What did the temple look like?
It was a larger, more substantive version of the Tabernacle used in the wilderness travels. By today’s standards, the new temple was small. It measured thirty yards long, ten yards wide, and fifteen yards high. For the time, though, the temple was enormous. It towered over any other structure around.
The temple was built with stone. Elaborate wood carvings of lilies and pomegranates were everywhere. The interior walls were overlaid with gold. The furnishings inside and out were made of bronze, silver, and gold. The temple consisted of a porch, sanctuary, and inner sanctuary.
Aside from being larger and made from more expensive materials, the so-called “molten sea,” the large basin where priests bathed before entering the temple, was very innovative in design. It was a large bronze basin measuring fifteen feet across. It was nearly eight feet high. The basin sat on twelve bronze statues of oxen. Three oxen faced west, three faced east, three faced north, and three faced south.
The temple stood for four hundred years until Babylonian invaders ransacked it in 586 B.C.E.