The First Temple in the Bible
Nolan Keck

The construction and arrangements of the Temple of Solomon, also known as “the first Temple,” is mentioned in great detail in the Bible in 1 Kings 5-8 and 2 Chronicles 3-7. Hiram, King of Tyre, who before sent messengers, cedar trees, masons and carpenters to King David to build David’s house (1 Chr. 14:1), would prove instrumental once again in building a house for God. The basic structure of the temple was the same as the Tabernacle of Moses, whose dimensions are mentioned in detail in Exodus chapters 25-31, 35-40, except that it would be on a scale twice as large. There are many similarities between the Temple and the Tabernacle of Moses. Both would be built for the Name of the Lord, and both would be consecrated through the presence and glory of the Lord. Divine instruction was given for the Temple (1 Chr. 28-29) as it was given for the Tabernacle before it, and the same Ark of the Covenant would be placed within the Holy of Holies of each. It took seven years to complete the Temple (1 Kings 6:37-38).

Built in Jerusalem, the city of the living God, the temple was built on Mount Moriah, where Abraham offered Isaac (Gen. 22), and on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite (2 Chr. 3:1). The Temple was built with stones, cedar and cypress wood, overlaid with gold, and its furnishings were the same as those in the Tabernacle. The Dome of the Rock, an Islamic mosque, was built on top of this location in 691-692 CE, and has been there for 1,329 years.

Four hundred years after the first Temple was built, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon razed it to the ground. God allowed it to be destroyed because Israel had blatantly practiced idolatry and abominations within its walls (2 Kings 25:8-17; Jer. 7:1-14; Ezekiel 8-10).

Kintsugi, a Japanese art of taking something broken, like pottery, and then through a mixture of precious metals - gold, silver or platinum - putting the pieces back together again, is like an alchemical allusion to the human race. Space dust created from the Big Bang formed heavenly bodies, or galaxies, suns, planets and then, eventually, human beings. Throughout the course of time, one heavenly body would say to another, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves..” (Gen. 11:4, RSV) The divine response was to scatter the people abroad and confuse their language. About 1,200 years later, King David received divine instruction to build the Temple of God. As creation would grow and develop over eons, bringing to mind a timeline like that of a reverse golden ratio, it would slowly be brought ever so much closer to learn that honoring the Creator would make creation whole. The acknowledgement that the Great Architect of the Universe must be at the center of human accomplishment in order for creation to be made complete is a huge milestone. The First Temple was a masterpiece of divine and human accomplishment, a culmination up to that point of human understanding about itself, and a spiritual triumph of never-ending celestial praise: that space dust could be taught how to reach into a dimension beyond itself to learn irrevocable truths. 2 Esdras 10:54 “because nothing built by human hands could stand in the place where the city of God Most High was about to be revealed.” (GNTA) What is created below on Earth with the Tabernacle and the Temple corresponds with that which is in heaven above (Hebrews 9:23-24).

Additional suggested Bible readings: 2 Samuel 24, 1 Chronicles 21.

Further reading


2 Esdras - (Good News Translation Apocrypha)

The New Oxford Annotated Bible, Revised Standard Version, 1962, 1973 by Oxford University Press, Inc.

YouVersion: the Bible app; Devotional “Temples in the Holy Scriptures” by Raymond D. Lombard, 4-day plan; Devotional “Golden Repair” by Grace School of Theology (

Wikipedia - Dome of the Rock -


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