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King Solomon's Great Construction Achievements

King Solomon Temple in JerusalemKing Solomon, son of King David and second king of the Kingdom of Israel, reigned over the tribes of Israel for forty years, from 967 BEC to 928 BCE. It was during his reign that the kingdom gained its highest splendor. Solomon was renowned throughout the ancient world of his time for his wisdom, his wealth and his extensive political and commercial alliances with the nations in the region. It was he who built the First Temple of Jerusalem, thus establishing the city not only as the political capital of the kingdom but also as the religious center of the People of Israel.

Solomon's strong alliance with Hiram I, King of Tyre, greatly assisted him in his numerous undertakings. Many of the materials and professional craftsmen for the construction of the Temple, were brought over from Tyre, including the chief architect, also named Hiram, who was sent especially to Jerusalem by the King of Tyre to assist in the construction. The description of the Temple is remarkably similar to that of surviving remains of other temples of the time, and it is certainly plausible, that Solomon was influenced by the architecture of the region.

The Temple was not the only edifice Solomon built. It is described that he also built many other buildings of importance in Jerusalem. He spent some thirteen years constructing his royal palace on Ophel, a hilly promontory in central Jerusalem, adjacent to the Temple. He also constructed a water system of pools for the purpose of securing a plentiful supply of water for the city, as well as the Millo, which was part of the fortifications of the city.

The Bible attributes to Solomon the rebuilding of major cities and ports. He is said to have created the port of Ezion Gever, which was the main port of commerce with the countries bordering the Red Sea and the Indian Sea. Solomon's ships and Hiram's fleets took off from Ezion Gever to Ophir, which was a port famous for its wealth. Solomon, according to the Bible, received from Ophir tributes of cargo consisting of gold, silver, sandalwood, precious stones, ivory, apes and peacocks, every three years.

King Solomon is also said to have built Tadmor, an important desert city in the center of Syria, which was located along the caravan routes linking Persia and the Mediterranean ports. It served both as a commercial depot and military outpost. Other major cities which the Bible mentions as having being strengthened or rebuilt by Solomon, include Hazor, Megiddo and Gezer.



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