1 Kings 7:8
And his house where he dwelt had another court within the porch, which was of the like work. Solomon made also an house for Pharaoh's daughter, whom he had taken to wife, like unto this porch.
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(8-11) The residence of the king, and the separate palace for the queen, distinct from the apartments of the inferior wives and concubines, are not described; except that they lay “within the porch,” that is, in the rear in another court, and were of “like work.” This is further explained by saying that they had costly stones of great size in the foundation, and stones above, hewn and sawn from top to bottom, carefully finished on the outside towards the great court, as well as on the inside, and were in all cases roofed with cedar. Josephus tells us that the inner court was adorned with trees and fountains, and had colonnades round it; and gives an enthusiastic description of the internal decoration of the rooms, panelled up to a certain height with polished marble, with a band of highly-wrought metal-work of foliage of all kinds above this, and the rest of the wall up to the ceiling plastered and painted in colours (“ceiled with cedar, and painted with vermilion.” Jeremiah 22:14). This description is curiously confirmed and illustrated by some of the recent discoveries at Nineveh.

1 Kings 7:8. His house where he dwelt had another court within the porch — That is, between the porch and the house, called therefore the middle court, 1 Kings 20:4. Solomon made also a house for Pharaoh’s daughter — Of which, see 2 Chronicles 2:11. Like unto this porch — Not for form or size, but for the materials and workmanship, the rooms being covered with cedar and the like ornaments.

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.Like unto this porch - i. e., of similar materials, hewn stone and cedar. The zenana could not have been a mere portico. 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.

Within the porch, i.e. between the porch and the house, called therefore the middle court, 2 Kings 20:4.

A house for Pharaoh’s daughter; of which see 1 Kings 3:1 2 Chronicles 8:11.

Like unto this porch; not for form or quantity, but for the materials and workmanship, the rooms being covered with cedar, and furnished with like ornaments.

And his house where he dwelt,.... Which was properly his dwellingplace, that part of the house where he usually resided:

had another court within the porch, which was of the like work; a court between that and the porch, called the inner court, 2 Kings 20:4.

Solomon made also a house for Pharaoh's daughter, whom he had taken to wife; see 1 Kings 3:1,

like unto this porch: being built of the same sort of materials, though in a different form.

And his house where he dwelt had another court within the porch, which was of the like work. Solomon made also an house for Pharaoh's daughter, whom he had taken to wife, like unto this porch.
8. And his house where he dwelt had another court within the porch, which was of the like work] It is better to leave out the italics of A V. and translate ‘And his house where he might dwell, the other court within the porch, was of the like work.’ The description has apparently been carrying us, from the front of the house of the forest, regularly more and more inward. Now we are brought to a court behind the previously mentioned porch, and in this court stood the king’s own dwelling house. It is noteworthy how little description is given to this or to the house for Pharaoh’s daughter. This probably comes to pass because the public were never admitted to these quarters.

Pharaoh’s daughter] Cf. 1 Kings 3:1. The house for her probably joined the king’s residence. Josephus (Ant. viii. 5. 2) tells us that it was united with the porch of the throne, but his description is so vague that little reliance can be placed on it, and little help derived from it. The women’s apartments, as usual in the East, were removed as far from public view as possible.

Verse 8. - And his house where he dwelt [i.e., his private residence. Not to be identified with the" house" of ver. 1. The term is here expressly restricted to his dwelling house. There it as clearly includes all the several palaces] had [or was. The "court" is apparently in apposition to "his house." The words in italics, here as elsewhere, merely darken the sense] another [Heb. the hinder] court within [For the use of נךהתךו ְ מִבֵּית לְ, compare 1 Kings 6:16; Numbers 18:7, and see Gesen., Thesaur. 1:193] the porch, which was of the like work [i.e., the walls were covered with cedar. The reference is clearly to materials, adornment, etc., not to size]. Solomon made also an house for Pharaoh's daughter, whom he had taken to wife [Heb. he made also a house for... whom Solomon had taken, i.e., married], like unto this porch. [This would seem to have been the private residence of the queen, not the harem where all the wives and concubines (1 Kings 11:3) were collected. It was evidently distinct from and behind the residence of the king, an arrangement which still prevails in Eastern palaces.] 1 Kings 7:8After (behind) the throne and judgment hall then followed the king's own palace, the principal entrance to which was probably through the throne-hall, so that the king really delivered judgment and granted audiences in the gate of his palace. "His house, where he dwelt, in the other court inwards from the (throne) hall was like this work," i.e., was built like the throne-hall; "and a (dwelling) house he made for the daughter of Pharaoh, whom Solomon had taken, like this hall." The construction of the dwelling-places of the king and queen cannot be ascertained from these words, because the hall with which its style is compared is not more minutely described. All that can be clearly inferred from the words, "in the other court inside the hall," is, that the abode of the king and his Egyptian wife had a court of its own, and when looked at from the entrance, formed the hinder court of the whole palace. The house of Pharaoh's daughter was probably distinct from the dwelling-place of the king, so that the palace of the women formed a building by itself, most likely behind the dwelling-house of the king, since the women in the East generally occupy the inner portion of the house. The statement that the dwelling-place of the king and queen formed a court by itself within the complex of the palace, warrants the further inference, that the rest of the buildings (the house of the forest of Lebanon, the pillar-hall, and the throne-hall) were united together in one first or front court.
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