1 Kings 7:1-12
Around the same time he was building the temple, Solomon was also having a palace constructed. It took 13 years to build the palace. It isn’t clear if this was during, in between or right after construction of the temple. This description of the palace was put in the middle of the description of the construction of the temple and its furnishings.
We do know that the palace was 5 parts: his personal palace, the House of the Forest of Lebanon, the Hall of Pillars, the Hall of Judgement and the palace of his Egyptian wife. These may have been separate buildings or sections of one building. We do know the construction was similar to the temple with stone exteriors lined with wood from Lebanon. We also know that the House of the Forest of Lebanon was about double the size of the temple and the Hall of Pillars was about the size of the temple.
But why do kings build such elaborate palaces? They do it to show how powerful they are. When kings conquer lands they take plunder and by displaying wealth they show how strong they are. We hope that Solomon built this elaborate palace to show how strong and powerful his God was, but some have suggested that the elaborateness of the palace is an early sign that Solomon was starting to rely on himself, not God. We will have to wait and see if Solomon will be as faithful throughout his life as his father was.
Is it okay to have expensive things? Is it okay to drive an expensive car, rather than a plain one or live in a super expensive house rather than a normal one? [My answer is it depends on your motivation. Are you driving the expensive car because you can truly afford it and want the extra features or to impress your friends? Do you live in the fancy house because it boosts your self-esteem or because you are well-known and need the extra security for your family’s safety? God knows your heart and it matters!]