3D model: Solomon’s Temple Explained

Just over two years ago, I wrote a post, reporting on a 3D model of Solomon’s Temple, created by Daniel Smith. Last week he told me that he had just released a new video, which is called “Solomon’s Temple Explained”. He is happy for me to share it with you.

Solomon’s Temple stood in Jerusalem for almost 400 years. It was the crown jewel of Jerusalem, and the center of worship to the Lord. Understanding the significance of its location, history, and design can greatly add to one’s reverence for one of the most holy places in the world,

Special thanks to: Brian Olson for the beautiful 3D Solomon Temple renders. Michael Lyon for his design elements and feedback of the Temple model. Leen Ritmeyer for his excellent books and personal help. Cantorum Chamber Choir for allowing me to use their music.

This excellent new video begins by explaining the topography of Jerusalem and how the City of Solomon’s location was determined by the surrounding mountains and valleys. The topographical and biblical importance of Mount Moriah is explained.

The expansion of the City of Jerusalem in the time Solomon.

The video includes a section on the Tabernacle which served as a blueprint for Solomon’s Temple. After showing that Solomon built the Temple on Mount Moriah where David previously had purchased the threshingfloor of Araunah the Jebusite, he goes back to the Book of Genesis and explains the symbology of the events that took place in the Garden of Eden.

The design of Solomon’s Temple was based on the Tabernacle, shown here in the foreground.

The video then shows that Solomon’s Temple replicated the same three-level progression as found in the Garden of Eden and the Tabernacle. The ultimate aim of its design was to show how people could return to God. The video ends with the Sacrifice of Christ.

3D model of Solomon's Temple.
3D model of Solomon’s Temple.

19 thoughts on “3D model: Solomon’s Temple Explained”

  1. Herodian rosettes on the doors and walls ?

    If they only could see the true sacrifice and greatness of their true king, Leen

    Matthew 13:16 “blessed are your eyes, for they see”

  2. In 2Chronicles 3:4 the vestibule in front of the nave was 120 cubits in height but I do not see that on this model can you explain why?

  3. Simon,
    It is true that Chronicles states that the Porch was 120 cubits high. However, it seems to be impossibly high. Josephus writes that Herod wanted to add 20 cubits to the new 100 cubit high Temple, but failed. The building technology in Herod’s time was more advanced than in the time of King Hezekiah. The Septuagint states in 2Chronicles 3:4 that the Porch was 25 cubits high, which appears too low. So, in my drawing I went for a happy medium.

  4. Daniel,
    You are probably thinking of Exo. 20:26, “you shall not go up by steps to my altar”, which should be interpreted as steps of a ladder.
    It is interesting to see that Ezek 43:17 states: “The steps of the altar shall face east.” It has all got to do with the incline, I suppose;

  5. Leen: Agreed. Certainly the Temple altar described in Ezekiel 43 has stairs (and those stairs also face toward the EAST, not SOUTH) but then, Ezekiel’s ‘visionary’ architecture describes something future (or put another way, unbuilt in history) whereas the Temples of Solomon/Ezra/Herod were actually built in history following the requirements of the Torah. Exodus 20 clearly states that the (Mishkan) altar must have no stairs and this law applied to the later Temples.

    It is amazing to me how for over and over, for years artisans and modelers of these structures (most always Christians by the way) continue to illustrate these Solomonic or Herodian Temple altars with stairs! These erroneous images then get published in atlases, journals, commentaries, study Bibles etc. It is so unfortunate. Details like this are important, particularly when we (as Christians) seek to appear knowledgeable concerning the very centerpiece of Jewish religious culture. It is a mistake to NOT get it right.

  6. Daniel, the emphasis in Exo 20:26 is that the priest’s nakedness should not be seen. The word “ma’alot” literally means “goings up”, and can apply to a ladder or staircase. It is true that the Mishan refers to a ramp, but the description of Solomon’s Temple mentions neither steps nor ramp. As you say, Ezekiel’s Temple has of course not be built yet, but the plan of the inner complex that measures 500×500 cubits is based on reality, as that was the size of the Temple Mount Ezekiel knew. I have no problems with steps leading up to the altar as long as they are not too steep.

  7. what is the purpose of telling us the details of how Solomon’s house was built? And as well why is this in the Bible?

  8. The details of the archaeological evidence of Solomon’s Temple are there to illuminate the biblical text. It shows that if the Bible is accurate about the Temple description, we can trust the rest of the Bible as well.
    Why is this in the Bible? It was a sign that God would dwell with his people, as He said in 1 Kings 6:13: “I will dwell among the children of Israel and will not forsake my people Israel.” It was, of course, symbolic as Solomon recognized: “will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built!” (1 Kings 8:27). It teaches us that God is a real God that wants us to worship Him.

  9. If the 3rd Temple is to be built in the City of David, which is to the south of the Temple Mount, in all actuality, there will be no conflict with the Muslim Mosque now standing on the Temple Mount. Would this be a correct assumption?

  10. I believe the Bible and archaeological evidence, rather than fake news. It says in 2 Chron. 3:1 that Solomon built the Temple on Mount Moriah, which is not in the City of David. 2 Chron. 5:2 tells us that when Solomon had finished building the Temple, he brought UP the Ark of the Covenant OUT of the City of David. There never was a temple in the City of David and there never will be one. No Jew or Muslim will ever agree with this incorrect assumption.

  11. Thank you so very much for your biblical insight. Where do you propose the 3rd temple will be built and not cause another Holy war? Will YHWH intervene?

  12. The 3rd Temple will be built on the original Temple site, that is on Mount Moriah. Zecharia 14:4 proves that. It willl certainly need the intervention of YHWH and that will happen when Jesus, the Jewish Messiah will return.

  13. Hello,

    This is really awesome. Thank you for posting. I am studying the Old Testament for the first time and have a ton questions but will ask just two:)

    Do you know…

    1. Would women have been allowed to worship at the temple? Or would they have been separated? Could women serve in the temple or was that only for males?

    2. Where is the Ark of the Covenant now?

    Thank you for any help,


  14. Hi Amanda, in the 1st century women were initially allowed to worship together with the men in the court in front of the Temple, but afterwards colonnades were built around this court and women were allowed to watch from on top.That is why this court is called the Court of the Women. The court around the Temple was used by male priests only.
    If you hear of the whereabouts of the Ark of the Covenant, please let me know.

  15. Amanda,

    “Where is the Ark of the Covenant now?” Good question. Depends on who you ask of course, and there are a number of speculative answers. Take your pick:

    (a) Many will tell you the Ark was lost to history back in ancient times, perhaps taken to Babylon circa 586BCE, and likely destroyed for its precious gold; (b) Some rabbis in Israel will tell you the Ark is safely hidden under the Temple Mount in Jerusalem; (c) Some recent interpreters of the Copper Scroll claim the Ark could very well be buried along with other Temple treasures at Qumran near the Dead Sea; (d) According to a reading of 2 Maccabees 2, the Ark is listed as being buried in a discreet cave at “the mountain where Moses had gone up and had seen the inheritance of God,” which is Mount Nebo, in Jordan; (e) then there is the somewhat convoluted, Abyssinian Orthodox church’s deeply held tradition, that the Ark was supernaturally brought down to Ethiopia in the latter days of King Solomon’s reign in United Israel (so before 900 BCE), spirited away from Jerusalem by Solomon’s own son from an earlier liaison with the Queen of Sheba. Menelik and his men deceived King Solomon and the priests and took the Ark down to East Africa. It has been stored there in a couple of locations over the ensuing centuries and is today, so the Orthodox strongly believe, enshrined out of sight in a small chapel in Aksum, Ethiopia under the singular care of the Guardian of the Ark. No one ever sees the Ark, except this one man. No one is admitted to the interior of the chamber where it is stored. There are no photos. It’s all very mysterious; (f) Then, there is the ancient city of Tanis in NE Egypt. This is the basis of the ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ movie. The Ark was taken from Jerusalem by an Egyptian military foray, under Pharaoh Shishak. The Temple was raided. Now, thus far, this is historical fact. What comes after is speculation . . . items (including the Ark?) were brought to the Egyptian treasure city of Tanis and discreetly buried. (Enter Steven Spielberg) This is why the Ark was there, to be found, by Indiana Jones in the late 1930s; and finally, (g) there is a wide spectrum of minimalist ‘scholars’ who simply dismiss a literal reading of the Bible concerning the Ark of Israel. Academics have in various ways relegated the legend of the Ark to either blatant fiction or cultural myths and exaggerations based on (when it comes down to it) insufficient evidence.

    More could be written here, but that about sums up a fair answer to your question. Basically, it is complicated. No one knows where the Ark is. No one has confirmed ANY of the claims listed above, hence Leen’s playful answer. Hope this is helpful.

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