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Algum and Almug

Algum, or almug (the translation difference is due to the original Hebrew of the Scriptures sometimes using the singular, and at other times using the plural, pronounced in Hebrew as al-goo-meem and al-moo-geem) was a kind of wood that King Solomon, the son and successor of King David, had delivered from Lebanon. It was used in parts of the Temple (see Temples), as well as for harps and lyres. Although Solomon obtained it from Lebanon, it was only imported there by King Hiram whose trading ships brought it from Ophir, which is generally believed to be India (although some also believe that it was somewhere in Arabia).

Algum and Almug

Lebanon Building materials for the original God-commanded Temple in Jerusalem were largely imported from Lebanon by Solomon, as he requested in a letter to Hiram king of Tyre:

"The House which I am to build will be great, for our God is greater than all gods. But who is able to build Him a House, since heaven, even highest heaven, cannot contain Him? Who am I to build a House for Him, except as a place to burn incense before Him?" [see "My Father's House"]

So now send me a man skilled to work in gold, silver, bronze, and iron, and in purple, crimson, and blue fabrics, trained also in engraving, to be with the skilled workers who are with me in Judah and Jerusalem, whom David my father provided."

"Send me also cedar, cypress, and algum timber from Lebanon, for I know that your servants know how to cut timber in Lebanon. And my servants will be with your servants, to prepare timber for me in abundance, for the House I am to build will be great and wonderful." (2 Chronicles 2:5-9 RSV)

Almug and almug are plainly the same type of wood, as shown in the Scriptures below that use almug and almug to describe the same thing (as was the case for other words and names, such as King "Hiram" or "Huram," also shown below):

"Moreover the fleet of Hiram, which brought gold from Ophir, brought from Ophir a very great amount of almug wood and precious stones. And the king made of the almug wood supports for the house of The Lord, and for the king's house, lyres also and harps for the singers; no such almug wood has come or been seen, to this day." (1 Kings 10:11-12 RSV)

"Moreover the servants of Huram and the servants of Solomon, who brought gold from Ophir, brought algum wood and precious stones. And the king made of the algum wood steps for the house of The Lord and for the king's house, lyres also and harps for the singers; there never was seen the like of them before in the land of Judah." (2 Chronicles 9:10-11 RSV)

Fact Finder: The Temple that Solomon had built was later burned and looted by the Babylonians (see Ancient Empires - Babylon and Why Babylon?), but what Sacred item surely was not destroyed or taken away?
See Raiders Of The Lost Ark


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