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Holman Bible Dictionary
Palaces served not only as royal residences but as a means of displaying the wealth of a kingdom. Esther 1:6-7 describes the palace of King Ahasuerus (Xerxes I) of Assyria which featured fine curtains, marble pillars, and ornate mosaic floors. David's palace was built by workers sent by King Hiram of Tyre and featured cedar woodwork ( 2 Samuel 5:11 ). The palace must have been large to accommodate David's growing number of wives, concubines, and children (2 Samuel 3:2-5; 2 Samuel 5:13-16 ), as well as store booty, such as the golden shields which David seized (2 Samuel 8:7 ). Solomon's palace complex required thirteen years for completion (1 Kings 7:1 ). His palace complex included the “house of the forest of Lebanon” (1 Kings 7:2 ), an immense hall featuring 45 cedar pillars and Solomon's golden shields (1 Kings 10:16-18 ), the “porch of pillars” (1 Kings 7:6 ), the “Hall of Justice” (1 Kings 7:7 NRSV), featuring an ivory and gold throne ( 1 Kings 10:18-20 ), and private dwellings for both king and Pharoah's daughter (1 Kings 7:8 ). Builders used costly hewn stone and cedar throughout the palace (1Kings 7:9,1 Kings 7:11 ). Portions of this palace complex survived the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians (Nehemiah 3:25 ). King Ahab's palace in Samaria was decorated with ivory panels, some of which have been recovered by archaeologists (1 Kings 22:39 ).
The prophets, particularly Amos, condemned the rich for building palaces at the expense of the poor. Amos' announcements of doom refer to summer and winter residences, ivory furniture and palaces, and great houses of hewn stone (Amos 3:15; Amos 5:11; Amos 6:4 ,Amos 6:4,6:11 ). Jeremiah offered a similar critique of Jeroboam's building program in Jerusalem (Jeremiah 22:13-15 ).
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Palace'. Holman Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hbd/p/palace.html. 1991.