The Building of the Temple
1 In the four hundred and eightieth year after the Israelites left Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, during the month Ziv#sn During the month Ziv. This would be April-May, 966 b.c. by modern reckoning. (the second month), he began building the Lord’s temple. 2 The temple King Solomon built for the Lord was 90 feet#tn Heb “sixty cubits.” A cubit was a unit of measure roughly equivalent to 18 inches or 45 cm. Measurements in vv. 2-10 have been converted to feet in the translation for clarity. long, 30 feet#tn Heb “twenty cubits.” wide, and 45 feet#tn Heb “thirty cubits.” high. 3 The porch in front of the main hall of the temple was 30 feet#tn Heb “twenty cubits.” long, corresponding to the width of the temple. It was 15 feet#tn Heb “ten cubits.” wide, extending out from the front of the temple. 4 He made framed windows for the temple. 5 He built an extension all around the walls of the temple’s main hall and holy place and constructed side rooms in it.#tn Heb “and he built on the wall of the temple an extension all around, the walls of the temple all around, for the main hall and for the holy place, and he made side rooms all around.” 6 The bottom floor of the extension was seven and a half feet#tn Heb “five cubits.” wide, the middle floor nine feet#tn Heb “six cubits.” wide, and the third floor ten and a half#tn Heb “seven cubits.” feet wide. He made ledges#tn Or “offsets” (ASV, NAB, NASB, NRSV); NIV “offset ledges.” on the temple’s outer walls so the beams would not have to be inserted into the walls.#tn Heb “so that [the beams] would not have a hold in the walls of the temple.” 7 As the temple was being built, only stones shaped at the quarry#tn Heb “finished stone of the quarry,” i.e., stones chiseled and shaped at the time they were taken out of the quarry. were used; the sound of hammers, pickaxes, or any other iron tool was not heard at the temple while it was being built. 8 The entrance to the bottom#tc The Hebrew text has “middle,” but the remainder of the verse suggests this is an error. level of side rooms was on the south side of the temple; stairs went up#tn Heb “by stairs they went up.” The word translated “stairs” occurs only here. Other options are “trapdoors” or “ladders.” to the middle floor and then on up to the third#tc The translation reads with a few medieval Hebrew mss, the Syriac Peshitta, and Vulgate הַשְּׁלִשִׁית (hashÿlishit, “the third”) rather than MT הַשְּׁלִשִׁים (hashÿlishim, “the thirty”). floor. 9 He finished building the temple#tn Heb “ built the house and completed it.” and covered it#tn Heb “the house.” with rafters#tn The word occurs only here; the precise meaning is uncertain. and boards made of cedar.#tn Heb “and rows with cedar wood.” 10 He built an extension all around the temple; it was seven and a half feet high#tn Heb “five cubits.” This must refer to the height of each floor or room. and it was attached to the temple by cedar beams.
11#tc The LXX lacks vv. 11-14. The Lord said#tn Heb “the word of the Lord was.” to Solomon: 12 “As for this temple you are building, if you follow#tn Heb “walk in.” my rules, observe#tn Heb “do.” my regulations, and obey all my commandments,#tn Heb “and keep all my commandments by walking in them.” I will fulfill through you the promise I made to your father David.#tn Heb “I will establish my word with you which I spoke to David your father.” 13 I will live among the Israelites and will not abandon my people Israel.”
14 So Solomon finished building the temple.#tn Heb “ built the house and completed it.” 15 He constructed the walls inside the temple with cedar planks; he paneled the inside with wood from the floor of the temple to the rafters#tc The MT reads קִירוֹת (qirot, “walls”), but this should be emended to קוֹרוֹת (qorot, “rafters”). See BDB 900 s.v. קוֹרָה. of the ceiling. He covered the temple floor with boards made from the wood of evergreens. 16 He built a wall 30 feet in from the rear of the temple as a partition for an inner sanctuary that would be the most holy place.#tn Heb “He built twenty cubits from the rear areas of the temple with cedar planks from the floor to the walls, and he built it on the inside for an inner sanctuary, for a holy place of holy places.” He paneled the wall with cedar planks from the floor to the rafters.#tc The MT has קְלָעִים (qÿla’im, “curtains”), but this should be emended to קוֹרוֹת (qorot, “rafters”). See BDB 900 s.v. קוֹרָה. 17 The main hall in front of the inner sanctuary was 60 feet long.#tn Heb “and the house was forty cubits, that is, the main hall before it.” 18 The inside of the temple was all cedar and was adorned with carvings of round ornaments and of flowers in bloom. Everything was cedar; no stones were visible.#tn Heb “Cedar was inside the temple, carvings of gourds (i.e., gourd-shaped ornaments) and opened flowers; the whole was cedar, no stone was seen.”
19 He prepared the inner sanctuary inside the temple so that the ark of the covenant of the Lord could be placed there. 20 The inner sanctuary was 30 feet#tn Heb “twenty cubits” (this measurement occurs three times in this verse). long, 30 feet wide, and 30 feet high. He plated it with gold,#tn Heb “with plated gold” (or perhaps, “with pure gold”). as well as the cedar altar.#tn Heb “he plated [the] altar of cedar.” 21 Solomon plated the inside of the temple with gold.#tn Heb “with plated gold” (or perhaps, “with pure gold”). He hung golden chains in front of the inner sanctuary and plated the inner sanctuary#tn Heb “it.” with gold. 22 He plated the entire inside of the temple with gold, as well as the altar inside the inner sanctuary.#tn Heb “all the temple he plated with gold until all the temple was finished; and the whole altar which was in the inner sanctuary he plated with gold.”
23 In the inner sanctuary he made two cherubs of olive wood; each stood 15 feet#tn Heb “ten cubits” (a cubit was a unit of measure roughly equivalent to 18 inches or 45 cm). high. 24 Each of the first cherub’s wings was seven and a half feet long; its entire wingspan was 15 feet.#tn Heb “The first wing of the [one] cherub was five cubits, and the second wing of the cherub was five cubits, ten cubits from the tips of his wings to the tips of his wings.” 25 The second cherub also had a wingspan of 15 feet; it was identical to the first in measurements and shape.#tn Heb “and the second cherub was ten cubits, the two cherubs had one measurement and one shape.” 26 Each cherub stood 15 feet high.#tn Heb “the height of the first cherub was ten cubits; and so was the second cherub.” 27 He put the cherubs in the inner sanctuary of the temple.#tn Heb “in the midst of the inner house,” i.e., in the inner sanctuary. Their wings were spread out. One of the first cherub’s wings touched one wall and one of the other cherub’s wings touched the opposite wall. The first cherub’s other wing touched the second cherub’s other wing in the middle of the room.#tn Heb “and their wings were in the middle of the room, touching wing to wing.” 28 He plated the cherubs with gold.
29 On all the walls around the temple, inside and out,#sn Inside and out probably refers to the inner and outer rooms within the building. he carved#tn Heb “carved engravings of carvings.” cherubs, palm trees, and flowers in bloom. 30 He plated the floor of the temple with gold, inside and out.#sn Inside and out probably refers to the inner and outer rooms within the building. 31 He made doors of olive wood at the entrance to the inner sanctuary; the pillar on each doorpost was five-sided.#tn Heb “the pillar, doorposts, a fifth part” (the precise meaning of this description is uncertain). 32 On the two doors made of olive wood he carved#tn Heb “carved carvings of.” cherubs, palm trees, and flowers in bloom, and he plated them with gold.#tn Heb “he plated [with] gold” (the precise object is not stated). He plated the cherubs and the palm trees with hammered gold.#tn Heb “and he hammered out the gold on the cherubs and the palm trees.” 33 In the same way he made doorposts of olive wood for the entrance to the main hall, only with four-sided pillars.#tn Heb “and so he did at the entrance of the main hall, doorposts of olive wood, from a fourth.” 34 He also made#tn The words “he also made” are added for stylistic reasons. two doors out of wood from evergreens; each door had two folding leaves.#tc Heb “two of the leaves of the first door were folding, and two of the leaves of the second door were folding.” In the second half of the description, the MT has קְלָעִים (qÿla’im, “curtains”), but this is surely a corruption of צְלָעִים (tsÿla’im, “leaves”) which appears in the first half of the statement. 35 He carved cherubs, palm trees, and flowers in bloom and plated them with gold, leveled out over the carvings. 36 He built the inner courtyard with three rows of chiseled stones and a row of cedar beams.
37 In the month Ziv#sn In the month Ziv. This would be April-May, 966 b.c. by modern reckoning. of the fourth year of Solomon’s reign#tn The words “of Solomon’s reign” are added for clarification. See v. 1. the foundation was laid for the Lord’s temple. 38 In the eleventh year, in the month Bul#sn In the month Bul. This would be October-November 959 b.c. in modern reckoning. (the eighth month) the temple was completed in accordance with all its specifications and blueprints. It took seven years to build.#tn Heb “he built it in seven years.”