Temple Worship

King Solomon’s greatest achievement during his reign (c. 970-930 BC) was the building of the Temple for the Israelite god Yahweh. Prior to the building of the Temple, the cult of Yahweh had been conducted in the Tabernacle, a portable tent structure wherein sacrifices were made and which housed the Ark of the Covenant. Sacrifice lied at the heart of Yahwist religion, and different kinds of sacrifices were made for various reasons: to expiate sin, to show forth submission to Yahweh’s will, to render thanks, etc. The Temple—Yahweh’s permanent abode—thus served as the locus of Israelite life. Solomon’s Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC.