Imagine how human hands were enabled to
erect so wonderful a structure. This colossal building,‡
erected by Solomon, it being undoubtedly the
בעלת Baalath mentioned in the
first book of Kings (9:18), was destroyed in the year 5162
(1402), by the conqueror Tamerlane; and that which
resisted his destructive inroad was overthrown 356 years
later, through the terrific earthquake in the year 5518
(1758), which caused such great devastation in the plain
of Lebanon and the country of Galilee.
† The passage in Tractate Maaseroth,
chap. v. § 8, שום בעל
בכי translated usually (strong) "garlick,
which excites tears," appears to be only "the
garlik of Baal-bek," the chi being substituted
for the k.
‡ According to Josephus (Antiq. viii.
book viii., chap. 2), was the Baalath erected by Solomon
in the vicinity of Gezer of Joshua 10:33, not far from
Jaffa on the Mediterranean, in the country of Ephraim.
According to this assumption, it would appear that this
town had the origin and derived its name from the same
circumstances as that in the tribe of Dan. (See Joshua
19:44.) But Rabbi Benjamin of Tudela thinks that the
temple of Baal-bek was originally the house built by
Solomon for Pharaoh's daughter in Lebanon. (1 Kings 7:8.)