Prophet Pearls #19 – Terumah (1 Kings 5:12[26]-6:13)

Prophet Pearls Terumah, 1 Kings, temple, d’veer, haftarah, hewn stones, Keith Johnson, month of ziv, mythical shamir worm, nehemia gordon, parashah, Parsha, parshas, parshat, prophets, shamir, shamir worm, solomon’s temple, terumah, terumah haftarah, terumah prophets, YehovahIn this episode of Prophet Pearls, Terumah (1 Kings 5:12[26]-6:13), Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson provide volumes of contextual insight into this seemingly straight-forward “How to Build a Temple” portion. We learn the importance of the “480 years” date given in this passage, that the forced labor used to build Solomon’s Temple compares favorably to modern practices, and how the coloring of the “hewn stones” beautified the Temple.

Gordon offers a political reason the Canaanite word “Ziv” may have been used here. We learn the word of the week—“d’veer” (dalet-bet-yod-reish)—and its connection to the insect world. While the word, “quarry’ doesn’t appear in the Hebrew text, Gordon tells us what the text does say and gives a fascinating history of the legends Rabbis have spun about a shamir—a mythical worm that makes a quarry unnecessary. We learn how the legends associated with this worm led the Pharisees to suppose that Yeshua had tapped into the power of demons. In closing, Gordon prayed that listeners find all knowledge in God’s word and come before him in truth.

"And the house which king Solomon built for Yehovah..." (1 Kings 6:2)

I look forward to reading your comments!

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Prophet Pearls #19 - Terumah (1 Kings 5:12[26]-6:13)

You are listening to Prophet Pearls with Nehemia Gordon and Keith Johnson. Thank you for supporting Nehemia Gordon's Makor Hebrew Foundation. Learn more at

Nehemia: [singing to the tune of The Flintstones] Prophet Pearls! Meet the prophets. They’re people right out of history. Nehemia and Keith, they’re looking for the pearls in the Prophets. Someday, maybe Keith will win the fight, and Nehemia will see the light. Prophet Pearls, have a Yehovah time, a Yehovah time; have a Prophet Pearls time. Wilma!

Keith: Okay, ladies and gentlemen, that was the introduction from the one and only Nehemia Gordon, who’s come up with an original introduction to Prophet Pearls. Here we go, Nehemia.

Nehemia: Look, admit to the people that this was your idea, Keith.

Keith: No, no. Listen, you come up with something original. We’re going to be in the land of Israel here in the next couple of weeks. After that, we’ll get back to our good old-fashioned introductions. But in the meantime, we’ve had to pull some things in different places. You’ve come up with the last few introductions, which I think you went from Star Wars to…?

Nehemia: Star Trek.

Keith: To Star Trek.

Nehemia: Oh, I should do Star Wars. That’s a great idea.

Keith: To Flintstones. I can’t wait till next week. I literally can’t wait till next week. Nehemia, what are you going to do?

Nehemia: You’ll see.

Keith: What are you going to come up with next week? Just do me a favor, whatever you come up with, make sure you listen to the theme music.

Nehemia: It won’t help.

Keith: Where are you? Where am I? I’m upside down in the earth. This is our third attempt at recording. Why are we on our third attempt? Because we are in a bit of a struggle. Let’s just say we’re in a sensitive situation. I’m in a sensitive situation where sometimes things don’t get... we’re not able to say everything we want to say. Of course, where are you, Nehemia? I just want to be clear. Where are you?

Nehemia: I’m the wandering Jew in San Antonio, Texas.

Keith: But you were living in San Antonio, Texas. Where are you?

Nehemia: I’m in a hotel.

Keith: Something happened. What happened?

Nehemia: So some really wonderful people were hosting me, and I was out in Washington and found out, when I was over in Washington, that there were some issues in the house where I was staying, and now it’s under repairs. So I came back and there was no room in the inn for me to lay my head, and so I had to go to the Best Western.

Keith: Okay, so you’re at the Best Western. You broke something at the house.

Nehemia: No, I didn’t break anything. I wasn’t even in the state.

Keith: I’ve been with you several times in houses, I’m telling you. I’m just kidding. Well, listen, and I have just returned. Hopefully, if you’re listening to this right now, I am back safe in the most populous city in the world, where some doors are flinging open. I cannot wait to get to with you face to face, Nehemia, in the Land of Israel, where we can talk about it, based on your experiences and mine. I’m really looking forward to this. But folks, you should know we’re actually recording this week and next week ahead of time with the hopes that we will then meet face to face at Bubby Dina’s. That’s right, folks, we’re going to be bringing the Prophet Pearls, recording it from the Land of the Prophets in a place that I cannot wait to get to.

Nehemia: Live from Jerusalem, Israel.

Keith: We are live from Jerusalem, Israel. I think we’re going to take a motorcycle over there. Once we get there, we’re going to attempt to record as many as possible face to face because our travel schedules, and the logistics, and the technology have just been horrendous. We’ve got a few places that we’re going to be even in the next few months, where we’re not sure who’s going to be where, and it’s just really difficult to do it. So the door has been opened. We’re going to be in the Land of the Prophets, and we’re going to need your help. Can I say this right now, Nehemia?

Nehemia: Yes.

Keith: We’re going to need people’s help because when we’re doing this, we’re obviously going to be doing all of them. Now, we’re going to be prepared because we’ve read… I’m reading and studying and preparing. But I’m going to ask people even more during the next couple of weeks when we are recording them in March, that people would really do some work with us ahead of time. That they would begin to look into the sections that we’re going to be recording and to fill in the gaps where we may have missed it. Bring in some perspective. Comment on our pages,,, and give your comments about these Prophet Pearls. So this kind of changes the game. It’s a little different than we had hoped, but I think it’s kind of exciting. So let’s see if we can record this week, Nehemia.

Nehemia: Yes.

Keith: We’re actually in a great section in 1 Kings chapter 5 verses 26 to 1 Kings chapter 6 verse 13. Our Prophet Pearls partners, who are the two servants of El Elyon, Yehovah El Elyon. They don’t like to have their name… but they have been awesome. They’ve been supporting us. They’ve actually supported… they’ve become Prophet Pearls Partners for four or five of these sections. So this one, I just want to say to them, they know who they are, thank you so much for supporting us. As you can see, it is a challenge. Nehemia is presently in a hotel. I’m upside down in the earth having just returned from Africa, and beats just keep on coming. So thank you to our Prophet Pearls Partners. Let’s jump in, Nehemia, 1 Kings chapter 5 verse 26.

Nehemia: Yes. So we’re here in the Prophet Pearls section that corresponds to the Torah portion of Terumah. The Torah portion is Exodus 25:1 through 27:19. The Prophet portion is 1 Kings 5:26 through 6:13.

Keith: What do you see the connection there? When you read that, is this one of those okey dokes? I mean, is this pretty clear?

Nehemia: Yes, this is pretty clear. So in Exodus 25, we have the building of the Tabernacle, and in 1 Kings 5:26 through 6:13 we’ve got the building of the Temple. It’s pretty clear, yes.

Keith: Awesome. All right. Now, I want to ask you a question. Basically, if people look at 1 Kings 5:26, where does it open up for you?

Nehemia: 1 Kings chapter 5, let’s see. Would you have different verse numbers in your English Bible?

Keith: All right. We’ll see, here in 1 Kings, it ends in verse...

Nehemia: You have 5:26 in the...

Keith: It says...

Nehemia: Oh, I see!

Keith: Yes.

Nehemia: So you’ve got different… Wow! You’re way off, you guys.

Keith: Yes.

Nehemia: So that’s verse 12 in the English. Okay. I didn’t know that. 1 Kings 5:12 in the English, yes.

Keith: It’s 1 Kings 5:12 in the English?

Nehemia: Yes. You read the right section, right?

Keith: Yes. Definitely. No question about that. What I was going to say that was interesting is that when it says 5:26 for us - and I’m just looking here, I’m actually reading, folks, in my trusty NIV. Why do I like the NIV? Because it does great as far as modern language; it doesn’t do so well as far as always matching with the original intent of Scripture. But I’m able to go back and forth. So, in terms of communication, I do love the way that the NIV uses the English language, which is, boy, I could give you a story. I won’t do that.

But as I mentioned, when I opened up the Hebrew Bible obviously it’s a little different. Now, Nehemia, real quick, when you see your Hebrew Bible, it says 5:26. Now, do you happen to have the ability - I think you do with the computer - to see the difference between where the Hebrew Bible opens up for this section and where the English Bible opens up? So just really clear, the English verse is?

Nehemia: 1 Kings 5:12.

Keith: Which actually is interesting. In the NIV it’s in the middle of a paragraph. So, the section is opening up in the middle of a paragraph in my English Bible. But for you, it starts out as?

Nehemia: Oh, it’s the middle of a paragraph?

Keith: Yes.

Nehemia: Well, it starts off, “And Yehovah gave wisdom to Solomon,” to Shlomo, “as He had spoken to him, and there was peace between Hiram and between Shlomo; and they made a covenant between them.”

Keith: Okay. Awesome.

Nehemia: That’s what it starts out as, 1 Kings 5:26, which is 5:12 in the English.

Keith: 5:12 in the English, so there are a lot of verses where we’re off here, folks, just bear with us as we’re going through here. “King Solomon conscripted laborers from all Israel.”

Nehemia: Our verses are off; our sound is off because you’re in…

Keith: Yes, the time is off. I’m a day ahead of you. It’s funny when we were trying to organize this Nehemia said, “We’ll be meeting on the 13th.” So, of course, I was ready on the 13th, which happens to be yesterday, but it’s now the 14th. The time is off. You’re on… I don’t know where you are.

Nehemia: I’m in America. In America, they only know their own time.

Keith: I’ve got to tell you something about that. Every day when I get up in the morning, I’ll go downstairs, there’s a calendar in front of me when I come out, preparing to go outside into the rain or wherever. The calendar does two things. It shows what time it is according to the Gregorian calendar, and then it says that this is what time it is according to the lunar calendar. So every single day in this part of China...

Nehemia: By lunar, you mean the Jewish calendar?

Keith: The lunar - well, you can call it the Jewish calendar.

Nehemia: It’s a lunar calendar used by the Chinese, you mean, not the biblical?

Keith: Yes, the lunar calendar used by the Chinese. Absolutely.

Nehemia: Oh, okay.

Keith: When you go out you see both dates, and it’s really interesting because every day I’m confronted with the fact that here they acknowledge both times. Boy, I wish I could… I won’t bore you all with all of that, but there are some really exciting things about what I call the sights, the sounds, the smells of what I sometimes sense when I’m reading Scripture or the things that I’ve learned about God’s time over the last few years. Now, to see how here, in this culture, according to the lunar cycle – and over here they count the days based on old Pope Gregory and they’re counting the days based on the cycle of the moon. I just think, for me, when I see that, I’m like, “Wow, that’s kind of interesting.”

But anyway, back to the issue of the dates and the times and how we’re confused back and forth and we got the verses back and forth.

Nehemia: So it’s interesting that you mentioned that there’s this dual… Like, did you do that on purpose? Because you want to talk about chapter 6 verse 1?

Keith: Yes.

Nehemia: Oh. Keith, can you hold on to that until we get to 6:1?

Keith: I’m trying to get you to stop and you’re not… It’s really interesting.

Nehemia: We’re in 5:26, which you call 5:12.

Keith: Exactly. Are you ready?

Nehemia: Let’s do it.

Keith: “He sent them off to Lebanon in shifts of ten thousand a month.” Can we stop for a second? So Solomon… it says the word “conscripted.” What does it say in the Hebrew Bible there?

Nehemia: It says, “And King Shlomo raised up a tax from all of Israel.”

Keith: I love this.

Nehemia: “And the tax was thirty-thousand men.”

Keith: Now, Nehemia, when you read that, what do you think? Seriously - when you hear those words, what comes to mind?

Nehemia: So, first of all, honestly the first thing I thought of when I saw “tax” and “Solomon” here is what happens later on with the whole story of Rehoboam, his son, who has an encounter with Jeroboam, or Jerovam. What happens there is they come to Solomon’s son and they say, “Look, the burden of your father was very heavy. Can you make the burden lighter?” The elders say, “Yes, if you serve them today, they’ll serve you for the rest of your life.” But his friends, who are his age, say, “No, you let them know that you’re no wimp. That if your father Solomon beat them with whips, you’re going to beat them with scorpions.” Meaning the taxes are going to be much higher.

I love what happens after that. He sends his taxman - Rehoboam, the son of Solomon sends his taxman… It’s in 1 Kings 12:18 in the Hebrew, I don’t know what verse it is in the English. 1 Kings 12:18, oh, it’s the same in English. It says, “Then King Rehoboam sent Adoram, who was over the tribute,” in Hebrew it says, “over the tax,” “over the mas.” “And all Israel stoned him with stones, that he died. Therefore, King Rehoboam made speed to get him up to his chariot, to flee to Jerusalem.”

So he sends the taxman and they stone him, they kill him, and the king himself has to flee. The seeds of that event that would lead to the split of the kingdom, this kingdom splitting in two, is in this verse that we just read, where Solomon says, “I’ve got to build a big temple, a beautiful temple for a great, wonderful God - that requires taxes.” That taxation was forced labor.

It’s interesting - let’s ask the question if this isn’t too controversial. At first glance, it’s like, wait, that’s kind of barbaric. Their taxation was forced labor. Is our system any different?

Keith: Okay, folks, we’re going to have that edited out. Let’s move on. No, I’m just kidding. I’m kidding. In other words, let’s put these in practical terms. What I like about us reading the Prophets yesterday, today, and tomorrow… So for today, in terms of some parallel to what was happening then, what would be, if you were saying… Like, give it to me clear.

Nehemia: One way of looking at is to say, “Where is a person forced to work for the government?” The answer to that would be like if you have to do community service. That could be a parallel. But I don’t think that’s a fair parallel because that’s a punishment, community service is - whereas this was just… Like, for being a citizen, you have to provide this service.

I do rethink the parallel. If somebody in the U.S., for example, pays, I don’t know. Let’s just throw out… Or, in many countries you may pay a tax rate that’s, let’s say it’s 25%, right? So the way we look at that is you’re paying one-quarter of your money. But the way they’re describing it here is, basically, one out of every four days you’re working for the government. That’s what’s being described here in the story of Solomon - it’s one every three… for a month they would work for the government, and they could go home for two months and work for themselves. Then they’d come back the fourth month and work for the government. Two more months; five and six, they’re back at home, month seven they’re working for the government, they’re working for Solomon. That’s the cycle that’s being described there.

Keith: Okay. So in a sense, when a person is going in and they look at their check, they could actually calculate and say, “Of the total amount that I made this month, this day was a day where I just spent to specifically work for the government because they took…”

Nehemia: “All day I worked hard and I sweated and I labored, and it was for the U.S. government,” exactly, or whatever country you’re in.

Keith: All right. Well, I’m going to have to agree with you, I think that’s apropos for the situation.

Nehemia: Okay.

Keith: So that’s what he did, he taxed them. It says, “He sent them off to Lebanon in shifts of ten thousand a month, so that they spent one month in Lebanon and two months at home.” Wow. Boy, I could go further. Let me ask this, Nehemia; in Israel right now with the military, they have the volunteers that serve at a certain time depending… let’s just say it’s not a time of specifically like the Gaza 50-day war, but on a normal basis where there’s a guy who’s working at a company, and he works at that company but there’s an understanding that at a certain time he’s going to be a part of the reserve. Is that right?

Nehemia: Yes. Israel has a system that some people would argue is based on this, but it’s actually based on - and it may be partly based on this - but it was based directly on the Swiss army, not the Swiss Army knife, but the Swiss military. They actually went to Switzerland and studied the system there, and they implemented an Israeli version of it, which is… The way it works today... I’ll take for example, my nephew. My nephew, when he turned 18, he was drafted into the Israeli military, and he’s now in an elite combat unit called Golani, and he’s in that unit for three years. Now, at the end of three years, they might say, “Wow, you’re the best soldier we’ve ever had. We want you to stay longer.” So he can volunteer to stay longer, and even if he doesn’t end up staying longer - they have to invite him to do that - even if he ends up finishing after three years, which most people do, then they will call him once - and it varies, the system is changing all the time - but pretty much they’ll call you for a month every year, or every two years, depending on how your unit is set up.

So you could have my nephew who, five years from now, is working for a high tech company. He’ll work for the high tech company eleven months out of the year, and that 12th month, whenever that happens to be, they’ll say, “You’ve got to come and serve in your army unit,” and all the other people in his army unit will come and serve, as well. So it’s partially based on this, you could say.

Keith: I just think it’s interesting that the society, the present day, just that picture, basically, yes, that’s the way it is. There are reserves in the United States Army. I’ve met people, at different times, they know it’s a weekend, they go and they serve in the reserve. But this picture…

Nehemia: Right. But the differences in the U.S. military, you have a draft; you don’t have a draft anymore. So you don’t get into that reserve system in the first place unless you volunteer to be in it.

Keith: Right.

Nehemia: Whereas in the Israeli military, we have a people’s army where everybody is - not everybody, but most citizens - are in the army or are supposed to be in the army, certainly, when they’re young. So my nephew, for example, he may continue to do that until he’s maybe 40 or 45.

Keith: Isn’t that something?

Nehemia: Isn’t it? Yes.

Keith: All right. Well, it says here, “Solomon had seventy thousand carriers and eighty thousand stonecutters in the hills, as well as thirty-three hundred foremen who supervised the project and directed the workmen.” Meaning, he had a system.

Nehemia: Wait, wait.

Keith: Go ahead.

Nehemia: That word… Yes, wow. So I’ll tell you what it says in Hebrew. That was verse 30, right? Or verse 16 in the English.

Keith: Yes.

Nehemia: All right, let’s just read the end part. It says, “Harodim ba’am ha’osim bamalacha,” which yours translated as “Having charge of the people who did the work,” is that…?

Keith: “Directed the workmen,” yes.

Nehemia: Okay. Then in the JPS, it says, “who were in charge of the work and supervised the gangs doing the work.” What it says in Hebrew is, “Harodim ba’am,” “who had dominion over the people.” That’s the same word it uses in Genesis where it says, “Be fruitful and multiply and have dominion over the earth.” It’s a word of conquest, a word of subjugating something to serve your needs. It’s really a word of subjugation. So really, it’s “who subjugated the people”, or “who dominated the people who did the work.” This is not being described in positive terms. This is foreshadowing what’s going to happen later in 1 Kings 12 when they come to Rehoboam.

Keith: I like that word foreshadowing.

Nehemia: It’s preparing us for that.

Keith: It’s a foreshadow.

Nehemia: Yes.

Keith: Yes. “At the king’s command they removed from the quarry large blocks of quality stone to provide a foundation of dressed stone for the temple.” Let me read this last verse here. “The craftsmen of Solomon and Hiram and the men of Gebal cut and prepared the timber and stone for the building of the temple.”

I have to say, you can read something like this and you can read it, and you can move on, and you can kind of get an image, and you’ve seen pictures and you’ve seen that sort of thing. But I have to tell you, Nehemia, this really does bring me back to the beginning of the time that you and I met. Now, someone asked me the question - my wife, Andrea - she said, “How long have you and Nehemia known each other? How many years have you been walking along this path of the Bible and that?” I said, “It has been 12 plus years, 2002 is when we met. Our first meeting was around the Torah scroll. Our second meeting was just outside the place where Yehovah placed His name forever.” But we were waiting to go underneath the Old City of Jerusalem, down into the tunnels, and I have to tell you that that image down there is plastered in my brain when I read something like this, and it talks about the stones and about the actual… What it was that Solomon… I’m specifically speaking about what’s there today. I’m not speaking about looking at the stone that Solomon moved, but just the way that the stones and how large the stones are, and the way these stones are used and moved and what they would have done. I mean, it still overwhelms me the way that they did this. Now, you come from an archaeological background. So when you hear about this, what comes to your mind about these stones and what it was that Solomon was doing?

Nehemia: Yes. So one of the first things I think about these big cut stones is, we go to the Israel Museum, they have this place, the archaeology section, where they have these giant black stones. Do you remember that? They’re giant black stones and they have like a lion on the side. They’re made of what’s called basalt, which is a volcanic rock and that was used for these decorations at the corners, that’s probably what it’s describing. These are the precious stones that were cut hewn stones. The reason that basalt was used for that especially is one, it was black and it stood out against the limestone, which was all the rest of the stones. But also, it’s a very hard stone, so it’s a great stone for a foundation, a very strong stone, great for corners, it’s not going to crack or break. It’s difficult to cut, but once you get that thing cut, that’s beautiful, that’s going to really hold your building. That’s what I think when I hear about these ashlars or hewn stones.

Keith: Really? Wow. So anyway, we’re dealing with these stones. We’re dealing with what Solomon did. Again, you’re going to have to really help me through this, because as we’re reading, again, I have a hard time as far as the history. Reading the Bible, understanding the history of what took place in the present-day battle - because we talk about yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Well, today, the battle over where that temple was and all of that. I said we’re not going to get into all that. But let’s just say this - there is an ability to cut these stones right from the place where the temple was built. In other words, there’s stone there. I mean there are quarries, that sort of thing. I guess that’s what I was trying to get to. I thought you were going to put on your thing, [imitating Nehemia] “I got my archaeology degree from the Hebrew University.” And you’re going to be talking about that.

Nehemia: I do have my archaeology degree from the Hebrew University. What does that have to do with it?

Keith: You do. Absolutely, you do. I’m very proud of that.

Nehemia: All right. So I was giving the archaeologist answer, which is that it probably was one of these big black basalt stones, which contrasted nicely with all the white limestone that would have been on top of it and around it. That would have been the great foundations there. Now, that’s obviously not what Herod did a thousand years later. What he did is he took limestone from the northern part of the Temple Mount, and he slid it along the slope and then he used that to build up the southern part, which was kind of a depression and flattened it out. Is that what you were looking for?

Keith: That’s what I was looking for. You’re just not cooperating today. You’re kind of like, listen...

Nehemia: I’m giving you the archaeology answer, not the tourist answer.

Keith: Nehemia, you’re kind of like this technology. While we’re doing this, you folks, I’ve switched between three different things on the fly. In fact, one of the deals, the battery was going down, the other one, the battery… You know, this is really… So when I’m giving you these softballs, it’s usually because I’m trying to figure out how to keep us going here.

Nehemia: Oh.

Keith: In the old days, Nehemia, when we did the Original Torah Pearls, there’d be times when you’d talk for hours. You would just on and on and on, and I’d have to interrupt you. But now, you’re being so complementary and you’re stopping and you’re not interrupting. I’m just not used to this, Nehemia.

Nehemia: Because you keep cutting out, and I can’t hear you. All right. I’m going to jump over to… and here’s homework for people, because we’re not going to get to all this.

Keith: No.

Nehemia: The homework for people is they’ve got to go - you cannot read a section in Kings like this without looking at the parallel passage in Chronicles.

Keith: Yes.

Nehemia: You can’t do it.

Keith: You just can’t do it.

Nehemia: So they’ve got to go, for homework, and read 2 Chronicles chapters 2 and 3.

Keith: There it is.

Nehemia: We’re not going to read all of them right now. Specifically, what I want people to do is look at the numbers. We could probably spend a whole session, a whole program, just talking about the numbers, how they compare between Chronicles and Kings. We don’t have time for that. We’re not going to do that. But I just want to read a little section of the interaction that went on between Solomon and Huram, or Hiram of Tyre, which we don’t hear about. We just hear they made a covenant, or a treaty, in your English, and they had this kind of interaction. We don’t really know much about it. But I love the details that we get in the book of Chronicles. I’m going to read you from the JPS, 2 Chronicles 2:2, and I’ll try to read it quickly.

Keith: Because the people are going to read it, too. You’ve told the people to read it.

Nehemia: All right, but we’re going to discuss part of this. “Solomon sent this message to King Huram of Tyre, ‘In view,’” and now it’s in quotations, obviously, in the original, there are no quotation marks, but this is the letter. “In view of what you did for my father David in sending him cedars to build a palace for his residence— see, I intend to build a house for the name of Yehovah my God; I will dedicate it to Him for making incense offerings of sweet spices in His honor, for the regular rows of bread, and for the morning and evening burnt offerings on Sabbaths, new moons, and festivals, as is Israel’s eternal duty. The house that I intend to build will be great, inasmuch as our God is greater than all gods.” Now, can we be honest here? Solomon wasn’t politically correct. I mean, could you imagine today this happening? Netanyahu sending a letter to Abu Mazen and saying, “Dear President of…”

Keith: How about the King of Jordan? Let’s not do Abu Mazen. Let’s put King of Jordan.

Nehemia: Or, “Your Majesty, King…” I don’t even know the name of the king of Jordan. “King Abdullah, our God is the greatest of all gods, Yehovah, the Creator of the universe. He is the greatest of all gods.” Could you imagine what the reaction would be of the king of Jordan? The world would say “he’s insulted them!” But this is Solomon. “The house that I intend to build will be great inasmuch as our God is greater than all gods. Who indeed is capable of building a house for Him! Even the heavens to their uttermost reaches cannot contain Him, and who am I that I should build Him a house, except as a place for making burnt offerings to Him?” That’s a really interesting theological statement. In other words, God doesn’t actually live in the house. This is just a place to bring sacrifices. That’s fascinating.

“Now send me a craftsman to work in gold, silver, bronze, and iron, and in purple,” etc. So they end up sending him, he ends up getting his version of Bezalel. Remember in the Torah, there was the guy Bezalel, who was inspired to work in all this workmanship, and so they have their own version of Bezalel, who Hiram of Tyre sends.

So let’s just skip ahead to verse 10, “Huram, king of Tyre, sent Solomon this written message in reply, ‘Because Yehovah loved His people, He made you king over them.’ Huram continued, ‘Blessed is Yehovah, God of Israel, who made the heavens and the earth, who gave King David a wise son, endowed with intelligence and understanding, to build a house for Yehovah and a royal palace for himself,’” etc. etc.

Isn’t that amazing? Instead of what we would have today where the U.N. would come and condemn King Solomon for insulting the god of the Jordanians, instead Huram, or Hiram, as he’s called in some places, the king of Tyre responds and he says, “Yes, your God is amazing. I know His name and I bless Him.” Hiram of Tyre isn’t condemned for speaking this name, which is too holy for a gentile to speak. Instead, Scripture presents this as, “Look, even this Tyrian King recognized how great the God of Israel is.”

Keith: Give God praise.

Nehemia: Amen.

Keith: Yes. That is amazing. So listen, let me just say this right now, Nehemia, if you don’t hear me, just keep talking.

Nehemia: Yes.

Keith: We’ve got an amazing editor.

Nehemia: No problem. I’ll do that.

Keith: We have an amazing editor. We’ve got this setup so that our voices are coming through two different channels, so what he can do is if I listen to the edits, and I don’t like what you’re saying, I’ll just have him cut me in, and then…

Nehemia: No, wait. No, that’s not happening.

Keith: It won’t work that way. He’ll make this my last couple weeks of doing this. So you can just talk as long as you want. If I don’t like it, he’ll cut it.

Nehemia: Wait. Okay.

Keith: So now can we go to 2?

Nehemia: Please.

Keith: In fact, I like your homework for the people.

Nehemia: Let’s do it.

Keith: Because you cannot… boy. Boy, oh, boy. Just reading the sections of Scripture regarding this, I just think paint an amazing picture. It says here, “The temple,” and actually, I want to ask you. Oh, boy. “The temple that King Solomon built for Yehovah was sixty cubits long, twenty wide and thirty high.” That’s what it says.

Nehemia: Yes. You’re going to drag us into the issue of the dimensions and talk about the Chronicles; is that what you want?

Keith: I actually did some research on this, and I don’t want to drag us into the issue, but I was really surprised at how far people go to explain what this actually looks like, the exact dimensions of this, and then the exact dimensions of connecting that with the mishkan.

Nehemia: Right. Don’t you know there’s deep symbolism in these numbers? When it says 60, it actually has prophetic significance.

Keith: Yes. Okay. So listen, I know you’re going to go and start beating your drum. But let me tell you something - it’s a really fascinating study just to go and to ask what potentially… Now, without going beyond Scripture, though, these numbers that jump up - now you know me, Nehemia, for as long as you’ve known me I’ve been like a big numbers guy. I love the numbers. I’m just going to let everyone know, I’m a numbers guy.

Nehemia: You’re the numbers guy.

Keith: I’m the numbers guy. Only because sometimes the numbers jump off the page and you don’t have to do gymnastics with them, they just like, wow, 50 loops of the da da da da da… I mean the ark and all that. But it’s fair to say that this does give us what the actual dimensions were of this particular… that which Solomon is building. Again, Mr. Archaeology Guy, so when we hear about the Second Temple that was built, and I don’t want us to go into great detail, but how big of a difference between that which Herod built and what Solomon built? Just off the top of your head, how big of a difference do you think it was?

Nehemia: Right. So the real answer is we don’t actually know exactly how big his temple was. What we could say for sure, archaeologically, is the Temple Mount platform - he doubled the size of it, we’re told. That was even the temple that Zerubbabel had built on the ruins of Solomon’s Temple, Herod came and doubled the entire enclosure. So what we see today that we call the Temple Mount - only half of that was actually the area of the Temple of Solomon. Technically, it might be a quarter, because if he doubled the length and doubled the width that makes it four times a larger area. So it might only be a quarter of the area that was the original temple of Solomon.

Keith: Now, Nehemia, again, I’m hoping that we don’t get cut out, folks who are listening right now, I just have to throw this out. I can’t let us off the hook because I’m not sure when we’re going to talk about this again, other than me bringing it up as we’re in Israel. But there’s been some discussion about people saying that perhaps the present Temple Mount, where the Second Temple was, where Herod built his temple, is not the place where the First Temple was. I get notes from people about this all the time. I’ve been surprised, there’ve been many people who have been buying books…

Nehemia: Right. It’s gaining in popularity, this theory. Yes.

Keith: When you hear about that, tell me what your thought is? Can I put you on the spot?

Nehemia: Right. I was handed the book that started this all maybe about 10 years ago, could it have been that long ago? By our mutual friend Bruce Brill, and he asked me, “Can you help me discern this?” I read the book, where it presented the theory that the original temple was not on the side of what we call the Temple Mount today, but it was actually on the site of the Gihon Spring, which is about a few hundred meters, or, I don’t know… it’s nearby. It’s within visual sight of the Temple Mount, but it’s not the exact spot.

Keith: Down the hill.

Nehemia: It’s down the hill. Part of their argument, or part of the argument of this guy who wrote the book ten years ago or whenever, when I read it, it might’ve been ten years ago… Part of his argument was that what we’re seeing today and we’re calling the Temple Mount, that wasn’t built by Herod, it was built by the Roman Tenth Legion when they occupied the ruins of Jerusalem. My response to that, after looking at all the evidence, is shtuyot bemitz agvaniot, which in Hebrew translates as, “nonsense in tomato juice.”

Keith: The Word of the Week, folks!

Nehemia:Shtuyot bemitz agvaniot,” “utter and complete nonsense.”

Keith: People are selling books, Nehemia. There are videos out about this.

Nehemia: Well, recently, I think it was in Biblical Archaeology Review, and that’s why it’s getting all this popularity. But it really is… yes, I’m not going to even say.

Keith: Okay. Well, I’m glad you said that, and we have it on tape that basically it’s recorded that the new flavor of the week, the new color of the month, regarding the Temple Mount not being there, the Temple not being where we presently call the Temple Mount, is a convenient way to say, “Well, with all the chaos and confusion, that isn’t where it was anyway, so let’s just not worry about it. Let’s move on and claim another spot.” Which is not unlike some other things that are sort of like that, where they take that which is original and move it over somewhere else and say, “Now, this is the spot.” We see that over and over and over again.

By the way, people, if you haven’t gotten a chance to come to Israel, be in Israel, there are opportunities for that. Nehemia, I want to put you on the spot here, because one of the things that you do, and one of the things that you've done, you’re presently not living in the Land of Israel, but when you were living in the Land of Israel, you would, on a regular basis host people, that would come into the land and take them on individual tours. Now, when you are in Israel, will you...

Nehemia: I’m actually doing two of those this year.

Keith: So tell us about that. Tell us about the significance of people being in the land. I mean just physically being in those places, and specifically focusing on the issue of what we’re talking about right now, the Temple Mount where Solomon built the temple, the First Temple, the Second Temple. For you, what is it like leading people? And just give us a little taste of that.

Nehemia: For me, I lived in Israel for 20 years, and every day, really, even 18-19 years into it, I’d walk around like, “Am I… am I actually walking down the same street where David fought the Philistines?” This is unbelievable. It really is. It’s incredible. I mean this is what my ancestors dreamed about and sang songs about and prayed about for 2,000 years, returning to the land, and now we get to do it. I think it’s just such a blessing. I really feel like I’m there in the land and I go to these places and I feel the spirit, the spirit of Yehovah in these places. Now, am I going to say that, “Oh, no, it has to be what we call the Temple Mount, because I felt the spirit there and didn’t feel it at Gihon Spring.” I’m not going to say that. That’s ridiculous. That would be a very silly thing to say. Geographically, there’s no question in my mind that the Temple Mount is the Temple Mount…

Keith: Yes.

Nehemia: Not the Gihon Spring. The Gihon Spring is where Solomon was anointed. There are a lot of important things that happened there. When Scripture wants to say the Gihon Spring, it knows how to say the Gihon Spring.

Keith: Isn’t that the truth.

Nehemia: So it’s not that geographically it isn’t it. But really being in the land is such a blessing. In fact, Keith, you’re doing some kind of a tour right now, aren’t you with your ministry?

Keith: Yes. In fact, it’s too late now, because as they’re listening to this...

Nehemia: I’m sure you’ll do another tour in years to come. I actually met some people in Washington who said, “Oh, we’re going on Keith’s little tour.” Those were their exact words.

Keith: Did they say those words, Nehemia? Because you’re going to offend me.

Nehemia: They actually said, “Keith’s little tour.” I said, “I’m going to tell Keith that.”

Keith: Yes. Well, folks, let me tell you this, and I’m not sure what’s going to happen, this will be the third time we’re going to be there, and actually, you and I are going to be in the Land of Israel, physically, at the same time. We’re going to have a tour of people from different parts of the country, even parts of the world that are coming in for that. You’ll be there doing the Aviv search, which I am a little frustrated that last year I was able to join the people that were on the Aviv search. The year before, I was able to join you at some portions of it. But now this year, you’re going to be there, I’m going to be there, we’re going to have people on the BFA International Tour. You’re going to be there, looking for what time it is. It’s really interesting, Nehemia, and folks, I mean I think we’re going to have to wait until we get to Israel to bring this up, but around what’s happening at that time of year, is really amazing. I do think it’s significant, Nehemia, that we’re going to be there, and the work that you’re doing there to know what time it is. Can we wait - let’s wait a little bit to discuss that when we’re in the Land of Israel.

Nehemia: Sure.

Keith: Let’s move on because we’re plugging along here. It says here, this is one little sentence I want to bring up, “In building the temple,” verse 7 in the NIV, “In building the temple, only blocks dressed at the quarry were used.” “The quarry,” it’s like it’s just a fact.

Nehemia: Now, what verse are you in? I’m so confused.

Keith: I’m in verse 7 of chapter 6.

Nehemia: Of what chapter?

Keith: Chapter 6.

Nehemia: Oh. So in chapter 6, it’s saying – wait, how’d you jump ahead to verse 7 of chapter… Okay, we’ve got to talk about that verse. But anyway, go ahead. Let’s talk about it.

Keith: “In building the temple, only blocks dressed at the...”

Nehemia: Wait. Wait, I’m sorry, I can’t let you do it.

Keith: You won’t let me do it?

Nehemia: No, I can’t. Absolutely not.

Keith: All right. Well, you won.

Nehemia: How did you skip chapter 6 verse 1? Are you kidding me?

Keith: No, no.

Nehemia: You’re the time guy.

Keith: You were talking about what was happening as far as the measurements of the temple when we were in verse 2. Then you were in Hebrew… so let’s go back to 6:1.

Nehemia Let’s do 6:1. I’ll read in Hebrew, “And it came to pass beshmonim shana ve’arbameot shana,” “and the four hundred and eightieth year of the going out of the children of Israel from the land of Egypt, in the fourth year, in the month of Ziv, which is the second month of Shlomo ruling over Israel, and he built the house of Yehovah,” is what it says in 1 Kings 6:1. So that’s fascinating. This is the first time - certainly in the book of Kings - where we have this reference to a date based on the going out of the children of Israel from the land of Egypt, and it’s the four hundred and eightieth year. That’s extremely important. Why is it extremely important?

Keith: That’s a huge...

Nehemia: So let’s do the math. We don’t know exactly when this took place, but let’s say it was sometime around... it was in the 900s, we know that. So 900+480 years means the children of Israel left Egypt sometime around 1450 BC. Read any history book - and by history book I mean modern secular history - and they’ll tell you, “Oh, no, the children of Israel didn’t even exist as a people, until 1200 BC.” Now, what’s that based on? It’s based on the chronology of the Egyptian kings, established by Egyptologists, who have a reference at around 1200 BC, that’s the first written reference in Egyptian sources to Israel, in around 1200 BC. They seem to be described as a tribe there, although some archaeologists have come along and said, “Actually, that’s not even Israel. It’s Jezreel, the valley. It’s some tribes that lived in the Jezreel Valley.” But then the bigger question is, how does Egyptian chronology correspond with our system of BC and CE, which obviously didn’t exist back then, right? Meaning in 1200 BC, King Ramesses, or whoever he was, he didn’t know that it was 1200 BC, he knew it was year three of his reign.

Keith: Exactly.

Nehemia: So how do we correspond those two systems? That’s where things get really, really complicated. My conclusion, from all the years I studied archaeology, and all the years since, of reading about archaeology and everything, is that the archaeologists, especially the Egyptologists, just don’t have a useful system – meaning, they really don’t know. They think they know, but their system is just so messed up. There are a lot of inaccuracies about that.

Keith: I want to say this - I actually had a couple of folks, I call them the two witnesses, that were looking ahead at some of this, and they were giving a really good challenge on this actual verse regarding the four hundred and eightieth year, and how there are different people that used these particular dates and perspectives to come at it from a different level. I would just say one thing, in the Septuagint, it says, “the four hundred and fortieth year,” I believe it is, in the Septuagint. We talked about that before, Nehemia, where we’re talking about the differences in the Septuagint, whether it’s verses that are different, or certainly, translation, well, what happens. That’s an example where you have an actual date difference.

But I think what kind of hits me is that there are people who’ve done in-depth study regarding this verse and figuring out the history, and there are some who use this same verse to argue why the biblical reckoning of time is just way off, because they can take this and connect it with something else. Again, that’s not something that I have been able to dive into, but I think it’s phenomenal, and I’m really glad, Nehemia, that you didn’t let me mess this up. Because what was happening was, we were talking about the verse numbers, and I was reading the verse number, and we went to the Chronicles area based on the actual dimensions of the temple. While we’re talking about the dimensions of the temple that’s after this really key verse.

Nehemia: So your eye jumped to the next verse?

Keith: My eye jumped to the next thing. But I will say…

Nehemia: No, you were trying to hide it. I know you were trying to hide it.

Keith: Anyway, let me just say this.

Nehemia: You know that this completely refutes your entire Methodist system. The fact that this is the four hundred and eightieth year destroys the Methodists. I know you’re trying to hide it. It’s a conspiracy.

Keith: Yes, well you know what, there are a number of books… I want to do this, hopefully, during this time, we’ll put up some resources that people can check that kind of has a way to balance us out because again, we are pushed for time, and we don’t know that the technology is going to continue. That’s what I was trying to get to.

Nehemia: Right.

Keith: Can we move on? Now, can we go to verse 7?

Nehemia: No. What are you talking about? It mentions here the month of Ziv, which is the second month. So we have three month names that are mentioned in this story, and by story I mean this section of Kings, not this chapter, but this basic section, and they’re all in the context of the interactions that Solomon has with King Hiram of Tyre. It mentions the month of Ziv, the month of Eitanim, and the month of Bul. We actually know of Bul from Canaanite writings - Hiram was a Canaanite from Tyre. People have said to me, “Oh, Ziv, Eitanim, and Bul, those are the real Hebrew names of these months.” The answer is absolutely not.

Keith: Nehemia, no one’s ever said that to you.

Nehemia: Oh, yes. Absolutely. This is what people teach. This is a big teaching out there. “We don’t remember. We don’t know what the fourth month is really called, or the fifth month. But we know the second month was originally Ziv.” No. The second month was originally called “hachodesh hasheni,” which means “the second month.” Ziv is what the Canaanites called it; Bul is what the Canaanites called one of the months; Eitanim is what the Canaanites called one of those months. This is why it says, “The month of Ziv, which is for the Israelites the second month.”

Keith: There it is. I love that.

Nehemia: Now, why is it mentioning Ziv as a month name? Two reasons, possibly. One is that it’s out of respect for Hiram, who’s mentioned in this chapter; maybe his people will come and read this chapter as well. Number two is this may actually be based on sources that were Canaanites sources. In other words, when the prophets sat down to write all this information, did he personally witness that there were 10,000 people who went to cut the wood? Or were there documents that were kept by these Canaanites, maybe the Canaanites stationed in Israel? He had those documents and he said, “Okay, it says here it was the month of Ziv. Well, I know that’s the second month.” So he writes and explains to us what the document means.

Keith: That’s a great explanation.

Nehemia: That’s probably the answer. All right. So that makes a lot of sense. Now let’s look in verse 3, and I’ll do this really quick because we are pressed for time, but we’ve got… I think we’ve mentioned this before, this will be the Word of the Week. So we’ve got the three sections of the Tabernacle, the outer one is called “the courtyard” or in Hebrew “Azharah”. Then inside is the “Kodesh,” “the holy section,” and then “Kodesh HaKodashim,” “the Holy of Holies.” Well, we have the same three sections but with different names in the temple. It’s the ulam, hichal, and d’veer. The ulam I think they translate as porch, maybe; hichal is the sanctuary, and d’veer is the inner sanctuary. I mean I don’t know how they translate it in English. But it’s ulam, hichal, and d’veer. D’veer is the inner sanctuary, and we mentioned I think in one of the previous episodes that the word devorah, which means bee, may be connected to this word d’veer, which means the inner sanctuary, because bees live in a sanctuary, which we call a hive. So maybe that’s the inner sanctuary related to the word devorah. It’s not for sure, but it’s possible. So that’s my word of the week, the word d’veer.

Keith: Tell us what it is.

Nehemia: Dalet, bet, yud, resh.

Keith: Okay.

Nehemia: Dalet, bet, yud, resh, from the root dalet, bet, resh.

Keith: Nice. Awesome. Of course, as we’re dealing with that, like I said, we could go into great depth on the meaning, not only of the word, but how it worked and what Solomon was doing. Again, hopefully, we’ll have some other sections that we’ll be able to go even further into that.

Nehemia: Now we can talk about verse 7.

Keith: Okay, now, verse 7, “In building the temple, only blocks dressed at the quarry were used, and no hammer,” this...

Nehemia: What?

Keith: That’s what it says.

Nehemia: That’s not what it says. No! It doesn’t say that. I don’t believe you.

Keith: It says, “and no…”

Nehemia: It says that in your NIV?

Keith: It says, “and no hammer, chisel or any other iron tool was heard at the temple site while it was being built.” That’s what it says.

Nehemia: Wow. So let’s read the NRSV. It says, “The house was built with stone finished at the quarry, so that neither hammer nor ax nor any tool of iron was heard in the temple while it was being built.” Wow. So there’s really no issue here. I mean, it’s just so clear that… Huh, interesting. Yes, that’s not even...

Keith: We’re missing something.

Nehemia: I can’t even believe it says that. So here we have in verse 7, the word “quarry” doesn't even appear there. The word is “massah,” which actually means “to carry.” It’s from the word “nasah,” to travel. These are stones that were brought, that’s the significance of it, that these stones were brought from somewhere else. Actually, you could translate it possibly as… You could read it very differently. You could say, “And the temple,” or the house, literally, “when it was being built was built of complete stones that were carried.” Meaning they were complete stones that were the same way they were cut out of the mountain, or the way they were found in the fields, is the way that they were used.

Then it has this strange sentence, it says, “and hammers and axes and any implement of iron was not heard in the house when it was being built.” So that’s actually a really interesting statement, and it brings us back to Exodus chapter 20 verse 25, which says - Exodus 20:25. It says… I’ll read in the King James, “And if thou wilt make Me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone, for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it.” It’s interesting, it says there, tool. In the New Revised Standard Version, it says, “If you use a chisel upon it you profane it.” Let’s see the JPS, it says, “For by wielding your tool upon them you have profaned them.” The word they’re translating “tool,” and “chisel,” and “implement,” in all those is the word “cherev,” which means sword, and that reveals what the issue is here. That any metal implement is essentially viewed as a form of a sword, it’s a sharp metal object, and the point is, the altar of God is holy and it should not be fashioned, it should not be chiseled out using a sword or something like a sword - a metal object. So how did he cut it without using metal? How is it possible that he cut it without using metal?

Keith: Good question.

Nehemia: So your translation solved the problem for us by telling us that he finished it at the quarry. So he did use metal, he just used metal at the quarry. Look it’s possible - even though that’s not what it says in the verse – it’s possible that’s what actually happened. Meaning, that’s the point of saying that no iron tool, like the JPS says, “so that no hammer or ax or any iron tool was heard in the house while it was being built.” In other words, it was heard at the quarry, but not at the temple. Again, the word quarry isn’t in this verse in the Hebrew. But maybe they did fashion these stones far enough away from the temple that it wasn’t heard in the temple. Does that make sense? Are you there?

Keith: Yes, I’m here.

Nehemia: Okay. Are you with me?

Keith: Yes.

Nehemia: Okay so, but this then opens up the door for the rabbis to come along and spin an entire web of stories about this. Do you know the Rabbinical stories about this passage?

Keith: No, I do not. I do not know those.

Nehemia: So there is almost an entire literature about this particular verse, definitely an entire constellation of legends. So how did Solomon cut the stones? Well, every little Jewish boy growing up knows that Solomon cut the stones using the shamir. What is shamir? Shamir, in later sources, is described as a certain type of worm that would eat stone.

Keith: No way.

Nehemia: Yes, it was a worm that ate stone. In the early sources, it’s not clear that it’s a worm, but it is something very small that eats stone, and in fact, will cut any sort of stone or glass or anything that it comes in contact with except for lead, and so it was contained within lead. There’s one modern Jewish scholar who has suggested that it was some type of radioactive substance because it can be contained within lead - that’s kind of ridiculous. I mean the whole thing is ridiculous, I guess. But there’s nothing in the sources that would indicate it was radioactive, but it was some kind of, possibly, a worm or something that we’re told in one source was as thin as a human hair and it would cut everything, consume everything except for lead, and that he used this worm to cut the stones.

So he did cut them at the site of the temple - this is what the rabbis teach. But he did it using a worm, not metal implements. Actually, this worm is really important in Rabbinical literature. We’re told that it was created, we’re told the specific time in history when it was created in the writings of the rabbis, in Ethics of the Fathers, which is the opening section of the Mishnah, called in Hebrew “Pirkei Avot.” It actually mentions this shamir, this mythical worm, as being created on the six-day tour going into Shabbat. Meaning the sixth day, late in the afternoon, just before Shabbat. It was one of a handful of things that was created. So it’s actually really important in Rabbinical literature this idea of the shamir, this magical worm, this mythical worm.

Now, where did they get the shamir from? So this actually appears in the Babylonian Talmud in the tractate of Gittin 68a. I want people to go look that up for yourselves. It talks about how Solomon didn’t know where to get the shamir from and so he had to… you’re not going to believe this. Are you sitting down, Keith?

Keith: Yes. I’m with you.

Nehemia: So we’re told that Solomon went to speak to Ashmedai, the prince of the demons, in order for Ashmedai the prince of the demons to reveal to Solomon how he could get a hold of this shamir worm. Ashmedai reveals to him that it was used by the Hoopoe, which is a type of bird that lives in the mountains. It was used by the Hoopoe in order to cut rocks and that he could trick the Hoopoe into turning over the worm and use that to then build the temple. This is in the Talmud, that Solomon’s actually captured Ashmedai, the king of the demons, or prince of the demons, and manipulated him in order to get this information. What do you have to say about that, Keith?

Keith: I’m so glad that we’re just about at the end of this, one of the most difficult recordings. I think if you saw what I’m doing here while you’re talking, waxing on about something…

Nehemia: What are you doing? We hear you’re turning pages.

Keith: Yes, you’re bringing a source that I’ve never even read.

Nehemia: Yes.

Keith: I’ll be honest with you, it doesn’t move me, Nehemia...

Nehemia: When I hear about this, that the rabbis are tarnishing the name of Solomon saying that he spoke with a demon and used this demonic power to then build the temple, I’m troubled by that, deeply troubled by it. It does make me think of Matthew chapter 9 verse 34, and then again Matthew 12:24, and then the parallels in the other Gospels. It says in 9:34, “But the Pharisees said,” about Yeshua, “it is by the prince of demons that he drives out demons.” Then again in 12:24 of Matthew, “But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, ‘This man doth not cast out demons, but by Beelzebub the prince of the demons.’” So, you read that in the Gospels and you think, “What? Why would they accuse Yeshua of harnessing the power of demons?” But in their mind, it made perfect sense, because they believed that Solomon had harnessed the power of the prince of the demons. Think about that.

Keith: You have to give us the source, Nehemia, from what you were talking about, because the people have to see this source themselves. They can’t just hear you say, this is what...

Nehemia: Yes. You’ve got to see it for yourselves. Absolutely. It’s in the Babylonian Talmud, the tractate of Gittin 68 A, and it goes into 68 B. It speaks there… it’s a whole long story, a long drawn out account of Solomon sending Benayahu, the son of Yehoyada, to capture Ashmedai the prince of the demons, and he brings him back as a prisoner and he eventually reveals to him, they translate it in English as a woodpecker, but it’s actually a Hoopoe, that has this special worm.

Anyway, so here’s another passage in the Talmud in Pesachim 1:10 A. It says, “Rabbi Joseph said, ‘The demon Joseph told me that Ashmedai, the king of the demons, is appointed over,’” blah blah blah, and it goes on. What this means is according to the Talmud there were rabbis who spoke with demons and got information from demons. Now, I don’t know if they actually did, but they claim to be speaking to demons and get secret mystical information from the demons. They claim that Solomon got secret mystical information from the demons. So now it makes sense why they would accuse Yeshua of being in league with demons - because they believed that they were in league with demons, according to their own sources.

Now, here’s a really interesting thing I came across during my preparation. I looked in the Rabbinical commentaries on this verse to see what they said. So that was from the Talmud, I just read you. The Talmud was completed around the year 500 AD. There’s a rabbi in the 13th century named RaDaK or Rabbi David Kimchi, and he writes in his commentary on 1 Kings chapter 6 verse 7 about this whole story about the shamir, this magical worm that’s supposed to cut stone. He doesn’t mention the demons though. He says, “This was transmitted through tradition by the Sages from the days of Moses our rabbi, and it must not be doubted.” Wow.

Keith: Wow.

Nehemia: Are you with me, Keith?

Keith: Yes.

Nehemia: So, he’s saying how do we know about this mythical - he doesn't call it mythical. How do we know about this holy worm that can cut stone? Because our rabbis knew this from the time of Moses, because Moses too used the worm to incise the stones on the ephod. That’s what they say. How did the rabbis know this? Because it sounds ridiculous, there was a worm that ate stone? What the…? He says you can’t doubt it because this was transmitted through tradition by the rabbis from the days of Moses.

Now, according to the earlier rabbinical source it didn’t go back to Moses, it went back to Ashmedai the prince of the demons. So, which one is it? The early rabbis attributed this secret knowledge to something being revealed by demons; the later rabbis they claim it goes back to a mosaic tradition, Oral Law. Now, I’m going to end with this: did they know about it from the Oral Law revealed to Moses, or from Ashmedai the prince of the demons? Maybe the Oral Law comes from the demons, not from Moses.

Keith: I’ll tell you folks what happened. As Nehemia was going on and on about these sources, whatever, I was cut off. I didn’t hear.

Nehemia: Thank God.

Keith: I’m now going to suggest, and this has just moved to the number one most frustrating recording we have done, even ahead of the one where we were cut off eight times. So I am at the place now where we’re almost at the end of this section. So Nehemia, I’m going to ask people - if you have anything else you’d like to say, I’m going to hold my frustration.

Nehemia: Keith is captured in a time warp.

Keith: So, I will say this, people, they could actually listen to… No, I’m in a time warp, and you know, it’s interesting when you were talking about that, I got cut off and I could hear you were talking about something about a worm and rabbinic sources.

Nehemia: I think Keith has fallen into a singularity. That’s why he’s speaking like this.

Keith: Can you hear me now?

Nehemia: Yes.

Keith: Okay. So, what I’m saying is this is the number one frustrating recording so I would like to give this over to you. Is there anything else you’d like to say about this section?

Nehemia: You just missed the number one Prophet Pearl of the whole section! But whatever. Okay. No, it’s good. God stopped you from speaking so that people could hear me.

Keith: Amen. Anything to stop me again.

Nehemia: Who knows? All right. Yes, probably. Let’s just end with the last couple of verses. This is my 11 through 13 in chapter 6. I think it’s the same for you. We have this statement here, it says in verse 12, “This house,” or this temple, “which you are building, if you will walk in My statutes and My judgments you will do and you will keep My commandments to walk in them, I will establish,” or raise up, literally, “My word with you that I spoke to David your father. And I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel and I will not leave My people Israel.” So there we have this promise. If we keep the commandments, God will be with us. It doesn’t say the negative what happens, but we know that from other places.

I think I’m just going to end the program myself. It sounds like Keith isn’t there.

Keith: Isn’t that what our...

Nehemia: Oh, there you are.

Keith: No, I’m here. Nehemia, I’m here. I’m still here. Can you hear me?

Nehemia: Yes, and he’s gone. Well, the good news is, we have one more program that we have to do before we get to Israel, and that’s the portion of Tetzaveh, which we’ll do at some point. All right, let’s just end it. Can we end it with prayer?

Keith: Please. Go ahead and pray for us, Nehemia.

Nehemia: Yehovah, avinu shebashamayim. Yehovah, our Father in heaven. I come before Yehovah, and I ask that You put Your blessing upon this program, that You give us the ability to come together and speak about Your word. Maybe the challenges that we’re facing, maybe this is a picture of what we need to do, because we can be sitting on opposite sides of the world speaking over Skype, but the common ground is just not there. If we’re sitting in the same place and we have the physical common ground, then that becomes a picture of the common ground that we can focus on, looking for Your truth in Your word.

Yehovah, I ask that You give us this opportunity, that You bless us in a way that we can come together and everything will work out. I pray that we can continue to share Your word and study Your word and dive down into the depths of the ocean and pull out those Prophet Pearls and share them with people. Yehovah, it’s really been a blessing for me to be able to go through these portions with Keith, and I’ve learned so much more from just going over the portions and being forced to dialogue about them in a way that is constructive and honors You.

Yehovah, I pray that in the spirit of Solomon building this temple and speaking to Hiram of Tyre that we can speak to the world and let them know that You are great; that You are the greatest God; that there is none as great as You, and that we shouldn’t be embarrassed to proclaim that, even to a Canaanite like Hiram. That we can proclaim this to all the world, that Yehovah ata hu haElohim, that Yehovah, You are Elohim, You are the one true God, ein od, there is no other.

Yehovah, I ask that all of our knowledge comes from You, and not from demons or people who claim to be getting their information from demons, but only from Your word and only from You and that we all come before You in truth. May this be Your will, Yehovah. Amen.

Keith: Amen.

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  • Walter Schwenk says:

    I always thought that the prohibition against “cutting” stones only applied to the alter, but not to other parts of the tabernacle or temple?

  • Stephen says:

    First time on website!AWESOME WORK u guys r doing..I seen u on Roodawakening yrs ago..You were always so knowledgeable and the first that I heard from u the correct name of GOD!!!I will be on here a lot this is amazing!!And will help support!

  • Bill Black says:

    If Moses could speak to a rock and water come forth then builders of the Temple could have learned to use the NAME to have the rock conform to what was needed! Exa: IN the NAME of YEHOVAH I decree that stones conforming to these specifications will come forth or the use of the worm “ate” the stones would be their conclusion since cutting by a light beam of sonic sound would be the only way they could describe it-the worm “ate” the stone to size. Not implausible!
    My ways are not your ways-YEHOVAH!

  • Karen says:

    Very interesting, there have been so many assumptions on how the stones were placed and hewned. However the strange worm made more since then alien brings coming down to assist in the building of the temple. Thanks Nehemia

  • very interesting.
    I thought there were to be no steps to the altars… or covenants with the people of the Land ..can anyone tell me when that changed? in scripture, there SO much to learn..thank You !

  • Steven Smith says:

    I’ve always been a lover of biblical history. I been finding I am using this site more and more for the meat I crave in my search for Yehovah way of life… Keep up the wonderful teachings. Thanks so much for all you do for all us out in the wilderness. Yehovah bless and keep you you all

  • Dean Lindsey says:

    So what does the Hebrew Bible actually say about the construction process? Were the stones of the building cut or rough? If they were cut then where and how? Much love!

  • very interesting about the shamir & hoopoe. looked it up & a lot of masonic imagery comes up & king solomon was supposedly a mason (as was nimrod) & we know from the torah/bible that solomon did go astray a bit to pagan gods. BUT he came back to jehovah. nimrod never did.

    my first thought was maybe some sort of termite by the way….

  • Please see Velikovsky’s “Ages in Chaos” for photos, sketches and numbers of items taken from Solomon’s Temple by Egypt from Jerusalem after the Kingdom of Israel seceded from Judea.

  • Ezracha Bat Ephrayim says:

    Maybe it wasn’t a magic worm. Maybe it was acid in a lead container. Maybe they soaked ropes in it to cut the limestone?.

  • Karlien says:

    Hallo. Where can I find your teaching in written form. I wear hearing aids so the audios don’t work for me.

  • Charles says:

    Nehemia’s song is my new ringtone!

  • Donna says:

    What a blessing to sharing in the readings with you two, today.
    I believe that so many people must feel the same spirit of unity and . encouragement by just being allowed listen in.
    I too love my Jewish brothers and sisters so much and I pray for the time that our Father will bring our family together forever.
    Thank you for being obedient to our Fathers desires. Bless you.

  • Chris says:


    There is an error with the 480 years, as this is the time that David became King at.age 30… This king year was the 63rd Jubilee year = 834 BC… Saul was aged 50, as was the prophet Samuel…

    480 years prior to David being King is the exodus in the 7 x 7th Sabbath year and the following Jubilee year is the setting up of the Tabernacle on the 1st day of the 1st month of that 53rd Jubilee year = 1335 – 1334 – 1333 BC in the Aviv months… 1000 years prior from the Exodus is the Flood beginning in the 7 x 7th Sabbath Year and concluding 12 months & 10 days later in the 33rd Jubilee year…

    From Solomon’s 4th year of reign and counting back 480 years brings you to the 105th Birthday of Joshua…?

    Something is amiss…?

  • Anthony Garcia says:

    My good friend Christian Steep presented the timeline as it is written in the Hebrew text, not the Septuagint on 1 Kings 6:1 conflict.

    Septuagint 0
    Hebrew 1.

    “so there is 430 years from jacob going to Egypt – Joseph is 40
    this is the Sabbath = 7 x 7th Sabbath exodus year 40 years later is 480
    exodus was in 53rd Jube period”

  • kris says:

    What a clever intro song!

  • Victor N Devora Forsman says: I looked it up myself. Thank you Nehemia for all the info..

  • Evelin says:

    Could you post the refrences out of the Talmud concerning this mythical worm and also the demon?

  • Nicholas Mansfield says:

    This reminds me of my Sephardic Jewish work colleague who insists the Midianites took all their knowledge from the Jews. We have here the Talmud agreeing with the Qur’an on some of the history of Solomon. We also have two different Nehemias. One who asks intelligent questions like why don’t they read their own scriptures and understand the bigger picture? The other suggests that a different god is their focus, despite the Qur’an explicitly stating it is the same Supreme Adonay, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Nehemia has done a great job of putting this all together, don’t get me wrong. You guys just haven’t seen what other people, even in this age, have witnessed.

  • Ken Kiefer says:

    Wow I am so thankful for this Portion My wife and I have been so blessed by this wandering Jew. So very thankful for Tanach and help in understanding history and context and even explanations of false teachings brought to us by men, still happening today. History really does repeat itself, Nicolaitan types polluting the the pure word. ThankYou Nehemia. It makes me sad to think of all the humans who believe lies and myths. I am reminded of the antisemitism that I was exposed to as a child ( even though mild) but to hear antisemitism and wonder why what sources inspired people to these thoughts and to remember thinking as a little boy wasn’t Jesus Jewish?why dislike theese people? I am so saddened to realize that one of main motivators of this antisemitism from 85 years ago in my Dad ( of Blessed memories) youth is still currently today motivating the same hate around the world this is the book titled THE INTERNATIONAL JEW THE WORLDS FOREMOST PROBLEM. Published by a still today highly esteemed American icon and Americans don’t even know it, don’t even know this book is still generating hate how sad. Why don’t Americans know this history that help cement antisemitism into so many peoples minds. I have been so very very blessed by Nehemia and other Jewish people my love for the Jewish people just keeps growing. We love you dear friend and ask you to keep up the good work And really like your singing introductions to Torah Pearls. And thanks Dev for all you do to keep things working. Shalom