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Bible Commentaries
2 Chronicles 3

Barnes' Notes on the Whole BibleBarnes' Notes

Verse 1

Where the Lord appeared unto David - The marginal rendering, or “which was shown to David,” is preferred by some; and the expression is understood to point out to David the proper site for the temple by the appearance of the Angels and the command to build an altar 2 Samuel 24:17-25; 1 Chronicles 21:16-26.

In the place that David had prepared - This seems to be the true meaning of the passage, though the order of the words in the original has been accidentally deranged.

Verse 3

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.

Verse 4

The height was an hundred and twenty cubits - This height, which so much exceeds that of the main building 1 Kings 6:2, is probably to be corrected by the reading of the Arabic Version and the Alexandrian Septuagint, “twenty cubits.” But see 2 Chronicles 3:9.

Verse 5

The greater house - i. e., the holy place, or main chamber of the temple, intervening between the porch and the holy of holies (so in 2 Chronicles 3:7).

He cieled with fir tree - Rather, “he covered,” or “lined.” The reference is not to the ceiling, which was entirely of wood, but to the walls and floor, which were of stone, with a covering of planks (marginal reference). The word translated “fir” bears probably in this place, not the narrow meaning which it has in 2 Chronicles 2:8, where it is opposed to cedar, but a wider one, in which cedar is included.

Palm trees and chains - See 1 Kings 6:29. The “chains” are supposed to be garlands or festoons.

Verse 6

Precious stones for beauty - Not marbles but gems (compare 1 Chronicles 29:2). The phrase translated “for beauty” means “for its beautification,” “to beautify it.”

Parvaim is probably the name of a place, but what is quite uncertain.

Verse 8

The most holy house - i. e., the sanctuary, or holy of holies. On the probable value of the gold, see 1 Kings 10:14 note.

Verse 9

The upper chambers - Compare 1 Chronicles 28:11. Their position is uncertain. Some place them above the holy of holies, which was ten cubits, or fifteen feet lower than the main building (compare 1 Kings 6:2, 1 Kings 6:20); others, accepting the height of the porch 120 cubits 2 Chronicles 3:4, regard the “upper chambers” or “chamber” ὑπερῷον huperōon, Septuagint), as having been a lofty building erected over the entrance to the temple; others suggest that the chambers intended are simply the uppermost of the three sets of chambers which on three sides surrounded the temple (see 1 Kings 6:5-10). This would seem to be the simplest and best explanation, though we cannot see any reason for the rich ornamentation of these apartments, or for David’s special directions concerning them.

Verse 10

The word translated “image work,” or, in the margin, “moveable work,” occurs only in this passage, and has not even a Hebrew derivation. Modern Hebraists find an Arabic derivation, and explain the word to mean “carved work.”

Verses 11-12

The wings of the cherubims - Compare 1 Kings 6:24-27.

Verse 13

Their faces were inward - literally, as in the margin. Instead of looking toward one another, with heads bent downward over the mercy Seat, like the cherubim of Moses Exodus 37:9, these of Solomon looked out from the sanctuary into the great chamber (“the house”). The cherubim thus stood upright on either side of the ark, like two sentinels guarding it.

Verse 14

This is an important addition to the description in Kings, where the veil is not mentioned. It was made of exactly the same colors as the veil of the tabernacle Exodus 26:31.

Verse 15

Of thirty and five cubits - See 1 Kings 7:15 note. Some suppose that there has been a corruption of the number in the present passage.

Verse 16

As in the oracle - This passage is probably corrupt. Our translators supposing that a single letter had fallen out at the beginning of the word translated “in the oracle,” supplied “as.” But we have no reason to suppose there were any “chains” or “festoons” in the “oracle” or most holy place.

Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 3". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bnb/2-chronicles-3.html. 1870.
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