INTRODUCTION TO 2 Chronicles 3 & 4
These two chapters give an account of the building of the temple, of the materials, parts, and form of it, and of things belonging to it, and which agrees with 1 Kings 6:1 see the notes there; only here, 1 Chronicles 3:1, mention is made of the particular place where it was built, Mount Moriah; of which see the notes on Genesis 22:2. The dimensions of the house, as the Targum rightly explains, 2 Chronicles 3:3, are said to be after the first measure, either of that of the tabernacle by Moses, or rather of that of the pattern David gave to Solomon, 1 Chronicles 28:11, though some understand it of the greater cubit: the holy place is called the greater house, 2 Chronicles 3:5, being twice as long as the holy of holies; in 2 Chronicles 3:6, we are informed what the precious stones were for, which David and his princes gave for the temple, 1 Chronicles 29:2, that they were to decorate the house; and also what sort of gold was used in overlaying it, gold of Parvaim, which some interpret of Peru (h), in America; but it is a question whether that was then known, or, if it was, must go by another name, since Peru is a late name given by the Spaniards, at their conquest of it. Bochart (i) takes it to be Taprobane, an island in the Indian sea, as if it was Taph Parvan or Provan, the shore of Parvan. Kircher (k) is of opinion it is the same with Javaim, the isles of Java in the same sea, from whence was gold, which is not very likely. Waserus (l) thinks Parvaim is the name of a town which is by Pliny (m) corruptly called Parbacia, which was in the land of Havilah, or the kingdom of the Charazenes, where was the best gold, Genesis 2:11 though others suppose it to be the same with Ophir, by removing the first letter of the word, to which Pfeiffer (n) inclines, and is as probable as any; and much more probable than what the Jews (o) say, that this gold was so called, because it was red like the blood of "parim", oxen: in 2 Chronicles 3:8, the quantity of gold, with which the most holy place was overlaid, is given, six hundred talents: of which See Gill on 1 Kings 6:21, In 2 Chronicles 3:9 we read of the nails with which the plates of gold were fastened to the boards, nowhere else mentioned, except in the Vulgate Latin version of 1 Kings 6:21, "he fastened the plates with golden nails"; which version perhaps is most correct; the weight of which were fifty shekels of gold; that is, according to the Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions, each nail weighed so much, which amounted to seventy five pounds of our money (p). Eupolemus, an Heathen writer (q) speaks of these nails, which he makes to be silver ones; and says they were of the weight of a talent, in the form of a woman's breast, and in number four, with which the plates of gold were fastened, which were of five cubits; I suppose he means there were four of these nails in every plate of five cubits: in 2 Chronicles 4:1 an account is given of an "altar of brass", made by Solomon, we have not elsewhere, only referred to 1 Kings 8:64 whether this was only covered with brass, as that made by Moses was, as some (r) think; or whether of massy brass, as Dr. Lightfoot (s) because not to be removed as that was, is not certain; the altar of the second temple was of stones unpolished, according to the Misnah (t), with which agrees"46 And laid up the stones in the mountain of the temple in a convenient place, until there should come a prophet to shew what should be done with them. 47 Then they took whole stones according to the law, and built a new altar according to the former;'' (1 Maccabees 4)and so Philo (u): "twenty cubits was the length thereof, and twenty cubits the breadth thereof, and ten cubits the height thereof"; it was four times as big in its square as that of Moses, and three times higher, and a cubit over, See Gill on Exodus 27:1. Hecataeus (w), an Heathen writer, speaks of this altar as four square, and made of whole and unpolished stones, each side of which was twenty cubits, but the height of it he makes to be twelve cubits, in which he mistakes. It weighed, according to Jacob Leon (x) 7000 arobas of brass, each aroba containing twenty five pounds. The rest of the chapter agrees with the account in the book of Kings. (h) Erasm. Schmid. de America Orat. ad Calc. Pindar. p. 261. Montani Phaleg. in Calc. Jac. Capellus in loc. (i) Phaleg. l. 2. c. 27. & Canaan, l. 1. c. 46. col. 692. Braunius de Vest. Sacred. Heb. p. 221. (k) Prodrom. Copt. c. 4. p. 119. (l) De Antiqu. Num. Heb. l. 1. c. 6. (m) Nat. Hist l. 6. c. 28. (n) Difficil. Script. Sacr. cent. 3. loc. 16. p. 247. (o) T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 45. 1. Hieros. Yoma, fol. 41. 4. Shemot Rabba, sect. 39. fol. 136. 4. (p) Brerewood de Ponder. &c. c. 5. (q) Apud Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 9. c. 34. p. 450. (r) Cunaeus de Rep. Heb. l. 2. c. 5. (s) Prospect of the Temple, ch. 34. p. 2029. So Villalpandus. (t) Middot, c. 3. sect. 4. (u) De Victimis, p. 850. (w) Apud Euseb. Evangel. Praepar. l. 9. c. 4. p. 408. (x) Relation of Memorable Things in the Temple, ch. 4. p. 20.
Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where the LORD appeared unto David his father, in the place that David had prepared in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.See Chapter Introduction
And he began to build in the second day of the second month, in the fourth year of his reign.
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 threescore cubits, and the breadth twenty cubits.
And the porch that was in the front of the house, the length of it was according to the breadth of the house, twenty cubits, and the height was an hundred and twenty: and he overlaid it within with pure gold.
And the greater house he cieled with fir tree, which he overlaid with fine gold, and set thereon palm trees and chains.
And he garnished the house with precious stones for beauty: and the gold was gold of Parvaim.
He overlaid also the house, the beams, the posts, and the walls thereof, and the doors thereof, with gold; and graved cherubims on the walls.
And he made the most holy house, the length whereof was according to the breadth of the house, twenty cubits, and the breadth thereof twenty cubits: and he overlaid it with fine gold, amounting to six hundred talents.
And the weight of the nails was fifty shekels of gold. And he overlaid the upper chambers with gold.
And in the most holy house he made two cherubims of image work, and overlaid them with gold.
And the wings of the cherubims were twenty cubits long: one wing of the one cherub was five cubits, reaching to the wall of the house: and the other wing was likewise five cubits, reaching to the wing of the other cherub.
And one wing of the other cherub was five cubits, reaching to the wall of the house: and the other wing was five cubits also, joining to the wing of the other cherub.
The wings of these cherubims spread themselves forth twenty cubits: and they stood on their feet, and their faces were inward.
And he made the vail of blue, and purple, and crimson, and fine linen, and wrought cherubims thereon.
Also he made before the house two pillars of thirty and five cubits high, and the chapiter that was on the top of each of them was five cubits.
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.
And he reared up the pillars before the temple, one on the right hand, and the other on the left; and called the name of that on the right hand Jachin, and the name of that on the left Boaz.