Biblical Archaeology Review 28:2, March/April 2002

Herod’s Roman Temple

By David Jacobson

For King Solomon’s Temple, the Phoenician king, Hiram of Tyre, supplied not only construction materials and masons (1 Kings 5:1–12) but apparently the architectural plan as well. The structure, as it is described in the Bible, is clearly a Syro-Phoenician building, for which archaeology has found several parallels in that cultural sphere.a Solomon made use of the best skills and building techniques that he could obtain from Phoenicia, because they were not available locally.

A millennium later, Herod the Great followed his example, seeking state-of-the-art expertise and design for his rebuilding of the Second Temple. Only this time, it was not the Syro-Phoenician world but the Greek and Roman cultural sphere that was preeminent and that Herod adopted.

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