2 Chronicles 3:16
And he made chains, as in the oracle, and put them on the heads of the pillars; and made an hundred pomegranates, and put them on the chains.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(16) And he made chains, as in the oracle.—Heb., And he made chainwork in the oracle, or chancel, which is clearly corrupt. But if we read kad-debîr for bad-debîr, an infinitesimal change in Hebrew writing, we get the sense which our version suggests: And he made chainwork as in the chancel. It is true that the sacred writer has not told us that the walls of the Holy of Holies were so ornamented, but in 2Chronicles 3:5 he states it of the great hall or holy place, and 1Kings 6:29 declares that the whole house was adorned with mural carvings. It was quite natural to write, “and he made chainwork as in the oracle,” assuming that such decorations really existed in the inner chamber. There seems therefore to be no need to alter debîr into rabîd, (“collar”) as most commentators have done, although the change is very slight in Hebrew writing. The LXX. had the present Hebrew text, but, apparently, not understanding it transliterated the Hebrew words: “He made serserôth in the dabir.” So Vulg., “as it were chainlets in the oracle.” The Syriac and Arabic have “and he made chains of fifty cubits.”

An hundred pomegranates.—So Jeremiah 52:23. (See 1Kings 7:20; 1Kings 7:42, from which it appears that there were altogether four hundred pomegranates, viz., an upper and lower row of one hundred each upon the chainwork of each pillar. So 2Chronicles 4:13.)

3:1-17 The building of the temple. - There is a more particular account of the building of the temple in #1Ki 6". It must be in the place David had prepared, not only which he had purchased, but which he had fixed on by Divine direction. Full instructions enable us to go about our work with certainty and to proceed therein with comfort. Blessed be God, the Scriptures are enough to render the man of God thoroughly furnished for every good work. Let us search the Scriptures daily, beseeching the Lord to enable us to understand, believe, and obey his word, that our work and our way may be made plain, and that all may be begun, continued, and ended in him. Beholding God, in Christ, his true Temple, more glorious than that of Solomon's, may we become a spiritual house, a habitation of God through the Spirit.As in the oracle - This passage is probably corrupt. Our translators supposing that a single letter had fallen out at the beginning of the word translated "in the oracle," supplied "as." But we have no reason to suppose there were any "chains" or "festoons" in the "oracle" or most holy place. 2Ch 3:14-17. Veil and Pillars (see 1Ki 6:21).

The united height is here given; and though the exact dimensions would be thirty-six cubits, each column was only seventeen cubits and a half, a half cubit being taken up by the capital or the base. They were probably described as they were lying together in the mould before they were set up [Poole]. They would be from eighteen to twenty-one feet in circumference, and stand forty feet in height. These pillars, or obelisks, as some call them, were highly ornamented, and formed an entrance in keeping with the splendid interior of the temple.

As in the oracle; as he had done, or like unto those which he made, in the oracle; of which see 1 Kings 6:21. The particle as is oft understood, as Genesis 49:9 Deu 33:22, &c.

An hundred pomegranates in each row, or two hundred in all, as it is said, 1 Kings 7:20.

See Chapter Introduction And he made chains, as in the oracle, and put them on the heads of the pillars; and made an {h} hundred pomegranates, and put them on the chains.

(h) For every pillar a hundred, read 1Ki 7:20.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
16. he made chains, as in the oracle] R.V. he made chains in the oracle. The words, in the oracle, though found in LXX., are probably a gloss introduced from 1 Kings 6:21 (chains … before the oracle). The Chronicler is here speaking of the outside of the Temple, having already described the “oracle,” i.e. the Holy of Holies, in 2 Chronicles 3:8-14. The Heb. word děbîr was translated “oracle” because it was supposed to be derived from a word meaning “to speak.” It means, however, simply “the hindmost part” of the house (cf. 2 Chronicles 4:20, 2 Chronicles 5:7; 2 Chronicles 5:9).

Verse 16. - Chains, as in the oracle. Though the writer of Chronicles has not in this description mentioned any chains as appertaining to the oracle, yet they are mentioned in the parallel. The selection of what is said has in our present text so much the appearance of haste, that this may account for the abrupt appearance of the allusion here. Otherwise the words, "in the oracle," tempt us to fear some corruptness of text, scarcely safely removed by Bertheau's suggestion to substitute רְבִיד ("ring") for דְבִיר ("oracle"). An hundred pomegranates (comp. 2 Chronicles 4:13; 1 Kings 7:15, 18, 20). These passages indicate that the total number of pomegranates was two hundred for each pillar. 2 Chronicles 3:16"And he made little chains on the collar (Halsreife), and put it on the top of the pillars, and made 100 pomegranates, and put them on the chains." In the first clause of this verse, בּדּביר, "in (on) the most holy place," has no meaning, for the most holy place is not here being discussed, but the pillars before the porch, or rather an ornament on the capital of these pillars. We must not therefore think of chains in the most holy place, which extended thence out to the pillars, as the Syriac and Arabic seem to have done, paraphrasing as they do: chains of fifty cubits (i.e., the length of the holy place and the porch). According to 1 Kings 7:17-20 and 1 Kings 7:41., compared with 2 Chronicles 4:12-13, each capital consisted of two parts. The lower part was a circumvolution (Wulst) covered with chain-like net-work, one cubit high, with a setting of carved pomegranates one row above and one row below. The upper part, or that which formed the crown of the capital, was four cubits high, and carved in the form of an open lily-calyx. In our verse it is the lower part of the capital, the circumvolution, with the chain net-work and the pomegranates, which is spoken of. From this, Bertheau concludes that דּביר must signify the same as the more usual שׂבכה, viz., "the lattice-work which was set about the top of the pillars, and served to fasten the pomegranates," and that bdbyr has arisen out of בּרביד by a transposition of the letters. בּרביד (chains) should be read here. This conjecture so decidedly commends itself, that we regard it as certainly correct, since רביד denotes in Genesis 41:42; Ezekiel 16:11, a necklace, and so may easily denote also a ring or hoop; but we cannot adopt the translation "chains on a ring," nor the idea that the שׂבכה, since it surrounded the head of the pillars as a girdle or broad ring, is called the ring of the pillars. For this idea does not agree with the translation "chains in a ring," even when they are conceived of as "chain-like ornaments, which could scarcely otherwise be made visible on the ring than by open work." Then the chain-like decorations were not, as Bertheau thinks, on the upper and under border of the ring, but formed a net-work which surrounded the lower part of the capital of the pillar like a ring, as though a necklace had been drawn round it. רביד consequently is not the same as שׂבכה, but rather corresponds to that part of the capital which is called גּלּה (גּלּות) in 1 Kings 7:14; for the שׂבכות served to cover the גּלּות, and were consequently placed on or over the גּלּות, as the pomegranates were on the chains or woven work. הגּלּה denotes the curve, the circumvolution, which is in 1 Kings 7:20 called הבּטן, a broad-arched band, bulging towards the middle, which formed the lower part of the capital. This arched part of the capital the author of the Chronicle calls רביד, ring or collar, because it may be regarded as the neck ornament of the head of the pillar, in contrast to the upper part of the capital, that consisted in lily-work, i.e., the ball wrought into the form of an open lily-calyx (כּתרת( xylac-).
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