|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
7:1-12 All Solomon's buildings, though beautiful, were intended for use. Solomon began with the temple; he built for God first, and then his other buildings. The surest foundations of lasting prosperity are laid in early piety. He was thirteen years building his house, yet he built the temple in little more than seven years; not that he was more exact, but less eager in building his own house, than in building God's. We ought to prefer God's honour before our own ease and satisfaction.
Verse 6. - And he made a porch of pillars [Heb. the porch of pillars. This was no doubt a covered colonnade, i.e., it had a roof but no sides. The pillars were its only walls. But here the question presents itself, Was this porch the vestibule of the house of the forest of Lebanon, just described? From the correspondence between its width and that of this palace, Rawlinson infers that it was (cf. 1 Kings 6:2, 3). Bahr believes it to have been the porch or entrance to the hall of judgment mentioned in the next verse, while Fergusson again assigns it an independent position, separate from either. The term porch (אוּלָם), the meaning of which is surely determined by its use in ch. 6, almost implies that it must have served as the entrance or vestibule to some building. But the size, and the fact that it had itself a porch (see below), favour the idea that it was an independent structure, though Rawlinson shows that "most of the Persepolitan porches had small pillared chambers at some little distance in front of them," and refers to the Egyptian propylaea. Keil argues that this pillar hall, as he calls it, stood between the house of the forest of Lebanon and the judgment hall. Bahr, as remarked above, sees in it the anterior part of the judgment hall, which latter, he adds, bore to it the same relation that the oracle did to the temple house. He observes that as the ark was in the oracle, so the throne (1 Kings 10:18) found a place in the hall of judgment. This structure, therefore, with its porch, mentioned presently, would reproduce the main features of the temple arrangement. We see, consequently, that both the house of the forest of Lebanon and the porch of pillars followed in their outline the ground plan of the temple. Nor is this at all surprising, considering that all these edifices probably had the same architect or designer]; the length thereof was fifty cubits [the length, i.e., according to the view last advanced of the two divisions of the building, viz., the porch of pillars and the porch of judgment. But the correspondence of the length (or width - the same word is used of the width of the temple porch 1 Kings 6:3) of this porch with the width of the house of the forest of Lebanon is, to say the least, remarkable, and suggests that after all it may have been the porch of that building. If so, the resemblance to the temple would be still more striking], and the breadth [depth?] thereof thirty cubits: and the porch [Heb. a porch] was before them [i.e., the pillars. The words can only mean that a smaller porch stood before the porch of pillars, or colonnade]: and the other [omit] pillars [i.e., the pillars of the minor vestibule or fore porch] and the thick beam [Heb. threshold] were before them. [The broad threshold, approached by steps, and the pillars which it supported, together with the roof which covered them, formed the front part and approach to the larger porch or colonnade.]
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And he made a porch of pillars,.... At the west end of the house:
and the length thereof was fifty cubits; answerable to the breadth of the house:
and the breadth thereof thirty cubits: which, added to the length of the house, made it one hundred and thirty:
and the porch was before them; the four rows of cedar pillars of the house, 1 Kings 7:2 this porch was either for his guards to keep watch in; or for his courtiers to walk in, sheltered from rain or the like; or perhaps only for grandeur and magnificence:
and the other pillars and the thick beam were before them; the pillars of the porch, on which were laid beams of cedar for a storey over them, and so on; these were before and right against, and answered to the pillars of the house.
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