This was the first Jewish temple and not a temporary tabernacle, and was built by Solomon (reigning 970-931BC). David originally wanted to build the temple but was told by God that he could not build the temple because of having blood on his hands, but his son would be the one to build the temple on the threshing floor of Ornan. However, David collected and organised huge quantities of gold,at least 3000 tons and 30000 tons of silver, bronze and iron beyond measure (1Chron 22:14). We are not even talking about the precious stones which were stockpiled. The plans David had for this temple were received by the Spirit (1Chron 28:11-13).
Solomon started the construction in His fourth year of reign and the Temple was completed in 957BC, taking seven years to complete. The footprint of the new Temple was exactly double the size of the tabernacle of Moses, whereas the height was three times the height. On the south, west and north side, there were three levels of storerooms and chambers.
In the outer court there was a bronze altar for burnt offerings. There was a Bronze Laver (brazen sea) which held at least 30000 ltr of water for ritual washings. Approaching the temple itself, there would have been a flight of steps to come to the porch where two bronze pillars were situated on each side of the doors. The left side pillar was called Boaz, which means ‘to be strong’, and the right side one was called Jachin, meaning ‘he strengthens’ ( maybe an encouragement to the servants that entered the sanctuary). The doors were bifold and installed in a five-stepped framework (representing the five columns of the Tabernacle). The doors were made from cedarwood and carved with Cherubims, palm trees and open flowers and overlaid with gold.
In the holy place the walls were lined with cedarwood so that no stone could be seen, again with the same carvings and overlaid with gold. The floor was made from Cypress timber and also overlaid in gold. On the northern wall was positioned the table of shewbread . On both the north and south walls were five lampstands positioned for lighting (1 Kings 7:49). Near the top of the building there were small permanent open windows for ventilation. The separation between the Holy Place and Holy of Holies was made out of cedar board forming a wall from ceiling to floor and with carvings overlaid with gold in such a way that not a stone could be detected (1Kings 6:18). In front of the door opening of the Holy of Holies the altar of incense was placed, representing the prayers of the people rising to God.
Access to the Holy of Holies was through doors made from cedar, carved and overlaid in gold and hinged with golden hinges (1Kings 7:50) and set in a 4 stepped door frame, representing the four columns in the tabernacle. The Holy of Holies was 20 by 20 by 20 cubits. Inside there were two Cherubims, each ten cubits high and each of the same form. Five cubits was the one wing and five cubits the other wing of the cherub, a total of ten cubits. In between the cherubims stood the ark of the covenant (1 Kings 6:23-28).
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