|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 4. - And for the house he made windows of narrow lights. [There has been much disputation over these words. The older expositors generally follow (as does the marg.) the Chaldee and Rabbins: "windows broad within and narrow without;" windows, i.e. somewhat like the loopholes of ancient castles. The windows of the temple would then have resembled those of Egyptian sacred buildings. (It is not implied that there was any conscious imitation of Egypt, though Fergusson surely forgets the affinity with Pharaoh (1 Kings 3:1), the trade with Egypt (1 Kings 10:28), and the favour with which some Egyptian fashions were regarded (Song of Solomon 1:9), when he contends that the chosen people would never take the buildings of their ancestral enemy for a model.) But this meaning is not supported by the original (שְׁקֻפִים אֲטֻמִים), the literal interpretation of which is "closed beams" (cf. chap. 7:4, 5), and which the most competent scholars now understand to mean "closed or fixed lattices, i.e., the lattices or the temple windows were not movable, as in domestic architecture (2 Kings 1:2; 2 Kings 13, 17; Daniel 6:10). So Gesenius, De Wette, Keil, Bahr, al.]
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And for the house he made windows of narrow lights. Or "open, shut" (o), which could be both, having shutters to them, to open or shut at pleasure; windows which they could open, and look through at them, or shut when they pleased; the Targum is,
"open within, and shut without;''
or, as others understand it, they were wide within, and narrow without; by being narrow without, the house was preserved from bad weather, as well as could not so easily be looked into by those without; and by being broader within, the light that was let in spread itself within the house; which some interpret only of the holy place, the most holy place having, as they suppose, no windows in it, which yet is not certain: now these windows may denote the word and ordinances of the church of God, whereby light is communicated to men; which in the present state is but narrow or small, in comparison of the new Jerusalem church state, and the ultimate glory; and especially so it was under the legal dispensation, which was very obscure; see Sol 2:9 Isaiah 55:8.
(o) "apertas clausas", Vatablus; "perspectui accommodas, clausas", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
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].
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