1 Kings 6:22
And the whole house he overlaid with gold, until he had finished all the house: also the whole altar that was by the oracle he overlaid with gold.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(22) The whole altar that was by (or belonged to) the oracle.—This is the altar of incense, which, although it stood (see Exodus 30:6; Exodus 40:26) before the veil, and therefore in the Holy place, was considered to belong in idea rather to the Holy of Holies; since the offering of incense on it signified the approach by worship to the unseen presence of God, symbolised in the darkness and silence of the inner shrine; and the taking of the censer from it was a condition for the actual entrance into the Holy of Holies on the great Day of Atonement. Hence in Exodus 40:5 the altar is said to be “set before the ark of the testimony,” and here to “belong to the oracle.” Probably this is the explanation of the well-known passage in the Epistle to the Hebrews (1Kings 9:4), where the Holiest place is said to have “had the altar of incense” (wrongly rendered “censer” in our Authorised Version).

1 Kings 6:22. And the whole house he overlaid with gold — Not only the oracle, but all the holy place; and, as some think, even the chambers belonging to it. Also the whole altar that was by the oracle he overlaid with gold — That is, the altar of incense; thence called the golden altar; which was in the upper end of the sanctuary, near the entrance of the oracle. This he covered with cedar, (1 Kings 6:20,) and now overlaid with gold.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 lavish use of the precious metals in ornamentation was a special feature if early Oriental architecture. Recent researches have given reason to believe that two stages of the great temple at Borsippa - now known as the Bits Nimrud - had respectively a gold and a silver coating. 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 whole house; not only the oracle, but all the holy place; and, as some add, even the chambers belonging to it.

The whole altar that was by the oracle, i.e. the altar of incense, which was set in the holy place close by the doors of the oracle.

He overlaid with gold, as before he overlaid it with cedar; of which See Poole "1 Kings 6:20". And the whole house he overlaid with gold,.... Both the holy place, and the most holy place:

until he had finished all the house; in this splendid and glorious manner:

also the whole altar that was by the oracle; the altar of incense, which stood just before the entrance into the oracle, or most holy place:

he overlaid with gold; he overlaid it all over with gold; hence it is called the golden altar, and was an emblem of the excellent and effectual mediation and intercession of Christ, Revelation 8:3. Agreeably to this account Eupolemus, an Heathen writer (d) testifies, that the whole house, from the floor to the tool, was covered with gold, as well as with cedar and cypress wood, that the stonework might not appear; and so the capitol at Rome, perhaps in imitation of this temple, its roofs and tiles were glided with gold (e); a magnificent temple, like this, was at Upsal in Switzerland, as Olaus Magnus relates (f).

(d) Apud Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 9. c. 34. p. 450. (e) Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 33. c. 3. Vid. Rycquium de Capitol. Roman. c. 16. (f) De Ritu Gent. Septent. l. 3. c. 5.

And the whole house he overlaid with gold, until he had finished all the house: also the {l} whole altar that was by the oracle he overlaid with gold.

(l) Meaning, the altar of incense, Ex 30:1.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
22. the whole altar that was by the oracle] The preposition is not significant of position, but of possession. Read ‘the whole altar that belonged to the oracle.’ The priest who offered incense continually on this altar in the holy place could not enter the most holy place, but the altar on which the offering was made, though standing without, was looked upon as a part of the more sacred portion of the building, and placed close to the dividing wall.Verse 22. - And the whole house he overlaid with gold [This no mere repetition, more Hebraico, as Bahr and Keil would have us think. Something additional must surely be referred to, and 2 Chronicles 3:4 warrants us in understanding this statement to include the porch, the interior of which was gilded. Because the porch is elsewhere (ver. 3) distinguished from the "house," it does not follow that it can never be comprehended under that term] until he had finished all the house: also [Heb. and]. the altar that was by [Heb. to. See on ver. 20] the oracle he overlaid with gold. "And he built אמּה את־עשׂרים, the twenty cubits (i.e., the space of twenty cubits), of the hindermost side of the house with boards of cedar," from the floor to the beams (of the roof). עד־הקּירות is to be explained from הסּפּן קירות עד in 1 Kings 6:15. "And built them for it (the house - לו pointing back to הבּית) into the hinder room, into the Most Holy." דּביר is more precisely defined by the apposition הקּדשׁים קדשׁ, and therefore denotes the Most Holy Place. But there is a doubt as to its derivation and true meaning. Aquila and Symmachus render it χρηματιστήριον, Jerome λαλητήριον, or in the Vulg. oraculum, so that they derive it from דּבר, to speak; and Hengstenberg adopts this derivation in Psalm 28:2 : דּביר, lit., that which is spoken, then the place where the speaking takes place. Most of the more recent commentators, on the other hand, follow the example of C. B. Michaelis and J. Simonis, and render it, after the Arabic, the hinder portion or back room, which is favoured by the antithesis לפני היכל, the front sanctuary (1 Kings 6:17). The words of the text, moreover, are not to be understood as referring to a cedar wall in front of the Most Holy Place which rose to the height of twenty cubits, but to all four walls of the Most Holy Place, so that the wall which divided the hinder room from the Holy Place is not expressly mentioned, simply because it is self-evident. The words also imply that the whole of the hinder space of the house to the length of twenty cubits was cut off for the Most Holy Place, and therefore the party wall must also have filled the whole height of the house, which was as much as thirty cubits, and reached, as is expressly stated, from the floor to the roof. There remained therefore forty cubits of the house (in length) for לפני היכל, the front palace, i.e., the Holy Place of the temple (1 Kings 6:17). לפני, anterior, formed from לפני (cf. Ewald, 164, a.). - In 1 Kings 6:18 there is inserted in a circumstantial clause the statement as to the internal decoration of both rooms; and the further description of the Most Holy Place is given in 1 Kings 6:19. "And cedar wood was (placed) against the house inside, sculpture of gourds (colocynthides) and open buds." מקלעת is in apposition to ארז, containing a more minute description of the nature of the covering of cedar. מקלעת signifies sculpture, half-raised work (basso relievo); not, however, "that kind of bas-relief in which the figures, instead of rising above the surface on which they are wrought, are simply separated from it by the chiselling out of their outlines, and their being then rounded off according to these outlines" (Thenius). For although the expression מקלעות פּתּוּחי (1 Kings 6:29) appears to favour this, yet "merely engraved work" does not harmonize with the decorations of the brazen stands in 1 Kings 7:31, which are also called מקלעות. פּקעים are figures resembling the פּקּעת, or wild gourds (2 Kings 4:39), i.e., oval ornaments, probably running in straight rows along the walls. צצּים פּטוּרי are open flower-buds; not hangings or garlands of flowers (Thenius), for this meaning cannot be derived from פּטר in the sense of loosening or setting free, so as to signify flowers loosened or set free ( equals garlands), which would be a marvellous expression! The objection that, "flowers not yet opened, i.e., flower-buds, were not צצּים, but פּרחים," rests upon a false interpretation of the passage referred to.
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