Researched Writer Sir Godfrey Gregg OHPM, ROMC, D. Div
According to Islamic tradition, Solomon was able to converse freely with animals and birds, understanding their languages. Because of his wisdom and the grace and favor with which God endowed him, was able to converse with the spirits of the underworld who Solomon used as servants. The Moslem historian al-Siuti gives the following mythical description of how Solomon built the Temple:
When God revealed unto Solomon that he should build him a Temple, Solomon assembled all the wisest men, genii and Afrites of the earth, and the mightiest of the devils, and appointed one division of them to build, another to cut blocks and columns from the marble mines, and others to dive into ocean-depths, and fetch therefrom pearls and coral. Now some of these pearls were like ostrich’s or hen’s eggs. So he began to build the Temple . . . the devils cut quarries of jacinth and emerald. Also the devils made highly-polished cemented blocks of marble.
An even more fanciful Jewish legend states,
When King David began to dig the foundation of the Temple, the waters of the abyss burst forth and hastened to cover the whole world. David took a fragment of pottery and wrote on it the divine Name, then threw it into the abyss. Immediately the abyss receded sixteen thousand cubits into the depths. When David saw this he said “the closer the abyss is to the earth, the more the earth drinks of its waters and is blessed thereof.” What did he do? He sang the fifteen Songs of Degrees of the Book of Psalms, and the abyss rose again fifteen thousand cubits. And it remained one thousand cubits beneath the surface of the earth.
After the completion of the Temple it was dedicated by King Solomon in 953 BC Solomon’s speech to the people and his marvelous prayers were followed by an enormous offering of 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep. A great public feast followed:
So Solomon held the feast at that time, and all Israel with him, a great assembly, from the entrance of Hamath to the Brook of Egypt, before the LORD our God, seven days. On the eighth day he sent the people away; and they blessed the king, and went to their homes joyful and glad of heart for all the goodness that the LORD had shown to David his servant and to Israel his people. (l Kings 8:65, 66)
The account in 2 Chronicles tells us that fire from heaven ignited the offerings on the altars as Solomon finished praying:
When Solomon had ended his prayer, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the LORD filled the temple. And the priests could not enter the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD filled the LORD’s house. When all the children of Israel saw the fire come down and the glory of the LORD upon the temple, they bowed down with their faces to the earth on the pavement, and worshiped and gave thanks to the LORD, saying, “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures for ever.” Then the king and all the people offered sacrifice before the LORD. King Solomon offered as a sacrifice twenty-two thousand oxen and a hundred and twenty thousand sheep. So the king and all the people dedicated the house of God. The priests stood at their posts, the Levites also, with the instruments for music to the LORD which King David had made for giving thanks to the Lord for his steadfast love endures for ever whenever David offered praises by their ministry, opposite them the priests sounded trumpets; and all Israel stood. (2 Chronicles 7:1-6)