What Did Solomon’s Temple Look Like? Answers from Ain Dara

The exact design of the Solomonic Temple as described in 1 Kings 6 and 2 Chronicles 3 has been illuminated by an important excavation at Ain Dara in northwestern Syria.

View of the Entrance to the Neo-Hittite Temple at Ain Dara

Ain Dara is located 40 mi. northwest of Aleppo

Ain Dara is a large (60! acre [24 ha.]) tell located in northwestern Syria—40 mi. [65 km.] northwest of Aleppo.  It was occupied from the Chalcolithic (fourth millennium B.C.) to the Ottoman period (A.D. 1517–1917).

One of the most interesting group of finds are a series of temples that existed from roughly 1300 to 740 B.C.  John Monson has argued that this temple exhibits over 60 parallels to Solomon’s Temple as described in the biblical text.

One of the Winged Creatures (Cherub?) Guarding the Entrance to the Temple at Ain Dara

For a great article on the parallels between the temple at Ain Dara and Solomon’s Temple see the article by John Monson “The New ‘Ain Dara Temple: Closest Solomonic Parallel.”  Biblical Archaeology Review vol. 26, no. 3 (May/June, 2000): 20–35, 67.

For additional high resolution images of this important temple, provided by Mark Connally,  Click Here.


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