse 13 as in Exodus 29:45), implied that Solomon’s temple was the legitimate successor to the tabernacle. The Lord forewarned Solomon and Israel that the temple was no guarantee of His presence; only their continued obedience would assure that.
1 Kings 6:11 “And the word of the LORD came to Solomon, saying,”
Since it was recorded that the “Lord” appeared personally only three times to “Solomon (3:5; 9:2; 11:11). These words probably came to Solomon by a prophet.
The word of prophecy, as the Targum. Foretelling what would be the case of this building according to the obedience or disobedience of him and the people of Israel. That was brought to him either by an impulse of the Spirit of God upon him. Or by the hand of a prophet, as Kimchi thinks and some of the Jewish writers, as he particularly, who name Ahijah the Shilonite as the prophet that was sent with this message to him (saying as follows in 6:12).
Verses 12-13: The permanent “temple” did not change the essentials of the relationship between Israel and God. All the conditions and privileges of the covenant were still in effect (Lev. 26:11-12; Luke 21:5-6; Acts 7:47-50).
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:”
Or with respect to that, these things are to be said as from the Lord.
If thou wilt walk in my statutes, and execute my judgments, and keep all my commandments to walk in them”: Even all the laws of God, moral, ceremonial, and judicial. And this respects not only Solomon personally, but his successors, and even all the people of Israel.
“Then will I perform my word with thee, which I spake unto David thy father”: By Nathan the prophet. Not only that he should build a house for God, which should be a settled dwelling place, but that his own house and kingdom should be established for a long time to come. And his posterity should enjoy the presence of God in this house, provided regard was had to the precepts and ordinances of the Lord (2 Sam. 7:12).
1 Kings 6:13 “And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake my people Israel.”
In this house now building, and which was in the middle of the land, and where he would meet with them, and accept their sacrifices, not only of slain beasts, but of prayer and praise.
“And will not forsake my people Israel”: And leave them to the mercy of their enemies, and to be carried captive by them, but protect and defend them.
We are not told exactly how the Word of the LORD came to Solomon. We know that in the beginning, it was through Nathan. It is not impossible for the LORD to speak to Solomon directly however. Whether this was spoken directly to Solomon or through Nathan, it does not matter. The message is from the LORD. The promises the LORD had made to Solomon, and to Israel, were conditional on their keeping His commandments. Notice Solomon is to execute the LORD’s judgments, and not his own. To be blessed of God, Solomon and the people must obey the LORD in all things.
1 Kings 6:14 “So Solomon built the house, and finished it.”
Verse 14 deals with completing the exterior of the structure. Verses 15-35 have to do with the interior arrangements, beginning with the interior walls and flooring.
Verses 15-22: “The Most Holy Place”, or Holy of Holies, was the resting place of the Ark of the Covenant and the place of annual atonement for the nation’s sin.
“Overlaid … with pure gold”, it reflected God’s rich beauty and incomparable value.
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.”
For as yet he had only built the stone walls of it without, but now he wainscoted it with cedar boards: and not only them, but:
“Both the floor of the house, and the walls of the ceiling”: Or from “the floor of the house unto the walls of the ceiling”. That is, from the floor, including that, to the walls on each side, reaching up to the ceiling.
“He covered them on the inside with wood”: Of one sort or another, cedar or fir, or both.
“And he covered the floor of the house with planks of fir”: Which Hiram sent him (1 Kings 5:8); which is differently interpreted; by Josephus cypress; by others, as the Tigurine version. Pine tree wood; it is very probable it was of the cedar kind, and not the floor only, but the ceiling also (2 Chron. 3:5).
Now we see that the fir was to make the floor. The walls and ceilings were made of cedar and the floor of fir.
Verses 16-22: Like the tabernacle, the Holy of Holies was partitioned off from the Holy Place. Within the Most Holy Place rested the “Ark of the covenant” (verse 19), the symbol of God’s reigning presence among His people.
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 holy [place].”
“The Most Holy Place”: This inner sanctuary, partitioned off from the main hall by cedar planks, was a perfect cube about 30 feet on a side (verse 20), and was the most sacred area of the temple. The Most Holy Place is further described in verses 19-28. The tabernacle also had a “Most Holy Place” (Exodus 26:33-34).
This is speaking of a wall being built, to separate the Most Holy Place from the Holy Place. This wall is to be made of cedar. The temple, not including the porch, was 60 cubits long. This is saying the furthest 20 cubits from the entrance is where the Most Holy Place will be.
1 Kings 6:17 “And the house, that [is], the temple before it, was forty cubits [long].”
“The temple”: “Or the nave”: This was the Holy Place, just outside the Most Holy Place, 60 feet long, 30 feet wide and 45 feet high, that housed the altar of incense, the golden tables of the bread of the Presence, and the golden lampstands (7:48-49).
The front of the temple would take up the other 40 cubits.
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.”
With which the inside of the place was lined.
“Was carved with knops; of an oval form; so the Targum says they had the appearance of eggs; and Ben Gersom likewise, that they were in the form of eggs.
“And open flowers”: Not in the figure of buds, but flowers blown, and open, as lilies and others; so the Targum.
“All was cedar”: The wainscoting of the house, the sides of it at least, if not the floor, and the carved work of it. And this was done, that the gold might be laid upon it, which could not be done on stone as on wood. And all was so covered, so that:
“There was no stone seen”: Of which the outward walls were built. All this denotes the inward beauty of the church, and the curious workmanship of the Spirit of God in the hearts of his people. Whereby they become all glorious within, adorned with the graces of the blessed Spirit, their stony hearts being kept out of sight, yea, taken away.
This is just saying that the entire inside walls of the temple were made of cedar. The cedar would be similar to our brick homes today, which have wooden paneling on the inside walls. The stone was the outside wall. This inside wall of cedar will be overlaid with gold. The beautiful carvings would be on the wood.
1 Kings 6:19 “And the oracle he prepared in the house within, to set there the ark of the covenant of the LORD.”
“The Ark of the covenant of the Lord”: The Ark was a rectangular box made of acacia wood. The Ark was made at Sinai by Bezaleel according to the pattern given to Moses (Exodus 25:10-22; 37:1-9). The Ark served as the receptacle for the two tables of the Ten commandments (Exodus 25:16, 21; 40:20; Deut. 10:1-5), and the place in the inner sanctuary where the presence of the Lord met Israel (Exodus 25:22).
The Ark of the Covenant will be in the Most Holy Place. The Ark symbolizes the presence of the LORD with the people.
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.”
“Overlaid it with pure gold” (compare verses 21, 22; 28, 30, 32, 35). Gold was beaten into fine sheets, and then hammered to fit over the beautifully embellished wood (verses 18, 29), then attached to every surface in the temple proper, both in the Holy Place and in the Most Holy Place, so that no wood or stone was visible (verse 22).
The Most Holy Place is 20 cubits, by 20 cubits, by 20 cubits. It is a cube. This entire thing was overlaid with pure gold. Pure gold is 24 karat gold. This is the first mention of the altar, but it would be covered with pure gold also.
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.”
The inside of the Holy of Holies was overlaid with fine gold, which gold amounted to six hundred talents (2 Chron. 3:8). And these translate to 7,332,000 ducats of gold.
“And he made a partition by the chains of gold before the oracle”: Between the Holy and the Most Holy, and were instead of a vail in the tabernacle of Moses between them. Here was also a vail beside the partition made by chains of gold across the oracle. For the partition was a wall of the thickness of a cubit, as Maimonides says; and in (2 Chron. 3:14), express mention is made of a vail of blue. And imitation of this had the Heathens their deities within vails.
“And he overlaid it with gold”: The partition wall.
This is saying that the entire inside walls of the temple were covered over with pure gold. Gold symbolizes the pureness of God. This is why there was pure gold where God dwelled. It appears, there were golden chains before the Ark.
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.”
Both the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place.
“Until he had finished all the house”: In this splendid and glorious manner.
“Also the whole altar that was by the oracle”: The altar of incense, which stood just before the entrance into the oracle, or Most Holy Place.
“He overlaid with gold”: He overlaid it all over with gold; hence it is called the golden altar, and was an emblem of the excellent and effectual mediation and intercession of Christ (Rev. 8:3). Agreeably to this account Eupolemus, a Heathen writer testifies, that the whole house, from the floor to the tool, was covered with gold. As well as with cedar and cypress wood, that the stonework might not appear. And so, the capitol at Rome, perhaps in imitation of this temple, its roofs and tiles were glided with gold. A magnificent temple, like this, was at Upsal in Switzerland, as Olaus Magnus relates.
We must remember that the Holy of Holies is a replica of the place where God is in heaven. That is why the streets are paved with gold, and the entire city is gold.
Revelation 21:18 “And the building of the wall of it was [of] jasper: and the city [was] pure gold, like unto clear glass.”
Revelation 21:21 “And the twelve gates [were] twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city [was] pure gold, as it were transparent glass.”
God is a Holy God. Wherever God is, there is pure gold. There is no silver in this city mentioned in Revelation, because the Christians have already been redeemed. Silver symbolizes redemption.
Verses 23-35: The interior of the Most Holy Place was dominated by 15 foot tall “cherubim” (Exodus 37:7-9, 1 Sam 4:4; Psalm 80:1). There were also cherubim on the mercy seat (8:6-8). The carvings on the “walls” may have suggested the original temple, the Garden of Eden, where God shared His presence with Adam and Eve.
According to (2 Chronicles 3:13), these two tall gold covered “cherubim” faced the door. The cherubim symbolized the awesome holiness of the sovereign God.
1 Kings 6:23 “And within the oracle he made two cherubims [of] olive tree, [each] ten cubits high.”
“Cherubims”: These two sculptured winged creatures, with human faces overlaid with gold (Gen. 3:24; Ezek. 41:18-19), stood as guards on either side of the ark (see 2 Chron. 3:10-13), and are not to be confused with the cherubim on the mercy seat (see Exodus 25:17-22). The cherubim represented angelic beings who were guardians of God’s presence and stood on either side of the ark (8:6-7), in the Most Holy Place. They were 15 feet tall and 15 feet between wing tips (verses 24-26; see note on Exodus 25:18).
Olive oil symbolizes the Holy Spirit. This is interesting that the two cherubims for either end of the Ark are made of olive wood. This means the cherubims stood 10 cubits, or 15 feet high. As the children say today, that is awesome.
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 cubits.”
When stretched out on one side.
“And five cubits the other wing of the cherub”: On the other side him.
“From the uttermost part of the one wing, to the uttermost part of the other wing, were ten cubits”: Half the breadth of the house.
1 Kings 6:25 “And the other cherub [was] ten cubits: both the cherubims [were] of one measure and one size.”
That is, its wings stretched out measured so many cubits, as did those of the other.
“Both the cherubim were of one measure, and of one size”: Of the same height and stature, of the same breadth of their wings, and of the same bulk of their bodies. They were of “image work” (2 Chron. 3:10); very probably in the form of men. And this uniformity may denote the perfect agreement of angels; or else the consent of the true faithful witnesses of Christ in all ages. Those who have all agreed in the person, office, and grace of Christ, as represented by the mercy seat and ark, which these cherubim covered with their wings.
The outstretched wings of the cherubims were 15 feet from the tip of one wing to the tip of the other. Both cherubs measured the same.
1 Kings 6:26 “The height of the one cherub [was] ten cubits, and so [was it] of the other cherub.”
Which is repeated from (1 Kings 6:23); that it might be observed, being of an extraordinary size.
These cherubim stood toward the back at each end of the Ark of the Covenant.
1 Kings 6:27 “And he set the cherubims within the inner house: and they stretched forth the wings of the cherubims, 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.”
The Holy of Holies.
“And they stretched forth the wings of the cherubims”: The carvers that framed them, they wrought them in that form; or impersonally, the wings of the cherubim were stretched out. This was the position of them, they overshadowed and covered the Mercy Seat and Ark, and even the other two cherubim that were at the ends of the Mercy Seat.
“So that the wing of the one touched the one wall”: The southern wall.
“And the wing of the other cherub touched the other wall”: The northern wall; they reached from wall to wall, even the whole breadth of the house, which was twenty cubits, as their wings thus spread were (1 Kings 6:24).
“And their wings touched one another in the midst of the house”: Which were ten cubits, and that was the spread of the wings of each of them; so that the wing of the right side of the one, stretched out, touched the wing of the left side of the other fit the same position. In (2 Chron. 3:13); their faces are said to be “inward”, or “toward the house”. Either toward the Holy Place, and so faced those that came into that and saw them; or towards the inner part of the Holy of Holies, their backs being to the Holy Place. Or their faces were inward, and looked obliquely to each other.
The entire Holy of Holies was 20 cubits, or 30 feet across. The two cherubims touching wing to wing take up the entire 30 feet. The tip of their wings touch the outer wall on one side and touch the inner wing of the cherubim on the inside.
1 Kings 6:28 “And he overlaid the cherubims with gold.”
This may denote the purity and excellency of angels. Or the precious gifts and graces of the Spirit; with which the witnesses of Christ are adorned.
This is saying that pure gold covered the cherubims.
1 Kings 6:29 “And he carved all the walls of the house round about with carved figures of cherubims and palm trees and open flowers, within and without.”
“Palm trees”: An image reminiscent of the Garden of Eden (in Genesis chapter 2). The palm tree represented the tree of life from the Garden.
This was the most magnificent structure ever constructed on the earth. Around the walls were carvings of cherubims, palm trees, and flowers.
1 Kings 6:30 “And the floor of the house he overlaid with gold, within and without.”
Both the floor of the Holy Place and of the Holy of Holies. So that the streets of New Jerusalem is said to be of pure gold (Rev. 21:21). This expresses the purity and magnificence of it, particularly the holy conversation of them that dwell in the church and in heaven, signified hereby.
The floors were made of fir for durability, but they too were covered with pure gold.
Verses 31-35: There was distinct and magnificent separation by doors between the inner court of the temple (verse 36), and the Holy Place, as well as between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place.
The “olive” wood “doors” were made for access between the Holy of Holies and the Holy Place. Still larger double-leaved doors made of “fir” were placed at the entrance to the Holy Place.
(2 Chronicles 3:14), mentions that a curtain was also in place between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies, perhaps reminiscent of the inner veil of the tabernacle (Exodus 26:31-36).
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].”
The door of the Holy of Holies was a two leaved or folding door, made of olive wood; typical of Christ. The door into the church above and below; the way to heaven and eternal life the true olive tree.
“The lintel and side posts were a fifth part of the wall”; four cubits, twenty cubits being the breadth of the oracle; or the lintel was four cubits. Twenty being the height of it also (1 Kings 6:20).
The wall between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place was made of cedar covered with pure gold, but the door was made from an olive tree. The doors were covered with gold and hung on golden hinges. This is saying the door posts were 4 cubits square. This would mean these doors were together 6 feet wide. One fifth of the wall would be 6 feet.
1 Kings 6:32 “The two doors also [were of] olive tree; and he carved upon them carvings of cherubims and palm trees and open flowers, and overlaid [them] with gold, and spread gold upon the cherubims, and upon the palm trees.”
The two leaves of the door, as before observed, repeated for the sake of the ornament of them, as follows.
“And he carved upon them carvings of cherubims, and palm trees, and open flowers”: As upon the walls (1 Kings 6:29).
“And overlaid them with gold”: The two doors.
“And spread gold upon the cherubims, and upon the palm trees”: Thin plates of gold.
These two doors filled this 6 foot wide opening. They met in the middle and hung from the sides. They were beautifully carved, and were olive wood covered with pure gold. It is as if the Holy Spirit (olive oil), is between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies. The Holy of Holies is symbolic of the throne of God in heaven.
1 Kings 6:33 “So also made he for the door of the temple posts [of] olive tree, a fourth part [of the wall].”
The Holy Place.
“Posts of olive tree, a fourth part of the wall”: Which was five cubits, its breadth being twenty (1 Kings 6:20). This door was a cubit wider than that into the Most Holy Place (1 Kings 6:31), more entering into the one than into the other; as more go into the church on earth than into the heavenly glory.
This is perhaps speaking of the doors coming into the Holy Place. The entire wall would be thirty feet wide. The doors would take up one fourth of the wall, which would be 7-1/2 feet. Again, these doors are swinging from the side and meet in the middle. The posts are made of olive wood. Olive wood is not only beautiful, but easy to carve.
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.”
The posts were of olive, but the doors of fir, and they were both folding doors, as appears by what follows.
“The two leaves of the one door were folding, and the two leaves of the other door were folding; which, taking up less room, made the passage wider (see Ezek. 41:24).
Fir is durable. These doors lead to the outer court. These doors got much more use than the doors to the Holy of Holies. Only the high priest went into the Holy of Holies.
1 Kings 6:35 “And he carved [thereon] cherubims and palm trees and open flowers: and covered [them] with gold fitted upon the carved work.”
As upon the doors of the Most Holy Place (1 Kings 6:32; see Ezek. 41:25).
“And covered them with gold, fitted upon the carved work”: Plates of gold were fitted, as to the dimensions of them, to the cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers.
These doors were carved beautifully and covered with gold.
1 Kings 6:36 “And he built the inner court with three rows of hewed stone, and a row of cedar beams.”
“The inner court”: This walled-in, open space that surrounded the temple was also called “the court of the priests” (2 Chron. 4:9), or the “upper court” (Jer. 36:10). The wall of that court had a layer of wood between each of the 3 courses of stone. The alternation of timber beams with masonry was common in Mediterranean construction.
The “inner court” surrounding the temple was also called the court of the priests (2 Chron. 4:9), for access to it was restricted to the priestly orders. For the outer or great court, to which all of the people were admitted (see the note on 7:12).
This just shows the strength needed for this court.
Verses 37-38: The temple construction took “seven years” to complete, but it stood for nearly four centuries. It would be the only structure of Solomon rebuilt after the exile.
1 Kings 6:37 “In the fourth year was the foundation of the house of the LORD laid, in the month Zif:”
“Fourth year … month Zif” (see 6:1).
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 building it.”
“Seven years”: From foundation to finishing, the temple took 7 years and 6 mouths to build (see note on 2 Chron. 5:1).
This means that it took seven years and six months to build the temple. Their eighth month would be our November.
1 Kings Chapter 6 Questions
1. The temple was started, how many years after the children of Israel came out of Egypt?
2. How long had Solomon been king, when they started the temple?
3. Approximately how many years after Adam’s birth was the temple started?
4. Zif is the same as what month on our calendar?
5. From this time on, _____________ will be known as the holy city.
6. How long was the temple?
7. How wide was it?
8. How tall was it?
9. The chambers had _________ floors.
10. What does “nethermost” mean?
11. What were the sizes of the three floors?
12. What was the house made of?
13. Where were the stones made ready?
14. How did they get from floor to floor in the chambers?
15. What is the “house” in verse 9?
16. How tall was each of the chambers?
17. Which was the only side that did not have chambers?
18. The Word of the LORD came to ___________.
19. What did the LORD promise to do, if Solomon and the people kept his commandments?
20. The inside walls of the temple were made with what?
21. The inside walls were covered with what?
22. What were the decorations on the walls?
23. What does the Ark symbolize?
24. What was the size of the Most Holy Place?
25. The Holy of Holies is a replica of what?
26. Why is there no silver in heaven?
27. Olive oil symbolizes the __________ _________.
28. What was the size of the cherubims?
29. The cherubims were overlaid with ________.
30. The floor was made of what?
31. The doors of the Holy of Holies were made of what?
32. How long did it take to build the temple?