The Temple and the Storehouse Chambers
by Ronald W Robey
Just how much storage space was available for tithes at the Temple in Jerusalem? Given the dimensions of the Storehouse Chambers, it would be an impossibility for ten percent of all agricultural produce in Israel to be stored at the Temple.

An estimated 2.5 million Israelites left Egypt, led by Moses in 1447 BC. Children were born to them and most of those who left Egypt died in the wilderness because of stubbornness and unbelief. Over 440 years of living in Canaan, it is safe to say that the population increased dramatically.

Farmers and herders became the food providers for those of other occupations throughout Canaan. Ten percent of the farmed produce was to be given to the Levite each year. A Temple was needed to store some of that produce so it would not go to waste.

And so, we come to our text on the dimensions of the Temple Solomon built for the LORD…

1 Kings 6:1 And it came to pass in the *four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD. *967 BC

1 Kings 6:2 And the house which king Solomon built for the LORD, the length thereof was *threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof **twenty cubits, and the height thereof ***thirty cubits. *90 feet ** 30 feet *** 45 feet

1 Kings 6:3 And the porch before the temple of the house, *twenty cubits was the length thereof, according to the breadth of the house; and **ten cubits was the breadth thereof before the house. * 30 feet ** 15 feet

1 Kings 6:4 And for the house he made windows of narrow lights.

1 Kings 6:5 And against the wall of the house he built chambers *round about, against the walls of the house round about, both of the temple and of the oracle: and he made chambers round about: * the walls encircled the sides and backside of the Temple

1 Kings 6:6 The nethermost chamber was *five cubits broad, and the middle was **six cubits broad, and the third was ***seven cubits broad: for without in the wall of the house he made narrowed rests round about, that the beams should not be fastened in the walls of the house. * 7.5 feet ** 9 feet *** 10.5 feet

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. *all building stones were hammered and chiseled elsewhere and subsequently imported to the Temple construction site.

1 Kings 6:8 The door for the middle chamber was in the right side of the house: and they went up with winding stairs into the middle chamber, and out of the middle into the third.

1 Kings 6:9 So he built the house, and finished it; and covered the house with beams and boards of cedar.

1 Kings 6:10 And then he built chambers against all the house, five cubits high: and they rested on the house with timber of cedar.

The chambers (rooms) in the House of God were arranged in an interesting fashion. They were stacked three high, with the bottom chamber being the smallest and the top chamber being the largest.

According to verse 6 above, the breadth of the bottom chamber was five cubits. (7.5 feet)  The breadth of the middle chamber was six cubits. (9 feet) The breadth of the uppermost chamber was seven cubits. (10.5 feet) The Levites had to enter a door on the right side of the House of God and climb a winding staircase to gain entrance to both the middle and upper chambers.

Hardly enough room for the 10% of Israel’s total produce along with the holy things of the Temple and 10% of Israel’s total monetary gain that many pastors claim was commanded to be tithed to the Temple.

The fact is, money was never tithed to the House of God under the Mosaic Law. It was always agricultural produce and livestock as per the commandment found in Leviticus 27:30-33 and subsequent passages Numbers 18:21-28 & Nehemiah 10:37-38. (livestock was kept in stalls, not the chambers)

Nehemiah 10:37 And that we should bring the firstfruits of our dough, and our offerings, and the fruit of all manner of trees, of wine and of oil, unto the priests, to the chambers of the house of our God; and the tithes of our ground unto the Levites, that the same Levites might have the tithes in all the cities of our tillage.

Nehemiah 10:38 And the priest the son of Aaron shall be with the Levites, when the Levites take tithes: and the Levites shall bring up the tithe of the tithes unto the house of our God, to the chambers, into the treasure house.

One percent of Israel’s total produce (providing the farmer did not want to buy back his crops tithe; see Lev. 27:30-31) was brought into the Temple Storehouse Chambers by the Leviitic staff of the Temple. This fed the ministerial staff; i.e., the singers, musicians & other Temple workers… all members of the Levitic Tribe.