Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 Kings 6:29

Then he carved all the walls of the house round about with carved engravings of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers, inner and outer sanctuaries.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Carving;   Cherubim;   Palm Tree;   Temple;   Thompson Chain Reference - Solomon;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Flowers;   Palm-Tree, the;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Cherubim;   Flowers;   Temple;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Palmtree;   Temple;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Art and Aesthetics;   Cherub, Cherubim;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Art;   Cherubim;   Israel;   Jerusalem;   Palm Tree;   Solomon;   Temple;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Palm Tree;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Carved Work;   Cherub, Cherubim;   Olive, Olive Tree;   Oracle;   Palm, Palm Tree,;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Palm;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Goel;   Palm Tree;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Hebrew Monarchy, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Carving;   Cherubim (1);   Figure;   Palm Tree;   Temple;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Artisans;  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Palms, cherubs, and flowers - the main decorations of Solomon‘s temple - bear considerable resemblance to the ornamentation of the Assyrians, a circumstance which can scarcely be accidental.

Within and without - i. e., both in the inner chamber, or holy of holies, and in the outer one.

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:29". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-kings-6.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

1 Kings 6:29

Carved figures of cherubim and palm trees, and open flowers.

Cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers

The question cannot but occur, Why this peculiar carving exclusively? Everywhere they looked they were met by this threefold ornamentation, everywhere cherubim, palm trees and open flowers; these and nothing but these. If only beauty had been the object, if simply ornament had been studied, greater variety would have been introduced; but the perpetual recurrence of these three, amid all the visible forms that convey ideas of beauty, could not fail to strike and to raise inquiry.

I. The union of the earthly and heavenly, the natural and the spiritual, in worship and religion. The highest spiritual creatures and two of the most prominent natural objects were portrayed together in the house of God. The cherubim representing heaven, the highest grade of spiritual creation, and the palm tree and the open flower representatives of earth and nature in their finest and noblest shapes, were brought together on the walls of the house of God. And there was nothing else to be seen. The highest creature in the spiritual realm was here set alongside of natural objects known to all. Teaching that heaven’s service, though higher, is of the same sort with the service on earth. Representatives from the temple of nature were there, and representatives from the heavenly temple. In the house of God and in worship heaven and earth are brought together. We represent in our worship all creatures that cannot worship. We are the priests of the whole visible creation, and our worship unites us with the highest intelligences. We link together the seraph and the flower. Both are represented and contained in us. In worship, space and time vanish. We are in the same company with those who are worshipping around the throne the unveiled glory.

II. Life the grand source, material, reality. There were three kinds of life portrayed on these walls. Of all the beautiful objects in nature they were living and only living things that were pictured there. Life was here in three stages: life rooted and growing, like the palm tree; life expanded, like the open flower; and life in its highest state, the life of the cherub. How plainly did the voice come from the innermost sanctuary: “Life is all.” It is life that is the grand desideratum in the worship of God. It is life that gives value to all things. Nothing is valuable without life. The true life of the soul, then, what is it? The temple explains this. The worshippers were incessantly brought to this question: What is life which is thus so prominent? And they were evermore thrown back on the temple for the answer. In the temple was the answer found. What is life? Life is that which has fellowship with God, life is that which loves God, and longs after Him; life is that which feeds upon God’s truth. We are no nearer answering the question precisely and definitely in words than they were. It is still the grand secret. One great lesson taught by this threefold exhibition of life in the temple was undoubtedly this, that all life has the same grand, general laws. How widely apart these different forms of life were--vegetable life and highest seraphic life; and yet widely apart as they are they have the same laws. God does all His work from the humblest to the highest according to the same principles. The life of the plant is sustained by the same laws as the spiritual life of the cherub. The seraph burns and sings by the same simple laws of being as the plant grows and the flower expands.

III. The union of these three things in spiritual life--worship, fruitfulness, and beauty. Worship represented by the cherub, fruitfulness by the palm tree, and beauty by the open flower. True spiritual life shows itself not in one of these but in all. Worship is the foundation and the nutriment of life. It is by the perception of the glory of God and by the adoration of it that the soul is sustained; and it is by fruitfulness that this food finds scope for its energy; for food that is taken into the spiritual nature, and that does not find outlet and space for its energy ceases to be food. Wherever there is true worship of God there is also the fruitfulness of the palm tree, and wherever there is true fruitfulness arising from the worship of God, there is beauty as the result of these. True spiritual beauty is the outcome of the union of these two things--worship and practical fruitfulness.

IV. The union of these three things in the worship of God--aspiration, growth, and receptivity. Aspiration was taught by the cherub. The highest form of spiritual life was presented continually before the worshipper in order that he might know what he had to aspire to; and the palm tree, the emblem of steady, straight, upward growth, was a constant lesson and reminder. Did the question rise, How shall I become like the cherub? Were there no hearts that could read the answer in the open flower? The open flower is the way to the cherub. One of the finest pictures of reception among all the objects that God has made is a flower that lies open to catch the sunshine, and to drink the rain and the dew, shuts up when the sun departs, but expands itself again when the sun’s rays touch it. By reception the plant and the flower live; and by reception the soul of man lives and grows. Our life is that of a flower. Man cometh forth like a flower and is cut down. It is by aspiring to the cherub life that we gain the victory over that. We are no longer distressed with the thought of the brevity of the life when that of immortal beauty has dawned upon us, and when we firmly grasp the record that God hath given to us eternal life, and that this life is in His Son. (T. Leckie, D. D.)
.

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "1 Kings 6:29". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/1-kings-6.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

DESCRIPTION OF OTHER TEMPLE DECORATIONS

"And he carved all the walls of the house round about with carved figures of cherubim and palm-trees and open flowers, within and without. And the floor of the house he overlaid with gold, within and without. And for the entrance of the oracle he made doors of olive-wood: the lintel and the door-posts were a fifth part of the wall. So he made two doors of olivewood; and he carved upon them carvings of cherubim and palm-trees and open flowers, and overlaid them with gold; and he spread the gold upon the cherubim and upon the palm-trees. So also made he for the entrance of the temple door-posts of olive-wood out of a fourth part of the wall; and two doors of fir-wood: the two leaves of the one door were folding, and the two leaves of the other door were folding. And he carved thereon cherubim and palm-trees and open flowers; and he overlaid them with gold fitted upon the graven work. And he built the inner court of three courses of hewn stone, and a course of cedar beams."

Where was the veil which God had ordained to screen off the Holy of Holies? Apparently, Solomon left it out! Of course, that was specifically the part of the Tabernacle that typified Jesus Christ our Lord; and true to the genius of every innovator Solomon managed to get rid of it (at least, as is indicated here). When the Temple was rebuilt, in the times after the captivity, the Veil was again included, as it most certainly should have been here (Matthew 27:51).

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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 6:29". "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 he carved all the walls of the house about with carved figures of cherubim, and palm trees, and open flowers,.... That is, of palm trees, those in full blow: if the cherubim are an emblem of angels, the palm trees fitly enough represent just and upright men, who both appear in the church of God below, and in heaven above; in both which are to be seen the open and full-blown flowers of divine grace, especially in the latter state:

within and without; on the walls of the most holy place, both within and without; and so upon the walls of the holy place, in each of which were these sculptures, which were very ornamental, and were emblematical; see Ezekiel 41:17.

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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 6:29". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-kings-6.html. 1999.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And he carved all the walls of the house round about with carved figures of cherubims and palm trees and open flowers, within and without.

Cherubim — As signs of the presence and protection of the angels vouch-safed by God to that place.

Palm-trees — Emblems of that peace and victory over their enemies, which the Israelites duly serving God in that place might expect.

Within and without — Within the oracle and without it, in the holy place.

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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.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:29". "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 6:29 And he carved all the walls of the house round about with carved figures of cherubims and palm trees and open flowers, within and without.

Ver. 29. And he carved all the walls.] See on 1 Kings 6:25.

Of cherubims and palm trees and open flowers.] To note, saith one, the protection of the Church of Christ by the ministry of angels - though outwardly unseen - and the peaceable victorious flourishing under the same. [Hebrews 1:14]

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:29". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/1-kings-6.html. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

1 Kings 6:29

The question naturally arises, Why this peculiar carving exclusively? Wherever the worshippers looked they were met by this threefold ornamentation, everywhere cherubim, palm-trees, and open flowers.

I. The first thought that strikes us is the union of the earthly and heavenly, the natural and spiritual, in worship and religion. The highest spiritual objects and two of the most prominent natural objects were portrayed together in the house of God. The highest creature in the spiritual realm was here set alongside of natural objects known to all. Worship of God will never be healthy and many-sided if it excludes the view of the outer world. Look at the Book of Psalms. Deep, manifold, and awful is the tragedy of human life there, and glorious are the bursts of melody and hope that sweep across it; but through all struggle, and agony, and shouts of triumph there come the scent of flowers, and of pines, and of mown grass, the singing of birds, the lowing of cattle, the roar of the sea, and the murmur of the stream. So in the house of God and in worship heaven and earth are brought together.

II. We learn that life is the grand source, material, reality. There were three kinds of life portrayed on these walls. It is life that gives value to all things. Life is that which has fellowship with God; life is that which loves God and longs after Him; life is that which feeds upon God's truth. All life has the same grand general laws.

III. We see the union of three things in the spiritual life: worship, fruitfulness, and beauty. Worship is represented by the cherub, fruitfulness by the palm-tree, and beauty by the open flower. True spiritual life shows itself, not in one of these, but in all.

IV. We see the union of these three things in the worship of God—aspiration, growth, and receptivity. The open flower is the way to the cherub; by reception the plant and the flower live; and by reception the soul of man lives and grows.

J. Leckie, Sermons Preached at Ibrox, p. 133.


References: 1 Kings 6:35.—J. Reid Howatt, Churchette, p. 51. 1Ki 6-7—Parker, vol. vii., p. 295. 1 Kings 7:5.—Preacher's Monthly, vol. ii., p. 144. 1 Kings 7:5, 1 Kings 7:6.—S. Baring-Gould, One Hundred Sermon Sketches, p. 193.



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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:29". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/1-kings-6.html.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Carved figures of cherubims, as signs of the presence and protection of the angels vouchsafed by God to that place.

Palm trees; emblems of that peace and victory over their enemies which the Israelites duly serving God in that place might expect.

Within and without; within the oracle and without it, in the holy place.

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:29". 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

29.Cherubim and palm trees and open flowers — Similar ornamentation abounds on Assyrian and Persian monuments. It was not without its symbolical meaning. As the cherub represented the fulness of Divine life and power in the animal creation, so the palms and flowers represented the vegetable kingdom. Palms and flowers are ever suggestive of the richest fulness of life, prosperity, and joy. And so the worshippers that were permitted to enter the temple, and gaze upon the walls all covered with these figurative carvings, might ever be reminded that the God who had his special dwelling-place and worship there was not confined to temples, but filled the universe with his creative life and energy. The heaven and heaven of heavens could not contain him, and the whole earth was but his footstool; how, then, could Solomon’s temple hold him? His hand had made in actual creation all forms of life and being that were represented on the walls.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:29". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/1-kings-6.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

And divers, &c. Hebrew, "and open (full-blown) flowers within and without" the sanctuary. We read also of chains of gold connected together, 2 Paralipomenon iii. 5. The palm-trees might resemble pillars of the Corinthian order. (Calmet) --- It is clear that sacred pictures wer authorized to be set up in the temple, for God's honour, (Worthington) though the Jews were so prone to idolatry. (Haydock)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:29". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/1-kings-6.html. 1859.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(29) And he carved.—If we take this literally, we must suppose that this carving of the cherubim and the palm-trees, in addition to the general decoration of the “gourds and open flowers,” was spread over all the “walls of the house.” Otherwise we might have supposed it confined to the Oracle “within,” and to the partition “without,” which would seem more appropriate, as the cherubim belonged especially to the Oracle.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:29". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/1-kings-6.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And he carved all the walls of the house round about with carved figures of cherubims and palm trees and open flowers, within and without.
carved figures
Exodus 36:8; 2 Chronicles 3:14; 4:2-5; Psalms 103:20; 148:2; Luke 2:13,14; Ephesians 3:10; Revelation 5:11-14
palm trees
Tamar, in Ethiopic, tamart, the palm tree, is so called, says Parkhurst, from its straight, upright growth, for which it seems more remarkable than any other tree; and it sometimes rises to the height of more than 100 feet. The trunk is remarkably straight and lofty; and it is crowned at the top with a large tuft of spiring leaves, about four feet long, which never fall off, but always continue in the same flourishing verdure. The stalks are generally full of rugged knots, which are vestiges of decayed leaves: for the trunk of the tree is not solid, but its centre is filled with pith, round which is a tough bark full of strong fibres when young, which, as the tree becomes old, hardens and becomes ligneous. To this bark the leaves are closely joined, which, as the tree becomes old, hardens and becomes ligneous. To this bark the leaves are closely joined, which in the centre rise erect, but after they are advanced above the vagina which surrounds them, they expand very wide on every side of the stem, and as the older leaves decay, the stalk advances in height. The leaves, when the tree has grown to a size for bearing fruit, are six or eight feet long, and very broad when expanded. The fruit, called the date, grows below the leaves in clusters.
Psalms 92:12-15; Revelation 7:9
open flowers
Heb. openings of flowers.
18,32
Reciprocal: 1 Kings 7:36 - graved cherubims;  2 Chronicles 4:21 - the flowers;  Psalm 74:6 - GeneralEzekiel 10:20 - and I;  Ezekiel 40:16 - palm trees;  Ezekiel 40:22 - palm trees;  Ezekiel 41:18 - with cherubims

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:29". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-kings-6.html.