And he made the pillars, and two rows round about on the one network, to cover the capitals that were on the top, with pomegranates: and so did he for the other capital.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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.And he made; or, so he made, or framed, or perfected.
Two rows; either of pomegranates, by comparing this with 1 Kings 7:20, or of some other curious work.
and two rows round about upon the one network, to cover the chapiters that were upon the top, with pomegranates; that is, there were two rows of figures like pomegranates upon the net or branch work that covered the chapiters that were on the top of the pillars; and Kimchi owns, that some copies so read, on the top of the pillars, instead of pomegranates, though he thinks it a mistake:And he made the pillars, and two rows round about upon the one network, to cover the chapiters that were upon the top, with pomegranates: and so did he for the other chapiter.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)18. upon the top, with pomegranates] The Hebrew text means ‘upon the top of the pomegranates.’ But some authorities give ‘upon the top of the pillars,’ which has been adopted by the R.V. The first words of the verse must however surely be wrong. ‘And he made the pillars’ is utterly out of place here. It had been noticed before; and the present verse is a description of the capitals. What appears to have happened is this. The words for ‘pillars’ and ‘pomegranates’ have changed places. The LXX. gives no help. But assuming this interchange of words we may render (nearly with R.V.) ‘So he made the pomegranates, and there were two rows about upon the one network, to cover the chapiters that were upon the top of the pillars; and so made he for the other chapiter.’ The words ‘to cover … pillars’ explaining the purpose of the work, come in a little awkwardly, but a sense is made out of what before was incomprehensible.Verse 18. - And he made the pillars [There is evidently a confusion of the text here. Probably we should read, with some MSS. הרמנים, the pomegranates (so LXX.), instead of העמודים, or rather, we should transpose the two words, reading pomegranates where the Masoretic text has pillars, and vice versa. "The pomegranate was one of the commonest ornaments of Assyria.... It is doubtful whether a symbolical meaning was attached to it, or whether it was merely selected as a beautiful natural form" (Rawlinson). Wordsworth characteristically sees in its many ripe seeds, "an expressive emblem of fruitfulness in good works." According to Bahr, it is an image of the law or covenant of Jehovah, and the seeds represent the separate commands (Symbolik, 2:122, 123). In the tabernacle it was pourtrayed in works of divers colours on the hem of the robe of the ephod (Exodus 28:33, 34; Exodus 39:24). All the Scripture notices of this fruit prove its great abundance in Palestine (Numbers 13:23; Joshua 15:32; Joshua 21:25 ; - in the two last passages it appears as the name of a town - Song of Solomon 4:3, 13; Song of Solomon 8:2; Joel 1:12; Haggai 2:9, etc.) It was also well known to the Egyptians (Numbers 20:5)], and [or even] two rows round about upon the one network ["The relation between the two rows of pomegranates and the plaited work is not clearly defined, but it is generally and correctly assumed that one row ran round the pillars below the plaited work and the other above" (Keil). The pomegranates, one hundred in number in each row (2 Chronicles 3:16), four hundred in all (2 Chronicles 4:13; Jeremiah 52:23), would thus form a double border to the chain work], to cover the chapiters that were upon the top, with pomegranates [rather, on the top of the pillars, as the transposition mentioned above and the sense require]; and so did he for the other chapiter. 1 Kings 6:36) and the hall of the house. ולחצר signifies "and so with the court," Vav serving as a comparison, as in Proverbs 25:20, and frequently in Proverbs (see Dietrich in Ges. Lex. x.v. ,ו and Ewald, 340, b.), so that there is no necessity for the un-Hebraic conjecture of Thenius, כּלחצר. הבּית לאוּלם in all probability refers not to the temple-hall, but to the pillar-hall of the palace, the surrounding wall of which was of the same nature as the wall of the great, i.e., the other or hinder, court.
(Note: The situation of this palace in Jerusalem is not defined. Ewald supposes (Gesch. iii. p. 317) that it was probably built on the southern continuation of the temple-mountain, commonly called Ophel, i.e., Hill. But "nothing more is needed to convince us that it cannot have stood upon Ophel, than a single glance at any geographical outline of Ophel on one of the best of the modern maps, and a recollection of the fact that, according to Nehemiah 3:26, Nehemiah 3:31, it was upon Ophel, where the king's palace is said to have stood, that the temple-socagers and shopkeepers had their places of abode after the captivity" (Thenius). The view held by earlier travellers and pilgrims to Zion, and defended by Berggren (p. 109ff.), namely, that the ancient Solomonian and Asmonaean palaces stood upon Moriah on the western side of the temple, is equally untenable. For the xystus, above which, according to Josephus, Bell. Jud. ii. 16, 3, the Asmonaean palace stood, was connected with the temple by a bridge, and therefore did not stand upon Moriah, but upon Zion or the ἄνω πόλις, since this bridge, according to Josephus, Bell. Jud. vi. 6, 2, connected the temple with the upper city. Moreover, it clearly follows from the passages of Josephus already noticed (pp. 61f.), in which he refers to the substructures of the temple area, that the temple occupied the whole of Moriah towards the west, and extended as far as the valley of the Tyropoeon, and consequently there was no room for a palace on that side. When Josephus affirms, therefore (Ant. viii. 5, 2), that Solomon's palace stood opposite to the temple (ἄντικρυς ἔχων ναόν), it can only have been built on the north-east side of Zion, as most of the modern writers assume (see W. Krafft, Topographie Jerus. p. 114ff., and Berggr. p. 110). This is sustained not only by the probability that the Asmonaeans would hardly build their palace anywhere else than on the spot where the palace of the kings of Judah built by Solomon stood, but also by the account of the elevation of Joash to the throng in 2 Kings 11 and 2 Chronicles 23, from which it is perfectly obvious that the royal palace stood upon Zion opposite to the temple.)
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