Christian Churches of God
The Temple Solomon Built
(Edition 1.0 20070718-20070718)
We have seen from the Tabernacle in the Wilderness and the Garments of the High Priest that God the Father had set up a plan for the priesthood and His dwelling places on the Earth. In this lesson we will review the basics of the furniture in the Tabernacle in the Wilderness and see how God chose to make a permanent place for the Ark of the Covenant to reside at for a period of time in Israel’s history.
The Temple Solomon Built
We have seen from The Tabernacle in the Wilderness (No. CB42) that God the Father had set up a plan for the priesthood and His dwelling places on the Earth.
David desires to build the Temple
1Chronicles 28:2-3 Then David the king stood up upon his feet, and said, Hear me, my brethren, and my people: As for me, I had in mine heart to build an house of rest for the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and for the footstool of our God, and had made ready for the building: 3 But God said unto me, Thou shalt not build an house for my name, because thou hast been a man of war, and hast shed blood. (KJV)
God told David (1Chr. 28:6-7) that Solomon would build God’s House and the kingdom would be established forever.
1Chronicles 28:19-20 "All this," said David, "the LORD made me understand in writing by His hand upon me, all the details of this pattern." 20 Then David said to his son Solomon, “Be strong and courageous, and act; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you nor forsake you until all the work for the service of the house of the LORD is finished
Note that on two occasions David instructed Solomon to be courageous and act (cf. 1Chr. 28:10 and verse 20 above).
"Consider now, for the LORD has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be courageous and act." (1Chr. 28:10)
Solomon’s prayer for wisdom
When Solomon found out he was replacing his father David as king, he asked God for the wisdom and knowledge to rule His people. God gave him wisdom and also blessed him with physical wealth (2Chr. 1:8ff.). Here we see Solomon obeying the First and Second Great Commandments by asking the One True God for help in serving and caring for God’s people correctly.
Materials for the Temple Solomon built
David stated in 1Chronicles 29:2-3:
“Now with all my ability I have provided for the house of my God the gold for the things of gold, and silver for the things of silver,…” “and moreover, in my delight in the house of my God, the treasure I have of gold and silver, I give to the house of my God, over and above all that I have already provided for the holy temple..”
Here we see David richly providing for the building materials of the Temple. So too should it be with us. We are now the naos of the Temple; we are to make offerings continually and work non-stop through God’s Holy Spirit to refine and purify our minds and bodies. We should strive to be as God’s words that are refined and made perfect.
Psalm 12:6 The words of the Lord are pure words; as silver tried in a furnace on the earth refined seven times.
Gold does not tarnish and is a malleable or bendable metal. So too are we to be pure, refined, bendable and teachable.
God does not want sacrifices now; He desires a poor, broken and contrite heart, more than sacrifice. We can offer “physical” sacrifices by giving money for the preaching of the Gospel, but our offerings can also be in the form of writing study papers, doing translations, and of course fasting and praying for the Work.
Psalm 51:17 The sacrifices of God [are] a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
From David’s example, the rulers, commanders, etc. all offered willingly (1Chr. 29:6,9). Just as with the Tabernacle, the people loved to offer gifts that could be used in making the place God resides in on earth. God loves a cheerful giver.
2Chronicles 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, [so let him give]; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
From 1Chronicles 29:21, we see that 1,000 bulls, 1,000 rams and 1,000 male lambs were offered, plus their drink offerings. Here we see the three different lots of 1,000 giving us a total of 3,000. The number 3,000 is a significant scriptural number, as 3,000 people were baptised on Pentecost in 30 CE (Acts 2:41).
Location of the Temple
2Chronicles 3:1 tells us Solomon began to build the House of the Lord in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah. This is where the Angel of the Presence appeared to his father David, and the place where David prepared an altar on the threshing floor of Araunah, or Ornan the Jebusite.
The pestilence was stopped short of the threshing floor of Araunah who, as a king, gave the floor to David. However, David refused the gift and paid 50 shekels of silver for it. The altar was built there and the plague was stayed.
1Chronicles 21:25 So David gave Ornan for the place six hundred shekels of gold by weight.
This contradiction of cost can only be resolved by us assuming that the original area was purchased for 50 shekels and the surrounds were purchased for 600 shekels of gold and the area was enlarged for the construction of the Temple.
The note in the NASV states: “This is where David sacrificed (1Chr. 21:18-30) and was the probable site where Abraham attempted to offer Isaac (Gen. 22:2ff.)”. We see the location had a very strong tie to the sacrifices being offered.
Plans and preparation for building the Temple and system of worship
God gave the plans for the Temple to David (1Chr. 28:19) and David gave them to Solomon (vv.11-12). This included the organisation of the priesthood and Levites for the service of the Temple (v. 13).
Solomon made an agreement with Hiram, king of Tyre, for supplies. Hiram was half-Israelite. His father was of Tyre and his mother was a widow of the tribe of Naphtali. This showed that Gentiles were brought into the construction of the Temple due to intermarrying. It pointed to the fact of composite nature or makeup of Israel in the Last Days and that salvation was of the Gentiles.
Solomon had 70,000 men to carry loads, 80,000 to work in the quarry/mine and 3,600 to supervise them. Solomon provided great quantities of wheat, barley, wine and oil for the workers. We know that Messiah represents the barley harvest and wheat represents the harvest of the Church (see the paper God’s Holy Days (No. CB22)). Oil is frequently used to represent the Holy Spirit. Wine clearly represents the blood of Christ and those that were martyred or killed in their obedient service to God. There were 153,600 strangers in Israel that assisted with the construction for the Temple. Thus salvation is universal or open to all people. The yearly Feasts of God show us the Plan of God.
Huram or Hiram (SHD 2438, meaning noble) was selected to oversee and help construct the weavings, obtaining supplies and contracts with others for supplies (1Kgs. 7:13).
Stones for the Temple were taken from underground quarries at Jerusalem. The master-builders prepared these stones for their places in the building. The stones were worked off-site and brought to the Temple in the perfect shape and fit (1Kgs. 6:7). In the same way, the living stones are made ready away from Jerusalem and brought there for the establishment of the Spiritual Temple at the return of Christ. They are perfect, and require no work on-site because they are already fitly framed together (Eph. 2:21).
As mentioned earlier, Solomon entered into a contract or agreement with Hiram for the supply of whatever else was needed for the work. The timber from the forests of Lebanon was brought in great rafts by the sea to Joppa and was then dragged overland to Jerusalem (1Kgs. 5).
Three types of wood were used in building the temple: cedar, cypress, and olive. Cedar was used to overlay the stone walls including the Most Holy Place or Holy of Holies (1Kgs. 6:9,10,15,16,18); cypress was used to overlay the floors including the Most Holy Place (1Kgs. 6:15); olive was used for the door, doorpost and lintel to the Most Holy Place (1Kgs. 6:31,33) and the cherubim (1Kgs. 6:23).
Three types of building materials were used inside the Temple: stone (1Kgs. 6:7); wood (1Kgs. 6:10,15,16,18,31,33; 7:7); and gold (1Kgs. 6:20-22,30,35). The Temple proper was surrounded by the priestly chambers (1Kgs. 6:4-10).
Three types of metal were used in the entire Temple and the courtyard: gold (1Kgs. 6:20-22,30,35; 1Chr. 28:14-17; 29:2); silver (1Chr. 28:14-17; 29:2) and bronze or copper (1Kgs. 7:14-47; 1Chr. 22:14; 29:2).
Easton’s Bible Dictionary comments about Solomon’s Temple:
“As the hill on which the temple was to be built did not afford sufficient level space, a huge wall of solid masonry of great height, in some places more than 200 feet high, was raised across the south of the hill, and a similar wall on the eastern side, and in the spaces between were erected many arches and pillars, thus raising up the general surface to the required level. Solomon also provided for a sufficient water supply for the temple by hewing in the rocky hill vast cisterns, into which, water was conveyed by channels from the "pools" near Bethlehem. One of these cisterns, the "great sea," was capable of containing three million gallons of water. The overflow was led off by a conduit to the Kidron.
In all these preparatory undertakings a space of about three years was occupied; and now the process of the erection of the great building began, under the direction of skilled Phoenician builders and workmen, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign, 480 years after the Exodus (1Kgs. 6; 2Chr. 3). Many thousands of labourers and skilled artisans were employed in the work. Stones prepared in the quarries underneath the city (1Kgs. 5:17,18) of huge dimensions were gradually placed on the massive walls, and closely fitted together without any mortar between, till the whole structure was completed. No sound of hammer or axe or any tool of iron was heard as the structure arose (1Kgs. 6:7).”
Time-frame of building the Temple
Solomon began to build on the Second day of the Second month of the Fourth year of his reign (2Chr. 3:2).
In the eleventh year of Solomon’s reign, seven and a half years after it had been commenced, the Temple was completed and was more beautiful than any other building of the time. People like the Queen of Sheba travelled far distances to meet Solomon and see the Temple. The Queen of Sheba was very impressed and yet she would not have even seen the inside of the Temple since she was a woman and only priests could enter in. Therefore, the courtyard and the outside of the Temple must have also been magnificent (1Kgs. 10:6-9).
For thirteen years there it stood, on the summit of Moriah, silent and unused. Solomon would have been working on the Temple for over twenty years (2Chr. 8:1). Twenty is the number of expectancy and waiting (cf. Companion Bible note to. 8:1).
It took seven years and seven months to build the House of God (1Kgs. 37:38) and then thirteen years for the House of the King, the Porch of Judgment, and the House of the Forest of Lebanon.
The Temple was commenced in the year 968 BCE, in the fourth year of the reign of King Solomon. This was in the 480th year after the children of Israel came out of Egypt. The number 480 is 12 cycles of repentance (12 x 40 = 480). The number twelve denotes the government of God and all multiples of twelve occur in the government. The number 40 implies probation or proving one’s self. This may be of days, months or years, as in the case of judgment of individuals or groups of people. Therefore, we see after the 480 years of "probation or proving" God allowed the Temple to be built through His governmental structure. See the paper Symbolism of Numbers (No. 7).
From the time the construction started on the Temple it took 20 years to complete. That is 500 years or 10 Jubilees from the removal of Israel as God’s chosen nation from Egypt to the completion of the first physical Temple at Jerusalem, as the point of worship of Eloah. The number 500 or 10 x 50 also appears to have meaning. The number 10 is the number of perfection of divine order or completeness and 5 is the number of grace. So we see the 500 years can be representative of the completeness of grace with the Temple being dedicated in the 500th year since the Israelites left Egypt.
The 50th or Golden Jubilee from the restoration of the Temple as the second physical Temple begins in 2028. Just as we saw the Tabernacle in the Wilderness constructed and erected from the second year of the Exodus, so too we see the work of Temple in Jerusalem will begin in the year 2028. The Millennial Temple of the House of Worship of the One True God under the rule of Messiah and saints will be finished in that Jubilee. See the paper Rule of the Kings Part III: Solomon and the Key of David (No. 282C) for more details about God’s Temples.
The great or outer court surrounded the whole Temple (2Chr. 4:9). Here the people assembled to worship God (Jer. 19:14; 26:2). Over the years we were given examples of the capacity for Gentiles to sacrifice at the Temple. As with Israel, sacrifice was permitted provided it was done by the priests. In the Tabernacle in the Wilderness and the Temple Solomon built the court was a large rectangular shape.
Altar of burnt offerings
The altar of burnt offerings was the first piece of furniture one saw when one walked into the Temple courtyard area.
2Chonicles 4:1 Moreover he made an altar of brass, twenty cubits the length thereof, and twenty cubits the breadth thereof, and ten cubits the height thereof. (KJV)
In Exodus 27:1-2 we see the original altar of burnt offerings was smaller.
And thou shalt make an altar [of] shittim wood, five cubits long, and five cubits broad; the altar shall be foursquare: and the height thereof [shall be] three cubits. And thou shalt make the horns of it upon the four corners thereof: his horns shall be of the same: and thou shalt overlay it with brass. (KJV)
We see the altar of burnt offerings increased in size by a multiple of 4 in length and width and 31/3 in height. Just as in the Tabernacle in the Wilderness we suggested the altar of burnt offerings represented the sacrifice of Jesus Christ as the perfect acceptable sacrifice, the same symbolism would apply here. This increase in size may signify how, with time, more and more people come to God the Father through the sacrifice of Christ. There will be those in the First Resurrection and others in the Second Resurrection.
It is also interesting to note that the altar of burnt offerings in the time of Solomon matched two of the three measurements of the Holy of Holies in Solomon’s Temple; however, it was only half of the height of the Holy of Holies.
The altar is 20 x 20 x 10 cubits. As mentioned above, the number 20 implies expectancy or waiting. The naos is the Holy of Holies, which represents the Spirit of God in the Temple of God, which Temple we are.
As ten is the number of the perfection of divine order and twenty is the concept of waiting, we see that divine perfection and completeness is a process of waiting patiently while obeying God for the spiritual Temple made without hands, as God develops all of us to be fitly framed together. We know that this is only possible through Messiah’s perfect sacrifice and resurrection to the Father after being in the grave three days and three nights.
This process of subjection, or submitting, or listening and obeying involves also that of the subjection of Jesus Christ. Christ is thus not co-equal or co-eternal, but rather is part of the process of God becoming all in all. Thus there will be One God and Father of all over all, and in all (see also Eph. 4:6).
As shown above, the people could enter the outer court and bring their sacrifices to the priests.
Round about the Temple building was the court of the priests (2Chr. 4:9), called the "inner court" (1Kgs. 6:36). It contained the altar of burnt offerings (2Chr. 15:8), the brazen/molten sea (2Chr. 4:2-5,10), and ten lavers (1Kgs. 7:38,39).
The molten sea is described in 1Kings 7:23-26 and 2Chronicles 4:2-5,10. It stood in the south-eastern corner of the inner court (1Kgs. 7:39; 2Chr. 4:10). It is outside of the House of God as was the altar, to symbolize the fact that Christ died outside of the camp as a sacrifice once and for all.
In 1Kings 7:23ff., we note that the sea was five cubits high, ten cubits from one rim to the other and thirty cubits around. Therefore, the diameter or distance across is ten cubits and the circumference is thirty cubits. Great detail is given as to how the molten sea appeared in contrast to the limited detail of the laver in the Tabernacle in the Wilderness (Ex. 30:18-21).
1Kings 7:24 describes the ten knops or balls to a cubit (NASV), which would be 300 total in each row with 600 total for the entire piece. They were part of the molten piece when it was cast. Here again we see the two rows just as we have seen on the top of the pillars.
Regarding the “knop”, Easton’s Bible Dictionary defines it as: “some architectural ornament. (1.) Heb. kaphtor (Ex. 25:31-36), occurring in the description of the lampstand. It was an ornamental swell beneath the cups of the lampstand, probably an imitation of the fruit of the almond. (2.) Heb. peka'im, found only in 1Ki 6:18 and 1Ki 7:24, an ornament resembling a small gourd or an egg, on the cedar wainscot in the temple and on the castings on the brim of the brazen sea.”
2Chronicles goes on to expand the description of these knops or balls. We actually see they were made in the image of a bull’s head.
2Chronicles 4:2-3 Also he made a molten sea of ten cubits from brim to brim, round in compass, and five cubits the height thereof; and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about. 3 And under it was the similitude of oxen, which did compass it round about: ten in a cubit, compassing the sea round about. Two rows of oxen were cast, when it was cast.
Here we see two rows of 300 oxen heads around the molten sea at its top edge.
1Kings 7:25 goes on to state it was placed on the backs of twelve oxen, three looking toward the north, three looking toward the west, three looking toward the south, and three looking toward the east, and all their hind parts were inward. Here we see all the 12 tribes of Israel coming into the truth and supporting the truth through the Bull of Ephraim, which was sometimes depicted as a unicorn. The so-called “unicorn” or bull is Messiah (Deut. 33:17; cf. Num. 23:22; see also Jer. 31:18).
Therefore, we see two rows of 300 or a total of 600 balls or knops shaped as bulls' heads near the top of the molten sea, plus the 12 oxen at the bottom upon which the sea rests. In the same way the Temple of God rests on the foundation of the twelve Apostles heading the twelve tribes of Israel. The two rows of 300 are set apart as the power of the Spirit of God through the prophets. In the same way, 300 were used for the work of God through Gideon and Sampson and is a key number in the exercise of the Spirit in the development of the Church, which is the Israel of God in prophecy.
It is also interesting to note that there are 12 Jubilee cycles of 50 years (12 x 50 = 600) collectively between the 2 rows. It was twelve Jubilees from the Jubilee year of the building of the Temple of King Solomon, which ended in 924 BCE, and the completion of the Work of Ezra and the end of the Old Testament Covenant in 324 BCE. The following year Ezra (and Alexander the Great) died, and the Canon of Prophecy was sealed.
In verse 26 we see it was a handbreadth thick and the brim had lily flowers, just as the pillar’s capitals also had lilies. Here we see it contained 2000 baths. Bullinger points out that 2Chronicles 4:5 indicates it could contain 3000 baths. See note on 1Kings 7:26 in The Companion Bible.
2Chronicles 29:31ff. states what Hezekiah offered at the time of his restoration.
2Chronicles 29:31-33 Then Hezekiah answered and said, Now ye have consecrated yourselves unto the LORD, come near and bring sacrifices and thank offerings into the house of the LORD. And the congregation brought in sacrifices and thank offerings; and as many as were of a free heart burnt offerings. 32 And the number of the burnt offerings, which the congregation brought, was threescore and ten bullocks, an hundred rams, and two hundred lambs: all these were for a burnt offering to the LORD. 33 And the consecrated things were six hundred oxen and three thousand sheep.
We see the concept of the 70 bullocks, 300 sheep (100 rams and 200 lambs), 600 oxen and 3000 sheep. From the Tabernacle, Temple and physical sacrifices we learn of the spiritual (Heb. 8:5).
The laver was in between the Tabernacle and the altar of burnt offerings and was much smaller than the molten sea. The molten sea was located in the southeast area of the court.
From God’s word we know things wax and wane or get bigger or smaller over time. We know from Exodus 32:24-28 that 3,000 lost their lives due to disobedience and their involvement with the Golden Calf after Pentecost in the first year of the Exodus. Yet, in Acts 2:41, we learn that 3,000 people were brought into the Church around Pentecost in 30 CE.
The laver was the place the priests washed their hands and feet in the time of the Tabernacle. The molten sea was the basin for the priests to wash in the time of Solomon (2Chr. 4:6).
In Revelation 4:6 and 15:2 we note that there is a sea of glass before God’s Throne. The molten sea in the Temple Solomon built may be a physical representation of this spiritual picture.
2Chronicles 4:6 describes the ten smaller lavers and their use.
He made also ten lavers, and put five on the right hand, and five on the left, to wash in them: such things as they offered for the burnt offering they washed in them; but the sea was for the priests to wash in. (KJV)
There were ten smaller, portable lavers. They were four cubits long, four cubits wide and three cubits high. They were made of bronze or copper. Each laver contained 40 baths or collectively 400 baths, or 200 baths on each side of the Temple. The ten lavers were all identical. On each laver there were graven cherubim, lions, oxen, and palm trees. For more detail on the 10 lavers see 1Kings 7:27-39.
There were five lavers located on the north side of the Temple and five lavers located on the south side of the Temple (1Kgs. 7:39). Here again we see the symmetry in the Temple Solomon built, with matching items on the right/south and left/north side of the Temple
The Temple Building
Dimensions of the Temple
The Temple dimensions pointed to the Plan of Salvation. The numbers in the Tabernacle in the Wilderness and in the Temple are very significant. The Key of David is the understanding and teaching of the Mysteries of God in accordance with the Jubilee structure according to the Law and the Testimony. See the paper Rule of the Kings Part III: Solomon and the Key of David (No. 282C).
If we remember, the dimensions of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness were 10 x 30 x 10 cubits. 1Kings 6:3 tells us Solomon’s Temple was double and treble the dimensions of the Tabernacle at 20 x 60 x 30 cubits. Therefore, we see Solomon’s Temple increased twelve-fold in cubic volume from the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, where the volume was 3,000 cubic cubits as compared to 36,000 cubic cubits of the Temple Solomon built. Remember, the number twelve relates to governmental perfection. Again we are seeing how with each one of the buildings God inspired, the Council of God is expanding and growing with time.
We also see that the Temple Solomon built had a porch added to the eastern front that was 20 cubits wide and 10 cubits deep (2Chr. 3:4). On the porch were two large pillars. We did not see anything like the porch prefigured in the Tabernacle in the Wilderness. There was an eleventh goat’s hair sheet folded double on the front or eastern end of the Tabernacle, which creates an entry protection.
We will again start from the “outside of the Temple area” and progressively move inwards. As we go through each area, building, or piece of furniture in Solomon’s Temple, we will briefly compare it to the Tabernacle in the Wilderness.
(Note: There will be specific activity lessons for each of the pieces of furniture and supplies associated with them.)
These chambers were built about the Temple on the southern, western, and northern sides (1Kgs. 6:5-10). They formed a part of the building. For more details on the priestly chambers see 1Kings 6.
2Chronicles 3:4 explains the porch or entrance before the Temple on the east (1Kgs. 6:3; 2Chr. 3:4; 29:7). It was 20 cubits wide and 10 cubits deep. Here again we see the numbers 20 and 10, as we noted with the altar of burnt offerings.
2Chronicles 3:4 also goes on to say the porch was 120 cubits high. This is four times as high as the Temple proper (30 x 4). The number 120 symbolizes the length of the time of the physical creation from the start of the Jubilees when sin entered the world, to the Millennium. Moses’ life was divided into three lots of 40 years, just as Saul, David and Solomon all ruled for 40 years. We also saw that there were 120 priests with 120 trumpets at the dedication (2Chr. 5:12).
There were six levels to the entry of the Temple. The seventh level took the person into the Temple. The first six levels are the process we all go through as we are called into God’s work and are developed. When we are perfected we are then able to enter the Temple and be part of the Holy of Holies as spiritual beings in the Temple of God, when Messiah returns to the planet. For more details on God’s Spiritual Temple see Rule of the Kings Part I: Saul (No. 292A); Rule of the Kings Part II: David (No. 282B); Rule of the Kings Part III: Solomon and the Key of David and Solomon (No. 282C).
Solomon also set up the pillars in the porch of the Temple. The right pillar (south side) was called Jachin; and the left pillar (north side) called the Boaz. The capitals on the top of the pillars were in the shape of lilies, and so the work of the pillars was finished (1Kgs. 7:21-22). Jachin (SHD 3199) means: He will establish, or [Yah (or more fully, Yaho vah]) will establish. This can be seen as a reference that the One True God will establish. Boaz (SHD 1162) means God is strength. Each pillar was eighteen cubits high and twelve cubits in circumference (Jer. 52:21; 1Kgs. 7:15). They were symbolically important since they do not appear to have structural significance.
There are numerous references to the number two in Scripture: two aspects to creation – man and Host; two silver trumpets (Num. 10:2); two wave loaves at Pentecost (Lev. 23:17); two days of Pentecost; two onyx stones on top of the High Priest’s shoulders (Ex. 28:12; 39:7); etc. Could it be possible that the two pillars on the porch of the Temple Solomon built are representative of the two aspects of creation – man and Host – and, through keeping the two days of Pentecost and the rest of God’s Law, we are able to enter the Temple and become part of the spiritual Temple?
We see a symmetry that is present in the Temple Solomon built that was not present in the Tabernacle in the Wilderness. For example, there are five lavers on the right/south and five on the left/north; five lampstands on the right/south and five on the left/north; and the same with the tables of showbread. The Ark, altar of incense and altar of burnt offerings remain consistent in number, though the altar of burnt offerings increases in size. It is this symmetry that is present in the Temple Solomon built prefiguring the comment in Revelation 21:17: “and he measured its wall 72 yards according to the human measurements, which are also the angelic measurements”? Here we see that both aspects of creation – man and Host – together form the Temple of God as a living edifice.
In his note to 1Kings 7:15, Bullinger makes the reference that the pillars were hollow (Jer. 52:21) and not for support. They were four fingers thick.
Hitchcock states: Boaz: or Booz: in strength; and, Jachin: he that strengthens and makes steadfast.
The pillars of the Temple have been traditionally referred to as Boaz and Jachin and some societies refer to them as such to this day. From our studies on Ruth, we remember Ruth married Boaz which is the main pillar of the Temple of God and symbolic of Christ. Boaz was of the tribe of Judah. Jachin was a Simeonite, the ancestor of the Jachinites.
The pillars were 17½ cubits high (½ of a cubit taken up to attach the capital/top to the pillar. See note on 1Kgs. 7:15 in The Companion Bible. 2Chronicles 3:15 adds the height of each pillar together for one combined total of 35 cubits; see The Companion Bible note to 2Chr. 3:15). The capital or top of the pillar as per 2Chronicles 3:15 states five cubits, but 2Kings 25:17 states three cubits not including the wreathen/chain work. This wreathen/chain/lattice work, which is described separately, must have been two cubits. (Each pillar also had wreathen/chains and pomegranates on it. It appears there were 100 pomegranates per chain/network as per Jeremiah 52:21 and the corresponding footnote in The Companion Bible. There were four chains of 100 pomegranates per chain, or 400 pomegranates total (see note on 1Kgs. 7:20 in The Companion Bible and in the Rule of the Kings: Part III Solomon and the Key of David (No. 282C)).
The 400 (or two lots of 200) decorative motifs of pomegranates and bulls-head knops in the sea and the entry, total 1000. This number is understood as the number of the controlling elohim, one of which redeemed mankind according to Job 33: 23.
We also remember that on the bottom of the High Priest’s blue robe were bells and pomegranates.
The holy place (1Kgs. 8:8-10) is also called the "greater house" (2Chr. 3:5) and the "temple" (1Kgs. 6:17). In the Tabernacle in the Wilderness the Holy Place contained the lamp-stand, table of shewbread and altar of incense. We will see again how certain things expanded in size and others remained the same.
Exodus 25:31-40 and 37:17-24 describe the one lampstand in the Tabernacle that had seven bowls with beaten olive oil in them. The lampstand was on the south side of the Tabernacle. The lamp was ‘dressed’, meaning that the wick was trimmed, and oil added daily. The lamps were kept burning before the Lord from evening to morning (Ex. 27:20-21; Lev. 24:2-3). They were to burn continually (Ex. 27:20-21; Lev. 24:2-3).
1Kings 7:48 and 2Chronicles 4:7 describe the ten golden lampstands of Solomon’s Temple – five on the right and five on the left. Here, instead of seven bowls of light, we now have 70.
The number seven implies spiritual perfection and as stated above the number ten means divine order. Therefore, we can assume that the ten lampstands that contain seven bowls indicate divine order and spiritual perfection. We know there are 70 Beings in the Council of God and here again the number 70 is demonstrated. See the paper The Creation of the Family of God (No. CB4).
Seven things God considers Holy and/or Most Holy
From the footnote in Levitcus 2:3 in The Companion Bible, we see that are two classes of seven holy things: 3 holy, 4 most holy.
The 3 holy things are:
1. Thank offerings (Lev. 23:20; Num. 6:20);
2. Firstborn (Num. 18:17);
3. First-fruits (Lev. 2:12). 2).
The 4 Most Holy Things are:
1. Incense (Ex. 30:36);
2. Shewbread (Lev. 24:9);
3. Sin and trespass offering (Lev. 6:25-29; 7:1; 6:14:13); and
4. Meal offering (Lev. 2:3).
We will now look at one of the Most Holy things, the shewbread
Ten tables of shewbread
From Exodus 25:23-30 and 37:10-29 we know there was one table of shewbread on the north wall. It had twelve loaves that represent the twelve tribes of Israel. They were stacked in two rows with a golden bowl of frankincense on each stack. The priests were responsible for making the unleavened bread each week and then consuming the bread the following Sabbath.
In Solomon’s Temple there are ten tables of shewbread with twelve loaves on each table. There were five tables on the right and five tables on the left (1Kgs. 7:48; 2Chr. 4:8) with a total of 120 loaves. Again we see the numbers of the 70 and 120 coming up.
With the number twelve bringing governmental perfection and the number ten divine order, could the ten tables of shewbread that each hold twelve loaves indicate divine order of governmental perfection?
We know all people come to the Father through one of the twelve tribes, and in the loaves we see the concept expanded. On the table of shewbread we have a similar concept that was seen on the shoulders of the High Priest, with a stone on each shoulder engraved with the name of a tribe of Israel. There were six names on one shoulder and six names on the other shoulder. On the table of shewbread we have the two piles of six loaves with a combined total of twelve loaves.
Shewbread may represent the world being fed by the Spirit of God through the council of the Church. Initially, we saw the concept of manna being provided supernaturally for 40 years to feed Israel as they left Egypt. Later we saw Messiah being the bread of life (Jn. 6:35,48,51). We know unless we are baptized and partake of the Lord’s Supper annually, there is no life in us. Yet, it is the Gospel message that is delivered to the world via the Church that is currently feeding the world prior to the famine of the word (Amos 8:11). As stated earlier, the priests were responsible for making the shewbread, and spiritually, the priests are responsible for tending to the flock of spiritual Israel, the Church.
We would also have the 20 golden bowls (2 x 10) of frankincense; therefore, the frankincense in the golden bowls may represent the prayers of the saints for the planet (Rev. 5:8; 8:3). These 20 bowls tied with the altar of incense bring us to a total number of 21.
In his footnote to Exodus 25:24, Bullinger states that there are 3 crowns of gold:
(1) Ark (25:11) the crown of the Law. The atoning blood between it, and the cherubim it’s executant.
(2) Altar of incense (30:3) the crown of the priesthood. Its incense fired only by the fire from the altar of burnt offering.
(3) Table of showbread (25:24) the crown of the kingdom. The twelve tribes symbolized by the twelve loaves.
Bullinger reinforces the concept of the 12 loaves and 12 tribes, and with that let’s look at the Altar of Incense, which is the crown of the priesthood, and the incense being one of the four most holy things (Ex. 30:36).
Altar of Incense
Exodus 30:1-3 and 37:25-28 tell us that the altar of incense was one cubit long by one cubit wide and two cubits high. Its horns were one piece with it. It was also overlaid with pure gold. Here we see the prayers of the saints being represented and ascending to Eloah, and being monitored by the 24 Elders (Rev. 5:8; 8:3). The altar of incense was located in front of the veil to the Holy of Holies.
In Solomon’s Temple, the altar was referred to in 1Chronicles 6:49 and 28:18.
We see from Revelation there is an altar of incense before God’s Throne.
Revelation 8:3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer [it] with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. (KJV)
The altar of incense seems to remain constant in the Tabernacle in the Wilderness and in the Temple Solomon built. It is the one altar before the Throne of God or Holy of Holies.
Doors and veil to the Most Holy Place
There was a two-leaved door made of olive wood between the Holy of Holies and the Holy Place that was overlaid with gold (2Chr. 4:22) and had gold chains drawn across it (1Kgs. 6:21). There was also a veil of blue, purple and crimson made of fine linen (2Chr. 3:14). We see the Tabernacle in the Wilderness also had a veil of blue, purple and scarlet and of fine linen (Ex. 26:33). See The Tabernacle in the Wilderness (No. CB42).
Most Holy Place
The Temple consisted of the oracle or Most Holy Place (1Kgs. 6:19; 8:6; 2Chr. 3:8), also called the "inner house" (1Kgs. 6:27), and the "holiest of all" (Heb. 9:3). It was 20 cubits in length, breadth, and height. It was floored and wainscotted with cedar (1Kgs. 6:16), and its walls and floor were overlaid with gold (1Kgs. 6:20,21,30). It had no windows (1Kgs. 8:12). The Holy of Holies was overlaid with 600 talents (of gold). It was the dwelling-place of God’s Presence on the planet until He relocates His Throne here on Earth.
After the judgment of the demons and mankind, Christ will hand everything over to God (cf. 1Cor. 15:24-28). God will then come to the Earth and transfer the administration of the universe here. The world is then full of His Glory (Isa. 6:3). God and the Lamb become the lights of this system. There is no Temple needed as God and Christ dwell in the entire structure.
In the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, the Holy of Holies was 10 x 10 x 10 cubits. In Solomon’s Temple we see the Holy of Holies also expanded by a multiple of two and was 20 x 20 x 20 cubits; hence, the Holy of Holies remains a cube. Here we see the volume increases eight-fold. The number eight represents resurrection, regeneration, a new beginning or commencement (see the paper Symbolism of Numbers (No. 7)).
As we noted above, the Holy of Holies was 20 x 20 x 20 cubits and yet the Temple building was 30 cubits tall. The Bible is not clear how the extra space of the ten cubits in the Temple is accounted for in relation to the Holy of Holies. The floor is simply mentioned as being covered uniformly. The pagans ascended stairs and there were laws for the priests regarding their attire and the prevention of such practices. The dimensions were 120 cubits for the porch or nave, dropping to thirty cubits for the main part of the Temple, and dropping again to twenty cubits for the Holy of Holies. We might deduce that the thirty cubits in height and sixty cubits in length were cut into two sections, the main body being forty cubits long and the Holy of Holies being twenty cubits long, and so the Holy of Holies would have to be elevated by ten cubits (see 1Kgs. 6:1-36, but stairs are not mentioned).
We might also speculate that the Holy of Holies was level with the Temple proper since the Holy of Holies was not elevated in the Tabernacle in the wilderness.
The thing we know for certain is that the Holy of Holies has twice the dimensions of the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle in the Wilderness.
The Ark of the Covenant
The Ark of the Covenant remained constant from the Tabernacle in the Wilderness to Solomon’s Temple. The Ark was carried by the priests and moved to wherever the Tabernacle was set up. When Israel moved, the Ark went in front of the army (Num. 10:33). It was carried by the priests, or Levites (Num. 4:15; 3:30-31; Josh. 3:3; Deut. 31:9, 25). The Ark of the Covenant stayed in various places.
When Solomon moved the Ark into the Temple there was nothing in the Ark except the two tablets (Ex. 25:16; Deut. 31:26). The Ark should have also contained Aaron’s rod that budded (Num. 17:10), and the omer of manna (cf. Heb. 9:4), but both of these were already gone (Ex. 16:33; 34). For more on the Ark of the Covenant see the paper The Tabernacle in the Wilderness (No. CB42).
The poles that were used to carry the Ark were so long that the ends of the poles could be seen in front of the inner sanctuary, but they could not be seen outside (2Chr. 5:9).
As mentioned above, the Holy of Holies is 20 x 20 x 20 – threefold expectancy or waiting of the number 20. Its volume – 8,000 cubic cubits – is the total sum of the Plan of God in the structure from Adam to the Second Resurrection and the preparation for the City of God.
As noted earlier also, the number three indicates divine perfection and completeness. So we see that divine perfection and completeness is a process of waiting patiently while obeying God and while the spiritual naos is being built.
The Ark symbolized the Holy Spirit within the elect that takes up residence or is located in Jerusalem after Messiah returns. Since we are priests of God, the Law of God should always reside or live in us. People should know we are God’s people by our actions.
The Two Cherubim
In the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, the cherubim appeared as on the covering of the Ark. The entire covering or 'mercy seat' (KJV) was made from the same piece of gold (Ex. 25:17-20). Here we see the Throne of God figured with the two living creatures that remained loyal and are covering God’s Throne. There were originally four cherubim – two cherubim covering and two cherubim standing behind. For more information on the God’s Throne see the paper The Creation of the Family of God (No. CB4).
In Solomon's Temple in 2Chronicles 3:10-13, we see the cherubim were made then overlaid with gold. The total wingspan was 20 cubits with each wing being five cubits. The wings touched the wall of the Holy of Holies and the other cherub. The cherubim stood on their feet, facing the main room (2Chr. 3:10-14, NASV) or facing each other (KJV). Their wings covered the Ark of the Covenant (1Chr. 28:18). Though there were two cherubim on the top or ‘mercy seat’ (lapporah) of the Ark of the Covenant, there we saw the two cherubim facing each other with their wings outspread. The Cherubim protect the Throne of God and represent the Cherubim of the Host. Here in the Temple Solomon built, we see the replacement cherubim prefigured in the Holy of Holies. These elohim are Abraham and Moses, who are the only two mentioned as “elohim” from the texts of Genesis and Exodus.
The Holy of Holies was the place God designed for His glorious Presence while leading the Israelites on the journey to Canaan and finally resting in Jerusalem. In the future, we see Jerusalem as the place where the City of God is (Rev. 21:2), and where Eloah will dwell (Rev. 21:22).
Dedication of the Temple
On the Seventh day of the Seventh month, Solomon dedicated the Temple (1Kgs. 8:1-66; 2Chr. 7:8-10). The number seven indicates spiritual perfection. The number three means complete and it is implied the spiritual perfection is completed in the 500th year. As we said earlier, 500 means grace completed and we are able to enter into the Temple Solomon built and keep the Feast of Tabernacles and Last Great Day, and the Temple system is fully functional based on the system given then.
Only after the Temple was complete could the Ark of the Covenant be brought into the Temple, so that God would be seen as the centre of the Temple. It is the Seventh month and the Day of Trumpets that symbolize the Advent or coming of the Messiah as King and Ruler and the New Morning Star of the planet.
2Chronicles 5:11-14 And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place: (for all the priests that were present were sanctified, and did not then wait by course: 12 Also the Levites which were the singers, all of them of Asaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, being arrayed in white linen, having cymbals and psalteries and harps, stood at the east end of the altar, and with them an hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets. 13 It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of musick, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the LORD; 14 So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of God.
Here we see 120 priests each blowing a trumpet at the time of the dedication. Again we note the number 120 being used in Scripture. Just as the 120 priests announced the dedication of the Temple so too the 120 Jubilees announce the Period of Just Rule under Messiah.
Then Solomon walked up on the platform, which had been built for him, in the sight of all the people, and lifting up his hands to Heaven poured out his heart to God in prayer (1Kgs. 8; 2Chr. 6).
When Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from Heaven and consumed the burnt offerings. This is just one of the occurrences where fire came down from heaven to consume the sacrifices (2Chr. 7:1; 1Kgs. 8:63,64). This meant that God accepted their sacrifice offerings. See also the footnote to Genesis 4:4 in The Companion Bible.
The priest could not enter into the House of the Lord, because the glory (splendour) of the Lord filled the House (1Kgs. 8:11; 2Chr. 7:2). This is similar to what happened when the Tabernacle was dedicated (Ex. 40:34,35), and evidently the same cloud by which the Lord led his people out of Egypt – with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night (Ex. 13:21,22).
Solomon and the people dedicated the Temple for seven days and then kept the Feast of Tabernacles and Last Great Day. For more information see the paper God’s Holy Days (No. CB22). On the 23rd day Solomon sent the people to their tents (2Chr. 7:9-10).
The people returned to their homes filled with joy and gladness. The Temple stood as a permanent reminder and visible symbol of God's presence and protection.
Maintenance and operation of the Temple
Prior to his death and under God’s direction, David organized the divisions and duties of the priests and musicians.
In 1Chronicles 24:1ff. we see David outlined the divisions for the priests. There were 24 divisions of the priesthood. There were two divisions or priests per month to minister in the Temple.
Each tribe was detailed to provide provisions or supplies to the Temple for one month a year (1Kgs. 4:1-34).
The Gentiles helped with the provisions for the Temple (1Kgs. 5:1-18), just as the Gentiles are part of the Church of God and Spiritual Temple.
The musicians are described in 1Chronicles 25:1ff. and other places. We see there were 288 trained singers or two lots of 144 or 24 lots of 12 (1Chr. 25:7).
Singing is a way we give praise to the One True God even today. It is important that during the song service we joyfully sing or hum the words of the song to the Lord rather than being distracted by other things.
It is good if we can learn God’s songs or Psalms at an early age so we can then praise God through His Psalms. Psalms can also be very encouraging and comforting to the person singing them. See the papers Psalms from the Temple Worship (No. 87) and Musical Instruments in Worship (No. 33).
As we can see, God gives us a physical representation of the spiritual (Heb. 8:5). From the physical we have seen there is significant spiritual symbolism in the Tabernacle in the Wilderness that is expanded in the Temple that Solomon built.
As baptised Christians, we need to remember that we are the spiritual Temple (naos) of God (1Cor. 3:16-17). In the footnote to 1Samuel 1:9 in The Companion Bible we see seven references to believers as a temple in the N.T. (cf. 1Cor. 3:9-17; 6:19; Eph. 2:20,21; Heb. 3:6:1 and Pet. 2:5; 4:17).
Each one of us is individually responsible to continue to work while there is yet light. There is not much time before the Two Witnesses and Messiah arrive so, let us all be about our Father’s business and continue to help preach the Gospel to the world and build the spiritual Temple of Eloah.