ATA – a temple before Solomon?

ataINQUIRY:
Was there a temple of the LORD before Solomon’s reign (Judges 18:31; 1 Samuel 1:9, 20; 3:3) or not (1 Chronicles 28:2-7; 1 Kings 6:14)? Is there a contradiction?

RESPONSE:
Since 1 Kings 6:14 clearly states that Solomon built the house of God. Before his time, there was no solid and permanent temple in Israel.

However, as indicated in the verses supplied by the questioner (and in other texts), there was a place of worship and sacrifice available before the temple in Jerusalem. And, in the KJV, the word temple is used in 1 Samuel 1:9 and 1 Samuel 3:3, though Judges 18:31 speaks of the “house of God” which was at Shiloh.

These references are not the solid, immovable structure which would eventually be built by Solomon in Jerusalem, but rather to the tent or tabernacle which was built by Moses. When the Hebrews wandered, it would be packed up and carried from place to place; and eventually was set up in Shiloh. The NKJV uses the word tabernacle in the texts in question.

The Hebrew word heykel simply refers to a large public building. The same word is used in 1 Kings 6, though not in v 14 (there it is the word bayith, which is commonly translated house). Solomon built the solid, enduring house or temple; whereas there was a tent, a tabernacle beforehand that was also referred to as the house of God.

There is no contradiction.


A response to 1001 Bible Contradictions.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Answering The Atheist. Bookmark the permalink.