2 Chronicles 3


‘Then Solomon began to build the temple of the LORD in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the LORD had appeared to his father David. It was on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite, the place provided by David. He began building on the second day of the second month in the fourth year of his reign. The foundation Solomon laid for building the temple of God was sixty cubits long and twenty cubits wide (using the cubit of the old standard). The portico at the front of the temple was twenty cubits long across the width of the building and twenty cubits high. He overlaid the inside with pure gold. He panelled the main hall with juniper and covered it with fine gold and decorated it with palm tree and chain designs. He adorned the temple with precious stones. And the gold he used was gold of Parvaim. He overlaid the ceiling beams, doorframes, walls and doors of the temple with gold, and he carved cherubim on the walls.’ 2 Chronicles 3:1-7

Solomon Builds The Temple

The building of the temple began at Mount Moriah, 1 Kings 6:1-38, on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite, 1 Chronicles 21:18 / Genesis 22:2.

This was the place which David prepared, 2 Samuel 24:17-25 / 1 Chronicles 21:16-26. The temple was built on Moriah, but the city was built on Zion.

Notice this happened in Solomon’s fourth year of reign, the delay of four years was probably due to the problems in collecting all the materials which were needed to build it, 1 Kings 6:1. It’s hard to determine how long a cubit is but most commentators say it is around 18 inches.

Barnes, in his commentary, says the following.

‘This height, which so much exceeds that of the main building, 1 Kings 6:2, is probably to be corrected by the reading of the Arabic Version and the Alexandrian Septuagint, ‘twenty cubits’, 2 Chronicles 3:9.’

‘He built the Most Holy Place, its length corresponding to the width of the temple—twenty cubits long and twenty cubits wide. He overlaid the inside with six hundred talents of fine gold. The gold nails weighed fifty shekels. He also overlaid the upper parts with gold. For the Most Holy Place he made a pair of sculptured cherubim and overlaid them with gold. The total wingspan of the cherubim was twenty cubits. One wing of the first cherub was five cubits long and touched the temple wall, while its other wing, also five cubits long, touched the wing of the other cherub. Similarly one wing of the second cherub was five cubits long and touched the other temple wall, and its other wing, also five cubits long, touched the wing of the first cherub. The wings of these cherubim extended twenty cubits. They stood on their feet, facing the main hall. He made the curtain of blue, purple and crimson yarn and fine linen, with cherubim worked into it.’ 2 Chronicles 3:8-14

Coffman, in his commentary, says the following.

‘The upper chambers mentioned here do not conform to any architectural description, either of their utility, or their exact location. The whole chapter appears to have a strange mixture of things that Solomon was instructed to do, and did not do, and of things which he did contrary to God’s will.’

The cherubim symbolised protection and they were located above the ark in order to symbolise God’s protection of the covenant, Exodus 25:20 / Psalm 80:1 / Isaiah 37:16 / Ezekiel 10:3.

It also had a veil in place, which was made of the exact same colours as the veil of the tabernacle, Exodus 26:31 / Matthew 27:51 / Hebrews 10:19-20.

Coffman, in his commentary, says the following.

‘These colossal figures violated all of Moses’ instructions regarding their use in the tabernacle. They were not supposed to fill up the house but were intended to decorate the mercy seat, which was in fact a lid for the ark of the covenant. Furthermore, they were not supposed to ‘face the house’ but to be in a posture of peering down intently into the mercy seat. One may find what these figurines were supposed to be in Exodus 25. They were to face each other, with their wings overshadowing the mercy seat, not to be standing side by side facing the outer sanctuary. Their wings were to pertain not to the whole Holy of Holies, but to the mercy seat alone. The apostle Peter referred to the symbolical significance of these cherubim in 1 Peter 1:12.’

Notice there was gold everywhere, but especially in the Most Holy Place. The walls were covered with gold, 1 Kings 6:20-22, the floor was covered with gold, 1 Kings 6:30, and gold was hammered into the carvings on the doors, 1 Kings 6:32.

‘For the front of the temple he made two pillars, which together were thirty-five cubits long, each with a capital five cubits high. He made interwoven chains and put them on top of the pillars. He also made a hundred pomegranates and attached them to the chains. He erected the pillars in the front of the temple, one to the south and one to the north. The one to the south he named Jakin and the one to the north Boaz.’ 2 Chronicles 3:15-17

Notice there were two pillars put in place, 1 Kings 7:15 / 2 Kings 25:17 / Jeremiah 52:21. There is a  difference in the pillars’ heights between this account and that given in the Kings, however, although the accounts in Kings and Chronicles vary as to the exact dimensions of these pillars, they will sinful anyway.

The name Jachin means ‘He will establish’ and the name Boaz means ‘In it is strength’, 1 Kings 3:17.

Pomegranates were very small in size but their fruit is very refreshing, 1 Samuel 14:2.  The pomegranate was used in the temple as decorative pieces, 1 Kings 7:18 / 1 Kings 7:20 / Exodus 28:31 / Exodus 28:33-34. Their shape came to symbolise the fertility of the promised Land, Numbers 13:23 / Deuteronomy 8:3.

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