SOLOMON'S TEMPLE - EXTERIOR
A reconstruction of the exterior of Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem
In the courtyard surrounding the Temple of Solomon was an imposing altar of sacrifice and a massive bronze basin, supported by twelve brass oxen. This basin represented Yam, the primal sea from which the earth appeared.
The bronze 'sea' was a link with pagan religion: it recalled Baal's battle with Yam-Nahar. Oxen were common symbols of divinity and fertility - hence the prohibition by Moses of the Golden Calf. The dedication of the Temple in the month of Ethanim (September/October) coincided with the autumn festival of Baal.
New religions have always grafted their festivals onto older religions - like Christmas, which was timed to coincide with the pagan mid-winter festivals of pre-Christian religions.
The outer and inner walls of the Temple were covered with carved figures of cherubs, palm trees and open flowers - all used in Syrian design.
A drawing of the Temple of Dendur in its original Egyptian setting
The Temple of Solomon sat on a large stone platform, an acropolis, setting it apart as a sacred area.
The 19th century drawing of the Temple of Dendur (above) shows an Egyptian temple in a similar setting, giving some idea of the way Solomon's Temple looked on the levelled area of stone on the north side of Jerusalem.
A 19th century photograph of the Egyptian Temple of Dendur,
The Egyptian Temple of Dendur was 1,000 years later than the Temple of Solomon, and the iconography of the two temples was completely different.
But the basic design was similar, as it was with many other temples in the ancient world.
Go back to SOLOMON'S JERUSALEM
Other Online Bible Websites
Study famous and historical people, places, artwork and archaelogy of the Holy Bible online.
For more online Bible study resources and activities, visit the following websites:
www.bible-people.info - stories of the Bible's most famous men and women - Moses, Judas, John the Baptist, Mary Magdalene and more
www.womeninthebible.net - all about Bible women, good and bad: Ruth, Deborah, Mary of Nazareth, Jezebel
www.bible-archaeology.info - archaeological evidence and the Bible - what can we prove?
http://www.bible-art.info/ - Bible paintings and artworks: Nativity, Resurrection, Esther, Martha and Mary
http://www.bible-topten.com/ - Top Ten heroes, bad women, ways to hell, young people, villains, murders, films
http://www.bible-architecture.info/ - more about houses, palaces, temples and fortresses
To search through all websites click HERE »