SOLOMON’s PORCH (ἡ Στοὰ Σολομω̂ντος, ἡ Στοὰ (του̂) Σολομω̂νος). A roofed colonnade of Herod’s Temple (q.v.) in NT Jerusalem.
The “portico of Solomon” (ASVmg.) bordered on the E side of the outer court of the Temple, resting on a massive Herodian retaining wall (still largely visible as the lower courses of the present Temple-area wall) built out over the Kidron Valley. It may have been so named because of a tradition that Solomon had once constructed a similar E wall and cloister (Jos. War V. 5. 1; cf. Antiq., VIII. 3. 9). It was here that Christ walked and talked (John 10:23) and that His disciples seem later regularly to have gathered (Acts 5:12, cf. 3:11).
por’-ti-ko, (he stoa he kaloumene Solomontos): This important element of Herod’s temple, preserving in its name a traditional connection with Solomon, is thrice referred to in the New Testament, namely, in Joh 10:23; Ac 3:11, "the porch that is called Solomon’s"; and Ac 5:12. In these passages the Greek word stoa is translated "porch" but in the Revised Version margin of Ac 3:11 more correctly "portico". In architecture a "porch" is strictly an exterior structure forming a covered approach to the entrance of a building; a "portico" is an ambulatory, consisting of a roof supported by columns placed at regular intervals--a roofed colonnade. The portico bearing Solomon’s name was that running along the eastern wall in the Court of the Gentiles of Herod’s temple. It had double columns, while that on the South known as the Royal Portico had four rows (compare Josephus, Ant, XV, xi, 3; BJ, V, v, and see TEMPLE, HEROD’s). The portico was the scene of Christ’s teaching at the Feast of the Dedication (Joh 10:23), and was flocked to by the multitude after the healing of the lame man (Ac 3:11). There the apostles preached and wrought other miracles (Ac 5:12).
W. Shaw Caldecott