In the four hundred and eightieth year after the Israelites had come out of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, the second month, he began to build the temple of the LORD.
The temple that King Solomon built for the LORD was sixty cubits long, twenty wide and thirty high.
The portico at the front of the main hall of the temple extended the width of the temple, that is twenty cubits, and projected ten cubits from the front of the temple.
He made narrow clerestory windows in the temple.
Against the walls of the main hall and inner sanctuary he built a structure around the building, in which there were side rooms.
The lowest floor was five cubits wide, the middle floor six cubits and the third floor seven. He made offset ledges around the outside of the temple so that nothing would be inserted into the temple walls.
In building the temple, only blocks dressed at the quarry were used, and no hammer, chisel or any other iron tool was heard at the temple site while it was being built.
The entrance to the lowest floor was on the south side of the temple; a stairway led up to the middle level and from there to the third.
So he built the temple and completed it, roofing it with beams and cedar planks.
And he built the side rooms all along the temple. The height of each was five cubits, and they were attached to the temple by beams of cedar.
The word of the LORD came to Solomon:
"As for this temple you are building, if you follow my decrees, carry out my regulations and keep all my commands and obey them, I will fulfill through you the promise I gave to David your father.
And I will live among the Israelites and will not abandon my people Israel."
So Solomon built the temple and completed it.
He lined its interior walls with cedar boards, paneling them from the floor of the temple to the ceiling, and covered the floor of the temple with planks of pine.
He partitioned off twenty cubits at the rear of the temple with cedar boards from floor to ceiling to form within the temple an inner sanctuary, the Most Holy Place.
The main hall in front of this room was forty cubits long.
The inside of the temple was cedar, carved with gourds and open flowers. Everything was cedar; no stone was to be seen.
He prepared the inner sanctuary within the temple to set the ark of the covenant of the LORD there.
The inner sanctuary was twenty cubits long, twenty wide and twenty high. He overlaid the inside with pure gold, and he also overlaid the altar of cedar.
Solomon covered the inside of the temple with pure gold, and he extended gold chains across the front of the inner sanctuary, which was overlaid with gold.
So he overlaid the whole interior with gold. He also overlaid with gold the altar that belonged to the inner sanctuary.
In the inner sanctuary he made a pair of cherubim of olive wood, each ten cubits high.
One wing of the first cherub was five cubits long, and the other wing five cubits--ten cubits from wing tip to wing tip.
The second cherub also measured ten cubits, for the two cherubim were identical in size and shape.
The height of each cherub was ten cubits.
He placed the cherubim inside the innermost room of the temple, with their wings spread out. The wing of one cherub touched one wall, while the wing of the other touched the other wall, and their wings touched each other in the middle of the room.
He overlaid the cherubim with gold.
On the walls all around the temple, in both the inner and outer rooms, he carved cherubim, palm trees and open flowers.
He also covered the floors of both the inner and outer rooms of the temple with gold.
For the entrance of the inner sanctuary he made doors of olive wood with five-sided jambs.
And on the two olive wood doors he carved cherubim, palm trees and open flowers, and overlaid the cherubim and palm trees with beaten gold.
In the same way he made four-sided jambs of olive wood for the entrance to the main hall.
He also made two pine doors, each having two leaves that turned in sockets.
He carved cherubim, palm trees and open flowers on them and overlaid them with gold hammered evenly over the carvings.
And he built the inner courtyard of three courses of dressed stone and one course of trimmed cedar beams.
The foundation of the temple of the LORD was laid in the fourth year, in the month of Ziv.
In the eleventh year in the month of Bul, the eighth month, the temple was finished in all its details according to its specifications. He had spent seven years building it.
Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry.
But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband.
The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband.
The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife.
Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
I say this as a concession, not as a command.
I wish that all men were as I am. But each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.
Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am.
But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband.
But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.
To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her.
And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him.
For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.
But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.
How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?
Nevertheless, each one should retain the place in life that the Lord assigned to him and to which God has called him. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches.
Was a man already circumcised when he was called? He should not become uncircumcised. Was a man uncircumcised when he was called? He should not be circumcised.
Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God's commands is what counts.
Each one should remain in the situation which he was in when God called him.
Were you a slave when you were called? Don't let it trouble you--although if you can gain your freedom, do so.
For he who was a slave when he was called by the Lord is the Lord's freedman; similarly, he who was a free man when he was called is Christ's slave.
You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.
Brothers, each man, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation God called him to.
Now about virgins: I have no command from the Lord, but I give a judgment as one who by the Lord's mercy is trustworthy.
Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for you to remain as you are.
Are you married? Do not seek a divorce. Are you unmarried? Do not look for a wife.
But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.
What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none;
those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep;
those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.
I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord's affairs--how he can please the Lord.
But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world--how he can please his wife--
and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord's affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world--how she can please her husband.
I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.
If anyone thinks he is acting improperly toward the virgin he is engaged to, and if she is getting along in years and he feels he ought to marry, he should do as he wants. He is not sinning. They should get married.
But the man who has settled the matter in his own mind, who is under no compulsion but has control over his own will, and who has made up his mind not to marry the virgin--this man also does the right thing.
So then, he who marries the virgin does right, but he who does not marry her does even better.
A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord.
In my judgment, she is happier if she stays as she is--and I think that I too have the Spirit of God.