The Bible mentions only three locations purchased with money. The field of Machpelah in Hebron bought by Abraham, the field near Shechem purchased by Jacob and where Joseph was later buried, and Mount Moriah, atop which was the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, which David obtained and designated the future location of the Temple.
The First Temple, built by David’s son Solomon, stood for almost four centuries before being destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC. Though little is known about this earliest incarnation, from the time David purchased the mountain until its destruction, the First Temple had assumed a place of paramount importance.
The wealth David accumulated for the building project and the splendid structure produced under Solomon’s supervision leaves one with the impression that from the beginning the welfare of the Temple was associated with the welfare of the people of Israel.
This conclusion is supported by the fact that the destruction of both the First and Second Temples were followed by exile. Conversely, the...