King Solomon Builds a Temple

English Language Study for Russian Orthodox Learners

King Solomon Builds a Temple

When David died, his son Solomon became king of Israel.  Solomon wanted to be a good ruler.  One night God appeared to him and asked him what he wanted.  Solomon did not ask for riches but asked the Lord to grant him wisdom.

God answered Solomon, “Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked possessions, wealth, honour, or the life of those who hate you, and have not even asked long life, but have asked wisdom and knowledge for yourself that you may rule my people over whom I have made you king, wisdom and knowledge are granted to you.”  (1:11-12)  And the Lord also gave Solomon riches and honour as no one before him had.

Solomon built a large and beautiful temple for the Lord.  It was built of (из) stone and cedar.  The walls were made of gold.  The altar was also of pure gold.  Two cherubim* made of an olive tree stood in the holy of holies.  Their wings touched in the middle of the room.

The Lord was pleased with the temple. He told Solomon that He would always be with the children of Israel as long as (пока) they kept His commandments.

The construction was finished in seven years.  Many people gathered in the temple for a celebration.  The priests brought the Ark of the Covenant (ковчег завета) into the holy of holies.  When they came out of the holy place, the Lord Himself appeared in a cloud and filled the house with His glory.  Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord and said, “O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like Thee, in heaven or on earth, keeping covenant and showing steadfast love to Thy servants who walk before Thee with all their heart.” (6:14)

Solomon was the king of Israel for over forty years.  In his youth he was a wise and good ruler, but later he committed many sins in the eyes of the Lord.

The beautiful temple stood for 400 years.  It was destroyed by the Babylonians and never completely rebuilt.

King Solomon's Temple

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* cherubim (херувимы) – мн. число от cherub