separated from the Holy Place by an embroidered curtain and carved doors of olive wood, overlaid with gold. This Most Holy Place (debir) could be entered only by the high priest once a year on the Day of Atonement (Yora Kippur). Within, the Ark of the Covenant was placed and overshadowed by two 15-foot-high (4.5-meter) olive-wood statues of guardian angels, also covered with gold, with outspread wings meeting above the ark.

The Temple of Solomon was dedicated in 953 b.c., accompanied by the offering of 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep; needless to say, a great public feast followed. Between 604 and 597 b.c. the Babylonian Nebuchadnezzar II took the Jews into exile and stripped the great building of its fabled treasures. He had it destroyed in 586 b.c. About fifty years later Cyrus of Persia, who had conquered Babylon, allowed the Jews to return to their homeland, and the Second Temple was completed by 515 b.c. For five centuries, although enjoying occasional and short-lived freedom, Jerusalem was successively occupied by the Macedonians, Egyptians, and Seleucids. Roman rule began in 64 b.c., and early in that period the Jewish puppet king Herod the Great (reigned 37–34 b.c.) rebuilt and enlarged the Second Temple. It was totally destroyed by the armies of Titus in a.d. 70, never to rise again. Today its great rectangular platform is occupied by the Islamic Dome of the Rock.

See also

Mishkan Ohel Haeduth (the Tent of the Witness)

Further reading

Backhouse, Robert. 1996. The Kregel Pictorial Guide to the Temple. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications.

Bible, The. See especially 1 Kings., chapters 1–7; 1 Chron., chapter 22.

Statue of Liberty

New York City

Originally titled Liberty Enlightening the World, the colossal statue on Liberty Island in New York Harbor stands nearly 307 feet (93.5 meters) high. It represents a woman of pre-Raphaelite appearance, draped in voluminous robes and crowned with a spiked diadem. Her right hand raises a flaming torch at arm’s length; her left carries a book emblazoned with, “July 4, 1776”; broken chains are strewn around her feet. The towering figure alone is over 152 feet (46 meters) high, her right arm is 42 feet (12.8 meters) long, and her head measures 28 feet (8.5 meters) from neck to diadem. She weighs about 250 tons (227 tonnes). Conceived for other reasons, the Statue of Liberty has become since 1903 first a symbol of U.S. immigration and then a universal icon of emancipation, as well as the most recognizable emblem of New York City, perhaps even of the United States.

Primarily, the monument may have been intended to express French republican ideals when France was enduring Napoléon III’s repressive rule. The idea was first discussed in 1865 in the Paris home of the scholar Edouard de Laboulaye, who admired the wealthy industrializing nation that had just emerged from the crucible of a civil war. De Laboulaye believed that a monument expressing the idea of liberty would sustain the republican principle in France while strengthening ties with the United States, and he shared his thoughts with a ready listener, the sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi. But it was not until 1871—in which Napoléon III was deposed—that Bartholdi crossed the Atlantic to offer the statue as a gift from the French people to the American people. Although it would celebrate, on the centenary of the conflict, friendship established during the War of Independence, the gesture coincided with the perceived need to reinforce republicanism in France, where monarchist sentiment survived.

Bartholdi chose New York Harbor, a major gateway to the United States, as a site with the necessary symbolic value. He is said to have been an “academic sculptor driven by two obsessions: liberty and immensity.” Impressed with the Ramessean colossi of Egypt and accounts of the Colossus of Rhodes, he set out to design a work of overpowering scale to stand at the harbor entrance. It was agreed that the American people would finance construction of a pedestal and France would pay for the statue and its construction in the United States. The plan was announced late in 1874.

Bartholdi produced a design by 1875. His 4-foot (1.25-meter) clay model was scaled up to produce