The height of the one pillar was eighteen cubits, and the capital on it was brass: and the height of the capital three cubits; and the wreathen work, and pomegranates on the capital round about, all of brass: and like to these had the second pillar with wreathen work.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Three cubits.—An error of transcription for five. Five cubits was the height of the capital according to 1Kings 7:16; Jeremiah 52:22; 2Chronicles 3:15.
The wreathen work.—Lattice-work (1Kings 7:17).
With wreathen work.—Upon the lattice-work. Thenius says this is the residuum of a sentence preserved in Jeremiah—namely, “And the pomegranates were ninety and six towards the outside; all the pomegranates were a hundred upon the lattice-work round about” (Jeremiah 52:23). Our text is, at any rate, much abridged.2 Kings 25:17 is the same with Jeremiah 52:7, where it is rather more largely and fully expressed; only there is this difference here in 2 Kings 25:17 the height of the chapiter of a pillar is said to be three cubits, there five cubits; for the reconciliation of which; see Gill on Jeremiah 52:22. The height of the one pillar was eighteen cubits, and the chapiter upon it was brass: and the height of the chapiter three cubits; and the wreathed work, and pomegranates upon the chapiter round about, all of brass: and like unto these had the second pillar with wreathed work.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)17. and the chapiter upon it was brass] R.V. and a chapiter of brass was upon it. The sentence is not meant to state of what material the chapiter was, but that it was there on the top of the pillar.
wreathen work] R.V. network. Twice over the change is needed in this verse, to correspond with the rendering of A.V. in 1 Kings 7:18; 1 Kings 7:20; 1 Kings 7:41-42.Verse 17. - The height of the one pillar wee eighteen cubits (comp. 1 Kings 7:15 and Jeremiah 52:21, in which latter place an even more elaborate account of the pillars is given), and the chapiter upon it was brass; rather, and there was a chapiter (or capital) upon it of brass - and the height of the chapiter three cubits. The measure given, both in 1 Kings 7:16 and Jeremiah 52:22, is "five cubits," which is generally regarded as correct; but the proportion of 3 to 18, or one-sixth, is far more suitable for a capital than that of 5 to 18, or between a third and a fourth. And the wreathen work - rather, and there was wreathen work, or network - and pomegranates upon the chapiter round about, all of brass (comp. 1 Kings 7:18, 19): and like unto these had the second pillar with wreathen work. The ornamentation of the second pillar was the same as that of the first (see Jeremiah 52:22). Jeremiah 52:15, has been interpreted in various ways. As אמון signifies an artist or artificer in Proverbs 8:30, and העם יתר has just preceded it, we might be disposed to give the preference to the reading האמון, as Hitzig and Graf have done, and understand by it the remnant of the artisans, who were called והמּסגּר החרשׁ in 2 Kings 24:14, 2 Kings 24:16. But this view is precluded by Jeremiah 39:9, where we find הנּשׁארים העם יתר instead of האמון יתר or ההמון .י These words cannot be set aside by the arbitrary assumption that they crept into the text through a copyist's error; for the assertion that they contain a purposeless repetition is a piece of dogmatical criticism, inasmuch as there is a distinction drawn in Jeremiah 39:9 between בּעיר הנּשׁארים העם יתר העם הןּ and הנּשׁארים העם יתר. Consequently האמון is simply another form for ההמון (ה and א being interchanged) in the sense of a mass of people, and we have simply the choice left between two interpretations. Either בּעיר הנּשׁארים העם יתר means the fighting people left in the city, as distinguished from the deserters who had fled to the Chaldaeans, and האמון equals ההמון יתר in Jeremiah 52:15, or הנּשׁארים העם יתר in Jeremiah 39:9, the rest of the inhabitants of Jerusalem; or בּעיר הנּשׁ העם יתר is the people left in Jerusalem (warriors and non-warriors), and ההמון יתר the rest of the population of the land outside Jerusalem. The latter is probably the preferable view, not only because full justice is thereby done to בּעיר in the first clause, but also because it is evident from the exception mentioned in 2 Kings 25:12 that the deportation was not confined to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, but extended to the population of the whole land. The "poor people," whom he allowed to remain in the land as vine-dressers and husbandmen, were the common people, or people without property, not merely in Jerusalem, but throughout the whole land. הארץ דּלּת equals עם־הארץ דּלּת (2 Kings 24:14). Instead of מדּלּת we have in Jeremiah מדּלּות: the plural used in an abstract sense, "the poverty," i.e., the lower people, "the poor who had nothing" (Jeremiah 39:10). Instead of the Chethb לגבים from גּוּב, secuit, aravit, the Keri has ליגבים from יגב, in the same sense, after Jeremiah 52:16.
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