It’s easy to get lost in the temple description – unless you are architecturally inclined. The main points of the chapter are these:
* The temple is a rectangle with the long sides running west to east, a hundred cubits.
* It is three stories tall.
* The temple itself has three parts: an entranceway, reached by a flight of stairs, an outer sanctuary (Holy Place), and an inner sanctuary (Most Holy Place).
* The doorways to these three parts are successively smaller – indicating greater restrictiveness (or sanctity).
* The building is surrounded by storage rooms on the north, west, and south on all three levels.
* The inside walls of the Holy Place and Most Holy Place were paneled with wood from the floor to the ceiling and the carving on them alternated floor to ceiling palm trees with floor to ceiling cherubim. Each cherub had two heads, one facing the palm tree on the left and another facing the palm tree on the right. Cherubim are always the guardians of the holiness of God and in this temple, they might remind the priests that they are under the protection of God but also, that the Holy Place is as close to God’s presence as they can get. The palm trees in scripture symbolize righteousness (Psalm 92:12) and perhaps the promised peace of God.
The temple described is not according to the plans of Solomon, but according to the plans of God. With the vision of the temple, there is the hope God will return to His people.