King Solomon's Treasure

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King Solomon's Treasure

Post by weasel666 on Wed 26 Feb 2014, 16:59



According to the Hebrew Bible, the Israelite monarchy gained its highest splendour and wealth during Solomon's reign of 40 years. In a single year, according to 1 Kings 10:14, Solomon collected tribute amounting to 666 talents (39,960 pounds) of gold. Solomon is described as surrounding himself with all the luxuries and the grandeur of an Eastern monarch, and his government prospered. He entered into an alliance with Hiram I, king of Tyre, who in many ways greatly assisted him in his numerous undertakings.

For some years before his death, David was engaged in collecting materials for building a temple in Jerusalem as a permanent home for Yahweh and the Ark of the Covenant. Solomon is described as completing its construction, with the help of an architect, also named Hiram, and other materials, sent from King Hiram of Tyre.

After the completion of the temple, Solomon is described as erecting many other buildings of importance in Jerusalem. For 13 years, he was engaged in the building of a royal palace on Ophel (a hilly promontory in central Jerusalem). Solomon also constructed great works for the purpose of securing a plentiful supply of water for the city, and the Millo (Septuagint, Acra) for the defense of the city. However, excavations of Jerusalem have shown a distinct lack of monumental architecture from the era, and remains of neither the Temple nor Solomon's palace have been found.

Solomon is also described as rebuilding cities elsewhere in Israel, creating the port of Ezion-Geber, and constructing Tadmor in the wilderness as a commercial depot and military outpost. Although the location of Solomon's port of Ezion-Geber is known, no remains have ever been found. More archaeological success has been achieved with the major cities Solomon is said to have strengthened or rebuilt, for example, Hazor, Megiddo and Gezer. These all have substantial ancient remains, including impressive six-chambered gates, and ashlar palaces, as well as trough-like structures outside buildings that early archaeologists have identified as the stables for Solomon's horses. (Solomon is described in the Bible as having amassed 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horsemen).

According to the Bible, during Solomon's reign, Israel enjoyed great commercial prosperity, with extensive traffic being carried on by land with Tyre, Egypt, and Arabia, and by sea with Tarshish, Ophir, and South India.

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