1 Kings 6:20

20 The inner sanctuary[a] was twenty cubits long, twenty cubits wide, and twenty cubits high, and he overlaid it with pure gold. He also overlaid[b] an altar of cedar.

1 Kings 6:20 Meaning and Commentary

1 Kings 6:20

And the oracle in the forepart
Which stood in the forepart of the temple, before a man's face as he entered into it, and went on; or the forepart of the holy of holies, next to the holy place, was of the dimensions as follows, when the back part of it might be higher at least, and be equal to the holy place, even thirty feet; the forepart being lower, and left open to let in the light of the candlesticks, and the smoke of the incense, out of the holy place: this

[was] twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in breadth, and twenty
cubits in the height thereof:
and was a perfect square, and as the most holy place may be an emblem of the church triumphant, it may denote the perfection of its heavenly state; so the new Jerusalem is a foursquare, ( Revelation 21:16 ) ;

and he overlaid it with pure gold;
make it rich, glorious, and magnificent, and may denote the glory of the heavenly state, ( Revelation 21:21 ) ; and so Florus F26, the Roman historian, calls it the golden heaven, as it were, into which Pompey went, and saw the great secret of the Jewish nation, the ark:

and [so] covered the altar [which was of] cedar;
the altar of incense, which is here mentioned, because it was near the most holy place, ( 1 Kings 6:22 ) ; this altar by Moses was made of shittim wood, but Solomon's was of cedar it seems; unless, as the words will bear to be rendered, "he covered the altar with cedar" F1; though made of shittim wood, it had a covering of cedar over it; or if of stone, such a covering was on it, that it might better receive the gold which was afterwards put upon it.


F26 De Gest. Roman. l. 3. c. 5.
F1 (zra Puy) "operuit cedro", Montanus.

1 Kings 6:20 In-Context

18 The cedar within the house was carved in the form of gourds and open flowers. All was cedar; no stone was seen.
19 The inner sanctuary he prepared in the innermost part of the house, to set there the ark of the covenant of the LORD.
20 The inner sanctuary was twenty cubits long, twenty cubits wide, and twenty cubits high, and he overlaid it with pure gold. He also overlaid an altar of cedar.
21 And Solomon overlaid the inside of the house with pure gold, and he drew chains of gold across, in front of the inner sanctuary, and overlaid it with gold.
22 And he overlaid the whole house with gold, until all the house was finished. Also the whole altar that belonged to the inner sanctuary he overlaid with gold.

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Vulgate; Hebrew and before the inner sanctuary
  • [b]. Septuagint made
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.