Glimpses of Israel - Temple Mount and Past Glories

by Joseph Hunting

Three thousand years ago what was to become the Temple Mount was the threshing floor of a Canaanite named Araunah. King David purchased the threshing floor for an altar, and this holy place later was the site of the magnificent Temple built by Solomon.

The cost of building the temple was astronomical. The Illinois Society of Architects estimated the following in 1925. Apart from salaries agreed upon by Solomon and a bonus amounting to over $33,000,000 the vast army of workmen was $344,385,440.

Materials other than gold reached the staggering figure of $12,726,685,000! The talents of silver and gold used in the Temple's construction were estimated at the colossal sum of $34,399,110,000. And the total cost of Solomon's Temple reached $87,000,000,000. According to present day dollar valuation this figure would be many times greater.

Historians believe the Temple built by Zerubbabel after the Babylonian exile was a much humbler construction. It was the building genius of Herod the Great that resulted in the magnificent structure that was still incomplete in the time of Christ. When finished Herod's Temple was one on the wonders of the ancient world.

All that remains of Jerusalem's past glory on the Temple Mount is the retaining wall left by the Roman general Titus as a memorial to the military might of Rome.