ABC:1 Kings 6

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Verse 2

TheThinkingAtheist.com claims the Bible is wrong about the following passage, and makes the following comments:[1]

1 Kings 6:2 And the house which king Solomon built for the LORD, the length thereof was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof twenty cubits, and the height thereof thirty cubits.

Why were 153,300 people required to build such a small structure?

1 Kings 6:38 And in the eleventh year, in the month Bul, which is the eighth month, was the house finished throughout all the parts thereof, and according to all the fashion of it. So was he seven years in building it.

Why did it take 7 years to construct?

1 Chronicles 22:14 Now, behold, in my trouble I have prepared for the house of the LORD an hundred thousand talents of gold, and a thousand thousand talents of silver; and of brass and iron without weight; for it is in abundance: timber also and stone have I prepared; and thou mayest add thereto.

Over 7 million pounds of gold and 75 million pounds of silver were required to construct this small structure.

This is akin to asking why a single building like the One World Trade Center took 7 years to build and $3.8 billion even with modern technology. Solomon's temple was one of the great ancient wonders of the world before it was destroyed; the pride of Jewish architecture. We went to great lengths to rebuild one of our trade centers after a terrorist attack, how much moreso do you think the entire nation of Israel in trying to build the ultimate temple to their God?

Furthermore, the construction was not quite so simplistic as presented here by TheThinkingAtheist.com, if you read the chapters, which only mention the main building. The construction ultimately included:

  • The main building, 90 ft. x 30 ft. x 45 ft. (1 Kings 6:2, 2 Chronicles 3:3) It was built with fir trees, overlaid with pure gold, and used precious jewels and special Parvaim gold for the inner working. Everything was overlaid with gold and architectural cherubims were engraved upon the walls; perhaps serving as inspiration for later artists like Michelangelo who did the same thing when painting the Sistine Chapel (which took 4 years). (2 Chronicles 3:5-7) A porch as part of the building consisted of an additional 30 ft. x 15 ft. (1 Kings 6:3) Stone was brought ready carved for construction so that no hammers or tools would be heard while building it. (1 Kings 6:7) It had 3 main chambers with winding stairs interlinking them, windows with narrow lights, and additional chambers surrounding these. (1 Kings 6:11
  • A porch in front of the main building, 180 ft. x 45 ft., composed of pure gold. (2 Chronicles 3:4)
  • An additional temple 60 ft. long overlaid with pure gold, carved with ornaments and flowers, and holding the most holy house. (1 Kings 6:17-18)
  • A most holy house, 30 ft. x 30 ft. x 30 ft., overlaid with pure gold, having upper chambers, and even using nails of pure gold. (2 Chronicles 3:9, 1 Kings 6:19-21) It contained special cherubims of fantastic architecture, two cherubims each with outstretched wings to one another and overlaid with gold. The wings were each 7.5 feet long for a total of 4 wings and 30 feet stretching across the room. (2 Chronicles 3:10-13, 1 Kings 6:23-28) The entire building was engraved with figures of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers; even the floor was made of gold. (1 Kings 6:29-30) A special veil of blue, purple, crimson, and special cloth (fine linen) in the building had artwork of cherubim as well. (2 Chronicles 3:14) The doors were made of olive and fir trees and likewise carved with palm trees, cherubim, and open flowers; overlaid with gold. (1 Kings 6:31-35) This was where the Ark of the Covenant was ultimately held, situated beneath the wings of the huge cherubim statues. (1 Kings 6:19, 1 Kings 8:6-7) The inner court was constructed with three rows of specially hewed stone and a row of cedar beams. (1 Kings 6:36)
  • Two pillars in front of the most holy house 52.5 ft. tall with capitals on top of them another 7.5 ft. tall, they were given unique names of 'Jachin' and 'Boaz.' The two pillars had chains holding 100 ornaments. (2 Chronicles 3:15-17, 1 Kings 8:21)
  • A bronze altar 30 ft. x 30 ft. x 15 ft. holding a molten sea and engraved with flowerlily artwork on the edges holding "three thousand baths" for priests to wash in. Holding it up were statues of 12 oxen all around the sea of bronze. Additionally ten bowls were created, five on each side. Ten candlesticks were also made, ten tables, and 100 basins of gold. (2 Chronicles 4:1-8, 1 Kings 8:22)
  • A court of priests, a great court, and doors for the court (overlaid with bronze) to hold the bronze altar/molten sea and related material. (2 Chronicles 4:9-10)

As I would hope is apparent by now, this was a vast undertaking of arguably greater scope than the famed Sistine Chapel, requiring numerous architectural works, special building materials transported from different regions (1 Kings 5), and multiple highly complex buildings. If it takes 7 years even today to construct a building like the One World Trade Center with all of our vast technology, why consider it unusual for multiple highly complex buildings to take the same amount of time for construction, particularly given the architectural craftsmanship required? They were designed not only as buildings, but works of art and beauty typifying God's heavenly dwellingplace to His people on Earth.

Sources

  1. TheThinkingAtheist. Bible Contradictions. Retrieved from http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/page/bible-contradictions.