The Holy See
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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 3


1 Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, which had been pointed out to his father David, on the spot which David had selected, the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.


He began to build in the second month of the fourth year of his reign.


These were the specifications laid down by Solomon for building the house of God: the length was sixty cubits according to the old measure, and the width was twenty cubits;


2 the porch which lay before the nave along the width of the house was also twenty cubits, and it was twenty cubits high. He overlaid its interior with pure gold.


The nave he overlaid with cypress wood which he covered with fine gold, embossing on it palms and chains.


He also decorated the building with precious stones.


The house, its beams and thresholds, as well as its walls and its doors, he overlaid with gold, and he engraved cherubim upon the walls. (The gold was from Parvaim.)


He also made the room of the holy of holies. Its length corresponded to the width of the house, twenty cubits, and its width was also twenty cubits. He overlaid it with fine gold to the amount of six hundred talents.


The weight of the nails was fifty gold shekels. The upper chambers he likewise covered with gold.


For the room of the holy of holies he made two cherubim of carved workmanship, which were then overlaid with gold.


The wings of the cherubim spanned twenty cubits:


one wing of each cherub, five cubits in length, extended to a wall of the building, while the other wing, also five cubits in length, touched the corresponding wing of the second cherub.


The combined wingspread of the two cherubim was thus twenty cubits. They stood upon their own feet, facing toward the nave.


3 He made the veil of violet, purple, crimson and fine linen, and had cherubim embroidered upon it.


In front of the building he set two columns thirty-five cubits high; the capital topping each was of five cubits.


He worked out chains in the form of a collar with which he encircled the capitals of the columns, and he made a hundred pomegranates which he set on the chains.


He set up the columns to correspond with the nave, one for the right side and the other for the left, and he called the one to the right Jachin and the one to the left Boaz.



1 [1] Mount Moriah: the height in the land of Moriah ( Genesis 22:2). This is the only place in the Bible where the temple mount is identified with the site where Abraham was to sacrifice Isaac.

2 [4] The porch . . . twenty cubits high: this measurement, not given in the Books of Kings, is here based on a variant Greek text that may be a later revision. The received Hebrew text says, "one hundred and twenty cubits high." The height of the two free-standing columns adjacent to the porch ( 1 Kings 7:15-16) is nearly doubled by the Chronicler ( 2 Chron 3:15).

3 [14] The veil: at the entrance of the holy of holies, as also in the Mosaic meeting tent ( Exodus 26:31-32). Solomon's temple had doors at this place ( 1 Kings 6:31). Apparently there was a veil here in the temple of the Chronicler's time as there was also in Herod's temple ( Matthew 27:51; Mark 15:38; Luke 23:45).

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