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The King Solomon Temple in Jerusalem

Solomon Temple in Jerusalem Though it appears that the People of Israel have always been at odds with their northern neighbor, history notes periods when relations between the two were not only amiable, but very lucrative as well.

Both biblical and other accounts relate to periods in both countries' historical pasts when Lebanon, known then as the Kingdom of Phoenicia (or Tyre), and Israel engaged in trading and other forms of mutual cooperation. This was especially so during the long reign of perhaps Israel's must successful monarch, King Solomon, son of David.

In fact, this period of mutual cooperation was so strong that King Solomon, upon directive from God to build the Temple in Jerusalem, enlisted the assistance of King Hiram of Tyre to provide both materials and skilled craftsmen to construct this stately edifice. Solomon, who desired to build a permanent 'House' for the Ark of the Covenant, and its most noted contents, The Ten Commandments that Moses received from God on Mt. Sinai, asked Hiram to bring his chief craftsmen, who together with Israel's Master Builder, Hiram Abif (from the Tribe of Naphtali) would construct the Temple as The Lord commanded of King Solomon: "He will build me a House, and I will establish his (Solomon's) throne forever".

Ark of the CovenantThe craftsmen, who carried out this feat, are reputed to be origins of the fraternal order known today as the Ancient Order of Free and Accepted Masons, known most commonly as the 'Freemasons'. The most intricate and Holy process of constructing the Temple, in which no metal tools were allowed for the actual assembling of the Temple walls and fixtures (metal, being a symbol of warfare, was thus expressly taboo), certain symbols and objects were incorporated into the craftsmen's labors, which have been carried down in Masonry to this day.

Much material used in the Temple's ornate internal construction came from large trunks of cedar trees, one of Lebanon's most famous products; which were floated whole from The Port of Tyre to Jaffa, and then carried overland to Jerusalem; no small feat in those days. The cedar logs were then cut into planks, outside of Jerusalem (where use of metal tools were permitted) and then assembled with wooden dowels to form the 'inner chambers' of the Temple.

Even King Solomon's father, King David, lived in a "House of Cedar"; also reputed to have been brought to Jerusalem from Tyre.

The well known "Seal of Solomon", a pentagram formed by the combining of two pyramids into a six pointed star, now the recognized symbol of the Jewish People and the State of Israel, comes from an original Masonic symbol which is known as "The Square" by freemasons, in which either the Hebrew letter Youd, or the English letter G is placed to refer to The Creator or Great Architect, from whence all things have come.

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