History of The First Holy Temple in Jerusalem
The First Holy Temple, the Temple of King Solomon, was built in 957 BCE. The King who reigned from 970-930 BCE received the task of building the Temple instead of his father King David, who received the order to build, originally, from the Divine, however, after a life of warfare with his enemies, albeit righteous, his hands were too stained with blood. After unifying all of Israel, David brought the Ark to the new capital, Jerusalem, with the intention of building a temple there. He bought a threshing floor for the site, however, as mentioned, had to hand the Holy task down to his son.
King Solomon demanded the aid of King Hiram of Tyre to provide him with skilled craftsmen and quality materials. A special inner room, during the construction, named in Hebrew Kodesh Hakodashim (The Holy of Holies), was prepared to receive and house the Ark of the Covenant; and when the First Temple was dedicated, the Ark—containing the Tablets of Stone was placed in it.
Recent archaeology attests to the possibility that this temple was the continuation of an earlier Jebusite sanctuary, actually predating the Israelite conquest of Jerusalem. It stood for some 410 years and, according to the 2nd-century book: Seder Olam Rabbah, estimates construction was finalized in 832 BCE and destruction in 422 BCE – that is 165 years later than secular estimates. The main source of information, however, on the First Temple is the Old Testament (Sefer Shmuel, Melacim, Toldot).
In the era of the Kingdom of Judah, the Temple was dedicated to the God of Israel, and it housed the Ark of the Covenant. The Book of Kings describes in great detail the set arrangements for the refurbishment in the time of King Joash of Judah – during the 9th century BCE. The Temple was looted by Joash of Israel in the early 8th century and then, once again by King Ahaz late in the 8th century. King Ahaz also made the installation of some cultic innovations in the Temple which were abhorrent to the author of 1-2 Kings.
The Temple also figures into the account of King Hezekiah, who turned Judah away from idols; then later in that very same century King Hezekiah was confronted with a siege by the evil Assyrian king Sennacherib. Finally, King Solomon’s House of God was plundered by the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar. The Babylonians attacked Zion and burned the Temple in 597 BCE, along with most of Jerusalem.