1 Kings 6-7
Contemporary English Version
The Outside of the Temple Is Completed
6 Solomon’s workers started building the temple during Ziv,[a] the second month of the year. It had been four years since Solomon became king of Israel, and four hundred eighty years since the people of Israel left Egypt.
2 The inside of the Lord’s temple was ninety feet long, thirty feet wide, and forty-five feet high. 3 A fifteen-foot porch went all the way across the front of the temple. 4 The windows were narrow on the outside but wide on the inside.
5-6 Along the sides and back of the temple, there were three levels of storage rooms. The rooms on the bottom level were seven and a half feet wide, the rooms on the middle level were nine feet wide, and those on the top level were ten and a half feet wide. There were ledges on the outside of the temple that supported the beams of the storage rooms, so that nothing was built into the temple walls.
7 Solomon did not want the noise of hammers and axes to be heard at the place where the temple was being built. So he had the workers shape the blocks of stone at the quarry.
8 The entrance to the bottom storage rooms was on the south side of the building, and stairs to the other rooms were also there. 9 The roof of the temple was made out of beams and cedar boards.
The workers finished building the outside of the temple. 10 Storage rooms seven and a half feet high were all around the temple, and they were attached to the temple by cedar beams.
11 The Lord told Solomon:
12-13 If you obey my commands and do what I say, I will keep the promise I made to your father David. I will live among my people Israel in this temple you are building, and I will not desert them.
14 So Solomon’s workers finished building the temple.
The Inside of the Temple Is Furnished
15 The floor of the temple was made out of pine, and the walls were lined with cedar from floor to ceiling.[b]
16 The most holy place was in the back of the temple, and it was thirty feet square. Cedar boards standing from floor to ceiling[c] separated it from the rest of the temple. 17 The temple’s main room was sixty feet long, and it was in front of the most holy place.
18 The inside walls were lined with cedar to hide the stones, and the cedar was decorated with carvings of gourds and flowers.
19 The sacred chest was kept in the most holy place. 20-22 This room was thirty feet long, thirty feet wide, and thirty feet high, and it was lined with pure gold. There were also gold chains across the front of the most holy place. The inside of the temple, as well as the cedar altar in the most holy place, was covered with gold.
23 Solomon had two statues of winged creatures[d] made from olive wood to put in the most holy place. Each creature was fifteen feet tall 24-26 and fifteen feet across. They had two wings, and the wings were seven and a half feet long. 27 Solomon put them next to each other in the most holy place. Their wings were spread out and reached across the room. 28 The creatures were also covered with gold.
29 The walls of the two rooms were decorated with carvings of palm trees, flowers, and winged creatures. 30 Even the floor was covered with gold.
31-32 The two doors to the most holy place were made out of olive wood and were decorated with carvings of palm trees, flowers, and winged creatures. The doors and the carvings were covered with gold. The door frame came to a point at the top.
33-34 The two doors to the main room of the temple were made out of pine, and each one had two sections[e] so they could fold open. The door frame was shaped like a rectangle and was made out of olive wood. 35 The doors were covered with gold and were decorated with carvings of palm trees, flowers, and winged creatures.
36 The inner courtyard of the temple had walls made out of three layers of cut stones with one layer of cedar beams.
37 Work began on the temple during Ziv,[f] the second month of the year, four years after Solomon became king of Israel. 38 Seven years later the workers finished building it during Bul,[g] the eighth month of the year. It was built exactly as it had been planned.
Solomon’s Palace Is Built
7 Solomon’s palace took thirteen years to build.
2-3 Forest Hall was the largest room in the palace. It was one hundred fifty feet long, seventy-five feet wide, and forty-five feet high, and was lined with cedar from Lebanon. It had four rows of cedar pillars, fifteen in a row, and they held up forty-five cedar beams. The ceiling was covered with cedar. 4 Three rows of windows on each side faced each other, 5 and there were three doors on each side near the front of the hall.
6 Pillar Hall was seventy-five feet long and forty-five feet wide. A covered porch supported by pillars went all the way across the front of the hall.
7 Solomon’s throne was in Justice Hall, where he judged cases. This hall was completely lined with cedar.
8 The section of the palace where Solomon lived was behind Justice Hall and looked exactly like it. He had a similar place built for his wife, the daughter of the king of Egypt.
9 From the foundation all the way to the top, these buildings and the courtyard were made out of the best stones[h] carefully cut to size, then smoothed on every side with saws. 10 The foundation stones were huge, good stones—some of them fifteen feet long and others twelve feet long. 11 The cedar beams and other stones that had been cut to size were on top of these foundation stones. 12 The walls around the palace courtyard were made out of three layers of cut stones with one layer of cedar beams, just like the front porch and the inner courtyard of the temple.
Hiram Makes the Bronze Furnishings
13-14 Hiram was a skilled bronze worker from the city of Tyre.[i] His father was now dead, but he also had been a bronze worker from Tyre, and his mother was from the tribe of Naphtali.
King Solomon asked Hiram to come to Jerusalem and make the bronze furnishings to use for worship in the Lord’s temple, and he agreed to do it.
15 Hiram made two bronze columns twenty-seven feet tall and about six feet across. 16 For the top of each column, he also made a bronze cap seven and a half feet high. 17 The caps were decorated with seven rows of designs that looked like chains,[j] 18 with two rows of designs that looked like pomegranates.[k]
19 The caps for the columns of the porch were six feet high and were shaped like lilies.[l]
20 The chain designs on the caps were right above the rounded tops of the two columns, and there were two hundred pomegranates in rows around each cap. 21 Hiram placed the two columns on each side of the main door of the temple. The column on the south side was called Jachin,[m] and the one on the north was called Boaz.[n]
22 The lily-shaped caps were on top of the columns.
This completed the work on the columns.
23 Hiram also made a large bowl called the Sea. It was seven and a half feet deep, about fifteen feet across, and forty-five feet around. 24 Two rows of bronze gourds were around the outer edge of the bowl, ten gourds to every eighteen inches. 25 The bowl itself sat on top of twelve bronze bulls with three bulls facing outward in each of four directions. 26 The sides of the bowl were four inches thick, and its rim was like a cup that curved outward like flower petals. The bowl held about eleven thousand gallons.
27 Hiram made ten movable bronze stands, each one four and a half feet high, six feet long, and six feet wide. 28-29 The sides were made with panels attached to frames decorated with flower designs. The panels themselves were decorated with figures of lions, bulls, and winged creatures. 30-31 Each stand had four bronze wheels and axles and a round frame twenty-seven inches across, held up by four supports eighteen inches high. A small bowl rested in the frame. The supports were decorated with flower designs, and the frame with carvings.
The side panels of the stands were square, 32 and the wheels and axles were underneath them. The wheels were about twenty-seven inches high 33 and looked like chariot wheels. The axles, rims, spokes, and hubs were made out of bronze.
34-35 Around the top of each stand was a nine-inch strip, and there were four braces[o] attached to the corners of each stand. The panels and the supports were attached to the stands, 36 and the stands were decorated with flower designs and figures of lions, palm trees, and winged creatures. 37 Hiram made the ten bronze stands from the same mold, so they were exactly the same size and shape.
38 Hiram also made ten small bronze bowls, one for each stand. The bowls were six feet across and could hold about two hundred thirty gallons.
39 He put five stands on the south side of the temple, five stands on the north side, and the large bowl at the southeast corner of the temple.
40 Hiram made pans for hot ashes, and also shovels and sprinkling bowls.
A List of Everything inside the Temple
This is a list of the bronze items that Hiram made for the Lord’s temple: 41 two columns; two bowl-shaped caps for the tops of the columns; two chain designs on the caps; 42 four hundred pomegranates[p] for the chain designs; 43 ten movable stands; ten small bowls for the stands; 44 a large bowl; twelve bulls that held up the bowl; 45 pans for hot ashes, and also shovels and sprinkling bowls.
Hiram made these bronze things for Solomon 46 near the Jordan River between Succoth and Zarethan by pouring melted bronze into clay molds.
47 There were so many bronze things that Solomon never bothered to weigh them, and no one ever knew how much bronze was used.
48 Solomon gave orders to make the following temple furnishings out of gold: the altar; the table that held the sacred loaves of bread;[q] 49 ten lampstands that went in front of the most holy place; flower designs; lamps and tongs; 50 cups, lamp snuffers, and small sprinkling bowls; dishes for incense; fire pans; and the hinges for the doors to the most holy place and the main room of the temple.
51 After the Lord’s temple was finished, Solomon put into its storage rooms everything that his father David had dedicated to the Lord, including the gold and the silver.
- 6.1 Ziv: The second month of the Hebrew calendar, from about mid-April to mid-May.
- 6.15 from floor to ceiling: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
- 6.16 standing. . . ceiling: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
- 6.23 statues of winged creatures: These were symbols of the Lord’s throne on earth (see Exodus 25.18-22).
- 6.33,34 two sections: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
- 6.37 Ziv: See the note at 6.1.
- 6.38 Bul: The eighth month of the Hebrew calendar, from about mid-October to mid-November.
- 7.9 From. . . best stones: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
- 7.13,14 Hiram. . . city of Tyre: This is not the same person as “King Hiram of Tyre” (see 5.1).
- 7.17 seven rows. . . chains: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
- 7.18 pomegranates: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 18. A pomegranate is a bright red fruit that looks like an apple. In ancient times, it was a symbol of life.
- 7.19 lilies: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 19.
- 7.21 Jachin: Or “He makes secure.”
- 7.21 Boaz: Or “He is strong.”
- 7.34,35 braces: Or “handles.”
- 7.42 pomegranates: See the note at 7.18.
- 7.48 sacred loaves of bread: This bread was offered to the Lord and was a symbol of the Lord’s presence in the temple. It was put out on a special table, and was replaced with fresh bread each week (see Leviticus 24.5-9).