1 Kings 6:5
And against the wall of the house he built chambers round about, against the walls of the house round about, both of the temple and of the oracle: and he made chambers round about:
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(5-10) The general meaning of these verses is clear, though some of the words are doubtful. Round three sides of the Temple was built a kind of aisle, opening, however, outwards and not into the Temple, having three storeys of low chambers (each only five cubits high), so arranged that the beams of their roofs were supported on rests on the outside of the wall (each rest being a cubit wide), leaving the wall itself intact. Thus the chambers of the lowest storey were narrowest—five cubits broad; the second storey six cubits, and the highest storey seven cubits broad. The higher storeys (see 1Kings 6:8), in which the chambers no doubt opened into one another, were approached by a staircase, having an external entrance on the right side of the building; the chambers of the lowest storey probably had external doors of their own. Above the highest storey were still five cubits of wall, which would give room for the windows (like clerestory windows) previously mentioned. Nothing is said of the use of these chambers; but they would be, no doubt, for residence of the priests, stores for the Temple, and furniture.

The word rendered “chambers” in the former part of 1Kings 6:5 is a singular noun, signifying the whole of this aisle or side building; the “chambers” in the latter part of the verse—properly, “side pieces.” or “ribs denote the separate apartments, or perhaps each of the storeys of the building.

1 Kings 6:5. Against the wall of the house he built chambers — For the accommodation of the priests, when they were upon duty at the temple. Here they kept their clothes, the sacred vessels not in immediate use, and the treasures belonging to the temple. These chambers are said to have been built against or adjoining to the wall; for their beams were not fastened into the wall, but leaned upon the buttresses of the wall. Round about — On all the sides except the east, where the porch was, and except some very small passages for the light. And yet the lights might be in the five uppermost cubits of the wall, which were above all these chambers, for these were only fifteen cubits high, and the wall was twenty cubits high. And he made chambers round about — In the Hebrew, He made ribs; by which some understand galleries, which encompassed all the forenamed chambers, and were necessary for passages to them.

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.Chambers - (Margin, floors). Rather, a lean-to, which completely surrounded three sides of the building, the north, the west, and the south. 1Ki 6:5-10. The Chambers Thereof.

5. against the wall of the house he built chambers—On three sides, there were chambers in three stories, each story wider than the one beneath it, as the walls were narrowed or made thinner as they ascended, by a rebate being made, on which the beams of the side floor rested, without penetrating the wall. These chambers were approached from the right-hand side, in the interior of the under story, by a winding staircase of stone, which led to the middle and upper stories.

Against the wall; or, upon it; or, joining to it; for the beams of the chambers were not fastened into the wall, but leaned upon the buttresses of the wall. He built chambers, for the laying the priests’ garments and other utensils belonging to the temple, or to the worship of God, therein: see 2 Kings 11:2 1 Chronicles 28:12 Ezekiel 42:13,14.

Round about; not simply, for there were none on the, east side; and it may seem that there were some spaces left for the windows, which being narrow outwardly, little spaces would suffice; but in a manner, i.e. on all the sides except the east, where the porch was, and except some very small passages for the light. And yet these lights might be in the five uppermost cubits of the wall, which were above all these chambers; for these were only fifteen cubits high, and the wall was twenty cubits high.

He made chambers, Heb. ribs, i.e. either other chambers above and besides the former; or rather, long galleries, which encompassed all the chambers, as the ribs do man’s body; and which were necessary for passage to all the several chambers.

And against the wall of the house he built chambers round about,.... Or near it, as Jarchi interprets it, for the beams of them were not fastened in in it, 1 Kings 6:6; or rather "upon" it (p); and when they are said to be round about the house, it must be understood of the two sides, north and south, and of the west end only, for at the east end, where the porch was, there were none:

against the walls of the house round about, both of the temple and of the oracle; that is, both of the holy and the most holy place:

and he made chambers round about; the said buildings; which is repeated that it might be observed; how many chambers there were, is not said; Josephus says (q) there were thirty of them, and over them others of the same measure and number, and over them others also; so that there were three stories of them, and in all ninety; and which is countenanced by what follows in 1 Kings 6:6, and agrees with Ezekiel 41:6; the Jewish doctors say (r), there were thirty eight of them, fifteen on the north, fifteen on the south, and eight on the west; they that were to the north and south were five upon five, and five over them; and they that were to the west were three upon three, and two over them; upper rooms or chambers were rare in Heathen temples (s): these chambers were for the priests, where they lodged and laid up their garments, and ate their holy things; and were emblems of congregated churches, where the true members thereof, who are priests to God, have communion with him, and partake of divine things.

(p) "super parietem", V. L. Montanus. (q) Antiqu. l. 8. c. 3. sect. 2.((r) Misn. Middot, c. 4. sect. 3.((s) Pausan. Laconic. sive. l. 3. p. 190.

And against the wall of the house he built chambers round about, against the walls of the house round about, both of the temple and of {d} the oracle: and he made chambers round about:

(d) When God spoke between the Cherubim, called also the most holy place.

5. And against the wall of the house he built chambers] The A. V. points out by its margin that the word here translated ‘chambers’ is not the same as that so rendered in the latter part of the verse. For the former it gives ‘floors’ as an alternative, for the latter ‘ribs.’ The first seems to embrace the whole structure and the latter to describe single rows of the same. What Solomon erected was three stories (as given by R.V.) of small chambers running all round two sides and one end of the Temple. The floors of these were supported on the stone work of the main building in the way described in the next verse, but were not let into the Temple-building. That wall was intact. The R.V. gives he built stories round about. Of this environment of chambers the Chronicler makes no mention.

both of the temple and of the oracle] i.e. Of the holy place and of the most holy place. The whole erection was enclosed on three sides in a casework of chambers.

and he made chambers round about] The R.V. has side chambers. This word seems to refer to the several floors one above another which formed this casework of chambers. There were three stories, each five cubits high. The Scripture record does not tell us into how many chambers each floor was divided. Josephus says there were thirty in all, he also states that they were reached by going through one to another, καὶ τὰς εἰσόδους αὐτοῖς διʼ ἀλλήλων κατεσκεύασεν.

Verse 5. - And against [or upon, עַל; they rested on the wall] the wall of the house [here meaning both temple and oracle: see below] he built chambers [Marg. floors. The Orig. is יָצוּעַ (Keri, יָצִיעַ) singular = stratum (תךשׁארתס יָצַע, spread out). Symm. translates κατάστρωμα. Gesenius remarks that the word is used here and in ver. 10 in the masculine of the whole of the side structure, while in ver. 6 it is used in the feminine of the single stories. The floors bore this name, יָצוּע, because they were spread upon, not inserted into the walls. Rawlinson has evidently confounded this word with צֵלָע (see below) when he says, "The Hebrew word here used would be best translated a lean to." Both words are translated alike "chambers" in the Authorized Version, but the first means stories or floors; the second may, perhaps, signify lean tos] round about, against [It is doubtful whether אֶת is here, as commonly, merely the sign of the accusative, or is the preposition "with," meaning "in connexion with," cum parietibus (Seb. Schmidt), in which case its meaning would approach very closely to that of עַל above. Bahr remarks that עַל and אֶת are used elsewhere as almost synonymous, and refers to Psalm 4:7 in connexion with Psalm 67:2. Keil translates, "As for the walls" (Anlangend die Wande), but this gives us an unfinished sentence. It is probably an accusative, explicative of the preceding clause = "I mean the walls," etc., the singular, wall, having being used above. This additional clause] the walls of the house round about [would then mean that the term "house" is to be understood as including both temple and oracle (and excluding porch), as the next words define it], both of the temple and of the oracle [The floors, i.e., ran round the south, west, and north sides of the building. Stanley aptly compares them to the little shops which nestle under the continental cathedrals; though the side aisles of some Gothic churches, viewed externally, would perhaps better represent their proportions] and he made chambers [צְלָעעות, literally, ribs, beams, (Gesenius); Rippen (Bahr). The design of the word is clearly to convey that the floors were "divided by partitions into distinct compartments" (Merz). According to Ezekiel 41:6 (where, however, the reading is doubtful) there were thirty-three of these side chambers; according to Josephus (Ant. 8:08. 2) thirty. Thenius is probably not so far wrong when he sees in these chambers bedrooms. A sort of monastery would seem to have been attached to the temple. So many chambers could hardly have been required for the "preservation of temple stores and utensils" (Keil), or of offerings (Ewald). Whatever their use, we can hardly suppose that they were wholly without light, though nothing is said about windows. They may have had "fixed lattices." It is to be re. membered that the priests and Levites ministered "by night in the house of the Lord" (Psalm 134:1)] round about. 1 Kings 6:5The side building. - 1 Kings 6:5. "He built against the wall of the house an outwork round about (i.e., against the two longer sides and against the hinder wall, and not against the front also, where the porch was built), against the walls of the house round about, against the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies, and he made side chambers round about." יצוּע (written constantly יציע in the Keri) signifies literally stratum, here the lower building or outwork erected against the rooms mentioned. The word is gen. comm., but so construed that the masculine is used in a collective sense to denote the whole of the outworks, consisting as they did of three stories, whereas the feminine is used for one single story of the building (1 Kings 6:6). On this use of the masculine and feminine genders to distinguish the whole mass and the individual parts, which is very common in Arabic, though it is rare in Hebrew, in which the distinction is generally expressed by a peculiar feminine form. as for example אני a fleet, and אניּה a single ship, compare Ewald, Lehrbuch der hebr. Spr. 175, d., and 176, a., and gramm. crit. ling, arab. i. 295. את־קירות does not mean cum parietibus (Seb. Schmidt and J. H. Michaelis), but את is a sign of the accusative, "as for the walls," and introduces the more precise definition. צלעות signifies, both here and in Ezekiel 41:6., side chambers or side stories, from צלע, to incline to one side, hence to limp, i.e., to lean constantly to one side. From this there were derived for צלע the meanings side, side piece or side wall, e.g., of the ark, Exodus 25:12, Exodus 25:14, etc., of the dwelling, Exodus 26:20, Exodus 26:26, etc., of the altar, Exodus 27:7, etc., the side wall or slope of a mountain, 2 Samuel 16:13, the side portion of the human body, i.e., the rib, Genesis 2:21-22, the sides or leaves of a door in 1 Kings 6:34 of the present chapter, and when used of buildings, the side pieces or portions built out which lean against the main building; and lastly, the idea of a piece which shows a large side, i.e., a broad plank (1 Kings 6:15-16). The meaning planks or beams, as it were ribs or rib-work, is unfounded.
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