And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king's forest
The forest or mountain of Lebanon, which, because of its odoriferous and fruit bearing trees, was more like an orchard or paradise, as this word signifies, and so it is translated in ( Ecclesiastes 2:5 ) ( Song of Solomon 4:13 ) and at the extreme part of it, it seems, there was a city called Paradisus F18; such an officer as here was among the Romans, called Saltuarius F19, and is now among us:
that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace
which appertaineth to the house;
not the king's palace near the temple, for that might have occasioned suspicion in the king, that his view was to set up himself as king in Judea; but for the gates of the courts adjoining to the temple, and of the wall of the outward court, and of the wall which was to encompass the mountain of the house, the whole circumference of it:
and for the wall of the city;
to make gates of in various places for that, where they stood before:
and for the house which I shall enter into;
and dwell in during his stay at Jerusalem:
and the king granted me;
all the above favours:
according to the good hand of my God upon me;
the kind providence of God, which wrought on the heart of the king, and disposed it towards him, and overruled all things for good.
F18 Ptolem. Geograph. l. 5. c. 15. Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 23.
F19 Vid. Servium in Virgil. Aeneid. l. 2. ver. 485.