Melachim I Seven: Temple + Palace

“And Solomon built his house thirteen years and he finished all his house (Kings I 7:1).” Does this mean that at the same time he was building the Temple, he was also constructing another house? Or is he so tied up in the construction and invested in it that God’s house has also become his house? It seems to be the former, and once again we get all the minute details of the structure. Solomon is clearly a major builder, and is remaking the face of the city with his projects. “And he made a porch for the throne where he might judge, the porch of judgment; and covered with cedar from one side of the floor to the other (Kings I 7:7).” The king’s house and God’s house aren’t the same, yet the city needs both of them in order to fully meet the needs of the Israelites.

“And King Solomon sent and fetched Hiram out of Tyre (Kings I 7:13).” Hiram is apparently a master of copper, so he comes to design and decorate the palace. We hear about every inch (literally) of the project, from the floors to the tops of the pillars. I recognize that all of the details are important, and if I was better at visualizing, I’m sure I’d be able to picture the whole grand affair. But I’m finding my eyes glazing over, unable to find meaning in all of these tiny parts of the whole.

“And Hiram made the lavers, and the shovels, and the basins. And Hiram finished doing all the work which he did for King Solomon [in] the house of the Lord (Kings I 7:40).” For the first time, the Temple exists. The holiest place in Judaism, something that is still dreamt about and fought over today, is a reality.

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