The Building of Solomon's Temple.
2. the house which king Solomon built for the
Lord—The dimensions are given in cubits, which are to be
reckoned according to the early standard (2Ch 3:3), or holy cubit (Eze 40:5;
43:13), a handbreadth longer
than the common or later one. It is probable that the internal
elevation only is here stated.
3. the porch—or portico, extended across
the whole front (see on 2Ch 3:4).
4. windows of narrow lights—that is,
windows with lattices, capable of being shut and opened at pleasure,
partly to let out the vapor of the lamps, the smoke of the
frankincense, and partly to give light [Keil].
The Chambers Thereof.
5. against the wall of the house he built
chambers—On three sides, there were chambers in three
stories, each story wider than the one beneath it, as the walls were
narrowed or made thinner as they ascended, by a rebate being made, on
which the beams of the side floor rested, without penetrating the wall.
These chambers were approached from the right-hand side, in the
interior of the under story, by a winding staircase of stone, which led
to the middle and upper stories.
7. there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool
of iron heard in the house while it was in building—A
subterranean quarry has been very recently discovered near Jerusalem,
where the temple stones are supposed to have been hewn. There is
unequivocal evidence in this quarry that the stones were dressed there;
for there are blocks very similar in size, as well as of the same kind
of stone, as those found in the ancient remains. Thence, probably, they
would be moved on rollers down the Tyropean valley to the very side of
the temple [Porter, Tent and
9, 10. built the house—The temple is
here distinguished from the wings or chambers attached to it—and
its roofing was of cedar-wood.
10. chambers … five cubits
high—The height of the whole three stories was therefore
about fifteen cubits.
they rested on the house with timber of
cedar—that is, because the beams of the side stones rested on
the ledges of the temple wall. The wing was attached to the house; it
was connected with the temple, without, however, interfering
injuriously with the sanctuary [Keil].
1Ki 6:11-14. God's Promises
11-13. the word of the Lord came to
Solomon—probably by a prophet. It was very seasonable, being
designed: first, to encourage him to go on with the building, by
confirming anew the promise made to his father David (2Sa 7:12-16); and secondly, to warn him
against the pride and presumption of supposing that after the erection
of so magnificent a temple, he and his people would always be sure of
the presence and favor of God. The condition on which that blessing
could alone be expected was expressly stated. The dwelling of God among
the children of Israel refers to those symbols of His presence in the
temple, which were the visible tokens of His spiritual relation to that
1Ki 6:15-22. The Ceiling and
Adorning of It.
15-21. he built the walls of the house
within—The walls were wainscotted with cedar-wood; the floor,
paved with cypress planks; the interior was divided (by a partition
consisting of folding doors, which were opened and shut with golden
chains) into two apartments—the back or inner room, that is, the
most holy place, was twenty cubits long and broad; the front, or outer
room, that is, the holy place, was forty cubits. The cedar-wood was
beautifully embellished with figures in relievo, representing clusters
of foliage, open flowers, cherubims, and palm trees. The whole interior
was overlaid with gold, so that neither wood nor stone was seen;
nothing met the eye but pure gold, either plain or richly chased.
31-35. for the entering of the
oracle—The door of the most holy place was made of solid
olive tree and adorned with figures. The door of the holy place was
made of cypress wood, the sides being of olive wood.
36. the inner court—was for the priests.
Its wall, which had a coping of cedar, is said to have been so low that
the people could see over it.
1Ki 6:37, 38. The time Taken
to Build It.
37. In the fourth year was the foundation
laid—The building was begun in the second month of the fourth
year and completed in the eighth month of the eleventh year of
Solomon's reign, comprising a period of seven and a half years, which
is reckoned here in round numbers. It was not a very large, but a very
splendid building, requiring great care, and ingenuity, and division of
labor. The immense number of workmen employed, together with the
previous preparation of the materials, serves to account for the short
time occupied in the process of building.