The architect first drew the outline of the blocks on the face of the quarry; the workmen then chiselled them out in their whole thickness, separating them entirely from each other, and leaving them attached by their barks only to the solid wall. We spent between two and three hours in these quarries. Our examinations were, however, chiefly on the side towards the Valley of Jehoshaphat. Our guide stated that more to the westward was a quarry of the peculiar reddish marble so commonly used as pavement in the streets of Jerusalem. From the place where we entered the descent was gradual; between some of the quarries, however, there were broad flights of steps, cut out of the solid rock. I had no means of judging of the distance between the roofs of the vaults and the streets of the city, except that from the descent the thickness must be enormous. The size and extent of these excavations fully bore out the opinion that they had yielded stones enough to build not only the Temple, but the whole of Jerusalem.
“The situation of these quarries — the mode by which the stones were got out — and the evidence that the stones were fully prepared and dressed before being removed, may possibly throw light upon the verses of Scripture in which it is said — 2 Chronicles 2:18 — ‘And he (Solomon) set threescore and ten thousand of them to be bearers of burdens, and fourscore thousand to be hewers in the mountains, and three thousand and six hundred overseers to set the people a work.’ And again — 1 Kings 6:7 . ‘
And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither; so that there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building.’“
It could scarcely have been anticipated that at a period so remote from that in which the temple was erected, any evidence should arise, thus to confirm the statement concerning the silence observed in the building; yet this testimony has come forth as it were from the dead to verify the word of truth.
“And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building.” (1 Kings 6:7)
Here is a remarkable testimony to the engineering and construction skills of the ancients. In order to erect the magnificent temple of Solomon, every portion was so carefully fabricated, far away from the construction site, that the building could be completely erected in reverent silence.
Furthermore, the stones were not small and rough. “They brought great stones, costly stones, and hewed stones, to lay the foundation of the house” (1 Kings 5:17). They were quarried from limestone beds beneath the city and had to be fabricated and brought to the temple site, all ready to be laid in place. “And Solomon’s builders and Hiram’s builders did hew them, and the stones quarers” (1 Kings 5:18).
In both its unique beauty and its silent assemblage, the temple is a striking type of the spiritual temple now being erected by the Holy Spirit.
“Now therefore ye are . . . built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord; In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:19-22).
In this spiritual temple, each new believer is a costly stone, carefully cut from the world’s dark quarry, then silently placed in the growing structure by the Holy Spirit on the foundation of Jesus Christ, “to whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house” (1 Peter 2:4-5). “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16).
When He transports you from noise, mess, and chaos to one where He fits you together seamlessly with others,into the place where His Spirit dwells.
I Peter 2:5) says, “… you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual Temple.”(NIV
Solomon orders construction to begin on the Temple and for all intents and purposes,it looks as if nothing happens…for a while . There is little to no movement on the Temple Mount. We wonder, “Why God is not doing more in my life?” The reality is that there is much work being done, but it is away from the finished site. Our work sites vary. One work site might involve broken relationships.
Another one may involve finances and how God wants to teach trust in Him and rather than trust in bank accounts. Another work site may involve self-image, while another might involve becoming more disciplined or more committed in following Jesus as a serious disciple. There will be a lot of noise around any of these construction sites, but once the master builder completes His work, that finished product is transported to the epicenter of His will where it is quietly assembled into the fullness of your being.
If you think God is not doing much in your life right now then you might be looking at the wrong work site. Check out some of the work sites and see what is going on in them. You are the most valuable per square foot building that has ever been built. To be continued …. follow us on our next post ” The Noiseless Temple Of King Solomon (3)”