Solomon’s Temple Reconstruction

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In this reconstruction drawing, the northern side of Solomon’s Temple has been cut away to allow the details of the interior to be seen. The Temple measured 60 cubits long, 20 cubits wide and 30 cubits high (103 by 34 by 52 ft. or 31.5 by 10.5 by 15.75 m.).

In front of the Temple, to the east, stood the bronze Laver or Yam (Hebrew - sea), which rested on twelve bronze oxen. This enormous basin contained 2.000 baths, the equivalent of 16,000 gallons of water and was used by the priests in their ceremonial ablutions. On either side of the Temple were five smaller lavers, which rested on elaborate wheeled bases. Although no altar is described in the description of Solomon's Temple given in 1 Kings 7 and 8, an altar of brass is mentioned in passing in 1 Kings 8.64 and detailed in the other description of the Temple of Solomon in 2 Chronicles 4.1. Here it is recorded that it measured 20 cubits square and 10 cubits high. Three levels of chambers surrounded the Temple on three sides. The walls of the Sanctuary were built so that ledges were created on which the floors of these chambers could rest. Two bronze pillars called Yachin (He shall establish) and Boaz (in him is strength) supported the Porch. This Porch or Ulam stood in front of the Sanctuary and was 20 cubits long and 10 cubits wide. In the Temple built by Solomon, the Porch must have stood at least 30 cubits high, if you add the height of the pillars and their capitals. The entrance through a wooden door would have given access to the Holy (Heichal), which was 40 cubits long, 20 cubits wide and 30 cubits high. Here the walls were of cedar wood, carved with motifs of buds and open flowers. The floor was of fir wood overlaid with gold. Although in the Tabernacle, the Table of Showbread stood on the north side, here both it and the Incense Altar are shown in the middle of the Holy. This is because the description of Solomon's Temple records five golden lampstands as standing on either side of the Holy. The Holy was separated from the Most Holy by a partition made of olive wood carved with motifs of cherubim, palm trees and flowers overlaid with gold. The Holy of Holies (Most Holy) was 20 cubits long, wide and high. The Ark of the Covenant stood in its specially carved place on the rock (1 Kings 8.6,21), under the wings of two large cherubim.

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