King Jeroboam’s temple



In the fifth year of Rehoboam, the Kingdom of Solomon split. The ten northern tribes set up the Kingdom of Israel under Jeroboam, while Rehoboam was left to rule over the Kingdom of Judah, which consisted of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. To prevent the people from going to Jerusalem during the feast days, Jeroboam made two golden calves and put them in temples, one in Bethel and one in Dan (1Kings 12:28,29). The temple in Bethel has not yet been found, but the one in Dan survived and has been excavated.
In this reconstruction drawing, we see the temple for the golden calf in the centre of the courtyard, with a stairway leading up to it. In front of the temple was an altar, while other rooms were arranged around the sanctuary.
The site of Dan was a already a centre for idol worship in the time of the Judges, when a graven image was set up by Jonathan, a grandson of Moses, who was made a priest (Judges 18.30). In the time of Christ, Dan was called Caesarea Philippi, and again was a place where foreign gods, Zeus and Pan, were worshipped.