1 Kings 6:17
And the house, that is, the temple before it, was forty cubits long.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
1 Kings 6:17-18. The temple before it — The part of the house which was before the most holy place. In the Hebrew the words are, before my face, that is, before the place where the divine glory appeared. Was forty cubits long — Twice as long as the most holy place. The cedar of the house was carved — Cedar is here named, not to exclude all other wood, but stone only, as the following words show. Carved with knops — Or gourds, as it is 2 Kings 4:39, where the like word is translated gourds. And open flowers — Imitations of the flowers of the gourd, spread and full blown. All was cedar, there was no stone seen — That is, either all the house was covered with cedar, or all the carved work was of cedar.

6:15-38 See what was typified by this temple. 1. Christ is the true Temple. In him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead; in him meet all God's spiritual Israel; through him we have access with confidence to God. 2. Every believer is a living temple, in whom the Spirit of God dwells, 1Co 3:16. This living temple is built upon Christ as its Foundation, and will be perfect in due time. 3. The gospel church is the mystical temple. It grows to a holy temple in the Lord, enriched and beautified with the gifts and graces of the Spirit. This temple is built firm, upon a Rock. 4. Heaven is the everlasting temple. There the church will be fixed. All that shall be stones in that building, must, in the present state of preparation, be fitted and made ready for it. Let sinners come to Jesus as the living Foundation, that they may be built on him, a part of this spiritual house, consecrated in body and soul to the glory of God.The meaning is, that at the distance of 20 cubits, measured along the side walls of the house from the end wall, Solomon constructed a partition, which reached from the floor to the ceiling and had a doorway in it. He thus made within the house, a sanctuary for a holy of holies. 1Ki 6:15-22. The Ceiling and Adorning of It.

15-21. he built the walls of the house within—The walls were wainscotted with cedar-wood; the floor, paved with cypress planks; the interior was divided (by a partition consisting of folding doors, which were opened and shut with golden chains) into two apartments—the back or inner room, that is, the most holy place, was twenty cubits long and broad; the front, or outer room, that is, the holy place, was forty cubits. The cedar-wood was beautifully embellished with figures in relievo, representing clusters of foliage, open flowers, cherubims, and palm trees. The whole interior was overlaid with gold, so that neither wood nor stone was seen; nothing met the eye but pure gold, either plain or richly chased.

The house, i.e. the holy place. That is, the temple: this is added to restrain the signification of the word house, which otherwise notes the whole building. Before it, i.e. before the oracle. Or, as it is in the Hebrew, before my face, i.e. before the place of my presence. Or it may be said to be before God, because he being pleased to describe himself as sitting upon the cherubim, hath his face towards this house, where he beholds the services of his people. So this part of the house, distinct from the most holy, hath its harmonious proportions also. The length 40, to the height 30, is sesquiterian, or 4 to 3 (which is that of a fourth in music); the length to the breadth, 40 to 20, as 2 to 1; the height to the breadth, 30 to 20, as 3 to 2.

And the house, that is, the temple before it,.... The holy place, which was before the of holies:

was forty cubits long; and which, with the most holy place, being twenty cubits, as in the preceding verse, made the length of the whole house sixty cubits, as in 1 Kings 6:2.

And the {i} house, that is, the temple before it, was forty cubits long.

(i) For when he spoke of the house in the first verse, he meant both the oracle and the temple.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
17. And the house] Here signifying the holy place, which was in front of the oracle. The word which in this verse is rendered ‘before it’ is an adjective, and this form is found only here. It qualifies the noun ‘Temple,’ and signifies ‘that which is in front,’ viz. of the oracle.

Verse 17. - And the house, that is, the temple before it [or, the anterior temple. The portion of the structure before the oracle is sometimes called, as here, "the house;" sometimes (as in ver, 5) "the temple; sometimes (as in ver. 4) "the temple of the house;" or, as here again, "the front temple," לִפְנַי is supposed to be an adjective formed from לִפְנֵי. Thenius, however, supposes that דְּבִיר (oracle) has fallen out of the text. Our author now describes the division of the building into holy and most holy place] was forty cubits long. 1 Kings 6:17"And he built אמּה את־עשׂרים, the twenty cubits (i.e., the space of twenty cubits), of the hindermost side of the house with boards of cedar," from the floor to the beams (of the roof). עד־הקּירות is to be explained from הסּפּן קירות עד in 1 Kings 6:15. "And built them for it (the house - לו pointing back to הבּית) into the hinder room, into the Most Holy." דּביר is more precisely defined by the apposition הקּדשׁים קדשׁ, and therefore denotes the Most Holy Place. But there is a doubt as to its derivation and true meaning. Aquila and Symmachus render it χρηματιστήριον, Jerome λαλητήριον, or in the Vulg. oraculum, so that they derive it from דּבר, to speak; and Hengstenberg adopts this derivation in Psalm 28:2 : דּביר, lit., that which is spoken, then the place where the speaking takes place. Most of the more recent commentators, on the other hand, follow the example of C. B. Michaelis and J. Simonis, and render it, after the Arabic, the hinder portion or back room, which is favoured by the antithesis לפני היכל, the front sanctuary (1 Kings 6:17). The words of the text, moreover, are not to be understood as referring to a cedar wall in front of the Most Holy Place which rose to the height of twenty cubits, but to all four walls of the Most Holy Place, so that the wall which divided the hinder room from the Holy Place is not expressly mentioned, simply because it is self-evident. The words also imply that the whole of the hinder space of the house to the length of twenty cubits was cut off for the Most Holy Place, and therefore the party wall must also have filled the whole height of the house, which was as much as thirty cubits, and reached, as is expressly stated, from the floor to the roof. There remained therefore forty cubits of the house (in length) for לפני היכל, the front palace, i.e., the Holy Place of the temple (1 Kings 6:17). לפני, anterior, formed from לפני (cf. Ewald, 164, a.). - In 1 Kings 6:18 there is inserted in a circumstantial clause the statement as to the internal decoration of both rooms; and the further description of the Most Holy Place is given in 1 Kings 6:19. "And cedar wood was (placed) against the house inside, sculpture of gourds (colocynthides) and open buds." מקלעת is in apposition to ארז, containing a more minute description of the nature of the covering of cedar. מקלעת signifies sculpture, half-raised work (basso relievo); not, however, "that kind of bas-relief in which the figures, instead of rising above the surface on which they are wrought, are simply separated from it by the chiselling out of their outlines, and their being then rounded off according to these outlines" (Thenius). For although the expression מקלעות פּתּוּחי (1 Kings 6:29) appears to favour this, yet "merely engraved work" does not harmonize with the decorations of the brazen stands in 1 Kings 7:31, which are also called מקלעות. פּקעים are figures resembling the פּקּעת, or wild gourds (2 Kings 4:39), i.e., oval ornaments, probably running in straight rows along the walls. צצּים פּטוּרי are open flower-buds; not hangings or garlands of flowers (Thenius), for this meaning cannot be derived from פּטר in the sense of loosening or setting free, so as to signify flowers loosened or set free ( equals garlands), which would be a marvellous expression! The objection that, "flowers not yet opened, i.e., flower-buds, were not צצּים, but פּרחים," rests upon a false interpretation of the passage referred to.
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