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. The other buildings. - 1 Kings 7:6. "And he made the pillar-hall, fifty cubits its length, and thirty cubits its breadth, and a hall in front of them, and pillars and a threshold in front of them." With regard to the situation of this hall in relation to the other parts of the building, which is not precisely defined, we may infer, from the fact that it is mentioned between the house of the forest of Lebanon and the throne and judgment halls, that it stood between these two. The length of this building (fifty cubits) corresponds to the breadth of the house of the forest of Lebanon; so that, according to the analogy of the temple-hall (1 Kings 6:3), we might picture to ourselves the length given here as running parallel to the breadth of the house of the forest of Lebanon, and might therefore assume that the pillar-hall was fifty cubits broad and thirty cubits deep. But the statement that there was a hall in front of the pillar-hall is irreconcilable with this assumption. We must therefore understand the length in the natural way, as signifying the measurement from back to front, and regard the pillar-hall as a portico fifty cubits long and thirty cubits broad, in front of which there was also a porch as an entrance. על־פּניהם, in front of them, i.e., in front of the pillars which formed this portico. The last words, "and pillars and threshold in front of them," refer to the porch. This had also pillars, probably on both sides of the doorway, which carried the roof; and in front of them was עב, i.e., according to the Chaldee סקפתא, the moulding or framework of the threshold, a threshold-like entrance, with steps.
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