Solomon And Israel’s Golden Age Part II — Building Activities And The Queen Of Sheba -- By: Clifford A. Wilson

Journal: Bible and Spade (First Run)
Volume: BSP 01:3 (Summer 1972)
Article: Solomon And Israel’s Golden Age Part II — Building Activities And The Queen Of Sheba
Author: Clifford A. Wilson

Solomon And Israel’s Golden Age
Part II — Building Activities And The Queen Of Sheba

Clifford A. Wilson

One the the grandest edifices in history was the temple that Solomon built at Jerusalem, discussed in Part I of this series. From the brief mention of Solomon’s palace in I Kings 7:1–12 we see that it, too, was a magnificent building. Beside his own sumptuous abode, the palace contained servant’s quarters, a throne room where the wise king sat in judgment, and a house for Pharaoh’s daughter, one of his many wives.

Unfortunately, archaeology has not given us any additional information about Solomon’s palace. The remains of Solomonic Jerusalem have either been destroyed, quarried away by later builders, or lie buried beneath the present Temple Mount.

To carry out his building projects, Solomon exacted heavy taxes from his people. He used the money not only for the work in Jerusalem, but also to construct “Royal Cities” as indicated in I Kings 9:15: “And this is the reason of the levy which King Solomon raised; for to build the house of the Lord, and his own house, and Millo, and the wall of Jerusalem, and Hazor, and Megiddo, and Gezer.”

Solomon’s Royal Cities have been extensively excavated by archaeologists in recent years. At all three sites, identical city gates dating to Solomon’s time have been found. At Megiddo, the remains of a number of buildings built by Solomon were also found. At Hazor and Gezer, the only remains which could be positively linked with Solomon were the gateways. The findings of these excavations are still being analyzed and additional Solomonic material may yet be identified.

Solomon’s gate at Gezer. Guard rooms can be seen on either side of the roadway through the gate.

Solomon’s Palace at Megiddo

“Hewed stones; sawed with stones.......” (I Kings 7:9) was the type of masonry found in Solomon’s buildings at Megiddo. One very large structure was apparently a subsidiary palace. It was set in a large courtyard, floored with pounded lime-mortar. The courtyard measured 194 feet by 187 feet and was surrounded by a stone wall with a magnificent four-room gateway. The lower level of the palace (about 75 feet square) consisted of 12 rooms around an open court. A porch was attached to one side and two separate stairways led to a second story.

Because of similarities in structure between the Megiddo buildings and the description of the palace at Jerus...

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