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Bible Commentaries

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

1 Kings 7

 

 

Verse 1

1. His own house — His royal palace, as distinguished from the house of Jehovah.

Thirteen years — Almost twice as long as it took to build the temple. According to Josephus the temple was built in a shorter time because of the extensive preparations for it beforehand, and the greater zeal and Divine co-operation with which Solomon prosecuted it.

All his house — That is, the entire pile or group of buildings that composed the royal palace. The house of the forest of Lebanon, (1 Kings 7:2,) the porch of pillars, (1 Kings 7:6,) the porch of judgment, (1 Kings 7:7,) the house where he dwelt, (1 Kings 7:8,) the house for Pharaoh’s daughter, (1 Kings 7:8,) and the several courts, (1 Kings 7:8; 1 Kings 7:12,) were all different parts of one and the same great royal palace, and not, as some have supposed, entirely distinct and separate buildings.

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Verses 1-12

SOLOMON’S PALACE, 1 Kings 7:1-12.

The description given in this chapter of Solomon’s royal house is, on account of its brevity, exceedingly obscure, and we are often obliged to conjecture the meaning, or to gather it from supposed analogies in ancient Oriental architecture. Fergusson, in his article on Solomon’s Palace in Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible, observes: “The exhumation of the palaces of Nineveh, and the more careful examination of those at Persepolis, have thrown a flood of light on the subject. Many expressions which before were entirely unintelligible are now clear and easily understood; and, if we cannot yet explain every thing, we know at least where to look for analogies, and what was the character, even if we cannot predicate the exact form, of the buildings in question.” But this writer, with all his knowledge of architecture, has manifestly given the Hebrew text of this passage little or no study, for he follows the common version, which, in the rendering of a number of words, is unquestionably wrong; and he shows as much deference to Josephus as to the Bible. In these notes we mainly follow Thenius, whose diagrams and comments on the text furnish, perhaps, as satisfactory a solution of the difficulties as we may, with present light, expect to find.