SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:
1 Kings 5:1-8:13
5:1 (5:15) King Hiram of Tyre sent messengers to Solomon when he heard that he had been anointed king in his father’s place. (Hiram had always been an ally of David.) 2 Solomon then sent this message to Hiram: 3 “You know that my father David was unable to build a temple to honor the Lord his God, for he was busy fighting battles on all fronts while the Lord subdued his enemies. 4 But now the Lord my God has made me secure on all fronts; there is no adversary or dangerous threat. 5 So I have decided to build a temple to honor the Lord my God, as the Lord instructed my father David, ‘Your son, whom I will put on your throne in your place, is the one who will build a temple to honor me.’ 6 So now order some cedars of Lebanon to be cut for me. My servants will work with your servants. I will pay your servants whatever you say is appropriate, for you know that we have no one among us who knows how to cut down trees like the Sidonians.”
7 When Hiram heard Solomon’s message, he was very happy. He said, “The Lord is worthy of praise today because he has given David a wise son to rule over this great nation.” 8 Hiram then sent this message to Solomon: “I received the message you sent to me. I will give you all the cedars and evergreens you need. 9 My servants will bring the timber down from Lebanon to the sea. I will send it by sea in raft-like bundles to the place you designate. There I will separate the logs and you can carry them away. In exchange you will supply the food I need for my royal court.”
10 So Hiram supplied the cedars and evergreens Solomon needed, 11 and Solomon supplied Hiram annually with 20,000 cors of wheat as provision for his royal court, as well as 120,000 gallons of pure olive oil. 12 So the Lord gave Solomon wisdom, as he had promised him. And Hiram and Solomon were at peace and made a treaty.
13 King Solomon conscripted work crews from throughout Israel, 30,000 men in all. 14 He sent them to Lebanon in shifts of 10,000 men per month. They worked in Lebanon for one month, and then spent two months at home. Adoniram was supervisor of the work crews. 15 Solomon also had 70,000 common laborers and 80,000 stonecutters in the hills, 16 besides 3,300 officials who supervised the workers. 17 By royal order they supplied large valuable stones in order to build the temple’s foundation with chiseled stone. 18 Solomon’s and Hiram’s construction workers, along with men from Byblos, did the chiseling and prepared the wood and stones for the building of the temple.
6:1 In the four hundred and eightieth year after the Israelites left Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, during the month Ziv (the second month), he began building the Lord’s temple. 2 The temple King Solomon built for the Lord was 90 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 45 feet high. 3 The porch in front of the main hall of the temple was 30 feet long, corresponding to the width of the temple. It was 15 feet wide, extending out from the front of the temple. 4 He made framed windows for the temple. 5 He built an extension all around the walls of the temple’s main hall and Holy Place and constructed side rooms in it. 6 The bottom floor of the extension was 7½ feet wide, the middle floor 9 feet wide, and the third floor 10½ feet wide. He made ledges on the temple’s outer walls so the beams would not have to be inserted into the walls. 7 As the temple was being built, only stones shaped at the quarry were used; the sound of hammers, pickaxes, or any other iron tool was not heard at the temple while it was being built. 8 The entrance to the bottom level of side rooms was on the south side of the temple; stairs went up to the middle floor and then on up to the third floor. 9 He finished building the temple and covered it with rafters and boards made of cedar. 10 He built an extension all around the temple; it was 7½ feet high and it was attached to the temple by cedar beams.
11 The Lord’s message came to Solomon: 12 “As for this temple you are building, if you follow my rules, observe my regulations, and obey all my commandments, I will fulfill through you the promise I made to your father David. 13 I will live among the Israelites and will not abandon my people Israel.”
14 So Solomon finished building the temple. 15 He constructed the walls inside the temple with cedar planks; he paneled the inside with wood from the floor of the temple to the rafters of the ceiling. He covered the temple floor with boards made from the wood of evergreens. 16 He built a wall 30 feet in from the rear of the temple as a partition for an inner sanctuary that would be the Most Holy Place. He paneled the wall with cedar planks from the floor to the rafters. 17 The main hall in front of the inner sanctuary was 60 feet long. 18 The inside of the temple was all cedar and was adorned with carvings of round ornaments and of flowers in bloom. Everything was cedar; no stones were visible.
19 He prepared the inner sanctuary inside the temple so that the ark of the covenant of the Lord could be placed there. 20 The inner sanctuary was 30 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 30 feet high. He plated it with gold, as well as the cedar altar. 21 Solomon plated the inside of the temple with gold. He hung golden chains in front of the inner sanctuary and plated the inner sanctuary with gold. 22 He plated the entire inside of the temple with gold, as well as the altar inside the inner sanctuary.
23 In the inner sanctuary he made two cherubim of olive wood; each stood 15 feet high. 24 Each of the first cherub’s wings was 7½ feet long; its entire wingspan was 15 feet. 25 The second cherub also had a wingspan of 15 feet; it was identical to the first in measurements and shape. 26 Each cherub stood 15 feet high. 27 He put the cherubim in the inner sanctuary of the temple. Their wings were spread out. One of the first cherub’s wings touched one wall and one of the other cherub’s wings touched the opposite wall. The first cherub’s other wing touched the second cherub’s other wing in the middle of the room. 28 He plated the cherubim with gold.
29 On all the walls around the temple, inside and out, he carved cherubim, palm trees, and flowers in bloom. 30 He plated the floor of the temple with gold, inside and out. 31 He made doors of olive wood at the entrance to the inner sanctuary; the pillar on each doorpost was five sided. 32 On the two doors made of olive wood he carved cherubim, palm trees, and flowers in bloom, and he plated them with gold. He plated the cherubim and the palm trees with hammered gold. 33 In the same way he made doorposts of olive wood for the entrance to the main hall, only with four-sided pillars. 34 He also made two doors out of wood from evergreens; each door had two folding leaves. 35 He carved cherubim, palm trees, and flowers in bloom and plated them with gold, leveled out over the carvings. 36 He built the inner courtyard with three rows of chiseled stones and a row of cedar beams.
37 In the month of Ziv in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign the foundation was laid for the Lord’s temple. 38 In the eleventh year, in the month of Bul (the eighth month) the temple was completed in accordance with all its specifications and blueprints. It took seven years to build.
7:1 Solomon took 13 years to build his palace. 2 He named it “The Palace of the Lebanon Forest”; it was 150 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high. It had four rows of cedar pillars and cedar beams above the pillars. 3 The roof above the beams supported by the pillars was also made of cedar; there were 45 beams, 15 per row. 4 There were three rows of windows arranged in sets of three. 5 All the entrances were rectangular in shape and they were arranged in sets of three. 6 He made a colonnade 75 feet long and 45 feet wide. There was a porch in front of this and pillars and a roof in front of the porch. 7 He also made a throne room, called “The Hall of Judgment,” where he made judicial decisions. It was paneled with cedar from the floor to the rafters. 8 The palace where he lived was constructed in a similar way. He also constructed a palace like this hall for Pharaoh’s daughter, whom he had married. 9 All these were built with the best stones, chiseled to the right size and cut with a saw on all sides, from the foundation to the edge of the roof and from the outside to the great courtyard. 10 The foundation was made of large valuable stones, measuring either 15 feet or 12 feet. 11 Above the foundation the best stones, chiseled to the right size, were used along with cedar. 12 Around the great courtyard were three rows of chiseled stones and one row of cedar beams, like the inner courtyard of the Lord’s temple and the hall of the palace.
13 King Solomon sent for Hiram of Tyre. 14 He was the son of a widow from the tribe of Naphtali, and his father was a craftsman in bronze from Tyre. He had the skill and knowledge to make all kinds of works of bronze. He reported to King Solomon and did all the work he was assigned.
15 He fashioned two bronze pillars; each pillar was 27 feet high and 18 feet in circumference. 16 He made two bronze tops for the pillars; each was 7½ feet high. 17 The latticework on the tops of the pillars was adorned with ornamental wreaths and chains; the top of each pillar had seven groupings of ornaments. 18 When he made the pillars, there were two rows of pomegranate-shaped ornaments around the latticework covering the top of each pillar. 19 The tops of the two pillars in the porch were shaped like lilies and were six feet high. 20 On the top of each pillar, right above the bulge beside the latticework, there were 200 pomegranate-shaped ornaments arranged in rows all the way around. 21 He set up the pillars on the porch in front of the main hall. He erected one pillar on the right side and called it Yakin; he erected the other pillar on the left side and called it Boaz. 22 The tops of the pillars were shaped like lilies. So the construction of the pillars was completed.
23 He also made the large bronze basin called “The Sea.” It measured 15 feet from rim to rim, was circular in shape, and stood 7½ feet high. Its circumference was 45 feet. 24 Under the rim all the way around it were round ornaments arranged in settings 15 feet long. The ornaments were in two rows and had been cast with “The Sea.” 25 “The Sea” stood on top of twelve bulls. Three faced northward, three westward, three southward, and three eastward. “The Sea” was placed on top of them, and they all faced outward. 26 It was four fingers thick and its rim was like that of a cup shaped like a lily blossom. It could hold about 12,000 gallons.
27 He also made 10 bronze movable stands. Each stand was 6 feet long, 6 feet wide, and 4½ feet high. 28 The stands were constructed with frames between the joints. 29 On these frames and joints were ornamental lions, bulls, and cherubim. Under the lions and bulls were decorative wreaths. 30 Each stand had four bronze wheels with bronze axles and four supports. Under the basin the supports were fashioned on each side with wreaths. 31 Inside the stand was a round opening that was 18 inches deep; it had a support that was 27 inches long. On the edge of the opening were carvings in square frames. 32 The four wheels were under the frames, and the crossbars of the axles were connected to the stand. Each wheel was 27 inches high. 33 The wheels were constructed like chariot wheels; their crossbars, rims, spokes, and hubs were made of cast metal. 34 Each stand had four supports, one per side projecting out from the stand. 35 On top of each stand was a round opening three-quarters of a foot deep; there were also supports and frames on top of the stands. 36 He engraved ornamental cherubim, lions, and palm trees on the plates of the supports and frames wherever there was room, with wreaths all around. 37 He made the 10 stands in this way. All of them were cast in one mold and were identical in measurements and shape.
38 He also made 10 bronze basins, each of which could hold about 240 gallons. Each basin was 6 feet in diameter; there was one basin for each stand. 39 He put five basins on the south side of the temple and five on the north side. He put “The Sea” on the south side, in the southeast corner.
40 Hiram also made basins, shovels, and bowls. He finished all the work on the Lord’s temple he had been assigned by King Solomon. 41 He made the two pillars, the two bowl-shaped tops of the pillars, the latticework for the bowl-shaped tops of the two pillars, 42 the 400 pomegranate-shaped ornaments for the latticework of the two pillars (each latticework had two rows of these ornaments at the bowl-shaped top of the pillar), 43 the 10 movable stands with their 10 basins, 44 the big bronze basin called “The Sea” with its 12 bulls underneath, 45 and the pots, shovels, and bowls. All these items King Solomon assigned Hiram to make for the Lord’s temple were made from polished bronze. 46 The king had them cast in earth foundries in the region of the Jordan between Sukkoth and Zarethan. 47 Solomon left all these items unweighed; there were so many of them they did not weigh the bronze.
48 Solomon also made all these items for the Lord’s temple: the gold altar; the gold table on which was kept the Bread of the Presence; 49 the pure gold lampstands at the entrance to the inner sanctuary (five on the right and five on the left); the gold flower-shaped ornaments, lamps, and tongs; 50 the pure gold bowls, trimming shears, basins, pans, and censers; and the gold door sockets for the inner sanctuary (the Most Holy Place) and for the doors of the main hall of the temple. 51 When King Solomon finished constructing the Lord’s temple, he put the holy items that belonged to his father David (the silver, gold, and other articles) in the treasuries of the Lord’s temple.
8:1 Then Solomon convened in Jerusalem Israel’s elders, all the leaders of the Israelite tribes and families, so they could witness the transferal of the ark of the Lord’s covenant from the City of David (that is, Zion). 2 All the men of Israel assembled before King Solomon during the festival in the month of Ethanim (the seventh month). 3 When all Israel’s elders had arrived, the priests lifted the ark. 4 The priests and Levites carried the ark of the Lord, the tent of meeting, and all the holy items in the tent. 5 Now King Solomon and all the Israelites who had assembled with him went on ahead of the ark and sacrificed more sheep and cattle than could be counted or numbered.
6 The priests brought the ark of the Lord’s covenant to its assigned place in the inner sanctuary of the temple, in the Most Holy Place, under the wings of the cherubim. 7 The cherubim’s wings extended over the place where the ark sat; the cherubim overshadowed the ark and its poles. 8 The poles were so long their ends were visible from the Holy Place in front of the inner sanctuary, but they could not be seen from beyond that point. They have remained there to this very day. 9 There was nothing in the ark except the two stone tablets Moses had placed there in Horeb. It was there that the Lord made a covenant with the Israelites after he brought them out of the land of Egypt. 10 Once the priests left the Holy Place, a cloud filled the Lord’s temple. 11 The priests could not carry out their duties because of the cloud; the Lord’s glory filled his temple.
12 Then Solomon said, “The Lord has said that he lives in thick darkness. 13 O Lord, truly I have built a lofty temple for you, a place where you can live permanently.”