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What is the Temple of Solomon?
        The idea of building a temple to take the place of the tabernacle as the permanent place of worship for the Jewish Church was first, it would seem, the idea of David. 1 Chr 17:1. And, although forbidden by the Lord from beginning the work, he ever held it in mind, and joyfully accumulated from the spoils of his enemies and from the revenue of his kingdom a fund for this purpose. In 1 Chr 22:14 the amount is thus given in the chronicler's report of David's speech to Solomon: "I have prepared for the house of the Lord one hundred thousand talents of gold and one million talents of silver, and of brass and of iron without weight." Reckoning the talent of silver at 3000 shekels of silver, and the talent of gold as worth sixteen times that of silver, this amount of money, put into our coinage, would be, according to Lange (Commentary, in loco): Silver, $1,710,000,000; gold, $2,737,500,000: total, $4,447,500,000- "a sum incredibly high for the requirements of worship at that time." But, reckoning the shekel after the king's weight, or half the value of the shekel of the sanctuary, then the above sum is cut down one-half, and we can parallel it from secular history.

         Besides gold and silver, David collected immense quantities of brass (bronze or copper), iron, stone, timber, etc., and he secured skilful mechanics and artificers for every branch of the work. 1 Chr 22; 1 Chr 29:4, 1 Chr 29:7. He also furnished the design, plan, and location of the building; in all which he was divinely instructed. 1 Chr 21-22; 1 Chr 28:11-19. He was not permitted, however, to see a single step taken in its erection. 1 Kgs 5:3. The superintendence of the building was committed to Solomon, the son on and successor of David, who commenced the work in the fourth year of his reign. There were 183,600 Jews and strangers employed on it - of Jews 30,000, by rotation 10,000 a month; of Canaanites, 153,600, of whom 70,000 were bearers of burdens, 80,000 hewers of wood and stone, and 3600 overseers. The parts were all prepared at a distance from the site of the building, and when they were brought together the whole immense structure was erected without the sound of hammer, axe, or any tool of iron, 1 Kgs 6:7, and at the end of seven and a half years it stood complete in all its splendor, the glory of Jerusalem, and the most magnificent edifice in the world, b.c. 1005. Like the tabernacle, it had its front toward the east. All the arrangements of the temple were identical with those of the tabernacle, and the dimensions of every part exactly double those of the previous structure.

         We shall give an idea of the temple of Solomon by condensing the account in Stanley's History of the Jewish Church, Lecture 27. On the eastern side was a cloister or colonnade. The later kings, however, continued it all around. This portico opened on a large quadrangle, surrounded by a wall, partly of stone, partly of cedar, and planted with trees. Within this quadrangle was a smaller court, on the highest ridge of the hill, which enclosed the place of David's sacrifice - the rocky threshing- floor of Araunah the Jebusite. This rock was levelled and filled up, so as to make a platform for the altar, which was a square chest of wood, plated outside with brass, filled inside with stones and earth, with the fire on a brass grating at the top, the whole placed on a mass of rough stone. South of the altar was the brazen laver, supported on twelve brazen bulls. This was used for the ablutions of the priests as they walked to and fro barefooted over the rocky platform. On each side were the ten lesser movable vessels of brass, on wheels, for the washing of the entrails. Round about the lesser court, in two or three stories raised above each other, were chambers for the priests and other persons of rank. 2 Chr 31:11; Jer 36:10. In the corners were the kitchens and boiling-apparatus. Eze 46:20-24. Each had brazen gates. 2 Chr 4:9. In the court was the "temple" properly so called. In front towered the porch, in height more than 200 feet. Behind it was a lower edifice, lessening in height as it approached its extremity. On the sides were small chambers, entered only from without through a sandalwood door on the south, and gilded chambers above them accessible to the king alone. 1 Kgs 6:8. The two elaborate pillars called Jachin and Boaz stood immediately under the porch. Within, another pair of folding-doors led into the holy place. It would have been almost dark were it not that, in place of the original single seven-branched candlestick, ten now stood on ten tables, five on each side. 1 Kgs 7:49. Within the chamber were the table of shew-bread and altar of incense. The holy of holies was separated from the holy place by a "wall of partition," penetrated, however, by folding-doors of olive-wood, over which hung a party-colored curtain embroidered with cherubs and flowers. 1 Kgs 6:31. The holy of holies was a small square chamber, absolutely dark except by the light received through this aperture. In it were two huge golden figures, standing upright on their feet, on each side of the ark, which rested upon a protuberance of rough rock. Above the ark the wings of these cherubim met. The wails of the chambers which ran round the rest of the building were not allowed to lean against the outer walls of this sanctuary. The quarries of Solomon have recently been discovered under the present city of Jerusalem, near the Damascus-gate. They are very extensive, and to-day exhibit, in partially-excavated blocks of stone, the evidence of the monarch's architectural tastes and requirements.

        The temple of Solomon stood, altogether, four hundred and twenty-four years, but it was plundered by Shishak, king of Egypt, during the reign of Rehoboam. 1 Kgs 14:25-26. After this it was frequently profaned and pillaged, and was at last broken down and destroyed by the king of Babylon, and the nation itself carried into captivity, 2 Kgs 25:8-9, 2 Kgs 25:13-17; 2 Chr 36:18-19, b.c. 598.

Bibliography Information
Schaff, Philip, Dr. "Biblical Definition for 'temple of solomon' in Schaffs Bible Dictionary". - Schaff's

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