INTRODUCTION TO 1 Kings 6
This chapter gives an account of the building of the temple, for which preparations were before made and begins with the time of its building, 1 Kings 6:1; gives the dimensions of it and the porch before it, 1 Kings 6:2; observes the windows in it and chambers about it, 1 Kings 6:4; and while it was building, Solomon had a word from the Lord relative to it, 1 Kings 6:11; and then the account goes on concerning the walls of the house, and the flooring of it, 1 Kings 6:15; and the oracle in it, and the cherubim in that, 1 Kings 6:19; and the doors into it, and the carved work of them, 1 Kings 6:31; and the chapter is concluded with observing the time when it was begun and finished 1 Kings 6:37.
And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD.And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt,.... The Tyrian writers (k) make it five hundred sixty years from hence; but this no doubt is tightest, which Junius reckons thus; forty years Israel were in the wilderness, seventeen under Joshua, two hundred ninety nine under the judges, eighty under Eli, Samuel, and Saul, forty under David, add to which the four years of Solomon, and they make four hundred eighty (l); they are somewhat differently reckoned by others (m) from the coming out of Egypt to Joshua forty years, from thence to the first servitude under Cushan twenty five, from thence to the death of Abimelech two hundred fifty six, under Thola twenty three, from thence to the Ammonitish servitude four, under that eighteen, under the judges, Jephthah, Ibzan, Elon, and Abdon, thirty one, Samuel and Saul forty, David forty, and Solomon three, in all four hundred eighty;
in the, fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel; when he was clear of all disturbers of his government, and had got all things ready for the building of the temple, and had gathered together gold and silver enough of his own to defray the expenses; for, as for what David gave him, he put that into the treasury of the Lord's house, see 1 Kings 7:51;
in the month Zif, which is the second month; and so must be Jiar, for Abib or Nisan was the first, and Jiar was the second, which answered to part of our April and part of May; called Zif either from the splendour of the sun, being now higher, and so the greater; or from the trees and flowers of the field being in all their glory; and so the Targum here calls it, the month of splendour of flowers: and it was on the second day of it,
that he began to build the house of the Lord: and a very fit and proper season of the year it was to begin it in, see 2 Chronicles 3:2.
(k) Apud Theophil. ad Autolyc. l. 3. p. 131. (l) So Gerard. Voss. Chron. Sacr. Isagoge, dissert. 8. c. 7. p. 128. (m) Vid. Vitring. Hypotypos. Hist. Sacr. p. 43.
And the house which king Solomon built for the LORD, the length thereof was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof twenty cubits, and the height thereof thirty cubits.And the house which King Solomon built for the Lord,.... For his worship, honour, and glory:
the length thereof was threescore cubits; sixty cubits from east to west, including the holy place and the most holy place; the holy place was forty cubits, and the most holy place twenty; the same measure, as to length, Eupolemus, an Heathen writer (n), gives of the temple, but is mistaken in the other measures:
and the breadth thereof twenty cubits; from north to south:
and the height thereof thirty cubits; this must be understood of the holy place, for the oracle or most holy place was but twenty cubits high, 1 Kings 6:20; though the holy place, with the chambers that were over it, which were ninety cubits, three stories high, was in all an hundred twenty cubits, 2 Chronicles 3:4; some restrain it to the porch only, which stood at the end, like one of our high steeples, as they think.
(n) Apud Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 9. c. 34.
And the porch before the temple of the house, twenty cubits was the length thereof, according to the breadth of the house; and ten cubits was the breadth thereof before the house.And the porch before the temple of the house,.... Which stood at the east end of it:
twenty cubits was the length thereof, according to the breadth of the house; which was from north to south, and of the same dimension, so that they exactly answered each other:
and ten cubits was the breadth thereof before the house; which being added to it, make the whole of the building, most holy place, holy place, and porch, seventy cubits; the height of the porch is not here given, but in 2 Chronicles 3:4; where it is said to be an hundred twenty cubits high, equal to the height of the house, with the chambers over it; but there the breadth of the porch is not given, as it is here; by these dimensions we may observe the difference between the tabernacle and the temple; the temple was twice as long, and as broad, and thrice as high as that, see Exodus 26:8. This fabric was an emblem of the church of God, sometimes called an holy temple, and the temple of the living God, 2 Corinthians 6:16.
And for the house he made windows of narrow lights.And for the house he made windows of narrow lights. Or "open, shut" (o), which could be both, having shutters to them, to open or shut at pleasure; windows which they could open, and look through at them, or shut when they pleased; the Targum is,
"open within, and shut without;''
or, as others understand it, they were wide within, and narrow without; by being narrow without, the house was preserved from bad weather, as well as could not so easily be looked into by those without; and by being broader within, the light that was let in spread itself within the house; which some interpret only of the holy place, the most holy place having, as they suppose, no windows in it, which yet is not certain: now these windows may denote the word and ordinances of the church of God, whereby light is communicated to men; which in the present state is but narrow or small, in comparison of the new Jerusalem church state, and the ultimate glory; and especially so it was under the legal dispensation, which was very obscure; see Sol 2:9 Isaiah 55:8.
(o) "apertas clausas", Vatablus; "perspectui accommodas, clausas", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.
And against the wall of the house he built chambers round about, against the walls of the house round about, both of the temple and of the oracle: and he made chambers round about:And against the wall of the house he built chambers round about,.... Or near it, as Jarchi interprets it, for the beams of them were not fastened in in it, 1 Kings 6:6; or rather "upon" it (p); and when they are said to be round about the house, it must be understood of the two sides, north and south, and of the west end only, for at the east end, where the porch was, there were none:
against the walls of the house round about, both of the temple and of the oracle; that is, both of the holy and the most holy place:
and he made chambers round about; the said buildings; which is repeated that it might be observed; how many chambers there were, is not said; Josephus says (q) there were thirty of them, and over them others of the same measure and number, and over them others also; so that there were three stories of them, and in all ninety; and which is countenanced by what follows in 1 Kings 6:6, and agrees with Ezekiel 41:6; the Jewish doctors say (r), there were thirty eight of them, fifteen on the north, fifteen on the south, and eight on the west; they that were to the north and south were five upon five, and five over them; and they that were to the west were three upon three, and two over them; upper rooms or chambers were rare in Heathen temples (s): these chambers were for the priests, where they lodged and laid up their garments, and ate their holy things; and were emblems of congregated churches, where the true members thereof, who are priests to God, have communion with him, and partake of divine things.
(p) "super parietem", V. L. Montanus. (q) Antiqu. l. 8. c. 3. sect. 2.((r) Misn. Middot, c. 4. sect. 3.((s) Pausan. Laconic. sive. l. 3. p. 190.
The nethermost chamber was five cubits broad, and the middle was six cubits broad, and the third was seven cubits broad: for without in the wall of the house he made narrowed rests round about, that the beams should not be fastened in the walls of the house.And the nethermost chamber was five cubits broad,.... The nethermost row of them, which were upon the first floor:
and the middle was six cubits broad, and the third was seven cubits broad; so that the middlemost was a cubit larger than the lowest, and the highest a cubit larger than that: the reason of which was,
for without in the wall of the house he made narrowed rests round about; or rebatements; the thickness of the wall, as it was raised, became narrower at the height of every five cubits; thus the wall being supposed to be six cubits broad, as in Ezekiel 41:5; when it came to be five cubits high, it was narrowed a cubit, which left a projection, rebatement, or bench for the beams of the first chambers to be laid upon, which made the second row of chambers broader by a cubit; and the same being observed in the next story, made the highest a cubit broader than the middlemost: and this was done,
that the beams should not be fastened in the walls of the house; or be inserted into them, which could not be done without making holes in it; and these holes could not be made without an iron instrument, and which was not to be used, as the next words show; whereas by the above method the beams of the chambers could be laid upon the buttresses, benches, or rebatements left, without the use of any: the gradual enlargement of these chambers, as they rose higher, may denote the enlargement of the church of God, both as to numbers, gifts, and grace, the nearer it comes to the heavenly state, as in the spiritual and personal reign of Christ.
And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building.And the house, when it was in building,.... And all the while it was building:
was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither; being hewn or squared by the builders and stonesquarers of Solomon and Hiram, 1 Kings 5:18; wherefore the builders had nothing more to do than to lay them in their proper places in the building; it was built with these stones quite up to the ceiling, as Josephus says (t); and these so admirably polished, and so artificially joined together, that not the least sign of an axe, or of any working tool, could be discerned in them:
so that there was neither hammer, nor axe, nor any tool of iron, heard in the house while it was in building; the first of these observations shows, that none are to be laid in the spiritual building of the church, but such as are first hewed and squared by the Spirit, grace, and word of God: or who have an experience of the grace of God, are sound in the faith, and of becoming lives and good conduct; and the other denotes, that such as are therein, whether ministers or members, should do all they do for the edification of the church in a quiet and peaceable manner, without clamour, contention, fights, and tumults.
(t) Antiqu. l. 8. c. 3. sect. 2.
The door for the middle chamber was in the right side of the house: and they went up with winding stairs into the middle chamber, and out of the middle into the third.The door of the middle chamber was in the right side of the house,.... The south side of it:
and they went up with winding stairs into the middle chamber; which were outside the chambers, and which winded about for the sake of taking up less room, and which led up to the door of the middle chamber, on the south of which they went into it; according to the Vulgate Latin and Tigurine versions, they went up in the forth of a cockle, or the shell of a snail; in like manner as was the ascent of the temple of Pan at Alexandria, as Strabo (u) relates:
and out of the middle into the third; the third chamber, and by winding stairs up to that; and the like might be on the north side, though not expressed, and on the west: the Jews say (w), that in the second temple, these winding stairs went from the northeast to the northwest, whereby they went up to the roof of the chambers, and so to the south and west; with this compare Ezekiel 41:7; and which may represent the windings and turnings of God's people in this present state, their many afflictions and tribulations, through which they pass from one state to another.
(u) Geograph. l. 17. p. 547. (w) Misn. Middot, c. 4. sect. 5. See Lightfoot's Prospect of the Temple, &c. c. 12. p. 1071.
So he built the house, and finished it; and covered the house with beams and boards of cedar.So he built the house, and finished it,.... The body of it, the walls of the holy and most holy place, with the chambers on the sides of them, and the porch at the end that led into them:
and covered the house with beams and boards of cedar; with hollow boards, as the Targum, which formed an arch ceiling to it, and made it look very grand and beautiful; and then over them were laid beams and planks of cedar, not properly as a flat roof to it, but rather as a flooring for other buildings; for upon this, as in 1 Kings 6:10, there were chambers built.
And then he built chambers against all the house, five cubits high: and they rested on the house with timber of cedar.And then he built chambers against all the house five cubits high,.... Which some understand of the same chambers in 1 Kings 6:5; here made mention of again for the sake of giving the height of them, not before given; but they were built against, or upon the wall of the house, these against, or rather upon the whole house itself; and are the chambers referred to; see Gill on 1 Kings 6:2; which consisting of three stories of ninety cubits, raised the whole house to an equal height with the porch, 2 Chronicles 3:4; as is there intended (x); these are the upper chambers in 2 Chronicles 3:9; and they rested on the house with timber of cedar; or on the timber of cedar, the beams of cedar, with which the house was covered, as in 1 Kings 6:9; on these the chambers rested, being built upon them; and in one of these chambers the disciples might be after Christ's ascension, Acts 1:13.
(x) Vid. Joseph. Antiqu. ut supra. (l. 8. c. 3. sect. 2.)
And the word of the LORD came to Solomon, saying,And the word of the Lord came to Solomon,.... The word of prophecy, as the Targum, foretelling what would be the case of this building, according to the obedience or disobedience of him and the people of Israel; which was brought to him either by an impulse of the Spirit of God upon him; or by the hand of a prophet, as Kimchi thinks; and some of the Jewish writers (y), as he particularly, name Ahijah the Shilonite as the prophet that was sent with this message to him:
saying, as follows.
(y) Seder Olam Rabba, c. 20. p. 53.
Concerning this house which thou art in building, if thou wilt walk in my statutes, and execute my judgments, and keep all my commandments to walk in them; then will I perform my word with thee, which I spake unto David thy father:Concerning this house which thou art in building,.... Or with respect to that, these things are to be said as from the Lord:
if thou wilt walk in my statutes, and execute my judgments, and keep all my commandments to walk in them; even all the laws of God, moral, ceremonial, and judicial; and this respects not only Solomon personally, but his successors, and even all the people of Israel:
then will I perform my covenant with thee, which I spake unto David thy father; by Nathan the prophet; not only that he should build an house for God, which should be a settled dwelling place, but that his own house and kingdom should be established for a long time to come, and his posterity should enjoy the presence of God in this house, provided regard was had to the precepts and ordinances of the Lord, 2 Samuel 7:12.
And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake my people Israel.And I will dwell among the children of Israel,.... In this house now building, and which was in the middle of the land, and where he would meet with them, and accept their sacrifices, not only of slain beasts, but of prayer and praise:
and will not forsake my people Israel; and leave them to the mercy of their enemies, and to be carried captive by them, but protect and defend them.
So Solomon built the house, and finished it.So Solomon built the house, and finished it. He went on with it until he had completed it, animated and encouraged by the promise of the divine Presence in it, provided a proper regard was had to the will and ways of God. Abarbinel thinks the above message was sent him in the midst of his work, to strengthen and caution him from a dependence on the continuance of the fabric, because of the strength of it; since its perpetuity depended on his, his successors', and the people's conduct and behaviour; wherefore conscious to himself of his own integrity, and hoping well of posterity, he was not discouraged, but proceeded in his undertaking until he had brought it to perfection.
And he built the walls of the house within with boards of cedar, both the floor of the house, and the walls of the cieling: and he covered them on the inside with wood, and covered the floor of the house with planks of fir.And he built the walls of the house within with boards of cedar,.... For as yet he had only built the stone walls of it without, but now he wainscotted it with cedar boards: and not only them, but
both the floor of the house, and the walls of the ceiling; or from "the floor of the house unto the walls of the ceiling"; that is, from the floor, including that, to the walls on each side, reaching up to the ceiling,
he covered them on the inside with wood: of one sort or another, cedar or fir, or both: particularly he
covered the floor of the house with planks of fir: which Hiram sent him, 1 Kings 5:8; which is differently interpreted; by Josephus cypress; by others, as the Tigurine version, pine tree wood; it is very probable it was of the cedar kind, and not the floor only, but the ceiling also, 2 Chronicles 3:5.
And he built twenty cubits on the sides of the house, both the floor and the walls with boards of cedar: he even built them for it within, even for the oracle, even for the most holy place.And he built twenty cubits on the sides of the house,.... At the end or extremity of it, as the Targum; that is, he built the most holy place, which was twenty two cubits long, at the end of the holy place, which he wainscotted as the other:
both the floor and the walls with boards of cedar; or from the floor, including that, to the walls on each side, from wall to wall, and taking in them, they were all lined with cedar wood:
he even built them for it within, even for the oracle, even for the most holy place; which explains what building is spoken of, and that the inside of that was covered with cedar from bottom to top.
And the house, that is, the temple before it, was forty cubits long.And the house, that is, the temple before it,.... The holy place, which was before the of holies:
was forty cubits long; and which, with the most holy place, being twenty cubits, as in the preceding verse, made the length of the whole house sixty cubits, as in 1 Kings 6:2.
And the cedar of the house within was carved with knops and open flowers: all was cedar; there was no stone seen.And the cedar of the house within,.... With which the inside of the place was lined:
was carved with knops; of an oval form; so the Targum says, they had the appearance of eggs; and Ben Gersom likewise, that they were in the form of eggs:
and open flowers; not in the figure of buds, but flowers blown, and open, as lilies and others; so the Targum:
all was cedar; the wainscotting of the house, the sides of it at least, if not the floor, and the carved work of it; and this was done, that the gold might be laid upon it, which could not be done on stone as on wood: and all was so covered, that
there was no stone seen; of which the outward walls were built: all this denotes the inward beauty of the church, and the curious workmanship of the Spirit of God in the hearts of his people, whereby they become all glorious within, adorned with the graces of the blessed Spirit, their stony hearts being kept out of sight, yea, taken away.
And the oracle he prepared in the house within, to set there the ark of the covenant of the LORD.And the oracle he prepared in the house within,.... In the innermost part of the house he fitted up the oracle, or speaking place, from whence the Lord spake and gave answer, to receive what was to be put into it: particularly
to set there the ark of the covenant of the Lord; even the very same that Moses made, Exodus 37:1, for which David had pitched a tent in Zion, 1 Chronicles 15:1, and where it now was; for Solomon made no new ark.
And the oracle in the forepart was twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in breadth, and twenty cubits in the height thereof: and he overlaid it with pure gold; and so covered the altar which was of cedar.And the oracle in the forepart,.... Which stood in the forepart of the temple, before a man's face as he entered into it, and went on; or the forepart of the holy of holies, next to the holy place, was of the dimensions as follows, when the back part of it might be higher at least, and be equal to the holy place, even thirty feet; the forepart being lower, and left open to let in the light of the candlesticks, and the smoke of the incense, out of the holy place: this
was twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in breadth, and twenty cubits in the height thereof: and was a perfect square, and as the most holy place may be an emblem of the church triumphant, it may denote the perfection of its heavenly state; so the new Jerusalem is a foursquare, Revelation 21:16;
and he overlaid it with pure gold; make it rich, glorious, and magnificent, and may denote the glory of the heavenly state, Revelation 21:21; and so Florus (z), the Roman historian, calls it the golden heaven, as it were, into which Pompey went, and saw the great secret of the Jewish nation, the ark:
and so covered the altar which was of cedar; the altar of incense, which is here mentioned, because it was near the most holy place, 1 Kings 6:22; this altar by Moses was made of shittim wood, but Solomon's was of cedar it seems; unless, as the words will bear to be rendered, "he covered the altar with cedar" (a); though made of shittim wood, it had a covering of cedar over it; or if of stone, such a covering was on it, that it might better receive the gold which was afterwards put upon it.
(z) De Gest. Roman. l. 3. c. 5. (a) "operuit cedro", Montanus.
So Solomon overlaid the house within with pure gold: and he made a partition by the chains of gold before the oracle; and he overlaid it with gold.So Solomon overlaid the house within with pure gold,.... The inside of the holy of holies with fine gold, which gold amounted to six hundred talents, 2 Chronicles 3:8; and these to 7,332,000 ducats of gold, or 3,045,000 pounds sterling:
and he made a partition by the chains of gold before the oracle; between the holy and the most holy, and were instead of a vail in the tabernacle of Moses between them; here was also a vail beside the partition made by chains of gold across the oracle; for the partition was a wall of the thickness of a cubit, as Maimonides (b) says; and in 2 Chronicles 3:14 express mention is made of a vail of blue, &c. and in imitation of this had the Heathens their deities within vails (c):
and he overlaid it with gold; the partition wall.
(b) Hilchot Beth Habechirah, c. 4. sect. 2.((c) Apulei Metamorph. l. xi. p. 176.
And the whole house he overlaid with gold, until he had finished all the house: also the whole altar that was by the oracle he overlaid with gold.And the whole house he overlaid with gold,.... Both the holy place, and the most holy place:
until he had finished all the house; in this splendid and glorious manner:
also the whole altar that was by the oracle; the altar of incense, which stood just before the entrance into the oracle, or most holy place:
he overlaid with gold; he overlaid it all over with gold; hence it is called the golden altar, and was an emblem of the excellent and effectual mediation and intercession of Christ, Revelation 8:3. Agreeably to this account Eupolemus, an Heathen writer (d) testifies, that the whole house, from the floor to the tool, was covered with gold, as well as with cedar and cypress wood, that the stonework might not appear; and so the capitol at Rome, perhaps in imitation of this temple, its roofs and tiles were glided with gold (e); a magnificent temple, like this, was at Upsal in Switzerland, as Olaus Magnus relates (f).
(d) Apud Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 9. c. 34. p. 450. (e) Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 33. c. 3. Vid. Rycquium de Capitol. Roman. c. 16. (f) De Ritu Gent. Septent. l. 3. c. 5.
And within the oracle he made two cherubims of olive tree, each ten cubits high.And within the oracle he made two cherubim of olive tree,.... Or of the oil tree, as in Isaiah 41:19; see Nehemiah 8:15; for there are other trees besides olives, out of which oil is pressed, as pine trees, cypress trees, &c. and which some think are here meant; though the Targum interprets it of the olive tree: these cherubim are different from those made by Moses, and were besides them; these were larger than they; these were made of olive wood, they of gold; these stood on the floor of the house, they at the two ends of the mercy seat, and were made out of it, and were with it in this holy place in Solomon's temple: these two cherubim may be emblems of the angels in their greatness and glory, who are always in the presence of God, behold his face, and wait to do his will; or it may be rather of the two witnesses, said to be the two olive trees standing before the God of the whole earth, Revelation 11:3; who have boldness to enter into the holiest of all, and have sight and knowledge of the mysteries of the ark and mercy seat; have their commission from heaven, and speak according to the oracles of God; these are said to be of image work, 2 Chronicles 3:10; that is, of various forms, as the thee of a man, a lion, an ox, and eagle, Ezekiel 1:10. Dr. Lightfoot thinks (g) they resembled the two Testaments, which in their beginning and end reach the two sides of the world, the creation and the last judgment, and in the middle do sweetly join the one to the other:
each ten cubits high; half as high as the most holy place; emblems either of the high angels, those thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers, or of men of uncommon size as to their gifts and grace.
(g) Prospect of the Temple, c. 15. sect. 4.
And five cubits was the one wing of the cherub, and five cubits the other wing of the cherub: from the uttermost part of the one wing unto the uttermost part of the other were ten cubits.And five cubits was the one wing of the cherub,.... When stretched out on one side:
and five cubits the other wing of the cherub; on the other side him:
from the uttermost part of the one wing, to the uttermost part of the other wing, were ten cubits; half the breadth of the house.
And the other cherub was ten cubits: both the cherubims were of one measure and one size.And the other cherub was ten cubits,.... That is, its wings stretched out measured so many cubits, as did those of the other:
both the cherubim were of one measure, and of one size; of the same height and stature, of the same breadth of their wings, and of the same bulk of their bodies; they were of "image work"; 2 Chronicles 3:10; very probably in the form of men: and this uniformity may denote the perfect agreement of angels; or else the consent of the true faithful witnesses of Christ in all ages, who have all agreed in the person, office, and grace of Christ, as represented by the mercy seat and ark, which these cherubim covered with their wings.
The height of the one cherub was ten cubits, and so was it of the other cherub.The height of the one cherub was ten cubits, and so was it of the other cherub. Which is repeated from 1 Kings 6:23; that it might be observed, being of an extraordinary size.
And he set the cherubims within the inner house: and they stretched forth the wings of the cherubims, so that the wing of the one touched the one wall, and the wing of the other cherub touched the other wall; and their wings touched one another in the midst of the house.And he set the cherubim within the inner house,.... The holy of holies:
and they stretched forth the wings of the cherubims; the carvers that framed them, they wrought them in that form; or impersonally, the wings of the cherubim were stretched out; this was the position of them, they overshadowed and covered the mercy seat and ark, and even the other two cherubim that were at the ends of the mercy seat:
so that the wing of the one touched the one wall; the southern wall:
and the wing of the other cherub touched the other wall; the northern wall; they reached from wall to wall, even the whole breadth of the house, which was twenty cubits, as their wings thus spread were, 1 Kings 6:24;
and their wings touched one another in the midst of the house; which was ten cubits, and that was the spread of the wings of each of them; so that the wing of the right side of the one, stretched out, touched the wing of the left side of the other fit the same position; in 2 Chronicles 3:13; their faces are said to be "inward", or "toward the house"; either toward the holy place, and so faced those that came into that and saw them; or towards the inner part of the holy of holies, their backs being to the holy place, or their faces were inward, and looked obliquely to each other.
And he overlaid the cherubims with gold.And he overlaid the cherubim with gold. Which may denote the purity and excellency of angels; or the precious gifts and graces of the Spirit, with which the witnesses of Christ are adorned.
And he carved all the walls of the house round about with carved figures of cherubims and palm trees and open flowers, within and without.And he carved all the walls of the house about with carved figures of cherubim, and palm trees, and open flowers,.... That is, of palm trees, those in full blow: if the cherubim are an emblem of angels, the palm trees fitly enough represent just and upright men, who both appear in the church of God below, and in heaven above; in both which are to be seen the open and full-blown flowers of divine grace, especially in the latter state:
within and without; on the walls of the most holy place, both within and without; and so upon the walls of the holy place, in each of which were these sculptures, which were very ornamental, and were emblematical; see Ezekiel 41:17.
And the floor of the house he overlaid with gold, within and without.And the floor of the house he overlaid with gold within and without. Both the floor of the holy place, and of the holy of holies; so the street of the new Jerusalem is said to be pure gold, Revelation 21:21; this expresses the purity and magnificence of it, particularly the holy conversation of them that dwell in the church, in heaven, signified hereby.
And for the entering of the oracle he made doors of olive tree: the lintel and side posts were a fifth part of the wall.And for the entering of the oracle he made doors of olive tree,.... The door of the holy of holies was a two leaved or folding door, made of olive wood; typical of Christ, the door into the church above and below, the way to heaven and eternal life, the true olive tree:
the lintel and side posts were a fifth part of the wall; four cubits, twenty cubits being the breadth of the oracle; or the lintel was four cubits, twenty being the height of it also, 1 Kings 6:20.
The two doors also were of olive tree; and he carved upon them carvings of cherubims and palm trees and open flowers, and overlaid them with gold, and spread gold upon the cherubims, and upon the palm trees.The two doors also were of olive tree,.... The two leaves of the door, as before observed, repeated for the sake of the ornament of them, as follows:
and he carved upon them carvings of cherubims, and palm trees, and open flowers; as upon the walls, 1 Kings 6:29;
and overlaid them with gold; the two doors:
and spread gold upon the cherubims, and upon the palm trees; thin plates of gold.
So also made he for the door of the temple posts of olive tree, a fourth part of the wall.So also made he for the door of the temple,.... The holy place:
posts of olive tree, a fourth part of the wall; which was five cubits, its breadth being twenty, 1 Kings 6:20; this door was a cubit wider than that into the most holy place, 1 Kings 6:31, more entering into the one than into the other; as more go into the church on earth than into the heavenly glory.
And the two doors were of fir tree: the two leaves of the one door were folding, and the two leaves of the other door were folding.And the two doors were of fir tree,.... the posts were of olive, but the doors of fir, and they were both folding doors, as appears by what follows:
the two leaves of the one door were folding, and the two leaves of the other door were folding; which, taking up less room, made the passage wider, see Ezekiel 41:24.
And he carved thereon cherubims and palm trees and open flowers: and covered them with gold fitted upon the carved work.And he carved thereon cherubims, and palm trees, and open flowers,.... As upon the doors of the most holy place, 1 Kings 6:32; see Ezekiel 41:25;
and covered them with gold, fitted upon the carved work; plates of gold were fitted, as to the dimensions of them, to the cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers.
And he built the inner court with three rows of hewed stone, and a row of cedar beams.And he built the inner court,.... The court of the priests, 2 Chronicles 4:9; so called to distinguish it from the outer court, where the people assembled: this was built
with three rows of hewed stone, and a row of cedar beams; the rows of stones were one upon another, topped with a row of cedar beams; or rather the cedar was a lining to the stones; and the whole is supposed to be about three cubits high, and was so low, that the people in the outward court might see priests ministering for them, and could converse with them; under the second temple, as Maimonides (h) says, the court of the priests was higher than that of the court of Israel two cubits and an half, called the great court, for which doors were made, and those overlaid with brass, 2 Chronicles 4:9.
(h) Hilchot Beth Habechirah, c. 6. sect. 3.
In the fourth year was the foundation of the house of the LORD laid, in the month Zif:In the fourth year was the foundation of the house of the Lord laid,.... The fourth year of Solomon's reign:
in the month Zif; See Gill on 1 Kings 6:1.
And in the eleventh year, in the month Bul, which is the eighth month, was the house finished throughout all the parts thereof, and according to all the fashion of it. So was he seven years in building it.In the eleventh year,.... That is, of the reign of Solomon:
in the month Bul, which is the eighth month; from the month Abib or Nisan; this month answers to part of our October, and part of November; it is the same month sometimes called Marchesvan; it had the name of Bul, because of the rains which usually fell in this month, as Kimchi thinks, like a flood; and Noah's flood is called Mabbul, from the same root (i), and when all the fruits were withered, and the leaves were fallen from the trees; or, as Jarchi supposes, because the grass was consumed in the field, and they were obliged to mix provender for cattle, deriving the word from another root (k): in this month
was the house finished throughout all the parts thereof; the porch, the holy place, and holy of holies, with all the chambers and courts belonging to it:
and according to all the fashion of it; which David had given to Solomon, to frame it by:
so he was seven years in building it; and six months, which are not mentioned, only the round number is given, as appears by comparing it with 1 Kings 6:1.
(i) "concidit", Buxtorf. (k) "consumpsit, vel" "miscuit", ib.