Building A Great Temple
In the fourth year of Solomon's rule over Israel he built the temple of
Jehovah. The temple was ninety feet long, thirty feet wide, and
forty-five feet high. The porch before the large room of the temple was
thirty feet wide and fifteen feet deep. Solomon made windows for the
temple with casings, broad on the inside and narrow on the outside.
The temple was built with stone which had been made ready at the quarry;
neither hammer nor chisel nor any iron tool was heard while the temple
was building. Against the wall of the temple on the outside Solomon
built wings, both around the larger room and the inner room, and made
side-chambers around the temple.
The entrance to the lower side-chambers was on the south side of the
temple. Winding stairs led to the second floor, and from the second to
the third. Solomon built the wings against the sides of the temple, each
seven and a half feet high; and they were joined to the temple with
timbers of cedar.
He covered the walls of the temple on the inside with boards of cedar
from the floor of the temple to the rafters: and he covered the floor of
the temple with boards of cypress.
He also made a room thirty feet square in the back part of the temple
with boards of cedar reaching from the floor to the rafters. He built it
as an inner room, even as the most holy place. The temple, that is the
large room in front of the inner room, was sixty feet long. And there
was cedar inside the temple with carving in the form of gourds and open
flowers. All was cedar, no stone was seen. Solomon prepared the inner
room as a place for the ark.
In the inner room Solomon made two winged bulls of olive wood. The
height of each was fifteen feet. Each of their wings measured seven and
a half feet across, fifteen feet from the end of one wing to the end of
the other. He set these up in the inner room of the temple; and their
wings were stretched out so that the wing of the one touched the one
wall, while the wing of the other touched the other wall, and their
wings touched each other in the middle of the temple; and he covered
them with gold.
Then Solomon gathered in Jerusalem the leaders of Israel to bring up the
ark of Jehovah out of Zion, the City of David, at the time of the autumn
festival in September. When all the leaders of Israel had come, the
priests took up the ark and the tent of meeting and all the sacred
vessels that were in the tent. So the priests brought in the ark of
Jehovah to its place in the inner room of the temple under the wings of
the winged bulls. There was nothing in the ark except the two tables of
stone which Moses put there at Horeb. And when the priests came out from
the inner room, the cloud filled the temple of Jehovah, so that the
priests could not stand and perform their service on account of the
cloud, for the glory of Jehovah filled his temple.
Then Solomon said:
"Jehovah has set the sun in the heavens,
But has said that he will dwell in thick darkness.
So I have built thee a temple as a lofty dwelling,
A place for thee to abide in forever."
As Solomon stood before the altar of Jehovah in the presence of all the
assembly of Israel, he spread out his hands toward heaven and said, "O
Jehovah, the God of Israel, there is no God like thee in heaven above or
on earth beneath, who keepest thy solemn agreement and showest kindness
to thy servants who serve thee whole-heartedly, who hast kept with thy
servant David my father the promise that thou didst make to him.
"But will God actually dwell on earth? Indeed heaven and the highest
heaven cannot hold thee; how much less this temple that I have built!"
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