Statues in Solomon's Temple


Just wanted clearification.

In solomon’s temple when he put the cherubim behind the Ark of the Covenant.

God didn’t specifically tell him to do that right? it seems like that would be a good argument for statues in places of worship.



…actually Yahweh God Commanded Moses to create the Cherubs and to place them by the Ark:

[FONT=“Garamond”][size=]10 “Have them make an ark

(Exodus 25:10)

17 “Make an atonement cover of pure gold—two and a half cubits long and a cubit and a half wide. 18 And make two cherubim out of hammered gold at the ends of the cover. 19 Make one cherub on one end and the second cherub on the other; make the cherubim of one piece with the cover, at the two ends. 20 The cherubim are to have their wings spread upward, overshadowing the cover with them. The cherubim are to face each other, looking toward the cover. 21 Place the cover on top of the ark and put in the ark the tablets of the covenant law that I will give you. 22 There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the covenant law, I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites. (Exodus 25:17-22)
…images, as anyone can see from the above passage, are not the issue–the Command is against graven images; that is, images that are specifically created and used for idol worship.

…what is funny about those who reject Catholic practices is that they do not register in their minds any of the images that Moses was Commanded by God to create, that they do not distinguish between image and graven image, and that waaaaay too many people, Believers included, routinely worship idols (their children, pictures, cars, homes, trinkets, money, jobs, status, pets, sports teams, celebrities, etc.).

Maran atha!




Thank you for your reply.

I know God commanded Moses to put the cherubs on the ark. I was just wondering if God commanded Solomon in a similar way during the construction of the temple. In my reading of kings Solomon just did it implying he knew God would not prohibit the golden cherubs to be behind the ark.

1 kings 6:23
For the inner sanctuary he made a pair of cherubim out of olive wood, each ten cubits high… He overlaid the cherubim with gold.


Although there might not have been a divine command for Solomon to erect the large cherubim statues in the holy of holies, afterwards the glory of the Lord filled the temple apparently giving divine approval to everything in it, including the large cherubim statues. (1 Kings 8:10-11) If God had not approved of the large cherubim statues, one would expect that God would have destroyed them as he destroyed the Dagon idol in 1 Samuel 5:1-5.


Yes, that is a good argument for statues in places of worship. Also, if God HAD commanded him to do it, that would be a good argument too. God never commands us to break His commandments.

On a related note, you might be interested in this video:

5 Ways the New Testament Supports Sacred Images


Aw man that is awesome! I didn’t even think about 1 Sam 5:1-5 :thumbsup:


A priest I wholeheadedly trust explained: Statues of earthly beings are forbidden; heavenly beings (such as cherubim) are not.

This is also why the Church allows statues of saints: they have become heavenly beings.




…I understand your concern… however we must also understand that God does Work in mysterious ways… ie: the narrative of Cain and Abel–there’s no precedence for offering Sacrifice; Cain and Abel are working from an unseen and unscripted platform… so we must surmise that Yahweh God, through the Holy Spirit, Inspired this very exact act. Another particular example is Abraham’s encounter with the King and High Priest Melchizedek… the tithing will not come into effect until hundreds of years later, and Jesus will not Consecrate Bread and Wine until thousands of years later… yet, we have a type of both during a freak and unexpected encounter…

Further, (though it’s been some time since I reread through the various passages involving the loss and reclaiming of the Ark of the Covenant) it seems that the Cherubs were not recovered with the Ark… it would be quite logical, from a theological point, that Salomon would want to replace them–even in the absence of a direct Command…

Conversely, note the transitions that takes place between the Old Testament’s Covenant and the New Testament’s Covenant… specifically, the Bread of Presence (Blessed Sacrament)–there’s no direct Command to make these changes… but we can find windows into these changes that demonstrate a progressive form of Worship/Communication:

[FONT=“Garamond”][size=]21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

(St. John 4:21-24)
…just as Scriptures are not meant to confine God’s Omnipotence, Omniscience, and Omnipresence, Scriptural text does not always hold everything about the Faith within them!

Maran atha!




Hi, Todd!


…during the Old Testament times idols were a dime a dozen (well, readily available anyway and worshipped); God needed to show Israel what He expected of His first-born… the Ark could not be allowed to coexist with graven images!

Maran atha!




…but do you mean to say if it is not found in Scriptures that God HAD Commanded him or do you mean to infer that from reading Scriptures man can know God’s Way?

Maran atha!



I’m not entirely sure I understand your question, but here’s an answer to what I think you mean. If nothing was found in the Bible commanding anyone to make images, that wouldn’t mean images are bad. Not everything has to be explicitly in the Bible to be good. But the Bible does tell us some stuff, in fact it tells us a lot of stuff, and by reading it within the tradition of the Church we can know God’s will. (Including that it is okay to use sacred images.)

I hope that answers your question, let me know! :slight_smile:



…yeah… sorry about that–it seemed to me that you were intimating that God did not Command Salomon to create the Cherubs (‘if not found in Scriptures’) so I began to wonder if you were holding on to some residual sola Scriptura understanding…

Your response clarified the issue since you have married Scriptures (Written Revelation) to Oral Revelation (Apostolic Teaching–continuance of the Faith through both oral and written Teachings).

…apologies… and thanks!

Maran atha!



Excellent point. :thumbsup:


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