1 Kings 6:20
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
The inner sanctuary was twenty cubits long, twenty wide and twenty high. He overlaid the inside with pure gold, and he also overlaid the altar of cedar.

New Living Translation
This inner sanctuary was 30 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 30 feet high. He overlaid the inside with solid gold. He also overlaid the altar made of cedar.

English Standard Version
The inner sanctuary was twenty cubits long, twenty cubits wide, and twenty cubits high, and he overlaid it with pure gold. He also overlaid an altar of cedar.

New American Standard Bible
The inner sanctuary was twenty cubits in length, twenty cubits in width, and twenty cubits in height, and he overlaid it with pure gold. He also overlaid the altar with cedar.

King James Bible
And the oracle in the forepart was twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in breadth, and twenty cubits in the height thereof: and he overlaid it with pure gold; and so covered the altar which was of cedar.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The interior of the sanctuary was 30 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 30 feet high; he overlaid it with pure gold. He also overlaid the cedar altar.

International Standard Version
The inner sanctuary was 20 cubits long, 20 cubits wide, and 20 cubits high, and overlaid with pure gold. The altar was also overlaid with cedar.

NET Bible
The inner sanctuary was 30 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 30 feet high. He plated it with gold, as well as the cedar altar.

New Heart English Bible
And before the sanctuary was twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in breadth, and twenty cubits in its height; and he overlaid it with pure gold: and he covered the altar with cedar.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The inner room was 30 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 30 feet high. Solomon covered it and the cedar altar with pure gold.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And before the Sanctuary which was twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in breadth, and twenty cubits in the height thereof, overlaid with pure gold, he set an altar, which he covered with cedar.

New American Standard 1977
And the inner sanctuary was twenty cubits in length, twenty cubits in width, and twenty cubits in height, and he overlaid it with pure gold. He also overlaid the altar with cedar.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And the oracle in the forepart was twenty cubits in length and twenty cubits wide and twenty cubits high, and he overlaid it with pure gold and likewise covered the altar which was of cedar.

King James 2000 Bible
And the inner sanctuary was twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in breadth, and twenty cubits in the height: and he overlaid it with pure gold; and also covered the altar which was of cedar.

American King James Version
And the oracle in the forepart was twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in breadth, and twenty cubits in the height thereof: and he overlaid it with pure gold; and so covered the altar which was of cedar.

American Standard Version
And within the oracle was a space of twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in breadth, and twenty cubits in the height thereof; and he overlaid it with pure gold: and he covered the altar with cedar.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Now the oracle was twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in breadth, and twenty cubits in height. And he covered and overlaid it with most pure gold. And the altar also he covered with cedar.

Darby Bible Translation
And the oracle within was twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in breadth, and twenty cubits in the height thereof; and he overlaid it with pure gold; and he overlaid the cedar-wood altar --

English Revised Version
And within the oracle was a space of twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in breadth, and twenty cubits in the height thereof; and he overlaid it with pure gold: and he covered the altar with cedar.

Webster's Bible Translation
And the oracle in the forepart was twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in breadth, and twenty cubits in the hight of it, and he overlaid it with pure gold; and so covered the altar which was of cedar.

World English Bible
Within the oracle was [a space of] twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in breadth, and twenty cubits in its height; and he overlaid it with pure gold: and he covered the altar with cedar.

Young's Literal Translation
And before the oracle is twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in breadth, and twenty cubits is its height; and he overlayeth it with gold refined, and overlayeth the altar with cedar.
Study Bible
The Temple's Interior
19Then he prepared an inner sanctuary within the house in order to place there the ark of the covenant of the LORD. 20The inner sanctuary was twenty cubits in length, twenty cubits in width, and twenty cubits in height, and he overlaid it with pure gold. He also overlaid the altar with cedar. 21So Solomon overlaid the inside of the house with pure gold. And he drew chains of gold across the front of the inner sanctuary, and he overlaid it with gold.…
Cross References
1 Kings 6:19
Then he prepared an inner sanctuary within the house in order to place there the ark of the covenant of the LORD.

1 Kings 6:21
So Solomon overlaid the inside of the house with pure gold. And he drew chains of gold across the front of the inner sanctuary, and he overlaid it with gold.

2 Chronicles 3:7
He also overlaid the house with gold-- the beams, the thresholds and its walls and its doors; and he carved cherubim on the walls.

Ezekiel 41:4
He measured its length, twenty cubits, and the width, twenty cubits, before the nave; and he said to me, "This is the most holy place."

Ezekiel 41:22
The altar was of wood, three cubits high and its length two cubits; its corners, its base and its sides were of wood. And he said to me, "This is the table that is before the LORD."
Treasury of Scripture

And the oracle in the forepart was twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in breadth, and twenty cubits in the height thereof: and he overlaid it with pure gold; and so covered the altar which was of cedar.

twenty cubits

1 Kings 5:2,3 And Solomon sent to Hiram, saying…

pure [heb] shut up
the altar

1 Kings 6:22 And the whole house he overlaid with gold, until he had finished …

1 Kings 7:48 And Solomon made all the vessels that pertained to the house of the …

Exodus 30:1-3 And you shall make an altar to burn incense on: of shittim wood shall …

(20) In the forepart.--Although this is a literal translation of the original, the sense is clearly (as the Vulgate renders the phrase) "in the inner part." Gesenius supposes the meaning to be properly, "the wall facing the entrance;" thence the opposite, or "inner," wall or region.

Covered the altar . . .--Our translators have been misled by the context to anticipate what is said below (1Kings 6:22). The meaning is "he covered the altar" (presumably of stone) "with cedar."

(20-22) These verses describe the overlaying with pure gold of the panelling of the house and of the Oracle, the partition dividing them, and the altar of incense. Even the floor was similarly covered. (See 1Kings 6:30.)

Verse 20. - And the oracle in the forepart [or, the interior of the oracle. Keil, after Kimchi, maintains that לִפְנֵי is the construct of the noun לִפְנִים. See ver. 29, where it clearly means interior, as its opposition to "without" shows. The A.V. yields no sense] was twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in breadth, and twenty cubits in the height thereof [that is to say, it was a perfect cube. When we consider that the oracle of the tabernacle was a cube of ten cubits and the Holy City (Revelation 21:16; cf. Ezekiel 48:8-35, especially ver. 20) is a cube of 12,000 furlongs, we cannot but regard these measurements as significant. To the ancients the square seemed the most appropriate shape to express the idea of moral perfection. The idea of the cube consequently was that of entire completeness, of absolute perfection. A little light is thrown on this subject by the use of τετράγωνος among the Greeks. See the quotation from Simonides in Plat. Protag. 334 A; Arist. Rhet. 3:11; Eth. Nic. 1:10, 11, and compare the familiar "totus teres atque rotundus." The height of the oracle (internally) being only twenty cubits, while that of the house was thirty (ver. 2), several questions of some interest suggest themselves for consideration. It is perhaps impossible in the present state of our knowledge to arrive at any very positive conclusions, but it may be well, nevertheless, if only to show in how much uncertainty the architecture of the temple is involved, to state them. First among them is this: Was the roof of the temple flat or ridged? (See above on ver. 9).

(2) In either case, was the height of thirty cubits, or any uniform height, maintained throughout, or was the roof of the oracle some ten cubits lower than that of the house? The analogy of the tabernacle, of which the temple was a copy, would lead us to suppose that the ridge - if there was a ridge - of the entire building was level and unbroken, though the analogy of the Gothic church, which, we have already seen, is almost a reproduction of the temple, suggests that the oracle (like the chancel, and, it may be added, like the adytum of Egyptian temples) may possibly have had a lower roof. But

(3) supposing the same height was maintained from end to end, to what use, if any, was the vacant space of ten cubits (15 feet) between cieling and roof of oracle applied? It has been held by some that there was a chamber here, but that it was empty, being formed, in fact, not for use, but in order to procure the cubical shape of the oracle. Others contend that this upper room, or one which ran the entire length of the building, was designed to serve as a receptacle for the reliques of the tabernacle, and they would identify it with the עֲלִיות. (LXX, τὸ ὑπερῷον) of 2 Chronicles 3:9. And untrustworthy as Josephus is when not supported by independent evidence, it is worth mentioning here that beth he and the Talmud "persistently assert that there was a superstructure on the temple equal in height to the lower part" (Fergusson, who, consequently, is of opinion that there undoubtedly was some such superstructure, as in the tomb of Darius, near Persepolis (see Dict. Bib. 3. pp. 1456, 1-457), and that it was used for worship (2 Kings 23:12), where see note). Bahr, however, argues forcibly against this idea. He says, inter alia, that there was no approach provided to these chambers; but our account is so manifestly imperfect that this argument is at the best a precarious one. He sees in the "upper chambers" (the Hebrew word is plural) the upper stories of the side structure. He agrees, however, with Ewald that there was a chamber over the oracle, but thinks it was unoccupied. Keil identifies this space with the "upper chambers" of 2 Chronicles 3:9, and upon the whole this appears to be the most feasible view.

(4) How was the cieling, whether with or without this upper chamber, and whether at the height of twenty or thirty cubits - how was it supported? For "no cedar beam could be laid across a space of twenty cubits without sinking in the centre by its own weight." Fergusson hence argues that the roof must have been carried on pillars - four in the sanctuary and ten in the hall. He remarks that they were used in the house of the Forest of Lebanon, where they were less suitable than here]: and he overlaid it [lit. made it shine] with pure gold [marg. shut up (from סָגַר clausit). Cf. Job 28:15 (Heb.) The same gold is described as טָהור (Exodus 25:11) and טוב (2 Chronicles 3:8). It is called "shut up gold," not because it was concealed (κειμέλιον), but because of the exclusion of impure ingredients (Vulg. aurum purissimum). The lavish use of gold in the interior of the temple - its weight 600 talents (75,000 lbs.), its value almost incalculable - was not for mere display (for most of it was never seen except by the priests), but was symbolical of light and purity (Job 37:22, 23; Revelation 21:18), and stamped the place as the abode of Him who dwelleth in light (1 Timothy 6:16). See Bahr in loc. The palace of the Lord must be "exceeding magnifical." The overlaying was not gilding, but laminae of gold were attached to the woodwork with nails. This art was probably derived from Egypt (Exodus 25:11, 13). Egyptian figures ornamented with gold plates are found both in the Louvre and British Museum. See Wilkinson, "Ancient Egyptians," 2. p. 233 sqq.) Rawlinson remarks that "such ornamentation was common in Babylon, in Assyria, and in Media." See Isaiah 46:6; Herod. 1:98; Layard, 2:264. In addition to the gold, the house was garnished with precious stones (2 Chronicles 3:6). Cf. 1 Chronicles 29:2, 8]; and so covered the [Heb. an] altar which was of cedar. [The italics in the A.V. lead us to suspect a mistranslation, and such it proves to be. What the writer means, supposing the present text to be retained, is, not that Solomon covered the cedar altar with gold, but that he overlaid the (stone?) altar with cedar. It is true the article is wanting, but this may perhaps be accounted for by the fact that the altar is now mentioned for the first time (Keil). It is much more probable, however, that the text has been slightly corrupted. The LXX. reads, καὶ ἐποίησε θυσιαστήριον (Cod. Alex. adds κέδρου), which proves that the Seventy had וַיַּעַשׂ instead of וַיְּצַפ in their text. If so, the absence of the article is at once explained, and an unmeaning repetition in ver. 22 avoided. The mention of the altar - of course it is the altar of incense that is meant: the altar of burnt sacrifice was outside the building - in connexion with the oracle is significant. In ver. 22 it is called the "altar that (belonged) to the oracle," because it stood just outside it. In the tabernacle it was placed "before the vail" (Exodus 30:6; Exodus 40:5, 26; Leviticus 16:12-18), and it occupied this position because the incense burned upon it was offered before the Invisible Presence within. It is an argument in favour of the textual emendation suggested above that the altar in the tabernacle was of wood (Exodus 30:1), and that Ezekiel speaks of the "altar of wood" (Ezekiel 41:22), the altar of sacrifice being of earth stones (Exodus 20:24, 25), or brass (2 Chronicles 4:1) If we retain the Received Text we are almost compelled to believe that this altar was also of stone, as they would hardly cover a wooden altar with wood. And the oracle in the forepart,.... Which stood in the forepart of the temple, before a man's face as he entered into it, and went on; or the forepart of the holy of holies, next to the holy place, was of the dimensions as follows, when the back part of it might be higher at least, and be equal to the holy place, even thirty feet; the forepart being lower, and left open to let in the light of the candlesticks, and the smoke of the incense, out of the holy place: this

was twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in breadth, and twenty cubits in the height thereof: and was a perfect square, and as the most holy place may be an emblem of the church triumphant, it may denote the perfection of its heavenly state; so the new Jerusalem is a foursquare, Revelation 21:16;

and he overlaid it with pure gold; make it rich, glorious, and magnificent, and may denote the glory of the heavenly state, Revelation 21:21; and so Florus (z), the Roman historian, calls it the golden heaven, as it were, into which Pompey went, and saw the great secret of the Jewish nation, the ark:

and so covered the altar which was of cedar; the altar of incense, which is here mentioned, because it was near the most holy place, 1 Kings 6:22; this altar by Moses was made of shittim wood, but Solomon's was of cedar it seems; unless, as the words will bear to be rendered, "he covered the altar with cedar" (a); though made of shittim wood, it had a covering of cedar over it; or if of stone, such a covering was on it, that it might better receive the gold which was afterwards put upon it.

(z) De Gest. Roman. l. 3. c. 5. (a) "operuit cedro", Montanus. 6:15-38 See what was typified by this temple. 1. Christ is the true Temple. In him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead; in him meet all God's spiritual Israel; through him we have access with confidence to God. 2. Every believer is a living temple, in whom the Spirit of God dwells, 1Co 3:16. This living temple is built upon Christ as its Foundation, and will be perfect in due time. 3. The gospel church is the mystical temple. It grows to a holy temple in the Lord, enriched and beautified with the gifts and graces of the Spirit. This temple is built firm, upon a Rock. 4. Heaven is the everlasting temple. There the church will be fixed. All that shall be stones in that building, must, in the present state of preparation, be fitted and made ready for it. Let sinners come to Jesus as the living Foundation, that they may be built on him, a part of this spiritual house, consecrated in body and soul to the glory of God.
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Alphabetical: also altar and cedar cubits gold He height high in inner inside it length long of overlaid pure sanctuary The twenty was wide width with

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