Solomon’s Temple Introduction Looking back at some of the earliest years of Gods chosen people, we can see that worship played quite a significant role in the everyday lives of the people. Until the temple in Jerusalem was built, there was no real establishment or unification of the people since their captivity to Egypt. Solomon, one of Israels first few kings, built the Temple of Jerusalem. Solomons Temple was believed to be the dwelling place of God. The Temple was a very complex structure, and because of its destruction there is no abundance of information upon its exact design.
Therefore, most of the information that we have today is taken from the books of Kings and also from the books of Chronicles in the Holy Bible. In this paper, the Biblical references come from a New King James Version of the Holy Bible. In this paper we will examine the history behind Solomons Temple, its structure, and its downfall. A Brief Introduction to Solomons Temple In the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel came out of Egypt, Solomon built the Temple. The building of Solomons temple lasted seven years.
The completion of the temple was in the eleventh year of Solomons reign. Although it underwent many changes and renovations, Solomons temple stood for nearly four centuries until its destruction in 586 BC. The temple was considered to be a divine presence; it included such things as the ark, the cherubim, and on very rare occasions a statue of Yahweh. It also contained objects used in Gods service such as the table of shewbread, and a lampstand. The altar was not included with the temple building but in an open court adjoining the temple. The format of the temple is laid out in the books of Kings and also in Chronicles.
Solomons temple was designed to be a more magnificent shrine than any other in the land, one benefiting the wealth and splendor of the king himself. The History Behind The Temple The Temple was not built until the reign of Solomon, but significant steps had already been taken. To see this, we must first look at the life of David, the second chosen king of Israel and also Solomons father. David ruled as king for seven years, and he then established his throne in Jerusalem after overcoming the ancient Jebusite community that was there. His reign continued in Jerusalem for the next thirty-two years.
David contemplated the erection of a shrine for the Ark of the Covenant. At first the prophet Nathan gave David approval to construct a temple, but the following night God intervened. Speaking to Nathan in a dream, God laid out for David an amazing covenant, which would establish the house of David forever. He also told Nathan of the temple that was to be built. Although David was not allowed to build the Temple, he amassed the means for the temple to be built.
The task was to be given to his son, Solomon. After the death of his father David, Solomon issued the orders for the building of the First Temple to commence. The building of the Temple was a monumental task and in the four hundred and eightieth year after the people of Israel came out of Egypt, the construction began. This was in the fourth year of Solomons reign over Israel. In the fourth year of construction the foundation of the Temple was laid. Then the building of the House of God began.
The Temples Structure The Temple was essentially a rectangular building erected on a platform, orientated east and west. It consisted of a porch (ulam) and two chambers, one behind the other (hekal and debir). The measurements of the Temple are given in cubits, with one cubit being approximately twenty inches. Within Solomons temple the cherubim and ark were contained in the inner sanctum; one table , a lampstand and an altar of incense in the outer sanctum; and a burnt-offering altar and water containers in the court. The Temple proper consisted of a porch beyond which was a large chamber, later called the Holy Place, and beyond this a smaller inner shrine, or the Holy of Holies, into which the ark was brought. The porch was a kind of entrance hall, either projecting or flush with the building itself.
It was entered through double doors and was 20 cubits wide and 10 cubits in depth. A courtyard surrounded the whole of the Temple proper. In front of the porch stood two bronze pillars, on the south was Jachin and the northern was Boaz. There has been much speculation as to the meaning of the names, but no certainty is attainable. The Sea of Bronze, which stood on 12 bulls of bronze, was in the court. Also in the court of the Temple, were ten smaller lavers of bronze.
The lavers were to wash the sacrificial gifts and the sea for the priests to wash in. Some scholars believe that there was an altar of burnt offering which stood in the court outside of the Temple proper. It is not mentioned in the account of the construction of the temple, though there are allusions to it elsewhere. It is believed that it may have been a movable bronze altar which does not conform to Israelite custom and, therefore, may have been added at a later date. From the porch, double doors of cypress-wood gave entrance to the hekal, or the Holy Place.
It was a rectangular room, 40 cubits long, 20 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high. In the hekal were various objects : a gold altar, the table of the shewbread, ten candelabra, and various utensilslamps, goblets, cups knives, basins, and braziers. The hot bread was placed in the sanctuary on the table of shewbread on the Sabbath day and was eaten by the priests when it was removed. There were twelve loaves, and the number is thought to perhaps represent the twelve tribes of Israel. The description of the Temple in the book of Kings says that there was a golden table beside the table of shewbread, and it is said to be the altar of incense.
But, may scholars reject this on the grounds that incense was not used in the worship until post-exilic days. But, there is also reason to believe that the writer of the passage might have been referring to frankincense, which was used in pre …