Solomon’s Palace Complex

At a nursing home in Florida a resident group was discussing ailments. “My arms are so weak I can hardly lift this cup of coffee,” said one.  “Yes I know, my cataracts are so bad I can’t even see my coffee,” replied another. “I can’t turn my head b … More

Priorities

The description of Solomon’s palace in this portion of scripture raises a question as to whether one building or several were constructed as it refers to the forest of Lebanon (v. 2).  Most scholars think this reference is to the extensive use of Lebanese cedar rather than an actual palace in the forest.  It seems that it was located in Jerusalem.

The floor plan of this palace measured 150 feet by 75 feet and was 45 feet high.  The dominant feature was the hall of pillars (v. 6) measuring forty-five feet by 75 feet.  This room probably served as the armory where they kept 300 golden shields (Isa. 22:8).  Apparently next to this was a covered walk way with supporting pillars.  This palace also had a tribunal hall (v. 7), or a place of judgment and a separate residence for Pharaoh’s daughter whom Solomon had married (v. 8).

The significance of the stone work was the size of the stones (vv. 9-11).  Some of these measured 15 feet and were cut to size with a saw when they were freshly quarried.  After that they became hardened when exposed to the elements.  This palace was probably built close to and just south of the temple, but none of its remains have been found so we cannot be sure. The thirteen years of building this beautiful palace do not indicate that more time and consequently more ornamentation were lavished on his house than on the temple.  Rather it would seem that there simply was not as much need for haste in its construction.

Application

It is easy for me to become more consumed with my priorities and doing things for myself than in serving the Lord. Therefore, it is important that I keep constant check on what my priorities in life really are.

I Kings 7:1-26 (English Standard Version)

Solomon was building his own house thirteen years, and he finished his entire house. He built the House of the Forest of Lebanon. Its length was a hundred cubits and its breadth fifty cubits and its height thirty cubits, and it was built on four rows of cedar pillars, with cedar beams on the pillars. And it was covered with cedar above the chambers that were on the forty- five pillars, fifteen in each row. There were window frames in three rows, and window opposite window in three tiers. All the doorways and windows had square frames, and window was opposite window in three tiers. And he made the Hall of Pillars; its length was fifty cubits, and its breadth thirty cubits. There was a porch in front with pillars, and a canopy in front of them. And he made the Hall of the Throne where he was to pronounce judgment, even the Hall of Judgment. It was finished with cedar from floor to rafters. His own house where he was to dwell, in the other court back of the hall, was of like workmanship. Solomon also made a house like this hall for Pharaoh's daughter whom he had taken in marriage. All these were made of costly stones, cut according to measure, sawed with saws, back and front, even from the foundation to the coping, and from the outside to the great court. The foundation was of costly stones, huge stones, stones of eight and ten cubits. And above were costly stones, cut according to measurement, and cedar. The great court had three courses of cut stone all around, and a course of cedar beams; so had the inner court of the house of the LORD and the vestibule of the house. And King Solomon sent and brought Hiram from Tyre. He was the son of a widow of the tribe of Naphtali, and his father was a man of Tyre, a worker in bronze. And he was full of wisdom, understanding, and skill for making any work in bronze. He came to King Solomon and did all his work. He cast two pillars of bronze. Eighteen cubits was the height of one pillar, and a line of twelve cubits measured its circumference. It was hollow, and its thickness was four fingers. The second pillar was the same. He also made two capitals of cast bronze to set on the tops of the pillars. The height of the one capital was five cubits, and the height of the other capital was five cubits. There were lattices of checker work with wreaths of chain work for the capitals on the tops of the pillars, a lattice for the one capital and a lattice for the other capital. Likewise he made pomegranates in two rows around the one latticework to cover the capital that was on the top of the pillar, and he did the same with the other capital. Now the capitals that were on the tops of the pillars in the vestibule were of lily-work, four cubits. The capitals were on the two pillars and also above the rounded projection which was beside the latticework. There were two hundred pomegranates in two rows all around, and so with the other capital. He set up the pillars at the vestibule of the temple. He set up the pillar on the south and called its name Jachin, and he set up the pillar on the north and called its name Boaz. And on the tops of the pillars was lily-work. Thus the work of the pillars was finished. Then he made the sea of cast metal. It was round, ten cubits from brim to brim, and five cubits high, and a line of thirty cubits measured its circumference. Under its brim were gourds, for ten cubits, compassing the sea all around. The gourds were in two rows, cast with it when it was cast. It stood on twelve oxen, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south, and three facing east. The sea was set on them, and all their rear parts were inward. Its thickness was a handbreadth, and its brim was made like the brim of a cup, like the flower of a lily. It held two thousand baths.

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