2 Chronicles 3:5
And the greater house he cieled with fir tree, which he overlaid with fine gold, and set thereon palm trees and chains.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(5) The greater house.—Or, the great chamber, i.e. the Holy Place, or nave. (Comp. 1Chronicles 28:11.)

He cieled with fir tree.He covered with planks of fir; or, panelled with fir. To ciel, or rather seel (from syle or cyll, a canopy: Skeat, Etymol. Dict. s.v.) a room, meant in old English to wainscot or panel it. (Comp. 1Kings 6:15-16.)

Which he overlaid with fine gold.And covered it (the chamber) with good gold. The cypress wainscoting was plated with gold.

And set thereon palm trees and chains.—Brought up on it (i.e., carved upon it) palms and chain-work (1Kings 7:17). (For the palms, see 1Kings 6:29; Ezekiel 41:18.) The chain-work must have consisted of garland-like carvings on the fir panels. 1Kings 6:18 omits mention of it; LXX., “carved on it palms and chains”; Syriac, “figured on it the likeness of palms and lilies”; Vulgate, “graved on it palms and as it were chainlets intertwining.”

3:1-17 The building of the temple. - There is a more particular account of the building of the temple in #1Ki 6". It must be in the place David had prepared, not only which he had purchased, but which he had fixed on by Divine direction. Full instructions enable us to go about our work with certainty and to proceed therein with comfort. Blessed be God, the Scriptures are enough to render the man of God thoroughly furnished for every good work. Let us search the Scriptures daily, beseeching the Lord to enable us to understand, believe, and obey his word, that our work and our way may be made plain, and that all may be begun, continued, and ended in him. Beholding God, in Christ, his true Temple, more glorious than that of Solomon's, may we become a spiritual house, a habitation of God through the Spirit.The greater house - i. e., the holy place, or main chamber of the temple, intervening between the porch and the holy of holies (so in 2 Chronicles 3:7).

He cieled with fir tree - Rather, "he covered," or "lined." The reference is not to the ceiling, which was entirely of wood, but to the walls and floor, which were of stone, with a covering of planks (marginal reference). The word translated "fir" bears probably in this place, not the narrow meaning which it has in 2 Chronicles 2:8, where it is opposed to cedar, but a wider one, in which cedar is included.

Palm trees and chains - See 1 Kings 6:29. The "chains" are supposed to be garlands or festoons.

5. the greater house—that is, the holy places, the front or outer chamber (see 1Ki 6:17). The greater house, i.e. the holy place, which was thrice as large as the lesser house, or the holy of holies, which is called the most holy house, Deu 8. See Poole "1 Chronicles 28:11".

See Chapter Introduction And the greater house he cieled with fir tree, which he overlaid with fine gold, and set thereon palm trees and chains.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
5–7 (cp. 1 Kings 6:15; 1 Kings 6:21; 1 Kings 6:29-30). The Temple

5. the greater house] It was forty cubits long (1 Kings 6:17), whereas the shrine was twenty (1 Kings 6:16; 1 Kings 6:20).

he cieled] i.e. lined or boarded. The same Hebrew word is translated overlaid in this same verse.

set thereon] R.V. wrought thereon, perhaps in the form of reliefs.

palm trees and chains] The “chains” perhaps connected one palm tree with another. In 1 Kings 6:29, “cherubim and palm trees and open flowers.”

Verse 5. - The greater house; i.e. the holy place. He ceiled. This rendering is wrong. The verb is

(a) given above (ver. 4). It is repeated in the next clause of this very verse as "overlaid," as also in vers. 7, 8, 9. The generic word "covered" would serve all the occasions on which the word occurs here. From a comparison of the parallel it becomes plain that the meaning is that the crone structure of floor and walls was covered over with wood (1 Kings 6:7, 15, 18). That wood for the floor was fir (1 Kings 6:15), probably slim for the walls, which must depend partly on the translation of this ver. 15. It would seem to say that (beside the stone) there was an inner stratum, both to walls and floor, of cedar (reason for which would be easy of conjecture). But another translation obviates the necessity of this inner stratum supposition, rendering "from the floor to the top of the wall." According to this, while the overlaying gold was on cedar for walls and ceiling (1 Kings 6:9), it was on fir for the floor, which does not seem what our present verse purports, unless, according to the suggestion of some, "fir" be interpreted to include cedar. Set thereon palm trees and chains. These were, of course, carvings. The chains, not mentioned in the parallel (1 Kings 6:29; but see 1 Kings 7:17), were probably wreaths of chain design or pattern. Easier modern English would read "put thereon." 2 Chronicles 3:5The interior of the holy place. - 2 Chronicles 3:5. The "great house," i.e., the large apartment of the house, the holy place, he wainscotted with cypresses, and overlaid it with good gold, and carved thereon palms and garlands. חפּה from חפה, to cover, cover over, alternates with the synonymous צפּה in the signification to coat or overlay with wood and gold. תּמּרים .dlo as in Ezekiel 41:18, for תּמּרות, 1 Kings 6:29, 1 Kings 6:35, are artificial palms as wall ornaments. שׁרשׁרות are in Exodus 28:14 small scroll-formed chains of gold wire, here spiral chain-like decorations on the walls, garlands of flowers carved on the wainscot, as we learn from 1 Kings 6:18.
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