Temple of Solomon
It was David who first proposed to replace the tabernacle with a more permanent building--the building that would become the Temple of Solomon. But David was forbidden to build the structure for the reasons assigned by the prophet Nathan. And though he collected materials and made arrangements, the execution of the task was left to Solomon. Solomon, with the assistance of Hiram, King of Tyre, commenced this great undertaking in the fourth year of his reign, B.C. 1012, and completed it in seven years, B. C. 1005.
One hundred and eighty-three thousand Jews and strangers were employed on it. The parts were all prepared at a distance from the site of the building, and when they were brought together, the whole immense structure was erected without the sound of hammer, axe, or any tool of iron.
The Temple of Solomon occupied the site prepared for it by David, which had formerly been the threshing floor of the Jebusite Ornan or Araunah on Mount Moriah. The whole area enclosed by the outer walls formed a square of about 600 feet, but the sanctuary itself was comparatively small, inasmuch as it was intend only for the ministrations of the theorists, the congregation of the people assembling in the courts. In this and all other essential points the temple followed the model of the tabernacle, from which it differed chiefly by having chambers build about the sanctuary for the abode of the priests and attendants and the keeping of treasure and stores. In all its dimensions, length, breadth and height, the sanctuary itself was exactly double the size of the tabernacle, the ground plan measuring 80 cubits by 40, while that of the tabernacle was 40 by 20, and the height of the temple being 30 cubits, while that of the tabernacle was 15.
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