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Bible Commentaries
1 Kings 7

Kretzmann's Popular Commentary of the BibleKretzmann's Commentary

Verses 1-12

Solomon's Palace

v. 1. But Solomon was building his own house, the complex of buildings which was his palace, thirteen years, and he finished all his house.

v. 2. He built also the house of the forest of Lebanon, the first of the buildings composing his palace (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. These pillars in their four rows stood along the surrounding wall, thus forming a peristyle enclosing a courtyard.

v. 3. And it was covered, it had a ceiling or roof, with cedar above upon the beams, the large joists, that lay on forty-five pillars, fifteen in a row. So the forty-five rooms arose in three stories of fifteen rooms each.

v. 4. And there were windows in three rows, and light was against light in three ranks, literally, "And layers of joists there were three rows, and prospect over against prospect three times," that is, the window-openings in the three stories on the inside offered a view of the corresponding section across the court, the effect probably being that of galleries surrounding the court.

v. 5. And all the doors and posts were square, the door-and window-openings with their lintels and sills, with the windows; and light was against light in three ranks, the openings being arranged so as to have both sides of the palace correspond exactly,

v. 6. And he made a porch of pillars, a special portico or colonnade; the length thereof was fifty cubits and the breadth thereof thirty cubits; and the porch was before them, for the colonnade before the House of Lebanon led to the Porch of Judgment; and the other pillars and the thick beam were before them, this being the entrance space to the colonnade. This entire building, therefore, seems to have been an open hall, with special porches at either end.

v. 7. Then he made a porch for the throne, apparently at the end of the great colonnade, where he might judge, even the Porch of Judgment, for it served both purposes; and it was covered with cedar from one side of the floor to the other; three sides of this porch receiving walls of cedar from the floor to the roof-beams, it was a porch enclosed on three sides, and its floor, as well as that of the great colonnade, was covered with cedar-wood.

v. 8. And his house where he dwelt, the fourth building of the palace complex, had another court within the porch, the royal residence was behind the throne-room and the Hall of Judgment, which was of the like work. Solomon made also an house for Pharaoh's daughter, a special residence for the queen, whom he had taken to wife, like unto this porch. So the complex of buildings which formed the king's palace was probably arranged as follows: The great House of Lebanon, the armory of the king, with its peristyle and court toward the rear; beyond that the great colonnade, with its entrance porch; leading to the throne-room and Judgment Hall beyond; a special court with the dwelling of the king and that of the queen, together with such further buildings as were needed for the royal household.

v. 9. All these were of costly stones, perfect building-stones, without a flaw, according to the measures of hewed stones, sawed with saws, within and without, even from the foundation unto the coping, to the cornerstones on which the beams of the roof rested, and so on the outside toward the great court, which surrounded the entire complex of palace buildings.

v. 10. And the foundation was of costly stones, even great stones, stones of ten cubits, and stones of eight cubits.

v. 11. And above, where the wall was visible, were costly stones, after the measures of hewed stones, and cedars.

v. 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. So the enclosure of the great court of the royal palace was a copy of the enclosure surrounding the priests' court in the Temple. Thus Solomon ruled and lived in the midst of his people, near the Temple of Jehovah, even as the greater Son of David, Jesus Christ, lives and reigns in His eternal kingdom.

Verses 13-51

The Metal Appointment Of The Temple

v. 13. And King Solomon sent and fetched Hiram out of Tyre, a namesake of the Phenician king.

v. 14. He was a widow's son of the tribe of Naphtali, by birth a member of the tribe of Dan, she had first married into the tribe of Naphtali, and his father was a man of Tyre, a native of that city, a worker in brass, a very ancient craft; and he was filled with wisdom and understanding and cunning to work all works in brass, in the various alloys of copper. And he, at the instigation of the Phenician king, came to King Solomon, and wrought all his work, all the metal work needed for the Temple.

v. 15. For he cast two pillars of brass, hollow tubes, of eighteen cubits high apiece, the shaft of the pillars being that high; and a line of twelve cubits did compass either of them about, that represented their circumference.

v. 16. And he made two chapiters, or capitals, 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,

v. 17. and nets of checker-work, ornaments of woven 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, these ornaments having the form of chains or festoons at the base of the capital.

v. 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, the one row of molten pomegranates being above the network, the other below; and so he did for the other chapiter.

v. 19. And the chapiters that were upon the top of the pillars were of lily work in the porch, they had the form of a full-blown lily-cup, four cubits.

v. 20. And the chapiters upon the two pillars had pomegranates also above, over against, just next to, the belly which was by the net-work, where the casting showed an arching or swelling, probably at the place where the calyx of the flower was to be indicated; and the pomegranates were two hundred in rows round about upon the other chapiter, set toward the four quarters of heaven.

v. 21. And he set up the pillars in the porch of the Temple, serving as a portal to the Sanctuary; and he set up the right pillar, and called the name thereof Jachin ("He has established"), to indicate that this was now the central Sanctuary of the Lord; and he set up the left pillar, and called the name thereof Boaz ("In it is strength"), to indicate that the might of Jehovah was now in this Temple.

v. 22. And upon the top of the pillars, which are characteristic of Phenician architecture, was lily work; so was the work of the pillars finished.

v. 23. And he made a molten sea, a large vessel for holding water, taking the place of a tank, ten cubits from the one brim to the other, that was the diameter, in the approximate number of cubits; it was round, circular, all about, and his height was five cubits; and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about, the mathematical proportion being only roughly indicated.

v. 24. And under the brim of it round about there were knops compassing it, small ornaments in the shape of flower-buds, ten in a cubit, compassing the sea round about; the knobs were cast in two rows when it was cast.

v. 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, they themselves being set upon some sort of platform. and all their hinder parts were inward.

v. 26. And it was an hand breadth thick, that was the thickness of the casting, and the brim thereof was wrought like the brim of a cup, with flowers of lilies, like a full-blown lily; it contained two thousand baths (almost 9,500 gallons, according to lowest estimate).

v. 27. And he made ten bases of brass, to hold the basins with water for the washing of the sacrificial meat; four cubits was the length of one base and four cubits the breadth thereof and three cubits the height of it.

v. 28. And the work of the bases was on this manner, the workmanship connected with their being cast: they had borders, and the borders were between the ledges, panels enclosed by ornamental moldings;

v. 29. and on the borders that were between the ledges, on the walls or panels of the bases, were lions, oxen, and cherubim; and upon the ledges there was a base above, a sort of groove for the basin which was placed upon the base; and beneath the lions and oxen were certain additions made of thin work, figures in the form of suspended wreaths.

v. 30. And every base had four brazen wheels and plates of brass, axles of that material; and the four corners thereof had undersetters, literally, "shoulder-pieces," parts which projected over and covered the wheels; under the laver were under setters molten, at the side of every addition, literally, "each next to a wreath," one of those suspended beneath the panels.

v. 31. And the mouth of it within the chapiter and above was a cubit, this was the opening in the base, one cubic from the lower edge; but the mouth thereof was round after the work of the base, corresponding to the general appearance of the entire lavers, a cubit and an half, evidently in diameter; and also upon the mouth of it were gravings with their borders, foursquare, not round, that is, the spaces round about the opening at the top of the base, which served to hold the basin, were filled with small panels, like those on the sides of the bases.

v. 32. And under the borders, beneath the side-panels, were four wheels; and the axletrees of the wheels were joined to the base, the wheels were held firmly on their axles by special contrivances; and the height of a wheel was a cubit and half a cubit, this bringing the height of the base to about one and three-fourths cubit.

v. 33. And the work of the wheels was like the work of a chariot-wheel, possessing all the parts of an ordinary wheel; their axletrees, and their naves, and their felloes, and their spokes were all molten.

v. 34. And there were four undersetters, those peculiar shoulder-pieces, to the four corners of one base; and the undersetters were of the very base itself, an integral part of the casting.

v. 35. And in the top of the base was there a round compass of half a cubit high, for the base arose in a gentle rounding above its paneled portion; and on the top of the base the ledges thereof and the borders thereof were of the same, namely, as those of the foot.

v. 36. For on the plates of the ledges thereof and on the borders thereof he graved cherubim, lions, and palm-trees, according to the proportion of every one, the empty space at his disposal, and additions round about, work of wreaths.

v. 37. After this manner he made the ten bases; all of them had one casting, one measure, and one size. They were movable bases for the ten lavers, whose ledges acted as ribs, giving strength to the structure, while the panels between the ledges or moldings mere filled with decorative work.

v. 38. Then made he ten lavers of brass, used as containers of water for ceremonial washings; one laver contained forty baths, upward of two hundred gallons; and every laver was four cubits, either in diameter or in circumference; and upon every one of the ten bases one laver.

v. 39. And he put five bases on the right, or south, 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. So the lavers were placed on either side of the Sanctuary, while the molten sea was situated southeast of the Sanctuary and southwest of the altar of burnt offering.

v. 40. And Hiram made the lavers and the shovels, for removing the ashes, and the basins, for catching the blood of the sacrificial animals. So Hiram made an end of doing all the work that he made King Solomon for the house of the Lord:

v. 41. the two pillars, and the two bowls of the chapiters that were on the top of the two pillars, the lily-shaped capitals; and the two networks to cover the two bowls of the chapiters which were upon the top of the pillars;

v. 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, as described in vv. 15-22;

v. 43. and the ten bases and ten lavers on the bases;

v. 44. and one sea and twelve oxen under the sea;

v. 45. and the pots and the shovels and the basins; and all these vessels which Hiram made to King Solomon for the house of the Lord were of bright brass, polished after the casting, until it shone like gold.

v. 46. In the Plain of Jordan did the king cast them, in the clay ground, in molds of potters' earth, between Succoth and Zarthan, the foundry being on the west side of Jordan, where the soil is peculiarly adapted for that purpose.

v. 47. And Solomon left all the vessels unweighed, because they were exceeding many, the quantity of brass being so very great, 1 Chronicles 18:8; neither was the weight of the brass found out, nobody took the trouble to determine it.

v. 48. And Solomon made all the vessels that pertained unto the house of the Lord, those used in the Sanctuary: the altar of gold, that of incense, Exodus 37:25, and the table of gold, whereupon the showbread was, Exodus 25:30,

v. 49. and the candlesticks of pure gold, in place of the single one of the Tabernacle, five on the right side and five on the left, before the oracle, in the Holy Place, with the flowers and the lamps, on the candlesticks, and the tongs of gold, the snuffers,

v. 50. and the bowls, Exodus 12:22, and the snuffers, the knives or shears for cleaning the wicks of the lamps, and the basins, and the spoons, vessels for incense, and the censers, Exodus 25:38, 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.

v. 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. David had taken large quantities of metal, brass, silver, and gold, from the nations which he had conquered. So great was the supply that it was not exhausted by the heavy demand made upon the stores at the building of the Temple and the making of the various appointments for the services. Willingness in sacrificing for the work of the Lord, also in building and equipping places of worship, is altogether pleasing to the Lord if it flows from a heart filled with true lore toward Him.

Bibliographical Information
Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on 1 Kings 7". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/kpc/1-kings-7.html. 1921-23.
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