King David gave his son, Solomon, the plans and passed on the task of building the great, majestic Temple. These next chapters are very descriptive and visual, and you really need to check out the video at the bottom with a 3D computer rendering and a guided tour. It will help you visualize the glory of the Temple. Let’s dig in…
2 Chronicles 3 – Solomon Builds the Temple
So Solomon began to build the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the Lord had appeared to David, his father. The Temple was built on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite, the site that David had selected. 2 The construction began in midspring, during the fourth year of Solomon’s reign.
3 These are the dimensions Solomon used for the foundation of the Temple of God (using the old standard of measurement). It was 90 feet long and 30 feet wide. 4 The entry room at the front of the Temple was 30 feet wide, running across the entire width of the Temple, and 30 feet high. He overlaid the inside with pure gold.
5 He paneled the main room of the Temple with cypress wood, overlaid it with fine gold, and decorated it with carvings of palm trees and chains. 6 He decorated the walls of the Temple with beautiful jewels and with gold from the land of Parvaim. 7 He overlaid the beams, thresholds, walls, and doors throughout the Temple with gold, and he carved figures of cherubim on the walls.
8 He made the Most Holy Place 30 feet wide, corresponding to the width of the Temple, and 30 feet deep. He overlaid its interior with 23 tons of fine gold. 9 The gold nails that were used weighed 20 ounces each. He also overlaid the walls of the upper rooms with gold.
10 He made two figures shaped like cherubim, overlaid them with gold, and placed them in the Most Holy Place. 11 The total wingspan of the two cherubim standing side by side was 30 feet. One wing of the first figure was 7 1⁄2 feet long, and it touched the Temple wall. The other wing, also 7 1⁄2 feet long, touched one of the wings of the second figure. 12 In the same way, the second figure had one wing 7 1⁄2 feet long that touched the opposite wall. The other wing, also 7 1⁄2 feet long, touched the wing of the first figure. 13 So the wingspan of the two cherubim side by side was 30 feet. They stood on their feet and faced out toward the main room of the Temple.
14 Across the entrance of the Most Holy Place he hung a curtain made of fine linen, decorated with blue, purple, and scarlet thread and embroidered with figures of cherubim.
15 For the front of the Temple, he made two pillars that were 27 feet tall, each topped by a capital extending upward another 7 1⁄2 feet. 16 He made a network of interwoven chains and used them to decorate the tops of the pillars. He also made 100 decorative pomegranates and attached them to the chains. 17 Then he set up the two pillars at the entrance of the Temple, one to the south of the entrance and the other to the north. He named the one on the south Jakin, and the one on the north Boaz. (Jakin probably means “he establishes”; Boaz probably means “in him is strength.”)2 Chronicles 3 NLT
2 Chronicles 4 – Furnishings for the Temple
Solomon also made a bronze altar 30 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 15 feet high. 2 Then he cast a great round basin, 15 feet across from rim to rim, called the Sea. It was 7 1⁄2 feet deep and about 45 feet in circumference. 3 It was encircled just below its rim by two rows of figures that resembled oxen. There were about six oxen per foot all the way around, and they were cast as part of the basin.
4 The Sea was placed on a base of twelve bronze oxen, all facing outward. Three faced north, three faced west, three faced south, and three faced east, and the Sea rested on them. 5 The walls of the Sea were about three inches thick, and its rim flared out like a cup and resembled a water lily blossom. It could hold about 16,500 gallons of water.
6 He also made ten smaller basins for washing the utensils for the burnt offerings. He set five on the south side and five on the north. But the priests washed themselves in the Sea.
7 He then cast ten gold lampstands according to the specifications that had been given, and he put them in the Temple. Five were placed against the south wall, and five were placed against the north wall.
8 He also built ten tables and placed them in the Temple, five along the south wall and five along the north wall. Then he molded 100 gold basins.
9 He then built a courtyard for the priests, and also the large outer courtyard. He made doors for the courtyard entrances and overlaid them with bronze. 10 The great bronze basin called the Sea was placed near the southeast corner of the Temple.
11 Huram-abi also made the necessary washbasins, shovels, and bowls.
So at last Huram-abi completed everything King Solomon had assigned him to make for the Temple of God:
12 the two pillars;
the two bowl-shaped capitals on top of the pillars;
the two networks of interwoven chains that decorated the capitals;
13 the 400 pomegranates that hung from the chains on the capitals (two rows of pomegranates for each of the chain networks that decorated the capitals on top of the pillars);
14 the water carts holding the basins;
15 the Sea and the twelve oxen under it;
16 the ash buckets, the shovels, the meat hooks, and all the related articles.
Huram-abi made all these things of burnished bronze for the Temple of the Lord, just as King Solomon had directed. 17 The king had them cast in clay molds in the Jordan Valley between Succoth and Zarethan. 18 Solomon used such great quantities of bronze that its weight could not be determined.
19 Solomon also made all the furnishings for the Temple of God:
the gold altar;2 Chronicles 4 NLT
the tables for the Bread of the Presence;
20 the lampstands and their lamps of solid gold, to burn in front of the Most Holy Place as prescribed;
21 the flower decorations, lamps, and tongs—all of the purest gold;
22 the lamp snuffers, bowls, ladles, and incense burners—all of solid gold;
the doors for the entrances to the Most Holy Place and the main room of the Temple, overlaid with gold.
2 Chronicles 5 – The Ark Brought to the Temple
So Solomon finished all his work on the Temple of the Lord. Then he brought all the gifts his father, David, had dedicated—the silver, the gold, and the various articles—and he stored them in the treasuries of the Temple of God.
2 Solomon then summoned to Jerusalem the elders of Israel and all the heads of tribes—the leaders of the ancestral families of Israel. They were to bring the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant to the Temple from its location in the City of David, also known as Zion. 3 So all the men of Israel assembled before the king at the annual Festival of Shelters, which is held in early autumn.
4 When all the elders of Israel arrived, the Levites picked up the Ark. 5 The priests and Levites brought up the Ark along with the special tent and all the sacred items that had been in it. 6 There, before the Ark, King Solomon and the entire community of Israel sacrificed so many sheep, goats, and cattle that no one could keep count!
7 Then the priests carried the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant into the inner sanctuary of the Temple—the Most Holy Place—and placed it beneath the wings of the cherubim. 8 The cherubim spread their wings over the Ark, forming a canopy over the Ark and its carrying poles. 9 These poles were so long that their ends could be seen from the Holy Place, which is in front of the Most Holy Place, but not from the outside. They are still there to this day. 10 Nothing was in the Ark except the two stone tablets that Moses had placed in it at Mount Sinai, where the Lord made a covenant with the people of Israel when they left Egypt.
11 Then the priests left the Holy Place. All the priests who were present had purified themselves, whether or not they were on duty that day. 12 And the Levites who were musicians—Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, and all their sons and brothers—were dressed in fine linen robes and stood at the east side of the altar playing cymbals, lyres, and harps. They were joined by 120 priests who were playing trumpets. 13 The trumpeters and singers performed together in unison to praise and give thanks to the Lord. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals, and other instruments, they raised their voices and praised the Lord with these words:
“He is good!
His faithful love endures forever!”
At that moment a thick cloud filled the Temple of the Lord. 14 The priests could not continue their service because of the cloud, for the glorious presence of the Lord filled the Temple of God.2 Chronicles 5 NLT
From the Tabernacle, to the Temple, to the 2nd Coming
- It started with God giving Moses detailed instructions on building the temporary, mobile Tabernacle in the Book of Exodus.
- When the Israelites arrived in the Promised Land, the Tabernacle settled in Shiloh.
- One time, when fighting the Philistines — this was before King Saul — some Israelite soldiers had the bright idea of taking the Ark of the Covenant into battle with them. The Philistines stole it. What happened next was funny.
- Soon after, King Saul moved the Tabernacle near his home in Nob then eventually to Gibeon.
- The Ark ended up in Kiriath-jearim. Subsequently, King David, brought it from there to Jerusalem.
- Finally, Solomon brings the altar to Jerusalem to furnish the Temple and it is all complete again.
- The finished Temple was 2 times the size of the the Tabernacle.
- It’s hard to imagine the beauty and majesty of this Temple. Check out the video below with the 3D rendering.
- Ultimately, the saddest, most tragic part is that because of the peoples’ abject disobedience, sinning against God by worshiping false gods and man-made idols, this beautiful temple was lost. It was totally destroyed. Burned to the ground, its gold, silver and bronze furnishings stolen and carried away to Babylon. All preventable!
- When Jerubabbel led the first contingent of returning Jews, they brought back some of what remained of the temple treasures.
- Some elders who remember Solomon’s Temple from their youth, cried because the rebuilt one was nothing like the first one.
- By Ezra’s time, the Ark was missing. Where did it go?
The Cloud of Glory
As the cloud that led Israel through the wilderness…David Guzik
…the cloud from which God spoke to Israel from Mount Sinai…
…the cloud from which God met Moses… and others…
…the cloud that filled the Tabernacle…
…the cloud from which God appeared to the High Priest at Yom Kippur…
…the cloud that Ezekiel called “the brightness of God’s glory”…
…the cloud that overshadowed the womb of the Virgin Mary…
…the cloud that covered the mountaintop at Jesus’ transfiguration…
…the cloud that received Jesus into heaven at His ascension…
…the cloud that will display the glory of Jesus at His Second Coming…