HEROD 2 to HIRAM-ABIV - Book 37 - Know Your Bible

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For example, a later king of Judah, Uzziah, was not allowed to continue ruling when he contracted leprosy: The Lord struck Uzziah with a dreaded skin disease that stayed with him the rest of his life.

1. Introduction and Historical Background of the Eighth Century

He lived in a house on his own, relieved of all duties, while his son Jotham governed the country. So David still needed to consolidate his position. At this point, Hiram offered to build him a palace. His recognition would have had the same force as a country recognising another country today by establishing diplomatic relations and an embassy. David was wise enough to forestall future palace coup attempts by taking Mephibaal into his own home and treating him like one of his own sons.

David was 30 years old when he became king, and he ruled for 40 years. He ruled in Hebron over Judah for seven and a half years, and in Jerusalem over all Israel and Judah for 33 years. Hebron was now too far south to be an effective administrative base so David decided to make the more central Jerusalem his capital. Jerusalem was a Phoenician city, inhabited by a Phoenician people called the Jebusites.

David attacked the city and managed to occupy part of the eastern hillside outside the walls. The Phoenicians still lived in the city proper within the walls and much later when David wanted a site to build the temple on, he had to buy land from the Jebusite Araunah at a cost of 50 pieces of silver. David was not to build the temple. You know that because of the constant wars my father David had to fight against the enemy countries all round him, he could not build a temple for the worship of the Lord his God until the Lord had given him victory over all his enemies.

But now the Lord my God has given me peace on all my borders. I have no enemies, and there is no danger of attack.

Magen David Symbol Research from the 1st to the 11th century C.E.

There were two pillars outside the front entrance and rooms for temple staff in an annex. Not much archaeological excavation on Phoenician temples has been carried out. The reason for this seems to be that archaeologists and historians are generally more interested in Greek, Roman and Hebrew history than in Phoenician. All European civilisation is believed to have stemmed from ancient Greece and Rome. Monotheism is believed to have originated from the Hebrews.

At any rate, once researchers reach the Greek, Roman or Hebrew layers, they tend not to look further down. For example, it is known that there are much older Phoenician temples under the Roman ones at Baalbek but only one deep ditch has been dug to tell us anything about them. All Phoenician temples incorporated two pillars: originally a wooden one for Astarte and a stone one for Baal. According to the ancient historian Herodotus, the Tyrian temple had one emerald pillar and one of gold. The emerald one may have been green Phoenician glass though given the wealth of Tyre may well have actually been emerald.

The gold one symbolised the wealth given by the earth, gold being then the most precious metal to come out of stone, just as it is now. There is some material evidence of the pillars, too. Clay models of Phoenician temples from the beginning of the first millennium the time of Hiram, David and Solomon show the two columns at the temple entrance.

The Old Testament description of Solomon's temple gives an idea of what the Tyrian temples must have been like. Probably they were even more magnificent - Hiram would hardly have built something better for Solomon than he had built for himself. In an attempt to establish that the land was Hebrew not Phoenician, the Bible calls these people foreigners. But they were not foreign; they were the Phoenician residents of Judah and Israel. In a move reminiscent of the way the Hebrews had been treated in Egypt, Solomon made them work as slaves for a month on and two months off in shifts of 10, at a time.

At the end of every war, at the beginning of periods of peace, the Phoenician sagas say:. I have a tale and I will tell it, a word and I will repeat it, a tale of wood and a whisper of stone, a tale that mankind may know and that the multitudes of the earth may understand This is what happened with Solomon. So send your men to Lebanon to cut down cedars for me. My men will work with them, and I will pay your men whatever you decided. Then Hiram sent Solomon the following message: "I have received your message and I am ready to do what you ask. I will provide the cedars and the pine trees.

My men will bring the logs down from Lebanon to the sea, and will tie them together in rafts to float them down the coast to the place you choose. There my men will untie them and your men will take charge of them. On your part, I would like you to supply the food for my men. I know how skillful your woodmen are, so send me cedar, cypress, and juniper logs from Lebanon. I am ready to send my men to assist yours in preparing large quantities of timber, because this temple I intend to build will be large and magnificent.

As provisions for your workmen, I will send you two thousand tonnes of wheat, two thousand tonnes of barley, four hundred thousand litres of wine, and four hundred thousand litres of olive oil. In the mountains of Lebanon we will cut down all the cedars you need, bind them together in rafts, and float them by sea as far as Joppa.

From there you can take them to Jerusalem. The cedars used for the temple were taken from Barouk in the Chouf Mountain area, as oral tradition in Lebanon still maintains. Apart from cutting down the trees and trimming them, it must have been an enormous task transporting them from Barouk down the mountains to the coast.

The carpenters and woodcarvers worked hard too. The whole interior of the temple was panelled in cedar, the roofs were cedar, the floors were pine. Everything was carved with gourds, flowers, fruit, palm trees and cherubim.

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He put in a ceiling made of beams and boards of cedar. The three-storied annexe, each storey 2. The inside walls were covered with cedar panels from the floor to the ceiling, and the floor was made of pine. An inner room, called the Holy of Holies, was built in the rear of the temple. It was 9 metres long and was partitioned off by cedar boards reaching from the floor to the ceiling.

The cedar panels were decorated with carvings of gourds and flowers; the whole interior was covered with cedar, so that the stones of the walls could not be seen.


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Tyre was famous for its purple dye and Sidon for its embroidered cloth. Embroidered linen dyed with Phoenician purple was used in the Holy of Holies:. A curtain for the Holy of Holies was made of linen and of other material, which was dyed blue, purple, and red, with designs of the winged creatures worked into it. The temple was built of stone quarried and prepared by masons from the Phoenician cities of Tyre and Jbail Byblos.

53 People in the Bible Confirmed Archaeologically

The stones were cut in the quarry: the Bible tells us not a hammer was heard on the building site as the stones had been shaped so perfectly that they slotted together without being banged into place. The Phoenicians always used huge stones for foundations because the Levant is located on the Great Rift Valley - the big stones helped make buildings earthquake-proof. The master mason was the architect, too, and had to know geometry. Inside it was 27 metres long, 9 metres wide, and The entrance room was 4.

The walls of the temple had openings in them, narrower on the outside than on the inside. Against the outside walls, on the sides and the back of the temple, a three-storied annexe was built, each storey 2. Each room in the lowest storey was 2. The temple wall on each floor was thinner than on the floor below so that the rooms could rest on the wall without having their beams built into it.

The stones with which the temple was built had been prepared at the quarry, so that there was no noise made by hammers, axes, or any other iron tools as the temple was being built. The entrance to the lowest storey of the annexe was on the south side of the temple, with stairs leading up to the second and third storeys. So King Solomon finished building the temple.

An inner court was built in front of the temple, enclosed with walls which had one layer of cedar beams for every three layers of stone. The inner sanctuary and altar of Solomon's temple were overlaid with gold. The doors were olive and pine wood, also carved and covered in gold. This inner room was 9 metres long, 9 metres wide, and 9 metres high, all covered with pure gold.

The inside of the temple was covered with gold, and gold chains were placed across the entrance f the inner room, which was also covered with gold. The whole interior of the temple was covered with gold, as well as the altar in the Holy of Holies. K ing Solomon sent for a man named Huram, a craftsman living in the city of Tyre, who was skilled in bronze work. His father, who was no longer living, was from Tyre, and had also been a skilled bronze craftsman; his mother was from the tribe of Naphtali. Huram was an intelligent and experienced craftsman.

Now send me a man with skill in engraving, in working gold, silver, bronze, and iron, and in making blue, purple and red cloth. He will work with the craftsmen of Judah and Jerusalem whom my father David selected.

Highlights From the book of Second Chronicles | Bible Reading: 2 Chronicles

I am sending you a wise and skillful master craftsman named Huram. His mother was a member of the tribe of Dan and his father was a native of Tyre. He knows how to make things out of gold, silver, bronze, iron, stone and wood. He can work with blue, purple, and red cloth, and with linen. He can do all sorts of engraving and can follow any design suggested to him.

Let him work with your skilled workers and with those who worked for your father, King David. So now send us the wheat, barley, wine and olive oil that you promised. Huram cast two bronze columns, each one 8 metres tall and 5.