When Solomon began to build the Temple, he found it was not an easy thing to build on so steep a ridge. David has achieved construction at the southern end by erecting a series of walls and terraces, but Solomon needed to do much more than that. Solomon solved the problem by creating large terraces. These terraces were supported by arches beneath,

which were themselves anchored to the hillside, and by massive retaining walls at the edges. The terraces descended from the highest point southward toward Ophel and the main city (1 Kings 6-7). The Temple was erected on the highest point, and administrative and royal buildings were built on the lower terraces. During the building operations, large numbers of workmen were employed, and large amounts of building material were required; as a result there was commercial development. The country itself was divided into twelve districts, each district responsible for the upkeep of the royal court for one month of the year, for the provision of workmen for the buildings, and taxes. Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Hebron were not taxed, presumably because of the historical links with David’s family. The high level of taxation, the exemptions, and the old history of division between north and south led to a permanent division of the kingdom. The influx of workers and traders probably led to settlements growing on the large flat hill to the west of the city.

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