Solomon’s Temple

The Valley of Jehoshophat (“YHWH shall judge”) between Mount Moriah (viewer’s left) and the Mount of Olives (viewer’s right). See Joel 3:2 and Joel 3:12. [Wikimedia Commons]
[Image: Sweet Publishing]
Solomon’s Temple was built on the Temple Mount, set upon Mount Moriah — the site of Isaac’s binding by Abraham [Genesis 22] and later of Araunah’s threshing floor, purchased by King David for “fifty shekels of silver” [2 Samuel 24:24].

Modern Temple Mount (red shade) on Mount Moriah [Wikimedia Commons]

The Temple porch — labelled vestibule in the image below and not to be confused with Solomon’s porch — was 20 x 20 cubits in dimension. It helped make up the 60-cubit length of the Temple in its entirety.

The outer temple (Holy Place) and porch together accounted for two-thirds (40 cubits) of the structure’s entire length; the other third (20 cubits) by the inner sanctum (Holy of Holies). The Holy Place and the Holy of Holies together comprise the temple-proper.

[Image: Wikimedia Commons]
In total, then, the Temple — Porch, Holy Place, and Holy of Holies — measured 60 cubits in length and 20 cubits wide, surrounded on three sides by outer chambers (see floor plan above).

Section through the Outer Chambers [Image: Redeemer of Israel]
The temple was entirely lined by gold-plated, almond- and flower-carved, cedar so that no stone was visible internally. The outer chambers rested on cedar timber. Three outer chambers (all 5 cubits high), from back to front, were 7, 6 , and 7 cubits wide, respectively. An external entrance to the middle chamber of the right side of the temple connected internally to its front chamber, via a staircase (not depicted in image above).

Plan of Solomon’s Temple [Image: as uploaded by User:Dauster, Wikimedia Commons]
Posts of olive-tree timber each make up a 1/4 (5 cubits) of the total width of the partition between the temple proper and porch. Within its midst were two bi-fold, gold-plated (in and out), carved, fir-tree wooden doors (also 5 cubits wide each): two posts (2 x 5) and two doors (2 x 5) making up the 20-cubit width. The temple was lined by gold-plated timber of cherubim, palm trees, and open-flower carvings. The timber floor was gold-plated, inside and out.

Inside the Holy Place [Image: Pinterest]
Holy of Holies: two gold-plated, olive-tree, cherubim each 10 cubits high with 5 cubit-long wings (a 10-cubit wingspan each) with wings abutting the respective side walls of the temple and opposing wings meeting in the midst of the house over the ark. The door to the Oracle was gold-plated, olive-tree, timber. Its lintel and side posts making up a fifth (4 cubits) of the total span of this, the partition with the temple proper. In the desert tabernacle, chains (ribbons) of gold would have been used to demarcate the entrance to the inner sanctuary.

The Ark of the Covenant placed between the wings of the Cherubim in the Holy of Holies [Image: Sweet Publishing]
  • Front of porch: 20 cubits wide
  • Temple-proper entrance, from the porch: 10 cubits wide inclusive of wall and two bi-fold doors
  • Holy of Holies entrance (elevated): 16 cubits wide made of two bi-fold doors.

This only scratches the surface, so to speak, when it comes to Solomon’s Temple.


Further Images

Also see:

Highly recommend and amenable to all levels of discourse is The Great Secret of Solomon’s Temple video series by Michael Rood. Apart from the fascinating subject matter, the talk is full of revelatory Hebraic idioms. Persevere beyond Part 1.

Further Reading
Featured Image

Impression of Solomon’s Temple [as per User:Johnreve, Wikimedia Commons]

8 Replies to “Solomon’s Temple”

    1. Joyce-Anne, I cannot recall the origin of the image. I would refer you, however, to the copyright notice (bottom of image) permitting reuse “if copyright information is included”. I have taken that notice on good faith. (There is an email address attached to the copyright notice, perhaps for those who seek further clarification.) May your Praise and Worship message fall on ears that do hear.


  1. Hi, I’m doing a teaching series at my local Church. I want to share some thoughts on the cedar trees and palm trees that were used in the building of Solomon’s Temple.

    You have a picture above of the High Priest standing before the ark of the covenant. He is surrounded by good covered walls that have palm trees engraved in them.

    Could I please have your permission to use this picture. Of course I would credit it to you and put your name at the bottom. (By the way, your name isn’t on the page).


    Peter Wilson.


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