The Vision of Solomon's Temple


From Chapter 1 ("The Beginning of the Encounter") of Shawn Bolz's new book, Encounter:

I was positioned on a ridge looking over a valley. This experience was so real in my senses. I was up on a ridge looking over an area that was being developed by an ancient civilization. It was not like watching a tv channel, I could smell the thick desert air and my eyes were partially blinded by the sight of the afternoon hot sun, and yet it was completely a vision. There were people of all types down below, and they were building. There was so much construction I did not know where to look first and because of my lack of education on ancient buildings, I couldn't completely tell you what was being done in the different areas.

There were roads being paved with historic materials with so many different laborers around it was astounding just how many thousands of people were working. I zoomed into what seemed to be a planning area with men pointing at what clearly was architectural maps or schemes. There were buildings being planned to go in their designated places. I had this sense that this was being so well planned that it was almost mythical.

I was watching a masterful city being recreated from the ground up, but I didn't know exactly what I was looking at until I saw tens of thousands of laborers in the middle. There was what would be one of the wonders of all mankind...a building that had been waiting to be built since the fall of man. Up until this point, I thought I was seeing a parabolic vision that was one of the most powerful demonstrations of God's imagination in my own but now I knew God was showing me something that was one of humanity's greatest moments.

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Solomon and the Temple

Then Solomon had his people work, but also conscripted all the foreigners to build that had been living in Israel. Can you imagine 70,000 men just carrying materials and 80,000 as stonecutters in the hills and 3600 foremen over them? What did other kingdoms think with the architecture that no one could imagine. Especially because they were so focused on building a temple to the God who was known to love His people not just indenture them into servitude.

The foundation was being laid for the temple of God. There were the loud sounds of stones moving, construction happening, animals maneuvering around all the construction activity through bustling primitive but beautiful streets but there was also a strange hush in the midst of the noise as everyone knew what they were working on had never been done before. I imagined modern construction workers planning and working on a building in a large city like New York and all the male talk, cursing, and just general human behavior happening, none of that was present here. The attitude was somber but not like a library. There was a general joy and anticipation in the air, like this generation of Israelites knew they were building something that God had chosen them for, it was a before and after moment in history.

I was given a bird's eye view of the whole region, swooping over streets, housing, marketplaces, walls, and finally again to the beginnings of the temple and into a magnificent staging area where there was a group of men looking over plans and designs and in the middle was a man right out of the Bible, and I knew him immediately. Not because of my Biblical knowledge of the temple being built, I am sure that was somewhere within me but because it was absolutely someone who the world had never seen before. His ruddy good looks, the joyful twinkle of a man already groomed with a depth of wisdom was in his eyes, the life experience only David's son could have that his dark skin carried, this was Solomon.

This was before the coming splendor that God regaled him with and yet he was awesome. Being the son of King David had created a culture or air about him that made him stunning to observe. How he carried himself and coordinated and planned with all those around him was a sight to behold. A presence that came from within and radiated among those who were serving him was all around. I pictured what people must feel when they are around the top Olympic athletes on gold medal day, or around the stock market in the largest closing in history as the men who made the money radiate the glory of it. It was a man in all his glory that I was beholding.

He was awesome...and yet the characteristics that were defining even more than him being a very glorious man were that there was a potential inside of him that drew heaven's curiosity.

I looked around looking at a layer beyond the natural that I was seeing and there, beyond the veil of humanity, I saw the spiritual real. I saw that Solomon was not only surrounded by these expert builders and influential men, but he also had an audience of the angelic. Heaven seemed to be buzzing as much as the construction that I was watching. Things were flying in all directions and the whole area seemed to be encircled by an army in the sky that was so vast that I couldn't imagine trying to count them.

I had only been watching this vision up until this point but now a spiritual being next to Solomon looked up to my small spot that I canvased the area from. He seemed to see me. It scared me at first because it's like watching an epic movie and one of the characters looks right at you. He came and stood next to me. He was in a realm that was just beyond my normal sight, so he appeared blurry like an even blurrier Monet painting hanging between me and the objects in the vision. His movements were like liquid, and I was both afraid and intrigued when I saw him. I knew this heavenly person was an angel, but I wouldn't understand the depth of what I was seeing or whose presence I was in until later.

A voice came that sounded like it was on amplified speakers. "This is an important time, Solomon's day." There was comfort in what he said, and I acted like I knew what he was talking about, but I didn't know at all. We watched for what seemed to be a year, the atmosphere so pregnant with his words. I was imagining why it was so important, but I was too afraid to talk.

I was watching glorious structures like schools, great marketplaces, housing, agricultural in the distance, all be built in a sudden moment but what I was focused on was the object of interest to everyone in the city: The Temple.

In my vision the inner most place Solomon created was called The Holy of Holies but in the spirit, I could see that this inner holy place was overlapped by the tree of life in the garden. It was symbolic of God's intention to restore us to complete connection. Isn't it amazing that the man who had the most connection to God up until this point was developing the symbol and religious structure to re-enter God's intended place for man at least through ritual? This whole temple structure was such a shadow, such a hidden message for the people of Israel and for the whole world of what was to come.

I saw the Holy of Holies, leading into the next room, the holy place which led out to the outer courts and through these sections God was creating through Solomon (and had created in other temple worship before) the symbolism of a spiritual journey back to the garden.

It was also a messianic vision of what was to come, or in other words one of the ways God built anticipation in the Israelites for their savior who was promised. Through Solomon, they saw him as a kingdom shaper, a builder of heaven on earth, someone who could bring about peace and connection to the world around them while reigning with a power that was bar none, totally different than a barbarian way of humanity.

Solomon's messianic example was also one of the main reasons why the first people around Jesus were confused because they expected Him to come with natural guidance and kingdom building first not an internal rebirth first.

Solomon began reigning after this and accumulating more wealth and his leadership had no rival. In my vision I could see trade routes opening that were forbidden under David's time because David had been at war with these countries. Solomon declared peace on all sides but protected the peace of God and His people with wisdom not out of politics.

Once this place was done, the whole world gathered there. Kings would come from afar and offer tribute to a God they never imagined worshiping. The Israelites were no longer at war but had so much of God's favor on them that people came from everywhere hoping it would rub off on them and also looking to learn from all the modern technology, city building, and worship.

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