Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, June 18th, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
1 Kings 6

Trapp's Complete CommentaryTrapp's Commentary

Verse 1

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, … — Not in the four hundred and ninetieth year, as Beda reckoneth, much less four hundred and ninety-second, as Josephus, or five hundred and eighty-eighth, as Sulpitius.

Were come out of the land of Egypt. — And so began to be a commonwealth, which since the last destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, they could never be again, but remain a dejected and despised people.

In the fourth year of Solomon’s reign. — For so long he was settling the kingdom, and making preparation for the work. His father had left vast sums of gold and silver, even a hundred thousand talents of gold, which is, say interpreters, one thousand and two hundred millions of our money, and a thousand thousand talents of silver, which amount to as much - viz., to a thousand and two hundred millions of gold, besides abundance of brass, wood, stones, and other materials. 1 Chronicles 22:14 Yet all this served not in any comparison for the perfecting of this most stately and costly structure, the world’s wonderment, the house of the most high God, 1 Chronicles 2:5 and a type of the Church triumphant in heaven, as the tabernacle had been of the Church militant upon earth.

In the month Zif. — Which was the April moon, the second month of the sacred year. Exodus 12:2 It signifieth brightness; because the creatures begin then to be in their flourish. The Chaldee calleth it mensem aparitionis florum, the month of the displaying of flowers.

Which is the second month — For Abib, signifying the spring, was the first. Exodus 12:2 ; Exodus 13:4 On the second day of this second month he began to build. 2 Chronicles 3:2 Not on the sixth, as Calvisius saith, or on the eighth, as Capellus, or on the ninth and twentieth, as Scaliger.

He began to build. — Heb., He built: but this house was not built in a day. Sed fieri dicitur quod tentatur aut intenditur. Good beginnings are well interpreted in heaven, so they be well prosecuted. The place of this house is noted to be Mount Moriah. 2 Chronicles 3:1 Plato Plat., lib. vii. De Leg. and Aristotle Arist., lib. vi. Polit. observe that temples are most fitly built on mountains; ut eminus sint conspicua, that they may be seen afar off.

Verse 2

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 settled habitation among the children of Israel. And forasmuch as the Lord their God was above all gods, 2 Chronicles 2:5 a great God, a mighty and a terrible, Deuteronomy 10:17 therefore Solomon set up this most glorious and sumptuous edifice that ever was in the world, in honour of the divine Majesty, and for a type of Christ, "in whom dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily." Colossians 2:9

The length thereof was threescore cubits. — Twice so long and large every way as was the tabernacle; Exodus 26:1-37 as the temple in Ezekiel, Ezekiel 40:41-49 setting forth gospel times, is described as much bigger than all the old Jerusalem: and a new Jerusalem bigger than all the land of Canaan.

Verse 3

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. — At the east end of it: for the most holy place, toward which they prayed, stood westward: that God’s people might not be like the heathen, who worshipped toward the east, as Cicero and Vitruvius testify. See Ezekiel 8:16 .

And ten cubits was the breadth thereof. — The height of it far exceeded that of the temple: for it was one hundred and twenty cubits high, 2 Chronicles 3:4 and so was as a tower to the rest of the house.

Verse 4

And for the house he made windows of narrow lights.

And for the house he made windows of narrow lights. — Or, Broad within and narrow without. Or, Skewed and closed, that is, glazed, as R. Jehudah interpreteth it. Bright the temple was, as being full of windows Prospectui accommodas clausus. - Jun. so Christ came "a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on him should not abide in darkness." John 12:46 The first thing the Spirit doth in a sanctified soul, is to beat out new windows there, and to diffuse a marvellous light. Acts 26:19

Verse 5

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:

He built chambers round about. — Against all the parts of the temple, but only the entrance, which was at the east end. Of these chambers, or galleries, there were three stories, five cubits high, for the use of the priests that served at the altar.

Verse 6

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.

The nethermost chamber was five cubits broad, … — Each one of these lofts, as they were above other, so they were larger than other. To show, saith one, the several degrees and places appointed by God in his Church, - apostles, evangelists, doctors, pastors, and elders, …

Verse 7

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.

Was built of stone.Tam artificiose non tantum sine deformi cicatrice vulneris, sed et sine subtilissimae suturae notis, ut imponerent oculo spectatoris … quasi tota moles in tantam magnitudinem ex unico ingenti lapide tam magnifice consurgeret: i.e., so artificially were the stones of the temple polished and cemented together, as if the whole fabric had been but one entire stone.

Made ready before it was brought thither; — Hewn and hammered in the mount, not so taken out of quarry, - so God had ordered it, - that there needed no tool of iron to fit them, as Procopius and Glycas imagined, because it followeth,

So that there was neither hammer nor axe, … — In the house indeed no tool was heard, no noise was made, to show that there should be no contentions in the Church militant, and that there shall be no afflictions or sufferings in the Church triumphant. Haec vita est officina in qua lapides templi aeterni scalpantur ac dedolentur, ut recists aut resectis depravatae naturae vitiis, caelesti aedifico perficiendo cum honore ac decore adhiberi et aptari possint: Here the saints are hewed and squared by God’s word, Hosea 6:5 and by his strokes, Isaiah 27:9 that they may be fitted for the heavenly temple.

Verse 8

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.

And they went up with winding stairs. — We must also aspire to perfection: there should be continual ascensions in our hearts, neither may we rest till we have set our feet upon the battlements of heaven. See St Paul’s eagerness, Philippians 3:12-14 .

Verse 9

So he built the house, and finished it; and covered the house with beams and boards of cedar.

So he built the house.Epilogus est praecedentium. Vatab.

And boards of cedar. — Which boards were also covered with lead without, and gold within. 1 Kings 6:22

Verse 10

And [then] he built chambers against all the house, five cubits high: and they rested on the house [with] timber of cedar.

And he built chambers. — The tabernacle had none such. See on 1 Kings 6:5 .

Verse 11

And the word of the LORD came to Solomon, saying,

And the word of the Lord came, — viz., By Abijah or some other prophet, even while he was in building, for his instruction and encouragement.

Verse 12

[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, … — That Solomon might not trust to the external work, he is given to know that his obedience to God’s holy law is expected, if ever he mean to inherit the promises. There were in aftertimes that cried ad ravim usque, "The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord!" who yet were destroyed for their iniquities. Jeremiah 7:4 So the Papists cry out, like so many oyster peddlers, The Church, the Church: and not a few among us, We are believers, can [say] our creed, have had our Christendom, … Matthew 7:22

Verse 13

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. — This was a high favour: what is it then to the saints, that he will indwell in them. 2 Corinthians 6:16 We have no vines, said the Scythians, but we have gods. And, ενθα δε οι θεοι , here are household gods, said the philosopher, pointing to his poor cottage.

Verse 14

So Solomon built the house, and finished it.

So Solomon built the house. — See 1 Kings 6:9 .

Verse 15

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. — He lined or wainscoted them.

With boards of cedar. — Which is strong and durable, and for the dryness of it, besides the sweetness, the timber does not split or rot: yea, it hath a property to preserve other things from putrefaction. The Church is also stable and cannot be ruinated. The temple was destroyed, the Church can never be, Matthew 16:10 it is insuperable.

Verse 16

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].

Even for the oracle.Loquutorium Adytum. So the Holy of Holies is called, because there God used to deliver divine answers, or oracles. Leviticus 16:2 Exodus 30:6

Verse 17

And the house, that [is], the temple before it, was forty cubits [long].

The temple. — That is, The holy place; whither none but the priests might come.

Verse 18

And the cedar of the house within [was] carved with knops and open flowers: all [was] cedar; there was no stone seen.

Carved with knops and open flowers. — To show the multifarious flourishing graces that are in Christ and Christians. For in this piece of Scripture, by a specialty, we may say with Possevine, Tot esse sacramenta quot literas, tot mysteria quot puncta, tot arcana quot apices; Biblioth. Select. there are so many words, so many mysteries.

Verse 19

And the oracle he prepared in the house within, to set there the ark of the covenant of the LORD.

To set there the ark of the covenant of the Lord. — This was a most precious piece. The Palladium at Troy, the Pessinuntium at Rome, the Image at Ephesus, made by Canetias, an ancient craftsman, and said by the covetous priests to have fallen down from Jupiter, Acts 19:35 are not worthy to be named in the same day with this ark of the covenant; the principle evidence of God’s gracious presence, and, besides, a very lively type of Christ, and therefore kept in the innermost part of God’s house.

Verse 20

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.

Twenty cubits in length. — So that it was every way square.

Overlaid it with pure gold. — Heb., With gold shut up; so called, haply, because men used to hoard up the best gold, and keep it close prisoner, as it were.

And so covered the altar. — Which being wood within, and gold without, shadowed out Christ - the true altar Hebrews 13:10 - in his twofold nature, human and divine.

Verse 21

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. — Gold of Parnaim: he embellished it also with precious stones. 2 Chronicles 3:6

Verse 22

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. — So that it dazzled the eyes of the beholders, as Josephus testifieth: so that there was need to say - as the priests did at the temple of Ephesus, which was covered likewise with gold - to such as went in, Tenets oculos, look to your eyes. For the mystery, Quid est Templi illius aurea claritas, saith Rupertus, nisi ad dextram Patris sedentis immortalitas atque impassibilitas? What else is all this golden glister but the immortality and impassibility of him who sitteth at the right hand of his heavenly Father? And the polished cedars overlaid with fine gold, show the beauty of the Church, saith another, to be inward, pure, and precious, though unperceived of the world. Psalms 45:1-17

Verse 23

And within the oracle he made two cherubims [of] olive tree, [each] ten cubits high.

And within the oracle he made two cherubims. — These were two great human winged statues, five yards high, representing the strength and excellency of the blessed angels, ever attendant upon the Almighty God; as also the eminent parts, and praiseworthy practices of gospel ministers, who should be at peace among themselves, and promote peace all they can among others. These cherubims were two of them, - Christ sent out his apostles by two and two, - they were also made of olive, that emblem of peace, and their faces looked one toward another: they were also uniform.

Verse 24

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. — This was the extent of their wings taken together with their bodies lying between those wings; unless we shall say with Kimchi, that their wings covered their bodies behind, and so their bodies took up no room, but their wings only in the house’s breadth.

Verse 25

And the other cherub [was] ten cubits: both the cherubims [were] of one measure and one size.

Of one measure, and of one size. — And all according to the pattern given by God to David. Here then is no plea for Popish imagery, or idolatry against the second commandment, unless they can produce a special warrant from the lawmaker, who can, when he pleaseth, dispense with his own law.

Verse 26

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. — They were of a giant like stature. See 1 Kings 6:23 .

Verse 27

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.

Within the inner house. — That is, Within the holy of holies, where they stood before the ark, to hide and cover it from the eyes even of the high priest.

Verse 28

And he overlaid the cherubims with gold.

And he overlaid the cherubims with gold. — Which could hardly be done without knocking and fastening it on with nails; unless we shall say that the gold was fastened on them with screw nails.

Verse 29

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. — See on 1 Kings 6:25 .

Of cherubims and palm trees and open flowers. — To note, saith one, the protection of the Church of Christ by the ministry of angels - though outwardly unseen - and the peaceable victorious flourishing under the same. Hebrews 1:14

Verse 30

And the floor of the house he overlaid with gold, within and without.

And the floor he overlaid with gold. — The pavement of marble covered with fir, did set forth faith in the heart, and holiness in the life - the fir tree is straight and tall - and the gold upon all these, love.

Verse 31

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].

Doors of olive tree. — Which kind of wood is hard, firm, and lasting: fit for posts and doors.

Verse 32

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.

Carvings of cherubims. — But far less than those two forementioned, though of a like signification.

And palm trees and open flowers — Showing the variety of virtues which shine in the faithful.

Verse 33

So also made he for the door of the temple posts [of] olive tree, a fourth part [of the wall].

Posts of olive tree. — See 1 Kings 6:31 .

Verse 34

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. — Which were not so rare and precious as olive trees a difference was hereby also put between the holy of holies, and the holy place. Men do not know what a place heaven is: there is the best of the best of everything.

Verse 35

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, … — See on 1 Kings 6:29 .

Verse 36

And he built the inner court with three rows of hewed stone, and a row of cedar beams.

And he built the inner court. — Called the court of the priests, 2 Chronicles 4:9 and had without it an outer court, Ezekiel 10:3 ; Ezekiel 10:5 called also the great court, 2 Chronicles 4:9 where the people prayed, Luke 1:10 and heard the word preached. Acts 3:11-12 Ezra 10:9 In this outer court it was that our Saviour preached, when he is said to have taught in the temple: here he disputed, cast out the buyers and sellers, … John 2:14 ; John 2:16 This court of the people surrounded not only the priests’ court, but also the whole temple: by the name whereof also it is sometimes called.

Verse 37

In the fourth year was the foundation of the house of the LORD laid, in the month Zif:

In the fourth year,sc., Of Solomon’s reign. See 1 Kings 6:1 .

Verse 38

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 month Bul. — Which hath its name either from fading, because then the leaves fall; or from the store of rain that then falleth. Bul quasi Mabbul, that is, a deluge. It answereth to our November.

So was he seven years. — Seven years and six months: and, everything reckoned, he made very good despatch of so great a work. He was much longer about building his own house, 1 Kings 7:1 because less diligent and expeditious.

Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jtc/1-kings-6.html. 1865-1868.
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