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Article # 35
A Visit to King Solomon's Temple

Author: Bro.Teijinder Singh Rawal    Posted on: Monday, August 5, 2002
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[ The author takes us through a symbolic visit to the core of the

Freemasonry, namely the King Solomonís Temple, taking

great care to point out the details of the temple with some

explanation even of the symbolism,wherever needed. He

has culled out the references from the Holy Bible about

the Temple, which adds to the completeness of the study.

Please read on..]


A visit to King Solomonís Temple

Bro. Tejinder Singh Rawal

Lodge Corinth ( UGLE)

Nagpur, India

Let us go back in history to the year 965 B.C., when Solomon succeeded David as King of the United Israelite Kingdom of the Twelve Tribes. A year later Solomon ordered the start of preparations for the construction of the First Temple. Hiram, King of Tyre, a good friend of both Solomon and his father, had already volunteered to help him in the construction of the temple. Hiram, King of Tyre, was the son of Abibal, and the contemporary of both David and Solomon. David during his reign had asked Hiram for cedars, carpenters, and masons and they had built David a house. Nearly forty years later, when Solomon ascended the throne and began to prepare for the building of the Temple, he requested the old friend of his father for the same kind of assistance. The two kings sealed their agreement with prayers together on Mount Moriah, and the construction of the great Temple began.

Let me now take you to a visit to the temple.

As you reach the Temple, you notice the two pillars on the porch way. The pillar on the left is named Boaz and the one on the right is called Jachin. The pillars are more than eight meters high, and are made of brass. They are huge and weigh about 40 tonnes each. The pillars have been built by the legendry Master Hiram Abif, the widowís son, who was a great artificer in brass and other metals.

You cross the two pillars and enter. You come across winding stairs. As you enter you notice that the stairs have a set of three steps, followed by a set of five steps, and finally a set of seven steps. Thus there are fifteen steps. This odd number of steps is not without purpose. The purpose is that you are supposed to start with your left foot, so that when you reach the entrance of the temple, you step out there with your left foot. A convention which has not lost any significance with the passage of time.

The first three steps allude to the three great lights of freemasonry, viz., the Square, the Compass and the Volume of Sacred Laws. They also allude to the three lesser lights of freemasonry, viz., the Sun, the Moon and the Master of the Lodge.

The next five steps allude to the five senses of men. Reminding us to exercise due control over the senses. They also allude to the five architectural orders, viz., Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian and Composite. Each Order had its specialization and you could see the workmanship of each of such Order in the Temple. They also further allude to the five points of fellowship.

The last seven steps allude to the seven liberal arts and sciences, viz., grammar, logic, rhetoric, arithmetic, geometry, music and astrology. They remind you that you are expected to keep improving your skills in these seven disciplines. Grammar, so that you can express yourself properly. Logic, in order that you can distinguish good from bad and can take a reasoned decision when faced with a dilemma. Rhetoric, because it beautifies your language, Arithmetic, because a Mason needs to be calculative in his action, Geometry, because the whole science of Temple construction depends upon Geometry, Music, so that when you shift from labour to refreshment, you are able to appreciate the beauty of life, which is best expressed in terms of music, and Astrology, because it helps you know the day, and night, to know when to begin the work, and when to stop, to understand the seasons and to comprehend the mighty power of the Great Architect of the Universe.

As you reach the outer door, you find that the door is half open, but is close tyled by the Junior Warden, who demands a password. After due satisfaction, you are allowed to enter. There is one more door to be crossed, credentials to be established again, and the password to be given again to the Senior Warden who lets you in the Middle Chamber.

As you enter, you see great light emanating from certain Hebrew characters at the Eastern side. The light is so intense that you find it difficult to see any other thing. As your eyes slowly get accustomed to the dazzling light, you notice King Solomon standing on the East together with Hiram, the King of Tyre and Hiram Abif with some Craftsmen holding the registers in their hands. They inspect the register and calculate the wages due to you. The wages are paid in the form of corn, oil and wine. Corn to feed you, wine to help you charge your energies, and the oil to apply on your body.

Having received the wages, without scruple or diffidence you salute King Solomon, and withdraw from the Lodge, with a promise to return again whenever summoned.

Description of the building of King Solomonís Temple in the Bible:

Book 14

2 Chronicles

001:001

And Solomon the son of David was strengthened in his kingdom, and the LORD his God was with him, and magnified him exceedingly.

001:002

Then Solomon spake unto all Israel, to the captains of thousands and of hundreds, and to the judges, and to every governor in all Israel, the chief of the fathers.

001:003

So Solomon, and all the congregation with him, went to the high place that was at Gibeon; for there was the tabernacle of the congregation of God, which Moses the servant of the LORD had made in the wilderness.

001:004

But the ark of God had David brought up from Kirjathjearim to the place which David had prepared for it: for he had pitched a tent for it at Jerusalem.

001:005

Moreover the brasen altar, that Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, had made, he put before the tabernacle of the LORD: and Solomon and the congregation sought unto it.

001:006

And Solomon went up thither to the brasen altar before the LORD, which was at the tabernacle of the congregation, and offered a thousand burnt offerings upon it.

001:007

In that night did God appear unto Solomon, and said unto him, Ask what I shall give thee.

001:008

And Solomon said unto God, Thou hast shewed great mercy unto David my father, and hast made me to reign in his stead.

001:009

Now, O LORD God, let thy promise unto David my father be established: for thou hast made me king over a people like the dust of the earth in multitude.

001:010

Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people: for who can judge this thy people, that is so great?

001:011

And God said to Solomon, Because this was in thine heart, and thou hast not asked riches, wealth, or honour, nor the life of thine enemies, neither yet hast asked long life; but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself, that thou mayest judge my people, over whom I have made thee king:

001:012

Wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee; and I will give thee riches, and wealth, and honour, such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee, neither shall there any after thee have the like.

001:013

Then Solomon came from his journey to the high place that was at Gibeon to Jerusalem, from before the tabernacle of the congregation, and reigned over Israel.

001:014

And Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen: and he had a thousand and four hundred chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen, which he placed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem.

001:015

And the king made silver and gold at Jerusalem as plenteous as stones, and cedar trees made he as the sycomore trees that are in the vale for abundance.

001:016

And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and linen yarn: the king's merchants received the linen yarn at a price.

001:017

And they fetched up, and brought forth out of Egypt a chariot for six hundred shekels of silver, and an horse for an hundred and fifty: and so brought they out horses for all the kings of the Hittites, and for the kings of Syria, by their means.


002:001

And Solomon determined to build an house for the name of the LORD, and an house for his kingdom.

002:002

And Solomon told out threescore and ten thousand men to bear burdens, and fourscore thousand to hew in the mountain, and three thousand and six hundred to oversee them.

002:003

And Solomon sent to Huram the king of Tyre, saying, As thou didst deal with David my father, and didst send him cedars to build him an house to dwell therein, even so deal with me.

002:004

Behold, I build an house to the name of the LORD my God, to dedicate it to him, and to burn before him sweet incense, and for the continual shewbread, and for the burnt offerings morning and evening, on the sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the solemn feasts of the LORD our God. This is an ordinance for ever to Israel.

002:005

And the house which I build is great: for great is our God above all gods.

002:006

But who is able to build him an house, seeing the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain him? who am I then, that I should build him an house, save only to burn sacrifice before him?

002:007

Send me now therefore a man cunning to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in iron, and in purple, and crimson, and blue, and that can skill to grave with the cunning men that are with me in Judah and in Jerusalem, whom David my father did provide.

002:008

Send me also cedar trees, fir trees, and algum trees, out of Lebanon: for I know that thy servants can skill to cut timber in Lebanon; and, behold, my servants shall be with thy servants,

002:009

Even to prepare me timber in abundance: for the house which I am about to build shall be wonderful great.

002:010

And, behold, I will give to thy servants, the hewers that cut timber, twenty thousand measures of beaten wheat, and twenty thousand measures of barley, and twenty thousand baths of wine, and twenty thousand baths of oil.

002:011

Then Huram the king of Tyre answered in writing, which he sent to Solomon, Because the LORD hath loved his people, he hath made thee king over them.

002:012

Huram said moreover, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, that made heaven and earth, who hath given to David the king a wise son, endued with prudence and understanding, that might build an house for the LORD, and an house for his kingdom.

002:013

And now I have sent a cunning man, endued with understanding, of Huram my father's,

002:014

The son of a woman of the daughters of Dan, and his father was a man of Tyre, skilful to work in gold, and in silver, in brass, in iron, in stone, and in timber, in purple, in blue, and in fine linen, and in crimson; also to grave any manner of graving, and to find out every device which shall be put to him, with thy cunning men, and with the cunning men of my lord David thy father.

002:015

Now therefore the wheat, and the barley, the oil, and the wine, which my lord hath spoken of, let him send unto his servants:

002:016

And we will cut wood out of Lebanon, as much as thou shalt need: and we will bring it to thee in floats by sea to Joppa; and thou shalt carry it up to Jerusalem.

002:017

And Solomon numbered all the strangers that were in the land of Israel, after the numbering wherewith David his father had numbered them; and they were found an hundred and fifty thousand and three thousand and six hundred.

002:018

And he set threescore and ten thousand of them to be bearers of burdens, and fourscore thousand to be hewers in the mountain, and three thousand and six hundred overseers to set the people a work.


003:001

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.

003:002

And he began to build in the second day of the second month, in the fourth year of his reign.

003:003

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.

003:004

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.

003:005

And the greater house he cieled with fir tree, which he overlaid with fine gold, and set thereon palm trees and chains.

003:006

And he garnished the house with precious stones for beauty: and the gold was gold of Parvaim.

003:007

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.

003:008

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.

003:009

And the weight of the nails was fifty shekels of gold. And he overlaid the upper chambers with gold.

003:010

And in the most holy house he made two cherubims of image work, and overlaid them with gold.

003:011

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.

003:012

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.

003:013

The wings of these cherubims spread themselves forth twenty cubits: and they stood on their feet, and their faces were inward.

003:014

And he made the vail of blue, and purple, and crimson, and fine linen, and wrought cherubims thereon.

003:015

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.

003:016

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.

003:017

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.


004:001

Moreover he made an altar of brass, twenty cubits the length thereof, and twenty cubits the breadth thereof, and ten cubits the height thereof.

004:002

Also he made a molten sea of ten cubits from brim to brim, round in compass, and five cubits the height thereof; and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.

004:003

And under it was the similitude of oxen, which did compass it round about: ten in a cubit, compassing the sea round about. Two rows of oxen were cast, when it was cast.

004:004

It stood upon twelve oxen, three looking toward the north, and three looking toward the west, and three looking toward the south, and three looking toward the east: and the sea was set above upon them, and all their hinder parts were inward.

004:005

And the thickness of it was an handbreadth, and the brim of it like the work of the brim of a cup, with flowers of lilies; and it received and held three thousand baths.

004:006

He made also ten lavers, and put five on the right hand, and five on the left, to wash in them: such things as they offered for the burnt offering they washed in them; but the sea was for the priests to wash in.

004:007

And he made ten candlesticks of gold according to their form, and set them in the temple, five on the right hand, and five on the left.

004:008

He made also ten tables, and placed them in the temple, five on the right side, and five on the left. And he made an hundred basons of gold.

004:009

Furthermore he made the court of the priests, and the great court, and doors for the court, and overlaid the doors of them with brass.

004:010

And he set the sea on the right side of the east end, over against the south.

004:011

And Huram made the pots, and the shovels, and the basons. And Huram finished the work that he was to make for king Solomon for the house of God;

004:012

To wit, the two pillars, and the pommels, and the chapiters which were on the top of the two pillars, and the two wreaths to cover the two pommels of the chapiters which were on the top of the pillars;

004:013

And four hundred pomegranates on the two wreaths; two rows of pomegranates on each wreath, to cover the two pommels of the chapiters which were upon the pillars.

004:014

He made also bases, and lavers made he upon the bases;

004:015

One sea, and twelve oxen under it.

004:016

The pots also, and the shovels, and the fleshhooks, and all their instruments, did Huram his father make to king Solomon for the house of the LORD of bright brass.

004:017

In the plain of Jordan did the king cast them, in the clay ground between Succoth and Zeredathah.

004:018

Thus Solomon made all these vessels in great abundance: for the weight of the brass could not be found out.

004:019

And Solomon made all the vessels that were for the house of God, the golden altar also, and the tables whereon the shewbread was set;

004:020

Moreover the candlesticks with their lamps, that they should burn after the manner before the oracle, of pure gold;

004:021

And the flowers, and the lamps, and the tongs, made he of gold, and that perfect gold;

004:022

And the snuffers, and the basons, and the spoons, and the censers, of pure gold: and the entry of the house, the inner doors thereof for the most holy place, and the doors of the house of the temple, were of gold.

The author is an active member of Lodge Corinth (No.1122) and Lodge Penchvale(No.7643) of UGLE, in Nagpur and of Lodge Kitchener (No.2998) of UGLE in New Delhi, besides Royal Arch, Mark etc. etc. He has written many articles about Freemasonry He is the Web Master of http:\\ lodgecorinth.web-page.net/ That site contains many useful and informative articles. A visit to that website will always be worthwhile and enlightening.


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