In contemporary contexts, a mezuzah is the scroll of parchment inside a container that is affixed to the right side of a doorpost—on the upper third of the doorframe. Two passages are written on the mezuzah parchment: Deuteronomy 6:4‒9 and 11:13‒21. The container holding these sacred passages is usually rectangular and decorated. In the image to the left, the Hebrew letter ש has been inscribed on the container. It represents the first letter of God’s name Shaddai (Hebrew: שדי).

Mezuzot (plural of mezuzah) are attached to the doorframes of Jewish homes and synagogues. This is done to fulfill the command of Deuteronomy 6:9 to write the law “on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Some even believe that a mezuzah is needed on the doorframe of every room—not just on the entry to the house.

While this is the usual reference of a mezuzah today, it is obviously not what is meant in 1 Kings when describing Solomon’s Temple. For the definition of those mezuzot, we need to look further afield.