Solomon’s buildings. (1-12): Let us discuss on these two seemingly opposite views…….
All Solomon’s buildings, though beautiful, were intended for use. Solomon began with the temple; he built for God first, and then his other buildings. The surest foundations of lasting prosperity are laid in early piety. He was thirteen years building his house, yet he built the temple in little more than seven years; not that he was more exact, but less eager in building his own house, than in building God’s. We ought to prefer God’s honour before our own ease and satisfaction. – Mathew Henry Concise Comme…
1 Kings 7:2–5 The House of the Forest of Lebanon, just the first of the several buildings of the palace complex, was much bigger than the temple (cf. 6:2). The temple had quite a bit of cedar of Lebanon in it (6:9–10, 15–16, 18, 20, 36); this building, however, had so much cedar (7:2–3, 7, 11, 12) that it could be named after the forest from which the cedar came—even though it was apparently designed only as a treasury or armory (cf. 10:17, 21; Isa. 22:8). This confirms that the king was much more concerned about his palace than about the Lord’s temple. – ESV Study Bible.
Solomon was building his own house thirteen years–The time occupied in building his palace was nearly double that spent in the erection of the temple ( 1 Kings 6:38 ), because neither had there been the same previous preparations for it, nor was there the same urgency as in providing a place of worship, on which the national well-being so much depended. – Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown and published in 1871.
He made more haste with the house of God than with his own, for that was but seven years in building; which showed greater regard to the honour of God then to his own glory, or even convenience; nor was this built till after that: – John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible. (He preached in the same church as Spurgeon over one hundred years earlier. His works contain priceless information that are found in ancient writings of the Jews.)
House – The royal palace for himself, and for his successors. Thirteen years – Almost double the time to that in which the temple wasbuilt; because neither were the materials so far provided and prepared forthis, as they were for the temple: nor did either he or his people use thesame diligence in this, as in the other work; to which they were quickenedby God’s express command. – Wesley’s Explanatory Notes
V.2. The house of the forest of Lebanon…Solomon built a royal palace which consists of “hall of pillar” (V.6), The “Hall of Judgment” (v.7), his personal residence (V.8), and a house for “pharaoh’s daughter” (V.8). He built it as one building having these many wings or sections.
Furniture of the temple. (13-47):
Vs. 13&14: Hiram….He is not the king Hiram of Tyre. His mother was a widow from Naphtali Tribe and his father was Tyre man. He was a bronze-smith.
Two pillars of Bronze (15-22) The two huge bronze pillars were called Jachin (V.21) which means “Firm” or ” he establishes”, and the other pillar was called Boaz (V.21) which means “strength is within him.” Stability and Spiritual strength are found at the door of God’s temple, where we must wait for the gifts of grace.
Vs.23-26. Sea of cast bronze…This was a huge reservoir to hold enormous amount of water for the lavers and for other temple use.
Vs.28-30 carts were made to carry the Levers (38) to transport the water to different stations in the temple.
The fountain of the blood of Jesus is available and God made elaborate arrangement to make the soul-cleansing blood to available to all those who come to HIS spiritual temple.
Vs.39-46. Hiram finished…There is a grand list of what Hiram did for the Temple.
Vessels of gold. (48-51):
Vs.48 & 49. golden altar, golden table, lampstand…gold..10 Lamps just before the inner sanctuary & more.
Christ is now….
1. The Temple & the Builder; 2. The Altar & the Sacrifice; 3. The Light of our souls, and 4. The Bread of life;
Outward images cannot represent, words cannot express, and the heart cannot conceive, his preciousness or his love. Let us come to him, and wash away our sins in his blood; let us seek for the purifying grace of his Spirit; let us maintain communion with the Father through his intercession, and yield up ourselves and all we have to his service. Being strengthened by him, we shall be accepted, useful, and happy. – Mathew Henry Commentary