1 Kings

1 Kings - Lesson 7-8A

Chapter 7:1-8:11

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  • In our last session, we covered the craftsmanship, detail, and effort that went into the building of the Temple.

    • We discussed the time in which it took to build the temple and the precision which went into each section.

      • Understand that the efforts towards completing the temple was no small feat and required great minds to complete its build.

    • Tonight, we will see that after the completion of the construction of the building itself, that Solomon moves to now complete his own house.

      • And we will understand the significance of this pattern of build within Israel in that day, later tonight.

      • And from there, we will come back to the finishings of the temple as it relates to interior furnishings and finishes for both the Temple and the inner court.

      • And if time permits, we will cover the first 11 verses of Chapter 8.

    • If I were to put an outline together for our time tonight, it would be the following:

      • 1. Solomon’s Palace (vv.1-12)

      • 2. Hiram’s work in the Temple (13-51)

      • 3. The Glory of Yahweh (8:1-11)

    • And if I were to put a tag on our text tonight, it would simply be: His House, His Glory.

      • With that being said, I invite you to meet me in 1 Kings 7 beginning in verses 1-12.

1 Kings 7:1 Now Solomon was building his own house thirteen years, and he finished all his house.
1 Kings 7:2 He built the house of the forest of Lebanon; its length was 100 cubits and its width 50 cubits and its height 30 cubits, on four rows of cedar pillars with cedar beams on the pillars.
1 Kings 7:3 It was paneled with cedar above the side chambers which were on the 45 pillars, 15 in each row.
1 Kings 7:4 There were artistic window frames in three rows, and window was opposite window in three ranks.
1 Kings 7:5 All the doorways and doorposts had squared artistic frames, and window was opposite window in three ranks.
1 Kings 7:6 Then he made the hall of pillars; its length was 50 cubits and its width 30 cubits, and a porch was in front of them and pillars and a threshold in front of them.
1 Kings 7:7 He made the hall of the throne where he was to judge, the hall of judgment, and it was paneled with cedar from floor to floor.
1 Kings 7:8 His house where he was to live, the other court inward from the hall, was of the same workmanship. He also made a house like this hall for Pharaoh’s daughter, whom Solomon had married.
1 Kings 7:9 All these were of costly stones, of stone cut according to measure, sawed with saws, inside and outside; even from the foundation to the coping, and so on the outside to the great court.
1 Kings 7:10 The foundation was of costly stones, even large stones, stones of ten cubits and stones of eight cubits.
1 Kings 7:11 And above were costly stones, stone cut according to measure, and cedar.
1 Kings 7:12 So the great court all around had three rows of cut stone and a row of cedar beams even as the inner court of the house of the Lord, and the porch of the house.
  • The writer of Kings picks us up in Chapter 7 with yet another spectacular building project that took place not too far from the Temple.

    • This project was Solomon’s own Palace along with an addition for his wife.

      • The writer begins by telling the reader how long Solomon’s palace took to build.

      • A total of thirteen years it took to complete Solomon’s palace.

    • We’re told that his palace was built with cedars from the forest of Lebanon.

      • The measurements were 100 cubits in length, 50 cubits in width and its height 30 cubits on four rows of cedar beams on pillars.

      • So those measured dimensions in feet are 150 feet long (45m), 75 feet wide (22m)  and 45 feet high (13m).

      • This would total about 11,250 square feet (1,045 square metres) of living space.

    • It could be understood that the size of this complex was necessary for the various functions and needs of the king, his family, and administrative duties along with an armory and a hall of justice.

      • The makeup of the palace consisted of cedar and artistic windows in a pattern. Even the doors and door posts were made of artistic frames.

    • Within the complex structure were two halls, one was known as the Hall of the throne (Judgement).

      • The Hall of the throne was where Solomon would go to make judgements on matters that were brought to him.

    • This space was 50 cubits (75 feet/22m) by 30 cubits (45 feet/13m) and it was paneled with cedar from floor to floor.

      • The Second structure was the Hall of Pillars (Pillard Hall) also known as the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon.

      • This area was used in a different capacity.

    • It was used as an audience chamber, state treasury, and displayed selected precious objects.

      • The text continues in verse 8 by telling us that Solomon’s wife’s quarters held the same dimensions and finishes as that of the judgement hall.

    • One probably would ask the question, where were they living while the construction of this 13 year project was commencing?

      • We find that answer in 2 Chronicles 8:11. Check out the text:

2 Chronicles 8:11 Then Solomon brought Pharaoh’s daughter up from the city of David to the house which he had built for her, for he said, “My wife shall not dwell in the house of David king of Israel, because the places are holy where the ark of the Lord has entered.”
  • So apparently, for a time, she was in Jerusalem living in David’s palace.

    • From verses 9-12, we see that, all in all, the structure of this complex was great and made of fine materials and costly stones interlocked with courtyards throughout.

  • One question that many ask today is where, specifically, was Solomon’s palace located.

    • There are many archeological questions that arise, yet none know for certain.

      • It is argued that the location could not have been far from the Temple based upon how the ancient near east functioned.

      • Meaning that in that time, the ancient world regarded a king’s palace as a reflection of the greatness of their god.

    • However, Israel was not like the other nations in the sense that where those pagan nations would have their places of worship amid the city, Israel separated the locations.

      • Israel understood that they served the Living God and that He alone was Holy and was to be distinct (Holy Other).

      • So, a logical conclusion would be that the location of Solomon’s temple would be near yet separated by maybe elevation and distance.

      • Here is what one scholar mentioned regarding the prominence and symbology of the Palace and the Temple in that day.

“Palace and temple complexes are the most important visual symbols of royal power and indicate more precisely the location of the center within a stratified society.”
  • So, in rightful order, having first built the Temple and then the palace, Solomon is able to further establish his prominence through the world.

    • This ultimately demonstrates to the outside nations, concretely, that the God of Israel is with His people and has blessed His chosen King.

    • If we were to think about this in plain terms, Solomon has been divinely endorsed by the Living God Himself and the Lord is pleased.

    • The writer now moves back to the focus of the Temple and its furnishings. Let’s look at verses 13-22.

1 Kings 7:13 Now King Solomon sent and brought Hiram from Tyre.
1 Kings 7:14 He was a widow’s son from the tribe of Naphtali, and his father was a man of Tyre, a worker in bronze; and he was filled with wisdom and understanding and skill for doing any work in bronze. So he came to King Solomon and performed all his work.
1 Kings 7:15 He fashioned the two pillars of bronze; eighteen cubits was the height of one pillar, and a line of twelve cubits measured the circumference of both.
1 Kings 7:16 He also made two capitals of molten bronze to set on the tops of the pillars; the height of the one capital was five cubits and the height of the other capital was five cubits.
1 Kings 7:17 There were nets of network and twisted threads of chainwork for the capitals which were on the top of the pillars; seven for the one capital and seven for the other capital.
1 Kings 7:18 So he made the pillars, and two rows around on the one network to cover the capitals which were on the top of the pomegranates; and so he did for the other capital.
1 Kings 7:19 The capitals which were on the top of the pillars in the porch were of lily design, four cubits.
1 Kings 7:20 There were capitals on the two pillars, even above and close to the rounded projection which was beside the network; and the pomegranates numbered two hundred in rows around both capitals.
1 Kings 7:21 Thus he set up the pillars at the porch of the nave; and he set up the right pillar and named it Jachin, and he set up the left pillar and named it Boaz.
1 Kings 7:22 On the top of the pillars was lily design. So the work of the pillars was finished.
  • We’re told that King Solomon sent for Hiram from Tyre who was a widow’s son from the tribe of Naphtali and his father a man of Tyre.

    • This means that this Hiram was half Jewish by blood being that his mother was of a tribe of Israel.

      • And being that this is the case, it helps in distinguishing that, perhaps, this Hiram is different from King Hiram of Tyre.

      • Both men being from Tyre yet one being King and the other being a “master craftsman”.

    • I believe these two individuals are distinct for two reasons.

      • 1. The accounts between the Kings and the Chronicles. (Who is being sent…)

      • 2. Because of the skills mentioned regarding Hiram.

    • Check out 2 Chronicles 2:14 so that we may see the distinction:

2 Chronicles 2:12 Then Huram continued, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who has made heaven and earth, who has given King David a wise son, endowed with discretion and understanding, who will build a house for the Lord and a royal palace for himself.
2 Chronicles 2:13 “Now I am sending Huram-abi, a skilled man, endowed with understanding,
2 Chronicles 2:14 the son of a Danite woman and a Tyrian father, who knows how to work in gold, silver, bronze, iron, stone and wood, and in purple, violet, linen and crimson fabrics, and who knows how to make all kinds of engravings and to execute any design which may be assigned to him, to work with your skilled men and with those of my lord David your father.
  • The point here being, although details of the mother are different, King Huram is sending Huram-abi to do the bronze work.

    • One scholar notes that the addition of “abi” at the end of Huram is either a part of the name or is a title such as “my master craftsman”.

    • And being that King Huram is the one sending him establishes that distinction between the two individuals.

    • We are told that this Huram fashioned the two pillars in the front of the temple out of bronze.

      • Both pillars were eighteen cubits in height which is 27 feet/8m tall and 12 cubits in circumference which is 18 feet/5m.

      • And with the capital moldings for the pillars they reached a height of 34 feet/10m.

    • These pillars consisted of great bronze details from decorative pomegranates that circulated around the pillars as ornaments.

      • Throughout the ancient near east, pomegranates served as a symbol of luxuriant fertility and of life.

      • These pillars stood as free-standing elements at the porch of the nave.

    • The right pillar was named Jachin (Ya-kin) which means “He (Yahweh) shall establish” and the left pillar was named “Boaz” which means “in Him (Yahweh) is strength”

    • It is often mentioned that with one of the pillars being named Boaz, who was King David’s grandfather, that this was a means of connection to the Lord’s promise to the Davidic Covenant.

      • Ultimately, these two pillars served as a constant reminder for Israel’s security in God’s strength made available to them if they obeyed.

      • We now move to the inner court area. Check out verses 23-26.

1 Kings 7:23 Now he made the sea of cast metal ten cubits from brim to brim, circular in form, and its height was five cubits, and thirty cubits in circumference.
1 Kings 7:24 Under its brim gourds went around encircling it ten to a cubit, completely surrounding the sea; the gourds were in two rows, cast with the rest.
1 Kings 7:25 It stood on twelve oxen, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south, and three facing east; and the sea was set on top of them, and all their rear parts turned inward.
1 Kings 7:26 It was a handbreadth thick, and its brim was made like the brim of a cup, as a lily blossom; it could hold two thousand baths.
  • The next descriptor that is given is that of what was known as “The Sea”.

    • This was the large circular basin that rested on the backs of 12 sculptured bulls.

      • The dimensions were ten cubits from brim to brim, approximately 15 feet/4.5m in diameter giving it a circumference of 45 feet/13m and a height of 7.5 feet/2m tall.

    • Around the brim of the basin were gourds (ornament imagery) that were engraved.

      • It is estimated that this basin provided 2,000 baths for priests to emerge in to be ceremonially cleansed for their temple work.

      • The Sea ultimately replaced the laver for the Tabernacle during the wilderness wanderings.

      • And this basin held 11,250 gallons/42,585 litres of water.

    • Underneath the basin were 12 sculptured oxen, 3 facing in each cardinal direction.

      • Underneath the basin were 12 sculptured oxen, 3 facing in each cardinal direction.

    • The Sea became a symbol of sorts as it rested on top of the strength and service and contained symbols of fertility.

      • The 12 oxen themselves might have represented either the twelve tribes of Israel or potentially Solomon’s 12 administrative districts.

    • Lastly, it could be reasonably assumed that for the priest to be cleansed in these waters, there was some mechanism to get them up there – maybe a ladder of sorts.

      • Let’s keep moving, verses 27-45.

1 Kings 7:27 Then he made the ten stands of bronze; the length of each stand was four cubits and its width four cubits and its height three cubits.
1 Kings 7:28 This was the design of the stands: they had borders, even borders between the frames,
1 Kings 7:29 and on the borders which were between the frames were lions, oxen and cherubim; and on the frames there was a pedestal above, and beneath the lions and oxen were wreaths of hanging work.
1 Kings 7:30 Now each stand had four bronze wheels with bronze axles, and its four feet had supports; beneath the basin were cast supports with wreaths at each side.
1 Kings 7:31 Its opening inside the crown at the top was a cubit, and its opening was round like the design of a pedestal, a cubit and a half; and also on its opening there were engravings, and their borders were square, not round.
1 Kings 7:32 The four wheels were underneath the borders, and the axles of the wheels were on the stand. And the height of a wheel was a cubit and a half.
1 Kings 7:33 The workmanship of the wheels was like the workmanship of a chariot wheel. Their axles, their rims, their spokes, and their hubs were all cast.
1 Kings 7:34 Now there were four supports at the four corners of each stand; its supports were part of the stand itself.
1 Kings 7:35 On the top of the stand there was a circular form half a cubit high, and on the top of the stand its stays and its borders were part of it.
1 Kings 7:36 He engraved on the plates of its stays and on its borders, cherubim, lions and palm trees, according to the clear space on each, with wreaths all around.
1 Kings 7:37 He made the ten stands like this: all of them had one casting, one measure and one form.
1 Kings 7:38 He made ten basins of bronze, one basin held forty baths; each basin was four cubits, and on each of the ten stands was one basin.
1 Kings 7:39 Then he set the stands, five on the right side of the house and five on the left side of the house; and he set the sea of cast metal on the right side of the house eastward toward the south.
1 Kings 7:40 Now Hiram made the basins and the shovels and the bowls. So Hiram finished doing all the work which he performed for King Solomon in the house of the Lord:
1 Kings 7:41 the two pillars and the two bowls of the capitals which were on the top of the two pillars, and the two networks to cover the two bowls of the capitals which were on the top of the pillars;
1 Kings 7:42 and the four hundred pomegranates for the two networks, two rows of pomegranates for each network to cover the two bowls of the capitals which were on the tops of the pillars;
1 Kings 7:43 and the ten stands with the ten basins on the stands;
1 Kings 7:44 and the one sea and the twelve oxen under the sea;
1 Kings 7:45 and the pails and the shovels and the bowls; even all these utensils which Hiram made for King Solomon in the house of the Lord were of polished bronze.
  • After Hiram of Tyre forms and engraves “The Sea” reservoir for the inner court, he then makes 10 bronze moveable stands.

    •   Each of these stands were 6 feet/1.8m long by 6 feet/1.8m wide and had a height of 5.5 feet/1.6m.

      • These basins could hold 230 gallons/870 litres of water (approximately 40 baths).

      • And all basins were decorated with panels of bronze and around its borders were frames of lions, oxen and cherubim.

    • And with a total of 10 basins all together, there would be five on the south of the Temple and five on the north.

      • And to move these basins around required that they be on wheels in which they too were made of bronze.

    • It’s then in verses 40-47 that we see the entirety of Hiram’s (Huram) workmanship and work product.

      • Hiram did everything from the bronze altar which is mentioned in (2 Chronicles 4:1).

      • The Sea with the 12 oxen underneath, the 10 Basins, and the two pillars of Jachin and Boaz.

    • The extent of his work and craftmanship really speaks to the glory of the Temple and its beauty in every single way.

      • From its interior finishings to its exterior craftsmanship, the work of the house of the Lord was well built and well done.

    • Lastly, because of the extent of the work of the Temple finishings, we find that the weight of these items was too much to be counted. Check out verses 47-51.

1 Kings 7:46 In the plain of the Jordan the king cast them, in the clay ground between Succoth and Zarethan.
1 Kings 7:47 Solomon left all the utensils unweighed, because they were too many; the weight of the bronze could not be ascertained.
1 Kings 7:48 Solomon made all the furniture which was in the house of the Lord: the golden altar and the golden table on which was the bread of the Presence;
1 Kings 7:49 and the lampstands, five on the right side and five on the left, in front of the inner sanctuary, of pure gold; and the flowers and the lamps and the tongs, of gold;
1 Kings 7:50 and the cups and the snuffers and the bowls and the spoons and the firepans, of pure gold; and the hinges both for the doors of the inner house, the most holy place, and for the doors of the house, that is, of the nave, of gold.
1 Kings 7:51 Thus all the work that King Solomon performed in the house of the Lord was finished. And Solomon brought in the things dedicated by his father David, the silver and the gold and the utensils, and he put them in the treasuries of the house of the Lord.
  • We find that these bronze objects were cast in clay molds in the Jordan Valley between Succoth and Zarethan.

    • This was approximately 35 miles north of the Dead Sea and east of the Jordan River.

      • There are some that may ask the question: Why was it that some materials were gold while others were of bronze, etc?

      • To understand the significance of this difference requires us to go back to understanding the Tabernacle during Moses’ day.

    • The closer that materials were to the Most Holy Place or the Throne of Yahweh, the more valuable metals would be used.

      • This is why in the Holy place, all gold was used to reflect the reality that the Glory of the Lord is there.

      • So this is why you will see that all furnishings and finishes are gold.

      • From the golden altar, the golden table for the bread of presence (showbread), the golden lampstands etc. all reflected the glory of the Lord.

  • Lastly, we see that these furnishings finished the work done for the house of the LORD.

    • And as a way to honor his father David, Solomon brought in the items his father dedicated for the temple.

      • And these items were to be stored in the Temple treasuries which according to the layout would have been the side storehouses.

    • Therefore, the house of the Lord and His storehouse was a place in which offerings of worship to the Lord would be brought.

      • Now this should sound a bit familiar regarding the bringing of things to the storehouse of the Lord. (Malachi 3:10)

Malachi 3:10 “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.
  • This scripture is often used in the church today as a ploy to manipulate people into giving more money to the church.

    • However, as we see, the use of this text as a means of giving is not only improper, but it is unbiblical.

    • New Testament giving is done not out of obligation but rather by the cheerfulness of the giver (2 Corinthians 9:7) because of the grace God has graciously displayed through Christ.

    • The context of Malachi 4 is dealing specifically with the post-exilic Jews to get back to their obedience to the Lord.

      • In this instance, the example is used of their tithing, in which they were still not doing.

    • Israel was commanded to tithe not once but three times in total.

      • The first tithe was the Levitical or sacred tithe found in Numbers 18:21,24

      • The second tithe was the tithe of the feasts found in Deuteronomy 14:22-27

      • Thirdly, the tithe for the poor, which was every third year, found in Deuteronomy 14:28,29.

    • So being that the Law had required these things, He lets them know that the only way in which He would return and bless them as a nation was if they obeyed His Law.

      • So even with all their complaining and questioning as to why God was not blessing them, He consistently reminds them after the Babylonian invasion, “You must return to me in obedience, and I will return to you”.

      • It goes right back to this idea of being in right fellowship with God.

    • And as a relief for those who have been under teaching that says if you don’t give you won’t be blessed, I pray this truth found in scripture will free you.

      • Because we are believers in the Church Age, you are not under the commands of the Mosaic law but under God’s grace.

  • So, what we are seeing is that the very house of the Lord was complete at this point, now the only thing that was missing was His very presence indwelt in the Temple.

    • To give us a sneak preview, we will read the first 11 verses of Chapter 8.

1 Kings 8:1 Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, the leaders of the fathers’ households of the sons of Israel, to King Solomon in Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord from the city of David, which is Zion.
1 Kings 8:2 All the men of Israel assembled themselves to King Solomon at the feast, in the month Ethanim, which is the seventh month.
1 Kings 8:3 Then all the elders of Israel came, and the priests took up the ark.
1 Kings 8:4 They brought up the ark of the Lord and the tent of meeting and all the holy utensils, which were in the tent, and the priests and the Levites brought them up.
1 Kings 8:5 And King Solomon and all the congregation of Israel, who were assembled to him, were with him before the ark, sacrificing so many sheep and oxen they could not be counted or numbered.
1 Kings 8:6 Then the priests brought the ark of the covenant of the Lord to its place, into the inner sanctuary of the house, to the most holy place, under the wings of the cherubim.
1 Kings 8:7 For the cherubim spread their wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubim made a covering over the ark and its poles from above.
1 Kings 8:8 But the poles were so long that the ends of the poles could be seen from the holy place before the inner sanctuary, but they could not be seen outside; they are there to this day.
1 Kings 8:9 There was nothing in the ark except the two tablets of stone which Moses put there at Horeb, where the Lord made a covenant with the sons of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt.
1 Kings 8:10 It happened that when the priests came from the holy place, the cloud filled the house of the Lord,
1 Kings 8:11 so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord.
  • Here we find the climatic point of 1 and 2 Kings which is the symbolic enthronement of Yahweh as Israel’s King.

    • Up to this point we have witnessed the preparation for the materials for the temple, the building of the temple and its internal finishings.

      • Now the only thing that is left, is to make way for Yahweh to take up residence in His permanent place of dwelling!

    • Think about when you are preparing for guests to come to your home, you take the time to tidy and clean up every nook and cranny because guests of honor are coming.

      • Only this time the home in which was to be prepared is the home of the true and Living God.

      • Therefore, this arrival would be a cause of great celebration throughout the land, and Solomon knew this.

      • Therefore, Solomon assembles this event to take place during the feasts of Booths in the month of Ethanim (September/October)

    • This was significant because the feast of booths/tabernacles was a remembrance of the Israelites’ wilderness wanderings.

      • It looked back to their time in slavery all the way until their establishment in the Promised Land knowing that God was with them.

    • The text tells us that Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, the governors, and heads of tribes for this auspicious occasion during this period.

      • And to prepare for this occasion, it was now required to bring the finishing touch to the Temple.

      • The Ark of the Covenant which was in the city of David had to be retrieved by the priest.

      • And the means of retrieval was done as according to the Law of Moses with the long poles for the purposes of being carried.

    • King Solomon has all of the belongings of the previous tabernacle to be brought with the Ark of the Covenant.

      • And as a means of celebration and worship, sacrificing of many sheep and oxen took place that the text says it could not be counted.

      • So imagine the amount of blood spilled and animals slain for this occasion!

    • Verses 6-8 tells us that the priests escorted the Ark into the temple, passed the inner sanctuary and into the Most Holy Place.

      • Apparently, the poles were so long that they could be seen from the Holy place but not from the outside.

    • And we are told that within the ark itself was just the two tablets in which Moses put there from Mt. Sinai (Horeb).

      • Thomas Constable makes an important note expressing how although the look of the tabernacle and its internal finishing changed but the ark did not, was quite significant.

    • In other words, the symbology here is that perhaps the Lord did not change the ark as a means to express to the people that He Himself does not change.

      • That although environments change and buildings can change and people can change, the word of the Lord remains the same.

      • And isn’t that good news that the Lord remains consistent in His character, nature, and Person.

    • Lastly, notice what happens in verses 10-11. That when the priests left the Most Holy Place, that the cloud filled the house of the LORD!

      • This cloud filled it so much so that the priests could not stand to minister because, “the glory of the LORD filled the house of the Lord”.

      • The Lord’s (ka-vod) glory filled the entire temple!

    • This cloud and manifestation was visible for all to see!

      • The Lord has come to take up permanent residence in His House and what would be the means of His presence to remain with them there in His House was their obedience.

    • And isn’t it amazing to know that because of Jesus’ perfect sacrifice and righteousness, that now the Holy Spirit of God permanently indwells us today.

      • Our right fellowship with the Lord grows and deepens as we continue to submit our bodies as a living sacrifice to the Lord for this is our true and proper worship!

      • But most importantly, this ability to live in such a manner is possible because of the enabling work of Christ on the cross.

      • We can, because He did – and let us not forget that!

      • Let’s Pray.