Vs. 1, “It took Solomon thirteen years, however, to complete the construction of his palace.” Bear in mind, Solomon’s palace wasn’t just his own residence; his palace included the whole royal complex. The fact that it took Solomon much longer to build his own palace most likely reveals that it wasn’t as pressing a need to finish in a timely manner. The Palace of the Forest of Lebanon was the royal armory and was called this because of its cedar pillars (vs. 2-5). In addition, Solomon built a colonnade (entry hall) to the Hall of Justice where he presided (vs. 6-7). Lastly, he built his own house and a house for Pharaoh’s daughter whom he took as one of his wives (vs. 8). Impressive stonework was done throughout the temple courts (vs. 9-12). The rest of the chapter (vs. 13-51) deals with the construction of the furnishings and decorations within the temple.
Regarding application…God’s Presence. Question: How would God’s people know He was with them? The temple was God’s testament of His presence. The same God that revealed His character and law at Sinai now resided with them at Zion (Jerusalem). Certainly, the LORD is not limited to just being in the temple. It was a wonderful privilege for God to show that the Israelites were a blessed nation. Through that blessing, God would reveal His ultimate plan to bless all nations (Genesis 12:1-3). As believers today, the presence of God is manifested through His Holy Spirit who dwells in our bodies. “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own.” (I Corinthians 6:19). Praise be to the Lord for He is always with us!