By J O H N.B U N Y A N.
Published by Charles Doe, 1692.
Published four years after John Bunyan's death.
THE HOUSE OF THE FOREST OF LEBANON.
s Solomon built a house for Pharaoh's daughter, and that called the temple of the Lord; so he built a house in Lebanon, called "the house of the forest of Lebanon" (1 Kings 7:2).
Some, I perceive, have thought that this house, called "the house of the forest of Lebanon," was none other than that called the temple at Jerusalem, and that that was called "The house of the forest of Lebanon," because built of the wood that grew there. But that Solomon built another than that, even one in Lebanon, called "the house of the forest of Lebanon," is evident, and that from these reasons:—
First, That in the forest of Lebanon is mentioned as another, besides that called the temple of the Lord; and that too when the temple and its finishing is spoken of; yea, it is mentioned with an "also," as an additional house, besides the temple of the Lord.
"In the fourth year," saith the text, "was the foundation of the house of the Lord laid in the month Zif; and in the eleventh year in the month Bul, which is the eighth month, was the house finished throughout all the parts thereof, and according to all the fashion of it; so he was seven years in building it." "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," &c. (1 Kings 6:37,38; 7:1,2).
Can there now be any thing more plain? Is not here the house of the forest of Lebanon mentioned as another besides the temple? he built the temple, he built his own house, he built also the house of the forest of Lebanon.
Second. It is evident by the difference of their measures and dimensions. The length of the temple was threescore cubits; but the length of the house of the forest of Lebanon was an hundred cubits; so that the house of the forest of Lebanon was forty cubits more than was that called Solomon's temple: The breadth of Solomon's temple was twenty cubits, but the breadth of the house of the forest of Lebanon was fifty cubits: And as there is odds between threescore and fivescore, so there is also between twenty and fifty.
As to their height, they were both alike; but equality in height can no more make them the same, than can a twenty years' age in two, make them one and the same person.
Their porches also differed greatly; the porch of the temple was in length but twenty cubits, but the length of that of the house of the forest of Lebanon was fifty cubits. So that here also is thirty odds. The porch of the temple was but ten cubits broad; but the porch of the house of the forest of Lebanon thirty cubits. Now, I say, who that considereth these disproportions, can conclude that the house of the forest of Lebanon was none other than that called the temple of Jerusalem. For all this compare 1 Kings 6:2, 3 with 7:2, 6.
Third. If you add to these the different makes of the houses, it will sufficiently appear that they were not one. The house of the forest of Lebanon was built upon four rows of cedar pillars; but we read of no such pillars upon which the temple stood. The windows of the house of the forest of Lebanon stood in three rows, light against light; but we read of no such thing in the temple. The temple had two pillars before the door of its porch, but we read not of them before the door of the porch of the house of the forest of Lebanon. In the sixth and seventh chapters of the first book of Kings, these two houses, as to their make, are exactly set forth; so that he that listeth may search and see, if as to this I have not said the truth.