The First Book of the Kings

Chapter 6

The building of Solomon's temple, 1-4. The chambers thereof, 5-10. God's promise to it, 11-14. The ceiling and adorning of it, 15-22. The cherubim, 23-30. The doors, 31-35. The court, 36. The time of building it, 37, 38.

1 And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel had come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month of Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD. 2 And the house which king Solomon built for the LORD, its length was sixty cubits, its breadth twenty cubits, and its height thirty cubits. 3 And the porch before the temple of the house, twenty cubits was its length, according to the breadth of the house, and ten cubits was its breadth, before the house. 4 And for the house he made windows of narrow lights. 5 And against the wall of the house he built chambers all around, against the walls of the house all around, both of the temple and of the oracle. And he made chambers all around. 6 The nethermost chamber was five cubits broad, the middle was six cubits broad, and the third was seven cubits broad. For outside in the wall of the house he made narrowed rests all around so that the beams should not be fastened in the walls of the house.

7 And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought there so that there was neither hammer, ax, or any tool of iron heard in the house while it was in building.

8 The door for the middle chamber was on the right side of the house. And they went up with winding stairs into the middle chamber, and out of the middle into the third. 9 So he built the house and finished it and covered the house with beams and boards of cedar. 10 And then he built chambers against all the house five cubits high. And they rested on the house with timber of cedar.

11 And the word of the LORD came to Solomon, saying, 12 "Concerning this house which you are in building, if you will walk in my statutes, execute my judgments, and keep all my commandments to walk in them, then I will perform my word with you which I spoke to David your father. 13 And I will dwell among the children of Israel and will not forsake my people Israel."

14 So Solomon built the house and finished it. 15 And he built the walls of the house inside with boards of cedar, both the floor of the house and the walls of the ceiling. And he covered them on the inside with wood, and covered the floor of the house with planks of fir. 16 And he built twenty cubits on the sides of the house, both the floor and the walls with boards of cedar. He even built them for it within, even for the oracle, even for the most holy place. 17 And the house, that is, the temple before it, was forty cubits long. 18 And the cedar of the house within was carved with knobs and open flowers. All was cedar. There was no stone seen. 19 And he prepared the oracle within the house to set the ark of the covenant of the LORD there. 20 And the oracle in the forepart was twenty cubits in length, twenty cubits in breadth, and twenty cubits in its height, and he overlaid it with pure gold. And he also overlaid the altar which was of cedar. 21 So Solomon overlaid the house inside with pure gold. And he made a partition by the chains of gold before the oracle and he overlaid it with gold. 22 And the whole house he overlaid with gold until he had finished all the house. Also the whole altar that was by the oracle he overlaid with gold.

23 And within the oracle he made two cherubim of olive tree, each ten cubits high. 24 And five cubits was one wing of the cherub and five cubits the other wing of the cherub. From the uttermost part of one wing to the uttermost part of the other were ten cubits. 25 And the other cherub was ten cubits. Both the cherubim were of one measure and one size. 26 The height of one cherub was ten cubits, and that was the height of the other cherub. 27 And he set the cherubim within the inner house. And they stretched forth the wings of the cherubim so that the wing of one touched one wall and the wing of the other cherub touched the other wall, and their wings touched one another in the midst of the house. 28 And he overlaid the cherubim with gold.

29 And he carved all the walls of the house around with carved figures of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers, inside and outside. 30 And the floor of the house he overlaid with gold, inside and outside.

31 And for the entrance of the oracle he made doors of olive tree. The lintel and side-posts were a fifth part of the wall. 32 The two doors were also of olive tree, and he carved upon them carvings of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers, and overlaid them with gold. And he spread gold upon the cherubim and upon the palm trees.

33 In the same manner he also made for the door of the temple posts of olive tree out of a fourth part of the wall. 34 And the two doors were of fir tree. The two leaves of one door were folding and the two leaves of the other door were folding. 35 And he carved thereon cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers, and covered them with gold, fitted upon the carved work. 36 And he built the inner court with three rows of hewn stone and a row of cedar beams.

37 In the fourth year the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid, in the month of Zif. 38 And in the eleventh year, in the month of Bul (which is the eighth month) the house was finished throughout all its parts and according to all its fashion. So he was seven years in building it.


Matthew Henry Commentary - 1st Kings, Chapter 6[➚]


[v.7] - "there was neither hammer, ax, or any tool of iron heard in the house while it was in building" - Compare to the building of the altar in Deuteronomy 27:5, which says, "You shall not lift up any iron tool upon them."

[v.12] - "I will perform my word with you which I spoke to David your father" - Reference, 2nd Samuel 7:1-17.

[v.13] - "and will not forsake my people Israel" - Reference, Deuteronomy 31:6; Joshua 1:5.