Sons of the East Part 3 The Tabernacle of Yahweh

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
James E. Frey 32°

“And Solomon went after Ashtoreth goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites… Then did Solomon build a high place for Chemosh, the Abomination of the Mo’ab.,. in the hill that is before Jerusalem.” (1 Kings 11:5-7)
The question I propose is why would Solomon, King of Israel have Phoenicians build a Phoenician temple? It is clear the Israelites were a polytheistic people and this is illustrated by the passage above. Ashtoreth is a goddess that was long engrained into Israelite faith, mentioned as the ‘Queen of Heaven” in Jeremiah. This goddess would become a female counterpart to Yahweh, instead of Ba’al as found in the rest of Canaan. But it was around this time this transition of Yahweh’s character occured. This is because Ashtoreth is the chief goddess of the Sidoneons in Phoenician hew were said to hew the timber for the temple. Philo Biblos originates her worship to Tyre itself. So it is reasonably to think that with the in flex of the workers of Tyre the Israelite culture begins to change and adopt new foreign ideals and reinvent their culture. 
It is also said that Solomon built a shrine to Milcom, or Molech of the Ammonites. This was probably in Gehenna which was was a valley by Jerusalem, where apostate Israelites and followers of various Caananite gods and sacrificed their children by fire to Molech the Owl God. (2 Chr. 28:3, 33:6; Jer. 7:31, 19:2–6). The Ammonites were constant antagonists to the Israelites, blocking their passage first into the Holy Land, and then constantly attacking them with the Moabites and other tribes. The Ammonites were finally subdued by King David and it was at this time their cultural religion and values would be established among the Israelites. Solomon also built a high place for Chemosh, who was the Moabite deity representing Ba’al. 
This is interesting because the worship of Yahweh first began in the late Bronze Age or the third age of Egypt with a people known as the Shasu. The Shasu were a nomadic people from the Eastern Mediterranean people in an area known as the Levant. The Shasu are listed as tribal enemies inscribed on column bases at the temple of Solebb built by Amenhotep III who ruled Egypt between 1386 BC and 1349 BC.  Referred to as the Hykos, they were later ater copied by either Ramesses II at Amarah-West. This list mentions six groups of Shashu: which include the Shasu of YHVH. 
Shasu Beaten by Egyptians in Battle 
But the biggest mystery is the inscription of the name of Yahweh appearing on a Moabite Stone around 863 BC by King Mesha of Moab. "Hieroglyphic rendering corresponds very precisely to the Hebrew Tetragrammaton YHVH, or Yahweh. and antedates the hitherto oldest occurrence of that Divine Name - on the Moabite Stone by over five hundred years." (Astor, 1979, p18)
The Levant area is associated with the Land of the Midianites, who were known as the children of Abraham and the region he lived before being charged to find Canaan. The Midianitess had a regio-political connection with the Moabites, were the descendents of the Shasu living in the area north of Egypt. It was this area where Moses fled too after the murder of the Egyptian by his hand. Moses married the daughter of Jethro a Midian priest. It was in this land Moses gazed upon the burning bush and received his charge to deliver the Israelites from bondage. (Exodos 3:1-22)
After leaving Israel Moses leads the people north of the Red Sea into Midian where he meets with Jethro. Now The Midians were polytheistic as well worshiping not only Yahweh, but Ashteroth the Goddesss and Ba’al Pe’or, or Ba’al of the Mountain. It is interesting to note that Jethro arrives to guide and advise Moses for a night in the wilderness where he advises him on how to judge and govern the people as well as teaches both Moses and Aaron on how to build an altar and offer proper sacrifice to God. 
“And Jethro, Moses father in law, took a burnt offering and sacrifices for God: and Aaron came, and all the elders of Israel, to eat bread with Moses and his father in law before God.” (Exodos 19: 12) 
Jethro also helps Moses establish the first Judges to mediate between Moses and the people. Jethro also instructs Aaron on the methods of priesthood and proper religious ceremonies. Soon after this Yahweh appears to Moses on Mount Sinai, just as Ba’al dwells upon the Mountain of Pe’or. So I find it interesting that at the beginning of Israelite culture there is a direct correlation between Yahweh and Ba’al both sharing a similar mythology concerning a mountain top. 
But the difference is that Yahweh is the God that delivered the people from Egypt and would eventually lead them on a nomadic journey of 40 years in the wilderness. But during this nomadic period Yahweh is primarily adorned as a God of war. Even in traditional Canaanite pantheon of Gods, Yahweh is viewed as a God of war and  would become a consort to Ashteroth. It is reasonable to say the Yahweh was taught to Moses as the best choice of God to lead an exodus from Egypt.
Upon ascending Mount Sinai Moses is given the commandment that thou shall have no other Gods, and though shall not build Idols or barren images. Upon Moses ascending Mount Sinai the second time he receives specific instructions on how to prepare a moving temple, the tabernacle in the wilderness. (Exodos 25)
This was given specifically because Yahweh has neither Idols, nor any temples because Yahweh is the invisible God that dwells everywhere. After sacrifice rituals were done to call Yahweh to his seat upon the Ark of the Covenant, it was taken into battle which was attributed into the destruction of Jericho and other conquests of Canaan. (Joshua 6:6-27)
This gave Yahweh a very fickle and judgmental demeanor casting his judgment and punishing brutally all who resisted his worship. "And there came out a fire from the Lord, and consumed the two hundred and fifty men that offered incense." (Numbers 16:35) "And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died." (Numbers 21:6). "A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth, for the Lord hath a controversy with the nations, he will plead with all flesh; he will give them that are wicked to the sword sayeth the Lord." (Jeremiah 25:31)
So the question I propose deepens, King Solomon, known for building monuments and temples to foreign Gods, began building an elaborate Phoenician temple supposably dedicated to a God that gave a command not to build unto him a temple, nor have any engrave images. So why does Solomon decide to build a temple to Yahweh or is it a temple to Yahweh?


James E Frey, 32° is a Past Sovereign Prince and current librarian of Valley of Danville AASR. Founder of the R.E.B.I.S Research Society he sits on two Blue Lodge Education committees as well as a guest lecturer on Occultism and Esoteric studies in masonry. He is also a Member of the Oak Lawn York Rite, Medinah Shriners, and Golden Dawn Collegium Spiritu Sancti. He also works as a counselor with emotionally and behaviorally challenged children. 

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