|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
6:1-10 The temple is called the house of the Lord, because it was directed and modelled by him, and was to be employed in his service. This gave it the beauty of holiness, that it was the house of the Lord, which was far beyond all other beauties. It was to be the temple of the God of peace, therefore no iron tool must be heard; quietness and silence suit and help religious exercises. God's work should be done with much care and little noise. Clamour and violence often hinder, but never further the work of God. Thus the kingdom of God in the heart of man grows up in silence, Mr 5:27.
Verse 3. - And the porch [אוּלָם, forepart, projection (Vorhalle, Gesenius). The porch was not a colonnade - that is called a "porch of pillars" (1 Kings 7:6), but was formed By simply prolonging the side walls, and possibly the roof (see below). Bahr holds that it had only side walls and cieling (sic), and was entirely open in front; and the fact that no mention is made of any door or opening, though the doors of the other parts of the edifies are all referred to (vers. 8, 31, 33), certainly favours this view, as also does the position of the pillars of 1 Kings 7:21] before the temple of the house [The house, or main building (ver. 2), had two parts.
(1) "The temple of the house" (הֵיכָל = "spacious," hence "magnificent building," "palace," as in Proverbs 30:28; Daniel 1:4. Gesen., Thes. 1:375). The same word is used of the tabernacle (1 Samuel 1:9), of the royal palace (1 Kings 21:1; 2 Kings 20:18; Psalm 45:8, 15), and of heaven (2 Samuel 22:7, etc.) This was the ναὸς par excellence, and is called "the great house," because of its superior size and height, in 2 Chronicles 3:5.
(2) The oracle (דְּבִיר) see on ver. 5. The two bore a rough resemblance to the nave and chancel of a Gothic church], twenty cubits was the length thereof according to the breadth of the house [The porch, i.e., extended across the entire front, or east end of the temple] and ten cubits was the breadth [i.e., depth] thereof before the house. [The height of the porch, of which no mention is made here, is stated in 2 Chronicles 3:4 as 120 cubits (say 180 feet), but there is surely some mistake in the figures. For
(1) This is "unlike anything we know of in ancient architecture" (Fergusson).
(2) A porch of such dimensions would surely have been called מִגְדָּל, not אוּלָם (Thenius, Keil).
(3) It is doubtful whether an erection of so great a height, with such a slender basis, would stand. It would certainly be out of all proportion. Towers are generally built about three times the height of the adjoining nave, but this would be six times as high, and moreover the porch did not taper to a point like a Gothic spire. It is much more probable, therefore, that there is a corruption of the text of Chronicles (see on 2 Chronicles 3:4) - errors in numbers are by no means infrequent - than that such a column could be erected to serve as a porch, or if erected - and this consideration appears to me to be decisive - could have been passed over by our author without notice. It is impossible, however, to say positively what the height of the porch was. Probably 30 cubits, the height of the house. Stanley characteristically puts it down as "more than 200 feet." It may be remarked here that Fergusson, following Josephus and the Talmud, contends that the temple had another building of the same height above it. See Dict. Bib. 3 p. 1456, and note on ver. 20.]
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the porch before the temple of the house,.... Which stood at the east end of it:
twenty cubits was the length thereof, according to the breadth of the house; which was from north to south, and of the same dimension, so that they exactly answered each other:
and ten cubits was the breadth thereof before the house; which being added to it, make the whole of the building, most holy place, holy place, and porch, seventy cubits; the height of the porch is not here given, but in 2 Chronicles 3:4; where it is said to be an hundred twenty cubits high, equal to the height of the house, with the chambers over it; but there the breadth of the porch is not given, as it is here; by these dimensions we may observe the difference between the tabernacle and the temple; the temple was twice as long, and as broad, and thrice as high as that, see Exodus 26:8. This fabric was an emblem of the church of God, sometimes called an holy temple, and the temple of the living God, 2 Corinthians 6:16.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3. the porch—or portico, extended across the whole front (see on 2Ch 3:4).
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