Daniel Agee

1st Kings 6:15-38: Lessons about believers in God from the interior design Solomon’s Temple

Daniel AgeeJust as the design of the walls and foundation of the temple Solomon built for God showed a pattern for the proper “foundation” for believers in God (1st Kings 6:1-14), the design of the interior of the temple provides a pattern for the character of believers.

The outer walls towered above the sanctuary and the Holy of Holies, also called the Most Holy Place. The Holy of Holies and the Sanctuary, the most important part of the temple complex was set inside the walls. The tabernacle Moses oversaw had a Holy of Holies section that was 10 cubits square, while Solomon’s Holy of Holies was 20 cubits square and covered with a roof. Solomon’s Holy of Holies was double the size of the Holy of Holies as designed for Moses’ tabernacle.

The sanctuary Solomon had built was 20 cubits wide by 40 cubits deep. The walls were made of cedar and carvings of palm trees, the floor was made from cypress but the entrance to the Sanctuary was also made with cypress. 

Psalm 92:12-13 gives us some details of how certain woods symbolize certain kinds of people, “The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree, He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Planted in the house of the LORD, They will flourish in the courts of our God.”

  • Cedar = Righteous, upright, royal
  • Palm = Righteous, persevering
  • Cypress = Hardness, enduring
  • Olive wood = oil, light, seers (i.e., prophets, who bring forth the light of God’s words)
  • Cherub = Angel/seer (כְּרוּב keruv, Strong’s lexicon No. H3742; in Akkadian and Arabic it means to pray, intercede)
  • Almond blossoms on decorations and almond knobs = first to blossom, last to produce fruit. So, it represents the first to open its eyes to see the light (from the prophets). Once you see, you produce fruit, 
  • Gold = Covers imperfections and scars. God owns the gold, He can give it and He can take it away. 

The stones represent believers. Solomon covers these stones, which were built outside God’s land, first with wood and then gold. 

The Bible doesn’t talk about cypress very much. It’s a very small, wide tree. It has a lot of natural oil and very fragrant. The wood is very hard and enduring and works well for use on a floor. It represents the priesthood. The cypress doors leading into the Sanctuary are held up by an olive wood frame. Your concerns enter the sanctuary through the priest and the priest stands on the work of the priests who came before him. Those priests are held up by God’s prophet’s. 

The door to the Holy of Holies is made of olive wood with an olive wood frame. Only the High Priest can go through the door into the Holy of Holies and he is both a priest and prophet. We see this in the example of Samuel and Caiaphas. 

The Bible discusses the symbolism of olive wood and olive wood frequently. The olive oil is used in the Temple for fueling the menorah, to create light, to help people see. 

The cherubs built in the Holy of Holies were made of olive wood overlaid with gold. They also represent prophets or seers. 

The almond tree is the first tree to blossom but the last to produce fruit. The almond sees the light from the prophets and use that light to make fruit. 

The woods and materials Solomon used were not arbitrary, they were chosen very carefully to make a point.

Speaker: Daniel Agee. Summary: Tammy.


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