Monday, November 12, 2018

Update on Temple Mount 'Sinkholes'

You may have read of the problems of  a 'sinking' of some pathways located on the Temple Mount.

I primed that story and provided pictures from a WhatsApp group of Temple Mount activists.

Well, the situation now looks like this:

More here and a YouTube clip.


Anonymous said...


We’ve all heard for years the Jews moaning about their “slavery” in Egypt and their forced labor in Germany’s Concentration camps; but they NEVER tell you that Jews used forced labor to build their “holy” Temple!


As I was reading the account of Solomon building the temple designed by his father, David (1 King 4–9), I did a double-take. An odd sentence caused me to jolt to a stop and read again.

“Now this is the account of the forced labor which King Solomon levied to build the house of the Lord”. (1 King 9:15)

Whoa—Jews used forced labor to build their Temple!

This seems like a paradox. The Jewish God filled the temple when it was complete (1 King 8:10–11) and consecrated it (1 King 9:3). From that, we could infer that the temple was pleasing to to the Jewish God. By extension, is slavery, too? Does the end justify the means?

That can’t be right.

I reread it several times, and looked up the Hebrew word to make sure I had it right. The Complete Word Study Dictionary: Old Testament defines the Hebrew word for “forced labor” as follows:

A masculine noun designating forced labor or service, tribute. It refers to labor forced on someone or service demanded, usually by the state; usually overseen by a foreman or task-master. 1

Yep, that sounds like slave labor to me.

The slave labor is mentioned earlier in the book, when Solomon assembles his workers:

“Now King Solomon levied forced laborers from all Israel; and the forced laborers numbered 30,000 men”. (1 King 5:13)

There may have been many more forced workers than that; he goes on to mention 80,000 hewers of stone, and 70,000 transporters. In all, the number of people drafted to build the temple that were most likely slaves add up to 180,000 (1 King 5:13–16).
That’s almost 100 times the population of my hometown.

Of the slaves, the text tells us they were not Israelites, but captives from nations that Israel had previously fought:

“As for all the people who were left of the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, who were not of the sons of Israel, their descendants who were left after them in the land whom the sons of Israel were unable to destroy utterly, from them Solomon levied forced laborers, even to this day”. (1 King 9:19–20)

When Solomon turns from God in chapter 11, God warns him that he will tear the kingdom out of the hands of his son, Rehoboam (1 King 11:12). The construct of slavery may have been at the root of the kingdom dividing under Rehoboam’s rule.

In chapter 12, a character named Jeroboam—who previously served Solomon, rebelled, and skipped the country to hide — returns and approaches king Rehoboam to ask him to ease off on the intense labor demands (1 King 12:2–5). He’s speaking on behalf of Israelites, whose main complaint is conscripted labor.

Here’s where Rehoboam gets all macho, and says things like “My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist!” (1 King 12:10)

He responds to a plea for the suffering people with:

“You think my dad was tough? Just you wait.”

Rehoboam sends his head slave-driver, Adoniram, off to discipline the people (you think whips are bad … how about scorpions?).Adoniram was over Solomon’s forced labor back when he was building the temple (1 King 5:14), and he’s still in that position for Rehoboam.

That’s when the kingdom disintegrates. The people stone Adoniram to death, and all of Israel (except the tribe of Judah) abandons Rehoboam and follows Jeroboam as their king.

So did the kingdom divide because of slavery? Perhaps that was one reason—but it’s probably more accurate to say that the oppressive leadership of Rehoboam was the last straw for most of Israel.

Does this passage tell us what the Jewish God thinks of slavery?

Anonymous said...


1 KINGS 11:1-11
11 Now King Solomon loved so many foreign women, besides the daughter of Pharaoh—Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites— 2 from the nations of whom Adonai had said to the children of Israel: “You shall not associate with them nor they associate with you, for surely they would turn your heart away after their gods.” Solomon clung to them for love. 3 So he had 700 wives as princesses and 300 concubines—and his women led his heart astray. 4 For it came about, as Solomon grew old, that his wives led his heart away after other gods, so that his heart was no longer wholly devoted to Adonai his God, unlike the heart of his father David. 5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. 6 So Solomon did what was evil in the sight of Adonai and did not fully follow after Adonai, unlike his father David.
7 At that time Solomon also built a high place for Chemosh, the detested thing of Moab, on the mountain near Jerusalem, as well as for Molech the detested thing of the children of Ammon. 8 Thus he did for all his foreign wives, who were burning incense and offering sacrifices to their gods.
9 So Adonai became angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from Adonai, the God of Israel—who had appeared to him twice. 10 He had commanded him about this, that he should not go after other gods, yet he did not keep what Adonai had commanded. 11 So Adonai said to Solomon: “Since you have done this and did not keep My covenant and My statutes that I commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant.