The Ark Brought In & Solomon’s Temple

That’s a lot of building, and no tools like we have and no education, so it’s obvious that You gave Solomon the knowledge of how to build it all.

Ethanim
This was the seventh lunar month of the sacred calendar of the Israelites, but the first of the secular calendar (1Ki 8:2).

It corresponded to part of September and part of October. Following the Babylonian exile it was called Tishri, a name that does not appear in the Bible record but that is found in postexilic writings.

In speaking of the festival that began on the 15th day of this month (or around the first part of October), the historian Josephus writes:

“On the fifteenth of this same month, at which the turning-point to the winter season is now reached, Moses bids each family to fix up tents, apprehensive of the cold and as a protection against the year’s inclemency.”—Jewish Antiquities, III, 244 (x, 4).

 The Ark Brought In

In the month of Ethanim, the seventh, Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes and had them bring the Ark of the Covenant, the tabernacle, and the holy vessels (which were solid gold) to the city of David and they sacrificed an uncountable amount of sheep and oxen to the Lord.

NOTE: The Ark of the Covenant is somewhat of a mystery and not fully known of, meaning that numerous people have said they have found it.  

The Cherubims is a complete mystery, nobody knows for certain if they were living beings or not.  The information I have here is just information I searched and what I have posted is what most people are saying.

“And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the Lord unto his place, into the oracle of the house, to the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims.

For the cherubims spread forth their two wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubims covered the ark and the staves thereof above.

And they drew out the staves, that the ends of the staves were seen out in the holy place before the oracle, and they were not seen without: and there they are unto this day.

There was nothing in the ark save the two tables of stone, which Moses put there at Horeb, when the Lord made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt.

And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the Lord” (1 Kgs 8:6-10).

Cherubim
cher’-u-bim, cher’-oo-bim (kerubhim, plural of cherub, kerubh): Through the influence of the Septuagint, “cherubim” was used in the earlier English versions, also as a singular, hence, the plural was made to sound “cherubims.” The etymology of the word cannot be ascertained.

1. As Guardians of Paradise
In Gens 3:24 the cherubim are placed by God, after the expulsion of Adam from the garden of Eden, at the east thereof, together with the flaming sword “to keep the way of the tree of life.”

2. The Garden as the Abode of the Gods
If we read between the lines of the Paradise account in Genesis (compare Gen 3:8), the garden of Eden, the primeval abode of man, reveals itself as more than that: it was apparently the dwelling-place of God.

3. The Cherubim as Attendants of the Deity
The mythical elements of the Paradise story are still more patent in Eze 28:13, where the fall of the king of Tyre is likened to that of primeval man.

The garden is situated on a holy mountain of Elohim(= God to Ezekiel, but gods in the primitive source), the “mountain of assembly” of Is 14:13, high above the stars in the recesses of the North.

4. As Bearers of the Throne
As attendants of God, they bear the throne upon which He descends from His high abode. Thus in the description of a theophany in Ps 18, we read:

“He bowed the heavens also, and came down; And thick darkness was under his feet. And he rode upon a cherub and did fly; Yea, he soared upon the wings of the wind” (Ps 18:9, 10).

Hence, the Lord, or, as the fuller title goes, the Lord of Hosts, is repeatedly styled

“He that sitteth (throned) above the cherubim” (Ps 80:1; Ps 99:1 1 Sam 4:4, and elsewhere).

5. In the Vision of Ezekiel
But the function of the cherubim as bearers and movers of the Divine throne is brought out most clearly in the vision of Ezekiel (Ezekiel 1, with which compare Ezekiel 10).

In chapter 1 the prophet designates them as “living creatures” (chayyoth); but upon hearing God’s words addressed to the “man clothed in linen” (Eze 10:2) he perceives that the living creatures which he saw in the first vision were cherubim (Eze 10:20); hence, in Eze 9:3 the chariot or throne, from which the glory of God went up, is spoken of as a cherub. 6. Relation to Seraphim and Other Angels

Ezekiel’s cherubim are clearly related to the seraphim in Isaiah’s inaugural vision (Isaiah 6).

Like the cherubim, the seraphim are the attendants on God as He is seated upon a throne high and exalted; they are also winged creatures: with twain they cover their faces, and with twain they cover their feet, and with twain they fly. Like the Levites in the sanctuary below, they sing a hymn of adoration:

“Holy, holy, holy, is Yahweh of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.”

6. In Revelation 4
The “four living creatures” of Rev 4:6 are clearly modeled upon Ezekiel, with supplementary touches from Isaiah.

Full of eyes before and behind, they are in the midst of the throne, and round about it.

One resembles a lion, the other a calf, and the third a man, and the fourth a flying eagle. Each of the creatures has six wings.

“They have no rest day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.”

7. Ornamental Cherubim in the Temple of Solomon
In the temple of Solomon, two gigantic cherubic images of olive-wood plated with gold, ten cubits high, stood in the innermost sanctuary (the debhir) facing the door, whose wings, five cubits each, extended, two of them meeting in the middle of the room to constitute the throne, while two extended to the walls (1 Kgs 6:23-28; 1 Kgs 8:6, 7 2 Chr 3:10-13; 2 Chr 5:7, 8).

The Chronicler represents them as the chariot of the Lord (1 Chronicles 28:18).

There were also images of the cherubim carved on the gold-plated cedar planks which constituted the inner walls of the temple, and upon the olive-wood doors (1 Kgs 6:29, 35 2 Chrs 3:7); also on the bases of the portable lavers, interchanging with lions and oxen (1 Kgs 7:29-36).

According to the Chronicler, they were also woven in the veil of the Holy of Holies (2 Chr 3:14).

8. In the Temple of Ezekiel
Ezekiel represents the inner walls of the temple as carved with alternating palm trees and cherubim, each with two faces, the lion looking on one side, the man on the other (Eze 41:18-25).

9. In the Tabernacle
In the Tabernacle, there were two cherubim of solid gold upon the golden slab of the “lid,” or “mercy-seat,” facing each other, with wings outstretched above, so as to constitute a throne on which the glory of the Lord appeared, and from which He spake (Ex 25:18-22; Ex 37:7-9 Num 7:89 Heb 9:5).

There were also cherubim woven into the texture of the inner curtain of the Tabernacle and the veil (Ex 26:1, 31; Ex 36:8, 35).

Solomon then said to the people,

 “…Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, which spake with his mouth unto David my father, and hath with his hand fulfilled it, saying,

Since the day that I brought forth my people Israel out of Egypt, I chose no city out of all the tribes of Israel to build an house, that my name might be therein; but I chose David to be over my people Israel.

And it was in the heart of David my father to build an house for the name of the Lord God of Israel.

Ark of the Covenant
The first piece of the tabernacles furniture, for which precise directions were delivered.

It appears to have been an oblong chest of shittim (acacia) wood, 2 1/2 cubits long by 1 1/2 broad and deep.

Within and without gold was overlaid on the wood, and on the upper side or lid, which was edged round about with gold, the mercy-seat was placed.

The ark was fitted with rings, one at each of the four corners, and through these were passed staves of the same wood similarly overlaid, by which it was carried by the Kohathites (Num 7:9 ; 10:21).

The ends of the staves were visible without the veil in the holy place of the temple of Solomon (1 Kings 8:8).

The ark, when transported, was enveloped in the “veil” of the dismantled tabernacle, in the curtain of badgers skins and in a blue cloth over all, and was therefore not seen (Num 4:5, Nums 4:20).

Its purpose was to contain inviolate the divine autograph of the two tables, that “covenant” from which it derived its title.

It was also probably a reliquary for the pot of manna and the rod of Aaron.

History

Before David’s time its abode was frequently shifted.

It sojourned among several, probably Levitical, families (1 Sam 7:1 ; 2 Sam 6:3 2 Sam 6:11 ; 1 Chr 13:13 ; 1 Chr 15:24 1 Chr 15:25) in the border villages of eastern Judah; and did not take its place in the tabernacle, but dwelt in curtains, i.e. in a separate tent pitched for it in Jerusalem by David.

Subsequently the temple, when completed, received, in the installation of the ark in its shrine, the signal of its inauguration by the effulgence of divine glory instantly manifested.

It was probably taken captive or destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar so that there was no ark in the second temple.

And the Lord said unto David my father, Whereas it was in thine heart to build an house unto my name, thou didst well that it was in thine heart.

Nevertheless thou shalt not build the house; but thy son that shall come forth out of thy loins, he shall build the house unto my name.

And the Lord hath performed his word that he spake, and I am risen up in the room of David my father, and sit on the throne of Israel, as the Lord promised, and have built a house for the name of the Lord God of Israel.

And I have set there a place for the ark, wherein is the covenant of the Lord, which he made with our fathers, when he brought them out of the land of Egypt” (1 Kgs 8:15-21).

Solomon then stood before the alter with his hands spread towards heaven and said,

“…Lord God of Israel, there is no God like thee, in heaven above, or on earth beneath, who keepest covenant and mercy with thy servants that walk before thee with all their heart:

Who hast kept with thy servant David my father that thou promisedst him: thou spakest also with thy mouth, and hast fulfilled it with thine hand, as it is this day.

Therefore now, Lord God of Israel, keep with thy servant David my father that thou promisedst him, saying, There shall not fail thee a man in my sight to sit on the throne of Israel; so that thy children take heed to their way, that they walk before me as thou hast walked before me.

And now, O God of Israel, let thy word, I pray thee, be verified, which thou spakest unto thy servant David my father.

But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?

Yet have thou respect unto the prayer of thy servant, and to his supplication, O Lordmy God, to hearken unto the cry and to the prayer, which thy servant prayeth before thee to day:

That thine eyes may be open toward this house night and day, even toward the place of which thou hast said, My name shall be there: that thou mayest hearken unto the prayer which thy servant shall make toward this place.

And hearken thou to the supplication of thy servant, and of thy people Israel, when they shall pray toward this place: and hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place: and when thou hearest, forgive.

If any man trespass against his neighbour, and an oath be laid upon him to cause him to swear, and the oath come before thine altar in this house:

Then hear thou in heaven, and do, and judge thy servants, condemning the wicked, to bring his way upon his head; and justifying the righteous, to give him according to his righteousness.

When thy people Israel be smitten down before the enemy, because they have sinned against thee, and shall turn again to thee, and confess thy name, and pray, and make supplication unto thee in this house:

Then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy people Israel, and bring them again unto the land which thou gavest unto their fathers.

When heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against thee; if they pray toward this place, and confess thy name, and turn from their sin, when thou afflictest them:

Then hear thou in heaven, and forgive the sin of thy servants, and of thy people Israel, that thou teach them the good way wherein they should walk, and give rain upon thy land, which thou hast given to thy people for an inheritance.

If there be in the land famine, if there be pestilence, blasting, mildew, locust, or if there be caterpiller; if their enemy besiege them in the land of their cities; whatsoever plague, whatsoever sickness there be;

What prayer and supplication soever be made by any man, or by all thy people Israel, which shall know every man the plague of his own heart, and spread forth his hands toward this house:

Then hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and do, and give to every man according to his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou, even thou only, knowest the hearts of all the children of men;)

That they may fear thee all the days that they live in the land which thou gavest unto our fathers.

Moreover concerning a stranger, that is not of thy people Israel, but cometh out of a far country for thy name’s sake;

(For they shall hear of thy great name, and of thy strong hand, and of thy stretched out arm;) when he shall come and pray toward this house;

Hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and do according to all that the stranger calleth to thee for: that all people of the earth may know thy name, to fear thee, as do thy people Israel; and that they may know that this house, which I have builded, is called by thy name.

A carved stone on a frieze that came from the Byzantine Synogogue in Capernaum shows a wheeled shrine, decorated with a double winged panelled door, topped by a scallop. The side has five pillars as in an Ionic temple, while the roof is convex.

If thy people go out to battle against their enemy, whither soever thou shalt send them, and shall pray unto the Lord toward the city which thou hast chosen, and toward the house that I have built for thy name:

Then hear thou in heaven their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause.

If they sin against thee, (for there is no man that sinneth not,) and thou be angry with them, and deliver them to the enemy, so that they carry them away captives unto the land of the enemy, far or near;

Yet if they shall bethink themselves in the land whither they were carried captives, and repent, and make supplication unto thee in the land of them that carried them captives, saying, We have sinned, and have done perversely, we have committed wickedness;

And so return unto thee with all their heart, and with all their soul, in the land of their enemies, which led them away captive, and pray unto thee toward their land, which thou gavest unto their fathers, the city which thou hast chosen, and the house which I have built for thy name:

Then hear thou their prayer and their supplication in heaven thy dwelling place, and maintain their cause,

And forgive thy people that have sinned against thee, and all their transgressions wherein they have transgressed against thee, and give them compassion before them who carried them captive, that they may have compassion on them:

For they be thy people, and thine inheritance, which thou broughtest forth out of Egypt, from the midst of the furnace of iron:

That thine eyes may be open unto the supplication of thy servant, and unto the supplication of thy people Israel, to hearken unto them in all that they call for unto thee.

For thou didst separate them from among all the people of the earth, to be thine inheritance, as thou spakest by the hand of Moses thy servant, when thou broughtest our fathers out of Egypt, O Lord God” (1 Kgs 8:23-53).

When Solomon was finished with his prayers, he arose from his knees and brought his hands down, and stood blessing the congregation before him saying,

“Blessed be the Lord, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promise, which he promised by the hand of Moses his servant.

The Lord our God be with us, as he was with our fathers: let him not leave us, nor forsake us:

That he may incline our hearts unto him, to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and his statutes, and his judgments, which he commanded our fathers.

And let these my words, wherewith I have made supplication before the Lord, be nigh unto the Lord our God day and night, that he maintain the cause of his servant, and the cause of his people Israel at all times, as the matter shall require:

That all the people of the earth may know that the Lord is God, and that there is none else.

Let your heart therefore be perfect with the Lord our God, to walk in his statutes, and to keep his commandments, as at this day” (1 Kgs 8:56-61).

Solomon and the people then offered more sacrifices.  Solomon then offered a peace offering, 20,000 oxen and 20,000 sheep.  Because the  brazen alter in the court that was in front of the Lord’s house was too small to offer burnt, meat, and peace offerings Solomon hallowed it.

“And at that time Solomon held a feast, and all Israel with him, a great congregation, from the entering in of Hamath unto the river of Egypt, before the LORD our God, seven days and seven days, even fourteen days. 

On the eighth day he sent the people away: and they blessed the king, and went unto their tents joyful and glad of heart for all the goodness that the LORD had done for David his servant, and for Israel his people” (1 Kgs 8:65-66).

1 This is somewhat confusing because when the tabernacle was built, so were the cherubims, the same with the house of God.  Yet here  it sounds like the cherubims are alive.  If you remember God had put a cherubim in the Garden of Eden when He kicked them out (Gen 3:23-24). 

Of course, they may be alive, God can give life to anything, and He can take it away too.

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23).

Solomon’s Temple

Solomon’s Temple – 3d Model of what it is believed to look like
King Solomon built the First Temple in Jerusalem as a monument to God and as a permanent home for the Ark of the Covenant.

Also known as Solomon’s Temple and Beit HaMikdash, the First Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in 587 B.C.

What Did the First Temple Look Like?

According to the Tanach, the Holy Temple was approximately 180 feet long, 90 feet wide and 50 feet high.

Massive amounts of cedar wood imported from the kingdom of Tyre were used in its construction.

King Solomon also had enormous blocks of fine stone quarried and hauled to Jerusalem, where they served as the foundation of the Temple.

Pure gold was used as an overlay in some parts of the Temple.

The biblical book of 1 Kings tells us that King Solomon drafted many of his subjects into service in order to build the Temple.

3,300 officials oversaw the construction project, which ultimately put King Solomon into so much debt that he had to pay for the cedar wood by giving King Hiram of Tyre twenty towns in the Galilee (1 Kgs 9:11).

According to Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, since it’s hard to imagine the relatively small size of the Temple requiring such extravagant spending, we can assume that the area surrounding the Temple was also remodeled (Telushkin, 250).

I know nothing of the Rabbi, so I cannot endorse or speak against, I’m just reporting what he says.

Ancient Wall Possibly Built by King Solomon
A section of an ancient city wall of Jerusalem from the tenth century B.C. (between 1000 BC and 901 BC), possibly built by King Solomon, has been revealed in archaeological excavations.

The section of wall, about 230 feet long (70 meters) and 19 feet (6 meters) high, is located in the area known as the Ophel, between the City of David and the southern wall of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Found in the city wall complex: an inner gatehouse for access into the royal quarter of the city; a royal structure adjacent to the gatehouse; and a corner tower that overlooks a substantial section of the adjacent Kidron valley.

“The city wall that has been uncovered testifies to a ruling presence,” said Eilat Mazar, a researcher at Hebrew University of Jerusalem. “Its strength and form of construction indicate a high level of engineering.”

Comparison of the new findings with city walls and gates from the period of King Solomon, such as the First Temple, as well as pottery found at the site, enable the researchers to postulate that the wall was built by Solomon in Jerusalem in the latter part of the tenth century B.C., Mazar said.

“This is the first time that a structure from that time has been found that may correlate with written descriptions of Solomon’s building in Jerusalem,” she said.

“The Bible tells us that Solomon built, with the assistance of the Phoenicians, who were outstanding builders, the [First] Temple and his new palace and surrounded them with a city, most probably connected to the more ancient wall of the City of David.”

Mazar specifically cites the third chapter of the First Books of Kings where it refers to “until he (Solomon) had made an end of building his own house, and the house of the Lord, and the wall of Jerusalem round about.”

The 19-foot-high (6 meter) gatehouse is built in a style typical of those from the period of the First Temple.

It has symmetrical plan of four identical small rooms, two on each side of the main passageway.

Also there was a large, adjacent tower, covering an area of 79 by 59 feet (24 by 18 meters), which was intended to serve as a watchtower to protect entry to the city.

The tower is located today under the nearby road and still needs to be excavated.

Nineteenth century British surveyor Charles Warren, who conducted an underground survey in the area, first described the outline of the large tower in 1867 but without attributing it to the era of Solomon.

“Part of the city wall complex served as commercial space and part as security stations,” Mazar explained.

Within the courtyard of the large tower there were widespread public activities, she said. It served as a public meeting ground, as a place for conducting commercial activities and cult activities, and as a location for economic and legal activities.

Pottery shards discovered within the fill of the lowest floor of the royal building near the gatehouse also testify to the dating of the complex to the 10th century B.C.

Found on the floor were remnants of large storage jars, 3.7 feet (1.15 meters) in height, that survived destruction by fire and that were found in rooms that apparently served as storage areas on the ground floor of the building.

On one of the jars there is a partial inscription in ancient Hebrew indicating it belonged to a high-level government official.

“The jars that were found are the largest ever found in Jerusalem,” Mazar said.

Cult figurines were also found in the area, as were seal impressions on jar handles with the word “to the king,” testifying to their usage within the monarchy.

Also found were seal impressions (bullae) with Hebrew names, also indicating the royal nature of the structure. Most of the tiny fragments uncovered came from intricate wet sifting.

Between the large tower at the city gate and the royal building the archaeologists uncovered a section of the corner tower that is eight meters in length and six meters high.

The tower was built of carved stones of unusual beauty.

East of the royal building, another section of the city wall that extends for some 115 feet (35 meters) also was revealed.

This section is five meters high, and is part of the wall that continues to the northeast and once enclosed the Ophel area.

The Temple in the Bible was built in 960 B.C. by King Solomon.  To understand the Temple’s purpose, it is important to now that God made the world and established the rules

God told Adam that the result of sin was death, Adam disobeyed, and sin, death, and disease entered the world.  In spite of this, God loved his people and had mercy. 

Solomon’s Economic Policies

Solomon treaded out into international waters through his economic policies.  The extent of his international contacts is suggested by the 700 wives and 300 Concubines found in  his royal harem.

King customarily sealed political alliances by accepting in marriage a member of the other royal household.  Solomon numbered Ammonite, Edomite, Moabite, Hittite, and Phoenician women within his care (1 Kg 11:1).

An unnamed Egyptian king of the weak 21st Dynasty also sent a daughter to the court at Jerusalem, presenting Solomon the city of Gezer as her dowry (1 Kg 9:16).  These wide-ranging alliances provided many economic opportunities for an entrepreneur like Solomon.

First Kings 3-11 hints at several trade relationships Solomon established.  Undoubtedly, Solomon’s most lucrative commercial ventures came through his Phoenician connection.  Following David’s lead, Solomon maintained strong ties with the Phoenician king of Tyre, Hiram. 

The Phoenicians were among the ancient world’s most able seamen and merchants. From 1000 B.C. onward, Phoenician ships sailed their ports on the modern Lebanese coast in search of trade goods.

The Phoenicians established coastal trading colonies throughout the Mediterranean basin, some as far away as Spain.  The principal Phoenician home ports – Tyre, Sidon, Byblos and Arvad – served as clearninghouse for the world’s commodities.

Solomon wisely entered a joint trading venture with Hiram that became mutually beneficial for both parties.  With Hiram’s help Solomon built a new port facility and stationed a fleet at Ezion-geber on the Gulf of Aqaba.

Since Israel had no previous seafaring experience, Hiram provided the skilled craftsmen and experienced sailors necessary to maintained and operate the fleet.

The ships plied the Red Sea, sailing to Ophir and returning with enormous quantities of gold along with exotic animals, woods, silver, and precious stones.  An inscription from Tell Qasile mentions the gold of Ophir, although the exact location of the land remains uncertain.  

Some scholars locate Ophir on the east African coast, Somaliland, while others place the legendary land of gold in Saudi Arabia.  Judging from the list of goods brought back by Solomon’s ships, the fleet touched several ports along both the coast of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.  

The Phoenicians gained access to new markets and the land routes Solomon controlled, while Solomon added sea trade to his economic activities.

The famous visit of the queen of Sheba also undoubtedly had trade overtones.  Sheba was one of several small kingdoms located in the Arabian Peninsula known for their spices, perfumes, precious stones, and gold.

 These isolated principalities needed market outlets for their goods.  Solomon’s control of the trade routes offered the camel caravans of Sheba access to the opulent courts of the Levant and beyond.

 Solomon also became a “broker,” handling military hardware.   According to 1 Kings, Solomon imported horses from Kue (Que,later called Cilicia) in southeastern Turkey, a region noted for its fine steeds.

Egypt supplied Solomon with war chariots.  Solomon deployed 1,400 chariots throughout his kingdom for national defense, but evidently sold the surplus to Aramean and Hittite kings.

Solomon’s Building Program

With his newfound wealth Solomon sponsored a building program designed to strengthen his kingdom and provide the  outward trappings of a royal court suitable to Israel’s new status.

The Bible contains frequent references to his extensive constructions, while archaeology has provided additional evidence illuminating Israel’s earliest attempts at monumental architecture.

Excavations have revealed a burst of building activity in the 900s, most likely attributable to Solomon.  The evidence suggests that Solomon drew freely upon foreign architectural traditions, especially Phoenician and Aramean, and may have employed a royal architect his execute his plans.

Solomon rebuilt several strategic strongholds that guarded the major routes and functioned as a key administrative centers. 

First Kings 9:15 gives special prominence to Hazor, Megiddo, and Gezer.  All three were ancient Canaanite cities located at strategic points on the International Coastal Highway.

Solomon’s architects encircled each city with a new casemate wall entered by an imposing six-chambered gate.

Archaeology has revealed a string of small fortresses and agricultural settlements (Ramat Matred, Baalath-beer) built in the 10th century to protect the caravan routes and secure the southern limits of Solomon’s kingdom. 

City of David
The city of Jerusalem was originally built around the Gihon Spring, on the southeastern hill to the south (left) of the Temple Mount, which is today crowned with the gold-domed Dome of the Rock.

Jerusalem has been continuously inhabited since at least 3000 B.C., but it was only in the time of Solomon that the city limits expanded beyond the southeastern spur, known today as the “City of David.”

Substantial building took place at Arad and Beer-sheba also.  Particularly interesting is the small temple at Arad constructed in the 10th century.

These excavated materials indicate that Solomon’s building program outside of Jerusalem was more extensive than even the Bible records.

The Bible gives considerable attention to the building activities of David and Solomon in Jerusalem.

Jerusalem: City of David & Solomon

When David captured Jerusalem and made it his capital it acquired an unprecedented position among biblical cities.  Over the span of the previous two decades, archaeologists have increased our knowledge of Jerusalem dramatically.

Excavations conducted by Benjamin Mazar, Nahman Avigad, Yigael Shiloh, Kathleen Kenyon, Magen Broshi, and many others have discolosed new information, settleing old questions and raising new ones.

Excavating Jerusalem has not been an easy task; many gaps in our knowledge of the city’s history remain. The numerous destructions of the city, rebuilding and reuse of material, quarrying activities, and erosion throughout the ages have disturbed or destroyed the evidence sought by archaeologists.  

The fact that Jerusalem was built on ridges, unlike most ancient cities, and the fact that Jerusalem is still an occupied city further complicates the task of reconstructing history through archaeology.  Nonetheless, we now have a much better understanding of how Jerusalem developed.