Sometimes, in the Bible, you come across descriptions, details, and lists that can be a little hard to follow. One example of this is the description in 1 Kings 6 of the construction of Solomon’s temple. It’s not too easy to work your way through it, and there are just too many details missing to get an accurate picture. You can find artists’ conceptions of it in publications and on the internet, but they are all different. Still, when you read through it you get a general impression of the size, the shape, the importance of the building.
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 Ziv, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the Lord. As for 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.
There is some question about the precise length of a cubit, but the ratio of the building is clear enough. It was not particularly large—about 90 feet long by 30 feet wide, and 45 feet in height. You can visualize the distance from the 30-yard line on a football field to the goal line, then 10 yards wide, and half again tall as it is wide. The importance of the building, however, is out of all proportion to its size. And these are just the measurements of the building proper. There was a lot more construction around the building itself. Let’s examine these blueprints a little more closely, as we continue in the Book of Kings.