Article of the Month

"King Solomon's Temple

by Dr. John Williams


King Solomon was known for his wisdom, wealth and his writings. Solomon was the son of King David and Bathsheba.  Even though Solomon was not the oldest son of David, because he promised Bathsheba that Solomon would be the next king, David made Solomon the king while he was still alive by asking the priests to anoint him.
Many interesting illustration are given about the wisdom of Solomon. Further, it is mentioned that he composed 3000 proverbs and 1005 songs. He also wrote the books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes etc.
Later on King Solomon started building a holy temple. He was renowned for his other building projects in which he used slave labor from Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. He also spent 13 years to build his own palace and a city wall called Millo. He also erected other cities for Chariots and horsemen, and created storage cities. He extended Jerusalem to the north and fortified cities near the mountains of Judah and Jerusalem.
Solomonís downfall came in his old age. He had taken many foreign wives, whom he allowed to worship other gods. He even built shrines for the sacrifices of his foreign wives. He placed heavy taxation on the people, who became bitter. He had the people work as soldiers, chief officers and commanders of his chariots. He granted special privileges to the tribes of Judah and this alienated the northern tribes. 

Solomon died in Jerusalem after 40 years as ruler of Israel. He was buried in the City of David. His son, Rehoboam succeeded him as king. Under Rehoboamís rule, Solomonís empire was lost and his kingdom was divided into two parts.
Phoenician craftsmen were employed to build the temple. Construction began in the 4th year of Solomonís reign, and took 7 years. This temple was constructed in the 10th century BC.
About 3300 officials were appointed to oversee the temples erection. In this construction Solomon incurred a heavy debt. Phoenician builders built Solomonís temple. It was built as a Jewish temple.
King Hiram of Tyre helped Solomon to build the temple and also sent Solomon famous Lebanon cedars and cypress wood. Solomonís temple was known as the first temple of Porah and the Bible.
Solomonís temple was considered as one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world. After he built the temple he brought Noahís ark to enter the temple.  
The temple of Solomon had two winding staircases.
It should be noted that 3 of Jehovahís witnesses took some credit for building Solomonís temple. It is also mentioned that Solomonís temple had a Syrian prototype.  After the construction of the Solomonís temple it took 480 years to become the temple in Jerusalem. Solomonís prayer at the time of dedication of the Jewish temple is a remarkable piece of literature. Then King Solomon gave a speech and prayed a marvelous prayer. Then he dedicated the temple. That occasion was of national interest to Solomon.  At the dedication of the temple King Solomon prayed a prayer which included every follower of Israelís God. Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers etc. Then a sermon was preached by King Solomon. After that King Solomon offered a sacrifice. The memorable day the temple was dedicated to Yahweh. Three parts of the temple were filled with the cloud which they believed Yahweh choose to dwell in. Then in Jerusalem there was a feast of dedication. 
It is needless to say based on all the descriptions given above and the building and the dedication of Solomonís temple was very unique, memorable, divine and awesome event in which Godís presence filled the temple in the form of a mist. Until today this temple is in the city of Jerusalem and is highly revered and literally thousands of people visit this place.  This I believe a God ordained and significant achievement which will be remembered until the end of the world and will be of great significance to the Jews in particular.