Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 Kings 6:36

He built the inner court with three rows of cut stone and a row of cedar beams.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Stones;   Temple;   Thompson Chain Reference - Solomon;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Temple, the First;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Temple;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Court;   Temple, Solomon's;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Temple;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Art and Aesthetics;   Temple of Jerusalem;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Israel;   Jerusalem;   Palm Tree;   Solomon;   Temple;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Cedar;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Court;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Court of the Sanctuary;   Gate, East;   Temple;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Three rows of hewed stone, and a row of cedar beams - Does not this intimate that there were three courses of stone, and then one course of timber all through this wall? Three strata of stone and one stratum of timber, and so on. If so, could such a building be very durable? This is also referred to in the succeeding chapter, 1 Kings 7:11; and as both the temple and Solomon's house were built in the same manner, we may suppose that this was the ordinary way in which the better sort of buildings were constructed. Calmet thinks that to this mode of building the prophet alludes, Habakkuk 2:11; : The stone shall cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the timber shall answer it. But it should be observed that this was in the inner court, and therefore the timber was not exposed to the weather. The outer court does not appear to have been built stratum super stratum of stone and wood.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:36". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/1-kings-6.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The inner court - An outer court is mentioned in 2 Chronicles 4:9. The inner court is probably identical with the “higher court” of Jeremiah Jeremiah 36:10, being raised above the outer, as were sometimes the inner courts of Assyrian palaces. The court seems to have surrounded the temple. Its dimensions may be reasonably presumed to have been double those of the court of the tabernacle, i. e., 100 cubits on each side of the temple, and 200 cubits at the ends; or, about 720 feet long by 360 broad.

With three rows of hewed stone - Either a fence enclosing the court, or the area of the court, which was possibly formed by three layers of hewn stone placed one above the other, and was then boarded on the top with cedar planks. Such a construction would no doubt be elaborate; but if it was desired to elevate the inner court above the outer, this is the way in which it would be likely to have been done. The temple would be placed, like the Assyrian palaces, on an artificial platform; and the platform, being regarded as a part of the sacred building, would be constructed of the best material.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:36". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-kings-6.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And he built the inner court,.... The court of the priests, 2 Chronicles 4:9; so called to distinguish it from the outer court, where the people assembled: this was built

with three rows of hewed stone, and a row of cedar beams; the rows of stones were one upon another, topped with a row of cedar beams; or rather the cedar was a lining to the stones; and the whole is supposed to be about three cubits high, and was so low, that the people in the outward court might see priests ministering for them, and could converse with them; under the second temple, as MaimonidesF8Hilchot Beth Habechirah, c. 6. sect. 3. says, the court of the priests was higher than that of the court of Israel two cubits and an half, called the great court, for which doors were made, and those overlaid with brass, 2 Chronicles 4:9.

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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 6:36". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-kings-6.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And he built the inner o court with three rows of hewed stone, and a row of cedar beams.

(o) Where the priests were, and was thus called in respect to the great court, which is called the porch of Solomon in (Acts 3:11) where the people used to pray.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:36". "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

the inner court — was for the priests. Its wall, which had a coping of cedar, is said to have been so low that the people could see over it.

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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 6:36". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/1-kings-6.html. 1871-8.

Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary

The courts . - ”He built the inner court three rows of hewn stones and one row of hewn cedar beams.” The epithet inner court applied to the “court of the priests” (2 Chronicles 4:9) presupposes an outer one, which is also mentioned in 2 Chronicles 4:9, and called “the great court.” The inner one is called the upper (higher) court in Jeremiah 36:10, from which it follows that it was situated on a higher level than the outer one, which surrounded it on all sides. It was enclosed by a low wall, consisting of three rows of hewn stones, or square stones, laid one upon another, and a row of hewn cedar beams, which were either laid horizontally upon the stones, after the analogy of the panelling of the temple walls on the inside, or placed upright so as to form a palisading, in order that the people might be able to see through into the court of the priests. According to 2 Chronicles 4:9, the outer court had gates lined with brass, so that it was also surrounded with a high wall. Around it there were chambers and cells (2 Kings 23:11; Jeremiah 35:4; Jeremiah 36:10) for the priests and Levites, the plans for which had already been made by David (1 Chronicles 28:12). The principal gate was the east gate (Ezekiel 11:1). Other gates are mentioned in 2 Kings 11:6; 2 Chronicles 23:5, Jeremiah 20:2 2 Kings 12:10; 2 Chronicles 24:8. The size of these courts is not given. At the same time, following the analogy of the tabernacle, and with the reduplication of the rooms of the tabernacle which is adopted in other cases in the temple, we may set down the length of the court of the priests from east to west at 200 cubits, and the breadth from south to north at 100 cubits; so that in front of the temple-building on the east there was a space of 100 cubits in length and breadth, or 10,000 square cubits, left free for the altar of burnt-offering and the other vessels, in other words, for the sacrificial worship. The outer or great court will therefore, no doubt, have been at least twice as large, namely, 400 cubits long and 200 cubits broad, i.e., in all, 80,000 square cubits; so that the front space before the court of the priests (on the eastern side) was 150 cubits long from east to west, and 200 cubits broad from south to north, and 50 cubits in breadth or depth still remained for the other three sides.

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The Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary is a derivative of a public domain electronic edition.
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Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:36". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/1-kings-6.html. 1854-1889.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And he built the inner court with three rows of hewed stone, and a row of cedar beams.

Inner court — The priests court, 2 Chronicles 4:9, so called, because it was next to the temple which it compassed.

Cedar beams — Which is understood, of so many galleries, one on each side of the temple, whereof the three first were of stone, and the fourth of cedar, all supported with rows of pillars: upon which there were many chambers for the uses of the temple, and of the priests.

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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 6:36". "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 6:36 And he built the inner court with three rows of hewed stone, and a row of cedar beams.

Ver. 36. And he built the inner court.] Called the court of the priests, [2 Chronicles 4:9] and had without it an outer court, [Ezekiel 10:3; Ezekiel 10:5] called also the great court, [2 Chronicles 4:9] where the people prayed, [Luke 1:10] and heard the word preached. [Acts 3:11-12 Ezra 10:9] In this outer court it was that our Saviour preached, when he is said to have taught in the temple: here he disputed, cast out the buyers and sellers, &c. [John 2:14; John 2:16] This court of the people surrounded not only the priests’ court, but also the whole temple: by the name whereof also it is sometimes called.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:36". 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 inner court, i.e. the priests’ court, 2 Chronicles 4:9; so called, because it was next to the temple, which it did encompass.

With three rows of hewed stone, and a row of cedar beams; which is understood either,

1. Of the thickness of the wall, the three rows of stones being one within another, and the cedar innermost, as a lining to the wall. Or,

2. Of the height of the wall, which was only three cubits high, that the people might see the priests sacrificing upon the altar, which was in their court; each row of stones being about a cubit, and possibly of a differing colour from the rest, and all covered with cedar. Or rather,

3. Of so many galleries, one on each side of the temple, whereof the three first were of stone, and the fourth of cedar, all supported with rows of pillars; upon which there were many chambers for the uses of the temple, and of the priests; for it is hard to think that only the making of a low wall about the court would be called a building of the court. And that a great number of buildings and rooms were necessary for the various offices and works which were to be done, and the treasures of all sorts which were to be laid up in the temple, largely so called, is sufficiently evident from the nature of the things, and divers passages in Scripture: see, among others, 1 Chronicles 28:11,12.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:36". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/1-kings-6.html. 1685.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

The Inner Court (1 Kings 6:36).

1 Kings 6:36

And he built the inner court with three courses of hewn stone, and a course of cedar beams.’

The Temple clearly had an Inner court, and therefore presumably an Outer court. The Inner court would be where people brought their offerings, and it would contain the bronze altar and the bowls of water where the priests washed their hands and feet prior to entering the Holy Place. Jeremiah calls it ‘the upper court’ which suggests that it was higher than the Outer court (Jeremiah 36:10). The Outer court would be a place for worshippers to gather, and may well at this time have also incorporated within it the king’s palace. See 1 Kings 7:9; 1 Kings 7:12. The wall of the inner court was built with three courses of hewn stone to one course of cedar beams as it rose upwards. We are not told anything about the height that it reached. This construction, which was commonly found in buildings elsewhere, may have provided protection from damage through earthquake. Or it may in this case have symbolised the materials from which the Temple was made. Or the cedar course may have provided spaces through which people could look in. The same pattern is found in a number of excavated Syrian buildings, and generally in the ancient world.

According to 2 Chronicles 4:9 the outer wall had gates lined with bronze, thus it also clearly had high walls. Around it were rooms and cells for the priests and Levites (2 Kings 23:11; Jeremiah 35:4; Jeremiah 36:10). The principal gate of the outer court was the east gate (Ezekiel 11:1) but other gates are mentioned (2 Kings 11:6; 2 Chronicles 23:5; Jeremiah 20:2; 2 Kings 12:10; 2 Chronicles 24:8). The reason why it is not mentioned here is probably because it also included within it the palace of Solomon shortly to be described.

The Date Of The Finalising Of The Temple (1 Kings 6:37). 1 Kings 6:37

In the fourth year was the foundation of the house of YHWH laid, in the moon period (yerach) Ziv. And in the eleventh year, in the moon period (yerach) Bul, which is the eighth month (chodesh), was the house finished throughout all its parts, and according to all the fashion of it. So was he seven years in building it.’

The building of the Temple took seven years and six months. The fact that it took ‘seven years’ would have been seen as a good sign. It was the divinely perfect period. Note again the ancient pre-exilic names for the months. Ziv means ‘flowers’ (spring time) and Bul means ‘moisture’ (the rainy season). We need not doubt that the building of it was a genuine act of worship, but as we have already seen it revealed the shallowness of Solomon’s religious awareness. It lacked in obedience. It revealed man’s view of God, not what God had revealed Himself to be.

“Yerach” is an ancient word for a moon period, found also at Ugarit and on the Gezer tablet, but comparatively rare in Scripture, being found prior to Kings only in Exodus 2:2; Deuteronomy 21:13; Deuteronomy 33:14. ‘Chodesh’ is a parallel word and is of common use, being found regularly from Genesis onwards. Both words were used by Job and Zechariah which demonstrates that they were parallel words in use throughout the Biblical period.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:36". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/1-kings-6.html. 2013.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

36.The inner court — The temple was surrounded by a double court or enclosure, an inner and an outer. The outer was much larger than the inner court, but the exact size of each it is now impossible to decide. These courts seem also to have been called respectively the upper and the lower, (Jeremiah 36:10,) probably because the one occupied a higher terrace than the other, in 2 Chronicles 4:9, the outer is called the great court, and the inner the court of the priests.

Three rows of hewed stone, and a row of cedar beams — The precise meaning is obscure, but is usually understood of the enclosing wall of the inner court being so constructed that three layers of hewn stone were placed one upon another, and a row of cedar beams fastened on the top, either horizontally or in the form of a railing or balustrade. Perhaps, however, it is better to understand these layers of stone and cedar as forming the pavement of the inner court, and covering its entire area. This would have boon the natural way to elevate the platform of the inner court above that of the outer, (compare Jeremiah 36:10,) and thus, says Rawlinson, “the temple would be placed, like the Assyrian palaces, on an artificial platform; and the platform, being regarded as a part of the sacred building, would be constructed of the best material.”

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:36". "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 6:36. The inner court — That wherein the priests officiated, (2 Chronicles 4:9,) so called because it was next to the temple, which it encompassed. With three rows of hewed stone, and a row of cedar beams It is difficult to ascertain the precise meaning of the sacred historian here. He may be understood as speaking, either, 1st, Of the thickness of the wall, the three rows of stones being one within another, and the cedar innermost, as a lining to the wall. Or, 2d, Of the height of the wall, which was only three cubits high, that the people might see the priests sacrificing upon the altar, which was in their court; each row of stones being about a cubit, and, possibly, of a colour different from the rest, and all covered with cedar. Or, 3d, He is to be understood of so many galleries, one on each side of the temple, whereof the three first were stone, and the fourth of cedar, all supported with rows of pillars, upon which there were many chambers for the uses of the temple, and of the priests.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:36". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/1-kings-6.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Court of the priests. --- Cedar. Some think that the court was surrounded with galleries, supported on three rows of pillars; or one gallery was above another, on pillars of stone, with a third supported by cedar pillars. (Menochius) --- But Josephus takes no notice of these galleries. Others think that the wall of separation consisted only of two rows of stone, with a third of wood, in all three cubits high. (Josephus, [Antiquities?] viii. 2.) (Villalpand) --- But the sacred writers seem rather to indicate, that beams of cedar were fixed in the walls, at the distance of three courses of stone, even to the top. This mode of architecture is clearly mentioned, chap. vii. 12., 1 Esdras vi. 3, 4., and v. 8., and Habacuc ii. 11. The ancients admired such a variety, and deemed the building more solid. (Vit. i. 5.) Eupolemus (ap. Eusebius, præp. ix. 34.) take notice, that these beams were fastened together, in the temple, by hooks of copper, weighing each a talent. (Haydock) --- Such was the structure of the inner court. (Calmet)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:36". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/1-kings-6.html. 1859.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And he built the inner court with three rows of hewed stone, and a row of cedar beams.

The inner court - was for the priests; and its wall, which had a coping of cedar, is said to have been so low that the people could see over it.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:36". "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

(36) The inner court (probably the “higher court” of Jeremiah 35:10) is described as built round the Temple proper, evidently corresponding to the outer court of the Tabernacle. As this was (see Exodus 27:9-13) 50 cubits by 100, it may be inferred, that by a duplication similar to that of all dimensions of the Temple itself, Solomon’s Court was 100 cubits (or 150 feet) by 200 cubits (or 300 feet), covering a little more than an acre. The verse has been interpreted in two ways: either that the floor of the court was raised by three courses of stone, covered with a planking of cedar, or (as Josephus understands it) enclosed by a wall of three courses of stone, with a coping of cedar wood. The latter seems more probable. For in this court stood the altar of burnt offering and the laver, and all sacrifices went on, and this could hardly have been done on a wooden pavement; and besides this we observe that the whole arrangement is (1 Kings 7:12) compared with that of the great outer court of the palace where the wooden pavement would be still more unsuitable. It was what was called afterwards the “Court of the Priests,” and in it (see Ezekiel 40:45) appear to have been chambers for the priests.

The mention of the “inner court” suggests that there was an outer court also. We have in 2 Kings 21:5; 2 Kings 23:12, a reference to the “two courts” of the Temple, and in Ezekiel 40:17; Ezekiel 42:1; Ezekiel 42:8, a mention of the “outward” or “utter court.” Josephus (Antt. viii. 3, § 3) declares that Solomon built beyond the inner court a great quadrangle, erected for it great and broad cloisters, and closed it with golden doors, into which all could enter, “being pure and observant of the laws.” Even beyond this he indicates, though in rather vague and rhetorical language, an extension of the Temple area, as made by Solomon’s great substructures, forming a court less perfectly enclosed, like the Court of the Gentiles in the later Temple. Of these outer courts and cloisters the tradition remained in the assignment of the title of “Solomon’s Porch” to the eastern cloister of the later Temple. It has been thought that in this outer court were planted trees (in spite of the prohibition of Deuteronomy 16:21); and this may have been the case, till the association of idol worship with them made these seem to be unfit for the House of the Lord. But the passages usually quoted to support this view are from the Psalms (Psalms 52:8; Psalms 92:13), of which the former certainly refers to the Tabernacle, and the latter may do so.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:36". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/1-kings-6.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And he built the inner court with three rows of hewed stone, and a row of cedar beams.
the inner
Exodus 27:9-19; 38:9-20; 2 Chronicles 4:9; 7:7; Revelation 11:2
Reciprocal: 1 Kings 7:12 - three rows;  2 Kings 21:5 - in the two courts;  2 Chronicles 6:13 - the court;  Ezra 6:4 - three rows

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:36". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-kings-6.html.