The website "Academy For Temple Studies" has some excellent resources for students interested in the temple (that's all of us, right?).
It has reviews of books, articles and dissertations. There is a lot you can learn from just these reviews. For example, here is part of a paragraph reviewing the chapter entitled . “The Temple: Place of Yahweh’s Presence and Sphere of Life” in Othmar Keel's book, Symbolism of the Biblical World: Ancient Near Eastern Iconography and the Book of Psalms, [translated by Timothy J. Hallett, 111-76. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1997].
“ One important example is Keel’s suggestion that the idea of the “house” of God, grows out of the standard residential buildings in the Near East. They were rectangular structures with a central courtyard which contained an oven and a cistern. Keel argues that ancient temples followed this pattern for God’s house, an inner courtyard with a sacrificial altar analogous to the oven and some form of water catchment such as a cistern, pool, or even a lake.”
Wow. So simple, and yet I had never thought of the temple that way: a depiction of God’s house in the everyday sense.
Amazing what you can learn. Hurry right over to the “Academy for Temple Studies” which also is compiling a monstrous huge database of EVERYTHING related to temples (ours, Biblical, pagan: all temples) ever published. So many books. So little time!