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Bible Commentaries

F.B. Meyer's 'Through the Bible' Commentary

1 Kings 6

Verses 1-13

the Plan of the Lord’s House

1 Kings 6:1-11.6.13

The Temple was twice the size of the Tabernacle-ninety feet long by thirty feet broad, and forty-five feet high. The plan had been given to David by revelation, 1 Chronicles 28:11-13.28.12 . Seven years and a half were consumed in its erection. It was completed in sacred silence, 1 Kings 6:7 . The awful sanctity of the shrine would have been violated if its construction had been marred by the harsh and violent sounds that generally accompany the mason’s toil. “Like some tall palm the noiseless fabric sprang.” In nature, God works so silently that we do not realize His activities.

The central motive was to provide a place worthy to be called the house of God. Israel was now ruled by a king, but he was viewed as the organ and instrument of Jehovah. It was fitting, therefore, that the King of kings should have a dwelling-place among the people of Israel. The tabernacle of God was with men. He dwelled with them on the earth. The Temple was, moreover, the type, first of the body of Jesus, John 2:21 ; then of each believer, 1 Corinthians 3:16 ; and lastly of the whole Church, Ephesians 2:21-49.2.22 . Each of these is the dwelling-place of God, and the innermost chamber-the Holy of Holies-is meant to be the throne-room of the Shekinah of His presence, Leviticus 16:2 .

Verses 14-28

the Oracle in the Midst

1 Kings 6:14-11.6.28

In the Temple the general design of the Tabernacle was perpetuated by the division between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place, but there were several additions. For instance, there was a lofty porch in front of the Temple, beneath which the priests passed to the entrance. Also, on the other three sides were rooms, built one above the other in three stories. They were needed for storage purposes.

Inside no stones were visible-all was of gilded cedar, olive, and cypress wood, variously carved and tapestried by embroidered hangings. It was “exceeding magnificent.” The Holy of Holies was plunged in darkness, save as the Shekinah shone from the mercy-seat over the Ark and between the cherubim. Over this venerable relic of the Wilderness pilgrimage, Solomon set up two cherubim. Each was ten cubits high, and their outstretched wings, which touched each other above the Ark, also touched the walls on either side. These symbolized the highest forms of creature-life, reverently attendant upon their Creator.

Verses 29-38

Carved; Overlaid; Finished

1 Kings 6:29-11.6.38

The meaning of 1 Kings 6:31 is uncertain. We gather that the door of the inner shrine was made of wild-olive wood and in two parts, and that it occupied a fifth of the cedar partition which separated the two chambers. This wooden door was carved with cherubim, palm-trees, and open flowers, and was overlaid with gold. One part was always open, but the interior was concealed from view by a veil of blue, purple, and crimson, 2 Chronicles 3:14 . In front of this were hung festoons of golden chains. Thus it was signified that the way into the Holiest was not then open. But we have boldness to enter, through the new and living way which Jesus consecrated for us. The surrendered will, the cleansed life, the meek and humble faith-these are the path, Hebrews 10:19-58.10.20 .

The erection occupied seven and a half years, and the completed Temple stood for upward of four centuries, until destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar. The construction of character, after God’s ideal, may take long, but it advances to completion. First the stone, hewn with difficulty; then cedar and olive; lastly gold.

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Bibliographical Information
Meyer, Frederick Brotherton. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6". "F. B. Meyer's 'Through the Bible' Commentary". 1914.