Other Splendid Structures 1Ki 7:1-12
Solomon’s house took nearly twice as long to build as did the Temple, because there was not the same urgency for it. His house and that for the queen were probably built around large open courts, and stood, after the manner of the East, on either side of the central hall where public business was transacted.
The royal hall in Jerusalem was called the “House of the Forest of Lebanon,” because its many pillars resembled a forest of cedar wood. In front of this building was a colonnade, and in front of this again, the King’s Gate.
It is more than likely that the area of Mount Zion was greatly enlarged by walls built up from the valley and filled in with earth. This furnished room for the many splendid buildings named in this paragraph. Traces of these cyclopean walls can still be seen. In order to estimate the real value of all this splendor we have only to turn to the earliest chapters of Ecclesiastes, where we read how little it satisfied the hunger of Solomon’s soul. He turned away from it all, as unsatisfied as the prodigal from the husks of the swine. We were made for God and only God can suffice.