Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 Kings 6:6

The lowest story was five cubits wide, and the middle was six cubits wide, and the third was seven cubits wide; for on the outside he made offsets in the wall of the house all around in order that the beams would not be inserted in the walls of the house.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Temple;   Thompson Chain Reference - Solomon;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Temple, the First;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Cubit;   Temple;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Temple, Solomon's;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Kings, the Books of;   Temple;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Architecture in the Biblical Period;   Tools;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Israel;   Jerusalem;   Palm Tree;   Solomon;   Temple;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Oracle;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Hebrew Monarchy, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Broad;   Chamber;   Temple;  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

In order to preserve the sanctity of the temple, and at the same time allow the attachment to it of secular buildings - sleeping apartments, probably, for the priests and other attendants - Solomon made “rebatements” in the wall of the temple, or in other words built it externally in steps, thus: The beams, which formed the roof of the chambers and the floors of the upper stories, were then laid on these steps or “rests” in the wall, not piercing the wall, or causing any real union of the secular with the sacred building. It resulted from this arrangement that the lowest; chambers were the narrowest, and the uppermost considerably the widest of all, the wall receding each time by the space of a cubit.

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

The Biblical Illustrator

1 Kings 6:6

The nethermost chamber was five cubits broad, and the middle was six cubits broad.

Enlargement upwards

As the temple was highest, so it enlarged itself still upward; for as it ascended in height, so it still was wider and wider; even from the lowest chambers to the top. And this was to show us that God’s true gospel temple, which is His Church, should have its enlargedness of heart still upward, or most for spiritual or eternal things, wherefore He saith, “Thy heart shall fear, and be enlarged,” that is, be most affected with things above (Isaiah 60:5; Colossians 3:1). Indeed it is the nature of grace to enlarge itself still upward, and to make the heart widest for the things that are above. The temple therefore was narrowest downwards, to show that a little of earth, or this world, should serve the Church of God. And having food and raiment, let us therewith be content. I read not in Scripture of any house, but this that was thus enlarged upwards; nor is there anywhere, save only in the Church of God, that which doth answer this similitude. All others are widest downward, and have the largest heart for earthly things. (John Bunyan.)

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Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "1 Kings 6:6". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/1-kings-6.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And the nethermost chamber was five cubits broad,.... The nethermost row of them, which were upon the first floor:

and the middle was six cubits broad, and the third was seven cubits broad; so that the middlemost was a cubit larger than the lowest, and the highest a cubit larger than that: the reason of which was,

for without in the wall of the house he made narrowed rests round about; or rebatements; the thickness of the wall, as it was raised, became narrower at the height of every five cubits; thus the wall being supposed to be six cubits broad, as in Ezekiel 41:5; when it came to be five cubits high, it was narrowed a cubit, which left a projection, rebatement, or bench for the beams of the first chambers to be laid upon, which made the second row of chambers broader by a cubit; and the same being observed in the next story, made the highest a cubit broader than the middlemost: and this was done,

that the beams should not be fastened in the walls of the house; or be inserted into them, which could not be done without making holes in it; and these holes could not be made without an iron instrument, and which was not to be used, as the next words show; whereas by the above method the beams of the chambers could be laid upon the buttresses, benches, or rebatements left, without the use of any: the gradual enlargement of these chambers, as they rose higher, may denote the enlargement of the church of God, both as to numbers, gifts, and grace, the nearer it comes to the heavenly state, as in the spiritual and personal reign of Christ.

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

Geneva Study Bible

The nethermost chamber [was] five cubits broad, and the middle [was] six cubits broad, and the third [was] seven cubits broad: for without [in the wall] of the house he made narrowed e rests round about, that [the beams] should not be fastened in the walls of the house.

(e) Which were certain stones coming out of the wall, as stays for the beams to rest upon.
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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:6". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/1-kings-6.html. 1599-1645.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

The nethermost chamber was five cubits broad, and the middle was six cubits broad, and the third was seven cubits broad: for without in the wall of the house he made narrowed rests round about, that the beams should not be fastened in the walls of the house.

Broad — On the inside, and besides the galleries mentioned above.

Narrowed rests — Or, narrowings: as in our buildings the walls of an house are thicker, or broader at the bottom, and narrower towards the top: only these narrowings were in the outside of the wall, which at each of the three stories was a cubit narrower than that beneath it. And this is mentioned, as the reason of the differing breadth of the chambers; because the wall being narrower, allowed more space for the upper chambers.

Not fastened — That there might be no holes made in the wall for fastening them; and that the chambers might be removed, if occasion were, without any inconvenience to the house.

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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 6:6". "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 6:6 The nethermost chamber [was] five cubits broad, and the middle [was] six cubits broad, and the third [was] seven cubits broad: for without [in the wall] of the house he made narrowed rests round about, that [the beams] should not be fastened in the walls of the house.

Ver. 6. The nethermost chamber was five cubits broad, &c.] Each one of these lofts, as they were above other, so they were larger than other. To show, saith one, the several degrees and places appointed by God in his Church, - apostles, evangelists, doctors, pastors, and elders, &c.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:6". 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

Five cubits broad, to wit, on the inside, and besides the galleries mentioned above.

Narrowed rests, or, narrowings; as in our buildings the walls of a house are thicker or broader at the bottom, and narrower towards the top; only these narrowings were in the outside of the wall, which at each of the three stories was a cubit narrower than that beneath it. And this is mentioned as the reason of the differing breadth of the chambers, because the wall being narrower, allowed more space for the upper chambers.

That the beams should not be fastened in the walls of the house; that there might be no holes made in the wall for the fastening of them; and that the chambers might be removed, if occasion were, without any inconvenience to the house.

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

6.The nethermost chamber — That is, the lower story of the wing, containing the first floor of side-chambers.

Five’ six’ seven cubits broad — So, as in Ezekiel’s temple, there was an enlarging of these side-chambers upward, (Ezekiel 41:7,) so that those of the upper story were two cubits broader than those of the nethermost. This was caused, as is immediately stated, by the narrowed rests, or rebatements, (מגרעות, used only here,) which he built around three sides of the house outside of and against the main wall. The addition by our translators of the walls and the beams is somewhat confusing. The latter half of this verse is as follows: For rebatements he gave to the house round about on the outside in order not to fasten in the walls of the house. That is, these rebatements were purposely built that the several stories of side-chambers, by resting on such ledges of exterior wall, might not in any way penetrate or detract from the strength and wholeness of the main wall of the temple.

Mr. T.O. Paine, in his work on “Solomon’s Temple,” propounds a new and ingenious plan of the whole edifice by making these wings and side-chambers consist of galleries on the inside of the house, and supported on the outside by three rows of pillars, the pillars varying in height according to the several galleries. But one of his principal arguments is a misinterpretation of Ezekiel 41:7 by making the “enlarging upward” refer to the entire building rather than to the interior of the side-chambers. And his entire plan is open to many and insuperable objections, only a few of which we need here mention: 1.) It is difficult to conceive what purpose such open galleries served; and, so far as we can find, they have no counterpart nor analogy in ancient architecture. 2.) The making of the side-chambers a part of the entire visible interior conflicts with the obvious import of 1 Kings 6:5-6; 1 Kings 6:10 of this chapter, according to which they were built against the outside of the wall. 3.) Mr. Paine’s plan makes the walls more of a breastwork or substructure than a wall — a low enclosure running round the central part of the building, and not reaching half-way to the roof. Accordingly, the height of the walls was not thirty cubits, (as we naturally infer from 1 Kings 6:2,) and the width of the building was not, properly, twenty cubits, but varied with every gallery. 4.) Finally, the whole plan is chiefly drawn from the temple seen in vision by Ezekiel, (chap. xli,) and depends upon the assumption that that temple of vision was an exact pattern of Solomon’s temple that had been destroyed by the Chaldeans.

This assumption, we think, Mr. Paine utterly fails to establish. It is a theory which is quite generally rejected by the most careful modern expositors, and is therefore, at best, too uncertain and unreliable a guide to a satisfactory restoration of the ancient temple.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:6". "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 6:6. The nethermost chamber was five cubits broad — In the inside, and besides the galleries mentioned above. It appears, by 1 Kings 6:10, that they were but five cubits high, and built over one another in three stories; increasing in breadth every story one cubit, by the contrivance which follows. For without in the wall he made narrowed rests — Or narrowings, or rebatements. That is, the wall, to which the chambers were joined, was, as walls generally are in our buildings, thicker or broader below, and narrower above. Only these narrowings were in the outside of the wall, which, at each of the three stories, was a cubit narrower than the part beneath it; so that there was more space for the breadth of the upper chambers, than of those beneath them. That the beams should not be fastened in the walls — That there might be no holes made in the wall for fastening them; and that the chambers might be removed, if occasion were, without any injury or inconvenience to the house.

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

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Temple. This was done for greater respect, and that the walls might not be injured. Ezechiel (xli. 6,) counts 33 chambers on the three sides. St. Jerome seems to double that number; while Josephus acknowledges only 30. (Calmet) --- Salien has 42, or 14 in each story.

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Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:6". "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

The nethermost chamber was five cubits broad, and the middle was six cubits broad, and the third was seven cubits broad: for without in the wall of the house he made narrowed rests round about, that the beams should not be fastened in the walls of the house. No JFB commentary on this verse.

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

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

The nethermost chamber was five cubits broad, and the middle was six cubits broad, and the third was seven cubits broad: for without in the wall of the house he made narrowed rests round about, that the beams should not be fastened in the walls of the house.
narrowed rests
or, narrowings, or rebatements.
Reciprocal: 2 Kings 11:2 - in the bedchamber;  1 Chronicles 28:11 - upper chambers;  Jeremiah 35:2 - into one;  Ezekiel 41:5 - side chamber;  Ezekiel 41:6 - and they

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