2 Chronicles Chapter 3  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Bible: 2 Chronicles 3
2Ch 3:1(top)
2Ch 3:2(top)
2Ch 3:3

“according to the old standard.” The Hebrew is more literally, “by the former measure,” and it refers to a standard that was used in earlier times. But scholars do not know which standard that is, since both the short cubit and the long cubit were used in earlier times. Furthermore, it is possible that there was a short, medium, and long cubit, which was the case in Egypt, and most scholars believe that because of Israel’s time in Egypt they started with the Egyptian cubit. So the “cubit” measurement is debated and made difficult for two reasons: we do not know which of the cubits was used, the long cubit or the short cubit, and also we are not completely sure of the exact length of either cubit, or even if the ancients were able to maintain such tight control over measurements that there was an “exact” cubit. For example, two of the suggested lengths for the long cubit are 20.4 inches or 20.74 inches, while a couple of the suggested measurements for the short cubit are 17.4 and 17:72 inches (cp. Hermeneia: A Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible: 2 Chronicles). So even if we were sure that Solomon used the long or short cubit, we still would not know exactly how long that cubit was. The REV uses 18 inches for the short cubit and 21 inches for the long cubit (see commentary on Ezek. 40:5).

There is some logic in using the shorter cubit for Solomon’s Temple. The true dwelling places of God become more exalted as one goes through history. The Temple was bigger and more glorious than the Tabernacle, and Ezekiel’s Millennial Temple (if Solomon used the short cubit) is bigger than Solomon’s Temple (Ezek. 40-44), and then in the Eternal Kingdom (Rev. 21-22) there is no temple at all but God lives personally among His people (Rev. 21:22).

2Ch 3:4

“and the height 120.” In 1 Kings 6:2, the height of the Temple was 30 cubits, 45 feet, which is very reasonable. The Masoretic text of Chronicles says the height of the vestibule was 120 cubits (180 feet) which is unreasonable. However, the 120 cubit reading in Chronicles has not been satisfactorily explained by scholars, although there are several possibilities.

2Ch 3:5

“greater house.” This is what Kings refers to as “the Holy Place,” the room with the menorahs, etc. In 2 Chronicles 3:5-7 it is called the “house.”

2Ch 3:6(top)
2Ch 3:7(top)
2Ch 3:8(top)
2Ch 3:9(top)
2Ch 3:10

“cherubim.” See commentary on Exodus 25:20 and Ezekiel 1:5.

2Ch 3:11

“The wings of the cherubim were 20 cubits long.” This describes the entire wingspan of both cherubim. Each cherub had two wings, and each wing was 5 cubits, 7.5 feet, so the four wings spanned 20 cubits, the entire width of the Holy of Holies. The outer wing of each cherub reached the wall of Holy of Holies, and the inner wings, which spread out over the ark of the covenant, touched each other over the ark.

“reaching to the wall of the house.” That is, reaching to the outer wall of the Holy of Holies in the Temple, the “house.”

2Ch 3:12(top)
2Ch 3:13(top)
2Ch 3:14

“purple.” Purple cloth was rare and extremely valuable in biblical times. The ancients discovered how to make purple dye from the murex snails, an ocean snail found mainly off the coast of Phoenicia, and the color was so rich and vibrant it was referred to as “royal purple.” In January 2021, researchers at the site of Timna in the southern Negev in Israel, where it is very dry, discovered wool fabric fibers died purple—the first time in history ancient purple fibers have been discovered in the southern Levant (Israel, southern Syria, Moab, Ammon, Edom, and northern Egypt). The color was intact, and the fibers were radiocarbon dated to the tenth century BC, the time of David and Solomon. Purple dye was very difficult to make and thus in the Bible the color purple is usually only associated with the High Priest, the Tabernacle and Temple and royalty. The color of the fibers found is truly a deep purple.

2Ch 3:15(top)
2Ch 3:16

“encircling chains.” The evidence is that the Masoretic text here was miscopied. The reference is to the chains, not to the Holy of Holies and the words are very similar (cp. Gen. 41:42). The pillars outside the Temple are being described, not the Holy of Holies. Comparing Kings and Chronicles, Kings described latticework while Chronicles describes chains.

2Ch 3:17

“temple.” In Kings, the Hebrew word refers to the Holy Place, whereas in Chronicles it refers to the entire Temple.


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