The height of the one cherub was ten cubits, and so was it of the other cherub.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)1 Kings 6:27, so that the four wings, each five cubits long 1 Kings 6:24, extended across the whole sanctuary, the width of which was twenty cubits 1 Kings 6:20. The former looked toward one another, and were bent downward toward the mercy-seat; the latter looked outward, toward the great chamber. (See 2 Chronicles 3:13, and note.)
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.1 Kings 6:23; that it might be observed, being of an extraordinary size. The height of the one cherub was ten cubits, and so was it of the other cherub.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 26. - The height of the one cherub was ten cubits, and so it was of the other cherub. [The constant recurrence of the number ton, the symbol of completeness and perfection, is not to be overlooked.] 1 Kings 6:29 in the sense of the inner part or interior, as is evident from the antithesis לחיצום (on the outside). "And he overlaid it with fine gold." סגוּר זהב ( equals סגור equals ( ז in Job 28:15) unquestionably signifies fine or costly gold, although the derivation of this meaning is still questionable; viz., whether it is derived from סגר in the sense of to shut up, i.e., gold shut up or carefully preserved, after the analogy of כּתם; or is used in the sense of taking out or selecting, i.e., gold selected or pure; or in the sense of closed, i.e., gold selected or pure; or in the sense of closed, i.e., gold condensed or unadulterated (Frst and Delitzsch on Job 28:15).
The Most Holy Place had therefore the form of a perfect cube in the temple as well as in the tabernacle, only on an enlarged scale. Now, as the internal elevation of the house, i.e., of the whole of the temple-house, the hinder portion of which formed the Most Holy Place, was thirty cubits, there was a space of about ten cubits in height above the Most Holy Place and below the roof of the temple-house for the upper rooms mentioned in 2 Chronicles 3:9, on the nature and purpose of which nothing is said in the two accounts.
(Note: This upper room does not presuppose, however, that the party wall, which follows as a matter of course from 1 Kings 6:16, was not merely a cedar wall, but a wall two cubits thick. The supposed difficulty of setting up a cedar wall thirty cubits high is not so great as to necessitate assumptions opposed to the text. For we cannot possibly see why it could not have been made secure "without injuring the temple wall." The wood panelling must have been nailed firmly to the wall without injuring the wall itself; and therefore this could be done just as well in the case of the cedar beams or boards of the party wall.)
"And he overlaid (clothed) the altar with cedar wood." There is something very striking in the allusion to the altar in this passage, since the verse itself treats simply of the Most Holy Place; and still more striking is the expression לדּביר אשׁר המּזבּח, "the altar belonging to the Debir," in 1 Kings 6:22, since there was no altar in the Most Holy Place. We cannot remove the strangeness of these sentences by such alterations as Thenius and Bttcher propose, because the alterations suggested are much too complicated to appear admissible. The allusion to the altar in both these verses is rather to be explained from the statements in the Pentateuch as to the position of the altar of incense; viz., Exodus 30:6, "Thou shalt place it before the curtain, which is above the ark of the testimony before the capporeth over the testimony;" and Exodus 40:5, "before the ark of the testimony;" whereby this altar, although actually standing "before the inner curtain," i.e., in the Holy Place, according to Exodus 40:26, was placed in a closer relation to the Most Holy Place than the other two things which were in the Holy Place. The clothing of the altar with cedar presupposes that it had a heart of stone; and the omission of the article before מזבּח may be explained on the ground that it is mentioned here for the first time, just as in 1 Kings 6:16, where דּביר was first mentioned, it had no article.
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