Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 Kings 5:17

Then the king commanded, and they quarried great stones, costly stones, to lay the foundation of the house with cut stones.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - House;   Stones;   Temple;   Thompson Chain Reference - Solomon;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Foundation;   Mountains;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Hiram or Huram;   Tyre or Tyrus;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - King;   Solomon;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Temple;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Mason;   Phenicia;   Temple, Solomon's;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Cornerstone;   Solomon;   Solomon's Servants;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Foundation;   King, Kingship;   Lebanon;   Wages;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Alliance;   Arts and Crafts;   House;   Israel;   Solomon;   Stone;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Hiram ;   Jerusalem ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Solomon;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Law of Moses;   Phoeni'ce, Phoenic'ia;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Hebrew Monarchy, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Alliance;   Tax;   Temple;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Alliances;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Corner-Stone;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Great stones - Stones of very large dimensions.

Costly stones - Stones that cost much labor and time to cut them out of the rock.

Hewed stones - Everywhere squared and polished.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 1 Kings 5:17". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/1-kings-5.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Some of these “great, hewed (no and) stones,” are probably still to be seen in the place where they were set by Solomon‘s builders, at the southwestern angle of the wall of the Haram area in the modern Jerusalem. The largest found so far is 38 ft. 9 in. long, and weighs about 100 tons.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 Kings 5:17". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-kings-5.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

1 Kings 5:17

The foundation of the house.

Foundation work

“The king commanded”: that is the beginning of all Holy zeal waits for the king’s orders. But as soon as the command was given there was neither pause nor hesitation; “the king commanded, and they brought.” Solomon began to build the temple at the foundation. Begin with the foundation. The foundation, in his case, had to be carried to a great height, because the area upon which the temple stood was on high above the valley. Very much of foundation work is out of sight, and the temptation is to pay but small attention to its finish. It was not so with Solomon. I want to urge that all our work for God should be done thoroughly, and especially that part of it which lies lowest, and is least observed of men.

I. This is God’s method.

1. Observe the work of creation. God took care that even in the material universe there should be a grand foundation for His noble edifice.

2. The same is true of God’s work called Providence. No event happens but He has planned it, and ordained that a multitude of other events should precede or follow it. The doings of Providence are threaded together, like pearls upon a string; there is a relation of this to that, and of that to another. Events dovetail the one into the other. Every fact is fitted and adapted to take its place in the design of the Great Architect.

3. But we come into clearer light when we look at the Lord’s greatest work of redemption. You and I are not saved haphazard. It is not as though God had saved us on the spur of the moment, as an after-thought which was not in His first intent. No; redemption plays an essential part in the purposes of the Lord.

II. This must be our method. We must build after this fashion, and make sure of our foundations.

1. Let it be so in the building up of our own life.

2. So it must be, next, in the building up of a church. Is that a church of God which is not founded on everlasting truth? There are numbers of hasty builders with wood, hay, and stubble; but these neither attend to foundation nor to material laid thereon.

3. In the building up of character in others we must mind that we do the foundation work well. Sunday-school teachers are those who do the foundation work; for they begin first with young hearts, while they are tender and susceptible. It is a most important thing that we have our children and young people well instructed in Divine truth and soundly converted.

III. It is a wise method.

1. Because it is suitable for God. You build your temple for God, and not for men: you should, therefore, make that part of the building good which will be seen by him; and as he sees it all, it must be all of the best.

2. Next, look well to the foundation that is out of sight, for your own sake. No builder can afford to be negligent over the unseen part of a building; for it would involve a serious injury to his character. The very act of scamping is mean and degrading, and lowers a man’s tone.

3. Further, lay the foundation well, and look to that part which is out of sight, because in this way you will secure the superstructure. There was a bit of a flaw in the foundation, but nobody saw it; for the builder covered it up very quickly, and ran up the whole concern as quickly as possible. The walls were built, and built well. It seemed clear that the fault down below was of no consequence whatever; and as it had a little cheapened the underground construction, was it not so much the better? How long was this the case? Well, the next year nothing happened: a longer time passed away, and then an ugly crack came down the wall. Had there been an earthquake? No, there was no earthquake. Perhaps a cyclone had beaten upon the work? No, there was no cyclone: the weather was the same as usual. What was the cause of that gaping space which marred the beauty of the building, and threatened to bring it down? It was that blunder long age: that underground neglect produced the terrible mischief above, which would involve a great expense, and perhaps render it needful to take all the building down. That which was out of sight did not always remain out of mind; it only needed time to produce a dangerous settlement.

4. Besides, to lay a good foundation, on Solomon’s hart was the way to save himself from future fears. Buildings which have to hold a crowd endure seasons of test and trial. Years ago, I was preaching in a building which was exceedingly crowded, and, to my apprehension, there was a continuous tremor. I grew so anxious that I said to a friend, who understood such matters, “ Go downstairs and see whether this building is really safe; for it seems hardly able to bear the weight of this crowd.” When he returned he looked anxious, but gave me no answer. The service ended quietly, and then he said, “I am so glad that everything has gone off safely. I do not think you should ever preach there again; for it is a very frail affair; but I thought that if I frightened you there would be more risk in a panic than in letting the service go on.” Solomon had built with “great stones, costly stones, and hewed stones”; and therefore, when the vast multitudes came together around the temple, it never occurred to him to fear that the great weight of people might cause a subsidence of the foundation.

5. Do look well to the foundation, and to the secret part of your dealings with God, because there is a fire coming which will try all things. “Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.” (C. H. Spurgeon.)

Faith’s foundation secure

There is no kind of construction known to the modern engineer or builder which requires at all times so perfect and absolutely secure a foundation as a bridge. So, precisely, there is no faculty of the soul known to man’s keenest spiritual sense which requires so perfect and absolutely secure a foundation as faith, and since faith is the bridge between man and God over the otherwise impassible chasm of doubt and destruction, the Great Constructor, the Engineer of the Universe, has seen to it that its foundations shall rest upon nothing less secure than His own Almighty Word.

The comfort of a sure foundation

As you gaze with admiration at the wonderful tower of the cathedral of Antwerp, it looks as if it were made of lace suspended by some invisible chain from the heavens; but you know when you come to examine it, that all the exquisite lacery and tracery is built upon a most solid foundation. So the experience of the saint, which seems to pierce the very heavens, and is lit up with the light of God, rests on a firm basis. That is assurance of a personal interest in the salvation, procured by the atoning love and sacrifice of Jesus. (R. Venting.)

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "1 Kings 5:17". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/1-kings-5.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And the king commanded, and they brought great stones,.... Not in quality, but in quantity, large stones, fit to lay in the foundation; strong, and durable against all the injuries of time, as Josephus saysF9Antiqu. l. 8. c. 3. sect. 2. :

costly stones; not what are commonly called precious stones, as gems, pearls, &c. but stones of value, as marble, porphyry, &c.

and hewed stones; not rough as they were taken out of the quarry, but hewed, and made smooth:

to lay the foundation of the house; which, though out of sight, was to be laid with goodly stones for the magnificence of the building; so the church of Christ, its foundation is said to be laid even with sapphires and other precious stones, see Isaiah 54:11.

Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 5:17". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-kings-5.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

brought great stones — The stone of Lebanon is “hard, calcareous, whitish and sonorous, like free stone” [Shaw]. The same white and beautiful stone can be obtained in every part of Syria and Palestine.

hewed stones — or neatly polished, as the Hebrew word signifies (Exodus 20:25). Both Jewish and Tyrian builders were employed in hewing these great stones.

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Kings 5:17". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/1-kings-5.html. 1871-8.

Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary

And the king had large, costly stones broken, “to lay the foundation of the house with hewn stones.” יקרות does not mean heavy (Thenius), for this would be a perfectly superfluous remark, inasmuch as large stones are always heavy, but costly, valuable stones, qui multa pecunia constabant (Cler.); compare 1 Kings 10:2, where the word stands for precious stones. ליסּד, i.e., to lay the foundation for the temple, by which we are to understand not merely the foundation for the temple-house, but the magnificent substructions for the whole of the temple area, even though the strong walls which surrounded the temple mountain, and which Josephus describes in his Antiquities, viii. 3, 9, and xv. 11, 3, and in his de Bell. Jud . v. 5, 1, may not have been all completed by Solomon, but may have been a work of centuries. For further remarks on this subject, see at 1 Kings 6:38. גזית אבני are squared stones, according to 1 Kings 7:10, of ten and eight cubits.

Copyright Statement
The Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary is a derivative of a public domain electronic edition.
Bibliographical Information
Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on 1 Kings 5:17". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/1-kings-5.html. 1854-1889.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And the king commanded, and they brought great stones, costly stones, and hewed stones, to lay the foundation of the house.

Great and costly — Marble and porphyry, or other stones of great size and value.

The foundation — Where they could not afterward be seen: and therefore that this was done, is mentioned only as a point of magnificence, except it was intended for a type, or mystical signification of the preciousness of Christ, who is the foundation of the true temple, the church of God.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 5:17". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/1-kings-5.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

1 Kings 5:17 And the king commanded, and they brought great stones, costly stones, [and] hewed stones, to lay the foundation of the house.

Ver. 17. Great stones, costly stones, and hewed stones,] i.e., Marble of all sorts, as porphyry, parian, ophites, sphengites, &c.

To lay the foundation of the house.] Even those stones that were laid in the base of the building were not rugged and rude, but hewn and costly. God is not all for the eye: he pleaseth himself with the hidden value of the living stones of his spiritual temple.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 5:17". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/1-kings-5.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Costly stones; marble and porphyry, or other stones of great size and value.

To lay the foundation of the house; where they could not afterward be seen; and therefore that this was done, is mentioned only as a point of magnificence, except it was intended for a type or mystical signification of the preciousness of Christ, who is the foundation of the true temple, the church of God, as he is called, Isaiah 28:16 1 Corinthians 3:11.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 Kings 5:17". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/1-kings-5.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

17.And they brought ויסעו, they quarried out, great stones. The reference is to the digging of the stones from the quarry, not to their transportation.

Great stones, costly stones, hewed stones — Literally, They quarried out great stones, costly stones, to lay the foundation of the house of hewn stones. That is, the great costly stones were dug out for the purpose of being hewn or squared, that the foundation might be laid with stones thus squared, and not with rough stones. Josephus says: “The king laid the foundation of the temple very deep in the ground, and the materials were strong stones, and such as would resist the force of time. These were to unite themselves with the earth, and become a basis and sure foundation to sustain with ease those vast superstructures and precious ornaments whose own weight was to be not less than the weight of those other high and heavy buildings which the king designed to be very ornamental and magnificent.” Great stones are found in the walls of modern Jerusalem which measure from seventeen to over thirty feet in length, and vary in thickness from four to six and a half feet. They are doubtless some remains of the ancient temple. Dr. Robinson, who measured many of them, remarks that it is not only their great size, but also “the manner in which they are hewn, that gives them a peculiar character. In common parlance they are said to be bevelled; which means that after the whole face has first been hewn and squared, a narrow strip along the edge is cut down a quarter or half an inch lower than the rest of the surface. The face of the wall of such stones has the appearance of many panels.”

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Kings 5:17". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/1-kings-5.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

1 Kings 5:17. Costly stones — Marble and porphyry, or other stones of great size and value. To lay the foundation of the house — Where they could not afterward be seen; and therefore that this was done, is mentioned only as a point of magnificence, except it was intended for a type or mystical signification of the preciousness of Christ, who is the foundation of the true temple, and the church of God. “It should seem,” says Henry, “that Solomon was himself present at the founding of the temple, and that the first stone, as has been usual in famous buildings, was laid with great solemnity. Solomon commanded, and they brought costly stones — For a foundation; though, being out of sight, worse might have served. Christ, who is laid for a foundation, is an elect and precious stone, (Isaiah 28.,) and the foundations of the church are said to be laid with sapphires, Isaiah 54:11. and Revelation 21:19. Sincerity obligeth us to lay our foundation firm, and to bestow most pains on that part of our religion which lies out of the sight, of men.”

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 1 Kings 5:17". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/1-kings-5.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Fountain, which did not appear. (Calmet) --- What sort would, therefore, be chosen for the most conspicuous parts of the temple? (Haydock)

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 1 Kings 5:17". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/1-kings-5.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

brought = quarried.

great stones. These stones illustrate the work of conversion in the sinner. Hewed out of nature"s dark quarry (Isaiah 51:1, Isaiah 51:2), out and carved for a place in the temple of glory (Ephesians 2:20-22).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 1 Kings 5:17". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/1-kings-5.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And the king commanded, and they brought great stones, costly stones, and hewed stones, to lay the foundation of the house.

Brought great stones. The stone of Lebanon is 'hard, calcareous, whitish, and sonorous, like freestone' (Shaw). The same white and beautiful stone is to be gotten in every part of Syria and Palestine.

Hewed stones - or neatly polished, as the Hebrew word signifies (Exodus 20:25). Both Jewish and Tyrian builders were employed in hewing these great stones.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Kings 5:17". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/1-kings-5.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(17) Great stones.—The stones, so emphatically described as “great stones, costly stones, and hewed stones,” were necessary, not so much for “the foundation” of the Temple itself, which was small, but for the substructure of the area, formed into a square on the irregular summit of Mount Moriah. In this substructure vast stones are still to be seen, and are referred by many authorities to the age of Solomon. The labour of transport must have been enormous, especially as all were worked beforehand. (See 1 Kings 6:7.)

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 5:17". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/1-kings-5.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And the king commanded, and they brought great stones, costly stones, and hewed stones, to lay the foundation of the house.
costly stones
6:7; 7:9; 1 Chronicles 22:2; Isaiah 28:16; 1 Corinthians 3:11,12; 1 Peter 2:6,7; Revelation 21:14-21
Reciprocal: 2 Kings 12:12 - masons;  Proverbs 24:27 - GeneralIsaiah 54:11 - I will lay

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 Kings 5:17". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-kings-5.html.