1 Kings 6:4
And for the house he made windows of narrow lights.
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(4) Windows of narrow lights.—The marginal reading, “windows broad within and narrow without”—splayed as in ordinary Gothic architecture—is supported by very good authorities; but the most probable meaning is “windows with fixed beams”—that is, with fixed lattices, like jalousies, useful for ventilation, but immovable, so that no one could look out or in.

1 Kings 6:4. Windows of narrow lights — Narrow without, to prevent the inconveniences of the weather, and widening by degrees inwardly, that the house might better receive, and more disperse, the light. The tabernacle had no light from without, and it appears by this the temple had not much.

6:1-10 The temple is called the house of the Lord, because it was directed and modelled by him, and was to be employed in his service. This gave it the beauty of holiness, that it was the house of the Lord, which was far beyond all other beauties. It was to be the temple of the God of peace, therefore no iron tool must be heard; quietness and silence suit and help religious exercises. God's work should be done with much care and little noise. Clamour and violence often hinder, but never further the work of God. Thus the kingdom of God in the heart of man grows up in silence, Mr 5:27.Windows of narrow lights - Either (as in the margin) windows, externally mere slits in the wall, but opening wide within, like the windows of old castles: or, more probably, "windows with fixed lattices." The windows seem to have been placed high in the walls, above the chambers spoken of in 1 Kings 6:5-8. 4. windows of narrow lights—that is, windows with lattices, capable of being shut and opened at pleasure, partly to let out the vapor of the lamps, the smoke of the frankincense, and partly to give light [Keil]. Narrow outward, to prevent the inconveniences of the weather; widening by degrees inward, that so the house might better receive and more disperse the light. Or, for prospect, i.e. to give light; yet shut, i.e. so far closed as to keep out weather, and let in light.

And for the house he made windows of narrow lights. Or "open, shut" (o), which could be both, having shutters to them, to open or shut at pleasure; windows which they could open, and look through at them, or shut when they pleased; the Targum is,

"open within, and shut without;''

or, as others understand it, they were wide within, and narrow without; by being narrow without, the house was preserved from bad weather, as well as could not so easily be looked into by those without; and by being broader within, the light that was let in spread itself within the house; which some interpret only of the holy place, the most holy place having, as they suppose, no windows in it, which yet is not certain: now these windows may denote the word and ordinances of the church of God, whereby light is communicated to men; which in the present state is but narrow or small, in comparison of the new Jerusalem church state, and the ultimate glory; and especially so it was under the legal dispensation, which was very obscure; see Sol 2:9 Isaiah 55:8.

(o) "apertas clausas", Vatablus; "perspectui accommodas, clausas", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.

And for the house he made windows of narrow lights.
4. windows of narrow lights] It is not easy to explain the nature of these windows from the words used to describe them. They were apparently windows made by overlaid woodwork, either in the fashion of sloping louvre boards or fashioned like latticework crosswise. Then the last word indicates that they were closed in some way or other. Hence the margins of the A.V. ‘windows broad within and narrow without’ or ‘skewed and closed.’ The former of these margins the R.V. has preserved, but gives in the text windows of fixed latticework, taking the word ‘closed’ to imply the permanent nature of the woodwork in the apertures. These windows were in the wall, above the roof of the chambers which are described in the next verse, and must have been of the nature of the clerestory windows which overlook the aisles of a church. There could have been only very little light from them, but the building was lighted artificially.

Verse 4. - And for the house he made windows of narrow lights. [There has been much disputation over these words. The older expositors generally follow (as does the marg.) the Chaldee and Rabbins: "windows broad within and narrow without;" windows, i.e. somewhat like the loopholes of ancient castles. The windows of the temple would then have resembled those of Egyptian sacred buildings. (It is not implied that there was any conscious imitation of Egypt, though Fergusson surely forgets the affinity with Pharaoh (1 Kings 3:1), the trade with Egypt (1 Kings 10:28), and the favour with which some Egyptian fashions were regarded (Song of Solomon 1:9), when he contends that the chosen people would never take the buildings of their ancestral enemy for a model.) But this meaning is not supported by the original (שְׁקֻפִים אֲטֻמִים), the literal interpretation of which is "closed beams" (cf. chap. 7:4, 5), and which the most competent scholars now understand to mean "closed or fixed lattices, i.e., the lattices or the temple windows were not movable, as in domestic architecture (2 Kings 1:2; 2 Kings 13, 17; Daniel 6:10). So Gesenius, De Wette, Keil, Bahr, al.] 1 Kings 6:4After the account of the proportionate spaces in the temple-house, the windows through which it received light and air are mentioned. אטמים שׁקפים חלּוני does not mean fenestrae intus latae, foris angustae (Chald., Ar., Rabb., Luther, and others), but windows with closed beams, i.e., windows the lattice-work of which could not be opened and closed at pleasure, as in ordinary dwelling-houses (2 Kings 13:17; Daniel 6:11). For שׁקפים signifies beams overlaid in 1 Kings 7:4, and שׁקף beams in 1 Kings 7:5. The opening of the windows was probably narrower without than within, as in the older Egyptian buildings, as the walls were very strong; and in that case such windows would more thoroughly answer their purpose, viz., to admit light and air, and let out the smoke, so that the interpretation given by the Chaldee is most likely founded upon an ancient tradition, and is in accordance with the fact, though not with the words. It is a disputed point among the commentators where the windows were placed: whether merely in the front over the porch, provided, that is to say, that this was ten cubits lower than the temple-house, or on the side walls above the side stories, which were at the most about twenty cubits high, in which case the Most Holy Place, which was only twenty cubits high, remained quite dark, according to 1 Kings 8:12. We regard the latter view as the correct one, inasmuch as the objections to it rest upon assumptions which can be proved to be false.
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