The Temple of Solomon: From Ancient Israel To Secret Societies by James Wasserman
( Inner Traditions, 2011)
Jim Wasserman’s The Temple of Solomon is an extensive history of the biblical structure which dominates Jerusalem. The author was able to spend many weeks in Israel and the Palestinian territories as he took notes and photographs of the area where the temple stood and the events related to it took place.
The book has many excellent drawings and photographs of representations of the temple and biblical events. Several of the author’s family members contributed to the diagrams as well. As a picture book, it is indispensable.
Most of Temple is a tour of the bible and how it relates to the story of Israel. Wasserman even includes the Maccabees and other books not accepted as canonical by protestant Christian churches.
An example of the writing style of Wasserman can be found in this section about the reign of King David:
“The Ammonite war next claimed David’s attention; it was brought to a successful conclusion. However, the curses continued to mount as prophesied. David’s daughter Tamar, the full-sister of Absalom, was raped by her half-brother Amnon, David’s eldest son and the crown prince. Amnon had been encouraged to this horrific behavior by his cousin. After the rape, Amnon was filled with loathing for Tamar and cast her away into a state of mourning. David learned of this crime and was enraged. Absalom was filled with hatred, and after waiting two years, took his revenge and killed Amnon. When news of this came to David, he was mistakenly told that all his sons had been killed. “Then the king arose, and tare his garments, and lay on the earth” (2 Samuel 13:31). While Absalom had fled, David’s other sons returned and all the family and servants wept together. David mourned every day of the three years that Absalom remained in hiding.“
The details of the temple and how they relate to the modern era don’t come into play until the end of the book. There is a lengthy discussion of the role of the temple in masonic rites, but not much more that the standard descriptions. Again, this is a book to be treasured for its photographs and pictures.
The book ends with a section entitled “Is There a Solution?” the violence in the Middle East. Wasserman puts it this way:
“The biblical importance of Jerusalem as the religious and political capital of the land of Israel for three thousand years seems to be lost on diplomats who insist on a partition of both Israel and Jerusalem in the interests of “fairness.” Their fantasies of peace will continue to fail unless and until they acknowledge Jerusalem’s non-negotiable place in Jewish religious and national life—as the home of the Temple, the center of the Promised Land.”
Click on this picture for the Amazon Kindle edition: