How to Build a Scale Model of Solomon's Temple

jerusalem old city - dome of the rock image by Pavel Bernshtam from

Things You'll Need

  • 24-by-12-inch display board
  • Modeling clay
  • Marbles
  • Wire
  • Foam poster board
  • Cutting knife
  • Acrylic paint
  • Plastic figurines
  • Glue

Building a scale model of Solomon’s Temple is a daunting task. There are many discrepancies when looking at the measurements of the structure. For example, the porch could have either been 120 cubits or 30 cubits from what the bible says, and is still open to interpretation for many scholars. Luckily, a scale model of Solomon’s Temple is not an exact replica of the building, but simply a representation of what it may have looked like. There are three main components to the temple that need to be carefully constructed, each of which can be made with generally the same material.

Design a layout of the temple on a piece of paper. Think of the temple as a symbolic representation of the human body. For example, the two pillars are legs, the porch is the hips, the Holy Place is the stomach and chest, and the Holy of Holies is the head. By following the proportions of the human body, it becomes easier to examine and adjust the dimensions of the temple.

Lay out a thick display board. Draw the layout on the middle of the board, having the dimensions of the temple walls 12 inches long and 6 inches wide. This will allow the model to hold up and be strong enough to carry around to display in different settings.

Mold the two pillars at the entrance of the temple out of clay. The pillars, Jachin and Boaz, represent the legs of the symbolic man. According to the Bible, they are decorated with globes or pomegranates on top. Or put marbles on top of the clay pillars, which should provide the same effect.

Construct the main temple walls out of foam poster board, which is basically two pieces of poster board glued to Styrofoam. The Holy Place should be no less than 6 inches tall, and should be the foundation for the porch, at about 3 inches tall. The porch should be stationed together with the main body of the temple by using wire beams positioned at each corner of the structure. Make sure the wire beams are poked inside the foam frame and not outside of the walls.

Decorate the outside of the temple with acrylic paint, choosing a nice golden color to reinforce the temple’s historical importance. Decorate the inside of the walls with Jewish symbols.Try to find miniature figurines that look like the Ark of the Covenant and the two Cherubs.