Question: "What was Solomon's Porch?"
Answer: Solomon’s Porch was the name of two porches associated with the temple in Jerusalem. The original temple, constructed by King Solomon, is described in 1 Kings: “As for the house which King Solomon built for the LORD, its length was sixty cubits [90 feet] and its width twenty cubits [30 feet] and its height thirty cubits [45 feet]. The porch in front of the nave of the house was twenty cubits [30 feet] in length, corresponding to the width of the house, and its depth along the front of the house was ten cubits [15 feet]” (1 Kings 6:2–3, NASB).
The reconstructed temple was later modified by King Herod, and it included an area also known as Solomon’s Porch (Acts 5:12, KJV), Solomon’s Portico (ESV), or Solomon’s Colonnade (NIV). This structure was on the east side of the temple and was covered with a roof, thus providing more protection from the weather than the temple courtyards. Passing west through Solomon’s Porch (toward the temple) would place one in the Court of the Gentiles.
The Jewish historian Josephus describes Solomon’s Porch this way: “There was a porch without the temple, overlooking a deep valley, supported by walls of four hundred cubits, made of four square stone, very white; the length of each stone was twenty cubits, and the breadth six; the work of king Solomon, who first founded the whole temple” (Antiquities l. 20. c. 8. sect. 7).
One winter, at the Festival of Dedication (or Hanukkah), Jesus was in Jerusalem, and John describes Him as “in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade” (John 10:23). The KJV says, “Solomon’s porch.” In Acts 5:12, Solomon’s Porch was the gathering place for believers in Jerusalem before the Diaspora. Earlier, in Acts 3:11, Peter and John had healed a lame man at Solomon’s Porch and preached to a large crowd that had gathered there.
Solomon’s Porch, along with the rest of Herod’s temple, was destroyed by the Romans in A.D. 70.