And nets of checker work, and wreaths of chain work, for the capitals which were on the top of the pillars; seven for the one capital, and seven for the other capital.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Seven for . . .—This is probably an erroneous reading. It should be “a net-work (or lattice-work) for the one chapiter, and a net-work for the other.”1 Kings 7:17-19. Nets of checker-work, &c., for the chapiters — Which chapiters those nets and wreaths encompassed, either covering, and, as it were, receiving and holding the pomegranates, or being mixed with them. And he made — Or, so he made, or framed, or perfected, the pillars, and two rows round about — Of pomegranates, or some other curious work, which took up one of the five cubits, whereof the chapiter consisted. And the chapiters, &c., were of lily-work — Were made in imitation of lilies. In the porch — Or, as in the porch; such work as there was in the porch of the temple, in which these pillars were set, (1 Kings 7:21,) that so the work of the tops of these pillars might agree with that in the top of the porch.
Seven for the one chapiter - The Septuagint reading is preferable. "A net for the one chapiter and a net for the other chapiter." Compare 1 Kings 7:41.
wreaths of chain-work—that is, plaited in the form of a chain, composing a sort of crown or garland. Seven of these were wound in festoons on one capital, and over and underneath them were fringes, one hundred in a row. Two rows of pomegranates strung on chains (2Ch 3:16) ran round the capital (1Ki 7:42; compare 2Ch 4:12, 13; Jer 52:23), which, itself, was of a bowl-like or globular form (1Ki 7:41). These rows were designed to form a binding to the ornamental work—to keep it from falling asunder; and they were so placed as to be above the chain work, and below the place where the branch-work was.For the chapiters, which those nets and wreaths did encompass, either covering, and as it were receiving and holding, the pomegranates, or being mixed with them. And nets of checker work, and wreaths of chain work, for the chapiters which were upon the top of the pillars; seven for the one chapiter, and seven for the other chapiter.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)17. and nets of checker work] The two nouns are from the same root, and indicate some kind of interlaced metalwork with which the bellying parts of the capitals were overlaid. This, with the chains next mentioned, and the two rows of pomegranates (1 Kings 7:18) formed the ornamentation of the lower portion of the capitals for one cubit of their breadth.
As the conjunction ‘And’ has nothing to represent it in the Hebrew it is better to render, ‘There were nets &c.’ The LXX. in this verse begins ‘And he made two nets &c.… even a net for the one chapiter and a net for the other chapiter.’ Thus the ‘seven’ of the A.V. disappears and ‘net’ is substituted. There is a good deal of similarity between שׁבעה = seven, and שׂבכה= a net, so that there may have been a confusion, and certainly below in 1 Kings 7:41 mention is made of two networks, not seven.Verse 17. - And nets [Gesen., lattice; Keil, plait. "It seems almost in vain to try and speculate on what was the exact form of the decoration of these celebrated pillars. The nets of checker work, and wreaths of chain work, etc., are all features applicable to metal architecture; and though we know that the old Tartar races did use metal architecture everywhere, and especially in bronze, from the very nature of the material, every specimen has perished, and we have now no representations from which we can restore them" (Fergusson, Dict. Bib. l.c.)] of checker work [the Hebrew repeats the word: nets of network, or plaits of work of plait], and wreaths [or cords, twisted work, i.e., festoons] of chain work [the wreathed or twisted festoon probably resembled a chain], for [or, to, i.e., were on] the chapiters which were upon the top of the pillars; seven for the one chapiter, and seven for the other chapiter [The LXX. having here δίκτυον, it is clear that the text they had read שבכה "a net," and not שבעה "seven." Some, accordingly, would read, "a net for the one chapiter, and a net," etc. But there is no sufficient reason for the change. "This decoration consisted of seven twists arranged as festoons, which were hung round the capitals of the pillars" (Keil). The comparison with "chain work" was probably suggestd by the fact that the intertwined threads, which crossed and recrossed each other, bore a rough resemblance to the links of a chain.
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