Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Temple of Solomon

Construction of Solomon's Temple

(1) Iron Age or Late Bronze Age?

During the period traditionally assigned to the era of Solomon - Iron Age IIA (1000 to 900 B.C.E.) - "the so-called cities of Megiddo, Gezer and Hazor, and Jerusalem itself were in reality more like villages....Within were relatively small public buildings and poorly constructed dwellings with clay floors. The objects reveal a material culture which, even by the standards of the ancient Near East, could not be judged sophisticated or luxurious...The 'magnificence' of the age of Solomon is parochial and decidedly lackluster, but the first book of Kings implies exactly the opposite."
- Prof. James Pritchard, Solomon and Sheba (1974), p. 35

"...Byblos is rich in fine stone buildings from the Bronze Age. However, when it comes to the Iron Age (which is purportedly the time of Solomon and his ally, Hiram of Tyre) there are no stone buildings at Byblos. How then did Solomon acquire building expertise from Phoenicia if the Phoenicians did not have the skill or resources to build stone structures for themselves?"
- David M. Rohl, A Test of Time: The Bible from Myth to History (1995), p. 174

"... He (Solomon) also built cities which might be counted among the strongest, Hazor and Megiddo, and the third Gezer, which had indeed belonged to the Philistines's; but Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, had made an expedition against it, and besieged it, and taken it by force: and when he had slain all it's inhabitants, he utterly overthrew it, and gave it as a present to his daughter, who married Solomon, for which reason the king rebuilt it, as a city that was naturally strong, and might be useful in wars, and the mutations of affairs that sometimes happen."
- Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews

"Pharaoh, king of Egypt had gone up and captured Gezer and burnt it with fire, and has slain the Canaanites's who dwelt in the city, and had given it as dowry to his daughter, Solomon's wife; So Solomon rebuilt Gezer."
- I Kings 9:15

According to archaeologists, Gezer was rebuilt on the ruins of the fourth city with a larger circumference and walls measuring 14 feet in thickness. The brick towers belonging to the old wall were filled with scarabs, beads, fragments of pottery and other objects contemporary with the reign of Egyptian Pharoah Amenhotep III.

"As for myself I have discovered from our own books, that after Pharaoh, the father-in-law of Solomon, no other king of Egypt did any longer use that name: and that it was after that time when the fore mentioned queen of Egypt and Ethiopia came to Solomon."
- Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews

"The thought that crossed many scholars' minds was that the name or title of Pharaoh continued and the Josephus was in error. But Josephus was relating that the family name after this king had died ceased and was not continued even by his own offspring. This again pointed to Ikhnaton, Amenhotep III and included queen Tiy [mother of Ikhanton] as well."
- Rev. Robert Palmer (private correspondence)

Ikhanton (or Akhenaten) was the controversial pharaoh who attempted to revive the worship of the sun god. Tutankhamun was probably Akhenaten's son by a minor wife and ruled from the age of nine to twenty. After his death, Tutankhamun was succeeded by a courtier named Ay, then a general, Horemheb who branded Akhenaten a heretic and attempted to destroy any trace of him. As far as Egyptian history was concerned, the last legitimate ruler of the 18th dynasty and the last person to use the name Amenhotep was Amenhotep III.

"Solomon made an alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt and married his daughter. He brought her to the City of David until he finished building his palace and the temple of the LORD, and the wall around Jerusalem."
- I Kings 3:1

"Solomon married Pharaoh's daughter so one might expect a certain amount of Egyptian influence in the artistic tastes of the Solomonic court. If we look at some of the ivories from Megiddo's LB II palace we find a number of Egyptian motifs, including papyrus plants, lilies and lotus flowers (the floral motifs of Upper and Lower Egypt), as well as palm trees and winged sphinxes."
- David M. Rohl, A Test of Time: The Bible from Myth to History (1995), p. 178

"Then the king made a great throne inlaid with ivory and overlaid with fine gold. The throne had six steps, and its back had a rounded top. On both sides of the seat were armrests, with a lion standing beside each of them. Twelve lions stood on the six steps, one at either end of each step. Nothing like it had ever been made for any other kingdom."
- I Kings 10:18-20

In addition a court scene depicted in ivory also shows Egyptian elements. "First, above the chariot horses is a winged sun-disk, second, the queen offers a lotus flower to her husband; and third the king is seated upon a throne, the sides of which are guarded by winged sphinxes (i.e., human-headed lions)."
- David M. Rohl, A Test of Time: The Bible from Myth to History (1995), p. 178

"After Pharaoh's daughter had come up from the City of David to the palace Solomon had built for her,he constructed the supporting terraces."
- I Kings 9:24

"The only Egyptian architectural remains ever found in Jerusalem may be identified with the palace of Pharaoh's Daughter, constructed by Solomon after the completion of the Temple of Yahweh in the king's 11th year...These remains date to Late Bronze IIA-B and are contemporary with the reigns of the Egyptian Pharaohs Haremheb (late-reign) and Seti I."
- David M. Rohl, A Test of Time: The Bible from Myth to History (1995), p. 184

"Excavations at Megiddo built during this period,which I Kings 9:15 records as being built up by Solomon, revealed a Late Bronze Age palace 50 metres long with two-metre thick walls, a royal treasure-room with a magnificent hoard of treasures and the richest collection of Canaanite carved ivory yet discovered in Palestine (Yigael Yadin of the University of Jerusalem)."
- John Fulton, "A New Chronology - Synopsis of David Rohl's book 'A Test of Time'"

"The great courtyard was surrounded by a wall of three courses of dressed stone and one course of trimmed cedar beams, as was the inner courtyard of the temple of the LORD with its portico."
- I Kings 7:12

The building technique used in the gate of the late Bronze Age city of Megiddo (when it reached its cultural zenith) consisted of three courses of ashlar blocks built on top of a basalt foundation. This is identical to the technique used by Solomon and his Phoenician craftsmen according to the Bible - and to that employed in the Late Bronze Age Palace of Ugarit in Phoenicia.

"When Solomon built the Temple of Yahweh in Jerusalem, he erected two great pillars which flanked the entrance to the cella of the building. They were called Jachin and Boaz [I Kings 7:15-22]. Temple 2048 at Megiddo also has a pair of columns guarding the entrance..."
- David M. Rohl, A Test of Time: The Bible from Myth to History (1995), p. 178

"Here is the account of the forced labor King Solomon conscripted to build the LORD's temple, his own palace, the supporting terraces [or the Millo], the wall of Jerusalem, and Hazor, Megiddo and Gezer."
- I Kings 9:15

"The massive Late Bronze Age stone terracing system constructed along the eastern slopes of the City of David is to be identified with the Jerusalem Millo, constructed in the reign of Solomon..."
- David M. Rohl, A Test of Time: The Bible from Myth to History (1995), p. 181

(2) A Massive Project

Josephus, in referring to the final destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 C.E., refers back to the Temple of Solomon:

"However, one cannot but wonder at the accuracy of this period thereto relating; for the same month and day were now observed, as I said before, wherein the holy house was burnt formerly by the Babylonians. Now the number of years that passed from its first foundation, which was laid by king Solomon, till this its destruction, which happened in the second year of the reign of Vespasian, are collected to be one thousand one hundred and thirty, besides seven months and fifteen days; and from the second building of it, which was done by Haggai, in the second year of Cyrus the king, till its destruction under Vespasian, there were six hundred and thirty-nine years and forty-five days."
- Flavius Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Bk VI, Ch V, Sn 8

By Josephus' reckoning, the Temple was begun by Solomon ca. 1060 B.C.E.

"Solomon's original Temple had probably been little more than a private chapel adjoining the royal palace. The words for 'temple' and 'palace' were, of course, interchangeable in Persian, Hebrew, and Greek-a legacy from the time when the ruler was God's surrogate on earth, a symbolic role that was often more burden than privilege, and at times more dangerous than glamorous. The priesthood were the real rulers."
- Paul William Roberts, Journey of the Magi (1995) p. 277

"Solomon succeeded his father David as king of the United Kingdom of Israel and Judah around 965 BC, though some scholars think it was lightly later, around 960 BC; he began work on the Temple in the fourth year of his reign, and the structure took seven and a half years to complete (I Kings 6)."
- Magnus Magnusson, BC - The Archaeology of the Bible Lands

"The foundation of the temple of the LORD was laid in the fourth year, in the month of Ziv. In the eleventh year in the month of Bul, the eighth month, the temple was finished in all its details according to its specifications. He had spent seven years building it. "
- I Kings 6:37-38

"The building of the First Temple dedicated to Yahweh was begun in the fourth regnal year of King Solomon...circa 968 [B.C.]."
- David M. Rohl, A Test of Time: The Bible from Myth to History (1995), p. 115

"This was a great expense for the fledgling kingdom, and Solomon started to run out of money, with many cities being sold to pay off the mounting debts. The population had to endure forced labor, with gangs of ten thousand people being sent for monthly spells in the Lebanon to work for Hiram, king of Tyre."
- Christopher Knight & Robert Lomas, The Hiram Key: Pharaohs, Freemasons and the Discovery of the Secret Scrolls of Jesus

"We are informed in I Kings (chapter 3) that Solomon proceeded to organize the construction project (it involved, among others in the workforce, 80,000 stone quarriers and 70,000 porters) only after Yahweh had appeared unto Solomon in Gibeon 'in a nightly vision'. The construction, lasting seven years, began with laying the foundation stone in the fourth year of Solomon's reign and 'in the eleventh year, in the month of Bul which is the eighth month the Temple was competed in all its stipulations and exactly according to its plans'."
- Zecharia Sitchin, When Time Began

The prototype for the Temple of Solomon was the Canaanite temple of Baal-Hadad in the Lower City of Hazor (c.1500-1200 BC). "The Hazor temple was build of three elements - a porch, a main hall and a Holy of Holies - situated one behind the other, on a north-south axis. The Holy of Holies lay to the north; it was a large room, measuring about thirteen by nine meters, with a deep niche in its northern wall. In the porch, or vestibule, were found two basalt pillar bases just in front of the entrance to the main hall. They had no structural function, and reminded Dr Yadin of the two enigmatic cultic pillars outside the porch of Solomon's temple, called 'Jachin' and 'Boaz' in the Bible. Of course there were significant differences, too. Solomon's Temple was oriented east-west, for instance; and Solomon's Temple would not have contained effigies on the gods such as were found at Hazor - only the Ark of the Covenant symbolizing the presence of the deity."
- Magnus Magnusson, BC - The Archaeology of the Bible Lands

(3) Near East Prototypes

Clay Temple

"In the Canaanites' view, a god actually dwelt in each sanctuary. But since the Israelites' god had no physical form, it needed not such earthly home. King Solomon erected his temple as a house for the sacred Ark of the Covenant, and thus reaffirmed Jerusalem as the spiritual - and political - focus of Israelite life."
- The Israelites

"The temple was designed with a large measure of uniformity over the whole of the Near East now recognizable as a microcosm of the womb. It was divided into three parts; the Porch, representing the lower end of the vagina up to the hymen, or Veil, the Hall, or vagina itself; and the inner sanctum, or Holy of Holies, the uterus. The priest, dressed as a penis, anointed with various saps and resins as representing the divine semen, enters through the doors of the Porch, the 'labia' of the womb, past the Veil or 'hymen' and so into the Hall."
- John M. Allegro, The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross

"Veneration of the primary female deity was of long standing in Canaan, where she took the form of the goddess Astoreth. She was equivalent to Ishtar, the major goddess of the Mesopotamians, whose Sumerian temple was at Uruk (the Biblical Erech, modern Warka). In nearby Syria and Phoenicia the same goddess was reported by the ancient Greeks to have been called Astarte.
"The Holy of Holies, or inner sanctuary, in Solomon's Temple was deemed to represent the womb of Ashtoreth (alternatively called Asherah, as mentioned several times in the Old Testament). Ashtoreth was openly worshipped by the Israelites until the 6th century BC. As the Lady Asherah, she was the supernal wife of El, the supreme male deity, and they were together the 'Divine Couple'. Their daughter was Anath, Queen of the Heavens, and their son, the King of the Heavens, was called He. As time progressed, the separate characters of El and He were merged to become Jehovah [YHWH]. Asherah and Anath were then similarly conjoined to become Jehovah's female consort, known as the Shekinah or Matronit."
"Originally, these four consonants [in YHWH] represented the four members of the Heavenly Family: Y represented El the Father; H was Asherah the Mother; W corresponded to He the Son; and H was the Daughter Anath. In accordance with the royal traditions of the time and region, God's mysterious bride, the Matronit, was also reckoned to be his sister. In the Jewish cult of the Cabbala God's dual male-female image was perpetuated. Meanwhile other sects perceived the Shekinah or Matronit as the female presence of God on Earth. The divine marital chamber was the sanctuary of the Jerusalem Temple, but from the moment the Temple was destroyed, the Matronit was destined to roam the Earth while the male aspect of Jehovah was left to rule the heavens alone." - Laurence Gardner, Bloodline of the Holy Grail, pp. 17-18

"There were three buildings specifically for sacrifice in Jerusalem. The one facing west was called 'the Holy'. Another facing south was called 'the Holy of the Holy'. The third facing east was called 'the Holy of the Holies', the place were only the high priest enters. Baptism is 'the Holy' building. Redemption is 'the Holy of the Holy'. 'The Holy of the Holies' is the bridal chamber. Baptism includes the resurrection and the redemption; the redemption takes place in the bridal chamber. But the bridal chamber is in that which is superior to it and the others, because you will not find anything like it."
- The Gospel of Philip

"The detailed architectural and construction information in the Bible in respect to Solomon's Temple calls its anteroom Ulam, its ritual hall Hekhal, and its holiest part Dvir. The latter, meaning 'Where the speaking takes place', no doubt reflected the fact that Yahweh spoke to Moses from the Ark of the Covenant, the voice coming from where the wings of the Cherubim were touching, and the Ark was placed in the Temple as the only artifact in the innermost enclosure, the Holy of Holies or Dvir. The terminology used for the two foreparts, scholars have recognized, comes from the Sumerian (via Akkadian): E-gal and Ulammu."
- Zecharia Sitchin, When Time Began

"Now the glory of the God of Israel went up from above the cherubim, where it had been, and moved to the threshold of the temple."
- Ezekiel 9:3:a

Solomon's "temple was divided into two parts, the holy of holies (adytum) and the temple proper. Curtains were hung of fine linen cloth brightly colored in hyacinth blue, purple and scarlet.
"Before the temple, on the right hand and the left, were placed two massive hollow pillars of brass eighteen cubits in height each surmounted by a capital five cubits high. These may have been modeled after the two pillars in the famous temple of Melkart at Tyre, one of which was overlaid with god. For this and other metal work in the temple Solomon sent to Tyre for a skilled bronze worker called Hiram.
"An altar of brass was made for the burnt offerings; a brazen 'sea' in hemispherical form was cast and set up on twelve brazen oxen that faced toward the four directions of the compass. Brazen bases for ten lavers were made ornamented with figures of lions, oxen and cherubim."
- Nina Jidejian, Byblos Through the Ages

(4) The Bronze Sea

"...The Sea of cast metal, ten cubits from rim to rim, circular in shape and five cubits high; a cord thirty cubits long gave the measurement of its girth...It was a handbreadth in thickness, and its rim was shaped like the rim of a cup, like a flower. It held two thousand baths."
- 1 Kings 7:23, 26

"This 'Sea'...had stood in the courtyard of the Temple. It had been a hug bronze basin, fifteen feet in diameter and seven and a half feet high. It had weighted around thirty tons when empty but had normally been kept full with and estimated 10,0000 gallons of water. Most authorities admitted frankly that they did not know what its function had been -although some thought that it had symbolized the 'primordial waters' referred to in the book of Genesis and others believed that it had been used by the priests for their ritual ablutions....[However] the Bible state quite plainly that Hiram had made ten smaller bronze basis for precisely this purpose..."
"Is it not possible that the bronze 'Sea' which Hiram made for the courtyard of Solomon's Temple was a throwback to the ancient Egyptian rituals on which the ceremonies of the Ark appear to have been closely modeled? In the festival of Apet at Luxor the 'Arks' containing effigies of the gods were always carried to water. And this, too, is precisely what happens in Ethiopia today: at Timkat in Gondar the tabotat are carried to the edge of a 'sacred lake' at the rear of the castle. So perhaps the bronze Sea was a also a kind of sacred lake?"
- Graham Hancock, The Sign and the Seal

Note that the tradition of sacred lakes/pools may date back to Sumerian times:
"Most ancient, pagan, Mesopotamian Urfa had worshipped gods of the sun and moon and stars, a faith that survived in the surrounding countryside until the Middle Ages, when the Crusaders found a remnant priesthood still at their rituals in ancient ruined temples. The cult had come to Urfa [Turkey] and it neighboring cities from southern Mesopotamia. In those days several cities had sacred pools like those at Urfa; some of them with stone altars that stood out of the water and the priest who would swim to their daily devotions were surrounded, it is said, by leaping, by sacred fish, so tame that they would come to you if you called their names. One especially celebrated carp, and ancient author says, carried a golden jewel upon its upper fin."
- John Romer, Testament

The Holy of Holies

"Into the Holy of Holies none might pass save the High Priest, and he only at certain prescribed times. The room contained no furnishings save the Ark of the Covenant, which stood against the western wall, opposite the entrance. "
- Manly P. Hall, Masonic, Hermetic, Quabbalistic & Rosicrucian Symbolical Philosophy

"Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel...And the priests brought in the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord to its place in the Temple...in the Holy of Holies...And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the Lord, so the that priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of the Lord. Then spake Solomon, 'The Lord said that he would swell in the thick darkness. I have surely built thee a house to dwell in, a settled place for thee to abide in forever...But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?'"
- 1 Kings 8: 1, 6, 10-11, 27

"There was...a real sense in which the Temple appeared to have been built less as an earthly palace for a dearly beloved but incorporeal deity than as a kind of prison for the Ark of the Covenant. Within the Holy of Holies, above the two cherubim that faced each other across the relic's golden lid, Solomon had installed two additional cherubim of giant size - grim guardians indeed, with wingspans of fifteen feet or more, all covered in gold."
- Graham Hancock, The Sign and the Seal

"There in the Holy of Holies (a curtained inner chamber) were kept the Ark of the Covenant containing the Tablets of the Law and other tokens of the deliverance from Egypt and the sojourn in the wilderness of Sinai. There Solomon reinstituted all of the cultic acts commanded to Moses on Sinai, the daily sacrifices, the feasts of the New Moon and the New Year, the Day of Atonement, and the three great pilgrimage festivals of Passover, Weeks, and Tabernacles. A body of Aaronite priests and ministering Levites served in the Temple."
- An Encyclopedia of Archetypal Symbolism

"It follows that the place of the Holy of Holies was ten cubits square, and there were put the ark, and the pot of manna, and the pan of anointing oil, and Aaron's rod with its almonds and flowers...."
- The Talmud, Chapter VI

"...The Holy of Holies itself...had been a perfect cube, foursquare and immensely strong. Measuring thirty feet long, by thirty feet wide, by thirty feet high, its floor, its four walls and its ceiling had been lined with pure gold, weighing as estimated 45,000 pounds, and riveted with golden mails."
- Graham Hancock, The Sign and the Seal

"...The cubit dimensions of the inner chamber of the Temple, the Holy of Holies, are precisely identical in size to the King's Chamber in the Pyramid and the same volume as the molten sea of water on the Temple Mount as prepared by King Solomon. "
- Grant R. Jeffrey, "Appointment with Destiny"

The Temple of Baal at Palmyra

The Temple of Baal

Temple of Baal, Palmyra

"And Solomon went to Hamath-zobah [fortress of Zobah], and prevailed against it. And he built Tadmor in the wilderness, and all the store cities, which he built in Hamath."
- 2 Chronicles 8:3-4

Tadmor
"Tadmor: 'palm', a city built by Solomon 'in the wilderness' (2 Chr. 8:4). In 1 Kings 9:18, where the word occurs in the Authorized Version, the Hebrew text and the Revised Version read 'Tamar,' which is properly a city on the southern border of Palestine and toward the wilderness (comp. Ezek. 47:19; 48:28). In 2 Chr. 8:14 Tadmor is mentioned in connection with Hamath-zobah. It is called Palmyra by the Greeks and Romans. It stood in the great Syrian wilderness, 176 miles from Damascus and 130 from the Mediterranean and was the center of a vast commercial traffic with Western Asia. It was also an important military station.
"Remains of ancient temples and palaces, surrounded by splendid colonnades of white marble, many of which are yet standing, and thousands of prostrate pillars, scattered over a large extent of space, attest the ancient magnificence of this city of palms, surpassing that of the renowned cities of Greece and Rome."
-Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary

In the precincts of the Temple of Baal or Bel at Palmyra, "there was the huge ablutions pool-the 'sea of bronze'-In front of the raised cella or holy of holies, the temple's focal point, the walls around it lined with porticoes whose columns are still standing. Next to the ritual pool was 'the altar of the holocausts,' Just like the huge sacrificial altar where Solomon had slaughtered 144,000 sheep and oxen. The cella was once surrounded by a colonnade, with capitals fashioned from bronze. Only the stone cores now remain, but the limestone lintels joining this colonnade to the wall behind still show the profusion of motifs - pomegranates, winged figures and animals - that the Bible recounts Solomon decreeing for his temple."
"Depicted on the limestone lintel joining this colonnade, "a camel bore the great image of Baal toward an altar, passing by a group of elegant women wearing the traditional Palmyrene dress, a simple draped cloth tied at the middle. Following these, though, was another group of women who were veiled, their heads bowed in humble reverence, their whole demeanor far from the proudly independent stance of their Palmyrene sisters. These were Semitic women, beyond doubt; but were they Hebrews or Arabs?"

Altar of Baal
Altar of Baal

"The altar itself was heaped with offerings of the kind we read about in the Solomonic accounts: pomegranates, pine cones, fat bunches of grapes, a goat. And worshipping at the altar itself were two figures, both men in typical Parthian dress. The Parthians were an Iranian tribe from an area southeast of the Caspian Sea; but many Diaspora Jews also occupied this area. In the New Testament (Acts 2:9) we hear of Parthian Diaspora Jews present at the first Christian Pentecost. The followers of Simon Magus were Diaspora Jews, Western Magi, linked closely to their Eastern counterparts."
"Inside the cella were still more surprises. This sanctum sanctorum consists of two open shrines facing each other, both reached by steps, both containing huge square ceilings of elaborately carved monolithic slabs. The one to the left of the entrance, however, has a zodiac circling its lotuslike design; and the one on the right contains exceptionally fine geometric designs within a virtually identical multipetaled floral form. The Palmyrene trinity of Baal, Yarhibol, and Aglibol is also represented in the cella. Yet the opposing shrines were what I found most astonishing. They are overtly Hindu-Buddhist, with the lotus forms and a reappearing entwined swastika motif prominent among the geometrical designs."
- Paul William Roberts, Journey of the Magi (1995) pp. 341-342

Hamath/Hama, Syria
"Hamath: "Fortress", the capital of one of the kingdoms of Upper Syria of the same name, on the Orontes, in the valley of Lebanon, at the northern boundary of Palestine (Num. 13:21; 34:8), at the foot of Hermon (Josh. 13:5) towards Damascus (Zech. 9:2; Jer. 49:23). It is called 'Hamath the great' in Amos 6:2, and 'Hamath-zobah' in 2 Chr. 8:3.
"Hamath, now Hamah, had an Aramaean population, but Hittite monuments discovered there show that it must have been at one time occupied by the Hittites. It was among the conquests of the Pharaoh Thothmes III. Its king, Tou or Toi, made alliance with David (2 Sam. 8:10), and in B.C. 740 Azariah formed a league with it against Assyria. It was, however, conquered by the Assyrians, and its nineteen districts placed under Assyrian governors. In B.C. 720 it revolted under a certain Yahu-bihdi, whose name, compounded with that of the God of Israel (Yahu), perhaps shows that he was of Jewish origin. But the revolt was suppressed, and the people of Hamath were transported to Samaria (2 Kings 17:24, 30), where they continued to worship their god Ashima. Hamah is beautifully situated on the Orontes, 32 miles north of Emesa, and 36 south of the ruins of Assamea.
"The kingdom of Hamath comprehended the great plain lying on both banks of the Orontes from the fountain near Riblah to Assamea on the north, and from Lebanon on the west to the desert on the east. The 'entrance of Hamath' (Num. 34:8), which was the north boundary of Palestine, led from the west between the north end of Lebanon and the Nusairiyeh mountains."
-Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary

"You shall draw a line from Mount Hor to the Lebo-hamath [or 'entrance of Hamath'], and the termination of the border shall be at Zedad; and the border shall proceed to Ziphron, and its termination shall be at Hazar-enan. This shall be your north border."
- Numbers 34:8-9

"The boundary shall extend from the sea to Hazar-enan at the border of Damascus, and on the north toward the north is the border of Hamath. This is the north side. The west side shall be the Great Sea, from the south border to a point opposite Lebo-hamath. This is the west side."
- Ezekiel 47:17-20

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