1 Kings 7

CHAPTER VII

Solomon builds his own house, and completes it in thirteen

years, 1.

He builds another called the house of the forest of Lebanon;

and a house for Pharaoh's daughter, 2-12.

He brings Hiram, a coppersmith, out of Tyre, who makes much

curious work for the temple, 13-20.

He makes the two pillars Jachin and Boaz, 21, 22.

The molten sea, and the twelve oxen that bare it, 23-26.

And ten brazen bases, and the ten lavers with pots, shovels,

and basons, all of which he cast in the plain of Jordan, 27-46.

The quantity of brass too great to be weighed; and the vessels

of the temple were all of pure gold, 47-50.

Solomon brings into the house the silver and gold which his

father had dedicated, 51.

NOTES ON CHAP. VII

Verse 1. Building his own house] This house is said to have been

situated in Jerusalem, and probably was, what some call it, his

winter's residence. It is called the king's house, 1Ki 9:10.

Verse 2. The house of the forest of Lebanon] It was not built in

Lebanon, but is thought to have been on Mount Sion. And why it was

called the house of the forest of Lebanon does not appear;

probably it was because it was built almost entirely of materials

brought from that place. See the following verses.

Verse 7. A porch for the throne] One porch appears to have been

devoted to the purposes of administering judgment, which Solomon

did in person.

Verse 8. A house for Pharaoh's daughter] This appears to have

been a third house; probably the whole three made but one

building, and were in the same place, but distinguished from

each other; the first as Solomon's palace, the second as a house

of judgment, a court-house; the third, the harem, or apartments

for the women.

Verse 13. Solomon sent and fetched Hiram out of Tyre.] This was

not the Tyrian king, mentioned before, but a very intelligent

coppersmith, of Jewish extraction by his mother's side, who was

probably married to a Tyrian. In 2Ch 2:14, this woman is said to

be of the daughters of Dan, but here of the tribe of Naphtali. The

king of Tyre, who gives the account as we have it in Chronicles,

might have made the mistake, and confounded the two tribes; or she

might have been of Naphtali by her father, and of Dan by her

mother, and so be indifferently called of the tribe of Naphtali

or of the daughters of Dan. This appears to be the best solution

of the difficulty. The versions and MSS. give no help here.

Verse 15. He cast two pillars-eighteen cubits high] That is,

about thirty feet in English measure.

A line of twelve cubits] In circumference. It would be difficult

even now to procure a founder who could cast such massive pillars,

whether solid or hollow.

Verse 21. The right pillar-Jachin] That is, He shall establish.

The left pillar-Boaz, that is, in strength. These were no doubt

emblematical; for notwithstanding their names, they seem to have

supported no part of the building.

Verse 27. He made ten bases] That is, pedestals, for the ten

lavers to rest on.

Verse 38. Then made he ten lavers] These were set on the ten

bases or pedestals, and were to hold water for the use of the

priests in their sacred office, particularly to wash the victims

that were to be offered as a burnt-offering, as we learn from

2Ch 4:6; but the

brazen sea was for the priests to wash in. The whole was a

building of vast art, labour, and expense.

Verse 40. So Hiram made an end] It is truly surprising, that in

so short a time one artist could design and execute works of such

magnitude, taste, and variety, however numerous his assistants

might be. The mere building of the house was a matter of little

difficulty in comparison of these internal works.

Verse 46. Cast them, in the clay ground] In this place he found

that particular kind of clay that was proper for his purpose. Some

suppose that the place where Hiram had his foundry was on the

other side, some on this side, of Jordan. Calmet supposes that

it was near Bethshan.

Verse 51. Solomon brought in the things] It has been a question

whether Solomon, in the structure of the temple, used any of the

gold and silver which David had provided? And here it seems

answered in the negative; for after the house was finished, with

all its utensils and ornaments, with its immense profusion of

gold, it is here said that Solomon brought in the silver, and the

gold, and the vessels, which David his father had dedicated. It

appears therefore that Solomon had employed four years to make

preparation for the work before it was begun. During the whole

time of the building, he was no doubt still appropriating a part

of the public revenue for this purpose; and the provision made by

his father he placed among the treasures of the house; but the

temple was truly Solomon's, as he had provided all its materials,

and borne every expense.

As the temple was built in some measure on the model of the

tabernacle, and dedicated to the same use, I wish to refer the

reader to the description of the former, in Exod. 25-27, and

35-39, and the notes there.

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