Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where the LORD appeared unto David his father, in the place that David had prepared in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.2 Chronicles 3:1. In mount Moriah — Part of this mountain was in the tribe of Judah, and part of it in the tribe of Benjamin: so that the temple is ascribed to them both. To Judah, Psalm 77:68, 69, and to Benjamin, Deuteronomy 33:12. For the greatest part of the courts were in the tribe of Judah; but the altar, the porch, the most holy part of the temple, where the ark and the cherubim were, in the tribe of Benjamin. It was the belief of the ancient Jews, that the temple was built on the very spot where Abraham offered up Isaac. So the Jewish Targum (a paraphrase on the books of Moses, in the Chaldee language) says expressly, adding, But he (Isaac) was delivered by the word of the Lord, and a ram provided in his place. That offering of Isaac was typical of Christ’s sacrifice of himself: therefore fitly was the temple built there, which was also a type of him. Where the Lord appeared unto David — That is, which place the Lord had consecrated by his gracious appearance there, 1 Chronicles 21:26. The place that David had prepared — Which he had not only purchased with his money, but which he had pitched upon by divine direction, and made ready for the purpose by pulling down the buildings that were upon it or near it, by levelling the ground, and possibly by marking it out for the temple and courts, the dimensions whereof he probably very particularly and exactly understood by the Spirit of God. In the thrashing-floor of Ornan — In that place where the thrashing-floor formerly was.
And he began to build in the second day of the second month, in the fourth year of his reign.2 Chronicles 3:2. He began to build in the second day, &c. — Concerning the contents of this verse, and the rest of the chapter, see notes on 1 Kings 6.
Now these are the things wherein Solomon was instructed for the building of the house of God. The length by cubits after the first measure was threescore cubits, and the breadth twenty cubits.2 Chronicles 3:3-5. These are the things wherein Solomon was instructed — By David his father, and by the Spirit of God. After the first measure threescore cubits — According to the measure which was first fixed. The porch, the height was a hundred and twenty — This being a kind of turret to the building. How this may be reconciled with 1 Kings 6:3, see the notes there. The breadth of it, here omitted, is there said to be ten cubits. The greater house he ceiled with fir-tree — Namely, the holy place, which was twice as large as the lesser house, or the holy of holies, which is called the most holy house, 2 Chronicles 3:8. The outward part of the former was of fir- tree, to bear the weather better; but the inside was lined with cedar, overlaid with gold, and figures, or sculptures, of palm-trees, chains, and other ornaments.
And the porch that was in the front of the house, the length of it was according to the breadth of the house, twenty cubits, and the height was an hundred and twenty: and he overlaid it within with pure gold.
And the greater house he cieled with fir tree, which he overlaid with fine gold, and set thereon palm trees and chains.
And he garnished the house with precious stones for beauty: and the gold was gold of Parvaim.2 Chronicles 3:6-7. He garnished the house with precious stones for beauty — A great many precious stones were dedicated to God 1 Chronicles 29:2; 1 Chronicles 29:8, and these were set here and there where they would show to the best advantage. And the gold was gold of Parvaim — That is, of Taprobana, or Ceylon, as Bochart hath satisfactorily proved. See note on 1 Kings 9:28. With this gold, which was deemed the best, Solomon overlaid even the beams, the posts, the walls, and the doors, graving also cherubim on the walls — The finest houses now pretend to no better garnishing than good paint on the doors, posts, and walls: but the ornaments of the temple were more substantially rich. For it was to be a type of the New Jerusalem, which has therefore no temple in it, because it is all temple, and the walls, gates, and foundations of it are said to be precious stones and pearls.
He overlaid also the house, the beams, the posts, and the walls thereof, and the doors thereof, with gold; and graved cherubims on the walls.
And he made the most holy house, the length whereof was according to the breadth of the house, twenty cubits, and the breadth thereof twenty cubits: and he overlaid it with fine gold, amounting to six hundred talents.2 Chronicles 3:8-10. Fine gold amounting to six hundred talents — That is, upward of three millions forty-five thousand pounds sterling. This vast sum was expended on the holy of holies alone, a room only ten yards square. The weight of the nails — That is, of each of the nails, screws, or pins, by which the golden plates were fastened to the walls that were overlaid with them, was fifty shekels of gold — The meaning seems to be, that each weighed or was worth that sum, workmanship and all. Two cherubims of image-work — Or, sculpture-work. And overlaid them with gold — For they were made of olive-wood, and were not, like those of Moses, of beaten gold. Nor were they fixed, as his were, to the mercy-seat, but appeared in a moving posture.
And the weight of the nails was fifty shekels of gold. And he overlaid the upper chambers with gold.
And in the most holy house he made two cherubims of image work, and overlaid them with gold.
And the wings of the cherubims were twenty cubits long: one wing of the one cherub was five cubits, reaching to the wall of the house: and the other wing was likewise five cubits, reaching to the wing of the other cherub.2 Chronicles 3:11-13. The wings of the cherubims were twenty cubits long — Which was just the breadth of the most holy place. And they stood on their feet — As servants, being designed, it seems, to represent the angels, those ministers of God who do his pleasure, Psalm 103:21, and who always attend the Divine Majesty. And their faces were inward — Toward the ark, that it might appear they were not set there to be adored, for then they would have been formed as sitting on a throne, and their faces would have been toward their worshippers.
And one wing of the other cherub was five cubits, reaching to the wall of the house: and the other wing was five cubits also, joining to the wing of the other cherub.
The wings of these cherubims spread themselves forth twenty cubits: and they stood on their feet, and their faces were inward.
And he made the vail of blue, and purple, and crimson, and fine linen, and wrought cherubims thereon.2 Chronicles 3:14. And he made the veil, &c. — The inner veil, which parted between the holy and the most holy place. This denoted the darkness of that dispensation, and the distance at which the worshippers were kept. But at the death of Christ this veil was rent; for through him we are brought nigh, and have boldness, or παρρησια, liberty, Hebrews 10:19, not only to look, but to enter into the holiest. And wrought cherubims thereon — Hebrew, ויעל, vajagnal, he caused to ascend; that is, they were made in raised work, embossed, and appeared probably on the wing, in an ascending posture, to remind the worshippers to raise their thoughts and affections to God, and to soar upward in their devotions.
Also he made before the house two pillars of thirty and five cubits high, and the chapiter that was on the top of each of them was five cubits.2 Chronicles 3:15-16. He also made before the house — That is, before the holy house, or temple, as it is explained 2 Chronicles 3:17; two pillars of thirty and five cubits high — Namely, both taken together, being each near eighteen cubits, 1 Kings 7:15. He made chains as in the oracle — Like unto those which he made in the oracle, of which see 1 Kings 6:21. And made a hundred pomegranates — In each row, or two hundred in all, as it is said 1 Kings 7:20. These pillars, according to the signification of their names, Jachin and Boaz, mean establishment and strength. See the margin.
And he made chains, as in the oracle, and put them on the heads of the pillars; and made an hundred pomegranates, and put them on the chains.
And he reared up the pillars before the temple, one on the right hand, and the other on the left; and called the name of that on the right hand Jachin, and the name of that on the left Boaz.