Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 7
Solomon loved pleasure, but he was also very aware of his duties as king (Proverbs 16:10-15; Proverbs 31:1-9). He knew that he must not allow that desire for pleasure to cause him to neglect his proper duties (Ecclesiastes 10:16-17).
Solomon’s throne - his royal seat - was very beautiful and wonderful (10:18-20). He intended it to be an expression of his power and greatness. Its proper place was not in the place where he ate and drank in great luxury. Rather, its place was in the hall where he acted as judge. In that way, Solomon separated completely his desire for pleasure from his duties as king.
Israel’s king was also the chief judge. Solomon believed strongly that his judgments must always be right and proper (Proverbs 24:23-25). Modern societies rarely permit their rulers to be judges, but Solomon’s opinions about this matter seem to be the opposite. He seemed to see his work as a ruler to be part of his work as a judge. When he made laws, for example, those rules needed to be right and proper. He must make laws to punish guilty people and to save innocent people from them. Solomon was eager to make wise and proper decisions in every situation where he had responsibility as king (3:5-14).
Solomon built a great hall out of stone where he carried out these duties. Inside, however, wood from Lebanon completely covered the stone. That made the room much quieter. Solomon wanted to be able to hear clearly every person who came to ask for his help, as judge.
Next part: The private palaces for the king and the principal queen (1 Kings 7:8)
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