And then he built chambers against all the house, five cubits high: and they rested on the house with timber of cedar.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)1 Kings 6:15-22.
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].Against all the house; which interpreters understand of those chambers described 1 Kings 6:5,6. But why should that be repeated again, and that so darkly and confusedly, after he had particularly and exactly treated of them (unless to give an account of the height of each chamber, or story, which before was not done)? And the Hebrew words may be truly and properly rendered thus,
He built a roof (to wit, a flat and plain roof, called yatziah, because of the exact resemblance it hath with the floor of a house) over all the house, according to the manner of all the Israelitish buildings, which were flat at the top; of which see Deu 22:8 Joshua 2:6 2 Samuel 11:2. The inner roof was arched, 1 Kings 6:9, that it might be more beautiful and glorious to behold; but the outward roof was flat.
Five cubits high, above the walls of the temple; which was necessary, that it might be a little higher than the arched roof, which it was designed to cover and secure.
They rested, Heb. it rested, to wit, the roof; for the Hebrew verb is of the singular number.
With timber of cedar; which rested upon the top of the wall, as the chambers, 1 Kings 6:5, rested upon the sides of the wall. But all this I submit to the learned and judicious. 1 Kings 6:5; here made mention of again for the sake of giving the height of them, not before given; but they were built against, or upon the wall of the house, these against, or rather upon the whole house itself; and are the chambers referred to; see Gill on 1 Kings 6:2; which consisting of three stories of ninety cubits, raised the whole house to an equal height with the porch, 2 Chronicles 3:4; as is there intended (x); these are the upper chambers in 2 Chronicles 3:9; and they rested on the house with timber of cedar; or on the timber of cedar, the beams of cedar, with which the house was covered, as in 1 Kings 6:9; on these the chambers rested, being built upon them; and in one of these chambers the disciples might be after Christ's ascension, Acts 1:13. And then he built chambers against all the house, five cubits high: and they rested on the house with timber of cedar.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)10. And then he built chambers against all the house, five cubits high] Better with R.V. ‘And he built the stories against all the house, each five cubits high.’ We ought perhaps to make some allowance for the thickness of floors and roofs. So that the whole height to which this three-storied structure rose may have been much more than 15 cubits, if five cubits were the inside height of each range of rooms. Mr Fergusson (p. 27) says ‘It hardly admits of dispute that with the requisite thickness of their roofs they make up the 20 or 21 cubits which are necessary to bring up their roofs to the level of that of the Holy of Holies.’
they rested on the house] i.e. On the shoulders or rebatements mentioned in 1 Kings 6:6. The other ends of these cedar beams were embedded in the outside wall of the encasing story-work.Verse 10. - And then [Heb. omits] he built chambers [Heb. the floor (הַיָּצִועַ). The word (masculine) is here again used of the entire side structure] against all the house, five cubits high [i.e., each story was five cubits (7.5 feet). The three stories would altogether measure fifteen cubits, and of course something must be allowed for joists, floors, etc. The entire height of the side structure (exterior) would consequently be about 18 or 20 cubits. And as the house was internally 30 cubits high, the exterior measurement would probably be about 32 cubits. It has hence been inferred that between the side structure and the top of temple wall there would be a clear space of 12 or 14 cubits, in which the windows were inserted. But this is based on the assumption that the side structure had a flat roof, which is by no means certain. If the roof leaned against the walls of the house, with a low pitch, there would still be space amply sufficient for the clerestory windows. Rawlinson's diagram (p. 511), which gives 80 cubits as the height from basement to ridge of roof, and only allows 20 cubits for height of walls, practically makes the house 20 instead of 30 cubits high, for it is hardly likely that it had an open roof. In fact, we know that it had a cieling (ver. 14), which must have been at the height of 30 cubits (see the diagrams on p. 102. In
(1) house and side structure are represented with flat, in
(2) with ridged or sloping roofs),
unless there was an upper chamber above the house, as to which see ver. 20. Rawlinson's diagram has this further defect, that he allows nothing for thickness of joists, floors, and cielings. If we allow one cubit for each floor, then, on his plan, there would be little or no room left for the windows. This verse is hardly to be considered as a repetition of ver. 5, the side structure being here mentioned in connexion with its height and the materials used in its construction] and they rested on [the meaning of the Heb. וַיֶּאֶחֹז has been much disputed. It is uncertain what is the nominative, Solomon (as in וַיִּבֶן), or the "floor" (just referred to in קומָתו). Gesenius understands the former, and renders, "he covered the house," etc. Thenius, "he fastened the floor," etc. Keil adopts the latter alternative, "it held to the house with cedar beams." It may be urged against this rendering (as also against Thenius's) that beams which merely rested on the walls would hardly bind or hold the side structure to the main building. But it is almost impossible to decide between these interpretations. We may either render "he covered," etc. (with Chald., Vulg.) in which case ver. 10 would agree with ver. 9 (each, i.e., would refer to the roofing; ver. 9 to roof of temple; ver. 10 to roof of side structure and its stories); or we may take the words to mean "it laid hold of, i.e., rested on] the house with timber of cedar. At this point the historian interrupts his description of the building to record the gracious promise made to the king during its erection. It should, perhaps, be stated that this (vers. 11-14) is omitted in the Vat. LXX. But it has every mark of genuineness.] 2 Kings 13:17; Daniel 6:11). For שׁקפים signifies beams overlaid in 1 Kings 7:4, and שׁקף beams in 1 Kings 7:5. The opening of the windows was probably narrower without than within, as in the older Egyptian buildings, as the walls were very strong; and in that case such windows would more thoroughly answer their purpose, viz., to admit light and air, and let out the smoke, so that the interpretation given by the Chaldee is most likely founded upon an ancient tradition, and is in accordance with the fact, though not with the words. It is a disputed point among the commentators where the windows were placed: whether merely in the front over the porch, provided, that is to say, that this was ten cubits lower than the temple-house, or on the side walls above the side stories, which were at the most about twenty cubits high, in which case the Most Holy Place, which was only twenty cubits high, remained quite dark, according to 1 Kings 8:12. We regard the latter view as the correct one, inasmuch as the objections to it rest upon assumptions which can be proved to be false.
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