Saturday, July 24, 2010

1 Kings, Chapters 6 & 7

Chapter 6

Long, boring description of the architecture of Solomon's temple. For you architecture geeks: it's 90x30 feet and 45 feet high and has a porch, narrow windows, and some interior rooms. He very cleverly designs the beams so nothing is inserted into the walls. The stones are cut elsewhere, so it's an early example of pre-fab housing. God promises that if Solomon keeps the covenant, he'll come and dwell amongst his people and won't abandon them. Because he's proven so consistent on this point in the past. Then we get more description of the materials used in the walls and floors. Cedar and fir. Mmm... it must have smelled like the best closet ever! Then, of course, he has to get tacky and cover the whole thing in gold leaf. Then he has some cherubim carved, which apparently would not have looked like the winged babies we think of now, but rather like scary, armed adults. They also get the gold-leaf treatment. Everything is carved. It must have been spectacularly overdone. All told it takes him seven years.

Chapter 7

Solomon's own house takes 13 years to build and is four times bigger than god's. He builds another house of the same size for his wife. He kind of reminds me of Al Gore. All the pilars are topped by brass crowns and have chain and net drapings. It must have looked like a tacky seafood restaurant with the drapes. He makes an indoor swimming pool, which is somehow balanced on carved oxen and is the size of 2000 baths. See, I don't think any of this existed, because those statues would have collapsed under the weight. He also has sculptures of lions, oxen and cherubim all over the place. There's a lot more junk, as well as some smaller pools, and everything is covered in gold. Tack-a-rama.

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