Solomon’s Temple: Who Built What and Where Did It Go?

Below are a couple of things that stood out to me from 1 Kings 7-8 this morning that I’m still meditating on.

The temple that Solomon built was 60 cubits long, 20 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high. It took Solomon seven years to build it. But, the house that Solomon built for himself was 100 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high. It took Solomon 13 years to build his own house. While Solomon’s house was the same height as the temple, it was longer and wider. Therefore, the house that Solomon built for himself was larger than the temple he built for the name of the Lord. Also, Solomon finished the temple in seven years. Seven is the number of completion or perfection in the Bible. Thirteen, the number of years it took Solomon to build his own house, is the number of lawlessness or rebellion in the Bible.

Solomon built a house of perfection for the Lord, but he built one of lawlessness and rebellion for himself.

While the above is interesting, the following is what really excites me. In the temple there were vessels of bronze, silver, and gold. All of the bronze vessels were made by Hiram, the king of Tyre. In the Bible, bronze speaks of judgment. And, the king of Tyre is likened to Satan in Ezekiel 28. All of these bronze vessels were in the outer court. None of them were actually inside the temple itself as there is no judgment inside the temple – “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). Jesus was the sacrifice on the bronze altar. In his body he bore our sins and took the judgment that we deserved. He is the water in the sea of bronze – the Word of God made flesh – that was made a curse for us and, again, received the judgment we deserved.

Solomon, who is a type of the resurrected and ascended Lord Jesus Christ, only made vessels of gold that were inside the temple. Gold speaks of divinity, purity, and godliness. The vessels that Solomon made were of pure gold.

There are also vessels of silver in the temple. But, these vessels had been dedicated by David and were brought into the temple by Solomon to be stored in the treasuries of the Lord. Silver speaks of redemption in the Bible. David, as a type of Jesus Christ in his earthly ministry, waged spiritual war on our behalf and secured our redemption on the cross in the sacrifice of his body and the shedding of his blood, which he carried into the heavenly temple.

So, only the things of gold and silver, the things of godliness and redemption, which Solomon and David as types of Christ made, are inside the temple. The things of bronze, the things of judgment, which Hiram as a type of Satan made, are in the outer court.

Whenever we find gold in nature it also contains some silver and some copper (which is the main component of bronze). A natural gold nugget is usually 70-95% gold, and the remainder a mix of silver and copper. The more copper that is in the nugget, the “dirtier” the gold nugget appears to be. But, inside the temple, the copper (bronze) has been removed from the gold by fire. It’s been purified. A pure gold nugget would be a bright golden yellow. But, the presence of silver changes the color of the nugget. How so? The more silver that is in the gold, the whiter the gold. Take some time to study the color white in the Bible.

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