Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 6

480 years since Israel’s people left Egypt

1 Kings 6:1

In books of history, we expect to find many dates. However, the Bible’s books of history are different. They record many great events, but usually there are few dates. So when a date suddenly appears, it brings something of extreme importance to our attention.

This was the 4th year of Solomon’s rule. Often the Bible counts the years in that way. It seems to be the usual way that people in ancient Israel referred to a particular year. In that year, Solomon began the construction of the temple, God’s house in Jerusalem. That was probably the most important thing that Solomon ever did.

However, the author of 1 Kings counts the years in another way, too. This was 480 years since God rescued Israel’s people from Egypt. That was the event when Israel began to be a nation. So, the author compares the construction of the temple to that great event in their history. 480 years ago, God rescued Israel’s people from Egypt; now, he made it possible for them to build the temple for him. That was how important this event was in Israel’s history.

In this chapter, we read many details of the design of the temple. We must remind ourselves that we are not merely reading about the plan of an ancient building. Rather, this was the place where God lived among his people. These were the sacred plans for the most holy place on earth. God, by the power of his Spirit, had given those plans to David (1 Chronicles 28:11-12). Hebrews 9:23-29 explains why God gave these plans to David: this temple was an exact copy of the real temple that is God’s home in heaven.

Next part: The size and the plan of the temple (1 Kings 6:2-6)


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