Mural at Beth Ychad of Phoenix AZ


The tabernacle was the temporary house of God, and it had been forgotten as high places were used for offerings.  A permanent building would offer a point of focus for faith again.  The world needed a symbol that they could connect with to represent the greater cathedral that only God could build.  Solomon begins a construction that will symbolize the greater work to come.

And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD.  And the house which king Solomon built for the LORD, the length thereof was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof twenty cubits, and the height thereof thirty cubits.  And the porch before the temple of the house, twenty cubits was the length thereof, according to the breadth of the house; and ten cubits was the breadth thereof before the house.  And for the house he made windows of narrow lights.  And against the wall of the house he built chambers round about, against the walls of the house round about, both of the temple and of the oracle: and he made chambers round about:  1 Kings 6:1-5

Measurements do not explain the beauty of workmanship that was so missed when the temple had to be rebuilt later.  Even the later Roman effort lacked the anointing of these original workmen.

The nethermost chamber was five cubits broad, and the middle was six cubits broad, and the third was seven cubits broad: for without in the wall of the house he made narrowed rests round about, that the beams should not be fastened in the walls of the house.  And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building.  The door for the middle chamber was in the right side of the house: and they went up with winding stairs into the middle chamber, and out of the middle into the third.  So he built the house, and finished it; and covered the house with beams and boards of cedar.  And then he built chambers against all the house, five cubits high: and they rested on the house with timber of cedar.  1 Kings 6:6-10

As an army trained carpenter I know the formula well.  I cut that board three times and it’s still too short!  These workmen had the stone and lumber so perfect that they all fit on the first try, with no hammering.  If a cedar chest or closet is nice, a temple full of it must have been a sweet fragrance.  There was a Holy Ghost guidance to all the work going on here.

And the word of the LORD came to Solomon, saying,  Concerning this house which thou art in building, if thou wilt walk in my statutes, and execute my judgments, and keep all my commandments to walk in them; then will I perform my word with thee, which I spake unto David thy father:  And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake my people Israel.  So Solomon built the house, and finished it.  1 Kings 6:11-14

If a building was not what God meant, he at least honored Solomon’s willing spirit in this offering.  If you have seen a good finish carpenter at work, imagine the anointed work with these priceless materials.  Gold alone is nearly $2,000 per ounce in our perverted economy today!  Let’s see now, for one ton of gold that will be 64 million dollars Solomon.  On your bill?  Coming right up!

And he built the walls of the house within with boards of cedar, both the floor of the house, and the walls of the ceiling: and he covered them on the inside with wood, and covered the floor of the house with planks of fir.  And he built twenty cubits on the sides of the house, both the floor and the walls with boards of cedar: he even built them for it within, even for the oracle, even for the most holy place.  And the house, that is, the temple before it, was forty cubits long.  And the cedar of the house within was carved with knops and open flowers: all was cedar; there was no stone seen.  And the oracle he prepared in the house within, to set there the ark of the covenant of the LORD.  And the oracle in the forepart was twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in breadth, and twenty cubits in the height thereof: and he overlaid it with pure gold; and so covered the altar which was of cedar.  1 Kings 6:15-20

Oh the rapper punks like gold, chains, teeth, even mouth grills.  Seems like a good way to get seriously injured, right?  One day it will only be good for pavement.

So Solomon overlaid the house within with pure gold: and he made a partition by the chains of gold before the oracle; and he overlaid it with gold.  And the whole house he overlaid with gold, until he had finished all the house: also the whole altar that was by the oracle he overlaid with gold.  And within the oracle he made two cherubims of olive tree, each ten cubits high.  And five cubits was the one wing of the cherub, and five cubits the other wing of the cherub: from the uttermost part of the one wing unto the uttermost part of the other were ten cubits.  And the other cherub was ten cubits: both the cherubims were of one measure and one size.  The height of the one cherub was ten cubits, and so was it of the other cherub.  1 Kings 6:21-26

Cherubims are ghastly creatures, not some effeminate guy with wings.  You don’t want to meet one in a dark alley unless you have God’s light.  The biblical description features four wings, four heads, and eyes all around.  God may think, “Love me, love my dog!”  A couple of big Cherubims might suggest reverence and caution not to enter a holy place where you don’t belong.

And he set the cherubims within the inner house: and they stretched forth the wings of the cherubims, so that the wing of the one touched the one wall, and the wing of the other cherub touched the other wall; and their wings touched one another in the midst of the house.  And he overlaid the cherubims with gold.  And he carved all the walls of the house round about with carved figures of cherubims and palm trees and open flowers, within and without.  And the floors of the house he overlaid with gold, within and without.  1 Kings 6:27-30

Cherubims, trees, flowers, and abundant ornamental carvings made this a lavish statement.  Everything is decorative and precisely functional.  Everything fits without force or repairs. 

And for the entering of the oracle he made doors of olive tree: the lintel and side posts were a fifth part of the wall.  The two doors also were of olive tree; and he carved upon them carvings of cherubims and palm trees and open flowers, and overlaid them with gold, and spread gold upon the cherubims, and upon the palm trees.  So also made he for the door of the temple posts of olive tree, a fourth part of the wall.  And the two doors were of fir tree: the two leaves of the one door were folding, and the two leaves of the other door were folding.  And he carved thereon cherubims and palm trees and open flowers: and covered them with gold fitted upon the carved work.  And he built the inner court with three rows of hewed stone, and a row of cedar beams.  1 Kings 6:31-36

So the years of anointed work came to an end with a glorious and world famous building.  Those who saw it would not see the likes of it ever again on the earth.  They will see something better though.

In the fourth year was the foundation of the house of the LORD laid, in the month Zif:  And in the eleventh year, in the month Bul, which is the eighth month, was the house finished throughout all the parts thereof, and according to all the fashion of it. So was he seven years in building it. 1 Kings 6:37-38

Ultimately we learn that our bodies are the temporary tabernacle of the kingdom of God, and the temple he will build will use these living stones, the church in a glorious setting. 

Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;   Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me.  Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in  remembrance.  2 Peter 1:13-15

Peter talks about being a tabernacle or tent, a temporary dwelling we call our body.  Jesus refers to his own body as a temple.

Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.  Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?   But he spake of the temple of his body.  John 2:19-21

If the temple is God’s dwelling place we are indeed living tabernacles.

Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?  If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.  1 Corinthians 3:16-17

What we do in this body should be free of connection to idols, not adorned with statues of false deities or distracting idolatry.

And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 2 Corinthians 6:16

In Revelation we see the final temple in our unity and communion with God. 

And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.  And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.  Revelation 21:22-23