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The House of The Forest of Lebanon

The "house of the forest of Lebanon" was the name given by King Solomon to a part of the palace complex in Jerusalem. As its name implies, it was built using a large amount of Lebanese wood, specifically, cedars of Lebanon. While cedar was used throughout, and for roofing, it may have gotten the name "forest" because of the many pillars and beams of cedar inside the structure.

"He built also the house of the forest of Lebanon"

Solomon was famous for his wisdom, and his knowledge (which don't automatically go together). He was also well familiar with nature, including the magnificent cedars of Lebanon, which back then existed in vast numbers.

Cedars Of Lebanon

"And Solomon's wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all men; than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, and Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol: and his fame was in all nations round about."

"And he spake three thousand proverbs: and his songs were a thousand and five. And he spake of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: he spake also of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes. And there came of all people to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, which had heard of his wisdom." (1 Kings 4:30-34 KJV)

When the time came for Solomon to begin building the palace complex, he asked Huram the king of Tyre for a supply of cedar, as Solomon's father King David did before him.

"And Solomon sent to Huram the king of Tyre, saying, As thou didst deal with David my father, and didst send him cedars to build him an house to dwell therein, even so deal with me" (2 Chronicles 2:3 KJV)

"But Solomon was building his own house thirteen years, and he finished all his house. He built also the house of the forest of Lebanon; the length thereof was an hundred cubits, and the breadth thereof fifty cubits, and the height thereof thirty cubits, upon four rows of cedar pillars, with cedar beams upon the pillars. And it was covered with cedar above upon the beams, that lay on forty five pillars, fifteen in a row. And there were windows in three rows, and light was against light in three ranks. And all the doors and posts were square, with the windows: and light was against light in three ranks." (1 Kings 7:1-5 KJV)

The "house of the forest of Lebanon" was a grand area of the palace complex, not only because of the magnificence of its structure but also from the articles of gold that Solomon stored within.

"Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred threescore and six talents of gold, Beside that he had of the merchantmen, and of the traffic of the spice merchants, and of all the kings of Arabia, and of the governors of the country. And king Solomon made two hundred targets of beaten gold: six hundred shekels of gold went to one target. And he made three hundred shields of beaten gold; three pound of gold went to one shield: and the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon" (1 Kings 10:14-17 KJV)

"And all king Solomon's drinking vessels were of gold, and all the vessels of the house of the forest of Lebanon were of pure gold; none were of silver: it was nothing accounted of in the days of Solomon" (1 Kings 10:21 KJV)

Fact Finder: Ironically, although the cedar used in the construction of the palace and Temple was very beautiful, the natural resins that make cedar more resistant to insects and decay than many other woods also makes it much more flammable, as evidenced when the Babylonians destroyed the city (see Why Babylon?). Everything was either looted or burned, with one very major exception - the Ark of the Covenant. What happened to it?
See Raiders Of The Lost Ark, Temple Mount Treasures and How Does The Ark Get To Heaven?

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