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Bible Commentaries
1 Kings 7

Trapp's Complete CommentaryTrapp's Commentary

Verse 1

But Solomon was building his own house thirteen years, and he finished all his house.

But Solomon was building his own house. — Here he took greater leisure, and had less help, both for materials ready prepared, and for the people’s forwardness to help it on. Add hereunto, that in these thirteen years Solomon had three houses to build; sc., his own, the queen’s, and the house of the forest of Lebanon: which, because they stood near together, were called Solomon’s own house, or palace royal.

Verse 2

He built also the house of the forest of Lebanon; the length thereof [was] an hundred cubits, and the breadth thereof fifty cubits, and the height thereof thirty cubits, upon four rows of cedar pillars, with cedar beams upon the pillars.

He built also the house of the forest of Lebanon. — For public feasts, games, pastimes, and delights, Ecclesiastes 2:4-6 for a magazine also. 1 Kings 10:16-17 Isaiah 22:8 Framed it might be in Lebanon, 1 Kings 9:19 but built it was in Jerusalem, Solomon’s dwelling house and throne not far from it. 1 Kings 7:6-8 It seemeth to have been called "the house of the forest of Lebanon," not because it stood in that forest, as William, bishop of Tyre, and Junius hold: Lib. xviii, belli sacri. but partly because it was made of the cedars of Lebanon, in which regard also the temple is called Lebanon, Zechariah 11:1 and partly because it was a kind of abridgment of that famous forest, and contained in it, and in the gardens and groves about it, all the delights and pleasures of that forest, in solitary walks, sweet smells, music of birds, and sight of wild beasts, …, whence the Hebrews call it domum refrigerii, the house of refreshing.

Verse 3

And [it was] covered with cedar above upon the beams, that [lay] on forty five pillars, fifteen [in] a row.

Upon the beams. — Heb., Ribs: for beams are to a building what ribs are to a living creature. In Africa they make, if not beams, yet rafters for houses, of the whale’s ribs.

Verse 4

And [there were] windows [in] three rows, and light [was] against light [in] three ranks.

In three rows,i.e., In three stories, called also ranks here.

And light was against light.Fenestrae ex diametro, through lights, we call them.

Verse 5

And all the doors and posts [were] square, with the windows: and light [was] against light [in] three ranks.

With the windows. — All were square: and so this house was, ad elegantiam, amaenitatem et recreationem tota comparata, very pleasant.

Verse 6

And he made a porch of pillars; the length thereof [was] fifty cubits, and the breadth thereof thirty cubits: and the porch [was] before them: and the [other] pillars and the thick beam [were] before them.

Were before them. — Or, According to them: all was suitable, and sightly.

Verse 7

Then he made a porch for the throne where he might judge, [even] the porch of judgment: and [it was] covered with cedar from one side of the floor to the other.

Then he made a porch for the throne. — That stately throne of ivory. 1 Kings 10:18-20

Even the porch of judgment. — Built for the conveniency of such as came to the king for judgment.

Verse 8

And his house where he dwelt [had] another court within the porch, [which] was of the like work. Solomon made also an house for Pharaoh’s daughter, whom he had taken [to wife], like unto this porch.

Had another court. — Called "the middle court." 2 Kings 20:4

Like unto this porch. — All was uniform and spacious.

Verse 9

All these [were of] costly stones, according to the measures of hewed stones, sawed with saws, within and without, even from the foundation unto the coping, and [so] on the outside toward the great court.

According to the measure of hewed stones. — Though costly, yet as great as other hewed stones.

Unto the coping,i.e., The top of the wall, whereon the beams were laid.

Verse 10

And the foundation [was of] costly stones, even great stones, stones of ten cubits, and stones of eight cubits.

And the foundatlon was of costly stones. — Heb., Precious; yet not of emeralds, carbuncles, sapphires, as Isaiah 54:11 , but of marble, porphyry, …, which were longlasting.

Even great stones. — Which therefore were the closer together, and the surer.

Verse 11

And above [were] costly stones, after the measures of hewed stones, and cedars.

And above were costly stones. — Above ground, as well as under.

Verse 12

And the great court round about [was] with three rows of hewed stones, and a row of cedar beams, both for the inner court of the house of the LORD, and for the porch of the house.

And the great court round about. — Surrounding the king’s house.

Both for the inward court of the house of the Lord,i.e., Like that inward court, 1 Kings 6:36 .

And for the porch, … — The king’s house had the like porch before it, as God’s house had.

Verse 13

And king Solomon sent and fetched Hiram out of Tyre.

And king Solomon sent and fetched Hiram. — He had done so long since; viz., when he first set upon temple work, 2 Chronicles 2:14 ; 2 Chronicles 3:15 to the description whereof the history here returneth.

Verse 14

He [was] a widow’s son of the tribe of Naphtali, and his father [was] a man of Tyre, a worker in brass: and he was filled with wisdom, and understanding, and cunning to work all works in brass. And he came to king Solomon, and wrought all his work.

He was a widow’s son of the tribe of Naphtali. — His father was of that tribe, but his mother of the tribe of Dan, 2 Chronicles 2:14 unless the king there mistook the one tribe for the other.

And cunning to work all works. — Not in brass only, but in gold, silver, iron, stone, timber, purple, …, 2 Chronicles 4:16 so that Solomon, for respect’s sake, called him his father. 2 Chronicles 4:16

Verse 15

For he cast two pillars of brass, of eighteen cubits high apiece: and a line of twelve cubits did compass either of them about.

Of eighteen cubits high apiece. — Thirty-five cubits high, saith another prophet, 2 Chronicles 3:15 that is, saith Pellican, both of them together were thirty-five cubits high, and each one almost eighteen, for which it is said to be eighteen cubits; the Scripture useth not to express such broken measures.

Verse 16

And he made two chapiters [of] molten brass, to set upon the tops of the pillars: the height of the one chapiter [was] five cubits, and the height of the other chapiter [was] five cubits:

To set upon the tops of the pillars. — Hence they were called chapiters, or heads, coronamenta, epistylia; crowns they are called. Jeremiah 52:22

Verse 17

[And] nets of checker work, and wreaths of chain work, for the chapiters which [were] upon the top of the pillars; seven for the one chapiter, and seven for the other chapiter.

And nets of checker work. — These were very pleasant to the eye, and in adition significant: not such toilsome toys as nec ignoranti nocent, nec scientem iuvant. Sen.

Verse 18

And he made the pillars, and two rows round about upon the one network, to cover the chapiters that [were] upon the top, with pomegranates: and so did he for the other chapiter.

And he made the pillars. — That is, He thus decked them. Peter Martyr saith that these pillars resembled a man, the nether part setting forth his feet, the second the trunk of his body, the third his head, and the fourth his hat: and that they signified God’s protection over this house, as of old the pillar of fire, and pillar of smoke, showed his protection over them in the wilderness.

Verse 19

And the chapiters that [were] upon the top of the pillars [were] of lily work in the porch, four cubits.

Were of lily work. — As also of other flowers, leaves, and fruits, implexu coronario incursantibus.

In the porch. — That was before the holy place; for there these pillars were set, 1 Kings 7:21 to show the stability of this house, and of the spiritual temple for ever: the Rabbis say, of the house of David.

Verse 20

And the chapiters upon the two pillars [had pomegranates] also above, over against the belly which [was] by the network: and the pomegranates [were] two hundred in rows round about upon the other chapiter.

And the pomegranates were two hundred. — On each side a hundred, hanging down front the rows or borders upon the networks, which yet they hid not. 2 Chronicles 3:16 Jeremiah 52:23 This might signify the strengthening of our faith by the two sacraments, unto holiness and fruitfulness in good works; but especially by Christ, who is a double pillar unto his Church.

Verse 21

And he set up the pillars in the porch of the temple: and he set up the right pillar, and called the name thereof Jachin: and he set up the left pillar, and called the name thereof Boaz.

And he set up the pillars in the porch. — For within the temple was nothing but golden.

And called the name thereof Jachin. — As the other he called Boaz; showing not only by the matter - brass - but by the names of these pillars, what steadfastness the elect stand in before God, both for present and future. For present, they have strength in themselves - Boaz, i.e., in it is strength; for future, God will so direct and establish them with his grace - Jachin, i.e., he shall direct, or establish that they shall never wholly depart from him. "Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out." Revelation 3:12

Verse 22

And upon the top of the pillars [was] lily work: so was the work of the pillars finished.

And upon the pillars was lily work — To show the beauty and sweetness of Christ and his people, those especially that are more eminent, the glory of the churches; such as were James, Cephas, and John, who "seemed to be pillars." Galatians 2:9

Verse 23

And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: [it was] round all about, and his height [was] five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.

And he made a molten sea. — As a large laver for the priests to wash in. 2 Chronicles 4:6 the Hebrews used to call the gathering together of much water a sea. It signifieth both the exceeding filthiness of sin, requiring a sea for the cleansing of it, and the infinite virtue of Christ’s blood, …

Verse 24

And under the brim of it round about [there were] knops compassing it, ten in a cubit, compassing the sea round about: the knops [were] cast in two rows, when it was cast.

Ten in a cubit. — Three hundred knops under the lily work, on the brim of the sea. 2 Chronicles 4:3

Verse 25

It stood upon twelve oxen, three looking toward the north, and three looking toward the west, and three looking toward the south, and three looking toward the east: and the sea [was set] above upon them, and all their hinder parts [were] inward.

It stood upon twelve oxen. — Figuring out the twelve apostles and their successors, who went into all parts of the world, teaching "the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins."

Verse 26

And it [was] an hand breadth thick, and the brim thereof was wrought like the brim of a cup, with flowers of lilies: it contained two thousand baths.

It contained two thousand baths. — This it held ordinarily; but if filled up to the brim, it could hold three thousand baths. 2 Chronicles 4:5 Out of this molten sea, or lake - as Junius rendereth it - the priests, by cocks or otherwise, drew water to wash themselves and other things with.

Verse 27

And he made ten bases of brass; four cubits [was] the length of one base, and four cubits the breadth thereof, and three cubits the height of it.

And he made ten bases of brass. — To bear up so many lesser layers. 1 Kings 7:38

Verse 28

And the work of the bases [was] on this [manner]: they had borders, and the borders [were] between the ledges:

They had borders. — Around the vessel, like panes of wainscotting; whereon were engraven lions, oxen, and cherubims; to teach the priests courage, painfulness, and prudence.

Verse 29

And on the borders that [were] between the ledges [were] lions, oxen, and cherubims: and upon the ledges [there was] a base above: and beneath the lions and oxen [were] certain additions made of thin work.

See on 1 Kings 7:28 .

Verse 30

And every base had four brasen wheels, and plates of brass: and the four corners thereof had undersetters: under the laver [were] undersetters molten, at the side of every addition.

And every base had four brazen wheels. — To remove the laver from place to place, as occasion required.

Verse 31

And the mouth of it within the chapiter and above [was] a cubit: but the mouth thereof [was] round [after] the work of the base, a cubit and an half: and also upon the mouth of it [were] gravings with their borders, foursquare, not round.

And the mouth of it within the chapiter. — The round hollow place of the base, into which the lower part of the laver was put to the upper, was a cubit.

Verse 32

And under the borders [were] four wheels; and the axletrees of the wheels [were joined] to the base: and the height of a wheel [was] a cubit and half a cubit.

And under the borders were four wheels. — Whereby the laver was trusatile sive ambulatorium. See 1 Kings 7:30 .

Verse 33

And the work of the wheels [was] like the work of a chariot wheel: their axletrees, and their naves, and their felloes, and their spokes, [were] all molten.

Like the work of a chariot wheel,i.e., Curiously wrought, and as having axle-tree, naves, felloes, spokes, all cast together in their moulds.

Verse 34

And [there were] four undersetters to the four corners of one base: [and] the undersetters [were] of the very base itself.

And there were four undersetters. — Heb., Shoulders, sc., to uphold the vessel.

Verse 35

And in the top of the base [was there] a round compass of half a cubit high: and on the top of the base the ledges thereof and the borders thereof [were] of the same.

Was there a round compass. — Which was made, it should seem, to receive the water which came out at the cocks.

Verse 36

For on the plates of the ledges thereof, and on the borders thereof, he graved cherubims, lions, and palm trees, according to the proportion of every one, and additions round about.

According to the proportion of every one. — Heb., According to the nakedness; that is, the true resemblance. Truth is like our first parents, most beautiful when naked.

And additions round about. — Round about the base were certain fillings and finishings, on the uppermost edgings.

Verse 37

After this [manner] he made the ten bases: all of them had one casting, one measure, [and] one size.

All of them had one casting. — To teach uniformity about the things of God. It is a sweet thing when "with one mind and one mouth God is glorified" as "the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ," Romans 15:6 and men’s prayers come before him "as the sound of many waters."

Verse 38

Then made he ten lavers of brass: one laver contained forty baths: [and] every laver was four cubits: [and] upon every one of the ten bases one laver.

Then made he ten lavers of brass. — And all to show the filthiness of sin, and the necessity of Christ’s blood, 1 John 1:7 Zechariah 13:1 wherewith the holy priesthood of his chosen must be washed and sanctified in action and affection, before their service can be accepted. Ephesians 5:26

Verse 39

And he put five bases on the right side of the house, and five on the left side of the house: and he set the sea on the right side of the house eastward over against the south.

On the right side of the house. — That is, Of the priests’ court, who had hereby plenty of water, wherein they might wash so soon as they entered to minister in the holy place. "Holiness becometh God’s house for ever."

Verse 40

And Hiram made the lavers, and the shovels, and the basons. So Hiram made an end of doing all the work that he made king Solomon for the house of the LORD:

And the shovels. — Which were to gather up the ashes, and to carry coals from the altar to put into the censers in the temple, for the incense.

And the basons. — Which were to receive the blood of the sacrifices, and the drink offerings.

Verse 41

The two pillars, and the [two] bowls of the chapiters that [were] on the top of the two pillars; and the two networks, to cover the two bowls of the chapiters which [were] upon the top of the pillars;

Here is a recapitulation of the forementioned particulars; whereunto Josephus addeth many more; as ten thousand golden tables, ten thousand golden candlesticks, twenty thousand vials of gold, forty thousand of silver, …

Verse 42

And four hundred pomegranates for the two networks, [even] two rows of pomegranates for one network, to cover the two bowls of the chapiters that [were] upon the pillars;

See Trapp on " 1 Kings 7:41 ".

Verse 43

And the ten bases, and ten lavers on the bases;

See Trapp on " 1 Kings 7:41 ".

Verse 44

And one sea, and twelve oxen under the sea;

See Trapp on " 1 Kings 7:41 ".

Verse 45

And the pots, and the shovels, and the basons: and all these vessels, which Hiram made to king Solomon for the house of the LORD, [were of] bright brass.

See Trapp on " 1 Kings 7:41 ".

Verse 46

In the plain of Jordan did the king cast them, in the clay ground between Succoth and Zarthan.

In the plain of Jordon. — Where Christ afterwards was baptized; to show, saith an expositor, that by these lavers and vessels there cast, baptism was prefigured.

In the clay ground. — Which was most fit for moulds.

Verse 47

And Solomon left all the vessels [unweighed], because they were exceeding many: neither was the weight of the brass found out.

Solomon left all the vessels unweighed. — Many men deal with their preservations, saith one, as Solomon did with the brass of the temple: it was so much, he weighed it not. See 1 Chronicles 22:3 ; 1 Chronicles 22:14 .

Verse 48

And Solomon made all the vessels that [pertained] unto the house of the LORD: the altar of gold, and the table of gold, whereupon the shewbread [was],

The altar of gold, and the table of gold. — Yea, tables, as it is in 2 Chronicles 4:19 , ten tables for one made by Moses; to set forth the superabundant grace under Christ, figured by Solomon.

Verse 49

And the candlesticks of pure gold, five on the right [side], and five on the left, before the oracle, with the flowers, and the lamps, and the tongs [of] gold,

With the flowers and the lamps. — The ornaments and the instruments thereof. Here some note that every table had its candlestick for light, to show that unless light from above goeth along with every ordinance appointed for the feeding of men’s souls, it will be to them of no advantage.

Verse 50

And the bowls, and the snuffers, and the basons, and the spoons, and the censers [of] pure gold; and the hinges [of] gold, [both] for the doors of the inner house, the most holy [place, and] for the doors of the house, [to wit], of the temple.

And the hinges of gold. — Hinges and hooks, and all were of gold: to teach us that in a holy and religious soul dedicated to God, there should be nothing found but what is pure, solid, and precious. "The tongue of the just is as choice silver; the heart of the wicked is little worth." Proverbs 10:20

Verse 51

So was ended all the work that king Solomon made for the house of the LORD. And Solomon brought in the things which David his father had dedicated; [even] the silver, and the gold, and the vessels, did he put among the treasures of the house of the LORD.

So was ended all the work. — Solomon’s temple was finished in the year of the world three thousand. Hence some gather that the spiritual temple shall be consummated in three thousand more. Christ was born in the four thousandth year of the world. The temple was destroyed together with the city by the Romans, in the year of the world exactly four thousand and seventy-three. Ussher.

The things which David his father had dedicated.Partita factas partita infectas, quae ex opere superfuerant. For that of the Rabbis is not likely to be true - viz., that Solomon made no use of the treasure gathered by his father, as not worthy, but only of that which himseff had gotten together in those four years.

Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 7". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jtc/1-kings-7.html. 1865-1868.
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