Biblical Archaeology Review 13:4, July/August 1987

Temple Architecture: What Can Archaeology Tell Us About Solomon’s Temple?

By Volkmar Fritz

Solomon’s Temple presents a double puzzle, one old and the other more recent. The first relates to the fact that the Biblical description of the building is not entirely clear and can be interpreted in several ways. The second puzzle relates to the origin of the architecture: What is the architectural source of the building?

It may seem strange that the Bible’s description of Solomon’s Temple is so inexact, especially because the Temple furniture and utensils are described so minutely. For example, the bronze laver stands are described in minute detail (1 Kings 7:27–9); the building description itself lacks all detail except for a brief notice concerning the windows (1 Kings 6:2–4). No one has ever really explained why the Temple furniture and utensils are so fully described compared to the brief and ambiguous description of the Temple itself.

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