The Temple building is erected. We are given an architect’s description of it. And it is AMAZING!
First off, let me say that I never knew this first piece of information. The Temple was built on the threshing floor of Ornan, on Mt. Moriah. I thought the threshing floor was outside of Jerusalem. Instead it was in the very heart of it.
This is the place where the angel of God stopped when executing judgment on Israel for David’s sin of numbering them. This is the place where God told him to build an altar to Him. Now a permanent altar would stand in its place. I don’t know how far away this was from David’s original home but it would become the location for God’s House and a ‘neighbor’ to Solomon’s palace.
I wish there were actual drawings or renderings of the Temple Solomon built for the Lord. There must have been some at the time but they have not survived the passage of history. We have architectural renderings of what it probably looked like from the descriptions found in scripture. Even these though would surely pale next to actually walking into this structure.
While living in Germany, with my ex-husband while he was stationed there, we got to visit some of the cathedrals. I remember seeing pictures of some of the great cathedrals at one point or another during my time as a student while growing up. But nothing prepared me for actually setting foot in these structures.
The ornate carvings, the paintings that seemed to pop right out of the walls and ceilings at you, even the height of the ceilings themselves took my breath away. I longed to touch these items and truly take in their majesty. Of course that was forbidden otherwise their beauty would have been spoiled LONG ago. Some places allowed you to take pictures while others didn’t. I took as many pictures as I could! Unfortunately, when time came to pay for developing them we didn’t have the money and we lost them. Too bad we didn’t have digital photography back then.
I Googled comparisons for cubit to feet and meters measurements. I wanted an idea what it might have looked like from inside the Temple. The floor size of the rooms were large but they were NOTHING compared to the expanse above the viewer’s head. The height of the Temple was 120 cubits. This translates to 180 feet or 54.86 meters. The earliest building of this height in the United States was the Home Insurance Building in Chicago Illinois built in 1885. This structure had 12 stories when it was finally completed. It took me a while but I found its footprint to be 188 feet long and 140 feet wide. This is MUCH wider and longer than the Temple but the same height.
Imagine standing in the center of the room. A room 30 ft. square/9.14 m. square with the ceiling towering over you by six times that distance. And floor to ceiling covered in gold with cherubim carved into it. Precious stones were set into the walls and even the beans were covered in gold. Imagine also the aroma of the wood filling the air. Cypress and cedar were used throughout the construction. Now imagine standing beneath the wings of the massive cherubim. The height of these massive figures was 20 cubits/18 ft./4.5 m. high. The two of them stood side by side and FILLED the space from wall to wall. But even they did not reach the height of the ceiling. God’s glory would eventually FILL this space.
What a wonder to behold! And that is just scratching the surface of all that was built for the Lord. The next time we will look at the ‘new’ furnishings that were created just for this place.
Father God, I am looking forward to seeing Your original construction that You allowed Moses and Solomon to build from. I hope You will let me touch things at some point. Probably won’t need to though because You will have given me perfect vision by then. Still, I can’t imagine the majesty You designed!