1 Kings 6
New English Translation
The Building of the Temple
6 In the four hundred and eightieth year after the Israelites left Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, during the month Ziv[a] (the second month), he began building the Lord’s temple. 2 The temple King Solomon built for the Lord was 90 feet[b] long, 30 feet[c] wide, and 45 feet[d] high. 3 The porch in front of the main hall of the temple was 30 feet[e] long, corresponding to the width of the temple. It was 15 feet[f] wide, extending out from the front of the temple. 4 He made framed windows for the temple. 5 He built an extension all around the walls of the temple’s main hall and Holy Place and constructed side rooms in it.[g] 6 The bottom floor of the extension was 7½ feet[h] wide, the middle floor 9 feet[i] wide, and the third floor 10½ feet[j] wide. He made ledges[k] on the temple’s outer walls so the beams would not have to be inserted into the walls.[l] 7 As the temple was being built, only stones shaped at the quarry[m] were used; the sound of hammers, pickaxes, or any other iron tool was not heard at the temple while it was being built. 8 The entrance to the bottom[n] level of side rooms was on the south side of the temple; stairs went up[o] to the middle floor and then on up to the third[p] floor. 9 He finished building the temple[q] and covered it[r] with rafters[s] and boards made of cedar.[t] 10 He built an extension all around the temple; it was 7½ feet high[u] and it was attached to the temple by cedar beams.
11 [v] The Lord’s message came to Solomon: 12 “As for this temple you are building, if you follow[w] my rules, observe[x] my regulations, and obey all my commandments,[y] I will fulfill through you the promise I made to your father David.[z] 13 I will live among the Israelites and will not abandon my people Israel.”
14 So Solomon finished building the temple.[aa] 15 He constructed the walls inside the temple with cedar planks; he paneled the inside with wood from the floor of the temple to the rafters[ab] of the ceiling. He covered the temple floor with boards made from the wood of evergreens. 16 He built a wall 30 feet in from the rear of the temple as a partition for an inner sanctuary that would be the Most Holy Place.[ac] He paneled the wall with cedar planks from the floor to the rafters.[ad] 17 The main hall in front of the inner sanctuary was 60 feet long.[ae] 18 The inside of the temple was all cedar and was adorned with carvings of round ornaments and of flowers in bloom. Everything was cedar; no stones were visible.[af]
19 He prepared the inner sanctuary inside the temple so that the ark of the covenant of the Lord could be placed there. 20 The inner sanctuary was 30 feet[ag] long, 30 feet wide, and 30 feet high. He plated it with gold,[ah] as well as the cedar altar.[ai] 21 Solomon plated the inside of the temple with gold.[aj] He hung golden chains in front of the inner sanctuary and plated the inner sanctuary[ak] with gold. 22 He plated the entire inside of the temple with gold, as well as the altar inside the inner sanctuary.[al]
23 In the inner sanctuary he made two cherubim of olive wood; each stood 15 feet[am] high. 24 Each of the first cherub’s wings was 7½ feet long; its entire wingspan was 15 feet.[an] 25 The second cherub also had a wingspan of 15 feet; it was identical to the first in measurements and shape.[ao] 26 Each cherub stood 15 feet high.[ap] 27 He put the cherubim in the inner sanctuary of the temple.[aq] Their wings were spread out. One of the first cherub’s wings touched one wall and one of the other cherub’s wings touched the opposite wall. The first cherub’s other wing touched the second cherub’s other wing in the middle of the room.[ar] 28 He plated the cherubim with gold.
29 On all the walls around the temple, inside and out,[as] he carved[at] cherubim, palm trees, and flowers in bloom. 30 He plated the floor of the temple with gold, inside and out.[au] 31 He made doors of olive wood at the entrance to the inner sanctuary; the pillar on each doorpost was five-sided.[av] 32 On the two doors made of olive wood he carved[aw] cherubim, palm trees, and flowers in bloom, and he plated them with gold.[ax] He plated the cherubim and the palm trees with hammered gold.[ay] 33 In the same way he made doorposts of olive wood for the entrance to the main hall, only with four-sided pillars.[az] 34 He also made[ba] two doors out of wood from evergreens; each door had two folding leaves.[bb] 35 He carved cherubim, palm trees, and flowers in bloom and plated them with gold, leveled out over the carvings. 36 He built the inner courtyard with three rows of chiseled stones and a row of cedar beams.
37 In the month of Ziv[bc] in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign[bd] the foundation was laid for the Lord’s temple. 38 In the eleventh year, in the month of Bul[be] (the eighth month) the temple was completed in accordance with all its specifications and blueprints. It took seven years to build.[bf]
- 1 Kings 6:1 sn During the month Ziv. This would be April-May, 966 b.c. by modern reckoning.
- 1 Kings 6:2 tn Heb “60 cubits.” A cubit was a unit of measure roughly equivalent to 18 inches or 45 cm. Measurements in vv. 2-10 have been converted to feet in the translation for clarity.
- 1 Kings 6:2 tn Heb “20 [cubits].”
- 1 Kings 6:2 tn Heb “30 cubits.”
- 1 Kings 6:3 tn Heb “20 cubits.”
- 1 Kings 6:3 tn Heb “10 cubits.”
- 1 Kings 6:5 tn Heb “and he built on the wall of the temple an extension all around, the walls of the temple all around, for the main hall and for the holy place, and he made side rooms all around.”
- 1 Kings 6:6 tn Heb “five cubits.”
- 1 Kings 6:6 tn Heb “six cubits.”
- 1 Kings 6:6 tn Heb “7 cubits.”
- 1 Kings 6:6 tn Or “offsets” (ASV, NAB, NASB, NRSV); NIV “offset ledges.”
- 1 Kings 6:6 tn Heb “so that [the beams] would not have a hold in the walls of the temple.”
- 1 Kings 6:7 tn Heb “finished stone of the quarry,” i.e., stones chiseled and shaped at the time they were taken out of the quarry.
- 1 Kings 6:8 tc The Hebrew text has “middle,” but the remainder of the verse suggests this is an error.
- 1 Kings 6:8 tn Heb “by stairs they went up.” The word translated “stairs” occurs only here. Other options are “trapdoors” or “ladders.”
- 1 Kings 6:8 tc The translation reads with a few medieval Hebrew mss, the Syriac Peshitta, and Vulgate הַשְּׁלִשִׁית (hashelishit, “the third”) rather than MT הַשְּׁלִשִׁים (hashelishim, “the thirty”).
- 1 Kings 6:9 tn Heb “ built the house and completed it.”
- 1 Kings 6:9 tn Heb “the house.”
- 1 Kings 6:9 tn The word occurs only here; the precise meaning is uncertain.
- 1 Kings 6:9 tn Heb “and rows with cedar wood.”
- 1 Kings 6:10 tn Heb “5 cubits.” This must refer to the height of each floor or room.
- 1 Kings 6:11 tc The LXX lacks vv. 11-14.
- 1 Kings 6:12 tn Heb “walk in.”
- 1 Kings 6:12 tn Heb “do.”
- 1 Kings 6:12 tn Heb “and keep all my commandments by walking in them.”
- 1 Kings 6:12 tn Heb “I will establish my word with you which I spoke to David your father.”
- 1 Kings 6:14 tn Heb “ built the house and completed it.”
- 1 Kings 6:15 tc The MT reads קִירוֹת (qirot, “walls”), but this should be emended to קוֹרוֹת (qorot, “rafters”). See BDB 900 s.v. קוֹרָה.
- 1 Kings 6:16 tn Heb “He built 20 cubits from the rear areas of the temple with cedar planks from the floor to the walls, and he built it on the inside for an inner sanctuary, for a holy place of holy places.”
- 1 Kings 6:16 tc The MT reads קִירוֹת (qirot, “walls”), but this should be emended to קוֹרוֹת (qorot, “rafters”). See BDB 900 s.v. קוֹרָה.
- 1 Kings 6:17 tn Heb “and the house was 40 cubits, that is, the main hall before it.”
- 1 Kings 6:18 tn Heb “Cedar was inside the temple, carvings of gourds (i.e., gourd-shaped ornaments) and opened flowers; the whole was cedar, no stone was seen.”
- 1 Kings 6:20 tn Heb “20 cubits” (this measurement occurs three times in this verse).
- 1 Kings 6:20 tn Heb “with plated gold” (or perhaps, “with pure gold”).
- 1 Kings 6:20 tn Heb “he plated [the] altar of cedar.”
- 1 Kings 6:21 tn Heb “with plated gold” (or perhaps, “with pure gold”).
- 1 Kings 6:21 tn Heb “it.”
- 1 Kings 6:22 tn Heb “all the temple he plated with gold until all the temple was finished; and the whole altar which was in the inner sanctuary he plated with gold.”
- 1 Kings 6:23 tn Heb “10 cubits” (a cubit was a unit of measure roughly equivalent to 18 inches or 45 cm).
- 1 Kings 6:24 tn Heb “The first wing of the [one] cherub was 5 cubits, and the second wing of the cherub was 5 cubits, 10 cubits from the tips of his wings to the tips of his wings.”
- 1 Kings 6:25 tn Heb “and the second cherub was 10 cubits, the two cherubim had one measurement and one shape.”
- 1 Kings 6:26 tn Heb “the height of the first cherub was 10 cubits; and so was the second cherub.”
- 1 Kings 6:27 tn Heb “in the midst of the inner house,” i.e., in the inner sanctuary.
- 1 Kings 6:27 tn Heb “and their wings were in the middle of the room, touching wing to wing.”
- 1 Kings 6:29 sn Inside and out probably refers to the inner and outer rooms within the building.
- 1 Kings 6:29 tn Heb “carved engravings of carvings.”
- 1 Kings 6:30 sn Inside and out probably refers to the inner and outer rooms within the building.
- 1 Kings 6:31 tn Heb “the pillar, doorposts, a fifth part” (the precise meaning of this description is uncertain).
- 1 Kings 6:32 tn Heb “carved carvings of.”
- 1 Kings 6:32 tn Heb “he plated [with] gold” (the precise object is not stated).
- 1 Kings 6:32 tn Heb “and he hammered out the gold on the cherubim and the palm trees.”
- 1 Kings 6:33 tn Heb “and so he did at the entrance of the main hall, doorposts of olive wood, from a fourth.”
- 1 Kings 6:34 tn The words “he also made” are added for stylistic reasons.
- 1 Kings 6:34 tc Heb “two of the leaves of the first door were folding, and two of the leaves of the second door were folding.” In the second half of the description, the MT has קְלָעִים (qelaʿim, “curtains”), but this probably should be emended to צְלָעִים (tselaʿim, “leaves”), which appears in the first half of the statement. One Hebrew ms, the LXX, Syriac, and Vulgate support צְלָעִים (tselaʿim, “leaves”).
- 1 Kings 6:37 sn In the month of Ziv. This would be April-May, 966 b.c. by modern reckoning.
- 1 Kings 6:37 tn The words “of Solomon’s reign” are added for clarification. See v. 1.
- 1 Kings 6:38 sn In the month Bul. This would be October-November 959 b.c. in modern reckoning.
- 1 Kings 6:38 tn Heb “he built it in seven years.”