Study Notes

1Kings 6:1-7:51

6:1 Building The House Of The Lord

Solomon has been king now for four years. It's been almost 500 years since the Israelites were led by Moses out of the land of Egypt. After seeing him gathering timber and stone to build the temple of God, he now begins the project in the month of Zeev, which is, according to our calendar, about the crossover between April and May.

6:2-8 Cubits

The measurements given here are in cubits. A cubit was the length measured from a man's elbow to fingertip, about 18 inches.

The Porch

This porch will become known in New Testament times as Solomon's porch, or as the NASB puts it, "the portico of Solomon." This porch was where Jesus was walking when the Jews confronted Him, saying,

John 10:24 ..."How long will You keep us in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly."

It is also the place where Peter and John ended up after healing the lame man at the gate called Beautiful.

Acts 3:6-11 But Peter said, "I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene - walk!" And seizing him by the right hand, he raised him up; and immediately his feet and his ankles were strengthened. And with a leap, he stood upright and {began} to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God; and they were taking note of him as being the one who used to sit at the Beautiful Gate of the temple to {beg} alms, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. And while he was clinging to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them at the so-called portico of Solomon, full of amazement.

Solomon is building this portico now.

The Nave

A nave is the main part of the temple - what we would call the sanctuary of the church. This is what was called the Holy Place in the tabernacle, where the altar of incense, the lampstand, and the table of show bread were kept.

The Inner Sanctuary

The inner sanctuary is the Holy of Holies, also called the Most Holy Place. This is the room that housed the ark of the covenant.

Side Chambers

The temple was surrounded on three sides by a three-story building. This building contained side chambers that were accessible by winding staircases.

No Tools Heard

The stone was prepared at the quarry, rather than on the temple mount. Thus,

1Kgs. 6:7 ...there was neither hammer nor axe nor any iron tool heard in the house while it was being built.

Why is this? Probably because Solomon was trying to adhere to the standard God gave in Deuteronomy 27, in regards to His command to build an altar on Mount Ay-BAWL, after they crossed the Jordan.

Deut. 27:5-6 "Moreover, you shall build there an altar to the LORD your God, an altar of stones; you shall not wield an iron {tool} on them. You shall build the altar of the LORD your God of uncut stones; and you shall offer on it burnt offerings to the LORD your God;

But what is the practical application of this for us? Obviously, when we go to build a church building, it's going to be a noisy affair. There will be hammers pounding, saws wailing, and guys shouting instructions. So how can we observe this practically?

I believe that there needs to be a reverence for the house of God in a building project. There should be a spirit of respect. Not as a construction site is typically, with immoral music, profane language, and guys complaining. There should be a worshipful attitude. Praise music, rejoicing, and diligence about the job.

6:9-14 Walk, Execute, Keep

God had promised to David,

2Sam. 7:10-13 "I will also appoint a place for My people Israel and will plant them, that they may live in their own place and not be disturbed again, nor will the wicked afflict them any more as formerly, even from the day that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. The LORD also declares to you that the LORD will make a house for you. When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever."

Now, He tells David's son Solomon that this promise will be fulfilled if Solomon does three things: 1) walk in My statutes; 2) execute My ordinances; and 3) keep all My commandments. In other words, follow the law of God, make godly judgments, and obey the Word of God.

6:15-22 Gold

The inside of the temple was overlaid with cedar, which was overlaid with gold.

6:23-30 Cherubim

On either side of the ark of the covenant was a 15-foot tall cherub. Cherubim are the highest angelic beings that have been created. In Revelation 4 they are described as being like a lion, a calf, a man, and an eagle, full of eyes around and within. The prophet Ezekiel gives us even greater and more specific visual descriptions of the cherubim:

Ezek. 1:5-11 And within it there were figures resembling four living beings. And this was their appearance: they had human form. Each of them had four faces and four wings. And their legs were straight and their feet were like a calf's hoof, and they gleamed like burnished bronze. Under their wings on their four sides were human hands. As for the faces and wings of the four of them, their wings touched one another; their faces did not turn when they moved, each went straight forward. As for the form of their faces, each had the face of a man, all four had the face of a lion on the right and the face of a bull on the left, and all four had the face of an eagle. Such were their faces. Their wings were spread out above; each had two touching another being, and two covering their bodies.

As you read further into Ezekiel, they have even weirder and more confusing details with wheels inside of wheels.

They are fascinating creatures, mentioned many times in the Scriptures. God appointed cherubim to guard the way to the tree of life (Gen. 3:24). Satan himself was also once one of the cherubim (Eze. 28:14). They are definitely far from the notion of being little fat babies with wings!

On the ark of the covenant itself were also two cherubim. At either end of the mercy seat, they faced each other with their wings spread upward, covering the mercy seat.

In the throne room of God in Heaven, there are cherubim facing the throne of God in worship. Ezekiel wrote,

Ezek. 10:1 Then I looked, and behold, in the expanse that was over the heads of the cherubim something like a sapphire stone, in appearance resembling a throne, appeared above them.

And John the apostle saw this as well

Rev. 4:6-9 and before the throne there was, as it were, a sea of glass like crystal; and in the center and around the throne, four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind. And the first creature was like a lion, and the second creature like a calf, and the third creature had a face like that of a man, and the fourth creature was like a flying eagle. And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say, HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, is THE LORD GOD, THE ALMIGHTY, who was and who is and who is to come." And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever...

The Holy of Holies was intended as a model of the throne room of God.

6:31-38 Seven Years Building

The temple took seven years to build.

7:1-12 Solomon's House

While the temple took seven years to build, Solomon's house took thirteen. It was also a costly undertaking, with impressive architecture and handiwork. It was not just his house, but also his palace, for it included his hall of judgment, from which he would rule.

7:13-51 Hiram of Tyre

Although the king of Tyre was named Khee-RAWM, this is a different guy. This Khee-RAWM is a worker in bronze, making the pillars, the bronze laver, the stands and basins, and various utensils.

Two Pillars

Verse 21 tells us an interesting detail: the two pillars were given names, Yaw-KEEN and BO-az.

The right pillar was called, "Yaw-KEEN," which means "He will establish." The left pillar was "BO-az," meaning "In Him is strength." This forms a statement on the porch of the temple: Reading right to left, as Hebrew does, forms the phrase, "He will establish - in Him is strength."

This is a fantastic reminder to us - something that should be brought to mind every time we enter the house of God - it is not what we can do, it is what He is doing. It is not what we can plan - it is following His plan.

Zech. 4:6 ..."Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit," says the LORD of hosts.

We only have true strength in Him. Peter told us,

1Pet. 5:10 ...The God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen {and} establish you.

We are strengthened in Him, He will establish us.

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