Palace (the rendering in the A.V. usually of אִרמוֹן, armon [הִרמוֹן, ha.rmn, Am 4:3], a castle, as rendered only in Pr 18:19; and uniformly of בַּירָה, birah, a citadel, 1Ch 29:1,19; so in Nehemiah, Ezra, Esther, and Daniel; but prop. of הֵיכָל, heykal, 1Ki 21:1; 2Ki 20:18; Ps 45:8,15; Ps 144:12; Pr 30:28; Isa 13:22; Isa 39:7; Da 1:4; Na 2:6; the Chald. הֵיכִל, heykdl, Ezr 4:14; Da 4:4,29; Da 6:18, a regal edifice, esp. the temple of Jehovah, as elsewhere rendered; less prop. of אִפֶּדֶן, appeden, a fortress, Da 1:21; טַירָה, tirah, Song 8:9; Eze 25:4; a castle, as elsewhere chiefly; also בַּיתָן, bithadn, a large house, Es 1:5; Es 7:7-8; and בֵּית, beth, a house, in certain combinations; in the N.T. αὐλή, Mt 26:3,58,69; Mr 14:54,64; Lu 11:21; Joh 18:15, a court or hall, as elsewhere sometimes rendered; πραιτώριον, Php 1:13. the prcetorium [q.v.], as rendered in Mr 15:16), in Scripture, denotes what is contained within the outer enclosure of the royal residence, including all the buildings, courts, and gardens (2Ch 36:19; comp. Ps 48:4; Ps 122:7; Pr 9:3; Pr 18:19; Isa 23:13; Isa 25:2; Jer 22:14; Am 1:7,12,14; Na 2:6). In the N; T. the term palace (αὐλή) is applied to the residence of a man' of rank (Mt 26:3; Mr 14:66; Lu 11:21; Joh 18:15). The specific allusions are to the palace built by Herod, which was afterwards occupied by the Roman governors, and was the praetorium, or hall, which formed the abode of Pilate when Christ was brought before him (Mr 15:16): the other passages above cited, except Lu 11:21, refer to the residence of the high-priest.
The particulars which have been given under the head HOUSE SEE HOUSE (q.v.) require only to be aggrandized to convey a suitable idea of a palace; for the general arrangements and distribution of parts are the same in the palace as in the house, save that the courts are more numerous. and with more distinct appropriations, the buildings more extensive, and the materials more costly. The palace of the kings of Judah in Jerusalem was that built by Solomon, thought by most interpreters to be the same with that called "the house of the forest of Lebanon," of which some particulars are given in 1Ki 7:1-12; and if that passage be read along with the description which Josephus gives of the same pile (Ant. v, 5), a faint idea may be formed of it, as a magnificent collection of buildings in adjoining courts, connected with and surrounded by galleries and colonnades. To the same Jewish historian we are also indebted for an account of Herodis palace, doubtless drawn from personal knowledge (War, v, 4:4). The two buildings apparently occupied the same site, namely, the eminence of Zion, doubtless immediately adjoining and including the castle of David, or the present citadel of the metropolis. SEE JERUSALEM.
"There are few tasks, more difficult or puzzling than the attempt to restore an ancient building of which we possess nothing but two verbal descriptions; and these difficulties are very much enhanced when one account is written in a language like Hebrew, the scientific terms in which are, from our ignorance, capable of the widest latitude of interpretation; while the other, though written in a language of which we have a more definite knowledge, was composed by a person who never could have seen the buildings he was describing. Notwithstanding this, the palace which Solomon occupied himself in erecting during the thirteen years after he had finished the Temple is a building of such world-wide notoriety that it cannot be without interest to the Biblical student, and that those who have made a special study of the subject, and who are familiar with the arrangements of Eastern palaces, should submit their ideas on the subject; and it is also important that our knowledge on this, as on all other matters connected with the Bible, should be brought down to the latest date. Almost all the restorations of this celebrated edifice which are found in earlier editions of the Bible are what may be called Vitruvian, viz. based on the principles of classical architecture, which Were the only ones known to their authors. During the earlier part of this century attempts were made to introduce the principles of Egyptian design into these restorations, but with even less success. The Jews hated Egypt and all that it contained, and everything they did, or even thought, was antagonistic to the arts and feelings of that land of bondage. [Nevertheless it is certain that the Temple (q.v.) was in a large measure a copy of many of the Egyptian structures which remain to this day.] On the other hand, the exhumation of the palaces of Nineveh (q.v.), and the more careful examination of those at Persepolis, have thrown a flood of light on the subject. Many expressions which before were entirely unintelligible are now clear and easily understood, and, if we cannot yet explain everything, we know at least where to look for analogies, and what was the character, even if we cannot predicate the exact form, of the buildings in question." "Although incidental mention is made of other palaces at Jerusalem and elsewhere, they are all of subsequent ages, and built under the influence of Roman art, and therefore not so interesting to the Biblical student as this. Besides, none of them are anywhere so described as to enable their disposition or details to be made out with the same degree of clearness, and no instruction would be conveyed by merely reiterating the rhetorical flourishes in which Josephus indulges when describing them; and no other place is described in the Bible itself so as to render its elucidation indispensable in such an article as the present." SEE ARCHITECTURE.
1. The following is substantially the reconstruction of Solomon's famous palace as proposed by Fergusson in his Handbook of Architecture, p. 202. It is impossible, of course, to be at all certain what was either the form or the exact disposition of such a palace, but, as we, have the dimensions of the three principal buildings given in the book of Kings, and confirmed by Josephus, we may, by taking these as a scale, ascertain pretty nearly that the building covered somewhere about 150,000 or 160,000 square feet. Less would not suffice for the accommodation specified, and more would not be justified, either from the accounts we have, or the dimensions of the citys in which it was situated. Whether it was a square of 400 feet each way, or an oblong of about 550 feet by 300, as represented in the annexed diagram (fig. 1), must always be more or less a matter of conjecture. The form here adopted seems to suit better not only the exigencies of the site, but the known disposition of the parts.
(a.) The principal building situated within the palace was, as in all Eastern palaces, the great hall of state and audience; here called the "House of the Forest of Lebanon." Its dimensions were 100 cubits, or 150 feet long, by half that, or 75 feet in width. According to the Bible (1Ki 7:2) it had "four rows of cedar pillars, with cedar beams upon the pillars;" but it is added in the next verse that "it was covered with cedar above the beams that lay on 45 pillars, 15 in a row." This would be easily explicable if the description stopped there, and so Josephus took it. He evidently considered the hall, as he afterwards described the Stoa basilica of the Temple, as consisting, of four rows of columns, three standing free, but the fourth built into the outer wall (Ant. 11:5); and his expression that the ceiling of the palace hall was in the Corinthian manner (Ant. 7:5, 2) does not mean that it was of that order, which was not then invented, but after the fashion of what was called in his day a Corinthian cecus, viz. a hall with a clerestory. If we, like Josephus, are contented with these indications, the section of the hall was certainly as shown in fig. 2, A. But the Bible goes on to say (ver. 4) that "'there were windows in three rows, and light was against light in three ranks," and in the next verse it repeats, "and light was against light in three ranks." Josephus escapes the difficulty by saying it was lighted by θυρώμασι τριγλύφοις, or by windows in three divisions, which might be taken as an extremely probable description if the Bible were not so very specific regarding it; and we may therefore adopt some such arrangement as that shown in fig. 2 B. In short, Fergusson suggests a clerestory, to which he thinks Josephus refers, and shows the three rows of columns which the Bible description requires. Besides the clerestory, there was on this theory a range of openings under the cornice of the walls, and then a range of open doorways, which would thus make the three openings required by the Bible description. In a hotter climate the first arrangement (fig. 2, A) would be the more probable; but on a site so exposed and occasionally so cold as Jerusalem, it is scarcely likely that the great hall of the palace was permanently open even on one side.
Another difficulty in attempting to restore this hall arises from the number of pillars being unequal ("15 in a row"), and if we adopt the last theory (fig. 2, B), we have a row of columns in the centre both ways. Fergusson holds that it was closed, as shown in the plan, by a wall at one end, which would give 15 spaces to the 15 pillars, and so provide a central space in the longer dimension of the hall in which the throne might have been placed. If the first theory be adopted, the throne may have stood either at the end, or in the centre of the longer side, but, judging from. what we know of the arrangement of Eastern palaces, we may be almost certain that the latter is the correct position.
(b.) Next in importance to the building just described is the hall or porch of judgment (ver. 7), which Josephus distinctly tells us (Ant. 8:5, 2). was situated opposite the centre of the longer side of the great hall an indication that may be admitted with less hesitation,, as such a position is identical with that of a similar hall at Persepolis, and with the probable position of one at Khorsabad. Its dimensions were 50 cubits long and 30 wide (Josephus says 30 in one direction at least), and its disposition can easily be understood by comparing the descriptions which we have with' the remains of the Assyrian and Persian examples. It is thought by Fergusson to have been supported by four pillars in the centre, and to have had three entrances; the principal one opening from the street and facing the judgment-seat, a second from the court-yard of the palace, by which the councillors and officers of state might come in (fig. 1, in the direction M), and a third from the palace, reserved for the king and his household, as shown above (fig. 1, in the direction N).
(c.) The third edifice is merely called "the Porch." Its dimensions are not all given in the sacred text. Josephus does not describe its architecture; and we are unable to understand the description contained in the Bible, owing apparently to our ignorance of the synonyms of the Hebrew architectural terms. Its use, however, cannot be considered as doubtful, as it was an indispensable adjunct to an Eastern palace. It was the ordinary place of business of the palace, and the receptionroom — the Guesten-Hall — where the king received ordinary visitors, and sat, except on great. state occasions, to transact the business of the kingdom.
(d.) Behind this, we are told, was the inner court, adorned with gardens and fountains, and surrounded by cloisters for shade; and besides this were other courts for the residence of the attendants and guards, and, in Solomon's case, for the three hundred women of his harem: all of which are shown in the plan (fig. 1) with more clearness than can be conveyed by a verbal description.
(e.) Apart from this palace, but attached, as Josephus tells us, to the Hall of Judgment, was the palace of Pharaoh's daughter — too proud and important a personage to be grouped with the ladies of the harem, and requiring a residence of her own.
(f.) There is still another building mentioned by Josephus, as a naos or temple, supported by, massive columns, and situated opposite the Hall of Judgment. It may thus have been outside, in front of the palace in the city; but more probably was, as shown in the plan, in the centre of the great court. Fergusson thinks it could not have been a temple, in the ordinary acceptation of the term, as the Jews had only one temple, and that was situated on the other side of the valley; but it may have been an altar covered by a baldachino. This would equally meet the exigencies of the description as well as the probabilities of the case; and so it has been represented in the plan above (fig. 1 "altar").
If the site and disposition of the palace were as above indicated, it would require two great portals: one leading from the city to the great court, shown at N; the other to the Temple and the king's garden, at N. This last, Fergusson supposes, was situated where the stairs then were which led up to the City of David, and where the bridge afterwards joined the Temple to the city and palace.
The recent discoveries at Nineveh have enabled us to understand many of the architectural details of this palace, which before they were made were almost wholly inexplicable. (See the Jour. of Sac. Lit. Jan. 1852, p. 422.) We are told for instance, that the walls of the halls of the palace were wainscoted with three tiers of stone, apparently versicolored marbles, hewn and polished, and surmounted by a fourth course, elaborately carved with representations of leafage and flowers. Above this the walls were plastered and ornamented with colored arabesques. At Nineveh the walls were, like these, wainscoted to a height of about eight feet but with alabaster, a peculiar product of the country, and these were separated from the painted space above by an architectural band; the real difference being that the Assyrians revelled in sculptural representations of men, and animals, as we now know from the sculptures brought home, as well as from the passage in Ezekiel (23:14), where he describes "men portrayed on the wall, the images of the Chaldaeans portrayed with vermilion," etc. These modes of decoration were forbidden to the Jews by the second commandment, given to them in consequence of their residence in Egypt and their consequent tendency to that multiform idolatry. Some difference may also be due to the fact that the soft alabaster, though admirably suited to bass-relief, was not suited for sharp, deeply cut foliage sculpture, like that described by Josephus, while, at the same time, the hard material used by the Jews might induce them to limit their ornamentation to one band only. It is probable, however, that a considerable amount of color was used in the decoration of these palaces, not only from the constant reference to gold and gilding in Solomon's buildings, and because that as a color could hardly be used alone, but also from such passages as the following: "Build me a wide house and large" — or through-aired — "chambers, and cutteth out windows; and it is ceiled with cedar, and painted with vermilion" (Jer 22:14). It may also be added that in the East all buildings, with scarcely an exception, are adorned with color internally, generally the three primitive colors used in all their intensity, but so balanced as to produce the most harmonious results. SEE ASSYRIA.
2. Quite different is the scheme proposed by Thenius in the Exeg. Handb. zum. A. T., of which the following is substantially a reproduction:
(a.) On this plan, proceeding from without, the first part was "the House of the Forest of Lebanon," so called, probably, because it was constructed of cedarwood from Lebanon. This served as an audience chamber or hall of state (Joseph. l.c.), and was hung around with costly armor (1Ki 10:16-17). The Targum calls it "the house of the cooling of the king," probably because of the refreshing air which its size, its elevated site, and its open construction secured for it. Some have thought it was a sort of winter-garden or conservatory; but this is less probable. Its proportions, 100 cubits of length, 50 of breadth, and 30 of height, must be understood of the inner measurement; so that the area of this hall was larger than that of the temple, the height of both being the same (6, 2). A solid wall of masonry enclosed the woodwork (ver. 9). The area of this hall was surrounded by four rows of cedar pillars. The statement in ver. 2 is commonly taken to indicate four straight lines of pillars, and much perplexity has been caused on this supposition by the subsequent statement (ver. 3) that there were 45 pillars, 15 in a row. If there were 4 rows, intersecting the hall lengthways, and 15 intersecting its breadth, there must have been 60 pillars in all. This has led some arbitrarily to read three for four, contrary to all the codices and all the versions, the Sept. excepted.:
But טוֹר does not signify a series in line, but a series surrounding or enclosing (comp. 6:36; 7:18, 20, 24, 42; Eze 46:23); so that the four rows of pillars went round the hall, forming four aisles inside the wall, or, as the Vulgate renders the passage, "quatuor deambulacra inter columnas cedrinas" (fig. 3). On these pillars beams of cedar-wood rested, running from the front to the wall, and forming a substantial rest for the upper story. This consisted of side chambers or galleries (צלָעוֹת, comp. 6:5, 8), and it is to the number and order of these that the statement in ver. 3 refers: "And the chambers which were upon the beams, forty-five [in number]; fifteen in each row [circuit], were wainscoted with cedar-wood" (fig. 4, a a). These were roofed with beams (שׁקֻפַים A.V. "windows," which the word never means) in three rows, i.e. there were three stories of galleries, and in these sights (מֶחֵָזה; Sept. χῶρα) over against each other in three ranks, i.e. each chamber in the three stories had an opening to the interior, facing a corresponding opening in the opposite chamber (fig. 4, b b). The different compartments of the galleries communicated with each other by means of doors. These, as well as the windows (the Sept., has χῶραι in ver. 5, which shows that it read הִמֶּהזֵוֹת where the present reading is הִמּזוּזוֹת, of which it is impossible to make sense), were square with an over beam. These galleries were probably reached by a winding stair in the outer wall (figs. 3 and 4, d d), as in the Temple (6, 8).
From this description, the idea we form of "the House of the Forest of Lebanon" is that of a large hall, open in the centre to the sky, the floor of which was surrounded with four rows of pillars, affording a promenade, above which were three tiers of galleries open to the interior, divided each into fifteen compartments like the boxes in a theatre, but, with doors communicating with each other. As the height of the entire building was thirty cubits, we may divide this so as to allot eight feet to the supporting pillars, eighteen to the galleries, and four to the beams and flooring of the galleries. The building, thus conceived, answers to. the description of it by Josephus, as Κορινθίως ἐστεγασμένος, by which he means, not that it was in the Corinthian style of architecture (Keil), but that it was built after the Corinthian fashions that of a hall, surrounded by a row of pillars with heavy architraves, on which rested beams running to the wall, and supporting a floor, which again supported shorter pillars, between which were windows, the whole being hypoethral (Vitruv. 6:3, 1).
(b.) If now we regard this building (fig. 5, B) as placed lengthwise in the middle of a court (A), it is easy to understand the arrangement of the portico of pillars (D), the length of which was the same as the breadth of the building (ver. 6). These did not run along the side of it, but were behind it, forming a colonnade fifty cubits long by thirty wide, conducting to the residence of the king. This terminated in a. porch, or entrance-hall, which had pillars and an עב, i.e. a threshold or perron (A.V. "thick beam;" Targ. סקופתא, limen). By this was the entrance to the throne-room or hall of judgment (E), which was wainscoted with cedar from floor to ceiling (הִקַּירוֹת [this is the reading followed by the Vulg. and Syr. instead of the second הִקִּרקָע, which is a manifest error], 7:7). Then came the king's residence in another court (F) behind the throne-room; and of this the residence of the queen, which may or may not have been the harem, formed a (probably the back) part. The space G is added conjecturally, for the court containing the offices of the palace, and perhaps "the king's prison." All these buildings Were externally of hewn stone, and the whole was surrounded by a solid wall enclosing a court.
3. Very different again is the reconstruction proposed by Prof. Paine, in his Solomon's Temple, etc., of whose scheme we here subjoin a brief outline. He maintains that the structure was situated on the north side of the Temple, immediately adjoining its area, where the tower of Antonia eventually stood, adducing 2 Kings 11 in proof of this position. He holds that the entire structure was one, the palace being the same elsewhere called "the House of the Forest of Lebanon." The pillars are by him distributed on the outside of the building, in successive rows of different heights, supporting the walls in terrace style. There is thus in reality but one story, although there is the appearance externally of several, while within there is a series of benchings like the tiers of a modern gallery. This entire scheme is remarkable for its simplicity. It is altogether congruous with its author's idea of the structure of Solomon's Temple, the essential difference from all other proposed restorations being the gradual enlargement of the building upward. SEE TEMPLE.