Jun. 17. Preparations and Construction of God’s Temple

I Kin. 5:1-18; II Chron. 2:1-3:17; I Kin. 6:1-38

Solomon’s father, David had been a close friend with Hiram, king of Tyre and that friendship continued between the king of Tyre and Solomon. Soon after he had settled in as king of Israel, he began to make preparations to construct the temple of God that his father had been prevented from building. Since God is everywhere and cannot be contained, the temple was not to actually house Him, but was a place for the people to worship Him.

Lebanon was a land of abundant timber that could be used for building. Solomon sent a letter to Hiram proposing that he would provide grain and wine in exchange for the timber and craftsmen to oversee the work. Since Hiram needed the grain and wine, that was a win, win deal and he replied to Solomon his agreement to the proposition.

Logs were tied together as rafts and floated to Solomon where they were taken apart and moved overland to the building site. In an age of primitive mechanization, many thousands of workmen were required to prepare the timbers and stones for the temple construction.

On the second day of the second month of the fourth year of Solomon’s reign as king, the temple construction began in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah on the threshing floor site that David had purchased from Ornan. Considering that a cubit is eighteen inches, the foundation of the structure was ninety feet long, thirty feet wide and forty-five feet high with an additional fifteen-foot vestibule extending from the front.

The stones for the temple foundation were completely sized at the quarry so there would not be the metallic sounds of any hammering or chiseling at the construction site. Even as large and elaborate as the stones were, they were covered with cedar beams and boards. The walls were cedar panels and the floors were cypress. All of the wooden surfaces were overlain with gold. There were also ornate carvings of cherubim and flowers.

Immediately inside from the front vestibule was the inner sanctuary and beyond that room was the Most Holy Place. Two cherubim were placed inside the Most Holy Place. Their wing spans were fifteen feet each and they stretched across the entire room. They were also fifteen feet high. Surrounding the temple were smaller rooms built against the outside wall. After a construction time of seven years the temple of the Lord in all of its splendor was completed.