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Go to Bible: 1 Kings 7
“his own house.” Solomon’s palace was made up of five different sections, and how they were connected and the pattern they formed is not known.(top)
“For he built the House of the Forest of Lebanon.” This is not a separate building, but a wing of Solomon’s palace; in fact it is likely that it is the first entrance into the palace, which is why weapons and armor were stored there (cp. 1 Kings 10:16-17). It is much larger than the Temple, which was 60 by 20 cubits.
“four rows of cedar pillars.” It was because this building had four rows of cedar pillars, not stone pillars, that it resembled a forest and was known as the House of the Forest of Lebanon.
“cedar beams.” From recent archaeological discoveries, these are beams above the pillars (Yosef Garfinkel and Madeleine Mumcuoglu, Solomon’s Temple and Palace: New Archaeological Discoveries, 2016, p. 61).(top)
“above the planks.” The translation of 1 Kings 7:3 comes from new discoveries about ancient architecture (Yosef Garfinkel and Madeleine Mumcuoglu, Solomon’s Temple and Palace: New Archaeological Discoveries, 2016, p. 61).(top)
“opening.” The word comes from the word for “sight” or “light,” and apparently it was used as an opening that was a window (1 Kings 7:4) and an opening that was a door (1 Kings 7:5). The word only occurs in these two verses in the Old Testament.(top)
“and opening was opposite opening three times.” The house of the Forest of Lebanon was 150 feet long, and it seems to have had three doors on each end (or side), each door opposite the door on the other end (or side). Whether the doors were on the long side or the short side is not stated.(top)
“the Hall of Pillars.” This is another wing of Solomon's palace.
“a vestibule in front of it.” The Hebrew is plural, “in front of them,” that is, in front of the pillars, but we think of the “Hall of Pillars” as a singular building, thus “it.”(top)
“Hall.” In other contexts the Hebrew word is translated “vestibule” in the REV, but we would not normally say, “the Vestibule of Judgment.” “Hall of Judgment” is clearer.
“from floor to floor.” The Hebrew text is clear but the meaning is unclear. The Syriac and Vulgate support the emendation, “from floor to [ceiling] beams” (cp. 1 Kings 6:16). However, that would make the verse about the wall covering, not the floor covering at all. The emendation may be the correct reading, but it is also possible that the Hebrew text is describing something that we do not yet clearly understand.(top)
|1Ki 7:8||- (top)|
“All these.” The three wings of Solomon’s palace: the Hall of Judgment, Solomon’s living quarters, and the house for Pharaoh’s daughter.
“inside and outside.” Both the inside wall of the buildings and the outside walls were cut with saws so that they were smooth.
“from the foundation to the coping.” The “coping” is the uppermost course of stone in a stone wall. The walls of Solomon's buildings were smooth all the way from the foundation up to the very last course of stone, thus, to the roof.
“the great courtyard.” Exactly what the “great courtyard” refers to is not known, but it likely refers to the large enclosure around the entire palace complex. It is compared to the inner courtyard of the Temple (1 Kings 7:12).(top)
|1Ki 7:10||- (top)|
|1Ki 7:11||- (top)|
|1Ki 7:12||- (top)|
|1Ki 7:13||- (top)|
“bronze.” The same Hebrew word can mean copper (cp. Deut. 8:9).
“his works.” That is, Hiram did all his metalwork that he was skilled to make.(top)
“and the circumference was 12 cubits.” The Aramaic Targum, the Syriac, and the Septuagint add, “It was hollow, and its thickness was four fingers.” Jeremiah 52:21 says the same thing. It is likely that this phrase was omitted in the copying of the Hebrew text.(top)
|1Ki 7:16||- (top)|
|1Ki 7:17||- (top)|
|1Ki 7:18||- (top)|
“four cubits.” This seems to be saying that the lily work went up four cubits, while the capital itself was five cubits (1 Kings 7:16).(top)
|1Ki 7:20||- (top)|
“Jachin.” This means, “He will establish.” This was the pillar on the south side. The names would honor God, and speak of the Davidic monarchy and establishing it.
“Boaz.” This means, “in Him is strength.” This was the pillar on the north side.(top)
|1Ki 7:22||- (top)|
“brim to brim.” The Hebrew is more literally, “lip to lip.”(top)
“gourds that encircled it, ten to a cubit.” The gourds were very delicate work. For there to be ten gourds to every 18 inches, the gourds could only be a little over an inch apiece.(top)
“west.” The Hebrew is “seaward,” that is, towards the Mediterranean Sea.
“east.” The Hebrew is “sunrise,” which is to the east.(top)
“held 2,000 baths.” This is about the amount of liquid that the tanker trucks that deliver gas to gas stations hold. The largest trucks can carry somewhere around 11,000 to 11,500 gallons. The record in 2 Chron. 4:5 is that the sea held 3,000 baths. Different people have given different explanations for the difference. One is that Chronicles was written later than Kings and the later “bath” measure was smaller. Another explanation is that when filled normally the sea held 2,000 baths, but if filled to the brim it would hold 3,000. The Bible does not explain the reason for the different measures.(top)
|1Ki 7:27||- (top)|
|1Ki 7:28||- (top)|
|1Ki 7:29||- (top)|
|1Ki 7:30||- (top)|
“And the opening of it was on the inside of the crown.” On top of the stand was a round projection that is called the “crown” because it was round like a crown. Into the crown went the basin, which was supported on the projections that came out from the legs of the stands.(top)
“the axle-struts.” The Hebrew word is literally “hand.” The strut that connected the axle to the stand was part of the stand and “grabbed” the axle so that it stayed under the stand like an auto strut grabs the axle of a car so the wheels stay in place under the car.(top)
|1Ki 7:33||- (top)|
“There were four supports at the four corners of each stand.” If the supports held the basins in place, then the verse would likely read something like, “There were four supports for the water basins at the four corners of each base.” The basins would have weighed almost a ton (2,000 lbs) each, so there would have been a need for extra supports.(top)
|1Ki 7:35||- (top)|
|1Ki 7:36||- (top)|
|1Ki 7:37||- (top)|
|1Ki 7:38||- (top)|
“the right side of the house.” The “right side” is the south side in the biblical culture. The sea was placed east of the Temple and on the south side of it.(top)
“the pots.” Although the Masoretic text reads “basins,” there is good evidence that reading was miscopied and 1 Kings 7:40 is speaking of Temple implements that have not been mentioned earlier. For one thing, the Hebrew word for “basins” and the Hebrew word for “pots” are very close, the difference being only one letter that gets mistaken for the other (cp. Walter Maier III, Concordia Commentary: 1 Kings 1-11). In fact, many Hebrew manuscripts, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Septuagint, and the Vulgate all read “pots,” not “basins.” Also, the context reads like this is a new subject, and the “basins” had been discussed earlier, but the pots had not. Also, the parallel verse in 2 Chronicles 4:11 reads “pots,” not “basins,” and there does not seem to be a reason that there would be a contradiction between Kings and Chronicles when it comes to pots. Also, five verses later, in 1 Kings 7:45, the list clearly seems to be repeated, with “pots” and not basins.(top)
“two...two...two.” The repetition of “two” emphasizes the fact that there were two similar pillars in front of Solomon’s Temple.(top)
|1Ki 7:42||- (top)|
|1Ki 7:43||- (top)|
|1Ki 7:44||- (top)|
|1Ki 7:45||- (top)|
“The king cast them in the plain of the Jordan.” This is in the Transjordan. The location of Zarethan is debated but Sukkoth is north and east of where the Jordan enters the Dead Sea, so Zarethan would be close by. It is unclear why the implements for the Temple would have been cast in the Transjordan, east of the Jordan River. The alluvial soil east and west of the Jordan River is very similar since the Jordan flooded its banks and covered much of the rift valley floor almost every year (cp. Josh. 3:15). Getting heavy bronze articles up the more than 3,000-foot climb in elevation from the Jordan Valley to Jerusalem would be difficult enough, but getting the heavy articles across the Jordan River would seem to be a major problem. Any wheeled device would have almost certainly sunk in the mud of the river bottom unless a great effort was made to create some kind of road through the river.
“in the thickness of the ground.” The meaning of the Hebrew text is uncertain. The translation “in clay molds” is preferred in some translations (cp. CEB; CSB; NIV; NKJ; NLT; ). However, some translations have “in the clay ground” (cp. CJB; ESV; KJV; NASB; NRSV). But the translation “in the clay ground” is somewhat suspicious because the ground in the Transjordan is not known for having thick clay, and in fact, the soil on both sides of the Jordan River is very similar. Also, the soil is full of rocks of various sizes that have been deposited in it over thousands of years of flooding, so any clay that was used would have to be cleaned and screened for rocks before it could be used in making a mold.
The Hebrew “in the thickness of the ground” could refer to some kind of mold, but it also could refer to man-made furnaces that were in the ground. Furnaces were dug in the ground to keep them hot and unaffected by wind-blown sand and such. Air was blown into these furnaces by bellows to keep the fire as hot as needed. It is also possible that the Hebrew is referring to the whole process of smelting the metal and then making the molds and casting the vessels, but the text is not giving us the details of the whole process.
“Sukkoth and Zarethan.” These towns are in the Transjordan, east of the Jordan River. The reason why Solomon would cast these heavy articles on the east side of the Jordan River and then have to bring them back across the river is not understood.(top)
|1Ki 7:47||- (top)|
|1Ki 7:48||- (top)|
“the menorahs, five on the right side and five on the left.” Moses’ Tabernacle had one menorah (Exod. 37:17-24). Solomon’s Temple had ten.
“before the inner sanctuary.” The lampstands (the “menorahs”) were in the Holy Place, before the inner sanctuary, the Holy of Holies.
“the lamps.” These were the oil lamps that were set on the menorahs. The menorahs were “lampstands,” but they did not have the lamp itself as a built-in part of them. The oil lamps had to be set on the menorahs.(top)
“panels.” The meaning of the Hebrew word is unknown. It is not part of the structure of the Temple, but goes inside the Temple. Although “hinges” or “sockets” are popular translations in the English Bibles, a hinge or door socket made of gold would not work at all, gold is simply too soft to be workable with the heavy doors of the Temple.(top)
|1Ki 7:51||- (top)|