Daniel Agee

1st Kings 6:1-14: Design of Solomon’s temple mirrors foundation for believers

Daniel AgeeThe temple of King Shlomo (Solomon) is the prototype of the temple in Ezekiel and the temple apostle Yokhanan (John) sees in Revelation as well. These components were not put in by Shlomo’s own choice. They were designed and selected by God ahead of time because they mean something to God. In a sense, the Temple is us. Each physical component has a spiritual component.

Passages: 1st Kings 6:1–14; 2nd Chr. 4:1–22; Romans 11

Design of Solomon's temple according to 1st Kings 6:1-14
A drawing of the design of Solomon’s temple as seen from the east, showing the three-story colonnade around the Holy Place and Most Holly Place. (click to enlarge)

We read that Shlomo married the daughter of Pharaoh. This marriage was not just a marriage of political alliance to discourage war but also an economic and trade alliance. From the time of Moses to Shlomo’s time that Egyptians have the gift of architecture and engineering that was unique in the known world. 

It was 480 years from the time the children of Israel left Egypt and built the tabernacle in the wilderness to when Shlomo started building the first temple. That temple stood for about 480 years, even including the 70 years that it laid desolate during the time of the Babylonian exile. There’s another 420 year pattern from the rebuilding of Shlomo’s temple to the final destruction in A.D. 70. 

We are told that Shlomo started building the temple in the fourth year and second month of his reign. 

The start of Shlomo’s reign is not spelled out in black and white, but David’s instructions for his inauguration give profound clues. Certain elements are repeated three times in the story: the mule, the shofar and the trip up to Jerusalem on a donkey and the trip to the throne. These elements are a part of the holiday of יוֹם תְּרוּעָה Yom Teruah, the Feast of Trumpets, which implies that Shlomo’s coronation ceremony was designed to bring to mind Yom Teruah. That imagery was purposeful. 

Shlomo built the temple with stones that were chiseled and carved outside the temple area, mostly in Lebanon. They were imported into Israel and brought to the temple. He used non-Israelites for most of the work of the temple. The foreigners built the temple but didn’t use the temple or worship there. It was built for Israel. 

The foundational stones used to level the mountain for the Temple were from Jerusalem area. 

Shlomo expanded the footprint of the temple beyond the Tabernacle. 

First of all, he built it three stories tall, much taller than the Tabernacle. It was about 60 feet tall. 

He needed the Temple to be taller than the Tabernacle, because his goal was that a much larger community would enter and be a part of this community. 

The tabernacle was only made for Levites but Shlomo expanded it so that all of Israel and even non-Israelites could enter. Just as Messiah made room for everyone. That’s why he needed much more square footage to accommodate the increased crowd. 

Shlomo’s design was brilliant. Even story was built independently of the other but they all stand on the exact same foundation. Symbolically, each believer is also independent. We all stand on the foundation of the prophets and the apostles but the exercise of our faith is on an individual level. The faith or lack of faith of a particular fore-bearer has no effect on our relationship with God. 

People who went to the Temple went there for a specific purpose: to meet with God. People have no reason to believe there if God is not there. 

God tells Shlomo that if he obeys God, He will come to the Temple and meet with the people. The people were equally bound to follow all the same Torah that Shlomo was required to follow. Shlomo could not stand on David’s righteousness. He has to stand on the foundation of the patriarchs and the prophets who came before him. 

Seven years later, when the Temple was complete, God showed up and filled the Temple with His presence, which gave the people a reason to come to the Temple. 

Speaker: Daniel Agee. Summary: Tammy.


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