II Chronicles – Chapter 3

That's A Lot of Cherubs

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

Solomon started construction of the Temple on Mount Moriah, at the site of Ornan’s threshing floor. Ground was broken on the second day of the second month (Iyar) in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign. They laid a foundation of sixty cubits by twenty cubits, going by the measurements that were in use in Solomon’s time (rather than those in the time of Nehemiah, who was writing this history). The Hall of the Temple was 120 cubits high and it was overlaid with gold. The Sanctuary was paneled with gold-covered cypress, decorated with intricate designs and precious gems.

The gold they used was from a place called Parvarim, and it was used to cover everything – rafters, doors, walls, etc. There were also golden figures of cherubs engraved on the walls. The Holy of Holies was 20 x 20 cubits, likewise covered in gold. There were cherubim in there, too, with a combined wingspan of twenty cubits. (Between the two cherubs, there were four wings, each five cubits long.) The curtain of the Holy of Holies was made of all the precious fabrics, with a cherub design embroidered on it.

There were two pillars at the entrance to the Sanctuary, with a combined height of 35 cubits. (They were cast a single pillar, then separated into two parts.) There were intricate designs of chains and pomegranates on top of the pillars. The pillars had names: the one on the right was called Yachin (“He will establish”) and the one on the left was Boaz (“In it, there is strength”).

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