1 Kings 7:4
And there were windows in three rows, and light was against light in three ranks.
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7:1-12 All Solomon's buildings, though beautiful, were intended for use. Solomon began with the temple; he built for God first, and then his other buildings. The surest foundations of lasting prosperity are laid in early piety. He was thirteen years building his house, yet he built the temple in little more than seven years; not that he was more exact, but less eager in building his own house, than in building God's. We ought to prefer God's honour before our own ease and satisfaction.Either three ranges of windows, one above the other, on either side of the house; or perhaps the three ranges were one in either side wall, and the third in a wall down the middle of the hall, along the course of the midmost row of pillars. The windows were directly opposite one another, giving what we call a through light. 1Ki 7:2-7. Of the House of Lebanon.

2. He built also the house of the forest of Lebanon—It is scarcely possible to determine whether this was a different edifice from the former, or whether his house, the house of the forest of Lebanon, and the one for Pharaoh's daughter, were not parts of one grand palace. As difficult is it to decide what was the origin of the name; some supposing it was so called because built on Lebanon; others, that it was in or near Jerusalem, but contained such a profuse supply of cedar columns as to have occasioned this peculiar designation. We have a similar peculiarity of name in the building called the East India house, though situated in London. The description is conformable to the arrangement of Eastern palaces. The building stood in the middle of a great oblong square, which was surrounded by an enclosing wall, against which the houses and offices of those attached to the court were built. The building itself was oblong, consisting of two square courts, flanking a large oblong hall which formed the center, and was one hundred cubits long, by fifty broad. This was properly the house of the forest of Lebanon, being the part where were the cedar pillars of this hall. In front was the porch of judgment, which was appropriated to the transaction of public business. On the one side of this great hall was the king's house; and on the other the harem or royal apartments for Pharaoh's daughter (Es 2:3, 9). This arrangement of the palace accords with the Oriental style of building, according to which a great mansion always consists of three divisions, or separate houses—all connected by doors and passages—the men dwelling at one extremity, the women of the family at the other, while public rooms occupy the central part of the building.

Light was against light; one directly opposite or answering to the other, as is usual in well-contrived buildings. In three ranks; one exactly under another. And there were windows in three rows,.... Both in the second and third stories, east, north, and south, there being none in the west, where the porch stood:

and light was against light in three ranks; or the windows, through which light was let, answered to each other.

And there were windows in three rows, and light was {c} against light in three ranks.

(c) There were as many and like proportion on the one side as the other, and at every end even three in a row one above another.

4. And there were windows in three rows] This is not the usual word for ‘windows,’ but is that which in 1 Kings 6:4 describes the sloping woodwork, or lattice, used in the windows of the Temple. From its use in the two descriptions it may be supposed to indicate the like work here as there, and so ‘windows’ is no inappropriate rendering, as it can be understood from the former passage. The R.V. gives prospects to avoid the commoner word, and puts ‘beams’ in the margin. ‘Window-spaces’ would perhaps give the best idea of what appears to be meant, which is some wooden framework fitted into those walls which looked into the interior court.

and light was against light in three ranks] This means that the windows in every one of the three stories were exactly over each other. There is a very slight difference in the Hebrew of the final clause of the next verse, but the sense is exactly the same.Verse 4. - And there were windows [שְׁקֻפִים same word as in 1 Kings 6:4, i.e., beams or lattices. Keil understands, beam layers; and Bahr, ubergelegte Balken. The LXX. has πλευρῶν] in three rows [or tiers. All we can say is that there is a possible reference to three stories formed by the three rows of beams], and light [lit., outlook. מֶחְזָה probably means a wide outlook. LXX. χῶρα, aspectus, prospectus] was against light in three ranks [Heb. three times. The meaning is that the side chambers were so built and arranged that the rooms had their windows exactly vis-a-vis in each of the three stories. Josephus explains, θυρώμασι τριγλύφοις, windows in three divisions, but this is no explanation of the words "light against light," etc. Fergusson understands the three outlooks to mean, first, the clerestory windows (that there was a clerestory he infers from Josephus Ant., 7:05.2), who describes this palace as "in the Corinthian manner," which cannot mean, he says, "the Corinthian order, which was not then invented, but after the fashion of a Corinthian oecus, which was a hall with a clerestory");

(2) a range of openings under the cornice of the walls; and

(3) a range of open doorways. But all this is conjecture. The courts. - "He built the inner court three rows of hewn stones and one row of hewn cedar beams." The epithet inner court applied to the "court of the priests" (2 Chronicles 4:9) presupposes an outer one, which is also mentioned in 2 Chronicles 4:9, and called "the great court." The inner one is called the upper (higher) court in Jeremiah 36:10, from which it follows that it was situated on a higher level than the outer one, which surrounded it on all sides. It was enclosed by a low wall, consisting of three rows of hewn stones, or square stones, laid one upon another, and a row of hewn cedar beams, which were either laid horizontally upon the stones, after the analogy of the panelling of the temple walls on the inside, or placed upright so as to form a palisading, in order that the people might be able to see through into the court of the priests. According to 2 Chronicles 4:9, the outer court had gates lined with brass, so that it was also surrounded with a high wall. Around it there were chambers and cells (2 Kings 23:11; Jeremiah 35:4; Jeremiah 36:10) for the priests and Levites, the plans for which had already been made by David (1 Chronicles 28:12). The principal gate was the east gate (Ezekiel 11:1). Other gates are mentioned in 2 Kings 11:6; 2 Chronicles 23:5, Jeremiah 20:2 2 Kings 12:10; 2 Chronicles 24:8. The size of these courts is not given. At the same time, following the analogy of the tabernacle, and with the reduplication of the rooms of the tabernacle which is adopted in other cases in the temple, we may set down the length of the court of the priests from east to west at 200 cubits, and the breadth from south to north at 100 cubits; so that in front of the temple-building on the east there was a space of 100 cubits in length and breadth, or 10,000 square cubits, left free for the altar of burnt-offering and the other vessels, in other words, for the sacrificial worship. The outer or great court will therefore, no doubt, have been at least twice as large, namely, 400 cubits long and 200 cubits broad, i.e., in all, 80,000 square cubits; so that the front space before the court of the priests (on the eastern side) was 150 cubits long from east to west, and 200 cubits broad from south to north, and 50 cubits in breadth or depth still remained for the other three sides.
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