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].
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.
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).
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).
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.
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.
- 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.
- Solomon’s Temple orthographic projection and cut-away
- Floor Plan of Solomon’s Temple Mount
- Floor Plan of the Temple
- Scale Model of the Temple
- Temple Mount
- Chamber of Hewn Stone
- Secret Solomon
- Fate of Ark of the Covenant Revealed in Hebrew Text, Owen Jarus – Live Science, as at January 7, 2014
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.
- 1 Kings 5–6 – The Shining Light School of Biblical Studies, 20 July 2016
- 1 Kings 6-8 – Sunday Evening Bible Study, Calvary Fullerton,
- 2 June 2002
- Jerusalem: A Religious Experience?, Jo Amos – The Road to Wonderland, 4 December 2017
- 3D model of Solomon’s Temple, Leen Ritmeyer – Ritmeyer Archaeological Design, 13 February 2016
- The Temple or “Castle” of The Kingdom of YHVH, Rav Sha’ul – The Sabbath Covenant
- Solomon’s Temple: Temple Mount, Narrow Gate Entrance
- Jerusalem, Bible History online
- The Temple of Solomon (The First Temple), Lambert Dolphin – Temple Mount
Impression of Solomon’s Temple [as per User:Johnreve, Wikimedia Commons]