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Lions

Lions (13:24) were once plentiful in the ancient Near East. The last recorded sighting of a lion in this area was in the thirteenth century a.d.

Damascus

From ancient times, Damascus has been a strategic location. It was a primary stopping point along the main caravan route that ran from Africa to Mesopotamia. When it became the capital of the Aramean kingdom (modern Syria), it served as a military outpost to prevent Israel from expanding northward.

666 talents

666 talents of gold (10:14) was a lot of gold—nearly 25 tons! Solomon accumulated lots of gold and other valuable resources through his extensive trading with nations all over the known world.

Megiddo

The city of Megiddo was located on one of the most important trade routes of the ancient Near East. In fact, it was so important that when Egypt’s Pharaoh Thutmose III conquered the city in 1482 b.c. he said that capturing it was like capturing a thousand cities. It was so strategic that Israel’s King […]

Temple

The building and dedication of the temple was perhaps the most significant event of King Solomon’s reign. The temple replaced the Tent of Meeting and became the place of worship for Israel. It was a grand monument to God’s glory for all to see.

Praying toward Jerusalem

Praying toward Jerusalem (8:29) was a practice started by Solomon that many Jews around the world still follow today. It comes from Solomon’s prayer of dedication, where he stated that God is too great to dwell in a temple. However, the Lord stated himself that his name would dwell in the temple forever (9:3), thus […]

No tools of iron?

No tools of iron? The Lord had forbidden the use of iron tools in the construction of altars (Ex. 20:25). As they built the temple, the Israelites used iron tools on the stones only at the quarry, never at the construction site. They probably did this as an expression of reverence for the temple.

Dressed stones

Dressed stones (5:17) are stones that have been cut and polished so that they have smooth faces and edges. This type of masonry was time-consuming and expensive, so it was used primarily for palaces and temples.