Chapter 7: Shlomo builds his palace, and fixtures of the Temple

Chapter 7: Shlomo builds his palace, and fixtures of the Temple

1.      The building of King Solomon’s Palace:

  • The number of years it took to be built: Shlomo built his palace for a period of 13 years until he completed its building. [Which shows that he did not hurry to complete the building of his palace until the house of God was built.[1]]
  • The construction material: The palace was built from trees that came from the Lebanon forest.
  • The dimensions of the palace: The palace was 100 cubits long, and 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high.

2.      The chambers of the palace:

  • The pillars and the separate areas that they created: The inside of the palace [by its width[2]] contained four rows of cedarwood pillars which had chopped planks of cedarwood placed on top of them [to hold them steady so they do not move[3]]. [This created three different areas within the house, one area between each set of pillars.[4]]
  • The ceiling: There were 45 planks of wood that were placed on top of the rows of cedarwood to act as a ceiling. There were 15 planks placed on each row [for a total of 45 planks to cover the three spaces between the four rows.]
  • The windows: Each one of the three rows of pillars contained windows which were all opposite each other [and hence one can see from one end of the palace to the other when standing in front of the window of each of the pillars].
  • The shape of the doors: All the doors and openings in the palace were made of square doorposts as opposed to being in a domed shape. All the doors were built opposite each other [and hence one can see from one end of the palace to the other when standing in front of the door of each of the pillars].

3.      The various halls of the palace:

  • The dimensions of the halls: The hall which was in front of the above pillars had a dimension of 50 cubits long by 30 cubits wide. This hall contained thick pillars opposite the pillars of the inner pillars.
  • The hall of judgment and the king’s throne: There was another hall built for the throne, in which Shlomo would sit to give judgment, and have the court cases take place there. In front of that courtyard there was another courtyard, in which people would await to be summoned for their court cases.
  • The flooring material of the halls: The floors of all these courtyards were covered with cedarwood from wall-to-wall.
  • Shlomo’s personal quarters of dwelling: Shlomo’s personal living quarters [in which he ate and slept[5]] were in a different courtyard, more inner than the halls. It was built in the same way as was the palace described above.
  • The palace of the daughter of Pharaoh: The daughter of Pharaoh which Shlomo had taken in marriage, had a palace built on her behalf. It was built similar to the above palace.
  • The stone material of the palaces: All of the above palaces were built with very expensive and heavy stone, which were of the set measurement of the excavated stones of those days. These stones were used to build both the inner and outer walls of the palaces, and were used for the entire length of the walls of the palace from the floor until the ceiling. These stones were used to build the actual palace and its large courtyards.
  • The foundation of the palace: The foundation stone of the palace which was inside the ground was made of even heavier stone, and contained a length of between 8 to 10 cubits. However, above the [foundation, by the walls] the stones were heavy and made of the same size of the standard hewn stones and cedar.
  • The courtyard of the palace: The large courtyard of the palace, as well as the inner courtyard of the house of God and the hallways and house, was surrounded by three rows of hewn stones and one row of cedarwood.

4.      Chiram, the craftsman who built the vessels of the Temple:

  • King Shlomo sent for Chiram to be brought to him from the city of Tzur. He was the son of a widowed woman from the tribe of Naphtali. His father was from Tzur, and was a coppersmith. God enlightened him with wisdom and understanding in order to be able do all the work necessary with the copper.
  • He arrived to King Shlomo and did for him all the work that he needed to be done.

5.      The pillars of Yachin Uboaz of the Heichal of the Temple: 

  • Chiram formed the two copper pillars [that stood in the hall of Yachin Uboaz].
  • The height of the pillars: Each pillar was 18 cubits tall, it was surrounded by 12 cubits of string.
  • The crowns placed on top of the pillars: Two molten copper chapiters [i.e. chapiters] were placed on top of the pillars, each being a height of five cubits.
  • The designs on the crowns: Each crown contained seven nets and chains placed on top of it [in the shape of palm tree branches[6]]. The netting was covered with two rows of copper and pomegranates. On top of the crowns, they placed designs of roses that reached a height of four cubits. On top of this there placed another set of crowns, which was designed with 200 rows of pomegranates.
  • The setting up and naming of the pillars: The two pillars were set up in front of the Heichal. The pillar to the right was named Yachin and the pillar to the left was named Boaz.


6.      The pool of the Temple:

  • A pool was made in the palace [which was used by the priests for immersing from impurity].
  • It’s dimensions: The pool was made in the form of a circle and was 10 cubits from one end [of the circle] to the other and was five cubits deep and contained a circumference of 30 cubits. It was able to hold a total of 2000 cubits of water [which was the amount needed to be considered a valid Mikveh].
  • It’s design: Two rows of egg-shaped sculptures surrounded the rim of the pool, encompassing it for a length of 10 cubits. It was also designed with roses.
  • The ox sculptures that supported the pool: The structure of the pool was supported and held up by 12 sculptured oxen. The sculptured oxen were positioned in each direction, with three positioned to the north, and three positioned to the west, and three positioned to the south and three positioned to the east. The back of the sculptured oxen faced towards the inner part of the pond [and hence had their heads facing outwards, and was the part visible to those looking at the pond].
  • The thickness of the metal that formed the pond: The metal structure in which the water of the pool was held was 1 handbreadth thick.
  • It’s shape: The shape of the pool was similar to that of a cup or bowl.


7.      The carts of the washing basins:

  • The amount: There were a total of 10 carts made to support the sinks for washing inside of the temple.
  • The material: They were made of copper.
  • The dimensions: The width and length of each cartn was four cubits, and it had a height of three cubits
  • The design of the: The cart was made of a surrounding ledge, and frame, which had designs of lions, and oxen, and cherubim, and male and female figures in a state of intimacy, drawn onto them. The panels of the wagon also contained palm trees. The cart supported the washing basin which rested on it.
  • The wheels: Each cart contained four wheels under them, two on each side. Each wheel was a height of 1 ½ cubits tall. All the parts of the wheels were molten onto each other.
  • The frame of the wagon: The wagon contained a frame on its top which reached the height of half a cubit.

8.      The sinks for washing:

  • Amount: A total of 10 washing sinks were made in the temple.
  • Material: They were made of copper.
  • The volume: The each contained a volume of 40 cubits.
  • The dimension: The dimension of the sink was four cubits in circumference.
  • The carts: Each of the 10 sink was placed on one of the 10 carts that were made to support it.
  • It’s location: Five carts with their sinks were located on the right side of the temple while the other five carts with their sinks were located on the left side of the temple. The washing pool that was made was located in the right eastern part of the temple, towards the southern end.
  • The making of the temple vessels:
  • Chiram made the basins and the shovels and the vessels used to receive the blood of the sacrifices.

9.      The work is complete-A list of the work done:

  • Chiram completed all the work of the temple that he was asked to do in behalf of King Solomon and the house of God.
  • The pillars: He built two pillars which contained two chapiters on top, which had two sets of netting placed on top of them to cover them. There were 400 pomegranates made on the netting, each netting containing two rows of pomegranates.
  • The basins and their carts: He made 10 carts and 10 sinks which were placed on the carts.
  • The pool: He made a pool which rested on 12 metal oxen.
  • The vessels: He made pots and shovels and vessels to hold the blood. All the vessels that Chiram had made for King Shlomo on behalf of the temple were made of right copper.
  • The location that the vessels were crafted: All of the vessels were crafted within the earth in the planes of the Jordan which was between the cities of Sukkos and Tzarsan.
  • The weight of the vessels: The copper vessels were so heavy that Shlomo could not weigh them due to the great weight.

10.  The temple vessels-altar and showbread table and Menorah:

  • Shlomo made all the vessels necessary for the house of God including the gold altar and the gold showbread table which had the bread rest on it.
  • The menorah: He made a total of 10 gold Menorah with five positioned by the right and five positioned the left, in front of the Kodesh Hakedoshim. [This was in addition to the menorah that was made by Moshe which was in the middle.[7]] The menorah contained flowers, and its cups which contain the oil, as well as all of its instruments, were made of gold. This includes the instruments that were used to straighten the wicks.
  • The musical instruments: All the musical instruments were made of gold.
  • The vessels use with the altar: All the vessels that were used for the altar, which include the bowls which held the blood as well as the spoons of the incense, and the shovels used for gathering the ash, were all made of gold.
  • The doors and their keys: The hinges for the doors of the holy and holy of holies, as well as their keys, were all made of gold.
  • King Shlomo completed all the work necessary to be done for the house of God.

All of the dedicated gold and silver that he had inherited from his father David were not used to help build the temple and was rather placed in storage in the treasury of the house of God. [From here we learn that Shlomo was particular to use his own money to build the temple and not use  any of the money of

[1] Rashi 7:1

[2] Metzudos Dovid 7:2

[3] Metzudos Dovid 7:2

[4] Metzudos Dovid 7:2

[5] Rashi 7:8

[6] Rashi 7:17

[7] Rashi 7:49

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