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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
1 Kings 6

 

 

Verses 1-38

1 Kings 6:1-37. Description of Solomon's Temple.—The Temple area is on the eastern hill of Jerusalem, which overlooks the valley of the Kidron, with the Mount of Olives on the opposite side. It was probably not the Zion captured by David (2 Samuel 5), but the site was purchased by him from Ornan, or Araunah, the Jebusite (2 Samuel 24:18-25). It is marked by an outcrop of rock, now called the Sakrah. The Temple hill is divided from the Upper City on the western hill by a valley called the Tyropœan (cheese-makers). The Temple was part of a great scheme of building which has been restored by Stade, whose reconstruction is now generally adopted in descriptions of early Jerusalem. To understand aright the difficult account of Solomon's buildings in these chapters, Ezekiel's restored Temple (Ezekiel 40-48) and Josephus' sketch of Herod's Temple (Wars, 1 Kings 6:5), should be consulted.

The foundations of the Temple were laid in the four hundred and eightieth year after the Exodus, and in the fourth year of Solomon (1). This is the earliest date given in the Bible. But the reading is doubtful. (a) The arrangement of chs. 5 and 6 is very different in the LXX. (b) Origen did not know the date. (c) Josephus says that the Temple was built 592 years after the Exodus, Exodus 10:20 after Abraham left Mesopotamia, 1440 after the Flood, and Exodus 31:02 after the Creation (Ant. viii. 31). The number 480 can be best explained by the Hebrew reckoning of a generation to be 40 years. By this reckoning, approximate at best, a similar period might be said to intervene between Solomon and the Captivity (430 years to the time of the last king, Zedekiah, and 50 years for the Captivity, the 70 being reckoned from the fall of Jehoiachin).

The Temple was sixty cubits long and twenty broad. It was approached by a porch, and around it were rooms or side chambers in three stories. The dimensions are twice those of the Tabernacle (Exodus 26:7-13). Small as they were even then, it must be borne in mind that an ancient temple was intended not as a place in which a congregation might assemble, but as a shrine or abode of the Deity. The Greeks drew a distinction between the whole building and grounds of a temple (hieron) and the sanctuary (naos). The "house described in this chapter is the latter, though it consisted (1 Kings 6:16 f.) of two parts, the hekal or temple, and the debir, translated "oracle," which was the naos, strictly speaking. The former corresponded to the "holy place' in the Tabernacle, the latter to the "holy of holies' (1 Kings 6:16, a P addition). The "oracle" was a perfect cube, being twenty cubits in length, breadth, and height respectively (1 Kings 6:20), the "holy place" being a double cube forty cubits in length. The table for the shewbread was of cedar (1 Kings 7:48). The huge winged cherubim were placed in the inner sanctuary. The Temple was seven years building, and was finished in the eighth month, Bul (Oct.-Nov.).

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/1-kings-6.html. 1919.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, November 12th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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