Thursday, May 26, 2022

1 Kings 6

1 Kings 6: Solomon Builds the Temple


In this passage we read about the building of the LORD’s Temple by Solomon. It is sometimes considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World (depending which list you read1), and was definitely a spectacular building! Many Bibles will include illustrations of the temple, and the Wikipedia article on it also includes a lot of good description and illustrations.

I’m not going to list out the details of the building, the passage has all the details, and is readable.

Keep in mind that this chapter only covers the construction of the temple; a later passage will recount how God comes to dwell in it.

Verse 1 tells us that Solomon began construction in the 480th year after the Israelites came out of Egypt; if we remove the 40 years of wandering in the desert, that means the Israelites have been living in the Promised Land for 440 years without a Temple, just with the Tabernacle2. Or rather, 447, I guess, since it took seven years to complete.


I don’t have much in the way of thoughts about this passage except that, interestingly, there is a brief interlude in verses 11–13 in which God reminds Solomon that simply having a temple doesn’t mean having a relationship with Him:

The word of the LORD came to Solomon: “As for this temple you are building, if you follow my decrees, observe my laws and keep all my commands and obey them, I will fulfill through you the promise I gave to David your father. And I will live among the Israelites and will not abandon my people Israel.”

And then it goes right back into the description of the temple construction.

There’s a part of me that thinks Solomon might very well have needed this reminder—1 Kings has presented a mixed view of Solomon so far, where he’s somewhat obedient and also somewhat disobedient—but part of me also thinks that he took this message to heart because one of the things I remember most about Solomon is his speech when he dedicates the Temple (coming up in Chapter 8), which shows that he really does “get it” when it comes to God’s relationship with His people, and with His temple.

  1. I’d always remembered the Temple as being one of the Seven Wonders, but in doing some quick research I’m seeing that it doesn’t seem to have been part of the original list of wonders, it was added later, especially in Christian lists of “Seven Wonders.” ↩︎

  2. I mean “the Tent of Meeting.” I’ve been treating those two terms synonymously—I think they’re the same thing—but part of me is doubting myself on that point. ↩︎

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