by William R. Fischer
A question was asked, "If King
Solomon's Temple was built in 967 B.C. and globes were placed on top of
the pillars, how did they know the world was round?"
This question is quite pertinent
because it was not until 1522 that Magellan proved the world was
round. How could the men of King Solomon's period know the world
The answer is that they did not know.
The contemporaries of Solomon believed
the earth stood still, and was inside a hollow sphere with its inner
surface dotted with stars revolving about the earth. This slow
turning "celestial sphere" is the oldest theory of mankind's
observation of the "starry-decked heavens".
This could explain the globe on the
pillar at the right, but what about the one on the left?
Even if they know the earth was round, this globe could not be a good
representation of it. The did not know about the Americas.
They thought the earth was an oblong square or rectangle, so there
should have been a rectangle on top of the pillar.
What was there?
It is believed that the "globes
upon the pillars" are a corruption of the lily-work of the old
testament. The lily was apparently the Egyptian lotus, which was
in Egypt, a symbol of the universe. Thus the symbol of the universe
was placed atop the pillars and referred to as centuries past, as globes
because of their round hollow shape.