1 Kings 6:9
So he built the house, and finished it; and covered the house with beams and boards of cedar.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(9) And covered—that is, roofed the house with a roof of cedar beams and boarding thereon. Some have supposed that he “covered” the outside walls with cedar, so that the whole should still look like a wooden tabernacle; but this is not necessarily implied, and is in itself unlikely.

1 Kings 6:9-10. So he built the house, and finished it — That is, the walls of the house. And then he built chambers — There is nothing in the Hebrew for the word then, which being omitted, the sense is, that he here gives an account of the height of these chambers, as, 1 Kings 6:6, he did of the breadth. But it is very briefly; and we are to understand that those below, and those in the middle, and those above, were all of an equal height, namely, five cubits. So they were fifteen cubits in all, which was five less than the height of the house, for that was twenty cubits; otherwise there would have been no room for the windows, which, it is probable, were above all these chambers, in the top of the house.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.He built the house, and finished it - i. e., the external shell of the house. The internal fittings were added afterward. See 1 Kings 6:15-22.

Covered the house - Roofed it with a wooden roof, sloped like our roofs.

9, 10. built the house—The temple is here distinguished from the wings or chambers attached to it—and its roofing was of cedar-wood. He built the house, and finished it, to wit, the bulk and the body of the house.

Covered the house, or, the house i.e. the top of the house, for the like is said of the sides and bottom, 1 Kings 6:15, even

the beams and boards, ( or, the vault-beams

and the ceilings; the arched beams and boards wherewith the top of the house was covered, which was made of other wood, which was more pliable than cedar, and would better endure bowing and bending,)

with cedars. So he built the house, and finished it,.... The body of it, the walls of the holy and most holy place, with the chambers on the sides of them, and the porch at the end that led into them:

and covered the house with beams and boards of cedar; with hollow boards, as the Targum, which formed an arch ceiling to it, and made it look very grand and beautiful; and then over them were laid beams and planks of cedar, not properly as a flat roof to it, but rather as a flooring for other buildings; for upon this, as in 1 Kings 6:10, there were chambers built.

So he built the {f} house, and finished it; and covered the house with beams and boards of cedar.

(f) In Exodus it is called the tabernacle, and the temple is here called the sanctuary and the oracle the most holy place.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
9. So he built the house] i.e. The Temple building. The next verse speaks of the enclosing framework of chambers. What was now finished was the portion for divine service.

and covered the house] i.e. Made the roof for it. On this roof, see Fergusson, Temples of the Jews, pp. 19 seqq., where the author shews that the covering of the Tabernacle was made with a ridge and sloped to both sides, and that the cedar beams and boards (R.V. planks) spoken of in this verse were to imitate, as nearly as could be done in wood, the Tabernacle roof. Mr Fergusson has suggested (p. 28) that there were most probably pillars inside the Temple to support the beams of the roof. ‘No cedar beams that were available could be laid across an opening 30 feet free without sagging to an unpleasant extent.’Verse 9. - So he built the house and finished it [i.e., the exterior (see on ver. 14)] and covered [i.e., roofed, same word Deuteronomy 33:21; Jeremiah 22:14; Haggai 1:4. There is no reference to the lining of cedar which was applied to the interior. That is described in ver. 15] the house with beams and boards [Heb. rows, ranks. The same word is used of soldiers 2 Kings 11:8, 15] of cedar. [It has been universally held till quite lately that the roof was either vaulted (Thenius) or flat (Bahr, Keil). But Mr. Fergussen has alleged some reasons for believing that it was a span or gable roof. It is true that Oriental buildings almost invariably have externally flat(internally arched) roofs. In Palestine, because of the scarcity of timber, no other form is possible. But the temple, as we have seen, was constructed after the model of the tabernacle, and the latter, as the name almost implies, and as necessity would require, had a ridged roof (see Dict. Bib. 3 p. 1453). It does not necessarily follow, however, as Fergusson assumes, that the temple followed the tabernacle in this respect. It is obvious that when a "house was built unto the name of the Lord," the form of the tent might be abandoned as inappropriate. It is true that this shape would be consecrated to them by many centuries of use, but it is also possible that in a house it would strike them as altogether bizarre.] The porch (lit., hall) in the face of (על־פּני, i.e., before) the Holy Place of the house was twenty cubits long, before (על־פּני) the breadth of the house, i.e., it was just the same breadth as the house. The longer line, which ran parallel to the breadth of the house, is called here ארך, the length, though from our point of view we should call it the width. And ten cubits was its breadth, i.e., its depth in front of the house. The height of the court is not given in our text; but in 2 Chronicles 3:4 it is said to have been 120 cubits. This is certainly an error, although Ewald (Gesch. iii. p. 300) still joins with Stieglitz (Baukunst, p. 126, and Beitrr. zur Gesch. der Bauk. i. p. 70) in defending its correctness. For an erection of such a height as this could not possibly have been designated as אוּלם (a hall or porch), but would have been called מגדּל, a tower. But even a tower of 120 cubits in height in front of a temple which was only thirty cubits high, would have shown a greater disproportion than our loftiest church towers;

(Note: In the Strasburg cathedral and that at Freiburg in Breisgau the proportion between the height of the tower and that of the church, together with the roof, is about 3 1/4 to 1; it is only in the cathedral at Rouen that the proportion would have been almost 4 to 1 if it had been carried out to the very top. At the same time, in making this comparison it must be borne in mind that these Gothic towers taper off into slender points, whereas in the case of Solomon's temple we must assume that if the porch was carried up to the height supposed, it finished in a flat truncated tower; and it is this which would chiefly occasion the disproportion.)

and such a funnel-like erection with a base of only ten cubits in breadth or depth would hardly have possessed sufficient stability. We cannot certainly think of an intentional exaggeration of the height in the Chronicles, since the other measures agree with the account before us; but the assumption that there has been a corruption of the text is rendered natural enough by many other errors in the numerical statements. This still leaves it undecided whether the true height was twenty or thirty cubits; for whereas the Syriac, Arabic, and lxx (Cod. Al.) have twenty cubits, the height of thirty cubits is favoured partly by the omission of any statement of the height from our text, which is much easier to explain if the porch was of the same height as the temple-house than if the heights were different, and partly by the circumstance that the side building had an external height of twenty cubits, and therefore the porch would not have stood out with any especial prominence if its elevation had been just the same.

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