Solomon's Temple
01-09-2012  Number of Reading : 1458



Solomon's Temple

Solomon's Temple, also known as the First Temple, was the main temple in ancient Jerusalem, on the Temple Mount (also known as Mount Zion), before its destruction by Nebuchadnezzar II after the Siege of Jerusalem of 587 BCE.

According to the Hebrew Bible, the temple was constructed under Solomon, king of the Israelites. This would date its construction to the 10th century BCE, although it is possible that an earlier Jebusite sanctuary had stood on the site. During the kingdom of Judah, the temple was dedicated to Yahweh, the God of Israel, and is said to have housed the Ark of the Covenant. Rabbinic sources state that the First Temple stood for 410 years and, based on the 2nd-century work Seder Olam Rabbah, place construction in 832 BCE and destruction in 422 BCE (3338 AM), 165 years later than secular estimates.

Because of the religious sensitivities involved, and the politically volatile situation in East Jerusalem, only limited archaeological surveys of the Temple Mount have been conducted. No excavations have been allowed on the Temple Mount during modern times. There is no direct archaeological evidence for the existence of Solomon's Temple, and no mentions of it in the surviving contemporary extra-biblical literature. An Ivory pomegranate mentions priests in the house of YHWH, and an inscription recording the Temple's restoration under Jehoash have appeared on the antiquities market, but the authenticity of both has been challenged and they remain the subject of controversy. Another possible but disputed mention is in a Judean inscription, probably from the 7th century BCE, that refers to the "House of Yahweh" and a king called Ashyahu.

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