1 Kings 6:21
So Solomon overlaid the house within with pure gold: and he made a partition by the chains of gold before the oracle; and he overlaid it with gold.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(21) He made a partition by (the) chains of gold before the oracle.—This phrase is difficult. The LXX. and Vulg. have wholly different readings; but our translation appears to be substantially correct, and to signify either that Solomon made a chain-work decoration on the partition, or (perhaps more probably) that he made a golden chain to go across the entrance in the partition before the Oracle, in front of the veil, so as to be an additional guard against intrusion.

1 Kings 6:21. So Solomon overlaid the house within with pure gold — Or, that house, the oracle, or the most holy place; which he made as sumptuous as he could. And he wade a partition by the chains of gold — The most holy place was separated from the sanctuary by a partition, before which there was a veil also, which hung upon golden chains. Thus, it seems, this passage is to be understood; for the partition itself did not depend upon chains. Or perhaps these golden chains hung down from the wall only for ornament. Before the oracle — In the outward part of the wall or partition which was erected between the oracle and the holy place; which is properly said to be before the oracle, for there the veil was hung, and there the bars, or whatsoever it was which fastened the doors of the oracle, were placed. He overlaid it with gold — Namely, the partition; which he here distinguisheth from the house, or the main walls of the house, which he had in the former part of this verse told us were overlaid with gold; and now he affirms as much of the partition.6:15-38 See what was typified by this temple. 1. Christ is the true Temple. In him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead; in him meet all God's spiritual Israel; through him we have access with confidence to God. 2. Every believer is a living temple, in whom the Spirit of God dwells, 1Co 3:16. This living temple is built upon Christ as its Foundation, and will be perfect in due time. 3. The gospel church is the mystical temple. It grows to a holy temple in the Lord, enriched and beautified with the gifts and graces of the Spirit. This temple is built firm, upon a Rock. 4. Heaven is the everlasting temple. There the church will be fixed. All that shall be stones in that building, must, in the present state of preparation, be fitted and made ready for it. Let sinners come to Jesus as the living Foundation, that they may be built on him, a part of this spiritual house, consecrated in body and soul to the glory of God.The house - i. e., the main chamber.

The chains of gold - Omit "the." Their object was to form a barrier between the holy place and the holy of holies.

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.

The house, or, that house, to wit, the oracle.

With pure gold: compare 2 Chronicles 3:8.

He made a partition by the chains of gold, i.e. he made a veil, which was upon or before the partition; or which was a further partition between the holy and the most holy; which veil did hang upon these golden chains. Others render it thus, he closed or shut (as the word signifies in the Chaldee dialect, from which divers Hebrew words borrow their signification) it (i.e. the house now mentioned, to wit, the door of it) with chains or bars of gold. Before the oracle, i.e. in the outward part of the wall, or partition, which was erected between the. oracle and the holy place; which is properly said to be before the oracle, which was the space within, and beyond that partition; for there the veil was hung, and there the chains or bars, or whatsoever it was which fastened the doors of the oracle, were placed.

He overlaid it, to wit, the partition; which he here distinguisheth from the house, or the main walls of the house, which he had in the former part of this verse told us were overlaid with gold; and now he affirms as much of the partition. So Solomon overlaid the house within with pure gold,.... The inside of the holy of holies with fine gold, which gold amounted to six hundred talents, 2 Chronicles 3:8; and these to 7,332,000 ducats of gold, or 3,045,000 pounds sterling:

and he made a partition by the chains of gold before the oracle; between the holy and the most holy, and were instead of a vail in the tabernacle of Moses between them; here was also a vail beside the partition made by chains of gold across the oracle; for the partition was a wall of the thickness of a cubit, as Maimonides (b) says; and in 2 Chronicles 3:14 express mention is made of a vail of blue, &c. and in imitation of this had the Heathens their deities within vails (c):

and he overlaid it with gold; the partition wall.

(b) Hilchot Beth Habechirah, c. 4. sect. 2.((c) Apulei Metamorph. l. xi. p. 176.

So Solomon overlaid the house within with pure gold: and he made a partition by the chains of gold before the oracle; and he overlaid it with gold.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
21. with pure gold] The adjective, or rather participle, as it is in Hebrew, signifies ‘closed,’ ‘shut up.’ The traditional rendering is that of the text, supported by the Chaldee, the Vulgate and Kimchi; but it is not clear how the sense comes, unless we may take it, as the notes of the Synod of Dort, that what was precious was usually kept close. The amount of gold employed is given in 2 Chronicles 3:8 as six hundred talents.

and he made a partition by the chains of gold] Render with R.V. and he drew across chains of gold. The words literally signify ‘he caused to pass over with chains,’ i.e. he made with chains of gold something that went across either the whole of the dividing wall or over the doorway which was made therein. From 2 Chronicles 3:5; 2 Chronicles 3:16 it seems as if chains had been used for ornamentation on other parts of the walls and pillars. The LXX. (Alex.) renders ‘he drew a curtain across by means of chains of gold.’

and he overlaid it with gold] Now that a more literal sense has been given to the previous clause, and the word ‘partition’ got rid of, there is nothing for the ‘it’ in this sentence to refer to. As the clause stands, the word must refer to the oracle. Thus in the beginning of the verse ‘the house within’ will refer to the holy place, and this last clause to the most holy place. This is further emphasized by the words which immediately follow in 21. ‘And the whole house he overlaid.’Verse 21. - So [Heb. And. The ornamentation of the holy place is next mentioned] Solomon overlaid the house [as well as the oracle] within with pure gold: and he made a partition by the chains of gold before the oracle [These words are extremely obscure. The prevailing view is that of Gesenius, al., that יַעֲבֵּר = "he bolted," etc. But, if so, what did the chains bolt? Bahr says, the boards of the cedar partition, just as the bars fastened together the boards of the tabornacle (Exodus 26:26-29). Gesen. himself (together with Keil, marg., al.) understands the doors, "he bolted the doors of the oracle," so as to keep them closed, except on the day of atonement. But the literal rendering is, "he carried over with chains of gold before the oracle," where nothing is said of either boards or doors. The more natural interpretation, therefore, would perhaps be: he carried on the gold plates of the house in chains of gold across the partition, and so fastened it to the side walls. Perhaps this was done to avoid any fracture of, or insertion into, the stonework]; and he overlaid it [What? Keil says, the cedar altar last mentioned at the end of ver. 20. But the altar has now dropped out of the reader's, and therefore presumably out of the writer's mind. It would be more natural to understand the words of the oracle just mentioned, but the adornment of the oracle has already been related (ver. 20), and it is hardly likely that having stated that it was covered with pure gold in one verse, he would mention that it was overlaid with gold in the next. It looks as if the cedar partition were referred to, the boards "before the oracle"] with gold. "He built (i.e., so far as the sense is concerned, he covered) the walls of the house within with boards of cedar; from the floor of the house to the walls of the ceiling he overlaid it with wood within, and overlaid the floor with cypress boards." The expression הסּפּן קירות, "walls of the ceiling," is very striking here, and renders it probable that קירות is only a copyist's error for קורות, "beams of the ceiling." The whole of the inside of the house was covered with wood, so that nothing was to be seen of the stone wall (1 Kings 6:18). On the other hand, the biblical text knows nothing of any covering of the outer walls also with wood, as many have assumed.
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