Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 6

A description of the temple

1 Kings 6:8-10

We shall now describe the temple, God’s house in Jerusalem. Let us imagine that we are looking at it, from a distance.

The temple itself had strong, thick stone walls like a castle, and it was 45 feet (14 metres) high. It stood close to the top of the hill that was above David’s city, the most ancient part of Jerusalem.

However, we would only be able to see the full height of those walls from the front. On all other sides the rooms that surrounded the temple, hid most of the temple. So we would only see the highest part of the walls, with their narrow windows. At that time, windows were simple openings; they had no glass (6:4).

At the back of the building, we might see the door that went into those outer rooms. Beyond that door were the stairs that led to the three floors.

The altar, the place where the priests burned sacrifices (animals and other gifts to God) was in front of the temple. It stood at the highest place, the top of the hill. So even at the front, we would be unable to have a completely clear view. The fire on the altar burnt continuously, and smoke from it rose into the sky. We would, therefore, see the temple through that smoke.

At the front, there was a porch - columns that supported a roof. This reached across the whole width of the temple. The only entrance into the temple was through that porch. Then there were doors into the largest room, which was called the holy place. Beyond the holy place was a smaller room, called the holy of holies or the most holy place.

Next part: God's special message to Solomon (1 Kings 6:11-13)


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