In the fourth year was the foundation of the house of the LORD laid, in the month Zif:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Zif (the “brightness of flowers”) corresponds to about May;1 Kings 6:37-38. In the fourth year, &c. — This was mentioned 1 Kings 6:1, and is here repeated to subjoin, in the next words, how long the house was in building. In the eleventh year, in the month Bul — As the second month was called Zif, for the reason before given, so the eighth month was called Bul, which signifies to wither, because then the leaves of the trees began to wither and fall off, and the whole vegetable creation to droop and die. So he was seven years in building — “That is,” says Mr. Locke, “speaking in a round number, for he was seven years and six months; neither is this mode of speaking unusual in Scripture.” It is not strange that this work took up so much time; for though the temple, properly so called, was but a small edifice, yet the many courts, offices, chambers, and other buildings about it, above ground and below, made the whole a vast pile; and the exquisiteness of the art, and fewness of the artists that could be employed, made a longer time requisite. Indeed, all things considered, it must be acknowledged Solomon made an extraordinary despatch; for, if the building of Diana’s temple at Ephesus employed all Asia for two hundred years; and no fewer than three hundred and sixty thousand men were occupied for twenty years together in erecting one pyramid, as Pliny affirms, lib. 36, chap. 12, no reasonable man can wonder that this temple was seven years and a half in building. See Calmet, and Univ. Hist., vol. 4. octavo. Now let us see what this temple typifies:
1. Christ himself is the true temple. He himself spoke of the temple of his body: and in him dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead. In him all the Israel of God meet, and through him have access with confidence to God.
2. Every believer is a living temple, in whom the Spirit of God dwelleth: we are wonderfully made by the divine providence, but more wonderfully made anew by the divine grace; and as Solomon’s temple was built on a rock, so are we built on Christ.
3. The church is a mystical temple, enriched and beautified, not with gold and precious stones, but with the gifts and graces of the Spirit. Angels are ministering spirits, attending the church, and all the members of it, on all sides.
4. Heaven is the everlasting temple; there the church will be fixed, and no longer moveable: the cherubim there always attend upon the throne of glory. In the temple there was no noise of axes or hammers: every thing is quiet and serene in heaven. All that shall be stones in that building, must here be fitted and made ready for it; must be hewed and squared by the divine grace, and so made meet for a place in that temple. 2 Chronicles 4:9. The inner court is probably identical with the "higher court" of Jeremiah Jer 36:10, being raised above the outer, as were sometimes the inner courts of Assyrian palaces. The court seems to have surrounded the temple. Its dimensions may be reasonably presumed to have been double those of the court of the tabernacle, i. e., 100 cubits on each side of the temple, and 200 cubits at the ends; or, about 720 feet long by 360 broad.
With three rows of hewed stone - Either a fence enclosing the court, or the area of the court, which was possibly formed by three layers of hewn stone placed one above the other, and was then boarded on the top with cedar planks. Such a construction would no doubt be elaborate; but if it was desired to elevate the inner court above the outer, this is the way in which it would be likely to have been done. The temple would be placed, like the Assyrian palaces, on an artificial platform; and the platform, being regarded as a part of the sacred building, would be constructed of the best material.
37. In the fourth year was the foundation laid—The building was begun in the second month of the fourth year and completed in the eighth month of the eleventh year of Solomon's reign, comprising a period of seven and a half years, which is reckoned here in round numbers. It was not a very large, but a very splendid building, requiring great care, and ingenuity, and division of labor. The immense number of workmen employed, together with the previous preparation of the materials, serves to account for the short time occupied in the process of building.
in the month Zif; See Gill on 1 Kings 6:1.In the fourth year was the foundation of the house of the LORD laid, in the month Zif:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)37–38. Completion of Solomon’s Temple (Not in Chronicles)
37. In the fourth year] i.e. Of king Solomon’s reign. See 1 Kings 6:1. The LXX. (both Vat. and Alex.) omits these two verses, adding at the end of 36 καὶ ᾠκοδόμησε τὸ καταπέτασμα τῆς αὐλῆς τοῦ αἰλὰμ τοῦ οἴκου τοῦ κατὰ πρόσωπον τοῦ ναοῦ.Verse 37. - In the fourth year was the foundation of the house of the Lord laid, in the month Zif [see on ver. 1]. 1 Kings 7:50, on golden hinges. וגו האיל, "the projection of the door-posts was fifth" (מזוּזות( " is construed freely as an explanatory apposition to האיל, to which it is really subordinate; cf. Ewald, 290, e.). These obscure words, which have been interpreted in very different ways (see Ges. Thes. pp. 43f.), can hardly have any other meaning than this: the projecting framework of the doors occupied the fifth part of the breadth of the wall. For the explanation given by Bttcher and Thenius, "the entrance framework with posts of fifth strength," has no real support in Ezekiel 41:3. To justify the rendering given to המשּׁית (fifth strength), האיל is supplied, though not in the sense of projection, but in the thoroughly unwarranted sense of strength or thickness of the wall; and in addition to this, a wall two cubits thick is postulated between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place, in direct contradiction to 1 Kings 6:16. The further evidence, which Thenius finds in 1 Kings 8:8, in support of this explanation, has been already rejected by Bttcher as unsustained. It would indeed be extremely strange for the thickness of the door-posts which formed the setting of the entrance to be given, whereas nothing is said about the size of the doors. According to our explanation, "a fifth of the breadth of the wall," the entrance was four cubits broad including the projecting door-posts, and each of the two wings of the folding doors about a cubit and a half broad, if we reckon the projecting framework on either side at half a cubit in breadth.
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