1 Kings 7:12
And the great court round about was with three rows of hewed stones, and a row of cedar beams, both for the inner court of the house of the LORD, and for the porch of the house.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(12) The great court.—Finally, “the great court” round about is said to have resembled the “inner court” of the Temple, having an enclosure of three rows of stones, probably of large size, with a cedar coping. It seems evidently to have enclosed the whole palace, and may have contained quarters for the guards and the household. There must have been, of course, inner courts, round which both the more public and the more private buildings of the palace were grouped.

1 Kings 7:12. And the great court — Namely, of Solomon’s palace, mentioned 1 Kings 7:8. Was with three rows of hewed stones, &c. — Just like the inner court of the Lord’s house, (1 Kings 6:36,) and so the following words are to be understood. Both, for the inner court — Or, rather, as for the inner court, &c.; for so the particle ו, vau, sometimes signifies. And for the porch of the house — Namely, Solomon’s own house.

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.The palace, like the temple, had two courts 1 Kings 6:36, not, however, one immediately within the other. The lesser court of the palace seems to have been a private inner court among the buildings 1 Kings 7:8. The greater court was outside all the buildings, surrounding the palace on every side. Assyrian palaces had always such an external court, and had generally one or more inner courts or quadrangles.

Both for the inner court - By a slight alteration of the text, the meaning would be "as (was done) in the inner court, etc. and in the porch."

12. for the inner court of the house of the Lord—should be, as in the inner court of the house of the Lord; the meaning is, that in this palace, as in the temple, rows of hewed stones and the cedar beams formed the enclosing wall. The great court, to wit, of Solomon’s dwelling-house, mentioned 1 Kings 7:8.

A row of cedar beams; of which See Poole "1 Kings 6:36".

Both for the inner court of the house of the Lord, or, as (Heb. and, which is oft used in that sense for a particle of comparison or similitude, as Proverbs 11:25 17:3 Proverbs 25:23) for the inner court, &c., i.e. as it was in that inner court, of which the very same thing is said 1 Kings 6:36. Otherwise it might seem very improper and impertinent to speak of the court of the Lord’s house here, where he is treating only of Solomon’s house.

For the porch of the house, or, of this house, to wit, of which I am here speaking, i.e. of the king’s house, the porch where of had pillars, 1 Kings 7:6, and these both of stone and cedar, as may seem most probable, because the other pillars were such. And whereas the number and quality of the pillars of the porch was omitted, 1 Kings 7:6, that defect is here supplied, and we are implicitly acquainted with both of them. But this I speak with submission.

And the great court round about,.... Which surrounded Solomon's house:

was with three rows of hewed stones, and a row of cedar beams; these rows were one upon another, and were a wall to the court, which were either topped with a row of cedar wood, or that was a lining to the stones

for the inner court of the house of the Lord; or rather as, or like to that, as appears from 1 Kings 6:36,

and for the porch of the house; not the temple, but Solomon's house.

And the great court round about was with three rows of hewed stones, and a row of cedar beams, {h} both for the inner court of the house of the LORD, and for the porch of the house.

(h) As the Lord's house was built so was this, only the great court of Solomon's house was uncovered.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
12. And the great court round about] The words are the same as in 1 Kings 6:36. The great court was the hindmost part of all the palace grounds, and was apparently higher than the level of the front part. The way in which it was enclosed was by a low wall (sunk fence) as was done for the inner-court of the Temple.

both for the inner court of the house of the Lord] The conjunction with which this sentence begins is the usual copulative. But the sense should be ‘like as the inner court, &c.’ (Cf. 1 Kings 6:34.) Hence some have conjectured כ = as, instead of ו = and or both. The R.V. has given the true sense in the text ‘like as the inner court of the house of the Lord, and the porch of the house,’ and has put the literal translation on the margin. There is no great difficulty in gathering the former sense from the latter. We have only to take the construction to be ‘and thus was it done for the inner court &c.… and for.’

the porch of the house] Probably the porch intended is that spoken of in 1 Kings 6:3. ‘The house’ without any defining words can only be taken of the Temple; so that we cannot understand any porch in Solomon’s own house.

Verse 12. - And the great court round about [The palace, again like the temple, had two courts. The lesser is referred to in ver. 8, and was enclosed among the buildings. The great court probably surrounded the entire structure] was [enclosed by a wall] with three rows of hewed stones, and a row of cedar beams [The latter formed the coping. The wall of the court of the palace thus resembled that of the temple. See on 1 Kings 6:36. In all these coincidences we have tokens of the same designing hand], both for the inner court of the house of the Lord. [This sudden digression from the court of the palace to the temple is suspicious, and suggests either a mistranslation or corruption of the text. The historian evidently meant to say that the wall of the court, in its three rows of stones and its cedar coping, resembled the inner court of the temple; and, according to some grammarians (Gesen., Ewald), this meaning may well be conveyed by the text as it stands, ו in Hebrew serving sometimes to institute a comparison (Proverbs 25:3, 12, 20; Proverbs 26:14, etc.) "As in the court," etc. But the instances just cited, being proverbs or apophthegms, are not strictly parallel with our text. It seems better, on the whole, however, to retain the text in this sense than to replace. ו by כ, reading כלחצר or כחצר for ולחצר. כהחצר (Horsley) is quite inadmissible, as the constr, case never has the art.], and for the porch of the house. [It is almost impossible to decide whether the porch of judgment (ver. 7) or the porch of the temple is here meant. The immediate context favours the latter. But this does not seem to have had any court or enclosing wall other than the inner court. Rawlinson decides for the porch of judgment, "which," he says, "had a planking of cedar over the stone pavement" (ver. 7). But ver. 7 (where see note) rather excludes than in-eludes the pavement. The reference is probably to the "court within the porch," mentioned in ver. 8.] After this brief account of the royal palaces, the author proceeds to mention the vessels, etc., used in the temple service, prefacing his description by a few words respecting the great Tyrian artist, by whom they were for the most part cast, and possibly designed also. 1 Kings 7:12And (as for) the great court, there were found it three rows (i.e., it was formed of three rows) of hewn stones and a row of hewn cedar beams, as in the inner court of the house of Jehovah (see at 1 Kings 6:36) and the hall of the house. ולחצר signifies "and so with the court," Vav serving as a comparison, as in Proverbs 25:20, and frequently in Proverbs (see Dietrich in Ges. Lex. x.v. ,ו and Ewald, 340, b.), so that there is no necessity for the un-Hebraic conjecture of Thenius, כּלחצר. הבּית לאוּלם in all probability refers not to the temple-hall, but to the pillar-hall of the palace, the surrounding wall of which was of the same nature as the wall of the great, i.e., the other or hinder, court.

(Note: The situation of this palace in Jerusalem is not defined. Ewald supposes (Gesch. iii. p. 317) that it was probably built on the southern continuation of the temple-mountain, commonly called Ophel, i.e., Hill. But "nothing more is needed to convince us that it cannot have stood upon Ophel, than a single glance at any geographical outline of Ophel on one of the best of the modern maps, and a recollection of the fact that, according to Nehemiah 3:26, Nehemiah 3:31, it was upon Ophel, where the king's palace is said to have stood, that the temple-socagers and shopkeepers had their places of abode after the captivity" (Thenius). The view held by earlier travellers and pilgrims to Zion, and defended by Berggren (p. 109ff.), namely, that the ancient Solomonian and Asmonaean palaces stood upon Moriah on the western side of the temple, is equally untenable. For the xystus, above which, according to Josephus, Bell. Jud. ii. 16, 3, the Asmonaean palace stood, was connected with the temple by a bridge, and therefore did not stand upon Moriah, but upon Zion or the ἄνω πόλις, since this bridge, according to Josephus, Bell. Jud. vi. 6, 2, connected the temple with the upper city. Moreover, it clearly follows from the passages of Josephus already noticed (pp. 61f.), in which he refers to the substructures of the temple area, that the temple occupied the whole of Moriah towards the west, and extended as far as the valley of the Tyropoeon, and consequently there was no room for a palace on that side. When Josephus affirms, therefore (Ant. viii. 5, 2), that Solomon's palace stood opposite to the temple (ἄντικρυς ἔχων ναόν), it can only have been built on the north-east side of Zion, as most of the modern writers assume (see W. Krafft, Topographie Jerus. p. 114ff., and Berggr. p. 110). This is sustained not only by the probability that the Asmonaeans would hardly build their palace anywhere else than on the spot where the palace of the kings of Judah built by Solomon stood, but also by the account of the elevation of Joash to the throng in 2 Kings 11 and 2 Chronicles 23, from which it is perfectly obvious that the royal palace stood upon Zion opposite to the temple.)

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