In the fourth year of Solomon's rule over Israel he built the temple of Jehovah. The temple was ninety feet long, thirty feet wide, and forty-five feet high. The porch before the large room of the temple was thirty feet wide and fifteen feet deep. Solomon made windows for the temple with casings, broad on the inside and narrow on the outside.
The temple was built with stone which had been made ready at the quarry; neither hammer nor chisel nor any iron tool was heard while the temple was building. Against the wall of the temple on the outside Solomon built wings, both around the larger room and the inner room, and made side-chambers around the temple.
The entrance to the lower side-chambers was on the south side of the temple. Winding stairs led to the second floor, and from the second to the third. Solomon built the wings against the sides of the temple, each seven and a half feet high; and they were joined to the temple with timbers of cedar.
He covered the walls of the temple on the inside with boards of cedar from the floor of the temple to the rafters: and he covered the floor of the temple with boards of cypress.
He also made a room thirty feet square in the back part of the temple with boards of cedar reaching from the floor to the rafters. He built it as an inner room, even as the most holy place. The temple, that is the large room in front of the inner room, was sixty feet long. And there was cedar inside the temple with carving in the form of gourds and open flowers. All was cedar, no stone was seen. Solomon prepared the inner room as a place for the ark.
In the inner room Solomon made two winged bulls of olive wood. The height of each was fifteen feet. Each of their wings measured seven and a half feet across, fifteen feet from the end of one wing to the end of the other. He set these up in the inner room of the temple; and their wings were stretched out so that the wing of the one touched the one wall, while the wing of the other touched the other wall, and their wings touched each other in the middle of the temple; and he covered them with gold.
Then Solomon gathered in Jerusalem the leaders of Israel to bring up the ark of Jehovah out of Zion, the City of David, at the time of the autumn festival in September. When all the leaders of Israel had come, the priests took up the ark and the tent of meeting and all the sacred vessels that were in the tent. So the priests brought in the ark of Jehovah to its place in the inner room of the temple under the wings of the winged bulls. There was nothing in the ark except the two tables of stone which Moses put there at Horeb. And when the priests came out from the inner room, the cloud filled the temple of Jehovah, so that the priests could not stand and perform their service on account of the cloud, for the glory of Jehovah filled his temple.
Then Solomon said:
|Jehovah has set the sun in the heavens,
But has said that he will dwell in thick darkness.
So I have built thee a temple as a lofty dwelling,
A place for thee to abide in forever.|
As Solomon stood before the altar of Jehovah in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, he spread out his hands toward heaven and said, |O Jehovah, the God of Israel, there is no God like thee in heaven above or on earth beneath, who keepest thy solemn agreement and showest kindness to thy servants who serve thee whole-heartedly, who hast kept with thy servant David my father the promise that thou didst make to him.
|But will God actually dwell on earth? Indeed heaven and the highest heaven cannot hold thee; how much less this temple that I have built!|