1 Kings 7:9
All these were of costly stones, according to the measures of hewed stones, sawed with saws, within and without, even from the foundation to the coping, and so on the outside toward the great court.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
1 Kings 7:9. All these were of costly stones — Namely, the buildings described here, and in the former chapter. According to the measures of hewed stones — Either, 1st, Which were hewed in such measure and proportion, as exact workmen use in hewing ordinary stones: or, 2d, As large as hewed stones commonly are, which are often very great. Sawed them with saws, within and without — Both on the inside of the buildings, which were covered with cedar, and on the outside also. From the foundation unto the coping — From the bottom to the top of the building. So on the outside toward the great court — Not only on the outside of the front of the house, which, being most visible, men are more careful to adorn, but also of the other side of the house, which looked toward the great court belonging to the king’s house.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.The stones were uniform - all cut to certain fixed measures of length, breadth, and thickness. They were not squared only on the face which showed, but also on the sides which fell within the wall and were not seen. Saws appear in Assyrian sculptures of the age of Sennacherib; and fragments of an iron saw have been found at Nimrud. 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.

All these buildings described here and in the former chapter.

According to the measures of hewed stones; either first, which were hewed in such measure and proportion, as exact workmen used to hew ordinary stones; or, secondly, as large as common hewed stones, which are oft very great.

Within and without; both on the inside of the buildings which were covered with cedar, and on the outside also.

From the foundation unto the coping; from the bottom to the top of the building.

On the outside toward the great court; not only on the outside of the front of the house, which being most visible, men are more careful to adorn; but also of the other side of the house, which looked towards the great court belonging to the king’s house. All these were of costly stones,.... Marble, porphyry, &c.

according to the measure of hewed stones, sawed with saws, within and without; they were all hewed, and squared, and polished, and so they appeared both on the inside of the building, and without:

even from the foundation unto the coping; from the bottom to the top:

and so on the outside toward the great court: where the people used to assemble when they had causes to be tried, and was adjoining to the king's house.

All these were of costly stones, according to the measures of hewed stones, sawed with saws, within and without, even from the foundation unto {f} the coping, and so on the outside toward the great court.

(f) Which were rests and stays for the beams to lie on.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
9. All these] i.e. The whole of the buildings described in the previous verses.

according to the measures of hewed stones] Better not to be taken as in construction, but with R.V. even hewn stones according to measure. The word is literally ‘according to measures,’ and this the R.V. explains on the margin as ‘after divers measures.’ But this is what is meant by their text.

within and without] Though the inside face of the walls was to be covered with cedar, and so put out of sight, the same care was taken with the dressing of that part of the stone work, as with all that was to remain uncovered.

toward the great court] Better, unto. What appears to be meant in the verse is a strong expression of the excellency of the stone work. This is said to have been of the same character from the base to the coping of all the walls, and then is added, that it was the same from the front part of the buildings to the back. The front part, which was the house of the forest, is not mentioned, but it said that the good work extended unto the great court, which lay farthest back of all the buildings.Verse 9. - All these [i.e.buildings palaces] were of costly [or precious; cf. 1 Kings 5:31 [1 Kings 5:17] and vers. 10, 11] stones, according to the measures of hewed stones [lit., of squaring or hewing, same word in 1 Kings 5:31 (Hebr.) [1 Kings 5:17], 1 Kings 6:36, and Isaiah 9:9, etc. All the stones in these several buildings were shaped to certain specified dimensions], sawed with saws [גָּרַר is obviously an onomatopoetic word, like our saw. Gesenius cites σαίρω, serro, etc. The Egyptians, whose saws were apparently all single handed, do not seem to have applied this instrument to stone, but part of a double-handed saw was found at Nimrud (Layard, p. 195, and Dict. Bib., art. "Saw"). That saws were in common use and were made of iron is implied in 2 Samuel 12:31], within and without [It is not quite clear whether the meaning is that the two surfaces exposed to view, one within and the other without, the building were shaped with saws, or that the inner and hidden surface of the stone was thus smoothed as well as the exposed parts], even from the foundation unto the coping [or corbels. It is generally agreed (Gesen., Keil, Bight) that the reference is to the "projecting stones on which the beams rest," though Thenius would understand battlements (Deuteronomy 22:8) to be intended. But for these a different word is always used, and the LXX γεῖσος signifies the projection of the roof, not an erection upon it], and so on the outside toward the great court [i.e., the pavement of the court was of sawed stones (see ver. 12).] "And roofing in (of) cedar was above the over the side-rooms upon the pillars, five and forty; fifteen the row." ספן is to be understood of the roofing, as in 1 Kings 6:15 (compare ספּן, 1 Kings 6:15). The numbers "forty-five and fifteen the row" cannot refer to העמּוּדים, but must refer, as Thenius assumes, to הצּלעת as the main idea, which is more precisely defined by העמּוּדים על. If we took it as referring to the pillars, as I myself have formerly done, we should have to assume that there were only galleries or pillar-halls above the lower rows of pillars, which is at variance with הצּלעת. There were forty-five side-rooms, therefore, built upon the lower rows of pillars, in ranges of fifteen each. This could only be done by the ranges of rooms being built, not side by side, but one over the other, in other words, by the forty-five side-rooms forming three stories, as in the side buildings of the temple, so that each story had a "row" of fifteen side-rooms round it. This view receives support from 1 Kings 7:4 : "and beam-layers (שׁקפים, beams, as in 1 Kings 6:4) were three rows, and outlook against outlook three times;" i.e., the rows of side-rooms were built one over the other by means of layers of beams, so that the rooms had windows opposite to one another three times; that is to say, the windows looking out upon the court were so arranged in the three stories that those on the one side were vis vis to those on the opposite side of the building. The expression in 1 Kings 7:5, אל־מחזה מחזה מוּל, "window over against window," compels us to take אל־מחזה in the sense of "opposite to the window" (אל, versus), and not, as Thenius proposes, "outlook against outlook," according to which אל is supposed to indicate that the windows were only separated from one another by slender piers. מחזה, which only occurs here, is different from חלּון, the ordinary window, and probably denotes a large opening affording a wide outlook.
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