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.
A. M. 2993. B.C. 1011. An. Ex. Is. 480. And it came
in the month Zif
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.
According to Bp. Cumberland's estimation of the cubit, its length was 36 yds. 1 ft. 5/28 inch; its breadth 12 yds. 5/76 inch; and its height, 18 yds. 8/64 inch. This constituted what is properly called the temple; but, besides this, there were the courts and colonnades, where the people might assemble to perform their devotions, without being exposed to the open air.
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 for the house he made windows of narrow lights.
windows of narrow lights
or, windows broad within, and narrow without; or, skewed and closed.
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:
or, upon, or joining to. built.
Heb. floors. These appear to have been what we should now call corridors or galleries; in which were apartments for the use of the priests. They consisted of three stories, and increased one cubit in breadth in every story, the wall of the temple being two cubits thicker at the bottom than at the top; and where the wall diminished, a rest was thus formed for the beams of the chambers to lodge upon.
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.
or, narrowings, or rebatements.
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.
built of stone
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.
Heb. shoulder. went up.
So he built the house, and finished it; and covered the house with beams and boards of cedar.
with beams and boards of cedar
or, the vault beams and the ceilings with cedar.
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:
if thou wilt
then will I perform
And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake my people Israel.
I will dwell
will not forsake
So Solomon built the house, and finished it.
A. M. 2993-3000. B.C. 1011-1004
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.
That is, he lined or wainscoted the walls with cedar, the floor being covered with planks of fir: the marginal reading in this verse is preferable, as it removes every difficulty and obscurity.
both the floor of the house, and the walls
or, from the floor of the house, unto the walls, etc. and so ver.
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.
The oracle was the sanctuary, or holy of holies, in which there was nothing but the ark of the covenant, including the tables of the law, and into which the high priest alone was to enter but once a year.
And the cedar of the house within was carved with knops and open flowers: all was cedar; there was no stone seen.
or, gourds. PekaÔm, "artificial knops," in the shape of colocynths, or wild gourds, as the word denotes. (See note on 2 Ki 4:39;) the full-blown flowers of which must have been very ornamental.
or, openings of flowers.
And the oracle he prepared in the house within, to set there the ark of the covenant of the LORD.
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.
Heb. shut up. the altar.
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.
by the chains
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.
the whole house
It is impossible to calculate this expense, or the quantity of gold employed in this sacred building; but both must have been immense.
the whole altar
This was the altar of incense without the vail, in the holy place, which was twice the length of the most holy place.
And within the oracle he made two cherubims of olive tree, each ten cubits high.
These were distinct from, and much larger than those which covered the mercy-seat.
or, oily trees. Heb. trees of oil.
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.
they stretched forth the wings of the cherubims
or, the cherubims stretched forth their wings.
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.
Tamar, in Ethiopic, tamart, the palm tree, is so called, says Parkhurst, from its straight, upright growth, for which it seems more remarkable than any other tree; and it sometimes rises to the height of more than 100 feet. The trunk is remarkably straight and lofty; and it is crowned at the top with a large tuft of spiring leaves, about four feet long, which never fall off, but always continue in the same flourishing verdure. The stalks are generally full of rugged knots, which are vestiges of decayed leaves: for the trunk of the tree is not solid, but its centre is filled with pith, round which is a tough bark full of strong fibres when young, which, as the tree becomes old, hardens and becomes ligneous. To this bark the leaves are closely joined, which, as the tree becomes old, hardens and becomes ligneous. To this bark the leaves are closely joined, which in the centre rise erect, but after they are advanced above the vagina which surrounds them, they expand very wide on every side of the stem, and as the older leaves decay, the stalk advances in height. The leaves, when the tree has grown to a size for bearing fruit, are six or eight feet long, and very broad when expanded. The fruit, called the date, grows below the leaves in clusters.
Heb. openings of flowers.
And the floor of the house he overlaid with gold, within and without.
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.
a fifth part
or, five square.
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.
or, leaves of the doors. open flowers. Heb. openings of flowers.
So also made he for the door of the temple posts of olive tree, a fourth part of the wall.
a fourth part
or, four square.
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.
the two leaves
And he built the inner court with three rows of hewed stone, and a row of cedar beams.
In the fourth year was the foundation of the house of the LORD laid, in the month Zif:
1 2 Chronicles 3:2 Among chronologists there is a great diversity of opinion respecting the time of the building of the temple. The Septuagint has 440; years; Glycas, 330; Josephus and Moeslinus, 592; Melchius Canus, 590; Sulpicius Severus, 588; Clemens Alexandrinus, 570; Cedrenus, 672; Codomus, 598; Vossius and Capellus, 580; Serarius, 680; Nicholas Abraham, 527; Petavius and Valtherus, 520. After all, that in the common Hebrew text is more likely to the true one, than any of the others.
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.
or, with all the appurtenances thereof, and with all the ordinances thereof. seven years.