1 Kings 7:1-12
1 Solomon was building his own house thirteen years, and he finished his entire house.
2 He built the House of the Forest of Lebanon. Its length was a hundred cubits and its breadth fifty cubits and its height thirty cubits, and it was built on four rows of cedar pillars, with cedar beams on the pillars.
3 And it was covered with cedar above the chambers that were on the forty-five pillars, fifteen in each row.
4 There were window frames in three rows, and window opposite window in three tiers.
5 All the doorways and windows had square frames, and window was opposite window in three tiers.
6 And he made the Hall of Pillars; its length was fifty cubits, and its breadth thirty cubits. There was a porch in front with pillars, and a canopy in front of them.
7 And he made the Hall of the Throne where he was to pronounce judgment, even the Hall of Judgment. It was finished with cedar from floor to rafters.
8 His own house where he was to dwell, in the other court back of the hall, was of like workmanship. Solomon also made a house like this hall for Pharaoh’s daughter whom he had taken in marriage.
9 All these were made of costly stones, cut according to measure, sawed with saws, back and front, even from the foundation to the coping, and from the outside to the great court.
10 The foundation was of costly stones, huge stones, stones of eight and ten cubits.
11 And above were costly stones, cut according to measurement, and cedar.
12 The great court had three courses of cut stone all around, and a course of cedar beams; so had the inner court of the house of the Lord and the vestibule of the house.
Solomon’s reign lasts for 40 years. For the first half of his kingship, he focused on building first a Temple for God (7 years) and then a palace for himself (13 years). His palace is bigger, in terms of square footage (11,250 square feet), than the Temple (2,700 square feet), but not as tall. While the Temple was nice, the palace was extraordinary! I’m not sure what to think about Solomon at this point. The text does not indicate God’s pleasure or displeasure with Solomon’s building project. What these 20 years of building do serve to do is alienate his people a bit. That means that every man was conscripted for 3 months a year for 20 years. That’s a great deal to ask of someone and those resentments did not serve Solomon’s successors well. As far as applying this passage to our own lives, I guess (and that’s all it is today – a guess) I would have to say that we always need to be mindful of what we are sowing. Are we creating a foundation of peace and grace, as we learn from the Lord to do, or are we setting up a house made of our arrogance and pride, resulting in bitterness and resentment? While evaluation in the moment is difficult, it might prove helpful.