Today we are concluding our comments on the Temple.
In the front, on the east, was a porch the width of the
house. On the porch were two pillars of brass, each about six feet
in diameter and 35 feet high, one on either side. Against the wall
of the Temple, on the north, south, and west sides, were three
stories of side chambers for the priests.
In front of the Temple was the Brazen Altar of Burnt
Offering, believed to have stood on the rock where Abraham offered
Isaac–now called the Dome of the Rock, directly under the center of
the present Mohammedan Mosque of Omar. Nearby, to the south, stood
the great Brazen Laver, set on twelve brazen oxen, to hold water for
the priests to wash in. There were also ten smaller portable lavers,
five on the north side and five on the south side, for water for the
The Temple was surrounded by two courts–an “inner court”
and a “great court.” Their size is not known. The great court may
have included the palace buildings.
The Temple was built by 30,000 Israelites and 150,000
Canaanites. It took seven years to build. Every part was prepared at
a distance from the site and put in place without sound of hammer or
The glory of Solomon’s Temple was short lived. It was
plundered within five years after Solomon’s death, and destroyed by
the Babylonians in 586 b.c.