Four hundred and eighty years after the Israelites came out of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's rule over Israel, in the month of Ziv, the second month, Solomon started building The Temple of God.
The Temple that King Solomon built to God was ninety feet long, thirty feet wide, and forty-five feet high.
There was a porch across the thirty-foot width of The Temple that extended out fifteen feet.
Within The Temple he made narrow, deep-silled windows.
Against the outside walls he built a supporting structure in which there were smaller rooms:
The lower floor was seven and a half feet wide, the middle floor nine feet, and the third floor ten and a half feet. He had projecting ledges built into the outside Temple walls to support the buttressing beams.
The stone blocks for the building of The Temple were all dressed at the quarry so that the building site itself was reverently quiet - no noise from hammers and chisels and other iron tools.
The entrance to the ground floor was at the south end of The Temple; stairs led to the second floor and then to the third.
Solomon built and completed The Temple, finishing it off with roof beams and planks of cedar.
The supporting structure along the outside walls was attached to The Temple with cedar beams and the rooms in it were seven and a half feet tall.
The word of God came to Solomon saying,
"About this Temple you are building - what's important is that you live the way I've set out for you and do what I tell you, following my instructions carefully and obediently. Then I'll complete in you the promise I made to David your father.
I'll personally take up my residence among the Israelites - I won't desert my people Israel."
Solomon built and completed The Temple.
He paneled the interior walls from floor to ceiling with cedar planks; for flooring he used cypress.
The thirty feet at the rear of The Temple he made into an Inner Sanctuary, cedar planks from floor to ceiling - the Holy of Holies.
The Main Sanctuary area in front was sixty feet long.
The entire interior of The Temple was cedar, with carvings of fruits and flowers. All cedar - none of the stone was exposed.
The Inner Sanctuary within The Temple was for housing the Chest of the Covenant of God.
This Inner Sanctuary was a cube, thirty feet each way, all plated with gold. The Altar of cedar was also gold-plated.
Everywhere you looked there was pure gold: gold chains strung in front of the gold-plated Inner Sanctuary
- gold everywhere - walls, ceiling, floor, and Altar. Dazzling!
Then he made two cherubim, gigantic angel-like figures, from olivewood. Each was fifteen feet tall.
The outstretched wings of the cherubim (they were identical in size and shape) measured another fifteen feet. He placed the two cherubim, their wings spread, in the Inner Sanctuary. The combined wingspread stretched the width of the room, the wing of one cherub touched one wall, the wing of the other the other wall, and the wings touched in the middle.
The cherubim were gold plated.
He then carved engravings of cherubim, palm trees, and flower blossoms on all the walls of both the Inner and the Main Sanctuary.
And all the floors of both inner and outer rooms were gold plated.
He constructed doors of olivewood for the entrance to the Inner Sanctuary; the lintel and doorposts were five-sided.
The doors were also carved with cherubim, palm trees, and flowers, and then covered with gold leaf.
Similarly, he built the entrance to the Main Sanctuary using olivewood for the doorposts but these doorposts were four-sided.
The doors were of cypress, split into two panels, each panel swinging separately.
These also were carved with cherubim, palm trees, and flowers, and plated with finely hammered gold leaf.
He built the inner court with three courses of dressed stones topped with a course of planed cedar timbers.
The foundation for God's Temple was laid in the fourth year in the month of Ziv.
It was completed in the eleventh year in the month of Bul (the eighth month) down to the last detail, just as planned. It took Solomon seven years to build it.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)