Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 Kings 6:2

As for the house which King Solomon built for the Lord , its length was sixty cubits and its width twenty cubits and its height thirty cubits.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Thompson Chain Reference - Solomon;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Temple, the First;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Temple;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Cubit;   Temple;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Tabernacle;   Temple;   Weights and Measures;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Arch;   Architecture in the Biblical Period;   Temple of Jerusalem;   Weights and Measures;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - House;   Israel;   Jerusalem;   Palm Tree;   Solomon;   Temple;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Beam and Mote;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Hebrew Monarchy, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Breadth;   Temple;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

The length thereof was threescore cubits - A cubit, according to Bishop Cumberland, is 21 inches, and 888 decimals, or 1 foot, 9 inches, and 888 decimals. According to this

Yds. Ft. Inch. The length, 60 cubits, was 36 1 5.28 The breadth, 20 cubits, was 12 0 5.76 The height, 30 cubits, was 18 0 8.64 This constituted what was called the temple or house, the house of God, etc. But, besides this, there were courts and colonnades, where the people might assemble to perform their devotions and assist at the sacrifices, without being exposed to the open air. The court surrounded the temple, or holy place, into which the priests alone entered. Sometimes the whole of the building is called the temple; at other times that, the measurement of which is given above. But as no proper account can be given of such a building in notes; and as there is a great variety of opinion concerning the temple, its structure, ornaments, etc., as mentioned in the books of Kings and Chronicles, in Ezekiel, and by Josephus; and as modern writers, such as Vilalpandus, Dr. Lightfoot, and Dr. Prideaux, professing to be guided by the same principles, have produced very different buildings; I think it best to hazard nothing on the subject, but give that description at the end of the chapter which Calmet with great pains and industry has collected: at the same time, pledging myself to no particular form or appearance, as I find I cannot give any thing as the likeness of Solomon's temple which I could say, either in honor or conscience, bears any affinity to it. For other particulars I must refer the reader to the three large volumes of Vilalpandus, Dr. Lightfoot's Works, and to the Connections of Dr. Prideaux.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:2". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/1-kings-6.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The size of Solomon‘s temple depends upon the true length of the ancient cubit, which is doubtful. It has been estimated as somewhat less than a foot, and again as between 19 and 20 inches, a difference of nearly 8 inches, which would produce a variation of nearly 40 feet in the length of the temple-chamber, and of 46 in that of the entire building. It is worthy of remark that, even according to the highest estimate, Solomon‘s temple was really a small building, less than 120 feet long, and less than 35 broad. Remark that the measures of the temple, both “house” and porch 1 Kings 6:3, were exactly double those of the older tabernacle (Exodus 26:18 note). This identity of proportion amounts to an undesigned coincidence, indicating the thoroughly historical character of both Kings and Exodus.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:2". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-kings-6.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

VARIOUS DIMENSIONS OF THE TEMPLE COMPLEX

"And the house which king Solomon built for Jehovah, the length thereof was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof twenty cubits, and the height thereof thirty cubits. And the porch before the temple of the house, twenty cubits was the length thereof, according to the breadth of the house; and ten cubits was the breadth thereof before the house. And for the house he made windows of fixed lattice work. And against the wall of the house he built stories round about, against the walls of the house round about, both of the temple and of the oracle; and he made side-chambers round about. The nethermost story was five cubits broad, and the middle was six cubits broad, and the third was seven cubits broad; for on the outside he made offsets in the wall of the house round about, that the beams should not have hold of the walls in the house. And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready at the quarry; and there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building. The door for the middle side-chambers was in the right side of the house: and they went up by winding stairs into the middle story, and out of the middle story into the third. So he built the house and finished it; and he covered the house with beams and planks of cedar. And he built stories against all the house, each five cubits high: and they rested on the house with timber of cedar."

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
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Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:2". "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 the house which King Solomon built for the Lord,.... For his worship, honour, and glory:

the length thereof was threescore cubits; sixty cubits from east to west, including the holy place and the most holy place; the holy place was forty cubits, and the most holy place twenty; the same measure, as to length, Eupolemus, an Heathen writerF14Apud Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 9. c. 34. , gives of the temple, but is mistaken in the other measures:

and the breadth thereof twenty cubits; from north to south:

and the height thereof thirty cubits; this must be understood of the holy place, for the oracle or most holy place was but twenty cubits high, 1 Kings 6:20; though the holy place, with the chambers that were over it, which were ninety cubits, three stories high, was in all an hundred twenty cubits, 2 Chronicles 3:4; some restrain it to the porch only, which stood at the end, like one of our high steeples, as they think.

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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.
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 6:2". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-kings-6.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

the house which king Solomon built for the Lord — The dimensions are given in cubits, which are to be reckoned according to the early standard (2 Chronicles 3:3), or holy cubit (Ezekiel 40:5; Ezekiel 43:13), a handbreadth longer than the common or later one. It is probable that the internal elevation only is here stated.

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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 6:2". "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

(2) And the house which king Solomon built for the LORD, the length thereof was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof twenty cubits, and the height thereof thirty cubits.

It appears that the pattern was given to David before his death, how this temple should be built, See 1 Chronicles 28:11-12; 1Ch_28:19.

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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:2". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/1-kings-6.html. 1828.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And the house which king Solomon built for the LORD, the length thereof was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof twenty cubits, and the height thereof thirty cubits.

The house — Properly so called, as distinct from all the walls and buildings which were adjoining to it; namely, the holy, and most holy place.

Length — From east, to west. And this and the other measures may seem to belong to the inside from wall to wall.

Cubits — Cubits of the sanctuary.

Height — Namely, of the house: for the porch was one hundred and twenty cubits high, 2 Chronicles 3:4. So that all the measures compared each with other were harmonious. For sixty to twenty (the length to the breadth) is triple: or as three to one: and sixty to thirty (the length to the height) is double, or as two to one: and thirty to twenty (the height to the breadth) is one and an half, as three to two. Which are the proportions answering to the three great concords in music, commonly called, a twelfth, an eighth, and a fifth. Which therefore must needs be a graceful proportion to the eye, as that in music is graceful to the ear.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
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Wesley, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:2". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/1-kings-6.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

1 Kings 6:2 And the house which king Solomon built for the LORD, the length thereof [was] threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof twenty [cubits], and the height thereof thirty cubits.

Ver. 2. And the house which king Solomon built for the Lord.] For his settled habitation among the children of Israel. And forasmuch as the Lord their God was above all gods, [2 Chronicles 2:5] a great God, a mighty and a terrible, [Deuteronomy 10:17] therefore Solomon set up this most glorious and sumptuous edifice that ever was in the world, in honour of the divine Majesty, and for a type of Christ, "in whom dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily." [Colossians 2:9]

The length thereof was threescore cubits.] Twice so long and large every way as was the tabernacle; [Exodus 26:1-37] as the temple in Ezekiel, [Ezekiel 40:41-49] setting forth gospel times, is described as much bigger than all the old Jerusalem: and a new Jerusalem bigger than all the land of Canaan.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:2". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/1-kings-6.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

The house; properly so called, as distinct from all the walls and buildings which were adjoining to it, to wit, the holy and most holy place.

The length thereof; from east and to west. And this and the other measures may seem to belong to the inside from wall to wall.

Threescore cubits; cubits of the sanctuary; of which See Poole "Genesis 6:15".

The height thereof, to wit, of the house; for the porch was 120 cubits high, 2 Chronicles 3:4. So that all the measures compared each with other were harmonious. For 60 to 20 (the length to the breadth) is triple, or as 3 to 1; and 60 to 30 (the length to the height) is double, or as 2 to 1; and 30 to 20 (the height to the breadth) is sesquialter, or one and a half, as 3 to 2; which are the proportions answering to the three great concords in music, commonly called a twelfth, an eighth, and a fifth; which therefore must needs be a graceful proportion to the eye, as that in music is graceful to the ear.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:2". 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

2.Length’ threescore cubits — Reckoning the cubit at eighteen inches the length would be ninety feet. These dimensions are probably to be understood of the walls on the inside. See note on 1 Kings 6:10.

Breadth’ twenty — Thirty feet, just one third of the length.

Height’ thirty cubits — Forty-five feet, just half the length. Josephus says the height was sixty cubits, but most of his statements on the dimensions of buildings are untrustworthy. A comparison with Exodus 26:15-23 shows that the dimensions of the temple were exactly double those of the tabernacle. The latter, as described in Exodus 26, 27, was the model after which David and Solomon planned the temple.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:2". "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 6:2. The house — Properly so called, as distinct from all the walls and buildings adjoining to it; namely, the holy and most holy place. Which King Solomon built for the Lord — For his worship and service; and wherein his divine presence might, as it were, dwell among them by a visible appearance. The length thereof was threescore cubits — From east to west; forty of which belonged to the holy place, and twenty to the most holy. And this and the other measures seem to belong to the inside from wall to wall. The cubit was that of the sanctuary, about a foot and a half. And the breadth thereof twenty cubits — The length and breadth of it were twice as much as those of the tabernacle, which in length was but thirty cubits, and in breadth but ten. And the height thereof thirty cubits — Just half of the length of the whole house. But this is to be understood of the holy place, for the holy of holies was only twenty cubits high, (1 Kings 6:20,) and the porch was one hundred and twenty, 2 Chronicles 3:4. The height of the holy place, therefore, was three times the height of that part of the tabernacle. For this temple was to resemble a high tower having chambers in three stories, one above another. “All the measures,” says Poole, “compared each with other, were harmonious. For sixty to twenty (the length to the breadth) is triple; or as three to one: and sixty to thirty (the length to the height) is double; or as two to one: and thirty to twenty (the height to the breadth) is one and a half, or as three to two. Which are the proportions answering to the three great concords in music, commonly called a twelfth, an eighth, and a fifth. Which therefore must needs be a graceful proportion to the eye, as that in music is graceful to the ear.”

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:2". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/1-kings-6.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

House. Hebrew Habayith, "the palace" of the God of Israel, where the priests alone had access. It was surrounded by various courts and apartments, as the ancient temples were very different from ours. All these appendages sometimes go under the common name of the temple. (Calmet) --- Cubits. The common one contained half a yard. The sacred cubit amounted to 21,888 inches. (Arbuthnot) (Ezechiel xliii. 13.) --- Calmet makes the cubit consist of 24 fingers' breadth, or little less than 20 inches of the French measure, which is greater then ours. (Haydock) --- Hence the temple would be 102½ feet long, 34 feet 2 inches broad, 51 feet 3 inches high to the ceiling. (Calmet) --- The walls are not included; else the breadth would be almost 60 cubits, the length 100, and the height 50. (Vallalpand ii. 5, 14.) (Menochius)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:2". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/1-kings-6.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

cubits. See App-51.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:2". "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 the house which king Solomon built for the LORD, the length thereof was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof twenty cubits, and the height thereof thirty cubits.

The house which king Solomon built for the Lord. The dimensions are given in cubits, which are to be reckoned according to the early standard (2 Chronicles 3:3), or holy cubit (Ezekiel 40:5; Ezekiel 43:13), a handbreadth longer than the common or later one (see the notes at 2 Chronicles 3:4).

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:2". "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

(2) The length.—By comparison with Exodus 26:16-23, we find that the Temple itself was in all its proportions an exact copy of the Tabernacle, each dimension being doubled, and the whole, therefore, in cubical contents, eight times the size. It was, therefore—whatever measure we take for the cubit—a small building. Taking the usual calculation of eighteen inches for the cubit, the whole would be ninety feet long, thirty feet wide, and forty-five feet high—not larger than a good-sized parish church, and in proportion not unlike a church of Gothic construction. It is, indeed, curious to note that this likeness is carried out in the existence of the porch (which is even represented in 2 Chronicles 3:4 as rising into a lofty entrance tower), the division of the house into two parts, like a nave and chancel, the provision of something like aisles (though opening outwards) and of clerestory windows, and the high pitch of the roof. This resemblance is probably not mere coincidence; for in the old Freemasonry, which had a great influence on mediaeval architecture, the plan of Solomon’s Temple was taken in all its details as a sacred guide. The “Oracle” or Most Holy place, was lower than the rest, forming an exact cube of thirty feet; the height of the Holy place (sixty feet long and thirty feet wide) is not given, but was probably the same, so that there would be an upper chamber over the whole under the roof—which, like that of the Tabernacle, appears to have been a high-pitched roof—fifteen feet high along the central beam, with sloping sides. This is apparently alluded to in 2 Chronicles 3:9, and possibly in 2 Kings 23:12, and in the remark of Josephus, “There was another building erected over it, equal in its measures.” The Temple was, in fact, only a shrine for the ministering priests—the outer court, or courts, being the place for the great assembly of the congregation—and it relied for magnificence not on size, but on costliness of material and wealth of decoration.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:2". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/1-kings-6.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And the house which king Solomon built for the LORD, the length thereof was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof twenty cubits, and the height thereof thirty cubits.
the house
Ezekiel 40:1-41
the length
According to Bp. Cumberland's estimation of the cubit, its length was 36 yds. 1 ft. 5/28 inch; its breadth 12 yds. 5/76 inch; and its height, 18 yds. 8/64 inch. This constituted what is properly called the temple; but, besides this, there were the courts and colonnades, where the people might assemble to perform their devotions, without being exposed to the open air.
threescore
Ezra 6:3,4; Ezekiel 41:1-15; Revelation 21:16,17
Reciprocal: 1 Kings 6:20 - twenty cubits;  2 Chronicles 3:3 - The length;  Psalm 78:69 - And he

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:2". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-kings-6.html.