The Esoteric Meaning of Solomon’s Temple

by Joshua Tilghman on July 29, 2012

Today’s blog post will be the first of a two-part series dealing with Solomon’s Temple. If you have been keeping up with the posts on this site, then you already know that an esoteric reading of the Bible reveals that the majority of temples, stories, and parables are about the mind and body. Solomon’s temple is one of the greatest Old Testament symbols revealing this concept, and when interpreted as such, Solomon’s temple becomes such a blessing to the spiritual seeker. By focusing on its historical and literal implications, mainstream Christianity has missed the true spiritual blessings of this timeless symbol.

This first post in the series will discuss the scriptures that show us Solomon’s temple is clearly not literal. I will then focus on how the temple describes you. The next post will discuss how the ornaments and temple structures specifically represent your conscious reality (mind and body).

The actual building of the temple itself is a great clue revealing its non-literal nature. A traditional family-night Bible study probably wouldn’t uncover this truth, and that’s why we have to follow in the tradition of a scripture that a friend e-mailed me a few days ago, reminding me of the reason of why I maintain this site in the first place.

“It is the glory of God to conceal a thing (spiritual knowledge), and the glory of kings (the spiritually-minded) to search out a matter!” (Proverb 25:2). One of the greatest aspects of the Bible is that it was written by mystics to jumpstart our spiritual awakening when interpreted properly, which is always beyond the literal meaning.

A careful reading of 2 Chronicles 2:2 gives us the total number of men that built Solomon’s temple: 70,000 burden-bearers (laborers), 80,000 stone cutters, and 3,600 foremen. That’s a total of 153,600 men!

That’s a lot of builders! So how big was the actual temple itself? According to 1 Kings 6:2, it was about 90 feet long, 30 feet wide and 45 feet high. Just to give you something to compare that to, an average tennis court is 78 feet long by 36 feet wide.

So how long did it take to build Solomon’s temple? According to 1 Kings 6:38, it took 7 years! This is another important clue that the temple is not literal (more on that in our next post). So let’s throw all of this information together and see what we get. It took over 150,000 men 7 years to build a temple with a floor a little bigger than a tennis court. Even when we consider all of the elaborate decorations of the temple with its outer chambers and courts, something seems very wrong. Solomon’s temple is less than half the size of Herod’s Temple (a literal temple), and many, many times smaller than the Great Pyramid of Giza that  took much more mental planning, and didn’t take nearly as many men to complete. Hmm…is Solomon’s temple literal? Obviously no! I have provided some pictures below to give you some comparisons of Solomon’s Temple with Herod’s Temple.





What’s even more astounding is the estimated weight in gold used in Solomon’s temple. David put aside 100,000 talents for it. A talent has been estimated to weight about 75 pounds. If this is correct, then 1, 750, 000 pounds of gold went into the construction of this temple with all its decorations just from David! Some estimates put this between 50 and 100 billion dollars!

So as you can see, the size, amount of men, and length of time it took to build this temple is our first great clue that it isn’t literal. But what about the scripture itself? Does it, too, reveal that the temple is not literal? Absolutely!

1 Kings 6:7 states:

“And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building.”

Why would the Biblical writer stress this verse? And if this were all literal, why would Solomon care about this anyway? The answer is obvious when we realize that the temple was never literal. Paul understood this concept very well, for knew that the real temple was you!

“For we are the temple of the living God” (2 Corinthians 6:16).

“Don’t you know that you yourself are God’s temple and that God’s spirit lives within you?” (1 Cor. 3:16).

But wait a minute…the Old Testament clearly stated that God came and dwelled in this Temple when Solomon dedicated it upon completion. But here Paul tells us that God does not dwell in a temple made with hands. What the apparent contradiction? It all becomes clear when we realize that Solomon’s temple is symbolic of us! When God filled the temple at Solomon’s dedication, this is symbolic of finding God in the kingdom “within” you! You see, Solomon’s temple in all its glory and with the presence of God represents the mind of the spiritual enlightened / resurrected individual. Anyone who has attained this connection with their higher conscious self (See The Great Shift in Consciousness for more details) is filled with the Glory of God and becomes the living example of Solomon’s glorious temple!

Now let’s review the verse from1 Kings 6:7 again:

“And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building.”

The spiritual meaning of the first part of this verse—preparing the stones before being brought to the actual building site—represents our bodies before enlightenment. We have been given this body as a means and a vehicle in order to attain enlightenment through. The completion of this task relates to the second part of this verse because in order to complete the temple we must have a spiritual resurrection, which uses neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron (our own limited thoughts, knowledge, and ego).

New Testament Scriptures Revealing This Great Truth

Consider some of these New Testament scriptures which tell us the same thing.

“One day he comes to be glorified in his holy people…” (2 Thes 1:10).

The second coming doesn’t happen outside of you, but on the inside! Many people fail to realize that the New Testament (a better covenant) is all about the realization of their inner kingdom where God dwells. In the Old Testament God’s people were rejected because they remained ego-driven (as seen in their wanderings of the dessert) instead of living by their higher spiritual self.

The Biblical author of Revelations also understood this concept, for in the New Jerusalem (another non-literal symbol for the enlightened individual), John made it clear that there is no temple!

“I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God almighty and the Lamb are its temple.”

“Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God.” (Revelations 3:12).

How would you be a non-literal pillar in a non-literal temple of God? There can be no other explanation other than you are in God and God is in you! The New Jerusalem is about a state of BEING, not a city, and the center of you, beyond the limited illusion of this ego-driven physical reality, is God, where all is ONE. This happens with the spiritual resurrection where we realize our ONENESS with all that is, namely God!

How This Knowledge Helps You

When you go back and read various portions of scripture, see if you can look beyond the literal to see the spiritual. If you use the idea that the scriptures explain the depths and revelations of our minds and bodies as your premise, you will begin to unlock some of the doors that have remained closed to the traditional Christian mindset. This knowledge is crucial in getting your to the door, but remember, no amount of knowledge can get your through the door, and certainly nothing on this website! To enter as the bride of Christ you must go within yourself, beyond esoteric knowledge, exoteric doctrines, and even websites such as these.

This post has laid the correct groundwork for understanding Solomon’s temple in its esoteric interpretation. My next post will focus on how some of the temple ornaments and structures themselves focus on consciousness itself (your mind and body). Feel free to sign up for my e-mail updates if you haven’t already to get a reminder of this post to your inbox!

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Christine Hoeflich July 30, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Wow, I really love this post, it is so clear! WE are the second coming that happens when we look within for the answers and “prepare our temple” (change our mindsets, cleanse our thoughts, even cleanse our bodies) by LISTENING to that still small voice within and following through with the guidance we receive. We are so used to TALKING TO God (praying, asking for things) but many of us don’t do enough LISTENING. The power I know is in listening and following through consistently. Thanks again Josh!


Joshua Tilghman July 31, 2012 at 4:51 pm

Christine, the still small voice is so important but so often missed. And it is the most important aspect to developing the relationship with out higher nature. Thanks for your comment!


Bernard February 28, 2015 at 8:11 am

Hi Christine and all.
The still small voice. Is this. It is silence this is where I abide,in the silence IAM . Be still and know that IAM in the silence of your mind,you must lose yourself to find me. Speak nothing think nothing and be nothing and then listen with your heart. Just be. I will deal with your ego the selfish self I told you to deny if you would follow me .Ask me to enter in and I will abide in you.
Of yourself you can do nothing it is the father whom doest the works. Yours is just to LOVE and cease all judgment for all are my children awake or asleep.Cease all thoughts and go within your temple and find your silence.
With unconditional love.


Justin Mazza July 31, 2012 at 4:10 pm

Hi Joshua,
I wanted to thank you for stopping by my site and leaving such a thoughtful comment. Secondly, I wanted to see what you are writing on your blog and I have to say that I am impressed.

I read your about page and resonated very much with your spiritual journey and the search for a higher truth. I also subscribed to your RSS feed as well.

You put a lot of work into this post about Solomon’s Temple. I agree, most of the writings in the bible are not literal, but symbolic representations. I will check out part 2 of this post when it is ready.

Take Care. :)


Joshua Tilghman July 31, 2012 at 4:48 pm


It’s a pleasure to have you on this site. I must say I was excited to find your site earlier today as well – It’s rare to see someone who has developed a personal development blog that adds such a nice metaphysical touch. Personal development and spirituality should always go together. Thanks again!


Karlir-Johanarnt Kristjanson February 12, 2013 at 5:10 pm

Du glemte og nevne Asmodeus sin rolle – det var jo han som egentlig bygde “tempelet”


Jane Lehman April 21, 2013 at 7:11 am

Thank you for this wonderful explanation. I look forward to reading further posts from you.



anny April 26, 2013 at 11:15 am

Hi Joshua,

You already mention that this temple is said to be built in 7 years. In this respect I want to refer to my comment to your post: Jesus, 40 days in the desert, and the ego. There I wrote that a number sometimes is used to tell something about someone or something. In that case it is called ben .. or bat .. . The same is true here. Here the temple is called a ben 7, only it is hidden in the verb to build (‘Wajibnehoe sjeva sjanim’), the word ben you find as bn in wajibnehoe, seven is sjeva. It shows what was needed to build this temple: the balancing and integrating of all the polar opposites, the digesting of all the fruits of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which is after all what we are doing in the Olam ha Assiah, the world of the seventh day.

When Solomon decides that it is time to build this temple he goes to the king of Lebanon (in which you can find the words lev (heart) and nun (fifty) whom he asks to supply the trees needed as building material, and he tells him that the time is there to start the buildingproces as there is no adversary (satan) anymore and no more attacks by evil (ra, which is the opposite of er, awake).

At the end it is mentioned that the one responsible for the whole building process is called Adoniram, which you can also read as Adonai Ram: the Lord on High, or the higher consciousness.
And in between there are lots of little details to confirm all of this.

However, I do not believe that this necessarily proves that there never was an actual temple built by Solomon. The only thing I am sure of is that this bible story has nothing to do with the building of that temple. But there is always the principle As above, so below, so who knows. Even metaphorical stories might have their counterpart in the material world sometimes.


Grey November 14, 2013 at 7:29 am

My friend, I feel you have been misled in your studies. If you werw employing accurate hermenuetics, and had a valid understanding of the temple’s purpose in the life of the Hebrew at the time of its construction you would see that it was most certainly literal. The Old Covenant and the temple were very much real and necessary in their time. Jesus himself preached from its courts. We as New Covenant beleivers are now the temple of the Holy Spirit.This was not so before Christ’s death. Do not attempt to negate the relevamce or significance of the mastery that was required for this work, and the effforts of many by reducing it to a tennis court. Go back and read what this endeavor required, witjout tge work of a lower tool. This was no pyramid. This was a house built to suit the Spirit of God before He indwelled the hearts of men. Immaculate doesn’t describe it. Anyone who subscribes to a truth other than this has not done their homework amd has trivialized the scriptures. This was not poetry or prophecy. This is a historical account of what actually took place. I invite you to respond amd I can supply you with as much information as you care to have on tjis matter. Let us be careful not to adhere to a teaching b/c it suits our purposes.


Joshua Tilghman November 14, 2013 at 6:01 pm

Hi Grey,

First of all thanks for pouring your heart into this comment. I see that you are not trying to criticize but are genuine in your beliefs, and, based on your e-mail, sincere in your efforts for greater truth.

Trust me, I have not done what your last sentence suggest: I do not adhere to certain teachings just because they suit my own purposes (although if we are honest we are all somewhat guilty of this to some extent).

I have developed my beliefs off of many years of study. I used to be the typical born-again Christian. For a while this suited me fine because I had not delved into the contradictions and hard to understand portions of scripture. I simply accepted what I was taught. When I had deeper questions that religious leaders couldn’t answer in a satisfactory way, I went to commentaries. Since even these seemed to disagree, I went to Jewish sources. This opened me up to a whole new world. The Jews offer some insightful information that shows Christianity cannot contain the entire truth. I am not saying mainstream Jewish thought is the correct way, either, but learning both perspectives and cultures is necessary before you can get a better understanding of why the scriptures teach what they teach.

After delving into mainstream Jewish beliefs, I saw that neither Christianity nor Judaism understood the true reason for the deeper wisdom contained in the scriptures. That is when I turned to esoteric concepts that were far more explanatory. Esoteric concepts actually explained to me why there were differences in Christian and Jewish thought, and then offered an explanation that both reconciled them and taught deeper revelations that made all the scripture come together in a satisfactory way.

You seem to hint that you can provide information that proves the temple was literal. I highly doubt it. Most scholarly work done on the matter certainly doesn’t prove that Solomon’s temple existed. For every scholarly work suggesting that it did I can show you one that points to the fact that it didn’t. Most of the archeological expeditions that began excavating the Holy Land were done by men who were biased towards mainstream Christian thought.

You do understand that Christianity is built on paganism, right? Even the day that we celebrate Jesus’ birthday has pagan origins. The Christmas tree, December 25, the three wise men, all of it! Constantine, the Roman emperor which made Christianity an accepted religion of the Roman empire, was himself a pagan. Eusebius was able to portray the New Testament as a historical continuation of the Old Testament through a lot of manipulation and coercion.

The esoteric interpretation of the Bible transcends the physical world, and gives us insight into how the temple represents the human soul. Yes, literal temples existed in ancient times. But Solomon’s temple was not a literal temple.

I will answer your personal e-mail soon. Feel free to address certain topics by e-mail or on this blog if you wish.



godfrey February 15, 2014 at 2:31 pm

good site


Joshua Tilghman February 15, 2014 at 2:59 pm

Thanks Godfrey!


David Crider February 18, 2014 at 2:23 pm

Dear, dear Josh, I can only hope and pray that 1 day you will read a comment that may correct the errors in your way, for you are truly misguided. To say there was no literal Temple that Solomon built, that it is about our body and not the building. Is dangerous for your soul. You are discounting the precious blood of Jesus, The Son of GOD. It was His blood that sanctified the body, to make it a fit dwelling (or tabernacle) place for the Holy Spirit. As pictured by the blood of the red hefer to cleans the Temple in Jerusalem. If Jesus had not died, went to the Heavenly Temple and applied His blood to that Mercy Seat, we would no more be fit to house the Spirit in side us, than a cardboard box to hold a camp fire. Why did Jesus, the Word made flesh, come and suffer the agony of the cross, if it could be done any other way. It would seem his prayer in the garden, about the cup that he must drink…if there be anyother way…not My will, but Yours (to the Father), would have had a different conclusion.
By this thought also, David, the King, would be in hell now, for he was not permitted to build the Temple, due to the blood on his hands. Your “esoteric thought” breaks down as false, far to easy. We would have to throw out Ezra and the rebuilding of the Temple, Nehemiah rebuilding the walls to protect the Temple, as well as the palace that was near the House of God. Get rid of Daniel, who fortold of the destruction of Babylon while Belshazzar got drunk and feasted with the “the vessels which his father had taken out of the Temple which was in Jerusalem”. So he was drinking out of someone’s skull of actual vessel’s from a temple, fairly literal I would say. As well as Daniel’s fortelling of Jesus’ second coming, that is a physical coming, since His toe has to touch the mount of olives and split it. (and the firy furnace and the lions den, Adam & Eve all literal or there is no part of the book that can be held as truth)
Then there is “At that time did Hezekiah cut off the gold from the doors of the temple of the LORD”. Did he cut off a man’s chest that had gold on it or was it a door. You have denied Christ, and His word, the Word Made flesh. Is serious, but the Word says there will be many false teachers in the last days” to deny Christ and his work is the spirit of anti-christ.
Maybe you never saw a change in you or others you brought to your church, because you have never made Jesus Lord of your life. I pray you do. Hell is also literal, as well as Heaven, I pray you truly test the spirit that has led you down this path and see that it has contradicted the meaning and necessity for Jesus’ sacrafice.


Joshua Tilghman March 1, 2014 at 1:03 pm


Thanks for being patient with my busy schedule, and I am sorry it has taken this long to reply. With that being said, I think just about all the questions you ask in this post are answered if you care to read other posts on the site. Since we both view the Bible differently, it would take me literally 5-6 pages to answer them here.

I will address the ones in your first paragraph since it is relevant to the information in this post. The Apostle Paul specifically tells us that we are the true temple. The temples in scripture, and even the Tabernacle, are only types and shadows of a deeper reality within the conscious experience. Why do you think that Paul told us that even the story of Issac and Ishmael are an allegory (Gal. 4:24)? All these stories are types and shadows of our soul’s journey on earth.

I respect your beliefs that the entire Bible is literal. There are many out there that believe the earth was created 7000 years ago and that a snake really talked to Adam and Eve. I used to believe it as well. But there are many important questions that must be content with to leave unanswered if we’re going to hold to those beliefs. On my own journey I wasn’t one of those people. Yet, I wasn’t ready to reject the Bible either. Having an open mind led me on an incredible journey to discover the mystical truths revealed in the Bible.


David Crider February 18, 2014 at 7:38 pm

I see you have chosen to delete the truth and not to share the gospel. That is your decision, your webb-site. But I do pray you will one day realize that the damage being done here has eternal ramification. The Bible is quite upfront and literal and does teach against the eastern mysticism that is practiced and the way it leads to demonic influence and not the Holy Spirit of God. I say this in love and in ritghous anger over the way you place the sacrifice of my Lord, into an unnecessary act. But in the esoteric world, there is no judgement, just reincarnation till you get it right. A damnable heresy. Buddah, saught enlightenment, Jesus came to make a way of salvation. It is in him alone that the answers you are looking for can be found. Thank you.
If you wish to delete, and not reply here. Please send me an Email with any counter points, or to share what firmmer ground you stand upon


Joshua Tilghman March 1, 2014 at 1:07 pm


Don’t you find it a little odd that it took over 150,000 men 7 years to build something a little bigger than a tennis court? Isn’t that evidence enough that something significantly spiritual is meant in the text? My purpose is not to degrade the Scriptures in any way. I think they’re wonderful and full of truth, but not according to the traditional interpretation. There’s more to it than that, and it’s left up to us to discover it.

The scripture states that it is the glory of God to conceal (hide) a thing, but it’s the glory of a king to discover it. Don’t you think that it’s possible the scripture was written in a way to conceal spiritual truth beneath mythology and symbolism. Why do you think that the scripture would be no good if not everything in it literally happened. Quite the contrary, I don’t believe the truths of the universe could be expressed in literal words. The rational mind will never comprehend the depths of consciousness and what we term “God.”



Susie April 3, 2014 at 4:45 pm

My friend and I have been reading about the building of Solomon ‘s Temple. But the Lord has shown me clearly about our body being the temple of the Lord’s and He bought us with a high price His Son Jesus Christ blood that was shed for us. I was looking at the people in 2nd Chronicles and how these men were chosen. and I started to look at lives and my own how God will choose ones that He knows that they will do what he has asked and not question it. I have been praying for the churches and God’s people that he will show them that they are not their own but they belong to to the Lord most high. I want to see God’s people blessed and to know how much God really loves them to dwell inside of them. I think that’s so awesome that we have his spirit living inside of us. And God gives us the gifts of the spirit as we ask. I was telling my friend that as we read and search God will open our eyes to His understanding even if its just little things. Because we our all learning and discovering everyday how real God is and His son Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit we trust in Him because He will guide you to all truths. I hope this is helpful to anyone who reads this. But that last thing is just know how much God loves us He cares for the sparrows how much more He will care for us. May God richly bless your Ministry and family.
God Bless


Joshua Tilghman April 4, 2014 at 7:49 pm

Thank you, Susie. Appreciate the comment!


Marilyn Sams April 16, 2014 at 6:20 pm

Dear Joshua: What are your sources for the size of Solomon’s Temple and Herod’s Temple?
In Josephus, Hecateus, an eye-witness of Solomon’s temple, gives an estimation that it measured
150 feet by 500 feet, and was located in the middle of the city (meaning the City of David/
Jerusalem, or the southeastern ridge). Josephus, an eye-witness of Herod’s temple, says
that it was about 600 feet square. He also says it was 600 feet high (150 feet underground and
450 feet above ground). Though his descriptions are not exactly clear, it appears that it was
Solomon’s temple which had this height originally, but the platform size was doubled in
Herod’s time (doubled from a Hasmonean expansion of Solomon’s temple). This height would be comparable to the pyramid of Giza, so it would have taken a great deal of labor and expense.
Josephus himself says on several occasions that it could hard be believed and the height of it
caused great dizziness and fear when viewed from above. It appears that you are thinking the
Herodian enclosure, which measures 1596 x 1040, x 922, 1556 feet is the measurement for Herod’s temple. That is because of the tradition that this edifice was the temple, though it in no way matches the descriptions of eye-witnesses for location, height, wall size, shape, number of gates,
etc. It is, in fact, Fort Antonia, the Roman camp which guarded the temple. Eleazar, the zealot
leader of the Masada group says so in War, VII, 8, 376. He also says the temple itself was dug up by its foundations, and later writers say the temple site became a stone quarry, a Roman farm, and
a dump site. The stones were used to build Hadrian’s Aelia Capitolina, among other things. There was no stone remaining from the temple, though there are over 10,000 stones in the Herodian enclosure today, which also has the size, location, and shape of a typical Roman camp, but is the
best preserved one in the world. No temple complex in the Greco-Roman world was the size of
the Herodian enclosure. From the accounts of eye-witnesses, Solomon’s temple was definitely


Joshua Tilghman May 19, 2014 at 9:18 pm


Thanks for your comment. I’m sorry for the late reply.

My sources are from the Bible itself. And to date, Solomon’s temple is yet to be found. Even if the temple were that big, why so many men and so long to build it. It’s still quite small. You are right that Herod’s temple was quite large for it’s day, but the reality is that it wasn’t anything compared to the Pyramids at Giza.

My point is not to diminish the size of Solomon’s Temple, but to ascertain it’s esoteric meaning as described in the Bible.

Thanks for your comment. You have inspired me to check more into Josephus’ account.


Dullah Bey April 20, 2014 at 6:24 pm

I love the information coming from this site and this what I needed to help me on my journey to the garden. I am truly grateful


Kym May 25, 2014 at 1:51 pm


Please help me find the next blogs on this subject. I can’t find them :(

Thank you so much!


David Gantt June 5, 2014 at 11:49 am

The Human Body and Temple or Tabernacle have a lot in common. Here are the facts: The Temple has three parts: Outer Court, Holy Place, Most Holy Place. The Outer is the Physical body, The Holy Place is the Soul, The Most Holy Place is the Head. It’s funny how the high priest meets Yahweh Elohim in the MHP aka your head.


David Gantt June 5, 2014 at 11:59 am

Yahweh Elohim created the world after himself ie the pattern. The pattern is revealed in multiforms. For example, water can be revealed in three forms like the temple: Gas-steam, Liquid-fluid, Solid-Ice. Steam(Most Holy Place), Fluid(Holy Place), Ice(Outer Court).


BV October 26, 2014 at 6:12 pm

It is true that there is some symbolism with regards to the Temple, it is also true that the Temple did exist.

Consider the following:
– There is no doubt that the Temple constructed by HEROD was real. The Temple that was (re)built by Zerubabbel was replaced by Herod’s Temple. The book of Ezra records that when Zerubbabel’s Temple was complete, some cried and some rejoiced. Those who cried did so because they remembered the glory of the first (SOLOMON’S) temple. No one questions Herod’s Temple. It makes sense that Zerubbabel’s Temple existed because Herod’s replaced it. If Zerubbabel’s Temple existed, we have no reason to doubt Ezra’s account of it. Ezra mentions eyewitnesses of the first Temple. Why would the people have cried over the remembrance of an imaginary (i.e. spiritual) temple?
– Why would King David have gone to such great lengths to prepare for an imaginary (spiritual) temple? Why would he instruct Solomon to build the Temple? Or are these conversations all “spiritual” as well? If the purpose was for just “spiritual” significance, wouldn’t it have made more sense for the author to have excluded David’s part in this altogether?
– Why are there numerous accounts of events that took place in the Temple if it wasn’t a literal temple (e.g. the murder of Zecharia and Athaliah)? What is the spiritual significance of all these events that take place in the Temple?
– If it was simply a spiritual temple, why are there so many different authors who imply that it was a literal building (i.e. the authors of 1 Kings, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, etc.).
– Jesus obviously believed Solomon’s Temple was real. He references the Queen of Sheba and Solomon. In that passage, the Queen of Sheba was amazed at the burnt offerings made at the Temple. I guess she would have been “amazed” to see burnt offerings being made at a non-existent temple! :)
– What spiritual significance would Solomon’s Temple provide that is not already provided by the Tabernacle of Moses? Why would anyone manufacture an imaginary temple if the Tabernacle already provided the same symbolism?
– If spiritual significance was the intent of the Biblical writers, would they have even proposed the idea of the Temple (since the Tabernacle described by Moses would have sufficed for such a purpose)?

Regarding the number of workers…
In addition to the Temple, these workers also completed Solomon’s palace, which was quite a bit larger than the Temple. Solomon also completed numerous other building projects. With so many large-scale building projects and the monumental task of moving so many heavy stones without the benefit of modern technology, it would have required a lot of manpower. Having 70,000 laborers and 80,000 stonecutters does not seem strange for several large projects requiring moving some very large, very heavy objects without the benefit of electricity, hydraulics or other modern technology to assist.

The Bible should be read based on each book’s genre. Some books are historical, others are poetry, others are apocalyptic, etc. The books containing the account of Solomon are historical narratives and should be read as such.


Joshua Tilghman December 27, 2014 at 12:52 pm


I do understand your intellectual position to believe that Solomon’s temple was literal. I once went through similar scenarios to justify this myself. Yes, Herod’s temple was literal. And yes, Jesus talked about Solomon’s temple. But are you sure Jesus was literal? Are you sure King David was literal? There’s no judgment from me any way you choose, but I recommend studying both sides of coin in detail before drawing any conclusions. Try it. You may be surprised at what you find.


Morry August 5, 2015 at 6:09 am

Hi Josh,
Cool site. Your psychological insights are a nice counter to traditions, but I’m sorry to say you really sidestepped BV’s argument entirely. Not even a nod there old chap. BV’s historical “belief” is based in ancient MSS dispersed in major museum collections throughout the world. Long before you or I were born these MSS were compiled into a single text, then translated and printed by a publisher in book form and sold. You and I bought one at the end of that centuries-long process. Now we hear it was all in their imaginations for 1000 years. With your permission, I’d like to back up to BV’s ad absurdum argument with three positive ones.

1. The Historical temple was uniformly in Jesus’ actual experience three times a year, and Paul’s, and Peter’s, and every first century writer and reader. You deny this because it’s not your experience. That’s understandable, you weren’t there. But the same can be said of Magogo Island. Something is not untrue simply because we can’t see it.

2. The Historical temple was essential to progressive understanding. There could be no antitypical temple without a typical temple. In other words you can’t produce a perfect cookie without a cookie cutter. The Tabernacle (skene) was the actual cookie cutter on which Solomon’s temple was based, the same cutter on which the ideational New Jerusalem was modelled. You propose a purely Logical cookie with no Material precedent in human history. This part of your theory skips the essential development of human conscious from lower stages to higher. Denying history chops off your theory’s epistemological legs because there is no prior valid comparison. Without precedent there is no objective basis for your model save analogy.

3. The temple’s history was the essential basis of Jesus’ historical testimony; for; “Jesus testimony is the spirit of prophecy,” (Rev 19:10. Oh, and I think it was Emerson who said: “Jesus is not found in history, He is Ploughed Into history.”) If there was no historical temple what is the basis of His future temple prophecy? (Mtt 24.) See my point Josh? There MUST be a material start point for the readership to compare it with – some fact, otherwise Jesus testimony is based on a lie and His prophecy meaningless. This does no justice to His testimony, which was offered in factum, for testimony has respect to facts, (what is said or done, an act) and all true knowledge derives from the observation and comparison of facts. Your theory cannot save the appearances of the facts nor, it seems, is it accountable to the historical data. We can’t be expected to believe the Jews just milled in circles for 1000 years on your say-so, when the ancient kings record they attended feasts at the temple tri-annually. This would entail rewriting 1500 years of documented national history. Objective theories need more substance than this.

In sum, while I agree with your pretty cool metaphysical conclusions, (we need more first-principles analysis Josh.) reasonable people consider Rational Process. Your theory is questionable on three grounds. (1) Because it challenges documented history with simple verbal denial; A is not A. (2) Because it dismisses the Objective and Logical architecture (the precedent) of the prophets: A = B = C, where A is the tabernacle, B Solomon’s temple and C the New Jerusalem. Denying A & B leaves your C hanging by its fingernails to mere analogy. (3) Because it denies Jesus’ own factual testimony; Jesus’ A is not A. This makes He and every other prophet a false prophet to protect your analogical theory – your word against theirs.

Alternatively a first century model explains the end of the temple in terms of Josephus WARS, (I read every page twice. Terribly sad.) and the apocalyptic extinction of 1500 years of Mosaic civilization in 1260 days, or 42 months, or 3 1/2 years from 66 to 70 AD by the 5th 10th 12th and 15th legions of Vespasian and Titus.

At that point the temple disappears from history, and THEN your theories have great validity and power. The ‘Third temple” is, as you rightly point out, the Human Heart, regulated by the Law of the Heart and Mind. Like in Maths, it’s not enough to have the right answers, but to show the process is objective and rational.
All the best.
Preterist Lab.


Joshua Tilghman August 5, 2015 at 10:11 am


Thank you for your thoughtful comment. You have made some good points, but I think your argument can be made using other tabernacles and temples that we KNOW were historical because they left archeological evidence unlike the Biblical temples. For example, consider ‘Ain Dara Temple in northern Syria. Why couldn’t that serve as a model? Why do you believe former models have to come from the Bible itself?


joy anne December 7, 2014 at 9:32 am

Very well explained


Joshua Tilghman December 9, 2014 at 8:32 pm

Thanks, Joy!


Autumn February 21, 2015 at 9:03 am

How we respond to Jesus is the most important factor of life, whether we love him or hate him, cling to him in faith or reject him. Salvation comes by no other name. Any learning or path of knowledge that causes me to reduce Jesus to a figurative character is very suspicious. At that point I would then have to reduce heaven and hell to figurative and symbolic places. The bible portrays two options for the future. By default I can expect hell, or by placing my faith in Jesus I gain the promise of heaven. If this was all figurative, the bible would be as useful as a child’s fairytale book. One does not have to be mindless to accept the literal truths of the bible. Christianity is able to satisfy even the most brilliant minds. I disagree with your interpretation that Solomon’s temple is figurative; however, it is most alarming that such a method of bible study can so quickly move from questioning historic architecture to questioning the existence of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ. I am very comfortable accepting that the Old Testament references to the temple and Isaac/Ishmael were literal, which made them good symbols for the allegories in the New Testament. We do that all the time, right? It is logical to compare something difficult to understand (the Holy Spirit living in the believer) with something tangible and well known (the temple building). I have no difficulty accepting that certain teachings in the bible can be meant both literally and figuratively. However, no one in the bible ever claims that Jesus was a figurative character. Secular, first-hand, historical accounts confirm that Jesus was a real person. You seem willing to accept that the bible is literal when it claims that the Holy Spirit lives within the believer, and yet Jesus is the one who sent the Holy Spirit to us. I know this post is about the temple, but I am alarmed that in order to defend your position on this minor architecture point you so quickly had to reduce the Son of God to a figurative character. That should be a red flag that something is wrong here.


Mike Sheller March 24, 2015 at 5:32 pm

It is my own understanding after much reading of scripture, personal study, and free thought, that Solomon’s Temple was the perfect immortal physical body that all scripture calls one, in effect, to prepare one’s self for. It may take several lifetimes for the development and purification that will be necessary for such a transition, but it is the ultimate goal of all of us. May I strongly suggest the book THINKING AND DESTINY by Harold Percival – an important work that sheds light on many important things. As it may be hard to find it may be ordered from the website of its publisher The Word Foundation. Please do not suppose this is a “religion” oriented work, though much of what it presents might enlighten a reader as to how and why religion emerged for mankind. My Best to you and all who may read this note.


Morry August 6, 2015 at 3:46 am

Hi Josh,

1. BV raised seven evidence-based ad absurdum arguments. No reply.

2. I raised three arguments. ‘A is not A’; ‘C derives from neither A nor B, therefore C is subjective’; and your ‘B is not A’ makes Jesus and every bible author false witnesses except yourself. No reply.

3. New objection; ‘Ain Dara Temple. Unfortunately this is also fatal to your theory. All Four archaelologists who investigated it, (King, Stager, Long, Monson) ALL conclude: “It is the closest parallel to the TEMPLE OF SOLOMON.” which you deny existed. ]

4. You ask; “Why do you [Morry] believe former models have to come from the Bible itself?” It’s a bit like asking why I believe rainwater comes from clouds. Simply because there is no other source. (Exodus 25 Tabernacle; 1 Kings 7ff Temple) Also the most ancient historical authorities affirm the same. (Josephus ANTIQUITIES 3:6; Tabernacle. 8:3; Temple. WARS 5:4:1 “David was the father of Solomon who built the temple.”) This evidence is based on undefeated reasons. (I have no axe to grind.) Neither are there any contemporary refutations from the same milieu. What you or I Think carries no substantive weight.

5. The difference between us is basic. BV and my arguments are Evidence–Based on ancient authorities; ‘Evidentially A is probably A’. Yours is Conjectural-Personal; ‘I believe A is not A.’ Reliable theories are evidence-based.

6. This raises the spectre of bias Josh. Denying clear ancient testimony hurts your esoteric arguments, which are based on analogy and neat reasoning. Your ideas shift power away from institutionalized dogma to the individual, with which I wholeheartedly agree. Mere denial raises the issue of balance. In my opinion your arguments can stand alone without denying history. In fact I think your first-principles approach is the Logical Outcome of cumulative historical ideas; ‘line upon line, a little here and a little there.’ The historical tabernacle and temple gives the semantic and epistemological basis for a philosophy of the Individual, the exemplar (or ‘cookie cutter’) on which your subsequent conclusions are patterned. This then gives them an empirical basis which makes them roll on Fact as well as Logic and Relevance.

Kindest regards,


Joshua Tilghman August 6, 2015 at 9:17 am


Thanks again for your reply.

I didn’t address BV’s argument because we see too differently and no amount of argument is going to get either one of us anywhere. BV believes the Bible was written to be taken literally, whereas I do not. Using other books of the Bible to prove or support other individual books doesn’t work for me. True, the Bible has a lot of history in it. It uses historical names and places to dramatize the human condition, but I do not believe the authors, mystics, ever wanted us to believe the Bible itself was literal history.

You stated that the Ain Dara Temple is also fatal to my theory. Not really. It was built BEFORE Solomon’s Temple. Would God pattern His temple from Pagan templates?

The Tabernacle as well? There is much evidence to suggest that the dimensions and building construction of the Tabernacle and Solomon’s Temple were borrowed from prior cultures.

If you want to prove your point, it is dangerous for you to use scholarly research to support your answers. While it is true that most mainstream scholars do not deny the existence of Solomon’s Temple, it is also true that these same scholars do not believe it was constructed by a man named Solomon that wielded as much power and authority as the Bible describes, just as they deny the Exodus really happened. Most scholars agree that while the Bible is full of history, it’s stories are overblown and exaggerated, therefore mainstream scholars do not support a literal interpretation of the Bible. Sure, there are a few, but there are always going to be supporters with individual bias that stand on both sides of the fence.

My point is this: perhaps there is a literal temple that the scriptures are referring to. Perhaps a man named Solomon had it built. But the account in the scripture is not meant to be taken literal, because the story’s importance is about US, not a literal building. There is no way it took seven years and all that material to construct a temple the size the Bible mentions. The Bible exaggerates all the design because the numbers and pattern after which it was built is SYMBOLIC of US. The original authors were not trying to convince us that Solomon was literal. It’s allegory, just as Paul tells us in Galatians that the story of Abraham and Sarah and their seed in an allegory.

The Exodus with the Tabernacle is also allegory. Maybe the Exodus story is based on a small group of Hyskos that were expelled from Egypt, but 2 million people and their livestock did not leave Egypt when the estimated population for Egypt at that time is 3.5 million. We could go on and on.

The truth is, I respect all opinions. You seem like a very intelligent person and you could probably give me a lot of return arguments that I would again have to debate. We both could do this, but it probably won’t change our positions. The important thing is we both realize the value of the symbols in the story.

Thanks again, Morray. Blessings my friend.

P.S. Your comments have inspired another article for me though, which I am still deciding whether to write or not. If it’s alright with you, I will use all of your first comments and go in to detail with a reply in order to make some points about why the Bible doesn’t need to be literal in order for it to have value. Would that be okay with you?


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