Bible Absurdities: Solomon needs massive workforce to build tiny church

Solomon was one of those rich eccentric fellows. Although he murdered almost as many people as god during his tenure on this earth, he also liked to give back, by building tiny churches.

1 Kings 6:2 gives us the measurements of his temple: 60 cubits long (one cubit is 1.5 feet, so that makes this 90 feet long), 20 cubits (30 feet) wide, and 30 cubits (45 feet) tall. As far as churches go, it seems kind of small, especially given Solomon’s wealth. He could have afforded to build the first mega church. To put its size in perspective, in baseball the plates are 90 feet apart. The length of the church was merely the length of running to first base.

In 2 Chronicles 2:1-2 we are shown the size of the workforce Solomon employed to build this church. He “assigned 70,000 men to carry loads and 80,000 men to quarry stone in the mountains and 3,600 to supervise them.” That’s 153,600 men just to build a church. I’m not saying it’s easy for iron age men to carve stones out of mountains, but 153,600 men seems massively absurd. That’s about the total population of Springfield, Massachusetts! Imagine if everyone in Springfield suddenly quit their jobs to build a church that could only seat–at best–a few hundred.

Solomon’s temple was sacked a few hundred years later. It was so utterly destroyed that not a trace of it has been seen since, even though archeologists have searched and searched and searched.

About Rayan Zehn

I'm a political scientist.
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