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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible

Palace

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PALACE. Primarily ‘palace’ denotes simply a large house; so the Egyptian royal title Pharaoh or Palace (cf. Sublime Porte ) means ‘great house’; and the ordinary OT term for ‘palace,’ in its strict sense of ‘royal residence,’ is ‘the king’s house’ or ‘his house,’ 1Ki 7:1 ; 1 Kings 9:10 . The only royal residence of which we have any details in the Bible is Solomon’s palace, 1 Kings 7:1-12 , which took thirteen years to build. This included the ‘House of the Forest of Lehanon,’ a great hall, 100 cubits long, 50 broad, 30 high, with four rows of pillars; a ‘porch of pillars,’ 50 cubits by 30; the ‘porch of the throne’ for a court of justice; a dwelling-house for himself, and another for Pharaoh’s daughter. Round about the whole was a great court of hewn stones and cedar beams.

In Egypt the palace was not only the royal residence, but also the seat of government. The royal apartments were in an inner, the halls of audience in an outer, court. If we include all the buildings required for courtiers and officials, the ‘palace’ becomes not a house, but a royal city. A characteristic feature was a balcony on which the king would show himself to his people.

The Assyrian and Babylonian palaces were large and magnificent. In Babylonia, the palaces, like the temples, were built on the top of artificial mounds of crude bricks; and were groups of buildings forming a great fortress.


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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Palace'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/hdb/p/palace.html. 1909.

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