THE STORY OF THE BUILDING OF THE FIRST BEIS HA’MIKDASH
August 1, 2019
Beis Moshiach in #1176, Beis HaMikdash, Tzivos Hashem

One of the mitzvos that the Jewish people are commanded is to build the Beis Ha’Mikdash in Eretz Yisrael.

When Dovid was appointed as king of the Jewish people, he greatly desired to fulfill this mitzva. He spoke to Nosson the Navi and asked him to ask Hashem.

Hashem said to Nosson: Dovid Ha’Melech will not build the Mikdash since he goes to war a lot.

Although these were milchamos mitzva, against nations that attacked the Jewish people, it still wasn’t fitting that a Mikdash that stands for peace would be built by Dovid who waged war.

Then who would build it? Dovid’s son Shlomo, when he would be appointed as king.

In the meantime, Dovid decided to make preparations for the construction. He amassed great treasures, gold and silver and other precious items.

At that time, the location of the Beis Ha’Mikdash was still unknown since the the precise location is not written in the Torah.

After effort and research, Dovid and Shmuel the Navi discovered that the place is Har HaMoriya in Yerushalayim. Later on, Hashem appeared to Gad the Chozeh and told him that Har Ha’Moriya is, indeed, the place for the Shechina.

However, Har Ha’Moriya was then owned by a non-Jew named Aravna the Yevusi. What did Dovid do? He collected money from all the tribes of Yisrael so they would all have a share in the building of the Mikdash, and bought the property from Aravna.

Then, Dovid dug a deep pit in the ground for the foundation. Upon digging deeply, a piece of pottery was discovered. Dovid wanted to pick it up but the pottery spoke and said, “You cannot move me from my place because I am stopping up the waters of the deep.”

Dovid did not listen to this warning and picked it up. At that moment, water began to rise from the deep and threatened to flood the world. Dovid did not know how to stop the flooding. He asked the people around him, “Does anyone have an idea of what to do?”

Achisofel, Dovid’s adviser, knew what to do but he kept quiet. Achisofel was not a good man. He thought: Now, I will have an opportunity to be king instead of Dovid. I will wait until the water will wash Dovid away and then I will stop the water. When everyone sees that it was thanks to me that the water stopped, they will appoint me as king.

Since the water continued to rise, Dovid said, “If someone here knows what to do to stop the water and doesn’t speak up, he will die by strangulation!”

Achisofel was frightened and immediately revealed the solution. “You need to write the great name of Hashem on a piece of pottery and throw it in the water.”

Dovid did so and the water began sinking into the earth. The water sank lower and lower until it was feared that the earth would dry up completely.

Dovid said fifteen chapters of  Shir Ha’Maalos (chapters 120-134 of Tehillim) and then the situation returned to the way it had been before. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief.

How did they know how to build the Beis Ha’Mikdash when there are no instructions in the Torah?

Hashem gave a special scroll to Moshe Rabeinu. This scroll was passed from one generation to the next, from tzaddik to tzaddik, until Dovid Ha’Melech.

When Dovid was old, he convened the important people and gave the scroll to Shlomo and said, “You must build the Beis Ha’Mikdash in accordance with the plans in this scroll.”

Shlomo enlisted 150,000 workers and another 1000 overseers in order to build the Beis Ha’Mikdash. Aside from that, he asked Chiram the king of Tzor to send him craftsmen. Chiram sent expert craftsmen to build a magnificent building, as is fitting for the house of Hashem.

Did you know that it was forbidden to construct the first and second Battei Mikdash with iron tools? Then how did they shape the stones and build the Mikdash?

Hashem created the shamir worm on the sixth day of Creation. This worm can cut through rock and diamonds in a precise way. The shamir helped Moshe Rabeinu construct the Mishkan in the desert but after it was finished, the shamir was hidden.

Shlomo knew the language of birds. He sent an eagle to bring him the shamir from the desert and the eagle did so.

Shlomo wanted to bring other craftsmen from Egypt. He sent messages to the Pharaoh of that time and asked him to send craftsmen to help build the Beis Ha’Mikdash and said he would pay for them.

The wicked Pharaoh called for his stargazers.
“Who will die this year? Send them to the land of Israel to help build their Mikdash.”

Shlomo saw with his prophetic vision that the craftsmen that Pharaoh sent him would die that year. He told the craftsmen to return to Egypt and gave them shrouds (which are used to clothe the dead) and ordered them to tell Pharaoh, “Did you not have shrouds to bury your dead? Here they are along with their shrouds.”

Then Pharaoh realized that Shlomo was wise and righteous and should be obeyed.

The construction lasted seven years. Throughout this period, not one of the workers became sick or died. Their tools also remained whole and none became ruined.

After the construction was completed, there was a Chanukas Ha’Bayis in which the entire nation joyfully participated.

The first Beis Ha’Mikdash stood for 410 years and was destroyed on the ninth of Av. The second Beis Ha’Mikdash was also destroyed on this date.

May it be Hashem’s will that we swiftly merit the building of the third Beis Ha’Mikdash at which time the ninth of Av will become a yom tov, a joyous day of celebration.

Article originally appeared on Beis Moshiach Magazine (http://beismoshiachmagazine.org/).
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