Monday, November 1, 2010

The Holy of Holies

The Mystery of the Lost Ark: Part 2

After David replaced Saul as king of the sons of Israel, he and his kinsmen transported the Ark from Kiriath-jearim to the city of David which was called Zion. 

Following David’s death, his son, Solomon, built the temple on Mount Moriah for the express purpose of housing the Ark of the Covenant.  The priests placed the Ark in a golden room at the back of the temple.  That innermost sanctuary was dubbed the Holy of Holies.  Golden panels riveted with golden nails lined the walls, floor, and ceiling.  Two cherubim which were 15 feet high and had wing spans of 15 feet overshadowed the Ark.  They were also overlaid with pure gold.  Twenty metric tons of gold went into the construction of the Holy of Holies.

And King Solomon and all the congregation of Israel who were assembled with him before the ark were sacrificing so many sheep and oxen, that they could not be counted or numbered.

Then the house, the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God.

Solomon proclaimed, “The Lord has said that He would dwell in the thick cloud.  I have built Thee a lofty house, and a place for Thy dwelling forever.”

Then Solomon said a prayer, before all the assembly of Israel, dedicating the temple to the Lord.  After his praise and supplications, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the house.

The Ark of the Covenant is seldom mentioned after the reign of King Solomon. 


  1. Scriptural references: 2 Chronicles 5:6,13,14; 6:1,2; 7:1

  2. According to 2 Chr. 3:8, 600 talents of gold were used to build the Holy of Holies. The weight symbolized by a talent changed over the course of Israelite history. It was roughly between 55 & 133 lbs. At the time of Solomon, it is estimated that a talent was the equivalent of 73.5 lbs. A metric ton is about 2205 lbs.

  3. Solomon’s temple was divided into 4 sections. The inner chamber or the Holy of Holies & the outer chamber or the Holy Place made up the temple proper. The side chambers surrounded the temple proper on 3 sides. The porch, including the temple entrance, was located at the front of the temple adjacent to the Holy Place.
    The dimensions quoted in 1 Kings 6:2 are the inside dimensions of the temple proper. A cubit equals 1.5 feet.
    The Holy of Holies was a perfect cube, 30 feet in each dimension (1 Kings 6:20). The 30 foot measurement from wall to wall is confirmed by the wingspans of the two golden cherubim (1 Kings 6:23-28).

  4. The height of the temple proper was 45 feet yet the height of the Holy of Holies was only 30 feet. The upper rooms accounted for the 15 foot difference. 1 Chronicles 28:11; 2 Chronicles 3:9