1 Kings 6:2
And the house which king Solomon built for the LORD, the length thereof was three score cubits, and the breadth thereof twenty cubits…
1 Kings 6:2. The temple is described as "the house which King Solomon built for the Lord." This idea of consecration ran through the whole plan of the building. Without having recourse to a minute and fanciful symbolism, we see clearly that everything is so disposed as to convey the idea of the holiness of God. IN THE CENTRE IS THE ALTAR OF SACRIFICE. The holy of holies, hidden from gaze by its impenetrable veil, strikes with awe the man of unclean heart and lips, who hears the seraphim cry from beneath their shadowing wings, "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty!" (Isaiah 6:3.) The temple of holiness is not the temple of nature of colossal proportions, as in the East, nor is it the temple of aesthetic beauty, as in Greece. It is the dwelling place of Him who is invisible, and of purer eyes than to behold evil (Habakkuk 1:13.) Hence its peculiar character. It answers thus to the true condition of religious art, which never sacrifices the idea and sense of the Divine to mere form, but makes the form instinct with the Divine idea. Let us freely recognize the claims of religious art. The extreme Puritanism which thinks it honours God by a contemptuous disregard of the aesthetic, is scarcely less mistaken than the idolatrous materialism which makes beauty of form the primary consideration. It was not for nothing that God made the earth so fair, the sky so glorious; and it was under Divine inspiration that the temple of Jerusalem was reared in such magnificence and majesty as to strike all beholders. Only let us never forget to seek the Divine idea beneath the beauty of the form. When we admire merely the beautiful, whether in a temple, as did the disciples, or in the great world of nature, the warning words of Christ fall upon upon our ear: "As for these things which ye behold, the days will come in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another" (Luke 21:6). "Tous les cieux et leur splendeur ne valent pas le soupir d'un seul coeur." Love is the crowning beauty. It is like the precious vase of ointment which Mary of Bethany broke over the feet of Christ. Beauty is the fit associate of worship, so long as it is kept subordinate, and does not distract our minds from the higher spiritual realities of which it is but symbolic. Let us seek in the temple of nature the high and holy God, of whom it is said, that "the invisible things of Him are clearly seen from the creation of the world, being understood by the things that are made" (Romans 1:19). Let us recognize His presence beneath the arches of the mediaeval cathedral, among the memorials of a worship which we ourselves have left behind. Let us seek Him in the great monuments of Christian art, whether reared by poet, musician, painter, or sculptor. Let it be our aim to glorify Him in the forms of our worship, while we sedulously guard against the worship of the form, which is sheer idolatry. Such are the principles of Christian aestheties, which are one branch of Christian morals. "The beautiful is the glory of the true," says Plato. When one corner of the veil which hides heaven from us is lifted, the Divine life shines forth in all its radiance of purity and beauty. - E. de P.
Parallel VersesKJV: And the house which king Solomon built for the LORD, the length thereof was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof twenty cubits, and the height thereof thirty cubits.