1 Kings 7

The Building of the Royal Palace

Solomon took thirteen years to build his palace.
Heb “His house Solomon built in thirteen years and he completed all his house.”
He named
Heb “he built.”
it “The Palace of the Lebanon Forest”;
The Palace of the Lebanon Forest. This name was appropriate because of the large amount of cedar, undoubtedly brought from Lebanon, used in its construction. The cedar pillars in the palace must have given it the appearance of a forest.
it was 150 feet
Heb “one hundred cubits.”
long, 75 feet
Heb “fifty cubits.”
wide, and 45 feet
Heb “thirty cubits.”
high. It had four rows of cedar pillars and cedar beams above the pillars.
The roof above the beams supported by the pillars was also made of cedar; there were forty-five beams, fifteen per row. There were three rows of windows arranged in sets of three.
Heb “and framed [windows in] three rows, and opening to opening three times.” The precise meaning of this description is uncertain. Another option might be, “overhung [in] three rows.” This might mean they were positioned high on the walls.
All of the entrances
Heb “all of the doors and doorposts.”
were rectangular in shape
Rectangular in shape. That is, rather than arched.
and they were arranged in sets of three.
Heb “and all the entrances and the doorposts [had] four frames, and in front of opening to opening three times” (the precise meaning of the description is uncertain).
He made a colonnade
Heb “a porch of pillars.”
75 feet
Heb “fifty cubits.”
long and 45 feet
Heb “thirty cubits.”
wide. There was a porch in front of this and pillars and a roof in front of the porch.
Heb “and a porch was in front of them (i.e., the aforementioned pillars) and pillars and a roof in front of them (i.e., the aforementioned pillars and porch).” The precise meaning of the term translated “roof” is uncertain; it occurs only here and in Ezek 41:25–26.
He also made a throne room, called “The Hall of Judgment,” where he made judicial decisions.
Heb “and a porch for the throne, where he was making judicial decisions, the Porch of Judgment, he made.”
It was paneled with cedar from the floor to the rafters.
The Hebrew text reads, “from the floor to the floor.” The second occurrence of the term הַקַּרְקָע (haqqarqa’, “the floor”) is probably an error; one should emend to הַקּוֹרוֹת (haqqorot, “the rafters”). See 6:16.
The palace where he lived was constructed in a similar way.
Heb “and his house where he lived, the other court [i.e., as opposed to the great court], separated from the house belonging to the hall, was like this work [i.e., this style of architecture].”
He also constructed a palace like this hall for Pharaoh’s daughter, whom he had married.
Heb “and a house he was making for the daughter of Pharaoh, whom Solomon had taken, like this porch.”
All of these were built with the best
Or “valuable” (see 5:17).
stones, chiseled to the right size
Heb “according to the measurement of chiseled [stone].”
and cut with a saw on all sides,
Heb “inside and out.”
from the foundation to the edge of the roof
The precise meaning of the Hebrew word טְפָחוֹת (tefakhot) is uncertain, but it is clear that the referent stands in opposition to the foundation.
and from the outside to the great courtyard.
10 The foundation was made of large valuable stones, measuring either 15 feet or 12 feet.
Heb “stones of ten cubits and stones of eight cubits” (it is unclear exactly what dimension is being measured). If both numbers refer to the length of the stones (cf. NCV, CEV, NLT), then perhaps stones of two different sizes were used in some alternating pattern.
11 Above the foundation
Heb “on top,” or “above.”
the best
Or “valuable” (see 5:17).
stones, chiseled to the right size,
Heb “according to the measurement of chiseled [stone].”
were used along with cedar.
12 Around the great courtyard were three rows of chiseled stones and one row of cedar beams, like the inner courtyard of the Lord’s temple and the hall of the palace.
Or “the porch of the temple.”

Solomon Commissions Hiram to Supply the Temple

13  King Solomon sent for Hiram
Heb “King Solomon sent and took Hiram from Tyre.” In 2 Chr 2:13 (MT v. 12) and 4:11, 16 his name is spelled “Huram.”
of Tyre.
For location see Map1-A2; Map2-G2; Map4-A1; Journey of Paul map 3-F3; Journey of Paul map 4-F3.
14 He was the son of a widow from the tribe of Naphtali,
2 Chr 2:14 (13 HT) says “from the daughters of Dan.”
and his father was a craftsman in bronze from Tyre. He had the skill and knowledge
Heb “he was filled with the skill, understanding, and knowledge.”
to make all kinds of works of bronze. He reported to King Solomon and did all the work he was assigned.

15  He fashioned two bronze pillars; each pillar was 27 feet
Heb “eighteen cubits.”
high and 18 feet
Heb “twelve cubits.”
in circumference.
16 He made two bronze tops for the pillars; each was seven-and-a-half feet high.
Heb “two capitals he made to place on the tops of the pillars, cast in bronze; five cubits was the height of the first capital, and five cubits was the height of the second capital.”
17 The latticework on the tops of the pillars was adorned with ornamental wreaths and chains; the top of each pillar had seven groupings of ornaments.
Heb “there were seven for the first capital, and seven for the second capital.”
18 When he made the pillars, there were two rows of pomegranate-shaped ornaments around the latticework covering the top of each pillar.
Heb “he made the pillars, and two rows surrounding one latticework to cover the capitals which were on top of the pomegranates, and so he did for the second latticework.” The translation supplies “pomegranates” after “two rows,” and understands “pillars,” rather than “pomegranates,” to be the correct reading after “on top of.” The latter change finds support from many Hebrew mss and the ancient Greek version.
19 The tops of the two pillars in the porch were shaped like lilies and were six feet high.
Heb “the capitals which were on the top of the pillars were the work of lilies, in the porch, four cubits.” It is unclear exactly what dimension is being measured.
20 On the top of each pillar, right above the bulge beside the latticework, there were two hundred pomegranate-shaped ornaments arranged in rows all the way around.
Heb “and the capitals on the two pillars, also above, close beside the bulge which was beside the latticework, two hundred pomegranates in rows around, on the second capital.” The precise meaning of the word translated “bulge” is uncertain.
21 He set up the pillars on the porch in front of the main hall. He erected one pillar on the right
Or “south.”
side and called it Jakin;
The name Jakin appears to be a verbal form and probably means, “he establishes.”
he erected the other pillar on the left
Or “north.”
side and called it Boaz.
The meaning of the name Boaz is uncertain. For various proposals, see BDB 126-27 s.v. בעז. One attractive option is to revocalize the name as בְּעֹז (beoz, “in strength”) and to understand it as completing the verbal form on the first pillar. Taking the words together and reading from right to left, one can translate the sentence, “he establishes [it] in strength.”
22 The tops of the pillars were shaped like lilies. So the construction of the pillars was completed.

23  He also made the large bronze basin called “The Sea.”
Heb “He made the sea, cast.”
This large basin that was mounted on twelve bronze bulls and contained water for the priests to bathe themselves (2 Chr 4:6; cf. Exod 30:17–21).
It measured 15 feet
Heb “ten cubits.”
from rim to rim, was circular in shape, and stood seven-and-a-half feet
Heb “five cubits.”
high. Its circumference was 45 feet.
Heb “and a measuring line went around it thirty cubits all around.”
24 Under the rim all the way around it
Heb “The Sea.” The proper noun has been replaced by the pronoun (“it”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.
were round ornaments
Or “gourd-shaped ornaments.”
arranged in settings 15 feet long.
Heb “ten cubits surrounding the sea all around.” The precise meaning of this description is uncertain.
The ornaments were in two rows and had been cast with “The Sea.”
Heb “the gourd-shaped ornaments were in two rows, cast in its casting.”
25 “The Sea” stood on top of twelve bulls. Three faced northward, three westward, three southward, and three eastward. “The Sea” was placed on top of them, and they all faced outward.
Heb “all their hindquarters were toward the inside.”
26 It was four fingers thick and its rim was like that of a cup shaped like a lily blossom. It could hold about 12,000 gallons.
Heb “two thousand baths” (a bath was a liquid measure roughly equivalent to six gallons).

27  He also made ten bronze movable stands. Each stand was six feet
Heb “four cubits.”
long, six feet
Heb “four cubits.”
wide, and four-and-a-half feet
Heb “three cubits.”
28 The stands were constructed with frames between the joints. 29 On these frames and joints were ornamental lions, bulls, and cherubs. Under the lions and bulls were decorative wreaths.
The precise meaning of these final words is uncertain. A possible literal translation would be, “wreaths, the work of descent.”
30 Each stand had four bronze wheels with bronze axles and four supports. Under the basin the supports were fashioned on each side with wreaths.
The precise meaning of this last word, translated “wreaths,” is uncertain.
31 Inside the stand was a round opening that was a foot-and-a-half deep; it had a support that was two and one-quarter feet long.
Heb “And its opening from the inside to the top and upwards [was] a cubit, and its opening was round, the work of a stand, a cubit-and-a-half.” The precise meaning of this description is uncertain.
On the edge of the opening were carvings in square frames.
Heb “also over its opening were carvings and their frames [were] squared, not round.”
32 The four wheels were under the frames and the crossbars of the axles were connected to the stand. Each wheel was two and one-quarter feet
Heb “a cubit-and-a-half” (a cubit was a unit of measure roughly equivalent to 18 inches or 45 cm).
33 The wheels were constructed like chariot wheels; their crossbars, rims, spokes, and hubs were made of cast metal. 34 Each stand had four supports, one per side projecting out from the stand.
Heb “four shoulders to the four sides of each stand, from the stand its shoulders.” The precise meaning of the description is uncertain.
35 On top of each stand was a round opening three-quarters of a foot deep;
Heb “and on top of the stand, a half cubit [in] height, round all around” (the meaning of this description is uncertain).
there were also supports and frames on top of the stands.
36 He engraved ornamental cherubs, lions, and palm trees on the plates of the supports and frames wherever there was room,
Heb “according to the space of each.”
with wreaths
The precise meaning of this last word, translated “wreaths,” is uncertain.
all around.
37 He made the ten stands in this way. All of them were cast in one mold and were identical in measurements and shape.

38  He also made ten bronze basins, each of which could hold about 240 gallons.
Heb “forty baths” (a bath was a liquid measure roughly equivalent to six gallons).
Each basin was six feet in diameter;
Heb “four cubits, each basin.” It is unclear which dimension is being measured.
there was one basin for each stand.
39 He put five basins on the south side of the temple and five on the north side. He put “The Sea” on the south side, in the southeast corner.

40  Hiram also made basins, shovels, and bowls. He
Heb “Hiram.” The proper name has been replaced by the pronoun (“he”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.
finished all the work on the Lord’s temple he had been assigned by King Solomon.
Heb “Hiram finished doing all the work which he did for King Solomon [on] the house of the Lord.
41 He made
The words “he made” are added for stylistic reasons.
the two pillars, the two bowl-shaped tops of the pillars, the latticework for the bowl-shaped tops of the two pillars,
42 the four hundred pomegranate-shaped ornaments for the latticework of the two pillars (each latticework had two rows of these ornaments at the bowl-shaped top of the pillar), 43 the ten movable stands with their ten basins, 44 the big bronze basin called “The Sea” with its twelve bulls underneath,
Heb “underneath ‘The Sea.’”
45 and the pots, shovels, and bowls. All these items King Solomon assigned Hiram to make for the Lord’s temple
Heb “which Hiram made for King Solomon [for] the house of the Lord.
were made from polished bronze.
46 The king had them cast in earth foundries
Or perhaps, “molds.”
in the region of the Jordan between Succoth and Zarethan.
47 Solomon left all these items unweighed; there were so many of them they did not weigh the bronze.
Heb “Solomon left all the items, due to their very great abundance; the weight of the bronze was not sought.”

48  Solomon also made all these items for the Lord’s temple: the gold altar, the gold table on which was kept the Bread of the Presence,
Heb “the bread of the face [or presence].” Many recent English versions employ “the bread of the Presence,” although this does not convey much to the modern reader.
This bread was viewed as a perpetual offering to God and was regarded as holy. See Lev 24:5–9.
49 the pure gold lampstands at the entrance to the inner sanctuary (five on the right and five on the left), the gold flower-shaped ornaments, lamps, and tongs, 50 the pure gold bowls, trimming shears, basins, pans, and censers, and the gold door sockets for the inner sanctuary (the most holy place) and for the doors of the main hall of the temple. 51 When King Solomon finished constructing the Lord’s temple, he
Heb “Solomon.” The proper name has been replaced by the pronoun (“he”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.
put the holy items that belonged to his father David (the silver, gold, and other articles) in the treasuries of the Lord’s temple.

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