Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 Kings 6:1

Now it came about in the four hundred and eightieth year after the sons of Israel came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the Lord .
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Month;   Temple;   Time;   Zif;   Scofield Reference Index - Temple;   Thompson Chain Reference - Months;   Solomon;   Solomon's Temple;   Temple;   Worship;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Months;   Temple, the First;   Time;   Types of Christ;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Judges;   Year;   Zif;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Temple;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Chronology;   Exodus;   Zif;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Chronology;   Egypt;   Kings, the Books of;   Month;   Pentateuch;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Architecture in the Biblical Period;   Chronology of the Biblical Period;   Exodus;   Number Systems and Number Symbolism;   Ziv;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Chronology of the Old Testament;   Genealogy;   Israel;   Jerusalem;   Palm Tree;   Solomon;   Temple;   Time;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Chronology;   Judges, Book of;   Months;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Month;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Exodus, the,;   Judges, Book of,;   Month;   Sol'omon;   Zif;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Months;   Year;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Hebrew Calendar;   Hebrew Monarchy, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Antediluvian Patriarchs;   Chronology of the Old Testament;   Era;   Exodus, the;   Israel, History of the People;   Judges, Book of:;   Judges, Period of;   Kings, Books of;   Reign;   Temple;   Time;   Ziv;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Chronology;   Era;   Exodus;   Judges, Book of;   New-Year;   Numbers and Numerals;   Saadia B. Joseph (Sa'id Al-Fayyumi);   Solomon;   Talmud;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

In the four hundred and eightieth year - The Septuagint has the four hundred and fortieth year. It need scarcely be noticed, that among chronologists there is a great difference of opinion concerning this epocha. Glycas has 330 years; Melchior Canus, 590 years; Josephus, 592 years; Sulpicius Severus, 588; Clemens Alexandrinus, 570; Cedrenus, 672; Codomanus, 598; Vossius and Capellus, 580; Serarius, 680; Nicholas Abraham, 527; Maestlinus, 592; Petavius and Valtherus, 520. Here are more than a dozen different opinions; and after all, that in the common Hebrew text is as likely to be the true one as any of the others.

The month Zif - This answers to a part of our April and May; and was the second month of the sacred year, but the eighth month of the civil year. Before the time of Solomon, the Jews do not appear to have had any names for their months, but mentioned them in the order of their consecutive occurrence, first month, second month, third month, etc. In this chapter we find Zif and Bul; and in 1 Kings 8:2, we find another, Ethanim; and these are supposed to be borrowed from the Chaldeans; and consequently this book was written after the Babylonish captivity. Before this time we find only the word Abib mentioned as the name of a month, Exodus 13:4. Whether there were any others at that time, or whether Abib was really intended as the name of a month, we cannot absolutely say. The present names of the Hebrew months are: - Tisri, answering to a part of September and October, Marchesvan, Cisleu, Tebeth, Shebat, Adar, Nisan, Ijar, Sivan, Tamuz, Ab, and Elul.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:1". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/1-kings-6.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

In the four hundred and eightieth year - It is upon this statement that all the earlier portion of what is called the “received chronology” depends. Amid Minor differences there is a general agreement, which justifies us in placing the accession of Solomon about 1000 B.C. (1018 B.C. Oppert.) But great difficulties meet us in determining the sacred chronology anterior to this. Apart from the present statement, the chronological data of the Old Testament are insufficient to fix the interval between Solomon‘s accession and the Exodus, since several of the periods which make it up are unestimated. Hence, chronologists have based entirely the “received chronology” upon this verse. But the text itself is not free from suspicion.

(1) it is the sole passage in the Old Testament which contains the idea of dating events from an era.

(2) it is quoted by Origen without the date, and seems to have been known only in this shape to Josephus, to Theophilus of Antioch, and to Clement of Alexandria.

(3) it is hard to reconcile with other chronological statements in the Old and New Testament.

Though the books of Joshua, Judges, and Samuel furnish us with no exact chronology, they still supply important chronological data - data which seem to indicate for the interval between the Exodus and Solomon, a period considerably exceeding 480 years. For the years actually set down amount to at least 580, or, according to another computation, to 600; and though a certain deduction might be made from this sum on account of the round numbers, this deduction would scarcely do more than balance the addition required on account of the four unestimated periods. Again, in the New Testament, Paul (according to the received text) reckons the period from the division of Canaan among the tribes in the sixth year of Joshua Joshua 14:1-15, to Samuel the prophet, at 450 years, which would make the interval between the Exodus and the commencement of the temple to be 579 years. On the whole, it seems, therefore, probable that the words “in the four hundred and eightieth year, etc.,” are an interpolation into the sacred text, which did not prevail generally before the third century of our era.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:1". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-kings-6.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

THE BUILDING OF THE TEMPLE IN SEVEN YEARS

"And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month Ziv, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of Jehovah."

This is by far the most important verse in this whole chapter, the remainder of it being devoted to the dimensions and other details of the Temple, which should be of little or no interest at all for Christians. The interest that focuses on this first verse, however, is acute and sustained because of its bearing upon the date of the Exodus. The Encyclopaedia Britannica gives the date of Solomon's enthronement as 974 B. C.;[1] and thus the fourth year of his reign would have been in the year 970 B.C. Adding 480 years prior to that would therefore place the Exodus in the year 1450 B.C., a date which corresponds almost exactly with the date of 1446 B.C. (which this writer confidently assigned to the Exodus in his commentary on the Pentateuch, Vol. 2, p. :

The date of the Exodus arbitrarily assigned by many critics (1250-1225 B.C.) is some two centuries later than the true date; and it is impossible to substantiate it. Their theories are effectively contradicted by this verse. Of course, when critics find themselves contradicted by the sacred text, their knee-jerk response is to scream INTERPOLATION! However, there is no evidence whatever that 1 Kings 6:1 is an interpolation. This writer will never consent to allow evil critics whose purpose is almost totally destructive to re-write the Word of God to suit their false allegations!

Yes, it is true that in the O.T. there are found certain numbers concerning which questions may be raised as to their dependability. For example, due to the Hebrew system of writing numbers, four may be confused with forty, or two may be confused with twenty; but no such questions are raised with reference to this verse.

John T. Gates writing in Wycliffe Old Testament Commentary noted that, "The earlier date of the Exodus (1440) is in substantial agreement with Genesis 15:13; Exodus 12:40,41; and Judges 11:26, where Jephthah indicates that Israel had been in Canaan 300 years."[2] Also, fully in harmony with those Scriptures is the apostle Paul's designation of a period of 450 years between the Conquest and the monarchy (Acts 13:20). Although it is a fact that the exact period of time in these Scriptures is not always clearly distinguished, this verse in 1 Kings 6:1 is definitely applied to the exact period between the crossing of the Red Sea and the fourth year of the reign of Solomon.

Dr. Elton Stubblefield, M.D., a noted research scientist with the M.D. Anderson Foundation for many years, and one of the most brilliant Bible scholars this writer has ever consulted, commented on the accuracy of this verse. "It has definite beginning and end points; and, considering its importance, linking the Exodus with the Temple, every scribe who ever copied this statement must surely have taken the greatest care to get it right. Anyone who would claim that 1 Kings 6:1 is a mistake has no confidence in the inspiration of Scripture."[3]

Dr. Stubblefield is also a remarkably well-informed scholar in the field of Egyptology; and he has pointed out overwhelmingly convincing evidence from Egyptian history which fully corroborates the 1446 B.C. (approximately) date of the Exodus. For the first time, it is now evident that the Pharaoh who was drowned in the Red Sea was Amenhotep II of the 18th Dynasty; and the Pharaoh who succeeded him was Tuthmosis IV, who was not the first-born son (who had perished on the night of the Passover), The claim of Tuthmosis IV to the throne of his father was founded, not on the premise of his being the first-born (which he was not) but upon a dream which he claimed to have had while resting between the paws of the Sphinx! Yes, Margaret Bunson gives the date of Amenhotep II's death and the accession of Tuthmosis IV as 1401 B.C.;[4] but that discrepancy is so slight as to be of no significance. All scholars admit that all Egyptian dates should be viewed as plus or minus 50 years.

Further proof of the early Exodus in 1446 B.C. is found in the Tel el-Amarna letters, in which there is a letter written from Palestine to Amenhotep III, complaining that the Hebrews were taking over the land; and that is calculated to have been in the year 1391 B.C., the date when Amenhotep III succeeded Tuthmosis IV as Pharaoh![5] If the critics are correct in dating the Exodus two hundred years after it actually happened, how were the Hebrews in Palestine in 1391 B.C.?

This is by no means all of the rapidly expanding evidence of the accuracy of the early date for the Exodus, but we consider this far more than enough to establish it as certain.

We shall now include the rest of this chapter with its details of that marvelous Temple.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:1". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/1-kings-6.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt,.... The Tyrian writersF11Apud Theophil. ad Autolyc. l. 3. p. 131. make it five hundred sixty years from hence; but this no doubt is tightest, which Junius reckons thus; forty years Israel were in the wilderness, seventeen under Joshua, two hundred ninety nine under the judges, eighty under Eli, Samuel, and Saul, forty under David, add to which the four years of Solomon, and they make four hundred eightyF12So Gerard. Voss. Chron. Sacr. Isagoge, dissert. 8. c. 7. p. 128. ; they are somewhat differently reckoned by othersF13Vid. Vitring. Hypotypos. Hist. Sacr. p. 43. from the coming out of Egypt to Joshua forty years, from thence to the first servitude under Cushan twenty five, from thence to the death of Abimelech two hundred fifty six, under Thola twenty three, from thence to the Ammonitish servitude four, under that eighteen, under the judges, Jephthah, Ibzan, Elon, and Abdon, thirty one, Samuel and Saul forty, David forty, and Solomon three, in all four hundred eighty;

in the, fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel; when he was clear of all disturbers of his government, and had got all things ready for the building of the temple, and had gathered together gold and silver enough of his own to defray the expenses; for, as for what David gave him, he put that into the treasury of the Lord's house, see 1 Kings 7:51;

in the month Zif, which is the second month; and so must be Jiar, for Abib or Nisan was the first, and Jiar was the second, which answered to part of our April and part of May; called Zif either from the splendour of the sun, being now higher, and so the greater; or from the trees and flowers of the field being in all their glory; and so the Targum here calls it, the month of splendour of flowers: and it was on the second day of it,

that he began to build the house of the Lord: and a very fit and proper season of the year it was to begin it in, see 2 Chronicles 3:2.

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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.
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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:1". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-kings-6.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month a Zif, which [is] the second month, that he began to build the b house of the LORD.

(a) Which contains part of April and part of May.

(b) By which is meant the temple and the oracle.

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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:1". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/1-kings-6.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

1 Kings 6:1-4. The building of Solomon‘s Temple.

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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/1-kings-6.html. 1871-8.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

CONTENTS

This chapter furnisheth a number of interesting particulars concerning the building of Solomon's temple. The time it took in building until it was finished. In the earlier part of this service the words of the Lord came unto Solomon with promises concerning it.

1 Kings 6:1

(1) ¶ And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD.

The Holy Ghost hath been pleased to have it recorded as to the exact time when this wonderful work of Solomon's temple was begun; even 480 years after the children of Israel came out of Egypt. And Solomon's reign was suffered to run on to the fourth year before he found time to set about it. Reader! it is really astonishing how rapid the wheels of time, and with them the wheels of human life, run on. How sweetly doth Jesus enforce the necessity of diligence in our spiritual concerns. I must work (saith Jesus) the works of him that sent we while it is day, the night cometh, when no man can work. John 9:4.

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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:1". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/1-kings-6.html. 1828.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD.

Four hundred and four score, … — Allowing forty years to Moses, seventeen to Joshua, two hundred ninety-nine to the Judges, forty to Eli, forty to Samuel and Saul, forty to David, and four to Solomon before he began the work, we have just the sum of four hundred and eighty. So long it was before that holy house was built, which in less than four hundred and thirty years was burnt by Nebuchadnezzar. It was thus deferred, because Israel had by their sins, made themselves unworthy of this honour: and because God would shew how little he values external pomp and splendor in his service. And God ordered it now, chiefly to be a shadow of good things to come.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:1". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/1-kings-6.html. 1765.

Scofield's Reference Notes

the house of the Lord

The typology of the temple, if indeed it has any typical significance, is most obscure and difficult. The N.T. invariably expounds the typology of the tabernacle, not of the temple. The symbolism of the latter may be revealed in the kingdom-age (see "Kingdom" O.T., (See Scofield "Genesis 1:26") See Scofield "Zechariah 12:8" N.T.,; Luke 1:32; 1 Corinthians 15:28. In the N.T. the usual Gk. word for sanctuary (naos) is used

(1) of the temple in Jerusalem Matthew 23:16.

(2) of the believer's body 1 Corinthians 3:16; 1 Corinthians 3:17; 1 Corinthians 6:19

(3) of the local church 2 Corinthians 6:16 and

(4) of the true church Ephesians 2:21 But in all these instances the thought is simply of a habitation of God. No reference to the structure of the temple, as in the case of the tabernacle Hebrews 9:1 to Hebrews 10:39.

Zif

Second month, i.e. May.

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Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on 1 Kings 6:1". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/1-kings-6.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

1 Kings 6:1 And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which [is] the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD.

Ver. 1. And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year, &c.] Not in the four hundred and ninetieth year, as Beda reckoneth, much less four hundred and ninety-second, as Josephus, or five hundred and eighty-eighth, as Sulpitius.

Were come out of the land of Egypt.] And so began to be a commonwealth, which since the last destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, they could never be again, but remain a dejected and despised people.

In the fourth year of Solomon’s reign.] For so long he was settling the kingdom, and making preparation for the work. His father had left vast sums of gold and silver, even a hundred thousand talents of gold, which is, say interpreters, one thousand and two hundred millions of our money, and a thousand thousand talents of silver, which amount to as much - viz., to a thousand and two hundred millions of gold, besides abundance of brass, wood, stones, and other materials. [1 Chronicles 22:14] Yet all this served not in any comparison for the perfecting of this most stately and costly structure, the world’s wonderment, the house of the most high God, [1 Chronicles 2:5] and a type of the Church triumphant in heaven, as the tabernacle had been of the Church militant upon earth.

In the month Zif.] Which was the April moon, the second month of the sacred year. [Exodus 12:2] It signifieth brightness; because the creatures begin then to be in their flourish. The Chaldee calleth it mensem aparitionis florum, the month of the displaying of flowers.

Which is the second month] For Abib, signifying the spring, was the first. [Exodus 12:2; Exodus 13:4] On the second day of this second month he began to build. [2 Chronicles 3:2] Not on the sixth, as Calvisius saith, or on the eighth, as Capellus, or on the ninth and twentieth, as Scaliger.

He began to build.] Heb., He built: but this house was not built in a day. Sed fieri dicitur quod tentatur aut intenditur. Good beginnings are well interpreted in heaven, so they be well prosecuted. The place of this house is noted to be Mount Moriah. [2 Chronicles 3:1] Plato (a) and Aristotle (b) observe that temples are most fitly built on mountains; ut eminus sint conspicua, that they may be seen afar off.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:1". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/1-kings-6.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

1 Kings 6:1. In the fourth year of Solomon's reign If it be asked, why Solomon did not begin the building of the temple sooner, and even in the first year of his reign, since his father had left him a plan, and all things necessary for the undertaking, Abarbanel's answer is, that Solomon would not make use of what his father had prepared, but was resolved to build this temple all at his own cost and charge. He therefore put into the treasure of the Lord's house, all that David had dedicated to the work; and to collect as much gold and silver as was necessary to defray so vast an expence, four years can be accounted no unreasonable time. Nay, even supposing that he made use of the treasure which his father had amassed, yet if the materials provided by his father lay at a considerable distance, and were left rude and unfashioned, it would cost all this time to form them into the exact symmetry wherein the Scripture represents them, before they were brought together; especially considering that the very stones which made the foundation were probably vast blocks of marble or porphyry, (chap. 1 Kings 5:17.) and all polished in an exquisite manner. See Patrick and Poole.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:1". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/1-kings-6.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

1 KINGS CHAPTER 6

The building of the temple, and the time thereof; the form and largeness, windows, chambers, and materials, 1 Kings 6:1-10. God’s promise unto it, 1 Kings 6:11-13. The ceiling and adorning it, 1 Kings 6:14,15. The oracle, 1 Kings 6:16-22. The cherubims, and divers ornaments, 1 Kings 6:23-30. The doors, 1 Kings 6:31-35. The inner court, 1 Kings 6:36. The time in building, 1 Kings 1:37,38.

This chronological difficulty is too vast and comprehensive to be fully discussed here, or to be determined by unlearned readers; and for the learned, I refer them to what is largely digested in my Latin Synopsis upon this place. It may suffice at present to suggest these particulars:

1. That Israel’s coming out of Egypt is variously understood in Scripture, and with some latitude, so as not only to note the time when first they came out of Egypt, but the time of their being in or coming out of the wilderness; as is manifest from Deuteronomy 4:45, where the words in the Hebrew are not after, &c., as we translate it, but in their coming forth out of Egypt; and Psalms 94:1-3, When Israel came forth &c., Heb. their coming forth &c. And it is not impossible it may be so understood here, after they were come out&c., to wit, completely, i.e. towards the end of their expedition out of Egypt into Canaan. Nor doth the difference between the Hebrew prepositions lamed and beth, which a learned man objects, hinder this sense; for as beth signifies (as he saith) after, so also doth lamed, Genesis 7:4,10 Num 33:38.

2. That whereas the times of the judges do chiefly cause this difficulty, there are many things which will relieve us therein; as,

1. That divers of the years there mentioned belong to one and the same time, as is evident from Jair’s twenty-two years, within which fell out, as divers learned chronologers agree, the eighteen years of the oppression of the Ammonites, and several years of the Philistine tyranny, who oppressed Israel in the west, whilst the Ammonites vexed them in the east; and the like might be observed in other cases.

2. That the years of rest are not necessarily to be understood of so many distinct years, besides those of war and servitude; and those words which are generally rendered the land had rest forty or eighty years, or the like, may be thus rendered, and that very agreeable to the Hebrew, The land had rest, or began to rest, or recovered its rest, in the fortieth or in the eightieth (the cardinal numbers being frequently put for the ordinal, especially where the number exceeds ten) year, to be computed from some remarkable time; and so that phrase doth not note how long time, or till what time, the rest continued, but at what time it began. As for instance, in Jude 3:11, the land had rest, not forty years, as it is in our translation, but in the fortieth year, to wit, from and after their first rest in, or quiet possession of, the land of Canaan, which Joshua gave them; which time may very probably be made up of the days of Joshua, after he had settled them in a state of rest; and of the elders that outlived him, Jude 2:7, and the time of their corruption after the death of those elders; and the eight years of servitude under the king of Mesopotamia. So Jude 3:30, The land had rest in the eightieth year, to wit, from and after that rest which Othniel obtained for them, Jude 3:11. And Jude 5:31, It rested in the fortieth year, to wit, after that rest got by Ehud, Jude 3:30. And Jude 8:28, It rested in the fortieth year, to wit, from the last rest got by Deborah. And thus the computation of years is more plain and certain, being thus made from rest to rest, than theirs that proceed the other way. And this is the more considerable, because it was the opinion of that fatuously learned and pious bishop of Armagh. All which considered, it will be very easy to contain all the parts and passages of sacred story, from the coming out of Egypt to this time, within the compass of four hundred and eighty years; of the several parcels whereof, see my Latin Synopsis. And as for other scriptures, which some conceit to be contradictory to this, I shall by God’s help vindicate them in their several places.

In the fourth year of Solomon’s reign; his three first years being spent partly in settling the affairs of his kingdom, without which neither civil nor ecclesiastical concerns could have any consistency; and partly in making necessary preparations for the work. He began to build; for so it is expressed 2 Chronicles 3:1; and so it is explained here below, 1 Kings 6:37, The foundation of the house was laid; though in the Hebrew it be only be built. Thus active words are oft understood of the beginning of the action, as Genesis 5:32 11:26.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:1". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/1-kings-6.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

1.Four hundred and eightieth year — From this verse it clearly appears that both the year of the exodus from Egypt and the year of the foundation of the temple were memorable epochs in the history of the Hebrew race. See on Exodus 12:40-41. Accordingly, the statement of this verse has been a matter of great interest, and the subject of much dispute among chronologists. Most modern chronologers reject the number four hundred and eighty as an early interpolation. The Septuagint reads four hundred and forty, and Josephus five hundred and ninety-two. St. Paul’s words in Acts 13:18-21, seem clearly to show that the Jews of his time reckoned this period in a way which is inconsistent with the statement of this verse. But, with the exception of the Septuagint, the ancient versions and the Hebrew manuscripts are uniform in support of the present Hebrew text. In view of the involved and conflicting attitude of the many systems of chronology, the question is, perhaps, beyond the possibility of exact decision. Ewald suggests that the four hundred and eighty is a round number made up by assuming twelve generations of forty years each. (40x12=480.) He supposes that to every forty years a great hero and an important event were assigned, something like the following: 1.) Moses and the desert. 2.) Joshua and the elders. 3.) Chushan’s oppression and Othniel’s rule. 4.) The Moabites and Ehud. 5.) The Arameans and Jair. 6.) Jabin and Deborah. 7.) The Midianites and Gideon. 8.) Tola and his foes. 9.) Jephthah and Samson and their foes. 10.) The Philistines and Eli. 11.) Samuel and Saul. 12.) David.

The month Zif — Corresponding with our May, or more generally, extending from the new moon of April to that of May. The Hebrew Ziv means brightness, blossom, and so becomes appropriately the name of May — the flower month. According to Rawlinson, (Herodotus, vol. i, p. 506,) Zif is the same as the Assyrian Giv, which means bull, and answers to the zodiacal sign of Taurus. The names of the Jewish months, and the approximately corresponding months with us, are as follows:

1. Abib (Nisan) April.

2. Zif (Iyar) May.

3. Sivan June.

4. Tammuz July.

5. Ab August.

6. Elul September.

7. Ethanim (Tisri) October.

8. Bul (Marcheshvan) November.

9. Chisleu December.

10. Tebeth January.

11. Sebat February.

12. Adar March.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:1". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/1-kings-6.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

1 Kings 6:1. In the four hundred and eightieth year — Allowing forty years to Moses, seventeen to Joshua, two hundred and ninety-nine to the Judges, forty to Eli, forty to Samuel and Saul, forty to David, and four to Solomon before he began the work, we have just the sum of four hundred and eighty. So long it was before that holy house was built, which in less than four hundred and thirty years was burned by Nebuchadnezzar. It was thus deferred, because Israel had, by their sins, made themselves unworthy of this honour: and because God would show how little he values external pomp and splendour in his service. And God ordered it now, chiefly to be a shadow of good things to come. In the fourth year of Solomon’s reign — Solomon was occupied more than three years in making the necessary preparations; for although, his father had amassed much treasure, had left him a plan, and provided many things necessary for the undertaking, yet as these materials, it appears, lay at a considerable distance, and were left rude and unfashioned, it could not cost less time to form them into the exact symmetry in which the Scripture represents them to have been before they were used, and to bring them together to Jerusalem. In the month Zif The second of the ecclesiastical year. The word signifying splendour, beauty, comeliness, it was a very proper name for that month when the trees and the whole vegetable creation first break forth, and the beauty of the spring begins to appear. He began to build the house of the Lord — Either to lay the foundation of it, or to build on the foundation before mentioned.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:1". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/1-kings-6.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Eightieth year. This chronology meets with the approbation of most people. See Usher. (Chap. xii.) Some, however, find a difficulty in reconciling it with Acts xiii. 20., which seems to attribute 450 years to the government of the judges. (Calmet) --- Septuagint have 440; Josephus 592, though Ruffin neglects the 90 in his version; Petau 520; Severus 582; Clement of Alexandria 566; Vossius 380; Cano 590; Serarius 680. --- Houbigant would read 350 in the Acts. But Capellus would add 200 here, &c. (Haydock) --- Second of the sacred year, corresponding with our April. Syriac, Chaldean styles it "of the splendour of flowers." (Menochius) --- The Hurons, and other nations of America, call this "the moon of plants;" the Flemings, "the month for mowing," Grasmaand. Our Saxon ancestors gave descriptive names to the months. See Verstegan. (Haydock) --- At first, the Hebrews only described the months by their order; "first, second," &c. In Solomon's time we begin to find other names, taken from the Phenicians, (Scaliger) Chaldeans, (Grotius) or Egyptians. (Hardouin, the year 2993.) --- After the captivity, at least, Chaldean names were adopted; (Haydock) 1. Nisan; 2. Jar; 3. Sivan; 4. Tammus; 5. Ab; 6. Elul; 7. Tisri; 8. Marshevan; 9. Casleu; 10. Thebet; 11. Schebet; 12. Adar; (Calmet) 13. Veadar, the intercalary month, when requisite, according to the lunar system, which was not perhaps yet adopted. Each of these months generally corresponded with two of ours; Nisan with the end of March and the beginning of April, &c. Septuagint here take no notice of Zio, though they do, ver. 37. (Haydock) --- The temple was begun on Monday, May 21, in the year of the world 2992. (Usher) --- It was finished in the year of the world 3000, or in the following year, when it was solemnly dedicated. (Button.)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:1". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/1-kings-6.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

four hundred and eightieth year. Note max the number is Greekinal (not Cardinal) = the 480th year of some longer and larger period, viz. the 490 years from the Exodus to the Dedication of the Temple; the difference of ten years being made up of seven years in building (1 Kings 6:38) and three years in furnishing. Dedicated not in seventh year, for Completion took place in the eighth month of one year (1 Kings 6:38), and the Dedication in the seventh month of another (1 Kings 8:2). The chronological period was 40 years in wilderness + 450 years under judges + 40 years of Saul + 40 years of David + 3 years of Solomon (1 Kings 6:1) = 573 (from 1490-917). The mystical period of 480 years is obtained by deducting the period of 93 years, when Israel"s national position was in abeyance. Thus: 8 (Judges 3:8) + 18 (Judges 3:14) + 20 (Judges 4:3) + 7 (Judges 6:1) + 40 (Judges 13:1) = 93. (N. B. The eighteen years of Judges 10:7, Judges 10:9, was local and beyond Jordan. It did not affect the national position). Hence 573-93 = 480 (from 873-93).

children = sons.

the house of the LORD = the Temple. Similar in plan to the Tabernacle, but double the size. the LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah. App-4.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:1". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/1-kings-6.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD.

And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt. This statement involves a question of great chronological difficulty. As to the evidence for the authenticity of this opening clause, and the two systems of chronology, called the long and the short, that have been adopted for the events that preceded the great national undertaking of Solomon, the reader is referred to the Introduction, in which the subject is fully considered.

In the fourth year of Solomon ... in the month Zif, which is the second month ... he began to build the house of the Lord, [ yiben (Hebrew #1129)] - literally, he built; rather, he laid the foundations of the house of the Lord (cf. 2 Chronicles 3:1). "Zif" - May.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/1-kings-6.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(1) In the fourth year.—This date, given with marked precision, forms a most important epoch in the history of Israel, on which, indeed, much of the received chronology is based. In the LXX., 440 is read for 480, possibly by an interchange of two similar Hebrew letters, or, perhaps, by reckoning from the completion of Exodus at the death of Moses instead of its beginning. The Vulgate agrees with the Hebrew text. Josephus, on the other hand, without any hint of any other reckoning in the Scriptural record, gives 592 years. The date itself, involving some apparent chronological difficulties, has been supposed to be an interpolation; but without any sufficient ground, except Josephus’s seeming ignorance of its existence, and some early quotations of the passage by Origen and others without it; and in neglect of the important fact that, disagreeing prima fâcie with earlier chronological indications in Scripture, it is infinitely unlikely to have been thus interpolated by any mere scribe.

These indications are, however, vague. The period includes the conquest and rule of Joshua, the era of the Judges down to Samuel, the reigns of Saul and David, and the three years of Solomon’s reign already elapsed. Now, of these divisions, only the last three can be ascertained with any definiteness, at about 83 years. The time occupied by the conquest and rule of Joshua, cannot be gathered with any certainty from Scripture. The same is the case with the duration of some of the subsequent Judgeships. Even the numerous chronological notices given in the Book of Judges are inconclusive. We cannot tell whether they are literally accurate, or, as the recurrence of round numbers may seem to suggest, indefinite expressions for long periods; nor can we determine how far the various Judgeships were contemporaneous or successive. The tradition followed by St. Paul (Acts 13:19-21), assigning to the whole a period of 450 years, agrees generally with the latter idea. The genealogies given (as, for example, of David, in Ruth 4:18-22; 1 Chronicles 2:3-15, and elsewhere) agree with the former. Hence, these vague chronological statistics cannot constitute a sufficient ground for setting aside a date so formally and unhesitatingly given at an important epoch of the history, corresponding to the equally formal determination of the date of the Exodus in Exodus 12:40-41. The omission of the date in quotations, again, proves little. The different date given by Josephus, without any notice of that which we now have, presents the only real difficulty. But it is possible that he may have been inclined tacitly to harmonise his chronology with some other reckoning known in his time among the heathen; and in any case it is doubtful whether his authority can outweigh that of our present text and the ancient versions. On the whole, therefore, the grounds assigned for rejection of the chronological notice of this verse, are insufficient.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:1". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/1-kings-6.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD.
A. M. 2993. B.C. 1011. An. Ex. Is. 480. And it came
Judges 11:26; 2 Chronicles 3:1,2
in the month Zif
37; Numbers 1:1
began
Heb. built.
Acts 7:47
build
1 Chronicles 29:19; Zechariah 6:12,13,15; John 2:19-21; 1 Corinthians 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 2:20-22; Colossians 2:7; Hebrews 9:11; 11:10; 1 Peter 2:5
Reciprocal: Exodus 31:6 - that they;  1 Kings 3:1 - the house;  1 Kings 6:38 - seven years;  1 Kings 10:4 - the house;  1 Kings 11:4 - when Solomon;  1 Chronicles 6:10 - Solomon;  2 Chronicles 9:3 - the house;  Ezra 5:11 - which a great;  Hebrews 4:7 - after

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:1". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-kings-6.html.