1 Kings 7:7
Then he made a porch for the throne where he might judge, even the porch of judgment: and it was covered with cedar from one side of the floor to the other.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(7) The porch (or hall) of judgment was clearly a separate building, not described in the text, except as having been floored and ceiled with cedar. Mr. Fergusson, comparing it “with the remains of Assyrian and Persian examples,” supposes it to have been square, supported on four pillars in the centre, between which the throne stood, and having openings on the four sides for the public, the king, and his officers.

1 Kings 7:7. He made a porch for the throne, even the porch of judgment — So it was called, because here he sat to judge and determine the causes that were brought before him. But some think it unlikely that this porch was adjoining to the house of the forest of Lebanon. They judge it more probable that it was built in some place near the royal palace in Jerusalem, and is here mentioned because the writer was speaking of other porches. And it was covered, &c., from one side of the floor to the other —

Hebrew, from floor to floor; from the lower floor on the ground, to the upper floor which covered it.

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 porch or gate of justice still kept alive the likeness of the old patriarchal custom of sitting in judgment at the gate; exactly as the "Gate of justice" still recalls it at Granada, and the Sublime Porte - "the Lofty Gate" - at Constantinople. 1Ki 7:2-7. Of the House of Lebanon.

2. He built also the house of the forest of Lebanon—It is scarcely possible to determine whether this was a different edifice from the former, or whether his house, the house of the forest of Lebanon, and the one for Pharaoh's daughter, were not parts of one grand palace. As difficult is it to decide what was the origin of the name; some supposing it was so called because built on Lebanon; others, that it was in or near Jerusalem, but contained such a profuse supply of cedar columns as to have occasioned this peculiar designation. We have a similar peculiarity of name in the building called the East India house, though situated in London. The description is conformable to the arrangement of Eastern palaces. The building stood in the middle of a great oblong square, which was surrounded by an enclosing wall, against which the houses and offices of those attached to the court were built. The building itself was oblong, consisting of two square courts, flanking a large oblong hall which formed the center, and was one hundred cubits long, by fifty broad. This was properly the house of the forest of Lebanon, being the part where were the cedar pillars of this hall. In front was the porch of judgment, which was appropriated to the transaction of public business. On the one side of this great hall was the king's house; and on the other the harem or royal apartments for Pharaoh's daughter (Es 2:3, 9). This arrangement of the palace accords with the Oriental style of building, according to which a great mansion always consists of three divisions, or separate houses—all connected by doors and passages—the men dwelling at one extremity, the women of the family at the other, while public rooms occupy the central part of the building.

He made a porch; another porch or distinct room without the house.

For the throne, described 1 Kings 10:18.

Where he might judge the people that brought their causes before him.

From one side of the floor to the other, i.e. the whole floor; or, from floor to floor, i.e. from the lower floor on the ground, to the upper floor which covered it.

Then he made a porch for the throne,.... The ivory throne on which he sat to hear and try causes, 1 Kings 10:18,

where he might judge, even the porch of judgment: which had its name from thence; this was either in his house in the forest of Lebanon, or in his palace at Jerusalem; the former seems best:

and it was covered with cedar from one side of the floor unto the other; that is, the whole floor.

Then he made a porch {e} for the throne where he might judge, even the porch of judgment: and it was covered with cedar from one side of the floor to the other.

(e) For his house which was at Jerusalem.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
7. Then he made a porch for the throne] Better (with R.V.) ‘And he made the porch of the throne.’ As the pillars were the distinction of the former porch, so was the throne of this. On kings sitting in public to hear causes and give judgment, cf. 1 Kings 22:10; Psalm 122:5.

and it was covered with cedar from one side of the floor to the other] Literally ‘from floor to floor.’ What is meant is that this was not an unenclosed porch like ‘the porch of pillars’ mentioned previously, but that it was enclosed with cedar wood walls all round from the floor to the ceiling. If this can be the sense of the word ‘floor’ in the second case, we must suppose the roof of the porch to be regarded as the floor of some upper room above it. But the word ‘floor’ קרקע is not very unlike קורות ‘beams’ and so some have suspected the scribe of having written the former instead of the latter in the second place. This would make all easy, but the other explanation is quite possible, and is accepted by Gesenius, though De Wette translates as in A.V.

Verse 7. - Then he made a porch [or the porch] for the throne where he might Judge [i.e., it was at once audience chamber (throne room, ch. 10:18) and court of justice], even the porch of judgment [Stanley remarks that this "porch, or gate of justice, still kept alive the likeness of the old patriarchal custom of sitting in judgment at the gate." He then refers to the "gate of justice" at Granada and the "Sublime Porte "at Constantinople. It is, perhaps, not quite so certain that "this porch was the gem and centre of the whole empire," or that because it was so much thought of a similar but smaller porch was erected for the queen (ver. 8) ("Jewish Ch.," 2. p. 195)]: and it was covered with cedar from one side of the floor to the other. [Heb. from the floor to the floor, as marg. Gesenius understands these words to mean, "from one floor to the other," i.e., to the cieling (the floor of the other story); in other words, the walls from bottom to top. So the Vulg., a pavimento usque ad summitatem, and Syr., a fundamento ad coelum ejus usque, which have led Thenius to suggest the reading עַד קּורות (unto the beams) instead of עַדהַקַּרְקַע. Keil thinks the ceiling served as the floor of an upper story, built over the porch of judgment, but, as Bahr observes, no such upper story is even hinted at elsewhere. It seems to me that, on the whole, the A.V. rendering is to be retained, the meaning being that the whole space, both of wall and cieling, from one side of the floor to the opposite side, was covered with cedar.] 1 Kings 7:7"And the throne-hall, where he judged, the judgment-hall, he made and (indeed) covered with cedar, from floor to floor." The throne-hall and the judgment-hall are therefore one and the same hall, which was both a court of judgment and an audience-chamber, and in which, no doubt, there stood and splendid throne described in 1 Kings 10:18-20. But it is distinguished from the pillar-hall by the repetition of עשׂה. It probably followed immediately upon this, but was clearly distinguished from it by the fact that it was covered with cedar הקּרקע עד מהקּרקע. These words are very obscure. The rendering given by Thenius, "panelled from the floor to the beams of the roof," is open to these objections: (1) that ספן generally does not mean to panel, but simply to cover, and that בּארז ספן is particular cannot possibly be taken in a different sense here from that which it bears in 1 Kings 7:3, where it denotes the roofing of the rooms built above the portico of pillars; and (2) that the alteration of the second הקרקע into הקּורות has no critical warrant in the rendering of the Syriac, a fundamento ad coelum ejus usque, or in that of the Vulgate, a pavimento usque ad summitatem, whereas the lxx and Chald. both read הקּרקע עד. But even if we were to read הקּורות, this would not of itself signify the roof beams, inasmuch as in 1 Kings 6:16 הקּירות or הקּורות receives its more precise definition from the expression הסּפּן noisserpx קירות (קורות) in 1 Kings 7:15. The words in question cannot have any other meaning than this: "from the one floor to the other," i.e., either from the floor of the throne-hall to the floor of the pillar-hall (described in 1 Kings 7:6), or more probably from the lower floor to the upper, inasmuch as there were rooms built over the throne-room, just as in the case of the house of the forest of Lebanon; for קרקע may denote not only the lower floor, but also the floor of upper rooms, which served at the same time as the ceiling of the lower rooms. So much, at any rate, may be gathered from these words, with all their obscurity, that the throne-hall was not an open pillar-hall, but was only open in front, and was shut in by solid walls on the other three sides.
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