And for the entering of the oracle he made doors of olive tree: the lintel and side posts were a fifth part of the wall.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Doors.—The two doors of olive wood, from the Holy place into the Oracle, which as a rule stood open, showing the veil and the golden chains, were of moderate size. If our version (as is probable) is correct, the outside measure of the lintel and post was a fifth part of the wall, that is, four cubits, or six feet. Each door, therefore, would be something less than six feet by three. The description of the gilding states with minute accuracy that in overlaying the whole of these doors with gold, gold was “spread,” that is, made to cover the carvings in relief (the cherubim of 1Kings 6:35); in the other doors the gold was fitted, probably beaten into shape, over the carved work.1 Kings 6:31. The lintel and side-posts were a fifth part of the wall — The original text here is very obscure, there being nothing in it for the words, of the wall; but only, The lintel and side-posts were a fifth, which may be understood to signify, that they held the proportion of a fifth part of the doors. But some think the meaning is, that this gate was the fifth in number belonging to the house. The first, they say, was that which led into the court of the people; the second, that which led into the court of the priests; the third was the door of the porch; the fourth, that of the holy place; and this fifth, of the oracle, or most holy. And in this way they interpret a similar expression, (1 Kings 6:33,) which we render a fourth part of the wall, the words, of the wall, being not in the Hebrew, they understand it of the fourth gate; namely, that of the holy place. But the most probable meaning is, as our translators have understood it to be, that the doors, including the lintel and side-posts, here mentioned, as well as the valves, took up a fifth part of the wall or partition, being four cubits in breadth.
a fifth part of the door now mentioned. Or rather, five-square, having five sides and five angles, which is not incongruous nor unusual in buildings,
the lintel and side posts were a fifth part of the wall; four cubits, twenty cubits being the breadth of the oracle; or the lintel was four cubits, twenty being the height of it also, 1 Kings 6:20.And for the entering of the oracle he made doors of olive tree: the lintel and side posts were a fifth part of the wall.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)31–36. The doors for the oracle and for the Temple. The building of the inner court (Not in Chronicles)
31. the lintel and side posts] There is no conjunction between these words, and the former seems from other places in O. T. to apply to the whole framework in which the doors were fixed, the latter is used regularly of the part to which the hinges were attached. The idea meant to be conveyed here is of the whole structure of the doorway, the framework with its posts.
were a fifth part of the wall] The expansion indicated by the italics of A. V. is no doubt correct both here and in 1 Kings 6:33. As the partition wall of the oracle was 20 cubits in height and the same in breadth the opening filled by the framework of the doorway would be 4 cubits high by 4 cubits broad.Verse 31. - And for the entering of the oracle, he made doors [which hung on golden hinges (1 Kings 7:50] of olive tree [see on ver. 23)], the lintel and side posts were a fifth part of the wall. [The meaning of the Hebrew words has been much disputed. See Gesen. Thesaur, 1. pp. 43-45. Gesen. himself interprets as A.V.: crepido cum postibus erat quinta pars, i.e., quintam parietis partem occupabat. The Rabbins: the "entablature with side posts and threshold formed a pentagon." But a pentagonal doorway is without example in Eastern architecture. Thenius: "the strength (אַיִל is generally taken as an architectural term = crepido portae, or entablature) of the posts was a fifth." Rawlinson: "the lintel was one-fifth of wall, and each door post one-fifth of its height;" in which case the doorway would of course be a square of four cubits. But perhaps the rendering of A.V. (with which Keil and Bahr also agree) is more natural. The meaning, consequently, would be that the entrance to the oracle, inclusive of the side posts which helped to form it, occupied one-fifth of the extent of the cedar partition. The entrance to the house (ver. 33) was one-fourth of the wall of the house.] 1 Kings 6:23. He made (caused to be made) in the hinder room two cherubs of olive wood, i.e., wood of the oleaster or wild olive-tree, which is very firm and durable, and, according to 2 Chronicles 3:10, צעצעים מעשׂה, i.e., according to the Vulgate, opus statuarium, a peculiar kind of sculpture, which cannot be more precisely defined, as the meaning of צוּע is uncertain. "Ten cubits was the height of it" (i.e., of the one and of the other). The figures had a human form, like the golden cherubs upon the ark of the covenant, and stood upright upon their feet (2 Chronicles 3:13), with extended wings of five cubits in length, so that one wing of the one reached to one wing of the other in the centre of the room, and the other wing of each reached to the opposite wall, and consequently the four extended wings filled the entire breadth of the Most Holy Place ( a breadth of twenty cubits), and the two cherubs stood opposite to one another and ten cubits apart. The wings were evidently fastened to the back and placed close to one another upon the shoulder-blades, so that the small space between their starting-points is not taken into consideration in the calculation of their length. The figures were completely overlaid with gold. The ark of the covenant was placed between these cherubs, and under the wings which pointed towards one another. As they were made like those upon the ark, they had evidently the same meaning, and simply served to strengthen the idea which was symbolized in the cherub, and which we have expounded in the Commentary on Exodus 25:20. Only their faces were not turned towards one another and bent down towards the ark, as in the case of the golden cherubim of the ark; but, according to 2 Chronicles 3:13, they were turned לבּית, towards the house, i.e., the Holy Place, so as to allow of the extension of the wings along the full length of the Most Holy Place.
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