Temple of SolomonSolomon's Temple - David wanted to build a "house of the Lord", but God forbade it since he had been a "man of war". So the task fell to his son, Solomon, Israel's greatest king after his father.  Solomon is sometimes considered the wisest man in history. He wrote the book of Proverbs which is virtually synonymous with wisdom, and is credited with writing Ecclesiastes, which is a reflection on life from the perspective of old age. In contrast to his father's reign, Solomon's monarchy was marked by peace. David defeated Israel's enemies which allowed Solomon to focus on other pursuits. Most notably, the temple. Construction began ca. 1000 B.C.. He started by strengthening Israel's alliance with Hiram, King of Tyre, one of David's old friends. The Phoenician city was a great commercial center and supplied Israel with timber. Then Solomon conscripted laborers to transport the timber and cut stone from the mountains. And in the fourth year of his reign, he laid the foundation. The Bible says the temple was 60 cubits long (90 ft, 27m), 20 cubits wide (30 ft, 9m) and 30 cubits high (45 ft, 13.5m). The interior was overlaid with pure gold and an altar overlaid with cedar was built in the sanctuary. Then the famed Ark of the Covenant was brought to the temple, along with the other sacred artifacts. The temple stood for over four centuries before it was destroyed by the Babylonians under King Nebuchadnezzar II in 586 B.C..