The royal residence of a sovereign; sometimes the spacious and stately dwelling of a prince or a powerful man of wealth. (Dan. 4:4; Luke 11:21; see GOVERNOR’S PALACE.) The Hebrew word for palace, heh·khalʹ, often was applied to the temple as the dwelling place of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah. (1 Sam. 1:9; 1 Ki. 6:2; Ezra 5:14; Dan. 5:3) Ancient palaces were frequently castlelike fortresses with battlement walls and massive gates. (Neh. 1:1; Esther 1:2) The customary spacious courtyards and luxurious private gardens gave regal splendor and beauty to palace grounds.—Esther 1:5.
The Bible mentions the palaces of Assyria (Nah. 1:1; 2:6), Babylon (2 Ki. 20:18; 2 Chron. 36:7; Isa. 39:7; Dan. 1:4; 5:5) and Persia. (Ezra 4:14; Esther 7:7, 8) Those in Babylon were described as “palaces of exquisite delight.” (Isa. 13:22) One of the grandest palaces of the ancient world was built by Solomon, as indicated by the impression it made on the queen of Sheba.—1 Ki. 10:4, 5.
Solomon’s palace, erected on Mount Moriah S of the temple, was just one of a number of government structures in this area that, all together, took some thirteen years to build. Included in this royal complex of buildings were the House of the Forest of Lebanon, the Porch of Pillars and the Porch of the Throne. There was also a special house for Pharaoh’s daughter, one of Solomon’s many wives, besides the king’s palace.—1 Ki. 7:1-8.
The description we have of Solomon’s palace is very meager compared with the details of the palatial temple. But the size of the foundation stones indicates that the palace must have been an impressive structure. In length these stones measured eight cubits (11.7 feet or 3.6 meters) and ten cubits (14.6 feet or 4.4 meters), and they must have been of proportionate size in their width and thickness, weighing many tons. The walls consisted of costly stones carefully sawn to measured specifications on both inside and outside surfaces.—1 Ki. 7:9-11; compare Psalm 144:12.
The psalmist, in the forty-fifth psalm, may have had in mind the decorations and furnishings of Solomon’s palace when he made reference to “the grand ivory palace.” The inspired writer of Hebrews applies the words of this psalm to Jesus Christ the heavenly King.—Ps. 45:8, 15; compare verses 6 and 7 with Hebrews 1:8, 9; Luke 4:18, 21.