1 Kings 6:4
And for the house he made windows of narrow lights.
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(4) Windows of narrow lights.—The marginal reading, “windows broad within and narrow without”—splayed as in ordinary Gothic architecture—is supported by very good authorities; but the most probable meaning is “windows with fixed beams”—that is, with fixed lattices, like jalousies, useful for ventilation, but immovable, so that no one could look out or in.

1 Kings 6:4. Windows of narrow lights — Narrow without, to prevent the inconveniences of the weather, and widening by degrees inwardly, that the house might better receive, and more disperse, the light. The tabernacle had no light from without, and it appears by this the temple had not much.6:1-10 The temple is called the house of the Lord, because it was directed and modelled by him, and was to be employed in his service. This gave it the beauty of holiness, that it was the house of the Lord, which was far beyond all other beauties. It was to be the temple of the God of peace, therefore no iron tool must be heard; quietness and silence suit and help religious exercises. God's work should be done with much care and little noise. Clamour and violence often hinder, but never further the work of God. Thus the kingdom of God in the heart of man grows up in silence, Mr 5:27.Windows of narrow lights - Either (as in the margin) windows, externally mere slits in the wall, but opening wide within, like the windows of old castles: or, more probably, "windows with fixed lattices." The windows seem to have been placed high in the walls, above the chambers spoken of in 1 Kings 6:5-8. 4. windows of narrow lights—that is, windows with lattices, capable of being shut and opened at pleasure, partly to let out the vapor of the lamps, the smoke of the frankincense, and partly to give light [Keil]. Narrow outward, to prevent the inconveniences of the weather; widening by degrees inward, that so the house might better receive and more disperse the light. Or, for prospect, i.e. to give light; yet shut, i.e. so far closed as to keep out weather, and let in light. And for the house he made windows of narrow lights. Or "open, shut" (o), which could be both, having shutters to them, to open or shut at pleasure; windows which they could open, and look through at them, or shut when they pleased; the Targum is,

"open within, and shut without;''

or, as others understand it, they were wide within, and narrow without; by being narrow without, the house was preserved from bad weather, as well as could not so easily be looked into by those without; and by being broader within, the light that was let in spread itself within the house; which some interpret only of the holy place, the most holy place having, as they suppose, no windows in it, which yet is not certain: now these windows may denote the word and ordinances of the church of God, whereby light is communicated to men; which in the present state is but narrow or small, in comparison of the new Jerusalem church state, and the ultimate glory; and especially so it was under the legal dispensation, which was very obscure; see Sol 2:9 Isaiah 55:8.

(o) "apertas clausas", Vatablus; "perspectui accommodas, clausas", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.

And for the house he made windows of narrow lights.
4. windows of narrow lights] It is not easy to explain the nature of these windows from the words used to describe them. They were apparently windows made by overlaid woodwork, either in the fashion of sloping louvre boards or fashioned like latticework crosswise. Then the last word indicates that they were closed in some way or other. Hence the margins of the A.V. ‘windows broad within and narrow without’ or ‘skewed and closed.’ The former of these margins the R.V. has preserved, but gives in the text windows of fixed latticework, taking the word ‘closed’ to imply the permanent nature of the woodwork in the apertures. These windows were in the wall, above the roof of the chambers which are described in the next verse, and must have been of the nature of the clerestory windows which overlook the aisles of a church. There could have been only very little light from them, but the building was lighted artificially.Verse 4. - And for the house he made windows of narrow lights. [There has been much disputation over these words. The older expositors generally follow (as does the marg.) the Chaldee and Rabbins: "windows broad within and narrow without;" windows, i.e. somewhat like the loopholes of ancient castles. The windows of the temple would then have resembled those of Egyptian sacred buildings. (It is not implied that there was any conscious imitation of Egypt, though Fergusson surely forgets the affinity with Pharaoh (1 Kings 3:1), the trade with Egypt (1 Kings 10:28), and the favour with which some Egyptian fashions were regarded (Song of Solomon 1:9), when he contends that the chosen people would never take the buildings of their ancestral enemy for a model.) But this meaning is not supported by the original (שְׁקֻפִים אֲטֻמִים), the literal interpretation of which is "closed beams" (cf. chap. 7:4, 5), and which the most competent scholars now understand to mean "closed or fixed lattices, i.e., the lattices or the temple windows were not movable, as in domestic architecture (2 Kings 1:2; 2 Kings 13, 17; Daniel 6:10). So Gesenius, De Wette, Keil, Bahr, al.] "Beside (לבד), i.e., without reckoning, the princes, Solomon's officers, who were over the work (i.e., the chiefs appointed by Solomon as overlookers of the work), 3300, who ruled over the people who laboured at the work." הנּצּבים שׂרי, as Thenius correctly observes, cannot be the chief of the overlookers, i.e., the head inspectors, as there is no allusion made to subordinate inspectors, and the number given is much too large for head inspectors. נצּבים, which is governed by שׂרי in the construct state, is to be taken as defining the substantive: principes qui praefecti erant (Vatabl.; cf. Ewald, 287, a.). Moreover, at the close of the account of the whole of Solomon's buildings (1 Kings 9:23), 550 more הנּצּבים שׂרי are mentioned as presiding over the people who did the work. The accounts in the Chronicles differ from these in a very peculiar manner, the number of overseers being given in 2 Chronicles 2:17 and 3600, and in 2 Chronicles 8:10 as 250. Now, however natural it may be, with the multiplicity of errors occurring in numerical statements, to assume that these differences have arisen from copyists' errors through the confounding together of numerical letters resembling one another, this explanation is overthrown as an improbable one, by the fact that the sum-total of the overseers is the same in both accounts (3300 + 550 equals 3850 in the books of Kings, and 3600 + 250 equals 3850 in the Chronicles); and we must therefore follow J. H. Michaelis, an explain the differences as resulting from a different method of classification, namely, from the fact that in the Chronicles. the Canaanitish overseers are distinguished from the Israelitish (viz., 3600 Canaanites and 250 Israelites), whereas in the books of Kings the inferiores et superiores praefecti are distinguished. Consequently Solomon had 3300 inferior overseers and 550 superior (or superintendents), of whom 250 were selected from the Israelites and 300 from the Canaanites. In 2 Chronicles 2:16-17, it is expressly stated that the 3600 were taken from the גּרים, i.e., the Canaanites who were left in the land of Israel. And it is equally certain that the number given in 1 Kings 9:23 and 2 Chronicles 8:10 (550 and 250) simply comprises the superintendents over the whole body of builders, notwithstanding the fact that in both passages (1 Kings 5:16 and 1 Kings 9:23) the same epithet הנּצּבים שׂרי is used. If, then, the number of overseers is given in 1 Kings 9:23 and 550, i.e., 300 more than in the parallel passage of the Chronicles, there can hardly be any doubt that the number 550 includes the 300, in which the number given in our chapter falls short of that in the Chronicles, and that in the 3300 of our chapter the superintendents of Canaanitish descent are not included.

(Note: Ewald (Gesch. iii. p. 292) assumes that "by the 550 (1 Kings 9:23) we are to understand the actual superintendents, whereas the 3300 (1 Kings 5:13) include inferior inspectors as well; and of the 550 superintendents, 300 were taken from the Canaanaeans, so that only 250 (2 Chronicles 8:10) were native Hebrews;" though he pronounces the number 3600 (2 Chronicles 2:17) erroneous. Bertheau, on the other hand, in his notes in 2 Chronicles 8:10, has rather complicated than elucidated the relation in which the two accounts stand to one another.)

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