Scripture Reading – 1 Kings 7; 2 Chronicles 4

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Because his reign was one of peace, Solomon dedicated himself to many construction projects during his lifetime.

Solomon’s Palace Complex (1 Kings 7:1-12)

While the Temple required seven years to build (1 Kings 6:38), Solomon’s palace was under construction for thirteen years, the details of which are given in 1 Kings 7:1-12. Some scholars call “the house of the forest of Lebanon” Solomon’s summer house or lodge. I believe it was part of the king’s palace complex (1 Kings 7:2-8). I suggest it was called “the house of the forest of Lebanon” because of the significant cedar pillars supporting its roof.

Solomon also built a house for his queen, who was identified as “Pharaoh’s daughter” (1 Kings 7:8). As queen, her home was attached to the palace complex.

The attention then turned from Solomon’s palace and grounds to preparations for the Temple.

Furnishings for the Temple (1 Kings 7:13-51; 2 Chronicles 4)

A craftsman named Hiram (not the same Hiram who was king of Tyre) was enlisted to make intricate, elaborate pieces of brass, silver, and gold for the Temple (1 Kings 7:13-51). Though his father was a man of Tyre, his mother was Hebrew and “of the tribe of Naphtali” (1 Kings 7:14). Hiram was a skilled metal artisan and “was filled with wisdom, understanding, and cunning to work all works in brass” (1 Kings 7:14). Hiram also crafted a large brass laver, described as “a molten sea,” and it “stood upon twelve oxen” (1 Kings 7:23-26).

The attention to detail and beauty is worth noting, even down to the utensils used in the Temple offerings. Tables overlaid with gold, golden lampstands, basins of gold, and golden lavers engraved with lilies added to the beauty and elegance of the house of worship (2 Chronicles 4:5). Doors of brass and pillars carved with wreaths and pomegranates (2 Chronicles 4:9, 12-13), all contributed to the intricate details adorning the Temple.

 

Closing thoughts –

Why such attention to detail? Because Solomon was building a house for the LORD, and it was an outward testimony of the greatness of His God (2 Chronicles 2:5-6).

In light of Solomon’s focus on excellence and his attention to detail for the Temple, please permit me to propose several questions for pastors, lay leaders, and believers.

Why should we expect the worship in our churches to be the best we can offer and give? Why should we strive for music that aspires to the highest and best when we worship the LORD in music and song? Why should we give attention to the beauty, appeal, and cleanliness of our places of worship?

In his epistle to the churches in Corinth, Paul challenged believers: “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).

Truth – The LORD deserves no less than our best.

Questions to consider –

1) How long had Solomon been building his palace? (1 Kings 7:1)

2) Where did Solomon place his throne so that he might judge the people? (1 Kings 7:7)

3) What qualities qualified Hiram to serve Solomon as a craftsman of brass? (1 Kings 7:14)

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith 

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