The Temple of Solomon

Source: The Complete Library of Christian Worship, Robert E. Webber, General Editor

The temple or "house of Yahweh," was the central sanctuary of the worship of the Lord during the period of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. Through the sacrificial and festive worship of the temple, as explained in the following five entries, the community of Israel expressed its covenant loyalty to God and was reminded of God's faithfulness and acts of deliverance.

Purpose of the Temple of Solomon

The temple as the focal point of Israelite worship served as a protection against idolatry. It stood for the covenant between the Lord and Israel and was the place where God might be approached in celebration and propitiation.

Furnishings of the Temple of Solomon

The furnishings of the sanctuary proper and its surrounding courts all contributed to the grandeur of the worship of the Lord. The sanctuary proper, including the Holy of Holies, contained the ark of the covenant, the lampstands the altar of incense, and the table of shewbread. The great altar of sacrifice stood in the court, outside the sanctuary, together with the bronze sea.

Features of Solomonic Temple Worship

The temple emphasized the presence of God in the midst of Israel. Worship was characterized by sacred symbols, sacred rituals, and a sacred ministry. This model had a great impact on the development of liturgical worship in the ancient church.

Family Worship In Solomon's Temple

Family worship at the temple included the rite of circumcision and various sacrifices and offerings for tithe, personal vows, sin, and sickness.

Festal Worship In Solomon's Temple

Three national festivals were celebrated yearly in the temple: Passover, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Booths.