The Temple

Boyd’s Bible Dictionary:

(1) Solomon’s temple erected at Jerusalem on Mount Moriah. David proposed to transform the tabernacle into a permanent temple at Jerusalem, and collected much material, but its construction was forbidden by the prophet Nathan (1 Chron. 17; 2 Sam. 7:7-297In all the places wherein I have walked with all the children of Israel spake I a word with any of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people Israel, saying, Why build ye not me an house of cedar? 8Now therefore so shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel: 9And I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, and have cut off all thine enemies out of thy sight, and have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great men that are in the earth. 10Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime, 11And as since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies. Also the Lord telleth thee that he will make thee an house. 12And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. 13He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. 14I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: 15But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. 16And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever. 17According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David. 18Then went king David in, and sat before the Lord, and he said, Who am I, O Lord God? and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto? 19And this was yet a small thing in thy sight, O Lord God; but thou hast spoken also of thy servant's house for a great while to come. And is this the manner of man, O Lord God? 20And what can David say more unto thee? for thou, Lord God, knowest thy servant. 21For thy word's sake, and according to thine own heart, hast thou done all these great things, to make thy servant know them. 22Wherefore thou art great, O Lord God: for there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears. 23And what one nation in the earth is like thy people, even like Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to himself, and to make him a name, and to do for you great things and terrible, for thy land, before thy people, which thou redeemedst to thee from Egypt, from the nations and their gods? 24For thou hast confirmed to thyself thy people Israel to be a people unto thee for ever: and thou, Lord, art become their God. 25And now, O Lord God, the word that thou hast spoken concerning thy servant, and concerning his house, establish it for ever, and do as thou hast said. 26And let thy name be magnified for ever, saying, The Lord of hosts is the God over Israel: and let the house of thy servant David be established before thee. 27For thou, O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, hast revealed to thy servant, saying, I will build thee an house: therefore hath thy servant found in his heart to pray this prayer unto thee. 28And now, O Lord God, thou art that God, and thy words be true, and thou hast promised this goodness unto thy servant: 29Therefore now let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant, that it may continue for ever before thee: for thou, O Lord God, hast spoken it: and with thy blessing let the house of thy servant be blessed for ever. (2 Samuel 7:7‑29)). Solomon completed the work after David’s plans and with the assistance of Hiram, king of Tyre. He began to build in the fourth year of his reign, B. C. 1012, and finished and dedicated it B. C. 1005 (1 Chron. 21; 22; 28:11-19; 29:4-7; 1 Kings 6-8; 2 Chron. 3-7). This costly and imposing structure, for the age, was pillaged several times during the Eastern invasions, and was finally destroyed during the last siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, B. C. 588. (2) The temple of Zerubbabel was begun in B. C. 534, by the returned captives under the lead of Zerubbabel and the patronage of King Cyrus of Persia. Owing to discords and direct opposition it was not completed till B. C. 515. It was much inferior to the first in cost and beauty, though one third larger in dimensions. It was partially destroyed by Antiochus Epiphanes, B. C. 163, and restored by Judas Maccabeus (Ezra 3-6). (3) Herod the Great removed the decayed temple of Zerubbabel and began the erection of a new one B. C. 17. This gorgeous and costly structure was not completed till the time of Herod Agrippa II., A. D. 64. It was of marble, after Graeco-Roman designs, and was destroyed by the Romans under Titus, A. D. 70, time verifying Mark 13:22And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. (Mark 13:2).

Concise Bible Dictionary:

One thing that materially distinguishes the temple from the tabernacle is that God said of it, “Mine eyes and Mine heart shall be there perpetually:” it referred to the kingdom and a settled order of things; whereas the tabernacle was typical of God’s ways, and gave the idea of movement. And though the actual building was destroyed and rebuilt, and is now swept away, and will again be rebuilt, yet it is treated always as one house. Haggai 2:99The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts. (Haggai 2:9) may be translated, as in the LXX, “The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts.” When the Lord was on earth, though rejected by the rulers of Israel, He called the temple “My house,” and “My Father’s house;” but later on He said to the Jews “your house.” The “latter glory” refers to the future, when God will be owned by His ancient people, and His glory be displayed.
Another thing that distinguished the temple was its being surrounded with chambers, so that the priests that were serving God could dwell around Him. Christ refers possibly to this in saying “In My Father’s house are many mansions.” The tabernacle had no flooring, the priests trod the earth; but in the temple they were separated from the earth by a flooring.
In the interior of the temple built by Solomon nothing but gold appeared; this is typical of divine righteousness, characterizing the throne and presence of God, as will be manifested in the millennium. The ark was placed in the temple, and had found there its abiding resting place: it was the token of God’s presence. The candlesticks, tables of shewbread, golden altar, brazen altar, and laver (with ten smaller ones in addition, see LAVER), were similar to those in the tabernacle. God owned the house by filling it with His glory.
Of the actual erections there were—
1. THE TEMPLE BY SOLOMON. It was formed after the pattern of the tabernacle, being a rectangle of sixty cubits by twenty, and its height thirty cubits: the holy of holies was a cube of twenty cubits; the holy (place) was forty cubits by twenty, with a porch in front of ten cubits by twenty. The chambers and upper chambers and pillars and porches were additional as described (1 Kings 6).
2. THE TEMPLE BY ZERUBBABEL. Few particulars of this are given. Cyrus ordered the foundations to be strongly laid, and its height was to be sixty cubits, and its breadth sixty cubits (Ezra 6:33In the first year of Cyrus the king the same Cyrus the king made a decree concerning the house of God at Jerusalem, Let the house be builded, the place where they offered sacrifices, and let the foundations thereof be strongly laid; the height thereof threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof threescore cubits; (Ezra 6:3)). Probably it was the same size as the temple by Solomon: the breadth here of sixty cubits being its “length,” and its width not mentioned; or, if the sixty cubits be the width, it may have included the chambers. It is not probable that it was larger than the first temple. The aged men, who had seen the first house, wept when they saw the foundations of this house laid. This temple continued until the days of Herod.
3. THE TEMPLE BY HEROD. The Jews said it was forty-six years in building (John 2:2020Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? (John 2:20)). Josephus gives almost the only account we have of it. It was apparently built over the old one, so as not to hinder the temple service: the priests themselves built the holy places. It was all on a magnificent scale. In the Gospels we read that the disciples exclaimed, “What stones! and what buildings!” and pointed out how it was “adorned with goodly stones and gifts.” Herod was not God’s man to build Him a house, nor were the leaders of the Jews fit men to carry on His worship. To the disciples the Lord declared that one stone should not be left upon another (Mark 13:1-21And as he went out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here! 2And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. (Mark 13:1‑2); Luke 21:5-65And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said, 6As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. (Luke 21:5‑6)). Though Josephus gives many details as to this temple, they are not distinct enough to enable a plan to be made of it. In the New Testament the word ναός refers to the house itself, and ιερόν to the buildings and courts in general. Apparently the Lord never entered the house itself. Doubtless this temple stood upon some part of mount Moriah, at the south-east corner of Jerusalem, but on what part of the enclosure is not known.
4. A FUTURE TEMPLE. Scripture speaks in many places of the return of the Jews to their own land, but in unbelief as to the Lord Jesus being their Messiah. They will apparently build a temple, but this must not be confounded with the one described by Ezekiel, though the Jews may attempt to build it as there described. God cannot bless them until His anointed One is owned, and therefore this temple will be destroyed (Psa. 74; Isa. 66:1-61Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? 2For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the Lord: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. 3He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine's blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations. 4I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not. 5Hear the word of the Lord, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed. 6A voice of noise from the city, a voice from the temple, a voice of the Lord that rendereth recompence to his enemies. (Isaiah 66:1‑6)).
5. EZEKIEL’S TEMPLE. This is fully described in Ezekiel 40-44: it will be built when the land is once again divided amongst the twelve tribes, and all brought into blessing. In the center of the land there will be a “holy oblation” of 25,000 cubits square, which will contain both the city and the temple. That cubits and not reeds are intended, see Ezekiel 45:2-32Of this there shall be for the sanctuary five hundred in length, with five hundred in breadth, square round about; and fifty cubits round about for the suburbs thereof. 3And of this measure shalt thou measure the length of five and twenty thousand, and the breadth of ten thousand: and in it shall be the sanctuary and the most holy place. (Ezekiel 45:2‑3). Other passages speak of the temple, Zion, and Jerusalem as associated together (Psa. 68:2929Because of thy temple at Jerusalem shall kings bring presents unto thee. (Psalm 68:29); Psa. 122; Isa. 2:2-32And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. 3And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. (Isaiah 2:2‑3); Micah 3:1212Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest. (Micah 3:12) to 4:2). All these, though not exactly on the same spot, will fall within the “holy oblation,” though the part on which the city will stand is also called “profane,” or “common.” Probably the city will be built on its old site, and the temple may be somewhat farther north. Then the latter glory of God’s house will exceed all that has yet been, for the Lord Jesus will be the glory of the house.
In Revelation 11:1919And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail. (Revelation 11:19) the temple of God is opened in heaven, in connection with which are the judgments that come forth to smite the earth (Rev. 14:15,1715And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. (Revelation 14:15)
17And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. (Revelation 14:17)
; Rev. 15:5-85And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened: 6And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles. 7And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever. 8And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled. (Revelation 15:5‑8); Rev. 16:1,171And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth. (Revelation 16:1)
17And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. (Revelation 16:17)
).

From Anstey’s Doctrinal Definitions:

1 Kings 6:22And the house which king Solomon built for the Lord, the length thereof was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof twenty cubits, and the height thereof thirty cubits. (1 Kings 6:2). The house which king Solomon built for the Lord, the length thereof was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof twenty cubits, and the height thereof thirty cubits.
The idea of the temple did not originate with Solomon, but with David, who was not permitted to carry out his intention because he had been a man of war (1 Chron. 28:2-32Then David the king stood up upon his feet, and said, Hear me, my brethren, and my people: As for me, I had in mine heart to build an house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and for the footstool of our God, and had made ready for the building: 3But God said unto me, Thou shalt not build an house for my name, because thou hast been a man of war, and hast shed blood. (1 Chronicles 28:2‑3)). God gave him a plan for the temple, as he had previously given Moses the plan for the tabernacle. This plan David communicated to Solomon, directing him to erect the building (1 Chron. 28:11-1911Then David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the porch, and of the houses thereof, and of the treasuries thereof, and of the upper chambers thereof, and of the inner parlors thereof, and of the place of the mercy seat, 12And the pattern of all that he had by the spirit, of the courts of the house of the Lord, and of all the chambers round about, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries of the dedicated things: 13Also for the courses of the priests and the Levites, and for all the work of the service of the house of the Lord, and for all the vessels of service in the house of the Lord. 14He gave of gold by weight for things of gold, for all instruments of all manner of service; silver also for all instruments of silver by weight, for all instruments of every kind of service: 15Even the weight for the candlesticks of gold, and for their lamps of gold, by weight for every candlestick, and for the lamps thereof: and for the candlesticks of silver by weight, both for the candlestick, and also for the lamps thereof, according to the use of every candlestick. 16And by weight he gave gold for the tables of showbread, for every table; and likewise silver for the tables of silver: 17Also pure gold for the fleshhooks, and the bowls, and the cups: and for the golden basons he gave gold by weight for every bason; and likewise silver by weight for every bason of silver: 18And for the altar of incense refined gold by weight; and gold for the pattern of the chariot of the cherubims, that spread out their wings, and covered the ark of the covenant of the Lord. 19All this, said David, the Lord made me understand in writing by his hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern. (1 Chronicles 28:11‑19)).
It was built on Mount Moriah, on the site of the altar which David erected on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite (2 Sam. 24:21-2521And Araunah said, Wherefore is my lord the king come to his servant? And David said, To buy the threshingfloor of thee, to build an altar unto the Lord, that the plague may be stayed from the people. 22And Araunah said unto David, Let my lord the king take and offer up what seemeth good unto him: behold, here be oxen for burnt sacrifice, and threshing instruments and other instruments of the oxen for wood. 23All these things did Araunah, as a king, give unto the king. And Araunah said unto the king, The Lord thy God accept thee. 24And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the Lord my God of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. 25And David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the Lord was entreated for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel. (2 Samuel 24:21‑25); 2 Chron. 3:11Then Solomon began to build the house of the Lord at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where the Lord appeared unto David his father, in the place that David had prepared in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite. (2 Chronicles 3:1)). It stood on the boundary line of Judah and Benjamin. According to Jewish authorities, the greater space of the courts was in Judah, but the temple and altar were in Benjamin. The hill being uneven, the top was leveled, and walls were built on the sloping sides up to a level with the summit, the intervening space being filled partly with vaults and partly with earth.
The temple had the same general arrangements as the tabernacle, being designed for the same purpose; the difference between the two structures being mainly such as would be suggested by the fact that the tabernacle was merely temporary and movable, while the temple was permanent and fixed. The dimensions of the temple were double those of the tabernacle. Like that, it faced the east, having the Most Holy Place in the west.
Its length (including the porch) was seventy cubits. Of this length the porch had ten cubits, the Holy Place forty, and the Most Holy Place twenty (I Kings 6:3,17,20). The width of the building on the ground was twenty cubits, but to this there was added to the house proper a width of five cubits, for three stories of chambers which were built adjoining all the walls of the temple, excepting the porch. At the height of every five cubits the temple wall receded a cubit until half the height was reached; thus making each story of chambers a cubit wider than the one below it (1 Kings 6:5-6,105And against the wall of the house he built chambers round about, against the walls of the house round about, both of the temple and of the oracle: and he made chambers round about: 6The nethermost chamber was five cubits broad, and the middle was six cubits broad, and the third was seven cubits broad: for without in the wall of the house he made narrowed rests round about, that the beams should not be fastened in the walls of the house. (1 Kings 6:5‑6)
10And then he built chambers against all the house, five cubits high: and they rested on the house with timber of cedar. (1 Kings 6:10)
). The chambers on the west side must also have added five cubits to the length. The height of the building varied in different parts. The chambers were fifteen cubits high, the Most Holy Place twenty, the Holy Place thirty, and the porch one hundred and twenty (1 Kings 6:3,203And the porch before the temple of the house, twenty cubits was the length thereof, according to the breadth of the house; and ten cubits was the breadth thereof before the house. (1 Kings 6:3)
20And the oracle in the forepart was twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in breadth, and twenty cubits in the height thereof: and he overlaid it with pure gold; and so covered the altar which was of cedar. (1 Kings 6:20)
; 2 Chron. 3:44And the porch that was in the front of the house, the length of it was according to the breadth of the house, twenty cubits, and the height was an hundred and twenty: and he overlaid it within with pure gold. (2 Chronicles 3:4)). It is thought by some critics that this last measurement is an error in the copying of some ancient manuscript. Eighty has been suggested by some as the correct reading, and twenty by others.
In the porch were the two celebrated pillars called Jachin and Boaz. These were made of brass and highly ornamented (1 Kings 7:15-2215For he cast two pillars of brass, of eighteen cubits high apiece: and a line of twelve cubits did compass either of them about. 16And he made two chapiters of 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 five cubits: 17And nets of checker work, and wreaths of chain work, for the chapiters which were upon the top of the pillars; seven for the one chapiter, and seven for the other chapiter. 18And he made the pillars, and two rows round about upon the one network, to cover the chapiters that were upon the top, with pomegranates: and so did he for the other chapiter. 19And the chapiters that were upon the top of the pillars were of lily work in the porch, four cubits. 20And the chapiters upon the two pillars had pomegranates also above, over against the belly which was by the network: and the pomegranates were two hundred in rows round about upon the other chapiter. 21And he set up the pillars in the porch of the temple: and he set up the right pillar, and called the name thereof Jachin: and he set up the left pillar, and called the name thereof Boaz. 22And upon the top of the pillars was lily work: so was the work of the pillars finished. (1 Kings 7:15‑22)). It is not definitely stated that they were placed in the porch as a support to that part of the building, but this would seem to be probable, though it is denied by some. Crossing the porch, which was ten cubits by twenty, we find folding doors of fir or cypress, having posts of olive wood. These doors were ornamented with carved cherubim, palm trees, and flowers, all of which were covered with gold (1 Kings 6:33-3533So also made he for the door of the temple posts of olive tree, a fourth part of the wall. 34And the two doors were of fir tree: the two leaves of the one door were folding, and the two leaves of the other door were folding. 35And he carved thereon cherubims and palm trees and open flowers: and covered them with gold fitted upon the carved work. (1 Kings 6:33‑35)). Within the doors was the Holy Place, forty cubits long, twenty wide, and thirty high. There were windows in this, probably of lattice work (1 Kings 6:44And for the house he made windows of narrow lights. (1 Kings 6:4)). These windows must have been in the upper part of the room, since the three stories of the chambers reached on the outside half way up the height. The stone walls were completely covered on the inside with wainscoting of cedar. The floor was made of cedar covered with cypress, which in turn was covered with gold (1 Kings 6:15,3015And he built the walls of the house within with boards of cedar, both the floor of the house, and the walls of the cieling: and he covered them on the inside with wood, and covered the floor of the house with planks of fir. (1 Kings 6:15)
30And the floor of the house he overlaid with gold, within and without. (1 Kings 6:30)
). The ceiling was cypress overlaid with gold (2 Chron. 3:55And the greater house he cieled with fir tree, which he overlaid with fine gold, and set thereon palm trees and chains. (2 Chronicles 3:5)). The sides were elegantly carved with cherubim, palms, and flowers, covered over with gold (1 Kings 6:1818And the cedar of the house within was carved with knops and open flowers: all was cedar; there was no stone seen. (1 Kings 6:18); 2 Chron. 3:77He overlaid also the house, the beams, the posts, and the walls thereof, and the doors thereof, with gold; and graved cherubims on the walls. (2 Chronicles 3:7)).
In the Holy Place there were ten golden candlesticks, five on each side, and ten tables of show-bread, arranged in a similar way (2 Chron. 4:7-87And he made ten candlesticks of gold according to their form, and set them in the temple, five on the right hand, and five on the left. 8He made also ten tables, and placed them in the temple, five on the right side, and five on the left. And he made an hundred basons of gold. (2 Chronicles 4:7‑8)). It is supposed by some that only one candlestick and one table were in use at a time. See 2 Chronicles 13:11; 29:1811And they burn unto the Lord every morning and every evening burnt sacrifices and sweet incense: the showbread also set they in order upon the pure table; and the candlestick of gold with the lamps thereof, to burn every evening: for we keep the charge of the Lord our God; but ye have forsaken him. (2 Chronicles 13:11)
18Then they went in to Hezekiah the king, and said, We have cleansed all the house of the Lord, and the altar of burnt offering, with all the vessels thereof, and the showbread table, with all the vessels thereof. (2 Chronicles 29:18)
; where the words are in the singular number. There were snuffers, tongs, basins, and all other necessary articles, also of gold (1 Kings 7:5050And 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. (1 Kings 7:50)). The altar of incense, which was in this part of the temple, was made of cedar and covered with gold. 1 Kings 6:2020And the oracle in the forepart was twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in breadth, and twenty cubits in the height thereof: and he overlaid it with pure gold; and so covered the altar which was of cedar. (1 Kings 6:20).
Between the Sanctuary, or Holy Place and the Oracle, or Most Holy Place, there was a partition, in which were double doors made of olive-wood carved and overlaid with gold (1 Kings 6:31-3231And for the entering of the oracle he made doors of olive tree: the lintel and side posts were a fifth part of the wall. 32The two doors also were of olive tree; and he carved upon them carvings of cherubims and palm trees and open flowers, and overlaid them with gold, and spread gold upon the cherubims, and upon the palm trees. (1 Kings 6:31‑32)). There was also a rich veil of embroidery at this doorway (2 Chron. 3:1414And he made the vail of blue, and purple, and crimson, and fine linen, and wrought cherubims thereon. (2 Chronicles 3:14)). The Oracle, like the Most Holy Place of the tabernacle, was a perfect cube. It was twenty cubits in length, breadth, and height (1 Kings 6:2020And the oracle in the forepart was twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in breadth, and twenty cubits in the height thereof: and he overlaid it with pure gold; and so covered the altar which was of cedar. (1 Kings 6:20)). Floor, sides, and ceiling were of wood, with carved cherubim, palm-trees, and flowers, all overlaid with gold (1 Kings 6:29-3029And he carved all the walls of the house round about with carved figures of cherubims and palm trees and open flowers, within and without. 30And the floor of the house he overlaid with gold, within and without. (1 Kings 6:29‑30)). There were no windows here; Jehovah dwells in “thick darkness” (1 Kings 8:1212Then spake Solomon, The Lord said that he would dwell in the thick darkness. (1 Kings 8:12)). Two gigantic cherubim, made of olive-wood and covered with gold, were in the Oracle. They were ten cubits high, and their outstretched wings, touching each other at the tips, reached entirely across the width of the room (1 Kings 6:23-2823And within the oracle he made two cherubims of olive tree, each ten cubits high. 24And five cubits was the one wing of the cherub, and five cubits the other wing of the cherub: from the uttermost part of the one wing unto the uttermost part of the other were ten cubits. 25And the other cherub was ten cubits: both the cherubims were of one measure and one size. 26The height of the one cherub was ten cubits, and so was it of the other cherub. 27And he set the cherubims within the inner house: and they stretched forth the wings of the cherubims, so that the wing of the one touched the one wall, and the wing of the other cherub touched the other wall; and their wings touched one another in the midst of the house. 28And he overlaid the cherubims with gold. (1 Kings 6:23‑28)). They were in a standing position, and had their faces turned toward the veil (2 Chron. 3:10-1310And in the most holy house he made two cherubims of image work, and overlaid them with gold. 11And the wings of the cherubims were twenty cubits long: one wing of the one cherub was five cubits, reaching to the wall of the house: and the other wing was likewise five cubits, reaching to the wing of the other cherub. 12And one wing of the other cherub was five cubits, reaching to the wall of the house: and the other wing was five cubits also, joining to the wing of the other cherub. 13The wings of these cherubims spread themselves forth twenty cubits: and they stood on their feet, and their faces were inward. (2 Chronicles 3:10‑13)). The ark of the covenant, which had been in the tabernacle, was put into the Oracle under the wings of the cherubim after the temple was finished (1 Kings 8:66And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the Lord unto his place, into the oracle of the house, to the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims. (1 Kings 8:6)). No doubt the original cherubim and the mercy-seat accompanied it, though this is nowhere expressly stated. It may be inferred, however, from the fact that after the temple was built Jehovah is represented, as in the days of the tabernacle, “dwelling between the cherubim.” Compare 1 Samuel 4:44So the people sent to Shiloh, that they might bring from thence the ark of the covenant of the Lord of hosts, which dwelleth between the cherubims: and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God. (1 Samuel 4:4); 2 Samuel 6:22And David arose, and went with all the people that were with him from Baale of Judah, to bring up from thence the ark of God, whose name is called by the name of the Lord of hosts that dwelleth between the cherubims. (2 Samuel 6:2); Psalm 80:1; 99:11<<To the chief Musician upon Shoshannim-eduth, A Psalm of Asaph.>> Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a flock; thou that dwellest between the cherubims, shine forth. (Psalm 80:1)
1The Lord reigneth; let the people tremble: he sitteth between the cherubims; let the earth be moved. (Psalm 99:1)
with 2 Kings 19:1515And Hezekiah prayed before the Lord, and said, O Lord God of Israel, which dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; thou hast made heaven and earth. (2 Kings 19:15); Isaiah 37:1616O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: thou hast made heaven and earth. (Isaiah 37:16).
No definite account is given of the court or courts surrounding the temple. In 1 Kings 6:3636And he built the inner court with three rows of hewed stone, and a row of cedar beams. (1 Kings 6:36) the “inner court” is spoken of. This was doubtless the space immediately around the sacred edifice. Its dimensions are not given, nor is it certain what is meant by the text just referred to: “He built the inner court with three rows of hewed stone, and a row of cedar beams.” Some commentators suppose this to mean that the inner court was surrounded by a wall consisting of three courses of stone capped with cedar beams. Others suppose that the inner court was a raised platform elevated to the height of three courses of stone with a coping of cedar, and they refer to Jeremiah 36:1010Then read Baruch in the book the words of Jeremiah in the house of the Lord, in the chamber of Gemariah the son of Shaphan the scribe, in the higher court, at the entry of the new gate of the Lord's house, in the ears of all the people. (Jeremiah 36:10), where this is called “the higher court.”
This court, which was also called the “Court of the priests” (2 Chron. 4:99Furthermore he made the court of the priests, and the great court, and doors for the court, and overlaid the doors of them with brass. (2 Chronicles 4:9)) contained the brazen altar of burnt offering, which was much larger than the one in the court of the tabernacle, being twenty cubits in length and in breadth, and ten in height. There was also here a circular “molten sea,” ten cubits in diameter and five in height. It stood on twelve brazen oxen, three facing each point of the compass. On each side of the altar there were five brazen lavers (2 Chron. 4:1-61Moreover he made an altar of brass, twenty cubits the length thereof, and twenty cubits the breadth thereof, and ten cubits the height thereof. 2Also he made a molten sea of ten cubits from brim to brim, round in compass, and five cubits the height thereof; and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about. 3And under it was the similitude of oxen, which did compass it round about: ten in a cubit, compassing the sea round about. Two rows of oxen were cast, when it was cast. 4It 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. 5And the thickness of it was an handbreadth, and the brim of it like the work of the brim of a cup, with flowers of lilies; and it received and held three thousand baths. 6He made also ten lavers, and put five on the right hand, and five on the left, to wash in them: such things as they offered for the burnt offering they washed in them; but the sea was for the priests to wash in. (2 Chronicles 4:1‑6)).
The foregoing description of Solomon’s temple coincides in the main with the accounts usually given by commentators. It is proper, however, to notice the ingenious theory advanced by the T. O. Paine, in his Solomon’s Temple, already referred to in the note on Exodus 40:22On the first day of the first month shalt thou set up the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation. (Exodus 40:2) (#141). Mr. Paine has evidently studied the subject with much care, and has given the results of his investigations in an interesting monograph. He assumes that the description given by Ezekiel in chapter 40 following chapters is not the description of an ideal temple, but of Solomon’s temple as it actually appeared before its destruction; and that it is designed to be a complement to the account given in the books of Kings and Chronicles, the one narrative detailing points omitted by the other. He asserts that the building, contrary to the usual opinion, was wider at the top than at the bottom, and refers to Ezekiel 41:77And there was an enlarging, and a winding about still upward to the side chambers: for the winding about of the house went still upward round about the house: therefore the breadth of the house was still upward, and so increased from the lowest chamber to the highest by the midst. (Ezekiel 41:7) for proof, that the “chambers” mentioned as running around the building were galleries, and that these were supported by columns, the galleries increasing in distance from the temple-wall as they rose. He contends that “all pictures of the temple which represent it as widest on the ground and narrower upward are bottom upward” (Solomon’s Temple, p. 2). (See the engravings on the opposite page.)

From Manners and Customs of the Bible:

1 Kings 6:22And the house which king Solomon built for the Lord, the length thereof was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof twenty cubits, and the height thereof thirty cubits. (1 Kings 6:2). The house which king Solomon built for the Lord, the length thereof was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof twenty cubits, and the height thereof thirty cubits.
The idea of the temple did not originate with Solomon, but with David, who was not permitted to carry out his intention because he had been a man of war (1 Chron. 28:2-32Then David the king stood up upon his feet, and said, Hear me, my brethren, and my people: As for me, I had in mine heart to build an house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and for the footstool of our God, and had made ready for the building: 3But God said unto me, Thou shalt not build an house for my name, because thou hast been a man of war, and hast shed blood. (1 Chronicles 28:2‑3)). God gave him a plan for the temple, as he had previously given Moses the plan for the tabernacle. This plan David communicated to Solomon, directing him to erect the building (1 Chron. 28:11-1911Then David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the porch, and of the houses thereof, and of the treasuries thereof, and of the upper chambers thereof, and of the inner parlors thereof, and of the place of the mercy seat, 12And the pattern of all that he had by the spirit, of the courts of the house of the Lord, and of all the chambers round about, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries of the dedicated things: 13Also for the courses of the priests and the Levites, and for all the work of the service of the house of the Lord, and for all the vessels of service in the house of the Lord. 14He gave of gold by weight for things of gold, for all instruments of all manner of service; silver also for all instruments of silver by weight, for all instruments of every kind of service: 15Even the weight for the candlesticks of gold, and for their lamps of gold, by weight for every candlestick, and for the lamps thereof: and for the candlesticks of silver by weight, both for the candlestick, and also for the lamps thereof, according to the use of every candlestick. 16And by weight he gave gold for the tables of showbread, for every table; and likewise silver for the tables of silver: 17Also pure gold for the fleshhooks, and the bowls, and the cups: and for the golden basons he gave gold by weight for every bason; and likewise silver by weight for every bason of silver: 18And for the altar of incense refined gold by weight; and gold for the pattern of the chariot of the cherubims, that spread out their wings, and covered the ark of the covenant of the Lord. 19All this, said David, the Lord made me understand in writing by his hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern. (1 Chronicles 28:11‑19)).
It was built on Mount Moriah, on the site of the altar which David erected on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite (2 Sam. 24:21-2521And Araunah said, Wherefore is my lord the king come to his servant? And David said, To buy the threshingfloor of thee, to build an altar unto the Lord, that the plague may be stayed from the people. 22And Araunah said unto David, Let my lord the king take and offer up what seemeth good unto him: behold, here be oxen for burnt sacrifice, and threshing instruments and other instruments of the oxen for wood. 23All these things did Araunah, as a king, give unto the king. And Araunah said unto the king, The Lord thy God accept thee. 24And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the Lord my God of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. 25And David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the Lord was entreated for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel. (2 Samuel 24:21‑25); 2 Chron. 3:11Then Solomon began to build the house of the Lord at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where the Lord appeared unto David his father, in the place that David had prepared in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite. (2 Chronicles 3:1)). It stood on the boundary line of Judah and Benjamin. According to Jewish authorities, the greater space of the courts was in Judah, but the temple and altar were in Benjamin. The hill being uneven, the top was leveled, and walls were built on the sloping sides up to a level with the summit, the intervening space being filled partly with vaults and partly with earth.
The temple had the same general arrangements as the tabernacle, being designed for the same purpose; the difference between the two structures being mainly such as would be suggested by the fact that the tabernacle was merely temporary and movable, while the temple was permanent and fixed. The dimensions of the temple were double those of the tabernacle. Like that, it faced the east, having the Most Holy Place in the west.
Its length (including the porch) was seventy cubits. Of this length the porch had ten cubits, the Holy Place forty, and the Most Holy Place twenty (I Kings 6:3,17,20). The width of the building on the ground was twenty cubits, but to this there was added to the house proper a width of five cubits, for three stories of chambers which were built adjoining all the walls of the temple, excepting the porch. At the height of every five cubits the temple wall receded a cubit until half the height was reached; thus making each story of chambers a cubit wider than the one below it (1 Kings 6:5-6,105And against the wall of the house he built chambers round about, against the walls of the house round about, both of the temple and of the oracle: and he made chambers round about: 6The nethermost chamber was five cubits broad, and the middle was six cubits broad, and the third was seven cubits broad: for without in the wall of the house he made narrowed rests round about, that the beams should not be fastened in the walls of the house. (1 Kings 6:5‑6)
10And then he built chambers against all the house, five cubits high: and they rested on the house with timber of cedar. (1 Kings 6:10)
). The chambers on the west side must also have added five cubits to the length. The height of the building varied in different parts. The chambers were fifteen cubits high, the Most Holy Place twenty, the Holy Place thirty, and the porch one hundred and twenty (1 Kings 6:3,203And the porch before the temple of the house, twenty cubits was the length thereof, according to the breadth of the house; and ten cubits was the breadth thereof before the house. (1 Kings 6:3)
20And the oracle in the forepart was twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in breadth, and twenty cubits in the height thereof: and he overlaid it with pure gold; and so covered the altar which was of cedar. (1 Kings 6:20)
; 2 Chron. 3:44And the porch that was in the front of the house, the length of it was according to the breadth of the house, twenty cubits, and the height was an hundred and twenty: and he overlaid it within with pure gold. (2 Chronicles 3:4)). It is thought by some critics that this last measurement is an error in the copying of some ancient manuscript. Eighty has been suggested by some as the correct reading, and twenty by others.
In the porch were the two celebrated pillars called Jachin and Boaz. These were made of brass and highly ornamented (1 Kings 7:15-2215For he cast two pillars of brass, of eighteen cubits high apiece: and a line of twelve cubits did compass either of them about. 16And he made two chapiters of 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 five cubits: 17And nets of checker work, and wreaths of chain work, for the chapiters which were upon the top of the pillars; seven for the one chapiter, and seven for the other chapiter. 18And he made the pillars, and two rows round about upon the one network, to cover the chapiters that were upon the top, with pomegranates: and so did he for the other chapiter. 19And the chapiters that were upon the top of the pillars were of lily work in the porch, four cubits. 20And the chapiters upon the two pillars had pomegranates also above, over against the belly which was by the network: and the pomegranates were two hundred in rows round about upon the other chapiter. 21And he set up the pillars in the porch of the temple: and he set up the right pillar, and called the name thereof Jachin: and he set up the left pillar, and called the name thereof Boaz. 22And upon the top of the pillars was lily work: so was the work of the pillars finished. (1 Kings 7:15‑22)). It is not definitely stated that they were placed in the porch as a support to that part of the building, but this would seem to be probable, though it is denied by some. Crossing the porch, which was ten cubits by twenty, we find folding doors of fir or cypress, having posts of olive wood. These doors were ornamented with carved cherubim, palm trees, and flowers, all of which were covered with gold (1 Kings 6:33-3533So also made he for the door of the temple posts of olive tree, a fourth part of the wall. 34And the two doors were of fir tree: the two leaves of the one door were folding, and the two leaves of the other door were folding. 35And he carved thereon cherubims and palm trees and open flowers: and covered them with gold fitted upon the carved work. (1 Kings 6:33‑35)). Within the doors was the Holy Place, forty cubits long, twenty wide, and thirty high. There were windows in this, probably of lattice work (1 Kings 6:44And for the house he made windows of narrow lights. (1 Kings 6:4)). These windows must have been in the upper part of the room, since the three stories of the chambers reached on the outside half way up the height. The stone walls were completely covered on the inside with wainscoting of cedar. The floor was made of cedar covered with cypress, which in turn was covered with gold (1 Kings 6:15,3015And he built the walls of the house within with boards of cedar, both the floor of the house, and the walls of the cieling: and he covered them on the inside with wood, and covered the floor of the house with planks of fir. (1 Kings 6:15)
30And the floor of the house he overlaid with gold, within and without. (1 Kings 6:30)
). The ceiling was cypress overlaid with gold (2 Chron. 3:55And the greater house he cieled with fir tree, which he overlaid with fine gold, and set thereon palm trees and chains. (2 Chronicles 3:5)). The sides were elegantly carved with cherubim, palms, and flowers, covered over with gold (1 Kings 6:1818And the cedar of the house within was carved with knops and open flowers: all was cedar; there was no stone seen. (1 Kings 6:18); 2 Chron. 3:77He overlaid also the house, the beams, the posts, and the walls thereof, and the doors thereof, with gold; and graved cherubims on the walls. (2 Chronicles 3:7)).
In the Holy Place there were ten golden candlesticks, five on each side, and ten tables of show-bread, arranged in a similar way (2 Chron. 4:7-87And he made ten candlesticks of gold according to their form, and set them in the temple, five on the right hand, and five on the left. 8He made also ten tables, and placed them in the temple, five on the right side, and five on the left. And he made an hundred basons of gold. (2 Chronicles 4:7‑8)). It is supposed by some that only one candlestick and one table were in use at a time. See 2 Chronicles 13:11; 29:1811And they burn unto the Lord every morning and every evening burnt sacrifices and sweet incense: the showbread also set they in order upon the pure table; and the candlestick of gold with the lamps thereof, to burn every evening: for we keep the charge of the Lord our God; but ye have forsaken him. (2 Chronicles 13:11)
18Then they went in to Hezekiah the king, and said, We have cleansed all the house of the Lord, and the altar of burnt offering, with all the vessels thereof, and the showbread table, with all the vessels thereof. (2 Chronicles 29:18)
; where the words are in the singular number. There were snuffers, tongs, basins, and all other necessary articles, also of gold (1 Kings 7:5050And 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. (1 Kings 7:50)). The altar of incense, which was in this part of the temple, was made of cedar and covered with gold. 1 Kings 6:2020And the oracle in the forepart was twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in breadth, and twenty cubits in the height thereof: and he overlaid it with pure gold; and so covered the altar which was of cedar. (1 Kings 6:20).
Between the Sanctuary, or Holy Place and the Oracle, or Most Holy Place, there was a partition, in which were double doors made of olive-wood carved and overlaid with gold (1 Kings 6:31-3231And for the entering of the oracle he made doors of olive tree: the lintel and side posts were a fifth part of the wall. 32The two doors also were of olive tree; and he carved upon them carvings of cherubims and palm trees and open flowers, and overlaid them with gold, and spread gold upon the cherubims, and upon the palm trees. (1 Kings 6:31‑32)). There was also a rich veil of embroidery at this doorway (2 Chron. 3:1414And he made the vail of blue, and purple, and crimson, and fine linen, and wrought cherubims thereon. (2 Chronicles 3:14)). The Oracle, like the Most Holy Place of the tabernacle, was a perfect cube. It was twenty cubits in length, breadth, and height (1 Kings 6:2020And the oracle in the forepart was twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in breadth, and twenty cubits in the height thereof: and he overlaid it with pure gold; and so covered the altar which was of cedar. (1 Kings 6:20)). Floor, sides, and ceiling were of wood, with carved cherubim, palm-trees, and flowers, all overlaid with gold (1 Kings 6:29-3029And he carved all the walls of the house round about with carved figures of cherubims and palm trees and open flowers, within and without. 30And the floor of the house he overlaid with gold, within and without. (1 Kings 6:29‑30)). There were no windows here; Jehovah dwells in “thick darkness” (1 Kings 8:1212Then spake Solomon, The Lord said that he would dwell in the thick darkness. (1 Kings 8:12)). Two gigantic cherubim, made of olive-wood and covered with gold, were in the Oracle. They were ten cubits high, and their outstretched wings, touching each other at the tips, reached entirely across the width of the room (1 Kings 6:23-2823And within the oracle he made two cherubims of olive tree, each ten cubits high. 24And five cubits was the one wing of the cherub, and five cubits the other wing of the cherub: from the uttermost part of the one wing unto the uttermost part of the other were ten cubits. 25And the other cherub was ten cubits: both the cherubims were of one measure and one size. 26The height of the one cherub was ten cubits, and so was it of the other cherub. 27And he set the cherubims within the inner house: and they stretched forth the wings of the cherubims, so that the wing of the one touched the one wall, and the wing of the other cherub touched the other wall; and their wings touched one another in the midst of the house. 28And he overlaid the cherubims with gold. (1 Kings 6:23‑28)). They were in a standing position, and had their faces turned toward the veil (2 Chron. 3:10-1310And in the most holy house he made two cherubims of image work, and overlaid them with gold. 11And the wings of the cherubims were twenty cubits long: one wing of the one cherub was five cubits, reaching to the wall of the house: and the other wing was likewise five cubits, reaching to the wing of the other cherub. 12And one wing of the other cherub was five cubits, reaching to the wall of the house: and the other wing was five cubits also, joining to the wing of the other cherub. 13The wings of these cherubims spread themselves forth twenty cubits: and they stood on their feet, and their faces were inward. (2 Chronicles 3:10‑13)). The ark of the covenant, which had been in the tabernacle, was put into the Oracle under the wings of the cherubim after the temple was finished (1 Kings 8:66And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the Lord unto his place, into the oracle of the house, to the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims. (1 Kings 8:6)). No doubt the original cherubim and the mercy-seat accompanied it, though this is nowhere expressly stated. It may be inferred, however, from the fact that after the temple was built Jehovah is represented, as in the days of the tabernacle, “dwelling between the cherubim.” Compare 1 Samuel 4:44So the people sent to Shiloh, that they might bring from thence the ark of the covenant of the Lord of hosts, which dwelleth between the cherubims: and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God. (1 Samuel 4:4); 2 Samuel 6:22And David arose, and went with all the people that were with him from Baale of Judah, to bring up from thence the ark of God, whose name is called by the name of the Lord of hosts that dwelleth between the cherubims. (2 Samuel 6:2); Psalm 80:1; 99:11<<To the chief Musician upon Shoshannim-eduth, A Psalm of Asaph.>> Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a flock; thou that dwellest between the cherubims, shine forth. (Psalm 80:1)
1The Lord reigneth; let the people tremble: he sitteth between the cherubims; let the earth be moved. (Psalm 99:1)
with 2 Kings 19:1515And Hezekiah prayed before the Lord, and said, O Lord God of Israel, which dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; thou hast made heaven and earth. (2 Kings 19:15); Isaiah 37:1616O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: thou hast made heaven and earth. (Isaiah 37:16).
No definite account is given of the court or courts surrounding the temple. In 1 Kings 6:3636And he built the inner court with three rows of hewed stone, and a row of cedar beams. (1 Kings 6:36) the “inner court” is spoken of. This was doubtless the space immediately around the sacred edifice. Its dimensions are not given, nor is it certain what is meant by the text just referred to: “He built the inner court with three rows of hewed stone, and a row of cedar beams.” Some commentators suppose this to mean that the inner court was surrounded by a wall consisting of three courses of stone capped with cedar beams. Others suppose that the inner court was a raised platform elevated to the height of three courses of stone with a coping of cedar, and they refer to Jeremiah 36:1010Then read Baruch in the book the words of Jeremiah in the house of the Lord, in the chamber of Gemariah the son of Shaphan the scribe, in the higher court, at the entry of the new gate of the Lord's house, in the ears of all the people. (Jeremiah 36:10), where this is called “the higher court.”
This court, which was also called the “Court of the priests” (2 Chron. 4:99Furthermore he made the court of the priests, and the great court, and doors for the court, and overlaid the doors of them with brass. (2 Chronicles 4:9)) contained the brazen altar of burnt offering, which was much larger than the one in the court of the tabernacle, being twenty cubits in length and in breadth, and ten in height. There was also here a circular “molten sea,” ten cubits in diameter and five in height. It stood on twelve brazen oxen, three facing each point of the compass. On each side of the altar there were five brazen lavers (2 Chron. 4:1-61Moreover he made an altar of brass, twenty cubits the length thereof, and twenty cubits the breadth thereof, and ten cubits the height thereof. 2Also he made a molten sea of ten cubits from brim to brim, round in compass, and five cubits the height thereof; and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about. 3And under it was the similitude of oxen, which did compass it round about: ten in a cubit, compassing the sea round about. Two rows of oxen were cast, when it was cast. 4It 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. 5And the thickness of it was an handbreadth, and the brim of it like the work of the brim of a cup, with flowers of lilies; and it received and held three thousand baths. 6He made also ten lavers, and put five on the right hand, and five on the left, to wash in them: such things as they offered for the burnt offering they washed in them; but the sea was for the priests to wash in. (2 Chronicles 4:1‑6)).
The foregoing description of Solomon’s temple coincides in the main with the accounts usually given by commentators. It is proper, however, to notice the ingenious theory advanced by the T. O. Paine, in his Solomon’s Temple, already referred to in the note on Exodus 40:22On the first day of the first month shalt thou set up the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation. (Exodus 40:2) (#141). Mr. Paine has evidently studied the subject with much care, and has given the results of his investigations in an interesting monograph. He assumes that the description given by Ezekiel in chapter 40 following chapters is not the description of an ideal temple, but of Solomon’s temple as it actually appeared before its destruction; and that it is designed to be a complement to the account given in the books of Kings and Chronicles, the one narrative detailing points omitted by the other. He asserts that the building, contrary to the usual opinion, was wider at the top than at the bottom, and refers to Ezekiel 41:77And there was an enlarging, and a winding about still upward to the side chambers: for the winding about of the house went still upward round about the house: therefore the breadth of the house was still upward, and so increased from the lowest chamber to the highest by the midst. (Ezekiel 41:7) for proof, that the “chambers” mentioned as running around the building were galleries, and that these were supported by columns, the galleries increasing in distance from the temple-wall as they rose. He contends that “all pictures of the temple which represent it as widest on the ground and narrower upward are bottom upward” (Solomon’s Temple, p. 2). (See the engravings on the opposite page.)