|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 8. - After recording this interesting and singular fact, the historian resumes his description of the side building. The door [or entrance, doorway, פֶתַח, as in ver. 31] for [Heb. of] the middle chamber [generally understood to mean "the middle side chamber of the lower story." But this is by no means necessary, for
(1) צֵלָע may signify the suite of rooms, i.e., the entire story or flat, as well as a single lean to or compartment, and
(2) הַתִּי כֹנָה is used in the next clause of the middle story. This has led Thenius, Keil, Ewald, Bahr, al. to substitute הַתַּחֲתּנָח (following the LXX. and Targum), which would give the sense of "lower story" (as in Ezekiel 41:7). Bahr says this "must necessarily be read." That this emendation has much in its favour must be allowed, but it seems also certain that we get a perfectly clear meaning from the text as it stands, viz., that "the door (leading to) the middle floor was (on the ground floor) on the right side," etc. It is hardly likely that all the compartments on the ground floor had only one approach, and the doors which communicated with them may well have been passed over as requiring no special notice. But the historian feels it necessary to state how the second and third stories were reached, and the staircase which led to them causes him to speak of the position of the door which opened upon it] was in the right side [Heb. shoulder. This word (כֶּתֶפ) almost implies that the door was in the external wall of the side structure, not in the wall of the holy place (as Bottcher, al.) The fact that the floor joists were not inserted into the temple walls, as being inconsistent with the dignity of the sanctuary, makes it almost a certainty that there was no direct communication between the building and its dependance. It is very improbable that the walls of the house were anywhere broken through. The "right side" was the south side (1 Kings 7:39), i.e., the right, not as one faced the oracle, but, like the building, faced east. What was the exact position of the door, whether in the centre, or at either angle, it is impossible to say] of the house: and they went up with winding stairs [לוּלִים is only found here and in 2 Chronicles
3. The staircase was obviously unlike those of most Eastern buildings, within the side structure. Even if the outer wall was five cubits thick, of which we have no proof, it is very doubtful whether the staircase would or could be constructed within it] into [Heb. upon] the middle Chamber [or story], and out of the middle into the third.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The door of the middle chamber was in the right side of the house,.... The south side of it:
and they went up with winding stairs into the middle chamber; which were outside the chambers, and which winded about for the sake of taking up less room, and which led up to the door of the middle chamber, on the south of which they went into it; according to the Vulgate Latin and Tigurine versions, they went up in the forth of a cockle, or the shell of a snail; in like manner as was the ascent of the temple of Pan at Alexandria, as Strabo (u) relates:
and out of the middle into the third; the third chamber, and by winding stairs up to that; and the like might be on the north side, though not expressed, and on the west: the Jews say (w), that in the second temple, these winding stairs went from the northeast to the northwest, whereby they went up to the roof of the chambers, and so to the south and west; with this compare Ezekiel 41:7; and which may represent the windings and turnings of God's people in this present state, their many afflictions and tribulations, through which they pass from one state to another.
(u) Geograph. l. 17. p. 547. (w) Misn. Middot, c. 4. sect. 5. See Lightfoot's Prospect of the Temple, &c. c. 12. p. 1071.
Wesley's Notes on the Bible
6:8 The door - That is, by which they entered to go up to the middle chamber or chambers; such as were in the middle story. Right side - That is, in the south - side, called the right side; because when a man looks towards the east, the south is on his right hand. There was another door on the left, or the north - side, leading to the chambers on that side. Winding stairs - Without the wall, leading up to the gallery out of which they went into the several chambers. Middle chamber - Or rather, into the middle story, or row of chambers; and so in the following words, out of the middle story: for these stair's could not lead up into each of the chambers; nor was it needful, but only into the story, which was sufficient for the use of all the chambers.
1 Kings 6:8 Parallel Commentaries
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