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Easton's Bible Dictionary

Palace:

Used now only of royal dwellings, although originally meaning simply (as the Latin word palatium, from which it is derived, shows) a building surrounded by a fence or a paling. In the Authorized Version there are many different words so rendered, presenting different ideas, such as that of citadel or lofty fortress or royal residence (Neh 1:1; Dan 8:2). It is the name given to the temple fortress (Neh 2:8) and to the temple itself (1Ch 29:1). It denotes also a spacious building or a great house (Dan 1:4; Est 1:5; 7:7), and a fortified place or an enclosure (Eze 25:4). Solomon's palace is described in 1Ki 7:1-12 as a series of buildings rather than a single great structure. Thirteen years were spent in their erection. This palace stood on the eastern hill, adjoining the temple on the south.

In the New Testament it designates the official residence of Pilate or that of the high priest (Mat 26:3,58,69; Mar 14:54,66; Jhn 18:15). In Phl 1:13 this word is the rendering of the Greek praitorion, meaning the praetorian cohorts at Rome (the life-guard of the Caesars). Paul was continually chained to a soldier of that corps (Act 28:16), and hence his name and sufferings became known in all the praetorium. The "soldiers that kept" him would, on relieving one another on guard, naturally spread the tidings regarding him among their comrades. Some, however, regard the praetroium (q.v.) as the barrack within the palace (the palatium) of the Caesars in Rome where a detachment of these praetorian guards was stationed, or as the camp of the guards placed outside the eastern walls of Rome.

"In the chambers which were occupied as guard-rooms," says Dr. Manning, "by the praetorian troops on duty in the palace, a number of rude caricatures are found roughly scratched upon the walls, just such as may be seen upon barrack walls in every part of the world. Amongst these is one of a human figure nailed upon a cross. To add to the 'offence of the cross,' the crucified one is represented with the head of an animal, probably that of an ass. Before it stands the figure of a Roman legionary with one hand upraised in the attitude of worship. Underneath is the rude, misspelt, ungrammatical inscription, Alexamenos worships his god. It can scarcely be doubted that we have here a contemporary caricature, executed by one of the praetorian guard, ridiculing the faith of a Christian comrade."

International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia

Palace:

pal'-as: In Hebrew chiefly ‘armon, in the Revised Version (British and American) text translated "castle" in 1Ki 16:18; 2Ki 15:25; birah, hekhal, the same word often rendered "temple"; in Greek aule, in the Revised Version (British and American) translated "court" (Mt 26:3,18,69; Mr 14:54,66; Lu 11:21; Joh 18:15). On the other hand, "palace" takes the place in the Revised Version (British and American) of the King James Version "common hall" or "judgment hall" (praitorion, Mt 27:27; Joh 18:28,33; 19:9; Ac 23:35). See JUDGMENT HALL. A description of Solomon's palace is given in 1Ki 7:1-12 (see TEMPLE). Archaeology has brought to light the remains of great palaces in Egypt, Babylonia, Assyria (Sargon, Sennacherib, Assurbanipal, etc.), Susa, etc.

Written by James Orr

See HOUSE

Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words
1 Strong's Number: g833 Greek: aule

Palace:

"a court, dwelling, palace:" see COURT.

2 Strong's Number: g4232 Greek: praitorion

Palace:

signified originally "a general's (praetor's) tent." Then it was applied to "the council of army officers;" then to "the official residence of the governor of a province;" finally, to "the imperial bodyguard." In the AV the word appears only once, Mar 15:16, "the hall, called Praetorium" (RV, "within the court which is the Praetorium," marg., "palace"); in the Greek of the NT is also occurs in Mat 27:27, AV, "the common hall," marg., "the governor's house;" RV, "palace," see marg.; Jhn 18:28 (twice), AV, "the hall of judgment;" and "judgment hall," marg., "Pilate's house," RV, "palace," see marg.; so in Act 23:35; in Phl 1:13, AV, "in all the palace," marg., "Caesar's court," RV, "throughout the whole praetorian guard," marg., "in the whole Praetorium."

"In the Gospels the term denotes the official residence in Jerusalem of the Roman governor, and the various translations of it in our versions arose from a desire either to indicate the special purpose for which that residence was used on the occasion in question, or to explain what particular building was intended. But whatever building the governor occupied was the Praetorium. It is most probable that in Jerusalem he resided in the well-known palace of Herod.... Pilate's residence has been identified with the castle of Antonia, which was occupied by the regular garrison. The probability is that it was the same as Herod's palace. Herod's palace in Caesarea was used as the Praetorium there, and the expression in Act 23:35, marg., 'Herod's praetorium,' is abbreviated from 'the praetorium of Herod's palace.'" (Hastings' Bib. Dic.).

In Phl 1:13, marg., "the whole Praetorium" has been variously explained. It has been spoken of as "the palace," in connection with Phl 4:22, where allusion is made to believers who belong to Caesar's household. Others have understood it of the barracks of the "praetorian" guard, but Lightfoot shows that this use of the word cannot be established, neither can it be regarded as referring to the barracks of the "palace" guard. The phrase "and to all the rest" in Phl 1:13 indicates that persons are meant. Mommsen, followed by Ramsay (St. Paul the Traveller, p. 357) regards it as improbable that the Apostle was committed to the "praetorian" guard and holds the view that Julius the centurion, who brought Paul to Rome, belonged to a corps drafted from legions in the provinces, whose duty it was to supervise the corn supply and perform police service, and that Julius probably delivered his prisoners to the commander of his corps. Eventually Paul's case came before the praetorian council, which is the "praetorium" alluded to by the Apostle, and the phrase "to all the rest" refers to the audience of the trial.

Note: Some scholars, believing that this Epistle was written during an Ephesian imprisonment, take the "Praetorium" here to be the residence in Ephesus of the proconsul of the province of Asia, and "Caesar's household" to be the local imperial civil service (Deissmann etc.).

Smith's Bible Dictionary

Palace:

Palace in the Bible, in the singular and plural, is the rendering of several words of diverse meaning (1 Chronicles 29:1; Ezra 4:14; Amos 4:3 etc.). It often designates the royal residence, and usually suggests a fortress or battlemented house. The word occasionally included the whole city as in Esther 9:12 and again, as in 1 Kings 16:18 it is restricted to a part of the royal apartments. It is applied, as in 1 Chronicles 29:1 to the temple in Jerusalem. The site of the palace of Solomon was almost certainly in the city itself on the brow opposite to the temple, and overlooking it and the whole city of David. 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. Whether it was a square of 400 feet each way, or an oblong of about 550 feet by 300, must always be more or less a matter of conjecture. The principal building situated within the palace was, as in all eastern palaces, the great hall of state and audience, called "the house of the forest of Lebanon," apparently from the four rows of cedar pillars by which it was supported. It was 100 cubits (175 feet) long, 50 (88 feet) wide, and 30 (52 feet) high. Next in importance was the hall or "porch of judgment," a quadrangular building supported by columns, as we learn front Josephus, which apparently stood on the other side of the great court, opposite the house of the forest of Lebanon. The third edifice is merely called a "porch of pillars." Its dimensions were 50 by 30 cubits. Its use 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 reception‐room when the king received ordinary visitors, and sat, except on great state occasions, to transact the business of the kingdom. Behind this, we are told, was the inner court, adorned with gardens and fountains, and surrounded by cloisters for shade; and there were other courts for the residence of the attendants and guards, and for the women of the harem. 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. The recent discoveries at Nineveh have enabled us to understand many of the architectural details of this palace, which before they were made were nearly wholly inexplicable. Solomon constructed an ascent from his own house to the temple, "the house of Jehovah," (1 Kings 10:5) which was a subterranean passage 250 feet long by 42 feet wide, of which the remains may still be traced.

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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