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Bible Commentaries

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

1 Kings 7

Verse 1


To the building of the temple, succeeds in history, the building of Solomon's house, which this chapter records: likewise, the house of Lebanon, and of the house of Pharaoh's daughter. Here is the relation also of the works of Hiram, and of the vessels Solomon made for the house of the Lord.

1 Kings 7:1

(1) ¶ But Solomon was building his own house thirteen years, and he finished all his house.

I conceive that this length of time mentioned, which Solomon took to build his own house, more than the Lord's house, is not spoken of by way of reproof, but rather commendation. The King's business requires dispatch. The work of God of the day, must be done in the day. The night cometh when no man can work. Reader!, how stands God's work with you? I mean your finished work in Jesus! Perhaps you have built your own house. But is the Lord's temple finished? Know you not, that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost? 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 .

Verses 2-5

(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. (3) And it was covered with cedar above upon the beams, that lay on forty five pillars, fifteen in a row. (4) And there were windows in three rows, and light was against light in three ranks. (5) And all the doors and posts were square, with the windows: and light was against light in three ranks.

Whether this house of the forest of Lebanon, be what Jesus commends in the church's beauty, of the Tower of Lebanon, which looked towards Damascus I do not determine. See Song of Solomon 7:4 . But certainly it is a sweet idea which it furnisheth concerning the ministry of God's servants. Looking towards Damascus, may very fairly, and without violence to the sacred text; be supposed to imply the vigilance of ministers, always on the lookout, as watchmen upon the walls of Zion, upon the ways and roads by which the enemies of our God and his Christ, come with their attacks from Damascus. In this sense, the church herself is said to be terrible, as an army with banners. Song of Solomon 6:4 .

Verses 6-12

(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. (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. (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. (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. (10) And the foundation was of costly stones, even great stones, stones of ten cubits, and stones of eight cubits. (11) And above were costly stones, after the measures of hewed stones, and cedars. (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.

I do not hesitate to say, that notwithstanding the particularity with which these things are marked, I cannot more than in generals, discover their resemblance to divine things. The porch of Solomon's temple was certainly held in high esteem, for in the second temple, built after the return of the church from Babylon, the fathers thought proper to preserve the same name, and this was rendered remarkable by the healing of the cripple. See Acts 3:11; Acts 3:11 . And here it was we find the apostles particularly assembled. Acts 5:12-13 . The apostle Paul, after describing some interesting things concerning the shadowy ordinances of the law, when speaking of the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercy-seat, adds a similar thought, and saith, of which we cannot now speak particularly. See Hebrews 9:5 .

Verses 13-14

(13) ¶ And king Solomon sent and fetched Hiram out of Tyre. (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.

This Hiram, we must remember, though called here by the same name, is not Hiram the king of Tyre, but an artist. In the Chronicles he is called Huram. See 2 Chronicles 4:11 . It appears that he was by the mother's side an Israelite, though his father a man of Tyre. How this mingling of the holy seed came to pass, is not noticed. High honour is conferred on him, in being employed in the service of building the temple.

Verses 15-22

(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. (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: (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. (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. (19) And the chapiters that were upon the top of the pillars were of lily work in the porch, four cubits. (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. (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. (22) And upon the top of the pillars was lily work: so was the work of the pillars finished.

We may readily conceive, from the names of Jachin and Boaz, given to those pillars, that their being set up, had a spiritual object in view. They were placed at the entrance of the temple, near the door. And as the name of Jachin signifies a thing fixed; and Boaz implies strength; do not both serve to convey this idea, that when believers in Jesus approach the door of the temple, their souls should be fixed on Him they come to meet and worship, and offer all their poor services in his strength. And there is this more in the view; it is the Lord which will fix and strengthen his people, like Jachin and Boaz, not to be moved.

Verses 23-26

(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. (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. (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. (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.

There can be no question, but that this brazen sea was figurative of the gospel fountain for sin and for uncleanness. But oh! how vastly short and inferior was all this, even in similitude, and indeed all the shadowy ordinances of the law, to our substance in the gospel. These things stood only (as Paul speaks) in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation. Hebrews 9:10 . Oh! holy Saviour! how doth the riches of thy grace, and the efficacy of thy blood appear, when compared to these shadows! Sweetly hast thou said and sweetly hast thou proved it, that I may cause those that love me to inherit substance. Proverbs 8:21 .

Verses 27-51

(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. (28) And the work of the bases was on this manner: they had borders, and the borders were between the ledges: (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. (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. (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. (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. (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. (34) And there were four undersetters to the four corners of one base: and the undersetters were of the very base itself. (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. (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. (37) After this manner he made the ten bases: all of them had one casting, one measure, and one size. (38) Then made he ten lavers of brass: one laver contained forty baths: and every laver was four cubits: and upon everyone of the ten bases one laver. (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. (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: (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; (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; (43) And the ten bases, and ten lavers on the bases; (44) And one sea, and twelve oxen under the sea; (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. (46) In the plain of Jordan did the king cast them, in the clay ground between Succoth and Zarthan. (47) And Solomon left all the vessels unweighed, because they were exceeding many: neither was the weight of the brass found out. (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, (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, (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. (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.

I include the whole within one reading; for one general observation will answer our view of the subject. The whole, no doubt, was typical of the gospel church, of which, in a figurative language, the prophet speaks, that for brass the Lord would bring, gold; and for iron silver; and for wood brass; and for stones iron. Isaiah 60:17 . And this is literally the case, when the ceremonial ordinances of the Old Testament dispensation give way to the spiritual service of the New. When the shadow is done away in the substance, and the Lord Jesus, preached only in type and figure, became realized in the souls of his people. Think, Reader, of our privileges in Jesus! What were the molten sea, the lavers, or the pots, compared to the fountain of Jesus' blood; the laver of regeneration, by the Holy Ghost; or the Covenant of salvation, given us by God our Father? What services in the temple worship like those venerable institutions of our Jesus; Baptism, and the Supper of the Lord? Here, blessed Redeemer, may my soul constantly seek thy face, and wait on thee continually, calling for thy gracious presence in those sweet words of thy church: Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits. Song of Solomon 4:16 .

Verse 51


MAY we not gather instruction from the view of Solomon's house, and the house of the forest of Lebanon, and from the riches with which he adorned the temple! Surely the house and the forest, may serve to teach us how Jesus and his people dwell together. Here Jesus certainly visits them. Here he secures and defends them! And as the windows are both ornamental and useful; is it not through these that that holy, that fair one, looketh forth at the windows, and showeth himself through the lattice? And as Jesus looketh in upon our house through the windows of ordinances, and through the lattices of his kind means of grace; do we not look in also, through the same, to him? Reader! do you not know what that means, when the soul is going out after him in desires, when in reading his precious word, singing his praises, attending at the service of ordinances, we send forth the soft, but earnest breathing of the soul, that we love him, long to see him, be with him, and like children at the windows of a prince, look in to catch if it be but a glimpse of the king in his beauty! Oh! dearest Lord! what a gracious Sovereign art thou! Thy wonderful condescension, is not barely manifested in sending out thy servants at supper time to call us, from the mere looking in at the windows, to come in and to sit down with thee; but thou comest even to the door of our hearts, and there invitest thyself in, to sup with us, and we with thee. Come then, Lord Jesus, refresh my soul continually with thyself; thy love is better than wine.

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Bibliographical Information
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on 1 Kings 7". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". 1828.