6

Solomon Builds the Temple

1It was in midspring, in the month of Ziv,*6:1 Hebrew It was in the month of Ziv, which is the second month. This month of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar usually occurs within the months of April and May.  during the fourth year of Solomon’s reign, that he began to construct the Temple of the Lord. This was 480 years after the people of Israel were rescued from their slavery in the land of Egypt.

2The Temple that King Solomon built for the Lord was 90 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 45 feet high.*6:2 Hebrew 60 cubits [27.6 meters] long, 20 cubits [9.2 meters] wide, and 30 cubits [13.8 meters] high.  3The entry room at the front of the Temple was 30 feet*6:3a Hebrew 20 cubits [9.2 meters]; also in 6:16, 20.  wide, running across the entire width of the Temple. It projected outward 15 feet*6:3b Hebrew 10 cubits [4.6 meters].  from the front of the Temple. 4Solomon also made narrow recessed windows throughout the Temple.

5He built a complex of rooms against the outer walls of the Temple, all the way around the sides and rear of the building. 6The complex was three stories high, the bottom floor being 71/2 feet wide, the second floor 9 feet wide, and the top floor 101/2 feet wide.*6:6 Hebrew the bottom floor being 5 cubits [2.3 meters] wide, the second floor 6 cubits [2.8 meters] wide, and the top floor 7 cubits [3.2 meters] wide.  The rooms were connected to the walls of the Temple by beams resting on ledges built out from the wall. So the beams were not inserted into the walls themselves.

7The stones used in the construction of the Temple were finished at the quarry, so there was no sound of hammer, ax, or any other iron tool at the building site.

8The entrance to the bottom floor*6:8 As in Greek version; Hebrew reads middle floor.  was on the south side of the Temple. There were winding stairs going up to the second floor, and another flight of stairs between the second and third floors. 9After completing the Temple structure, Solomon put in a ceiling made of cedar beams and planks. 10As already stated, he built a complex of rooms along the sides of the building, attached to the Temple walls by cedar timbers. Each story of the complex was 71/2 feet*6:10 Hebrew 5 cubits [2.3 meters].  high.

11Then the Lord gave this message to Solomon: 12“Concerning this Temple you are building, if you keep all my decrees and regulations and obey all my commands, I will fulfill through you the promise I made to your father, David. 13I will live among the Israelites and will never abandon my people Israel.”

The Temple’s Interior

14So Solomon finished building the Temple. 15The 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. 16He 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. 17The main room of the Temple, outside the Most Holy Place, was 60 feet*6:17 Hebrew 40 cubits [18.4 meters].  long. 18Cedar paneling completely covered the stone walls throughout the Temple, and the paneling was decorated with carvings of gourds and open flowers.

19He prepared the inner sanctuary at the far end of the Temple, where the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant would be placed. 20This 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.*6:20 Or overlaid the altar with cedar. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.  21Then Solomon overlaid the rest of the Temple’s interior with solid gold, and he made gold chains to protect the entrance*6:21 Or to draw curtains across. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.  to the Most Holy Place. 22So he finished overlaying the entire Temple with gold, including the altar that belonged to the Most Holy Place.

23He made two cherubim of wild olive*6:23a Or pine; Hebrew reads oil tree; also in 6:31, 33.  wood, each 15 feet*6:23b Hebrew 10 cubits [4.6 meters]; also in 6:24, 26.  tall, and placed them in the inner sanctuary. 24The wingspan of each of the cherubim was 15 feet, each wing being 71/2 feet*6:24 Hebrew 5 cubits [2.3 meters].  long. 25The two cherubim were identical in shape and size; 26each was 15 feet tall. 27He 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. 28He overlaid the two cherubim with gold.

29He decorated all the walls of the inner sanctuary and the main room with carvings of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers. 30He overlaid the floor in both rooms with gold.

31For the entrance to the inner sanctuary, he made double doors of wild olive wood with five-sided doorposts.*6:31 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.  32These 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.

33Then he made four-sided doorposts of wild olive wood for the entrance to the Temple. 34There were two folding doors of cypress wood, and each door was hinged to fold back upon itself. 35These doors were decorated with carvings of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers—all overlaid evenly with gold.

36The walls of the inner courtyard were built so that there was one layer of cedar beams between every three layers of finished stone.

37The foundation of the Lord’s Temple was laid in midspring, in the month of Ziv,*6:37 Hebrew was laid in the month of Ziv. This month of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar usually occurs within the months of April and May.  during the fourth year of Solomon’s reign. 38The entire building was completed in every detail by midautumn, in the month of Bul,*6:38 Hebrew by the month of Bul, which is the eighth month. This month of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar usually occurs within the months of October and November.  during the eleventh year of his reign. So it took seven years to build the Temple.