Solomon's temple followed the general plan
of the ancient temples described above. In the front there was the monumental
gate giving access to the vestibule (or introitum). This, in turn, led
temenos or court, built as a sort of hall. Next, at the bottom,
we had the holy of holies with the square plan characteristic of the Holy
Mountain. This inner sanctum was closed by a curtain, and access to it
was denied to all but the high priest.3
An interesting description of the ideal
temple of the Hebrews is the one of
Ezekiel (ch. 40-46). This account
closely parallels that of
Revelation concerning the Celestial Jerusalem
(ch. 21). And these, in turn, are copied from the Hindu ones concerning
Paradise ("Pure Land"), as illustrated in the so-called
mandalas. Ezekiel's ideal temple, like the Celestial Jerusalem, was edified
"upon a very high mountain" that is obviously the same as the Mt. Meru
of Hindu traditions.
There was, at the top of the Holy Mountain, just as in the Hindu traditions concerning Lanka, a holy city (the Celestial
Jerusalem). This city or temple the text is obscure and confuses the two was "surrounded by a wall round about". This wall was square and was aligned
with the Cardinal Directions, having a gate on each of its four sides.
It delimited a court paved with stone on which were built thirty chapels
and an inner court, on the south side.
The adytum (temple proper) was square and
had two pillars in front, each 6 cubits (about 3 meters) broad. The temple
was of enormous size (500 canes (or 1600 meters) on a side), being square
in plan (probably cubical or pyramidal). It was surrounded all around by
a wall that isolated it from the court destined to the public. The inner
sanctum was decorated with palm-trees and cherubs, motifs that are allegedly
of Mesopotamian derivation, but which ultimately originated in Hinduism.
All in all, Ezekiel's ideal temple closely evokes Zozer's pyramidal complex
and, better yet, its archetypes from Malasia, which it closely parallels. When one carefully compares the underlying symbolism of these strutuctures from different corners of the world, their unity of shape, conception and purpose becomes self-evident.
The Temple as an Allegory of Paradise
The city-temple just described is indeed an
allegory of Paradise. More exactly, it represents Lanka, the Celestial Jerusalem
that was the archetype of its biblical counterpart. In
"lofty Mountain" that corresponds to Mt. Atlas (or Meru) is called Ariel
Harel = "Mountain of God"), and is identified with the sacrificial
altar (ara). This Sacrificial Mountain is, as usual, an allegory
of Mt. Meru (or Atlas), where the Primordial Sacrifice that of Atlantis
(or Paradise) was performed in the dawn of times.
In front of Solomon's temple stood the
two huge pillars of bronze called Jachin and Boaz. These two pillars closely
evoke the two "Pillars of Hercules" that were the central feature of the
Phoenician temples of Baal Melkart. Baal Melkart, "the Lord of the City",
was the alias and archetype of both Hercules and Atlas, the two deities
commemorated by the twin pillars of the Phoenician temples. These twin pillars indeed commemorated, as they did in Gibraltar, the strait that led into Paradise. The Pillars of Gibraltar were just a replica of the primordial ones of Eden (Eden = India or, rather, Indonesia, the "Indian Islands"), just like so many the Phoenicians posted in the temples they built at all such crucial passageways to honor Hercules (Baal Melkart), their supreme lord and patron of navigants.
The two pillars also correspond to the
twin obelisks invariably posted at the front of Egyptian temples. The inner
sanctum of the Temple was a cube of about 9 meters on each side. This structure
evokes the Kaaba of Meccah, whose name and shape are those of a cube. But,
as usual, the cubic structure is just a variant of the similarly shaped
The fancy capitals of the pillars Jachin
and Boaz were all decked with lilyworks and pomegranates, in the traditional
way used for both the Tree of Life and the omphali found all over the Mediterranean
Basin. The "lilyworks" are really lotus motifs, as many experts have recognized.
This type of decoration, very much used in Egypt, ultimately derives from
the Indies, as we discuss elsewhere.
Such "lilyworks" invariably figure on top
the Indian stupas, which are the true archetypes of omphali and
decorated pillars everywhere. And they indeed represent Mt. Meru submerged
under the seas, with reeds and sargassos attached to it. Alternatively
and that amounts to the same they symbolize the stump of the Tree of
Life with its dual, the Tree of Death, growing down from its top. The motif
is famous in India, as we discuss elsewhere.
The Riddle of Cedar Wood
The interior of the holy of holies was
all lined with cedar wood imported from Ophir by Hiram and his men. Cedar,
was an exclusivity of the Indies in antiquity, and had to be imported from
there by both the Hebrews and Mesopotamians, as well as by the Egyptians,
who loved its wood.