The temple of Solomon at Jerusalem, the only known monumental structure of the ancient Hebrews, consisted, according to biblical descriptions, of entrance pylons, courts, and a naos, a large rectangular chamber, giving entrance to the holy of holies, which housed the Ark of the Covenant. Its several destructions and reconstructions (one by Herod in 20 B.C.) have rendered unrecognizable any remains of the original edifice. The workmanship, characteristically Phoenician, was of stone, timber, and metal. The temple of Herod, to which Jesus went, was destroyed A.D. 70; its ruins have symbolized to the Jews their dispersion.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.