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Solomon's Temple: Myth, Conflict, and Faith


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Solomon's Temple: Myth, Conflict, and Faith

Alan Balfour

ISBN: 978-0-470-67495-6 December 2012 Wiley-Blackwell 328 Pages


A highly original architectural history of Solomon’s Temple and Islam’s Dome of the Rock that doubles as a social and cultural history of the region

  • The most extensive study of the interrelated history of two monuments, Solomon’s Temple and The Dome of the Rock, drawing on an exhaustive review of all the visual and textual evidence
  • Relayed as a gripping narrative, allowing readers to re-enter and experience the emotions and the visceral reality of the major events in its history
  • Integrates illustration with the text to offer a highly detailed and accurate portrait of the major structures and figures involved in the history of the temple
  • Opens up a fascinating line of questioning into the conventional interpretation of events, particularly Christ’s actions in the Temple
  • Reproduces rarely seen detailed drawings of the subterranean passages beneath Temple Mount as part of the British survey in the 19th century
List of Figures ix

List of Plates xii

Prologue 1

1 Solomon’s Temple 6

The Ark of the Covenant 8

King David 19

The Temple of Solomon 21

Nebuchadnezzar II 28

2 Herod 37

The Maccabeans 41

Pompey 43

Herod 45

Herod Demolishes the Second Temple 48

The Third Temple 51

The Royal Portico 57

3 ‘‘Not . . . one stone upon another’’ 65

Moneychangers 68

Paul 72

The Temple Destroyed 74

4 The Holy Sepulcher 88

Hadrian and Aelia Capitolina 88

Constantine 93

The Plague 103

The Fall of Rome 105

Hagia Sophia 107

Madaba 110

The Persian War 111

5 Dome of the Rock 117

Muhammad and the Fall of Jerusalem 122

Umar in Jerusalem 123

The Dome of the Rock 129

The Rock 137

6 Templum Domini 146

The Jews Return 149

The First Crusade 154

Crusader Jerusalem 158

Templum Domini 160

The Templars in the Palace of Solomon 163

Saladin 167

7 Recreating the Temple 175

In the Imagination of Priests 178

The Temple in the Popular Imagination 199

Return to Mount Moriah 205

8 Jerusalem 217

Views 217

Maps 225

British Ordnance Survey of Jerusalem 234

The Palestine Exploration Fund (PEF) 240

Jerusalem and World War I 247

9 Al-Haram Al-Sharif 254

The Path to Conflict 254

Jerusalem Under Transjordan 257

An Naksah, The Six Day War 259

Liberation of Temple Mount 260

Archeology and the Western Wall 263

The Burning of Al-Aqsa Mosque 264

Jewish Prayer on Temple Mount 266

The Rabbi’s Tunnel 269

Continual Provocation 271

Rabbi’s Tunnel Revisited 275

Camp David Summit 276

The Second Intifada 277

Contents vii

Epilogue 282

Acknowledgments, Sources, and Methods 290

Index 295

"This book's strenght lies in its readable delineation of the Temple Mount's historical timeline. If the Christian reader can hold his nose, Solomon's Temple is worth a read as an introductory historical narrative."  (The Institute for Sacred Architecture, 1 September 2013)

"In a book that bears many crown - Jewish, classical, Christian, and Islamic - the writing is accurate, precise, and learned. Readers will learn two things from this book: nothing has changed in 3,000 years, and architecture reflects and refracts this ... Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-level undergraduates through researchers/faculty."  (Choice, 1 September 2013)