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Solomon's Temple

According to the Biblical narrative, Solomon's Temple, also known as the First Temple, was a temple in Jerusalem built under King Solomon's reign and completed in 957 BCE.

The Temple was looted and then destroyed in 586/587 BCE at the hands of the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II, who also deported the Jews to Babylon.


The destruction of the temple and the deportation were seen as fulfillments of prophecy and strengthened Judaic religious beliefs.


The Hebrew Bible states that the temple was constructed under Solomon, king of the United Kingdom of Israel and Judah and that during the Kingdom of Judah, the temple was dedicated to Yahweh, and is said to have housed the Ark of the Covenant.


Jewish historian Josephus says that:

"the temple was burnt four hundred and seventy years, six months, and ten days after it was built".


So building would start in 470 + 587 = 1057 BCE 

For this to work you would have to add another 100 years to:

King Solomon (990 BCE - 931 BCE)  => 1090 BCE - 1031 BCE

King David (1028 BCE - 970 BCE)      => 1128 BCE - 1070 BCE

King Saul (1078 BCE - 1010 BCE)      => 1178 BCE - 1110 BCE


DEBATE

One of the most fiercely debated issues in Biblical Archaeology today involves the historicity of the Bible and biblical chronology in the period of the United Monarchy in Jerusalem.


Most of the evidence for this period of David and Solomon is found in the Bible, and there is a decided lack of archaeological evidence to correlate the biblical narrative.


Most archaeologists take the view that the Bible is a narrative of mythology interwoven with some historical elements; whereas some historians believe that the Bible, along with archaeological evidence, can be a valid historical source.


HOUSE OF DAVID


Common/Biblical nameAlbrightThieleGalilKitchen
David1000-9621010-9701010-970
Solomon962-922
970-931971-931
Rehoboam922-915931-913931-914931-915
Abijah915-913913-911914-911915–912
Asa913-873
911-870
911-870
912-871
Jehoshaphat873-849
870-848
870-845
871-849
Jehoram849-842
848-841
851-843
849-842
Ahaziah842-842
841-841
843-842
842-841
Athalia842-837
841-835
842-835
841-835
Jehoash837-800
835-796
842-802
841-796
Amaziah800-783
796-767
805-776
796-776
Uzziah783-742
767-740
788-736
776-736
Jotham742-735
740-732
758-742
750–732
Ahaz735-715
732-716
742-726
735/715
Heziakah715-687
716-687
726-697
715-687
Manasseh687-642
687-643
697-642
687-642
Amon642-640
643-641
642-640
642-640
Josiah640-609
641-609
640-609
640-609
Jehoahaz609609609609
Jehoiakam609-598609-598
609-598
609-598
Jehoiachin598
598
598-597
598-597
Zedekiah597-587597-586597-586597-586


NO ARCHAEOLOICAL EXCAVATIONS

Because of the religious sensitivities involved, and the politically volatile situation in Jerusalem, only limited archaeological surveys of the Temple Mount have been conducted. No archaeological excavations have been allowed on the Temple Mount during modern times.


Therefore, there are very few pieces of archaeological evidence for the existence of Solomon's Temple. An Ivory pomegranate which mentions priests in the house "of ---h", and an inscription recording the Temple's restoration under Jehoash have both appeared on the antiquities market, but their authenticity has been challenged and they are the subject of controversy.


IN THE TANAKH

The only source of information on the First Temple is the Tanakh. According to the biblical sources, the temple was constructed under Solomon, during the united monarchy of Israel and Judah.


The Bible describes Hiram I of Tyre who furnished architects, workmen and cedar timbers for the temple of his ally Solomon at Jerusalem. He also co-operated with Solomon in mounting an expedition on the Red Sea. 1 Kings 6:1 puts the date of the beginning of building the temple "in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel".


The conventional dates of Solomon's reign are circa 970 to 931 BCE. This puts the date of its construction in the mid-10th century BCE. Schmid and Rupprecht are of the view that the site of the temple used to be a Jebusite shrine which Solomon chose in an attempt to unify the Jebusites and Israelites. 1 Kings 9:10 says that it took Solomon 20 years altogether to build the Temple and his royal palace.


The Temple itself finished being built after 7 years. During the united monarchy the Temple was dedicated to Yahweh, the God of Israel, and 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, 165 years later than secular estimates.


The exact location of the Temple is unknown: it is believed to have been situated upon the hill which forms the site of the 1st century Second Temple and present-day Temple Mount, where the Dome of the Rock is situated.


According to the Tanakh, the Temple was plundered by the Neo-Babylonian Empire king Nebuchadnezzar II when the Babylonians attacked Jerusalem during the brief reign of Jehoiachin c. 598 BCE (2 Kings 24:13).


A decade later, Nebuchadnezzar again besieged Jerusalem and after 30 months finally breached the city walls in 587 BCE, subsequently burning the Temple, along with most of the city (2 Kings 25).


According to Jewish tradition, the Temple was destroyed on Tisha B'Av, the 9th day of Av (Hebrew calendar).


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