A Selection from the Preface
The Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem is the intersection between Heaven and Earth, the dwelling place of the Lord among His peoples. It was built when ancient Israel was at the peak of its political and spiritual power by its wisest and greatest king. It was destroyed four centuries later when the cumulative burden of national disobedience to the commands of the Lord left Israel in a state of spiritual, ethical, political, and military weakness.
The plans and materials for Solomon’s Temple were collected by his father David, warrior king of the Jews. The Temple housed the golden Ark of the Covenant, the powerful home of the two Tablets of the Law carved directly by the hand of God when He met with Moses on Mount Sinai. The Ark had remained in the Tabernacle, an elaborately constructed ritual tent, for some four hundred years before it found its resting place in the Holy of Holies of the Temple.
The Temple was built upon the foundation stone of the world (even shetiyya). Untold aeons ago, a spark from the heavens created a speck of matter, the first in the region of space now known as earth. And from that minute particle grew the world. Three thousand years ago, that stone was the foundation of the Temple of Solomon. Today it is enclosed by the Muslim shrine, the Dome of the Rock.
The Temple Mount atop Mount Moriah in Jerusalem is regarded as a holy place by the three great monotheistic faiths of the descendants of Abraham—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The second century A.D. Jewish Roman general and historian Josephus, in speaking of Abraham’s revelation, said this, “. . . he began to have higher notions of virtues than others had . . . for he was the first that ventured to publish this notion: That there was but one God, the Creator of the universe; and that, as to other [gods], if they contributed anything to the happiness of men, that each of them afforded it only according to his appointment, and not by their own power.”
It was on Mount Moriah that God tested Abraham’s faith by commanding him to sacrifice his beloved son Isaac, and which He repeatedly sanctified throughout the Bible as His dwelling place on earth; here where Jesus spoke with the Rabbis as a child, later ejected the moneychangers, then preached his reformation of the severity of the monotheism of his forebears; and here, where six centuries later, Muhammad met with Moses and Jesus in a vision before ascending on his fiery steed through the heavens.
The site of Solomon’s Temple became the headquarters of the divine warriors of the Crusades, the Knights Templar, sworn to protect the Holy City of their faith. Countless legends and rumors have come down through the centuries about the Order’s relation to the site and the secrets they may have uncovered there.
The building of the Temple of Solomon is the founding myth of Freemasonry. The craftsmen directed by Master Mason Hiram Abiff labored to erect the perfectly proportioned mystical edifice that would house and celebrate the presence of the Lord. Who else but the most skilled and spiritual artisan/adepts could be entrusted with such a task?
The Temple of Solomon remains as important today as the day it was completed in 960 B.C. It is a fundamental component of the spiritual and religious yearnings of millions of people, and has been the symbolic focus of the teachings of esoteric societies for three thousand years.
From Ancient Israel to Secret Societies
Praise for The Temple of Solomon
For those of all faiths or none, layman or specialist alike, this erudite and eminently informative book is a comprehensive, readable survey of the history of the Temple of Solomon—one of Western culture's most important buildings. It is replete with fascinating reflection and objective historical detail. A visual cornucopia, its beautiful illustrations take the reader further towards the heart and soul of the timeless wisdom of Solomon today.
A journey not to be missed; highly recommended. —Karen Ralls, Ph.D., Oxford, UK; author of The Templars and the Grail, and The Knights Templar Encyclopedia
At a time when the Bible is no longer the centerpiece of a sound education, James Wasserman provides a great service to the reader by keeping the story of the Holy Temple firmly fixed in the narrative of the Scriptures. In so doing, he insures that the significance of the Temple, past and present, cannot easily be glossed over as a historical curiosity. From the Books of Moses to the vision of the New Jerusalem, from the Crusades of the Knights Templar to the esoteric interpretations of Freemasonry, the evolution and meaning of the Temple is revealed in a rich matrix of history, hope, faith and personal Spiritual Experience. It is this latter component that gives this book such immediacy. With genuine passion, James Wasserman demonstrates that historicity—while vital to our knowledge of the subject—is far less important than coming to understand that the Holy of Holies lies within the human heart, and that the Temple of God is the body of the flesh that beareth it.
—J. Daniel Gunther, author of Initiation in the Aeon of the Child
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