NOTE: All English translation is from NASB.
In 1 Kg 10, the phrase בֵּ֖ית יַ֥עַר הַלְּבָנֹֽון ("in the house of the forest of Lebanon," v.17) and בֵּֽית־יַ֥עַר הַלְּבָנֹ֖ון ("of the house of the forest of Lebanon," v.21) occurs. In v.17 it is referring to where the gold shields were placed, and in v.21 it is referring to the fact that "all the vessels" of the house were made of gold.
The question is to what "house" does this phrase "of the forest of Lebanon" refer?
- The Temple of the LORD, which construction included "cedars of Lebanon" (1 Kg 5:6), the "timber of cedar" given for the work (1 Kg 5:10), probably shipped from Lebanon by workers Solomon sent to get it (1 Kg 5:14), and finally prepped (1 Kg 5:18) for inclusion into the Temple (1 Kg 6:9-10, 15-16, 18, 20), which at multiple points is given the designation of a "house" as well (I believe 35 times in chapter 6 it is so designated). Also note that this house is again referred to in the context of the following three (1 Kg 7:12, 51).
- Solomon's Royal Palace, where in 1 Kg 7:2 it notes וַיִּ֜בֶן אֶת־בֵּ֣ית ׀ יַ֣עַר הַלְּבָנֹ֗ון ("he built the house of the forest of Lebanon"), referring to his own house as noted in v.1, but described as the place in which his throne was located (v.7), in either case, much cedar was a part of it (vv.2-3, 7).
- Solomon's Residence, where in 1 Kg 7:8a it states "his house where he was to live ... was of the same workmanship," i.e. the same workmanship as that for the hall of pillars and thrones—the palace just described in v.1-7 it would seem, and thus of the same material, cedar (v.8a seems to imply the building he lived in was a separate "house" from the "house" described in v.1-7).
- Pharoah's Daughter's house, where in 1 Kg 7:8b it states "He also made a house like this hall for Pharaoh’s daughter," which means it, too, would be made of cedar.
So legitimately any of the four could carry the designation "house of the forest of Lebanon." Only the palace has that exact phrase associated to it, but there in 1 Kg 7:2 it is merely descriptive, and indicating it came from the same source as the Temple wood.
A couple of other points that do not fully help clarify:
- The gold shields are noted in 1 Kg 10:14-17, which is immediately followed by a reference to the construction of the "throne" area (v.18-20), but the transition is such that the two need not be referencing the same location, but rather some of the notable uses of all the gold.
- The gold vessels "of the house of the forest of Lebanon" are specifically isolated from "the drinking vessels" of Solomon, which one would assume were in his "residence" and/or his "palace." Why then the isolation of discussing the one as distinct from the others—i.e. if the drinking vessels are associated to the palace and/or residence, does "vessels of the house of the forest of Lebanon" intend to refer to the other of the two buildings, or the Temple, or Pharoah's daughter's house,or the same building in which the drinking vessels are (them being distinguished for other reasons)?.
My understanding has previously been Solomon's palace (which, until reading more carefully, I would have also believed to be one and the same with his residence). Yet in more carefully reading, I have to at least question if that is correct, primarily wondering if it is another way of referring to the house of the LORD (which was so very much more the focus of construction and preparation in chapters 5-7), but if so, why this designation then?
Perhaps additional Scripture can help determine for sure what "house" is being referred to as "the house of the forest of Lebanon." Historical understanding of the phrasing appreciated as well, especially if others have questioned this.