Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 6

The time until the temple was ready for use

1 Kings 6:37-38

It took Solomon’s workmen seven and a half years to complete the construction of God’s house in Jerusalem, the temple. That happened during the 11th year of Solomon’s rule as king of Israel. By that time, Solomon was still a young man; he was probably about 30 years old. He was full of energy, and full of ideas about what he could achieve in Jerusalem. So, he simply directed his workmen to begin the construction of a new palace for him. That task would take them a further 13 years.

Although the construction of the temple was complete, it was not yet ready for use. That fact is clear from the months that the Bible mentions. 1 Kings 6:38 says that the construction was complete in the month called Bul. That was the 8th month of Israel’s ancient calendar - it is October or November in a modern calendar. 2 Chronicles 5:3 says that the ceremonies to open the temple for use, were in the 7th month - in other words, September or October. So, Solomon waited for a year - or perhaps for several years.

The most likely reason is in 1 Kings 7:13-51. Solomon was preparing a complete set of new objects for use in his temple. These sacred objects were the work of extremely skilled workmen. These were metal; many of them were gold, and all of them were very beautiful. At the same time, Solomon ordered them to make two great and beautiful metal columns to stand in front of the temple building (7:15-22). When all these tasks were complete, the temple was at last ready for use.

Next part: The many splendid buildings in Solomon's Jerusalem (1 Kings 7:1)


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