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Building King Solomon's House | 1 King Chapter 7
by Bro William Littlepage Jr.
Hermitage Lodge #356, Grand Lodge of Illinois

solomon's temple

INDEX of the Papers

    But Solomon was building his own house [g]thirteen years, and he finished all his house.
    [g]     How many men he used as workers on his house is not stated, but it is significant that the Holy Spirit records the time it took Solomon to build his own house in comparison to God's house.  There must have been more than the idea of time God wanted us to see from this.  The king used the same kind of stone, wood, and other materials, but covered his house with gold on the inside.  It was no doubt as beautiful and magnificent as the temple.  It plainly states in v 2 that he built it of the forest of Lebanon, and in v 9-12 that he used great and costly stones and cedars for his large palace which cared for many hundreds of wives, concubines, servants, and government officers.

2.    He built [h]also the house of the forest of Lebanon;  the length thereof was an [i]hundred cubits, and the breadth thereof [j]fifty cubits, and the height thereof [k]thirty cubits, upon [l]four rows of cedar pillars, with cedar beams upon the pillars.
    [h]    The word also here plainly reveals that the house of the forest of Lebanon was a different part of the palace from his own house of v 1 (v 2).  Besides this there was the queen's house (v 8).  Perhaps there was a long range of buildings to the one palace of v 1.
    [i]    100 cubits - 208 ft. 4 in, counting 25 in. to the cubit.
    [j]    50 cubits - 104 ft. 2 in.
    [k]    30 cubits - 62 1/2 ft.
    [l]     This was certainly not the temple described before.  This building was 83 ft. 4 in. longer than the temple and 62 1/2 ft. wider.  It had rows of cedar pillars with cedar beams upon them and a roof covered with cedar above the beams.  The pillars were 15 to a row, making 3 rows instead of the 4 mentioned here.  The Sept. says 3 rows, which would harmonize with 45 pillars and 15 to a row (v 2-3).

3.    And it was covered with cedar above upon the beams, that lay on forty five pillars, fifteen in a row.

4.    And there were [m]windows in three rows, and light was against light in three ranks.
    [m]    There were 3 rows of windows on both sides of the building, facing each other, and all the doors and posts were square with the windows (v 4-5)

5.    And all the doors and posts were square, with the windows; and light was against light in three ranks.

6.    And he made a {n]porch of pillars; the length thereof was fifty [a]cubits, and the breadth thereof [b]thirty cubits; and the porch was before them; and the other pillars and the thick beams were before them.
    [n]    This porch was made with rows of pillars holding up the roof, all the way across the width of the house, 50 cubits - 104 ft. 2 in.  It was 30 cubits or 62 1/2 ft. wide (v 6).  There was another porch, perhaps on the other end of the building for the throne of judgment (v 7).  Whether it was as large as the one of v 7 is not stated, but most likely it was, and if so, it also measured 104 ft. 2 in. by 62 1/2 ft.  It seems from v8 that the king had a dwelling attached to these other buildings with another court and porch, and then at last the house for the queen.
        [a]    50 cubits - 104 ft. 2 in. counting 25 in. to the cubit
[b]    30 cubits - 62 1/2 ft.

7.    Then he made a porch for the [c]throne where he might judge, even the porch of judgment; and it was covered with cedar from one side of the floor to the other.
    [c]    It seems there was a series of buildings and porches to the palace:
        1 The house of the forest of Lebanon, which perhaps was the harem in 3 stories measuring 208 ft. 4 in. by 104 ft. 2 in. (v 2-5)
        2 The porch - 104 ft. 2 in. by 62 1/2 ft. on one end of the house (v 6).
        3 The porch of the throne of judgment, perhaps the same size as the one above and attached to the other end of the harem (v 7)
        4 The king's private house and porch and court, perhaps connected with the porch of judgment (v 8)
        5 The queen's house (v 8)

                                  (4) The queen's house

8.    And his house where he dwelt had another court within the porch, which was of  like work.  Solomon made also an house for Pharaoh's daughter, whom he had taken to wife, like unto this porch.

           (5) Materials for Solomon' houses and temple

9.    [d]All these were of costly stones, according to the measures of hewed stones, [e]sawed with saws, within and without, even from the foundation unto the coping, and so on the outside toward the great court.
    [d]    All these, the houses and porches of note c, above, were of costly stones which made the walls and foundations.  The stones were 10 cubits - 20 ft. 10 in. by 8 cubits - 16 ft. 8 in. (v 9 - 10).  Cedar beams and boards were used throughout the palace and temple (v 11 - 12)
    [e]    Modern man is not the only generation having tools to work with, for there were saws for cutting wood and stone this far back - 1100 - 1000 B. C. (v 9).

10    And the foundation was of costly stones, even great stones, stones of ten cubits, and stones of eight cubits.

11    And above were costly stones, after the measures of hewed stones, and cedars.

12    And the great court round about was with three rows of hewed stone, and a row of cedar beams, both for the inner court of the house of the Lord, and for the porch of the house.

(6) Brass work on the temple (7:13 - 47).  A work of Hiram

13    And King Solomon sent and fetched Hiram out of Tyre.

14    [f]He was a widow's son of the tribe of Naphtali, and his father was a man of Tyre, a worker in brass: and he was filled with wisdom, and understanding, and cunning to work all works in brass.  And he came to king Solomon and wrought all his work.
    [f]    Though he bore the same name this Hiram was not the king of Tyre.  He was a metal worker and had charge of all the castings of pillars, brazen sea, and many other things used in the temple furnishings (v 13 - 14;  2 Chr. 2:13;  4:16)

B  Two pillars of brass 37 ft. 6 in. high, 25 ft. round

    15    For he cast two pillars of brass, of [g]eighteen cubits high apiece: and a line of twelve cubits did compass either of them about.
    [g]    2 brass pillars - 18 cubits or 37 1/2 ft. high by 12 cubits - 25 ft. around (v 15)

             C Two capitals of brass 10 ft. 5 in. high

    16    And he made [h]two chapiters of [i]molten brass, to set upon the tops of the pillars: the height of the one chapiter was five cubits, and the height of the other chapiter was [j]five cubits:
    [h]    2 capitals of brass were cast to be placed on top the 2 pillars of brass.  These were 5 cubits - 10 ft. 5 in. high (v 16)
    [i]    They had foundaries that far back in ancient time and cast brass for the large pillars and pieces of furniture for the temple mentioned in this chapter.
    [j]    5 cubits - 10 ft. 5 in. counting 25 in. to the cubit.

 D Brass net-work, 14 chain wreaths, 400 pomegranates      and lily work for the capitals

17    And nets of checker work, and wreaths of chain work, for the chapiters which were upon the top of the pillars; even for the other chapiter.

18    And he made the pillars, and two rows round about upon the one network, to [a]cover the chapiters that were upon the top, with pomegranates:  and so did he for the other chapiters.
    [a]    The nets of checker work, the wreaths of chain work, the pomegranates, and the lily work on the capitals must have been beautiful beyond words to describe (v 17 - 22).

19    And the chapiters that were upon the top of the pillars were of lily work in the porch, [b]four cubits.
    [b]    4 cubits - 8 ft. 4 in. counting 25 in. to the cubit.

20    And the chapiters upon the two pillars had pomegranates also , over against [c]the belly which was by the network:  and the pomegranates were [d]two hundred in rows round about upon the other chapiter.
    [c]    The belly - the swell or protuberance.
    [d]    200 pomegranates.  In v 42 called 400 because of 200 being reckoned to each, as in 2 Chr. 4:13.  In 2 Chr. 3:16 they are said to be 100 because of 100 to the row;  and in Jer. 52:23 they are 96 on a side, referring to those that were exposed, the rest being sheltered or covered.

21    And he set up the pillars in the porch of the temple: and he set  up the right pillar, and called the [e]name thereof Jachin: and he set up the left pillar, and called the name thereof Bo'az.
    [e]    The name of one pillar was Jachin, meaning He (God) will establish; and the other Boaz, meaning: In Him (God) is strength

22    And upon the top of the pillar was lily work:  so was the work finished.

 E    Brass molten sea, 10 ft. 5 in. high, 20 ft. 10 in across and 80 1/2 ft. around:  805 knobs and about 10 in. thick (2 Chr. 4:2 - 5)

23    And he made a [f]molten sea, [g]ten cubits from the one brim to the other:  it was round all about, and his height [h]was five cubits:  and a line of [i]thirty cubits did compass it round about.
    [f]    The brazen sea was cast in the foundry like the pillars of v 16.  It was 20 ft. 10 in. across from brim to brim:  10 ft. 5 in. high;  and 62 1/2 ft. around, it had 2 rows of knobs around the rim of the bowl (v 24).  It stood upon 12 brazen oxen cast of  brass;  3 looked in each of the 4 directions with their hinder parts inward and under the brazen laver which was a hand breadth, or about 4 inches thick, with the brim made like that of a cup with flowers of lilies (v 25 - 26).  The brazen sea was an immense vase of solid brass, 10 ft. 5 in. deep and weighing about 25 - 30 tons.  Filled with 16,750 gallons of water the laver would weigh about 100 tons.  The small lavers were supposed to contain 300 gallons of water, which with the lavers would weigh about 2 tons each.  Jewish writers say that the water was changed daily, so as to be always pure for use in the ceremonial worship.
    [g]    10 cubits - 20 ft. 10 in. counting 25 in, as a cubit.
    [h]    5 cubits - 10 ft. 5 in.
    [i]    30 cubits - 62 1/2 ft.

24    And under the brim of it round about there were [j]knops compassing it, ten in a cubit, compassing the sea round about:  the knops were cast in two rows, when it was cast.
    [j]    The knobs were cast with the bowl itself, and no doubt the checker, chain, pomegranate, and lily work on the capitals was likewise cast with the capitals of v 17 - 22.

25    And it stood upon twelve oxen, three looking toward the north, and three looking toward the west, and three looking toward the south, and three looking toward the east:  and the sea was set above upon them, and all their hinder parts were inward.

26    And it was an hand breadth thick, and the brim thereof was wrought like the brim of a cup, with flowers of lilies:  it contained [k]two thousand baths.
    [k]    2,000 baths - 16,750 gallons (v 26), a bath being 1 bu. 3 pt. or 67 pts.
In 2 Chr. 4:5 it reads 3,000 baths which would be 25,125 gallons.  This is evidently how much it could possibly hold, while the usual content was 16,750 gallons.

    G    Ten bases on wheels, 8 ft. 4 in. square, 6 ft 3 in. high with engraved lions, oxen, cherubims and palm trees

27    And he made ten bases of brass;  [l]four cubits was the length of one base, and four cubits the breadth thereof, [m]and three cubits the height of it.
    [l]    4 cubits - 8 ft. 4 in.
    [m]    3 cubits - 6 ft. 3 in.

28    And the work of the bases was on this manner:  they had borders, and the borders between the ledges:

29    And on the borders that were between the ledges [n]were lions, oxen, and cherubims: and upon the ledges there was a base above: and beneath the lions and oxen were certain additions made of thin work.
    [n]    The lions, oxen, and cherubim upon the borders between the ledges and the work upon the ledges were of thin brass (v 29) instead of heavy work as in the case of the oxen supporting the laver (v 25)

30    And every base had four brasen [o]wheels, and [p]plates of brass: and the four corners thereof had [q]undersetters: under the laver were undersetters molten, at [a]the side of every addition.
    [o]    indicating that the bases were movable (v 30)
    [p]    The plates were really brazen axletrees for the wheels
    [q]    The undersetters were no doubt shoulders - brackets or bars proceeding from the 4 corners of the bases and stretching upward to the outer rim of the small laver being supported
    [a]    The opposite side

31    And the [b]mouth of it within the chapiter and above was  a cubit: but the mouth thereof was round after the work of the base, a cubit and a half: and also upon the mouth of it were gravings with their [c]borders, foursquare, not round.
    [b]    The mouth of it and the chapiter that was above no doubt refers to the open bowl and cap or lid for each of the 10 lavers on wheels (2 Chr. 4:6)
    [c]    Borders - panels.  They were removed by Ahaz (2 Ki. 16:17), and replaced by Hezekiah (2 Chr. 29:19), being in the temple when taken  by Nebuchadnezzar (Jer. 5217, 20)

32    And under the borders were [d]four wheels: and the axletree of the wheels were joined to the base: and the height of a wheel was a cubit and half a cubit.
    [d]    The wheels were 1 1/2 cubits high - 3 ft. 1 1/2 in. (v 32); and they were made like chariot wheels, of molten brass (v 33)

33    And the work of the wheels was like the work of the chariot wheels: their axletrees and their [e]naves, and their [f]felloes, and their spokes, were all molten.
    [e]    Naves - hubs of the wheels
    [f]    Felloes - the rims of the wheels

34    And there were four undersetters to the four corners of the base: and the [g]unersetters were of the very base itself.
    [g]    The undersetters - shoulders to hold the laver, were cast with the vase (v 34)

35    And the [h]top of the base was there a round compass of half a cubit high: and on the top of the base the ledges thereof and the borders thereof were of the same.
    [h]    A circular elevation, half a cubit (12 1/2 in.) high on which the laver sat, rather than a depression that deep.  It is called the base above, in v 29

36    For on the plates of the ledges thereof, and on the borders thereof, he graved cherubims, lions, and palm trees, according to the [i]proportion of every one, and additions round about.
    [i]    Gravings of cherubim, lions, and palm trees were made according to the space (v 36)

37    After this manner he made the [j]ten bases: one measure, and one size.
    [j]    The 10 bases for the 10 lavers were all of one casting, one measure, and one size (v 37).  The 10 lavers were the same in size and contained 40 bathes (v 38)

    H    Ten brass lavers 8 ft. 4 in. square for boiling peace offerings (vs. 45; 2 Chr. 4:11)

38    Then made he ten lavers of brass: one laver [k]contained forty baths: and every laver was [l]four cubits: and upon every one of the ten bases one laver.
    [k[    40 baths.  One bath being equal to 1 bu. and 3 pts. (or 67 pts.), 40 would be 335 gallons.
    [l]    4 cubits - 8 ft. 4 in. counting 25 in, to the cubit.

39    And [m]he put five bases on the right side of the house, and five on the left side of the house: and he set the sea on the right side of the house eastward over against the south.
    [m]    Here we have the placing of the 10 small lavers and the large one, called the molten sea (v 39).  5 small ones were put on the left.  The molten sea was put on the right side of the house eastward over toward the south; that is, nearer  the south side of the house than the north side, or toward the southeast corner (v 39)

                            I summary of the brazen works. 

40    And Hiram [n]made [o]the lavers, and the shovels, and the basons.  So Hiram made end of doing all the work that he made king Solomon for the house of the Lord:
    [n]               Summary of brazen castings
            1 Lavers (pots or cauldrons, v 40)
            2 Shovels
            3 Basons
            4 The 2 pillars (v 41)
            5 The 2 bowls of the chapiters for the pillars
            6 The 2 networks to cover the bowls of the chapiters upon the pillars
            7 400 pomegranates for the 2 networks, even 2 rows for each network, to cover the bowls of the chapiters upon the pillars (v 42)
            8 The 10 bases for the water lavers
            9 The 10 lavers to hold water (v 43)
            10 A molten sea or water reservoir
            11 12 oxen to hold the molten sea (v 44)
            12 The pots, shovels, and basons (v 45).  There must have been a difference between these and those of point 1 which were for the boiling places, for these were for the brazen altar of sacrifice.
    [o]    The cauldrons for boiling the sacrifices, not the lavers for water, as in v 38 - 39.

41    The two pillars, and the two bowls of the chapiters that were on the top of the two pillars; and the two networks, to cover the two bowls of the chapiters which were upon the top of the pillars;

42    And four hundred pomegranates for the two networks, even two rows of pomegranates for one network, to cover the two bowls of the chapiters that were upon the pillars;

43    And the ten bases, and ten lavers on the bases;

44    And one sea, and twelve oxen under the sea;

45    And the pots, and the shovels, and the basons: and all these vessels, which Hiram made for king solomon for the house of the Lord, were [a]of bright brass.
    [a]    Heb. marat, to polish; make bright; furbish (v 45).  Then, as now, they had a way of giving brass a fine bright polishing instead of making rough castings.
46    [b]In the plain of Jordan did the king cast them, in the clay ground between Suc'coth and Zar'than.
    [b]    In the plain of Jordan where there was clay ground suitable for castings and cores used in making the various shapes from melted metal poured into forms (v 46).  In Succoth and Zarthan they had clay and sand.  It took a large foundry and many furnaces to make enough metal to pour so many bronze castings, and the large molten sea.  Tons of metal had to be melted and poured at the same time to keep the great castings from being faulty and in pieces.  So much brass was used that it was almost impossible to keep a record of the weight (v 47).

47    And Solomon left all the vessels unweighed, because they were exceeding many: neither was the weight of the brass found out.

                                    (7) Gold work of the temple

48    And Solomon [c]made [d]all the vessels that pertained unto the house of the Lord: the altar of gold, and the table of gold, whereupon the shewbread was.
    [c]    He made them in the same way that God makes or does many things - not personally, but by having the work done by various agencies.
    [d]    Summary of the gold work
            1    The altar of gold (v 48)
            2    The table of showbread
            3    The 10 candlesticks (v 49)
            4    The tongs
            5    The bowls (v 50)
            6    The snuffers
            7    The basons
            8    The spoons
            9    The hinges for the doors of the holy and most holy places

49    And the candlesticks of pure gold, five on the right side, and five on the left, before the oracles, with the flowers, and the lamps, and the tongs of gold.

50    And the bowls, and the snuffers, and the basons, and the spoons, and the censers of pure gold: and the hinges of gold, both for the doors of the inner house, the most holy place, and for the doors of the house, to wit, of the temple.

51    So was ended all the work that king Solomon made for the house of the Lord.  And Solomon brought in the things which David his father had dedicated; even the silver, and the gold, and the vessels, did he put among the treasures of the house of the Lord.

                                                    Chapter 8

        (8) Dedication of the temple (8:1 - 9:9;  2 Chr. 5:2 - 7:22).
            A Ark brought in: glory appears (2 Chr. 5:2 - 14)

[e]Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel, unto king Solomon in Jerusalem, that they might bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord out of the city of David, which is Zion.
    [e]    Then - when the temple and furnishings were completed, Solomon assembled the elders, the heads of the tribes, and all the chiefs of the fathers of Israel, to bring up the ark of the covenant from the city of David, which is Zion (v 1).

2    And [f]all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto king Solomon at the feast in the month Ethanim, which is the seventh month.
    [f]    All the men of Israel were also gathered to the feast of tabernacles in the 7th month, October, which was 11 months after the temple proper was finished (6:38).

3    And all the elders of Israel came, and the [g]priests took up the ark.
    [g]    The priests alone could be set apart to carry the ark.  Solomon did not make the mistake his father did by seeking to bring it to Jerusalem on a cart instead of being carried by the priests, as God had commanded (2 Sam. 6. 
Cp. Num.3:39 - 41; 4:4, 15;  Dt. 10:8; 1 Chr. 15:2, 15)

4    And they brought up the ark of the Lord, [h]and the tabernacle of the congregation, and all the holy vessels that were in the tabernacle, even those did the priests and the Levites bring up.
    [h]    The tabernacle of Moses was located in Gibeon (v 4; 2 Chr. 1:3 - 4)

5    And king Solomon, and all the congregation of Israel, that were assembled unto him, were with him before the ark, sacrificing sheep and oxen, [i]that could not be told nor numbered for multitude.
    [i]    There were so many that they did not try to keep account of them (v 5)

6    And the priest brought in the ark of the covenant of  the Lord unto [j]his place, into the oracle of the house, to the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims.
    [j]    His place - into the most holy place, under the wings of the great cherubim that Solomon had made which stretched out their wings until two of them touched the outer walls (v 7 - 11;  6:23 - 28)

7    For the cherubims spread forth their [a]two wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubims covered the ark and the staves thereof above.
    [a]    The two wings covering the ark were the inner wings of the cherubim that touched each other in the center of the room.  The outside wings reached to the outer walls.  The wing spread of each was 10 cubits - 20 ft. 10 in; and the cherubim were set side by side.  This gave plenty of space for the ark under the wings.  The cherubim measured 10 cubits or 20 ft. 10 in. high, so the wings could have been 10 - 15 ft. above the ark which no doubt rested on a table which sat on the floor (v 7; 6:23 - 28)

    8.    And they [b]drew out the staves, that the ends of the staves were seen out in the holy place before [c]the oracle, and they were not seen [d]without;  and there they are [e]unto this day.
    [b[    The staves were partially taken out of the rings of the ark by which it was carried, so that the ends could be seen from the holy place but not from the porch outside the holy place (v8).  In this way the ark never needed to be handled, as the staves could be easily put back into the rings without even touching the ark.  It seems that it was unlawful to take them wholly out of the rings.  Pulling the staves out so the ends could be seen indicated the ark had found its resting place in the temple and was not to be borne any more.  It had a permanent house, not a tent as before.
    [c]    The most holy place where the ark was kept (v 8)
    [d]    Outside the holy place from the porch
    [e]    Unto this day, proving that this part of the book of Kings was written while the temple was still standing.  This would mean before it was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar and before the capacity (Cp. 2 Chr. 5:9;  2 Ki. 8:22; 10:27)

    9.    There was nothing in the ark [f]save the two tables of stone, which Mo'ses put there at Ho'reb, when the Lord made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt.
    [f]    At this time there was nothing in the ark but the 10 commandments (v 9).  When, in Heb. 9:4 Paul mentioned the golden pot of manna and Aaron's rod, he was speaking of the ark while in the tabernacle instead of the temple.  It is not known when these two things were removed;  it could have been when the Philistines had the ark, or when many men were killed for looking into it, as in 1 Sam. 5-6.  We know that the original stones on which the 10 commandments were written were in existence at this time.

    10.    And it came to pass, [g]when the priests were come out of the holy place, that the clouds filled the house of the Lord,
    [g]    When the priests had taken the ark into the temple, into the most holy place, had finished arranging the furniture, and had left never to enter this place again, except for the high priest once a year, the glory cloud filled the temple so that the priests could not minister because of it (v 10 - 11).  This glory was a symbol of the divine presence of God, which had been promised before the ark was begun (Ex. 29:43); had filled the tabernacle as soon as it was completed (Ex. 40:34);  and had been seen on the journeys of the children of Israel (Ex. 13:21 - 22;  14:24; 19:18;  40:38;  Num. 14:14)

    11.    So that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud:  for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of the Lord.  

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