The significance of verse one is that it gives us the ability to date the time of the Exodus – 480 years prior to the fourth year of Solomon’s reign. The accepted date for that year of Salomon’s reign is 966-967 BCE. Although there is some argument for the application of the number of years, the more credible date for the Exodus seems to be about 1466-1467 BCE. The detail of the temple’s construction is pretty specific, and was quite expensive (not all the gold used – most of it captured in the victorious the Israelites had over the various Canaanite cities).
The exact dimensions are somewhat disputed due to the variance of the length of a cubit at different time, but as temple’s go, it would not have been the huge building that some of us might imagine. But the description is of a grandly beautiful temple for the Lord’s house. God restates (in verse 11-13) the promises He made to David in 2 Samuel 7:11-16, but it is not an unconditional promise. Note in verse 12, that God makes no promise to “hang around” if they are disobedient.
A beautiful structure indeed, but that obedience is more important to Him than the grandest of temples. Remember that people (including the apostles) were very impressed with the temple that existed when Jesus was in Jerusalem. But he foretold its utter destruction (as in Luke 21:5-6).
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
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