1 Kings 7:1
But Solomon was building his own house thirteen years, and he finished all his house.
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1 Kings 7:1. Solomon was building his own house — The royal palace, for himself and for his successors, which he did not begin to build till he had finished the house of God, that nothing might hinder that holy work, 1 Kings 9:10. Thirteen years — Almost double the time to that in which the temple was built; because, neither were the materials so far provided and prepared for this as they were for the temple, nor did either he or his people use the same diligence in this as in the other work, to which they were quickened by God’s express command.

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.Thirteen years - The thirteen years, i. e., counting from the end of the seven 1 Kings 6:38. Solomon's buildings thus occupied him twenty years 1 Kings 9:10; 2 Chronicles 8:1, from the fourth year of his reign to the twenty-fourth. The difference in the time taken by the temple and the palace is to be accounted for,

(1) by the long period of preparation which preceded the actual building of the former 1 Chronicles 22:2-4; 1 Kings 5:13-18; and

(2) by the greater size of the palace, which consisted of several large ranges of buildings. (See the next note.)


1Ki 7:1. Building of Solomon's House.

1. Solomon was building his own house thirteen years—The time occupied in building his palace was nearly double that spent in the erection of the temple [1Ki 6:38], because neither had there been the same previous preparations for it, nor was there the same urgency as in providing a place of worship, on which the national well-being so much depended.The building of Solomon’s house: the house of Lebanon, 1 Kings 7:1-5. The porch of pillars, and of judgment: the house of Pharaoh’s daughter, 1 Kings 7:6-12. Hiram’s work of the two pillars of brass, 1 Kings 7:13-22. Of the molten, sea, 1 Kings 7:23-26. Of the ten bases of brass, 1 Kings 7:27-37. The ten brasen lavers: all the vessels of brass and gold, 1 Kings 7:38-50. The dedicated things are brought into the temple, 1 Kings 7:51.

His own house; the royal palace for himself, and for his successors. Or, his houses, the singular number being put for the plural. Thirteen years; almost double time to that in which the temple was built; because neither were the materials so far provided and prepared for this as they were for the temple; nor did either he or his people use the same alacrity and diligence in this as in the other work; nor had they the same obligations to this work as they had to that, to which they were quickened by God’s express command, and by the necessity of setting up God’s worship there, as the foundation of all the hopes and happiness both of king and people, whereas his building was only for Solomon’s greater conveniency, and he had already a palace of David’s building.

But Solomon was building his own house thirteen years,.... He made more haste with the house of God than with his own, for that was but seven years in building; which showed greater regard to the honour of God then to his own glory, or even convenience; nor was this built till after that:

and finished all his house; or houses he undertook to build, the singular for the plural; even the house of God, his own palace, and that for the daughter of Pharaoh, and that which is next mentioned, which were in all twenty years building, 1 Kings 9:10.

But Solomon was building his own house thirteen years, and he {a} finished all his house.

(a) After he had built the temple.

Ch. 1 Kings 7:1-12. The building of Solomon’s own house, the house of the forest of Lebanon, and the house for Pharaoh’s daughter (Not in Chronicles)

1. his own house] This includes all the buildings described in 1 Kings 7:1-12. The LXX. transfers all this section 1–12 to the end of the chapter. In Chronicles, though Solomon’s own house is alluded to (2 Chronicles 7:11; 2 Chronicles 8:1), there is no description of it.

thirteen years] The longer time occupied by this building, in comparison with the seven years and a half spent on the Temple, is accounted for by the greater extent of this latter work. The Temple was comparatively a small edifice, and for it years of preparation had preceded the actual work of the building.

and he finished] i.e. At the end of twenty years and rather more. See 1 Kings 9:10.

Verse 1. - But Solomon was building his own house thirteen years [There is no contrast implied between the time spent upon the temple and that occupied in the building of the palace, as the word "but" seems to suggest. The close connexion which exists in the original is interrupted by the division of chapters. In 1 Kings 6:38 we read, "So was he seven years in building it." 1 Kings 7:1 then proceeds, "And he was building his own house thirteen years." The much longer period occupied in the erection of the royal palace is easily accounted for. In the first place, the buildings were much larger, and the undertaking altogether was a much more extensive one (ver. 2). Then, though seven years only were consumed in the actual building of the temple, yet preparations for the work had been made, both by David and Solomon, for a long time beforehand. Lastly, a special force of labourers would appear to have been employed on the temple, while it is probable that they wrought at the palaces in greatly diminished numbers. So that the longer period spent over his own house does not argue selfishness or worldliness on Solomon's part. On the contrary, it speaks well for his piety that he built the temple first and urged on that sacred work with so much vigour. The thirteen years date from the completion of the seven years of 1 Kings 6:38. That is to say, the building of the temple and palace together occupied twenty years, as is expressly stated in 1 Kings 9:10. It is therefore one of Stanley's reckless statements that the palace "was commenced at the same time as the temple, but not finished till eight years afterwards"], and he finished all his house. [By Solomon's "house" we are not to understand his private palace, or residence proper, alone (see ver. 8), but a range of palaces, more or less connected including the "house of the forest of Lebanon" (ver. 2), "the porch of pillars" (ver. 6), the throne-room or judgment hall (ver. 7), his own house and the house of Pharaoh's daughter (ver. 8). That all these are comprehended under the term "house" is evident from 1 Kings 9:1, 10, 15; 1 Kings 10:12, where Solomon's buildings are always spoken of as two, viz., "the house of the Lord" and the "king's house." The situation of this string of palaces is by no means certain. Josephus says it stood over against (or opposite) the temple, which is highly probable; but this still leaves the question of site open, for the palace would be justly described as ἄντικρυς ἔχων ναὸν, whether it stood west or south of the sanctuary. Ewald places it on the opposite ridge of Ophel, i.e., on the south prolongation of the temple mount; while Fergusson, Bahr, etc., locate it on the northeast side of Zion, on the opposite side of the Tyropoean valley, and overlooking it and the whole city of David. Recent explorations seem to favour Ewald's view. See "Recovery of Jerusalem," pp. 319 sqq, and "Our Work in Palestine," p. 159 sqq. When we remember that the very site of Zion is disputed, it will not surprise the reader that questions of this kind should be involved in uncertainty. And when it is further considered that the accumulated debris of Jerusalem at one point reaches a depth of 120 feet, it will be readily understood what obstacles stand in the way of their settlement.] 1 Kings 7:1Erection of the royal palace. - 1 Kings 7:1 is closely connected in form with 1 Kings 6:38, and contains a summary account of the building, which is more minutely described in 1 Kings 7:2-12. "And Solomon built his house (his palace) in thirteen years, and finished (in that time) all his house." The thirteen years are to be reckoned after the completion of the temple in seven years, so that the two buildings were executed in twenty years (1 Kings 9:10). The expression כּל־בּיתו is used, because the palace consisted of several buildings connected together; namely, (1) the house of the forest of Lebanon (1 Kings 7:2-5); (2) the pillar-hall with the porch (1 Kings 7:6); (3) the throne-room and judgment-hall (1 Kings 7:7); (4) the king's dwelling-house and the house of Pharaoh's daughter (1 Kings 7:8). That all these buildings were only different portions of the one royal palace, and the house of the forest of Lebanon was not a summer residence of Solomon erected on Lebanon itself, as many of the earlier commentators supposed, is indisputably evident, not only from the first verse when correctly interpreted, but also and still more clearly from the fact that when the buildings of Solomon are spoken of afterwards (see 1 Kings 9:1, 1 Kings 9:10, 1 Kings 9:15, and 1 Kings 10:12), we only read of the house of Jehovah and the house of the king, that is to say, of the temple and one palace. The description of the several portions of this palace is so very brief, that it is impossible to form a distinct idea of its character. The different divisions are given in 1 Kings 7:1-8 in their natural order, commencing at the back and terminating with the front (1 Kings 7:8), and there then follows in 1 Kings 7:9-12 the description of the stones that were used.
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