Darby's Bible Synopsis
Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where the LORD appeared unto David his father, in the place that David had prepared in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.
The following commentary covers Chapters 1 through 7.
Thus Solomon having prayed, and entreated Jehovah that His eyes should be open, and His ears attent to the prayers that should be offered to Him in that place (quoting David's petition in Psalm 132, and using His mercies to David as a plea), the fire comes down and consumes the burnt-offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of Jehovah fills the house. And now, it is not only that the priests cannot enter, but the children of Israel behold the glory which rests upon the house; they fall upon their faces and worship. It is the public acceptance of the sacrifice which sets the people in public connection with God, and makes them confess that "Jehovah is good, and that his mercy endureth for ever" (compare Leviticus 9:24). Only in this last passage the acknowledgment of God's unwearied mercy was not the point.
There is also another element in the scene we are considering, and that is the public and joyful assembly of the whole people, the feast of tabernacles, the great congregation (Psalm 22:25), and also the dedication of the altar. These are the two things which mark Israel's participation in the blessing, namely, the altar, and the feast of tabernacles; worship subsequent to their fall and ruin, founded on the acceptance of the sacrifice, and the realised effect of the promises, the people being no longer in distress.[See Note #1]
We find again here the musical instruments of Jehovah, which David had made to praise Jehovah, "because his mercy endureth for ever"; when David himself "praised by their ministry" (2 Chronicles 7:6); blessed thought! for who is this David? (compare Psalm 22:22). The people saw themselves blessed and happy in all the goodness of Jehovah. After this the Lord sets before Solomon the conditions under which He places him, as well as the people, for the enjoyment, or for the recovery of these blessings. He had chosen this house of prayer. If there was chastening and the people humbled themselves, there was respite: the eyes and the heart of Jehovah should be there perpetually.
Then, with respect to Solomon and the seed of David generally, on their faithfulness the blessing of the whole people was to depend. If the house of David should turn away from God, Israel should be rooted out of the land; and the house, which had been sanctified by the worship of Jehovah, should become a by-word among all nations, and a witness to the just judgment of God.
It does not appear however that they made booths with the branches of trees. Since Joshua, this had not been done until the days of Nehemiah. At the time which we are considering, joy and prosperity had made them a little neglectful of the word.
And he began to build in the second day of the second month, in the fourth year of his reign.
Now these are the things wherein Solomon was instructed for the building of the house of God. The length by cubits after the first measure was threescore cubits, and the breadth twenty cubits.
And the porch that was in the front of the house, the length of it was according to the breadth of the house, twenty cubits, and the height was an hundred and twenty: and he overlaid it within with pure gold.
And the greater house he cieled with fir tree, which he overlaid with fine gold, and set thereon palm trees and chains.
And he garnished the house with precious stones for beauty: and the gold was gold of Parvaim.
He overlaid also the house, the beams, the posts, and the walls thereof, and the doors thereof, with gold; and graved cherubims on the walls.
And he made the most holy house, the length whereof was according to the breadth of the house, twenty cubits, and the breadth thereof twenty cubits: and he overlaid it with fine gold, amounting to six hundred talents.
And the weight of the nails was fifty shekels of gold. And he overlaid the upper chambers with gold.
And in the most holy house he made two cherubims of image work, and overlaid them with gold.
And the wings of the cherubims were twenty cubits long: one wing of the one cherub was five cubits, reaching to the wall of the house: and the other wing was likewise five cubits, reaching to the wing of the other cherub.
And one wing of the other cherub was five cubits, reaching to the wall of the house: and the other wing was five cubits also, joining to the wing of the other cherub.
The wings of these cherubims spread themselves forth twenty cubits: and they stood on their feet, and their faces were inward.
And he made the vail of blue, and purple, and crimson, and fine linen, and wrought cherubims thereon.
Also he made before the house two pillars of thirty and five cubits high, and the chapiter that was on the top of each of them was five cubits.
And he made chains, as in the oracle, and put them on the heads of the pillars; and made an hundred pomegranates, and put them on the chains.
And he reared up the pillars before the temple, one on the right hand, and the other on the left; and called the name of that on the right hand Jachin, and the name of that on the left Boaz.