2 Chronicles 3:3
Now these are the things wherein Solomon was instructed for the building of the house of God. The length by cubits after the first measure was three score cubits, and the breadth twenty cubits.
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(3) Now these are the things wherein Solomon was instructed.—Rather, And this is the foundation (or ground-plan) of Solomon. The plural pronoun ‘ēllè, “these,” is used as a neut. sing. “this” (comp. 1Chronicles 24:19), and the hophal infinitive hûsad, “to be founded,” is used substantively, as in Ezra 3:11. So Vulgate, “Et haec sunt fundamenta quae jecit Solomon.”

After the first measure.—Rather, in the ancient measure, an explanation not found in the parallel passage, 1Kings 6:2. The ancient or Mosaic cubit was one hand -breadth longer than the cubit of later times (Ezekiel 40:5; Ezekiel 43:13). The chronicler has omitted the height, which was thirty cubits (1Kings 6:2).

2 Chronicles 3:3-5. These are the things wherein Solomon was instructed — By David his father, and by the Spirit of God. After the first measure threescore cubits — According to the measure which was first fixed. The porch, the height was a hundred and twenty — This being a kind of turret to the building. How this may be reconciled with 1 Kings 6:3, see the notes there. The breadth of it, here omitted, is there said to be ten cubits. The greater house he ceiled with fir-tree — Namely, the holy place, which was twice as large as the lesser house, or the holy of holies, which is called the most holy house, 2 Chronicles 3:8. The outward part of the former was of fir- tree, to bear the weather better; but the inside was lined with cedar, overlaid with gold, and figures, or sculptures, of palm-trees, chains, and other ornaments.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.The marginal "founded" gives a clue to another meaning of this passage, which may be translated: "Now this is the ground-plan of Solomon for the building, etc."

Cubits after the first measure - i. e., cubits according to the ancient standard. The Jews, it is probable, adopted the Babylonian measures during the captivity, and carried them back into their own country. The writer notes that the cubit of which he here speaks is the old (Mosaic) cubit.

2Ch 3:3-7. Measures and Ornaments of the House.

3. these are the things wherein Solomon was instructed for the building of the house of God—by the written plan and specifications given him by his father. The measurements are reckoned by cubits, "after the first measure," that is, the old Mosaic standard. But there is great difference of opinion about this, some making the cubit eighteen, others twenty-one inches. The temple, which embodied in more solid and durable materials the ground-form of the tabernacle (only being twice as large), was a rectangular building, seventy cubits long from east to west, and twenty cubits wide from north to south.

Solomon was instructed; partly by his father David, and partly by the Spirit of God, which inspired and guided him in the whole work. Or, these were Solomon’s foundations, the Hebrew verb being put for the noun, as it is elsewhere. The sense is, These were the measures of the foundations upon which he intended to build the temple.

After the first measure, i.e. according to the measure of the first and ancient cubit. By which it is evident that there were cubits of different sorts and sizes; which also appears from Ezekiel 40:5 43:13. But how big those cubits were, and how much larger than the common cubits, and whether this was the cubit used by Moses in the building of the tabernacle, which seems most probable, or some other and yet larger cubit, is not agreed among learned men, and cannot now be exactly known, nor is it of any great moment for us to know. See Chapter Introduction Now these are the things wherein Solomon was instructed for the building of the house of God. The length by cubits after the first {b} measure was threescore cubits, and the breadth twenty cubits.

(b) According to the whole length of the temple,

3 (= 1 Kings 6:2). The Measurements of the Temple

3. these are the things wherein Solomon was instructed] R.V. these are the foundations which Solomon laid.

cubits after the first measure] There were apparently two cubits in use, the ordinary earlier cubit of about 17½ inches (Deuteronomy 3:11 “the cubit of a man”) and another later cubit of about 21½ inches, longer than the first by a handbreadth (Ezekiel 40:5).Verse 3. - Now these. Perhaps the easiest predicate to supply to this elliptical clause is are the measures, or the cubits. Was instructed. The verb is hoph. conjugation of יָסַד to "found;" and the purport of the clause is that Solomon caused the foundations of the building to be laid of such dimensions by cubit. Ezra 3:11 and Isaiah 28:16 give the only other occurrences of the hoph. conjugation of this verb. Cubits after the first measure. This possibly means the cubit of pre-Captivity times, but at all events the Israelites' own ancient cubit - perhaps a hand-breadth (Ezekiel 43:13) longer than the present, or seven in place of six. The cubit (divided into six palms, and a palm into four finger-breadths) was the unit of Hebrew lineal measure. It stands for the length from the elbow to the wrist, the knuckle, or the tip of the longest finger. There is still considerable variation in opinion as to the number of inches that the cubit represents, and considerable perplexity as to the two or three different cubits (Deuteronomy 3:11; Ezekiel 40:5; Ezekiel 43:13) mentioned in Scripture. One of the latest authorities, Conder ('Handbook to the Bible,' 2nd edit., pp. 56-59, 371, 386), gives what seem to be reasons of almost decisive character for regarding the cubit of the temple buildings as one of sixteen inches. The subject is also discussed at length in Smith's ' Bible Dictionary,' 3:1736 - 1739. And the writer finally concludes to accept, under protest, Thenius's calculations, which give the cubit as rather over nineteen inches. The answer of King Hiram; cf. 1 Kings 5:7-11. - Hiram answered בּכתב, in a writing, a letter, which he sent to Solomon. In 1 Kings 5:7 Hiram first expresses his joy at Solomon's request, because it was of importance to him to be on a friendly footing with the king of Israel. In the Chronicle his writing begins with the congratulation: because Jahve loveth His people, hath He made thee king over them. Cf. for the expression, 2 Chronicles 9:8 and 1 Kings 10:9. He then, according to both narratives, praises God that He has given David so wise a son. ויּאמר, 2 Chronicles 2:12, means: then he said further. The praise of God is heightened in the Chronicle by Hiram's entering into Solomon's religious ideas, calling Jahve the Creator of heaven and earth. Then, further, חכם בּן is strengthened by וּבינה שׂכל יודע, having understanding and discernment; and this predicate is specially referred to Solomon's resolve to build a temple to the Lord. Then in 2 Chronicles 2:13. he promises to send Solomon the artificer Huram-Abi. On the title אבי, my father, i.e., minister, counsellor, and the descent of this man, cf. the commentary on 1 Kings 7:13-14. In 2 Chronicles 2:14 of the Chronicle his artistic skill is described in terms coinciding with Solomon's wish in 2 Chronicles 2:6, only heightened by small additions. To the metals as materials in which he could work, there are added stone and wood work, and to the woven fabrics בּוּץ (byssus), the later word for שׁשׁ; and finally, to exhaust the whole, he is said to be able כּל־מח ולחשׁב, to devise all manner of devices which shall be put to him, as in Exodus 31:4, he being thus raised to the level of Bezaleel, the chief artificer of the tabernacle. עם־חכמיך is dependent upon לעשׂות, as in 2 Chronicles 2:6. The promise to send cedars and cypresses is for the sake of brevity here omitted, and only indirectly indicated in 2 Chronicles 2:16. In 2 Chronicles 2:15, however, it is mentioned that Hiram accepted the promised supply of grain, wine, and oil for the labourers; and 2 Chronicles 2:16 closes with the promise to fell the wood required in Lebanon, and to cause it to be sent in floats to Joppa (Jaffa), whence Solomon could take it up to Jerusalem. The word צרך, "need," is a ἅπαξ λεγ. in the Old Testament, but is very common in Aramaic writings. רפסדות, "floats," too, occurs only here instead of דּבבות, 1 Kings 5:9, and its etymology is unknown. If we compare 1 Kings 5:13-16 with the parallel account in 1 Kings 5:8-11, we find that, besides Hiram's somewhat verbose promise to fell the desired quantity of cedars and cypresses on Lebanon, and to send them in floats by sea to the place appointed by Solomon, the latter contains a request from Hiram that Solomon would give him לחם, maintenance for his house, and a concluding remark that Hiram sent Solomon cedar wood, while Solomon gave Hiram, year by year, 20,000 kor of wheat as food for his house, i.e., the royal household, and twenty kor beaten oil, that is, of the finest oil. In the book of Kings, therefore, the promised wages of grain, wine, and oil, which were sent to the Tyrian woodcutters, is passed over, and only the quantity of wheat and finest oil which Solomon gave to the Tyrian king for his household, year by year, in return for the timber sent, is mentioned. In the Chronicle, on the contrary, only the wages or payment to the woodcutters is mentioned, and the return made for the building timber is not spoken of; but there is no reason for bringing these two passages, which treat of different things, into harmony by alterations of the text. For further discussion of this and of the measures, see on 1 Kings 5:11.
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