1 Kings
Introduction 1 Beginning of the Temple Construction 2-10 The Exterior of the Building 11-13 A Word for Solomon 14-22 The Covering of Wood and Gold 23-28 The Cherubim 29-35 The Walls, Floor and Doors 36 The Inner Court 37-38 Duration of the Building of the Temple
Introduction

This chapter is about the building and furnishing of the temple. A global outline:
1. Introduction, verse 11Now it came about in the four hundred and eightieth year after the sons of Israel came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD..
2. Exterior of the building, verses 2-102As for the house which King Solomon built for the LORD, its length [was] sixty cubits and its width twenty [cubits] and its height thirty cubits.3The porch in front of the nave of the house [was] twenty cubits in length, corresponding to the width of the house, [and] its depth along the front of the house [was] ten cubits.4Also for the house he made windows with [artistic] frames.5Against the wall of the house he built stories encompassing the walls of the house around both the nave and the inner sanctuary; thus he made side chambers all around.6The lowest story [was] five cubits wide, and the middle [was] six cubits wide, and the third [was] seven cubits wide; for on the outside he made offsets [in the wall] of the house all around in order that [the beams] would not be inserted in the walls of the house.7The house, while it was being built, was built of stone prepared at the quarry, and there was neither hammer nor axe nor any iron tool heard in the house while it was being built.8The doorway for the lowest side chamber [was] on the right side of the house; and they would go up by winding stairs to the middle [story], and from the middle to the third.9So he built the house and finished it; and he covered the house with beams and planks of cedar.10He also built the stories against the whole house, each five cubits high; and they were fastened to the house with timbers of cedar..
3. Responsibility, verses 11-1311Now the word of the LORD came to Solomon saying,12“[Concerning] this house which you are building, if you will walk in My statutes and execute My ordinances and keep all My commandments by walking in them, then I will carry out My word with you which I spoke to David your father.13I will dwell among the sons of Israel, and will not forsake My people Israel.”.
4. Interior of the building, verses 14-3514So Solomon built the house and finished it.15Then he built the walls of the house on the inside with boards of cedar; from the floor of the house to the ceiling he overlaid [the walls] on the inside with wood, and he overlaid the floor of the house with boards of cypress.16He built twenty cubits on the rear part of the house with boards of cedar from the floor to the ceiling; he built [them] for it on the inside as an inner sanctuary, [even] as the most holy place.17The house, that is, the nave in front of [the inner sanctuary], was forty cubits [long].18There was cedar on the house within, carved [in the shape] of gourds and open flowers; all was cedar, there was no stone seen.19Then he prepared an inner sanctuary within the house in order to place there the ark of the covenant of the LORD.20The inner sanctuary [was] twenty cubits in length, twenty cubits in width, and twenty cubits in height, and he overlaid it with pure gold. He also overlaid the altar with cedar.21So Solomon overlaid the inside of the house with pure gold. And he drew chains of gold across the front of the inner sanctuary, and he overlaid it with gold.22He overlaid the whole house with gold, until all the house was finished. Also the whole altar which was by the inner sanctuary he overlaid with gold.23Also in the inner sanctuary he made two cherubim of olive wood, each ten cubits high.24Five cubits [was] the one wing of the cherub and five cubits the other wing of the cherub; from the end of one wing to the end of the other wing [were] ten cubits.25The other cherub [was] ten cubits; both the cherubim were of the same measure and the same form.26The height of the one cherub [was] ten cubits, and so [was] the other cherub.27He placed the cherubim in the midst of the inner house, and the wings of the cherubim were spread out, so that the wing of the one was touching the [one] wall, and the wing of the other cherub was touching the other wall. So their wings were touching each other in the center of the house.28He also overlaid the cherubim with gold.29Then he carved all the walls of the house round about with carved engravings of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers, inner and outer [sanctuaries].30He overlaid the floor of the house with gold, inner and outer [sanctuaries].31For the entrance of the inner sanctuary he made doors of olive wood, the lintel [and] five-sided doorposts.32So [he made] two doors of olive wood, and he carved on them carvings of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers, and overlaid them with gold; and he spread the gold on the cherubim and on the palm trees.33So also he made for the entrance of the nave four-sided doorposts of olive wood34and two doors of cypress wood; the two leaves of the one door turned on pivots, and the two leaves of the other door turned on pivots.35He carved [on it] cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers; and he overlaid [them] with gold evenly applied on the engraved work..
5. Completion, verses 37-3837In the fourth year the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid, in the month of Ziv.38In the eleventh year, in the month of Bul, which is the eighth month, the house was finished throughout all its parts and according to all its plans. So he was seven years in building it..

With a more refined outline we see the following aspects of the building:
1. Beginning of the building, verse 11Now it came about in the four hundred and eightieth year after the sons of Israel came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD..
2. The dimensions, verses 2-32As for the house which King Solomon built for the LORD, its length [was] sixty cubits and its width twenty [cubits] and its height thirty cubits.3The porch in front of the nave of the house [was] twenty cubits in length, corresponding to the width of the house, [and] its depth along the front of the house [was] ten cubits..
3. The windows, verse 44Also for the house he made windows with [artistic] frames..
4. The stories, verses 5-65Against the wall of the house he built stories encompassing the walls of the house around both the nave and the inner sanctuary; thus he made side chambers all around.6The lowest story [was] five cubits wide, and the middle [was] six cubits wide, and the third [was] seven cubits wide; for on the outside he made offsets [in the wall] of the house all around in order that [the beams] would not be inserted in the walls of the house..
5. The noiselessness of the building, verse 77The house, while it was being built, was built of stone prepared at the quarry, and there was neither hammer nor axe nor any iron tool heard in the house while it was being built..
6. Again the stories, verses 8-108The doorway for the lowest side chamber [was] on the right side of the house; and they would go up by winding stairs to the middle [story], and from the middle to the third.9So he built the house and finished it; and he covered the house with beams and planks of cedar.10He also built the stories against the whole house, each five cubits high; and they were fastened to the house with timbers of cedar..
7. A word for Solomon, verses 11-1311Now the word of the LORD came to Solomon saying,12“[Concerning] this house which you are building, if you will walk in My statutes and execute My ordinances and keep all My commandments by walking in them, then I will carry out My word with you which I spoke to David your father.13I will dwell among the sons of Israel, and will not forsake My people Israel.”.
8. The covering of the walls and the floor, verses 14-1814So Solomon built the house and finished it.15Then he built the walls of the house on the inside with boards of cedar; from the floor of the house to the ceiling he overlaid [the walls] on the inside with wood, and he overlaid the floor of the house with boards of cypress.16He built twenty cubits on the rear part of the house with boards of cedar from the floor to the ceiling; he built [them] for it on the inside as an inner sanctuary, [even] as the most holy place.17The house, that is, the nave in front of [the inner sanctuary], was forty cubits [long].18There was cedar on the house within, carved [in the shape] of gourds and open flowers; all was cedar, there was no stone seen..
9. The inner sanctuary, covered with pure gold, verses 19-2019Then he prepared an inner sanctuary within the house in order to place there the ark of the covenant of the LORD.20The inner sanctuary [was] twenty cubits in length, twenty cubits in width, and twenty cubits in height, and he overlaid it with pure gold. He also overlaid the altar with cedar..
10. The gold covering of the whole, including the altar, verses 21-2221So Solomon overlaid the inside of the house with pure gold. And he drew chains of gold across the front of the inner sanctuary, and he overlaid it with gold.22He overlaid the whole house with gold, until all the house was finished. Also the whole altar which was by the inner sanctuary he overlaid with gold..
11. The two great cherubs, verses 23-2823Also in the inner sanctuary he made two cherubim of olive wood, each ten cubits high.24Five cubits [was] the one wing of the cherub and five cubits the other wing of the cherub; from the end of one wing to the end of the other wing [were] ten cubits.25The other cherub [was] ten cubits; both the cherubim were of the same measure and the same form.26The height of the one cherub [was] ten cubits, and so [was] the other cherub.27He placed the cherubim in the midst of the inner house, and the wings of the cherubim were spread out, so that the wing of the one was touching the [one] wall, and the wing of the other cherub was touching the other wall. So their wings were touching each other in the center of the house.28He also overlaid the cherubim with gold..
12. Cherubs, palms and open flower buds on the walls, verse 2929Then he carved all the walls of the house round about with carved engravings of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers, inner and outer [sanctuaries]..
13. The gold covered floor, verse 3030He overlaid the floor of the house with gold, inner and outer [sanctuaries]..
14. The doors, verses 31-3531For the entrance of the inner sanctuary he made doors of olive wood, the lintel [and] five-sided doorposts.32So [he made] two doors of olive wood, and he carved on them carvings of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers, and overlaid them with gold; and he spread the gold on the cherubim and on the palm trees.33So also he made for the entrance of the nave four-sided doorposts of olive wood34and two doors of cypress wood; the two leaves of the one door turned on pivots, and the two leaves of the other door turned on pivots.35He carved [on it] cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers; and he overlaid [them] with gold evenly applied on the engraved work..
15. The inner court, verse 3636He built the inner court with three rows of cut stone and a row of cedar beams..
16. The duration of the building, verses 37-3837In the fourth year the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid, in the month of Ziv.38In the eleventh year, in the month of Bul, which is the eighth month, the house was finished throughout all its parts and according to all its plans. So he was seven years in building it..


Beginning of the Temple Construction

1Now it came about in the four hundred and eightieth year after the sons of Israel came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD.

For the historian, the start of the building of the temple is a striking point in the history of Israel. He mentions the year in which the start is made and connects that date with Israel’s exodus from slavery in Egypt. The start of the building of the temple takes place in 966 BC. The exodus took place in 1446 BC. Although there is a lot of time in between, the exodus and building of the temple are closely connected. At the exodus, on the banks of the Red Sea, the people sang about the dwelling place of the LORD (Exo 15:1717“You will bring them and plant them
In the mountain of Your inheritance,
The place, O LORD,
Which You have made for Your dwelling,
The sanctuary, O Lord,
Which Your hands have established.
). The purpose of the redemption from Egypt was that God would dwell with His people, a redeemed people. The temple is here called “the house of the LORD”.

Also the month of the beginning of the building is mentioned, “the month of Ziv which is the second month”. This month corresponds to our month of May. “Ziv” means “shine” or “splendor”, probably because of the budding floral splendor in that month. From a spiritual point of view, this indicates a new era in which everything is fresh and beautiful. Israel stands on the threshold of the glorious summer time of blessing and prosperity. The temple shines with gold. The place of the building is not mentioned, but we know from 2 Chronicles that it is on Mount Moria (2Chr 3:11Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where [the LORD] had appeared to his father David, at the place that David had prepared on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.).

In spiritual terms, salvation from the power of sin and the house of God, that is the church (1Tim 3:1515but in case I am delayed, [I write] so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.), also belong together. Our redemption by the Lord Jesus is the starting point, and whoever has accepted Him as Savior in faith is sealed with the Holy Spirit and therefore belongs to the church.

Solomon starts “in the fourth year” of his government with the building of the temple. The first three years he was busy arranging the affairs of his empire. The time we use to prepare for the work of God and to free ourselves from anything that might distract us from it is not lost time.

In building the temple Solomon is also a picture of the Lord Jesus. It is said of the Messiah that He will build the temple (Zec 6:1212Then say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Behold, a man whose name is Branch, for He will branch out from where He is; and He will build the temple of the LORD.). The temple is the pledge of the durable possession of the inheritance by the people. God’s presence definitively determines the possessions.


The Exterior of the Building

2As for the house which King Solomon built for the LORD, its length [was] sixty cubits and its width twenty [cubits] and its height thirty cubits. 3The porch in front of the nave of the house [was] twenty cubits in length, corresponding to the width of the house, [and] its depth along the front of the house [was] ten cubits. 4Also for the house he made windows with [artistic] frames. 5Against the wall of the house he built stories encompassing the walls of the house around both the nave and the inner sanctuary; thus he made side chambers all around. 6The lowest story [was] five cubits wide, and the middle [was] six cubits wide, and the third [was] seven cubits wide; for on the outside he made offsets [in the wall] of the house all around in order that [the beams] would not be inserted in the walls of the house. 7The house, while it was being built, was built of stone prepared at the quarry, and there was neither hammer nor axe nor any iron tool heard in the house while it was being built. 8The doorway for the lowest side chamber [was] on the right side of the house; and they would go up by winding stairs to the middle [story], and from the middle to the third. 9So he built the house and finished it; and he covered the house with beams and planks of cedar. 10He also built the stories against the whole house, each five cubits high; and they were fastened to the house with timbers of cedar.

The sizes of the house (verse 22As for the house which King Solomon built for the LORD, its length [was] sixty cubits and its width twenty [cubits] and its height thirty cubits.) are double the sizes of the tabernacle. So the temple is an enlarged tabernacle. The dimensions of the temple, converted to our dimensions, are twenty-seven meters long, nine meters wide and fourteen meters high. The porch in front is extra, as are the windows (verses 3-43The porch in front of the nave of the house [was] twenty cubits in length, corresponding to the width of the house, [and] its depth along the front of the house [was] ten cubits.4Also for the house he made windows with [artistic] frames.). They were not in the tabernacle.

The temple, like the tabernacle, is a picture of:
1. the revelation of the glory of God in Christ,
2. the dwelling place of God; and
3. a place where man can approach God to serve Him as a priest.

There are two descriptions of the temple. They are in 1 Kings and 2 Chronicles. In 2 Chronicles the emphasis is on the altar – and thus the service in connection with the altar – and approaching God. Here in 1 Kings the altar is not mentioned, nor the veil. Here dwelling is emphasized, because here we also have chambers all around the temple, where the priests live. Around the temple, i.e. on both long sides and the back, not the front, chambers are built in three floors (verses 5-65Against the wall of the house he built stories encompassing the walls of the house around both the nave and the inner sanctuary; thus he made side chambers all around.6The lowest story [was] five cubits wide, and the middle [was] six cubits wide, and the third [was] seven cubits wide; for on the outside he made offsets [in the wall] of the house all around in order that [the beams] would not be inserted in the walls of the house.).

There is an even greater joy than to go to the temple and that is to dwell there. This leads to the priesthood that is expressed in a special way in the praise of the LORD (1Chr 9:3333Now these are the singers, heads of fathers’ [households] of the Levites, [who lived] in the chambers [of the temple] free [from other service]; for they were engaged in their work day and night.).

Where God has His dwelling place, He surrounds Himself with dwelling places. Therefore we can also see the temple as a picture of the Father’s house, of which the Lord Jesus says there are “many dwelling places” (Jn 14:22In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.). The Lord Jesus also calls the temple “My Father’s house” (Jn 2:1616and to those who were selling the doves He said, “Take these things away; stop making My Father’s house a place of business.”).

The temple is not only a greater repetition of the tabernacle. The tabernacle was meant to be carried through the desert. The temple contrariwise is fixed, there is rest for God. The people have come to rest and live in rest in the promised land, and God dwells among His people. After the wilderness journey, the meaning of the tabernacle is ended. In the letter to the Hebrews, the tabernacle is always mentioned, but that is because of the point of view from which the writer views God’s people view.

The temple is in the land. It presupposes a people in possession of the land, which for us is a picture of the heavenly places. The temple is on a higher level. Three times a year, the Israelite goes to the three harvest feasts, when he has gathered the blessings of the land. Are we familiar with the blessings of the promised land, for us the heavenly places? Only then will we understand and appreciate the meaning of the temple.

To explain verse 66The lowest story [was] five cubits wide, and the middle [was] six cubits wide, and the third [was] seven cubits wide; for on the outside he made offsets [in the wall] of the house all around in order that [the beams] would not be inserted in the walls of the house., a remark is made in the middle of the description of the priestly dwellings in verse 77The house, while it was being built, was built of stone prepared at the quarry, and there was neither hammer nor axe nor any iron tool heard in the house while it was being built. about the ready-prepared stones for the temple. The stones have already been worked in the quarry, so that no sound is heard during building.

In the spiritual sense we see that man is naturally dust, but when he becomes a believer, he becomes a stone (1Pet 2:55you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.). Christ is the rock from Whom we are hewn and as such have been added to the house of God. The work of God’s Spirit is done in silence, without the outward display and the great noise that is present in many Christian communities.

In verses 8-108The doorway for the lowest side chamber [was] on the right side of the house; and they would go up by winding stairs to the middle [story], and from the middle to the third.9So he built the house and finished it; and he covered the house with beams and planks of cedar.10He also built the stories against the whole house, each five cubits high; and they were fastened to the house with timbers of cedar. there are three stories. This also shows a certain growth, because the rooms are getting bigger and bigger higher up. It contains the encouragement for each priest not to stay on the lower story, but to go higher. What the chambers are, we read in the third description of the temple, in Ezekiel 42, the temple of the kingdom of peace (Eze 42:1-141Then he brought me out into the outer court, the way toward the north; and he brought me to the chamber which [was] opposite the separate area and opposite the building toward the north.2Along the length, [which was] a hundred cubits, [was] the north door; the width [was] fifty cubits.3Opposite the twenty [cubits] which belonged to the inner court, and opposite the pavement which belonged to the outer court, [was] gallery corresponding to gallery in three stories.4Before the chambers [was] an inner walk ten cubits wide, a way of one [hundred] cubits; and their openings [were] on the north.5Now the upper chambers [were] smaller because the galleries took more [space] away from them than from the lower and middle ones in the building.6For they [were] in three stories and had no pillars like the pillars of the courts; therefore [the upper chambers] were set back from the ground upward, more than the lower and middle ones.7As for the outer wall by the side of the chambers, toward the outer court facing the chambers, its length [was] fifty cubits.8For the length of the chambers which [were] in the outer court [was] fifty cubits; and behold, [the length of those] facing the temple [was] a hundred cubits.9Below these chambers [was] the entrance on the east side, as one enters them from the outer court.10In the thickness of the wall of the court toward the east, facing the separate area and facing the building, [there were] chambers.11The way in front of them [was] like the appearance of the chambers which [were] on the north, according to their length so was their width, and all their exits [were] both according to their arrangements and openings.12Corresponding to the openings of the chambers which were toward the south was an opening at the head of the way, the way in front of the wall toward the east, as one enters them.13Then he said to me, “The north chambers [and] the south chambers, which are opposite the separate area, they are the holy chambers where the priests who are near to the LORD shall eat the most holy things. There they shall lay the most holy things, the grain offering, the sin offering and the guilt offering; for the place is holy.14When the priests enter, then they shall not go out into the outer court from the sanctuary without laying there their garments in which they minister, for they are holy. They shall put on other garments; then they shall approach that which is for the people.”). These are the places where the priests abide. It is not a question of approaching, but of abiding constantly (cf. Psa 23:6b6Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
; 27:44One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the LORD
And to meditate in His temple.
).


A Word for Solomon

11Now the word of the LORD came to Solomon saying, 12“[Concerning] this house which you are building, if you will walk in My statutes and execute My ordinances and keep all My commandments by walking in them, then I will carry out My word with you which I spoke to David your father. 13I will dwell among the sons of Israel, and will not forsake My people Israel.”

In these verses we are again reminded of the responsibility (2Sam 7:13-1413He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.14I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men,). This also applies to the church. The fact that the Lord Jesus is among those who come together as a church has everything to do with the will of God, with obedience. We have God’s will in the Bible. If we want to listen to Him, He will fulfill His Word and dwell among the assembled believers and not leave them. It is remarkable that Solomon is addressed personally. If we want to experience God’s presence together, we will all have to listen to His Word personally. Then He dwells with His people and will not leave them.


The Covering of Wood and Gold

14So Solomon built the house and finished it. 15Then he built the walls of the house on the inside with boards of cedar; from the floor of the house to the ceiling he overlaid [the walls] on the inside with wood, and he overlaid the floor of the house with boards of cypress. 16He built twenty cubits on the rear part of the house with boards of cedar from the floor to the ceiling; he built [them] for it on the inside as an inner sanctuary, [even] as the most holy place. 17The house, that is, the nave in front of [the inner sanctuary], was forty cubits [long]. 18There was cedar on the house within, carved [in the shape] of gourds and open flowers; all was cedar, there was no stone seen. 19Then he prepared an inner sanctuary within the house in order to place there the ark of the covenant of the LORD. 20The inner sanctuary [was] twenty cubits in length, twenty cubits in width, and twenty cubits in height, and he overlaid it with pure gold. He also overlaid the altar with cedar. 21So Solomon overlaid the inside of the house with pure gold. And he drew chains of gold across the front of the inner sanctuary, and he overlaid it with gold. 22He overlaid the whole house with gold, until all the house was finished. Also the whole altar which was by the inner sanctuary he overlaid with gold.

The stones are covered with cedar wood. The cedar represents the greatness of man which is humiliated by the LORD (Isa 2:12-1312For the LORD of hosts will have a day [of reckoning]
Against everyone who is proud and lofty
And against everyone who is lifted up,
That he may be abased.
13And [it will be] against all the cedars of Lebanon that are lofty and lifted up,
Against all the oaks of Bashan,
). When a person repents, another greatness returns for it. Christ is compared to a cedar in Song of Songs and God unites us with Christ in His greatness (Song 5:15b15“His legs are pillars of alabaster
Set on pedestals of pure gold;
His appearance is like Lebanon
Choice as the cedars.
; Psa 92:1212The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree,
He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
). Thus we are useful to God for the building of His house. The great thing that the believer is, he only is through Christ. Therefore the wood is covered with gold again. Everything speaks in God’s temple of His glory (Psa 29:9b9The voice of the LORD makes the deer to calve
And strips the forests bare;
And in His temple everything says, “Glory!”
).

The inner sanctuary or rear space – a large, glorious space – is the place where the ark is placed. The altar (verse 2020The inner sanctuary [was] twenty cubits in length, twenty cubits in width, and twenty cubits in height, and he overlaid it with pure gold. He also overlaid the altar with cedar.) and the veil (verse 2121So Solomon overlaid the inside of the house with pure gold. And he drew chains of gold across the front of the inner sanctuary, and he overlaid it with gold.) are also mentioned. The altar is also mentioned in verse 2222He overlaid the whole house with gold, until all the house was finished. Also the whole altar which was by the inner sanctuary he overlaid with gold.. It is seen here as belonging to the most holy place, although it will stand before the veil, but directly close to it (cf. Num 18:77But you and your sons with you shall attend to your priesthood for everything concerning the altar and inside the veil, and you are to perform service. I am giving you the priesthood as a bestowed service, but the outsider who comes near shall be put to death.”; Heb 9:44having a golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden jar holding the manna, and Aaron’s rod which budded, and the tables of the covenant;).


The Cherubim

23Also in the inner sanctuary he made two cherubim of olive wood, each ten cubits high. 24Five cubits [was] the one wing of the cherub and five cubits the other wing of the cherub; from the end of one wing to the end of the other wing [were] ten cubits. 25The other cherub [was] ten cubits; both the cherubim were of the same measure and the same form. 26The height of the one cherub [was] ten cubits, and so [was] the other cherub. 27He placed the cherubim in the midst of the inner house, and the wings of the cherubim were spread out, so that the wing of the one was touching the [one] wall, and the wing of the other cherub was touching the other wall. So their wings were touching each other in the center of the house. 28He also overlaid the cherubim with gold.

The cherubs are made of olive wood, which is wood from the wild olive tree, of which also the doors of the holy and the posts of the entrance of the temple are made. They have large dimensions, larger than the cherubs on the ark. They fill the most holy place.

Cherubs are special angels who are connected with God as Judge (Gen 3:2424So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.). God rides on them (Psa 18:10a10He rode upon a cherub and flew;
And He sped upon the wings of the wind.
) and they are God’s throne (Eze 1:4-284As I looked, behold, a storm wind was coming from the north, a great cloud with fire flashing forth continually and a bright light around it, and in its midst something like glowing metal in the midst of the fire.5Within it there were figures resembling four living beings. And this was their appearance: they had human form.6Each of them had four faces and four wings.7Their legs were straight and their feet were like a calf’s hoof, and they gleamed like burnished bronze.8Under their wings on their four sides [were] human hands. As for the faces and wings of the four of them,9their wings touched one another; [their faces] did not turn when they moved, each went straight forward.10As for the form of their faces, [each] had the face of a man; all four had the face of a lion on the right and the face of a bull on the left, and all four had the face of an eagle.11Such were their faces. Their wings were spread out above; each had two touching another [being], and two covering their bodies.12And each went straight forward; wherever the spirit was about to go, they would go, without turning as they went.13In the midst of the living beings there was something that looked like burning coals of fire, like torches darting back and forth among the living beings. The fire was bright, and lightning was flashing from the fire.14And the living beings ran to and fro like bolts of lightning.15Now as I looked at the living beings, behold, there was one wheel on the earth beside the living beings, for [each of] the four of them.16The appearance of the wheels and their workmanship [was] like sparkling beryl, and all four of them had the same form, their appearance and workmanship [being] as if one wheel were within another.17Whenever they moved, they moved in any of their four directions without turning as they moved.18As for their rims they were lofty and awesome, and the rims of all four of them were full of eyes round about.19Whenever the living beings moved, the wheels moved with them. And whenever the living beings rose from the earth, the wheels rose [also].20Wherever the spirit was about to go, they would go in that direction. And the wheels rose close beside them; for the spirit of the living beings [was] in the wheels.21Whenever those went, these went; and whenever those stood still, these stood still. And whenever those rose from the earth, the wheels rose close beside them; for the spirit of the living beings [was] in the wheels.22Now over the heads of the living beings [there was] something like an expanse, like the awesome gleam of crystal, spread out over their heads.23Under the expanse their wings [were stretched out] straight, one toward the other; each one also had two wings covering its body on the one side and on the other.24I also heard the sound of their wings like the sound of abundant waters as they went, like the voice of the Almighty, a sound of tumult like the sound of an army camp; whenever they stood still, they dropped their wings.25And there came a voice from above the expanse that was over their heads; whenever they stood still, they dropped their wings.26Now above the expanse that was over their heads there was something resembling a throne, like lapis lazuli in appearance; and on that which resembled a throne, high up, [was] a figure with the appearance of a man.27Then I noticed from the appearance of His loins and upward something like glowing metal that looked like fire all around within it, and from the appearance of His loins and downward I saw something like fire; and [there was] a radiance around Him.28As the appearance of the rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so [was] the appearance of the surrounding radiance. Such [was] the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw [it], I fell on my face and heard a voice speaking.; 10:8-178The cherubim appeared to have the form of a man’s hand under their wings.9Then I looked, and behold, four wheels beside the cherubim, one wheel beside each cherub; and the appearance of the wheels [was] like the gleam of a Tarshish stone.10As for their appearance, all four of them had the same likeness, as if one wheel were within another wheel.11When they moved, they went in [any of] their four directions without turning as they went; but they followed in the direction which they faced, without turning as they went.12Their whole body, their backs, their hands, their wings and the wheels were full of eyes all around, the wheels belonging to all four of them.13The wheels were called in my hearing, the whirling wheels.14And each one had four faces. The first face [was] the face of a cherub, the second face [was] the face of a man, the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.15Then the cherubim rose up. They are the living beings that I saw by the river Chebar.16Now when the cherubim moved, the wheels would go beside them; also when the cherubim lifted up their wings to rise from the ground, the wheels would not turn from beside them.17When the cherubim stood still, the wheels would stand still; and when they rose up, the wheels would rise with them, for the spirit of the living beings [was] in them.). They represent God in His judicial glory. In the books of Moses they occur only in connection with paradise and the tabernacle.


The Walls, Floor and Doors

29Then he carved all the walls of the house round about with carved engravings of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers, inner and outer [sanctuaries]. 30He overlaid the floor of the house with gold, inner and outer [sanctuaries]. 31For the entrance of the inner sanctuary he made doors of olive wood, the lintel [and] five-sided doorposts. 32So [he made] two doors of olive wood, and he carved on them carvings of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers, and overlaid them with gold; and he spread the gold on the cherubim and on the palm trees. 33So also he made for the entrance of the nave four-sided doorposts of olive wood 34and two doors of cypress wood; the two leaves of the one door turned on pivots, and the two leaves of the other door turned on pivots. 35He carved [on it] cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers; and he overlaid [them] with gold evenly applied on the engraved work.

On the walls of the house “cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers” are carved. The cherubim remind us of paradise (Gen 3:2424So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.). They watch over a service in the sanctuary, not to stop it, but to let it take place in accordance with God. In the temple paradise is as it were open to man again. This is possible because the Lord Jesus gained the victory, of which the palms trees speak, over sin and death on the cross. As a result, new life is possible, which is represented by the open flowers.

The floor is made of gold. There is walking on the basis of God’s glory which has become visible in Christ and which is the part of everyone who believes. This golden floor is reminiscent of the street of gold in the new Jerusalem (Rev 21:21b21And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; each one of the gates was a single pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.).

The doors are a picture of Christ through Whom we can only approach God (Jn 10:77So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.). “For through Him we … have our access in one Spirit to the Father” (Eph 2:1818for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.). This is the great privilege for us who are saved by grace. On the doors is the same carved artwork as on the walls of the house. This reminds us that we will be like Christ when we are with Him and the work of grace is perfect (1Jn 3:33And everyone who has this hope [fixed] on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.).


The Inner Court

36He built the inner court with three rows of cut stone and a row of cedar beams.

In the inner court, where the bronze altar is, where the priests serve, a low wall is made. This wall is the separation between the people and the priests. It consists of three rows of cut stones with a row of cedar beams on top. It is a low wall, so that the people can look over it and see everything the priests do and hear everything the priests say to them.


Duration of the Building of the Temple

37In the fourth year the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid, in the month of Ziv. 38In the eleventh year, in the month of Bul, which is the eighth month, the house was finished throughout all its parts and according to all its plans. So he was seven years in building it.

The duration of the building of the temple is seven years, a complete time. God is building a wonderful house in this time, His church. That building will also take a complete time.

The last verse contains an important indication that Solomon built the house “ according to all its plans”. Solomon did not follow his own imagination during the building. He also didn’t think about making a small adjustment here and there. He built the temple exactly as God had indicated to David by the Spirit, not only orally, but for greater certainty and accuracy, in writing (1Chr 28:11-12a,1911Then David gave to his son Solomon the plan of the porch [of the temple], its buildings, its storehouses, its upper rooms, its inner rooms and the room for the mercy seat;12and the plan of all that he had in mind, for the courts of the house of the LORD, and for all the surrounding rooms, for the storehouses of the house of God and for the storehouses of the dedicated things;19“All [this],” [said David], “the LORD made me understand in writing by His hand upon me, all the details of this pattern.”). It is just as He had given Moses a sketch of the tabernacle on the mountain (Exo 25:4040See that you make [them] after the pattern for them, which was shown to you on the mountain.).

This is an important indication for our time, in which ‘being a church’ is increasingly being attuned to the needs of people. The services should be enlivened with music and dance, the speeches should be delivered by men (or women!) of name. Man must feel at home there, while there is less and less reckoning with whether God can still feel at home in His own house.


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