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1 Kings Chapter Six


1 Kings 6 Outlines

Solomon Builds the Temple (v.1~38)

New King James Version (NKJV)



This chapter gives an account of the building of the temple, for which preparations were before made and begins with the time of its building, 1 Kings 6:1; gives the dimensions of it and the porch before it, 1 Kings 6:2; observes the windows in it and chambers about it, 1 Kings 6:4; and while it was building, Solomon had a word from the Lord relative to it, 1 Kings 6:11; and then the account goes on concerning the walls of the house, and the flooring of it, 1 Kings 6:15; and the oracle in it, and the cherubim in that, 1 Kings 6:19; and the doors into it, and the carved work of them, 1 Kings 6:31; and the chapter is concluded with observing the time when it was begun and finished 1 Kings 6:37.


1 Kings 6:1   And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth[a] year after the children of Israel had come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the Lord.

   YLT  1And it cometh to pass, in the four hundred and eightieth year of the going out of the sons of Israel from the land of Egypt, in the fourth year -- in the month of Zif, it [is] the second month -- of the reigning of Solomon over Israel, that he buildeth the house for Jehovah.

And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt,.... The Tyrian writersF11Apud Theophil. ad Autolyc. l. 3. p. 131. make it five hundred sixty years from hence; but this no doubt is tightest, which Junius reckons thus; forty years Israel were in the wilderness, seventeen under Joshua, two hundred ninety nine under the judges, eighty under Eli, Samuel, and Saul, forty under David, add to which the four years of Solomon, and they make four hundred eightyF12So Gerard. Voss. Chron. Sacr. Isagoge, dissert. 8. c. 7. p. 128. ; they are somewhat differently reckoned by othersF13Vid. Vitring. Hypotypos. Hist. Sacr. p. 43. from the coming out of Egypt to Joshua forty years, from thence to the first servitude under Cushan twenty five, from thence to the death of Abimelech two hundred fifty six, under Thola twenty three, from thence to the Ammonitish servitude four, under that eighteen, under the judges, Jephthah, Ibzan, Elon, and Abdon, thirty one, Samuel and Saul forty, David forty, and Solomon three, in all four hundred eighty;

in the, fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel; when he was clear of all disturbers of his government, and had got all things ready for the building of the temple, and had gathered together gold and silver enough of his own to defray the expenses; for, as for what David gave him, he put that into the treasury of the Lord's house, see 1 Kings 7:51;

in the month Zif, which is the second month; and so must be Jiar, for Abib or Nisan was the first, and Jiar was the second, which answered to part of our April and part of May; called Zif either from the splendour of the sun, being now higher, and so the greater; or from the trees and flowers of the field being in all their glory; and so the Targum here calls it, the month of splendour of flowers: and it was on the second day of it,

that he began to build the house of the Lord: and a very fit and proper season of the year it was to begin it in, see 2 Chronicles 3:2.


1 Kings 6:2   2 Now the house which King Solomon built for the Lord, its length was sixty cubits, its width twenty, and its height thirty cubits.

   YLT  2As to the house that king Solomon hath built for Jehovah, sixty cubits [is] its length, and twenty its breadth, and thirty cubits its height.

And the house which King Solomon built for the Lord,.... For his worship, honour, and glory:

the length thereof was threescore cubits; sixty cubits from east to west, including the holy place and the most holy place; the holy place was forty cubits, and the most holy place twenty; the same measure, as to length, Eupolemus, an Heathen writerF14Apud Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 9. c. 34. , gives of the temple, but is mistaken in the other measures:

and the breadth thereof twenty cubits; from north to south:

and the height thereof thirty cubits; this must be understood of the holy place, for the oracle or most holy place was but twenty cubits high, 1 Kings 6:20; though the holy place, with the chambers that were over it, which were ninety cubits, three stories high, was in all an hundred twenty cubits, 2 Chronicles 3:4; some restrain it to the porch only, which stood at the end, like one of our high steeples, as they think.


1 Kings 6:3   3 The vestibule in front of the sanctuary[b] of the house was twenty cubits long across the width of the house, and the width of the vestibule[c] extended ten cubits from the front of the house.

   YLT  3As to the porch on the front of the temple of the house, twenty cubits [is] its length on the front of the breadth of the house; ten by the cubit [is] its breadth on the front of the house;

And the porch before the temple of the house,.... Which stood at the east end of it:

twenty cubits was the length thereof, according to the breadth of the house; which was from north to south, and of the same dimension, so that they exactly answered each other:

and ten cubits was the breadth thereof before the house; which being added to it, make the whole of the building, most holy place, holy place, and porch, seventy cubits; the height of the porch is not here given, but in 2 Chronicles 3:4; where it is said to be an hundred twenty cubits high, equal to the height of the house, with the chambers over it; but there the breadth of the porch is not given, as it is here; by these dimensions we may observe the difference between the tabernacle and the temple; the temple was twice as long, and as broad, and thrice as high as that, see Exodus 26:8. This fabric was an emblem of the church of God, sometimes called an holy temple, and the temple of the living God, 2 Corinthians 6:16.


1 Kings 6:4   4 And he made for the house windows with beveled frames.

   YLT  4and he maketh for the house windows of narrow lights.

And for the house he made windows of narrow lights. Or "open, shut"F15אטמים שקפים "apertas clausas", Vatablus; "perspectui accommodas, clausas", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. , which could be both, having shutters to them, to open or shut at pleasure; windows which they could open, and look through at them, or shut when they pleased; the Targum is,

"open within, and shut without;'

or, as others understand it, they were wide within, and narrow without; by being narrow without, the house was preserved from bad weather, as well as could not so easily be looked into by those without; and by being broader within, the light that was let in spread itself within the house; which some interpret only of the holy place, the most holy place having, as they suppose, no windows in it, which yet is not certain: now these windows may denote the word and ordinances of the church of God, whereby light is communicated to men; which in the present state is but narrow or small, in comparison of the new Jerusalem church state, and the ultimate glory; and especially so it was under the legal dispensation, which was very obscure; see Song of Solomon 2:9 Isaiah 55:8.


1 Kings 6:5   5 Against the wall of the temple he built chambers all around, against the walls of the temple, all around the sanctuary and the inner sanctuary.[d] Thus he made side chambers all around it.

   YLT  5And he buildeth against the wall of the house a couch round about, [even] the walls of the house round about, of the temple and of the oracle, and maketh sides round about.

And against the wall of the house he built chambers round about,.... Or near it, as Jarchi interprets it, for the beams of them were not fastened in in it, 1 Kings 6:6; or rather "upon" itF16על קיר "super parietem", V. L. Montanus. ; and when they are said to be round about the house, it must be understood of the two sides, north and south, and of the west end only, for at the east end, where the porch was, there were none:

against the walls of the house round about, both of the temple and of the oracle; that is, both of the holy and the most holy place:

and he made chambers round about; the said buildings; which is repeated that it might be observed; how many chambers there were, is not said; Josephus saysF17Antiqu. l. 8. c. 3. sect. 2. there were thirty of them, and over them others of the same measure and number, and over them others also; so that there were three stories of them, and in all ninety; and which is countenanced by what follows in 1 Kings 6:6, and agrees with Ezekiel 41:6; the Jewish doctors sayF18Misn. Middot, c. 4. sect. 3. , there were thirty eight of them, fifteen on the north, fifteen on the south, and eight on the west; they that were to the north and south were five upon five, and five over them; and they that were to the west were three upon three, and two over them; upper rooms or chambers were rare in Heathen templesF19Pausan. Laconic. sive. l. 3. p. 190. : these chambers were for the priests, where they lodged and laid up their garments, and ate their holy things; and were emblems of congregated churches, where the true members thereof, who are priests to God, have communion with him, and partake of divine things.


1 Kings 6:6   6 The lowest chamber was five cubits wide, the middle was six cubits wide, and the third was seven cubits wide; for he made narrow ledges around the outside of the temple, so that the support beams would not be fastened into the walls of the temple.

   YLT  6The lowest couch, five by the cubit [is] its breadth; and the middle, six by the cubit [is] its breadth; and the third, seven by the cubit [is] its breadth, for withdrawings he hath put to the house round about, without -- not to lay hold on the walls of the house.

And the nethermost chamber was five cubits broad,.... The nethermost row of them, which were upon the first floor:

and the middle was six cubits broad, and the third was seven cubits broad; so that the middlemost was a cubit larger than the lowest, and the highest a cubit larger than that: the reason of which was,

for without in the wall of the house he made narrowed rests round about; or rebatements; the thickness of the wall, as it was raised, became narrower at the height of every five cubits; thus the wall being supposed to be six cubits broad, as in Ezekiel 41:5; when it came to be five cubits high, it was narrowed a cubit, which left a projection, rebatement, or bench for the beams of the first chambers to be laid upon, which made the second row of chambers broader by a cubit; and the same being observed in the next story, made the highest a cubit broader than the middlemost: and this was done,

that the beams should not be fastened in the walls of the house; or be inserted into them, which could not be done without making holes in it; and these holes could not be made without an iron instrument, and which was not to be used, as the next words show; whereas by the above method the beams of the chambers could be laid upon the buttresses, benches, or rebatements left, without the use of any: the gradual enlargement of these chambers, as they rose higher, may denote the enlargement of the church of God, both as to numbers, gifts, and grace, the nearer it comes to the heavenly state, as in the spiritual and personal reign of Christ.


1 Kings 6:7   7 And the temple, when it was being built, was built with stone finished at the quarry, so that no hammer or chisel or any iron tool was heard in the temple while it was being built.

   YLT  7And the house, in its being built, of perfect stone brought [thither] hath been built, and hammer, and the axe -- any instrument of iron -- was not heard in the house, in its being built.

And the house, when it was in building,.... And all the while it was building:

was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither; being hewn or squared by the builders and stonesquarers of Solomon and Hiram, 1 Kings 5:18; wherefore the builders had nothing more to do than to lay them in their proper places in the building; it was built with these stones quite up to the ceiling, as Josephus saysF20Antiqu. l. 8. c. 3. sect. 2. ; and these so admirably polished, and so artificially joined together, that not the least sign of an axe, or of any working tool, could be discerned in them:

so that there was neither hammer, nor axe, nor any tool of iron, heard in the house while it was in building; the first of these observations shows, that none are to be laid in the spiritual building of the church, but such as are first hewed and squared by the Spirit, grace, and word of God: or who have an experience of the grace of God, are sound in the faith, and of becoming lives and good conduct; and the other denotes, that such as are therein, whether ministers or members, should do all they do for the edification of the church in a quiet and peaceable manner, without clamour, contention, fights, and tumults.


1 Kings 6:8   8 The doorway for the middle story[e] was on the right side of the temple. They went up by stairs to the middle story, and from the middle to the third.

   YLT  8The opening of the middle side [is] at the right shoulder of the house, and with windings they go up on the middle one, and from the middle one unto the third.

The door of the middle chamber was in the right side of the house,.... The south side of it:

and they went up with winding stairs into the middle chamber; which were outside the chambers, and which winded about for the sake of taking up less room, and which led up to the door of the middle chamber, on the south of which they went into it; according to the Vulgate Latin and Tigurine versions, they went up in the forth of a cockle, or the shell of a snail; in like manner as was the ascent of the temple of Pan at Alexandria, as StraboF21Geograph. l. 17. p. 547. relates:

and out of the middle into the third; the third chamber, and by winding stairs up to that; and the like might be on the north side, though not expressed, and on the west: the Jews sayF23Misn. Middot, c. 4. sect. 5. See Lightfoot's Prospect of the Temple, &c. c. 12. p. 1071. , that in the second temple, these winding stairs went from the northeast to the northwest, whereby they went up to the roof of the chambers, and so to the south and west; with this compare Ezekiel 41:7; and which may represent the windings and turnings of God's people in this present state, their many afflictions and tribulations, through which they pass from one state to another.


1 Kings 6:9   9 So he built the temple and finished it, and he paneled the temple with beams and boards of cedar.

   YLT  9And he buildeth the house, and completeth it, and covereth the house [with] beams and rows of cedars.

So he built the house, and finished it,.... The body of it, the walls of the holy and most holy place, with the chambers on the sides of them, and the porch at the end that led into them:

and covered the house with beams and boards of cedar; with hollow boards, as the Targum, which formed an arch ceiling to it, and made it look very grand and beautiful; and then over them were laid beams and planks of cedar, not properly as a flat roof to it, but rather as a flooring for other buildings; for upon this, as in 1 Kings 6:10, there were chambers built.


1 Kings 6:10   10 And he built side chambers against the entire temple, each five cubits high; they were attached to the temple with cedar beams.

   YLT  10And he buildeth the couch against all the house, five cubits [is] its height, and it taketh hold of the house by cedar-wood.

And then he built chambers against all the house five cubits high,.... Which some understand of the same chambers in 1 Kings 6:5; here made mention of again for the sake of giving the height of them, not before given; but they were built against, or upon the wall of the house, these against, or rather upon the whole house itself; and are the chambers referred to; see Gill on 1 Kings 6:2; which consisting of three stories of ninety cubits, raised the whole house to an equal height with the porch, 2 Chronicles 3:4; as is there intendedF24Vid. Joseph. Antiqu. ut supra. (l. 8. c. 3. sect. 2.) ; these are the upper chambers in 2 Chronicles 3:9; and they rested on the house with timber of cedar; or on the timber of cedar, the beams of cedar, with which the house was covered, as in 1 Kings 6:9; on these the chambers rested, being built upon them; and in one of these chambers the disciples might be after Christ's ascension, Acts 1:13.


1 Kings 6:11   11 Then the word of the Lord came to Solomon, saying:

   YLT  11And the word of Jehovah is unto Solomon, saying,

And the word of the Lord came to Solomon,.... The word of prophecy, as the Targum, foretelling what would be the case of this building, according to the obedience or disobedience of him and the people of Israel; which was brought to him either by an impulse of the Spirit of God upon him; or by the hand of a prophet, as Kimchi thinks; and some of the Jewish writersF25Seder Olam Rabba, c. 20. p. 53. , as he particularly, name Ahijah the Shilonite as the prophet that was sent with this message to him:

saying, as follows.


1 Kings 6:12   12 Concerning this temple which you are building, if you walk in My statutes, execute My judgments, keep all My commandments, and walk in them, then I will perform My word with you, which I spoke to your father David.

   YLT  12`This house that thou art building -- if thou dost walk in My statutes, and My judgments dost do, yea, hast done all My commands, to walk in them, then I have established My word with thee, which I spake unto David thy father,

Concerning this house which thou art in building,.... Or with respect to that, these things are to be said as from the Lord:

if thou wilt walk in my statutes, and execute my judgments, and keep all my commandments to walk in them; even all the laws of God, moral, ceremonial, and judicial; and this respects not only Solomon personally, but his successors, and even all the people of Israel:

then will I perform my covenant with thee, which I spake unto David thy father; by Nathan the prophet; not only that he should build an house for God, which should be a settled dwelling place, but that his own house and kingdom should be established for a long time to come, and his posterity should enjoy the presence of God in this house, provided regard was had to the precepts and ordinances of the Lord, 2 Samuel 7:12.


1 Kings 6:13   13 And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake My people Israel.”

   YLT  13and have tabernacled in the midst of the sons of Israel, and do not forsake My people Israel.'

And I will dwell among the children of Israel,.... In this house now building, and which was in the middle of the land, and where he would meet with them, and accept their sacrifices, not only of slain beasts, but of prayer and praise:

and will not forsake my people Israel; and leave them to the mercy of their enemies, and to be carried captive by them, but protect and defend them.


1 Kings 6:14   14 So Solomon built the temple and finished it.

   YLT  14And Solomon buildeth the house and completeth it;

So Solomon built the house, and finished it. He went on with it until he had completed it, animated and encouraged by the promise of the divine Presence in it, provided a proper regard was had to the will and ways of God. Abarbinel thinks the above message was sent him in the midst of his work, to strengthen and caution him from a dependence on the continuance of the fabric, because of the strength of it; since its perpetuity depended on his, his successors', and the people's conduct and behaviour; wherefore conscious to himself of his own integrity, and hoping well of posterity, he was not discouraged, but proceeded in his undertaking until he had brought it to perfection.


1 Kings 6:15   15 And he built the inside walls of the temple with cedar boards; from the floor of the temple to the ceiling he paneled the inside with wood; and he covered the floor of the temple with planks of cypress.

   YLT  15and he buildeth the walls of the house within with beams of cedar, from the floor of the house unto the walls of the ceiling; he hath overlaid with wood the inside, and covereth the floor of the house with ribs of fir.

And he built the walls of the house within with boards of cedar,.... For as yet he had only built the stone walls of it without, but now he wainscotted it with cedar boards: and not only them, but

both the floor of the house, and the walls of the ceiling; or from "the floor of the house unto the walls of the ceiling"; that is, from the floor, including that, to the walls on each side, reaching up to the ceiling,

he covered them on the inside with wood: of one sort or another, cedar or fir, or both: particularly he

covered the floor of the house with planks of fir: which Hiram sent him, 1 Kings 5:8; which is differently interpreted; by Josephus cypress; by others, as the Tigurine version, pine tree wood; it is very probable it was of the cedar kind, and not the floor only, but the ceiling also, 2 Chronicles 3:5.


1 Kings 6:16   16 Then he built the twenty-cubit room at the rear of the temple, from floor to ceiling, with cedar boards; he built it inside as the inner sanctuary, as the Most Holy Place.

   YLT  16And he buildeth the twenty cubits on the sides of the house with ribs of cedar, from the floor unto the walls; and he buildeth for it within, for the oracle, for the holy of holies.

And he built twenty cubits on the sides of the house,.... At the end or extremity of it, as the Targum; that is, he built the most holy place, which was twenty two cubits long, at the end of the holy place, which he wainscotted as the other:

both the floor and the walls with boards of cedar; or from the floor, including that, to the walls on each side, from wall to wall, and taking in them, they were all lined with cedar wood:

he even built them for it within, even for the oracle, even for the most holy place; which explains what building is spoken of, and that the inside of that was covered with cedar from bottom to top.


1 Kings 6:17   17 And in front of it the temple sanctuary was forty cubits long.

   YLT  17And forty by the cubit was the house, it [is] the temple before [it].

And the house, that is, the temple before it,.... The holy place, which was before the of holies:

was forty cubits long; and which, with the most holy place, being twenty cubits, as in the preceding verse, made the length of the whole house sixty cubits, as in 1 Kings 6:2.


1 Kings 6:18   18 The inside of the temple was cedar, carved with ornamental buds and open flowers. All was cedar; there was no stone to be seen.

   YLT  18And the cedar for the house within [is] carvings of knobs and openings of flowers; the whole [is] cedar, there is not a stone seen.

And the cedar of the house within,.... With which the inside of the place was lined:

was carved with knops; of an oval form; so the Targum says, they had the appearance of eggs; and Ben Gersom likewise, that they were in the form of eggs:

and open flowers; not in the figure of buds, but flowers blown, and open, as lilies and others; so the Targum:

all was cedar; the wainscotting of the house, the sides of it at least, if not the floor, and the carved work of it; and this was done, that the gold might be laid upon it, which could not be done on stone as on wood: and all was so covered, that

there was no stone seen; of which the outward walls were built: all this denotes the inward beauty of the church, and the curious workmanship of the Spirit of God in the hearts of his people, whereby they become all glorious within, adorned with the graces of the blessed Spirit, their stony hearts being kept out of sight, yea, taken away.


1 Kings 6:19   19 And he prepared the inner sanctuary inside the temple, to set the ark of the covenant of the Lord there.

   YLT  19And the oracle in the midst of the house within he hath prepared, to put there the ark of the covenant of Jehovah.

And the oracle he prepared in the house within,.... In the innermost part of the house he fitted up the oracle, or speaking place, from whence the Lord spake and gave answer, to receive what was to be put into it: particularly

to set there the ark of the covenant of the Lord; even the very same that Moses made, Exodus 37:1, for which David had pitched a tent in Zion, 1 Chronicles 15:1, and where it now was; for Solomon made no new ark.


1 Kings 6:20   20 The inner sanctuary was twenty cubits long, twenty cubits wide, and twenty cubits high. He overlaid it with pure gold, and overlaid the altar of cedar.

   YLT  20And before the oracle [is] twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in breadth, and twenty cubits [is] its height; and he overlayeth it with gold refined, and overlayeth the altar with cedar.

And the oracle in the forepart,.... Which stood in the forepart of the temple, before a man's face as he entered into it, and went on; or the forepart of the holy of holies, next to the holy place, was of the dimensions as follows, when the back part of it might be higher at least, and be equal to the holy place, even thirty feet; the forepart being lower, and left open to let in the light of the candlesticks, and the smoke of the incense, out of the holy place: this

was twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in breadth, and twenty cubits in the height thereof: and was a perfect square, and as the most holy place may be an emblem of the church triumphant, it may denote the perfection of its heavenly state; so the new Jerusalem is a foursquare, Revelation 21:16;

and he overlaid it with pure gold; make it rich, glorious, and magnificent, and may denote the glory of the heavenly state, Revelation 21:21; and so FlorusF26De Gest. Roman. l. 3. c. 5. , the Roman historian, calls it the golden heaven, as it were, into which Pompey went, and saw the great secret of the Jewish nation, the ark:

and so covered the altar which was of cedar; the altar of incense, which is here mentioned, because it was near the most holy place, 1 Kings 6:22; this altar by Moses was made of shittim wood, but Solomon's was of cedar it seems; unless, as the words will bear to be rendered, "he covered the altar with cedar"F1יצף ארז "operuit cedro", Montanus. ; though made of shittim wood, it had a covering of cedar over it; or if of stone, such a covering was on it, that it might better receive the gold which was afterwards put upon it.


1 Kings 6:21   21 So Solomon overlaid the inside of the temple with pure gold. He stretched gold chains across the front of the inner sanctuary, and overlaid it with gold.

   YLT  21And Solomon overlayeth the house within with gold refined, and causeth [it] to pass over in chains of gold before the oracle, and overlayeth it with gold.

So Solomon overlaid the house within with pure gold,.... The inside of the holy of holies with fine gold, which gold amounted to six hundred talents, 2 Chronicles 3:8; and these to 7,332,000 ducats of gold, or 3,045,000 pounds sterling:

and he made a partition by the chains of gold before the oracle; between the holy and the most holy, and were instead of a vail in the tabernacle of Moses between them; here was also a vail beside the partition made by chains of gold across the oracle; for the partition was a wall of the thickness of a cubit, as MaimonidesF2Hilchot Beth Habechirah, c. 4. sect. 2. says; and in 2 Chronicles 3:14 express mention is made of a vail of blue, &c. and in imitation of this had the Heathens their deities within vailsF3Apulei Metamorph. l. xi. p. 176. :

and he overlaid it with gold; the partition wall.


1 Kings 6:22   22 The whole temple he overlaid with gold, until he had finished all the temple; also he overlaid with gold the entire altar that was by the inner sanctuary.

   YLT  22And the whole of the house he hath overlaid with gold, till the completion of all the house; and the whole of the altar that the oracle hath, he hath overlaid with gold.

And the whole house he overlaid with gold,.... Both the holy place, and the most holy place:

until he had finished all the house; in this splendid and glorious manner:

also the whole altar that was by the oracle; the altar of incense, which stood just before the entrance into the oracle, or most holy place:

he overlaid with gold; he overlaid it all over with gold; hence it is called the golden altar, and was an emblem of the excellent and effectual mediation and intercession of Christ, Revelation 8:3. Agreeably to this account Eupolemus, an Heathen writerF4Apud Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 9. c. 34. p. 450. testifies, that the whole house, from the floor to the tool, was covered with gold, as well as with cedar and cypress wood, that the stonework might not appear; and so the capitol at Rome, perhaps in imitation of this temple, its roofs and tiles were glided with goldF5Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 33. c. 3. Vid. Rycquium de Capitol. Roman. c. 16. ; a magnificent temple, like this, was at Upsal in Switzerland, as Olaus Magnus relatesF6De Ritu Gent. Septent. l. 3. c. 5. .


1 Kings 6:23   23 Inside the inner sanctuary he made two cherubim of olive wood, each ten cubits high.

   YLT  23And he maketh within the oracle two cherubs, of the oil-tree, ten cubits [is] their height;

And within the oracle he made two cherubim of olive tree,.... Or of the oil tree, as in Isaiah 41:19; see Nehemiah 8:15; for there are other trees besides olives, out of which oil is pressed, as pine trees, cypress trees, &c. and which some think are here meant; though the Targum interprets it of the olive tree: these cherubim are different from those made by Moses, and were besides them; these were larger than they; these were made of olive wood, they of gold; these stood on the floor of the house, they at the two ends of the mercy seat, and were made out of it, and were with it in this holy place in Solomon's temple: these two cherubim may be emblems of the angels in their greatness and glory, who are always in the presence of God, behold his face, and wait to do his will; or it may be rather of the two witnesses, said to be the two olive trees standing before the God of the whole earth, Revelation 11:3; who have boldness to enter into the holiest of all, and have sight and knowledge of the mysteries of the ark and mercy seat; have their commission from heaven, and speak according to the oracles of God; these are said to be of image work, 2 Chronicles 3:10; that is, of various forms, as the thee of a man, a lion, an ox, and eagle, Ezekiel 1:10. Dr. Lightfoot thinksF7Prospect of the Temple, c. 15. sect. 4. they resembled the two Testaments, which in their beginning and end reach the two sides of the world, the creation and the last judgment, and in the middle do sweetly join the one to the other:

each ten cubits high; half as high as the most holy place; emblems either of the high angels, those thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers, or of men of uncommon size as to their gifts and grace.


1 Kings 6:24   24 One wing of the cherub was five cubits, and the other wing of the cherub five cubits: ten cubits from the tip of one wing to the tip of the other.

   YLT  24and five cubits [is] the one wing of the cherub, and five cubits the second wing of the cherub, ten cubits from the ends of its wings even unto the ends of its wings;

And five cubits was the one wing of the cherub,.... When stretched out on one side:

and five cubits the other wing of the cherub; on the other side him:

from the uttermost part of the one wing, to the uttermost part of the other wing, were ten cubits; half the breadth of the house.


1 Kings 6:25   25 And the other cherub was ten cubits; both cherubim were of the same size and shape.

   YLT  25and ten by the cubit [is] the second cherub, one measure and one form [are] to the two cherubs,

And the other cherub was ten cubits,.... That is, its wings stretched out measured so many cubits, as did those of the other:

both the cherubim were of one measure, and of one size; of the same height and stature, of the same breadth of their wings, and of the same bulk of their bodies; they were of "image work"; 2 Chronicles 3:10; very probably in the form of men: and this uniformity may denote the perfect agreement of angels; or else the consent of the true faithful witnesses of Christ in all ages, who have all agreed in the person, office, and grace of Christ, as represented by the mercy seat and ark, which these cherubim covered with their wings.


1 Kings 6:26   26 The height of one cherub was ten cubits, and so was the other cherub.

   YLT  26the height of the one cherub [is] ten by the cubit, and so [is] the second cherub;

The height of the one cherub was ten cubits, and so was it of the other cherub. Which is repeated from 1 Kings 6:23; that it might be observed, being of an extraordinary size.


1 Kings 6:27   27 Then he set the cherubim inside the inner room;[f] and they stretched out the wings of the cherubim so that the wing of the one touched one wall, and the wing of the other cherub touched the other wall. And their wings touched each other in the middle of the room.

   YLT  27and he setteth the cherubs in the midst of the inner house, and they spread out the wings of the cherubs, and a wing of the one cometh against the wall, and a wing of the second cherub is coming against the second wall, and their wings [are] unto the midst of the house, coming wing against wing;

And he set the cherubim within the inner house,.... The holy of holies:

and they stretched forth the wings of the cherubims; the carvers that framed them, they wrought them in that form; or impersonally, the wings of the cherubim were stretched out; this was the position of them, they overshadowed and covered the mercy seat and ark, and even the other two cherubim that were at the ends of the mercy seat:

so that the wing of the one touched the one wall; the southern wall:

and the wing of the other cherub touched the other wall; the northern wall; they reached from wall to wall, even the whole breadth of the house, which was twenty cubits, as their wings thus spread were, 1 Kings 6:24;

and their wings touched one another in the midst of the house; which was ten cubits, and that was the spread of the wings of each of them; so that the wing of the right side of the one, stretched out, touched the wing of the left side of the other fit the same position; in 2 Chronicles 3:13; their faces are said to be "inward", or "toward the house"; either toward the holy place, and so faced those that came into that and saw them; or towards the inner part of the holy of holies, their backs being to the holy place, or their faces were inward, and looked obliquely to each other.


1 Kings 6:28   28 Also he overlaid the cherubim with gold.

   YLT  28and he overlayeth the cherubs with gold,

And he overlaid the cherubim with gold. Which may denote the purity and excellency of angels; or the precious gifts and graces of the Spirit, with which the witnesses of Christ are adorned.


1 Kings 6:29   29 Then he carved all the walls of the temple all around, both the inner and outer sanctuaries, with carved figures of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers.

   YLT  29and all the walls of the house round about he hath carved with openings of carvings, cherubs, and palm trees, and openings of flowers, within and without.

And he carved all the walls of the house about with carved figures of cherubim, and palm trees, and open flowers,.... That is, of palm trees, those in full blow: if the cherubim are an emblem of angels, the palm trees fitly enough represent just and upright men, who both appear in the church of God below, and in heaven above; in both which are to be seen the open and full-blown flowers of divine grace, especially in the latter state:

within and without; on the walls of the most holy place, both within and without; and so upon the walls of the holy place, in each of which were these sculptures, which were very ornamental, and were emblematical; see Ezekiel 41:17.


1 Kings 6:30   30 And the floor of the temple he overlaid with gold, both the inner and outer sanctuaries.

   YLT  30And the floor of the house he hath overlaid with gold, within and without;

And the floor of the house he overlaid with gold within and without. Both the floor of the holy place, and of the holy of holies; so the street of the new Jerusalem is said to be pure gold, Revelation 21:21; this expresses the purity and magnificence of it, particularly the holy conversation of them that dwell in the church, in heaven, signified hereby.


1 Kings 6:31   31 For the entrance of the inner sanctuary he made doors of olive wood; the lintel and doorposts were one-fifth of the wall.

   YLT  31as to the opening of the oracle, he made doors of the oil-tree; the lintel, side-posts, a fifth.

And for the entering of the oracle he made doors of olive tree,.... The door of the holy of holies was a two leaved or folding door, made of olive wood; typical of Christ, the door into the church above and below, the way to heaven and eternal life, the true olive tree:

the lintel and side posts were a fifth part of the wall; four cubits, twenty cubits being the breadth of the oracle; or the lintel was four cubits, twenty being the height of it also, 1 Kings 6:20.


1 Kings 6:32   32 The two doors were of olive wood; and he carved on them figures of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers, and overlaid them with gold; and he spread gold on the cherubim and on the palm trees.

   YLT  32And the two doors [are] of the oil-tree, and he hath carved upon them carvings of cherubs, and palm-trees, and openings of flowers, and overlaid with gold, and he causeth the gold to go down on the cherubs and on the palm-trees.

The two doors also were of olive tree,.... The two leaves of the door, as before observed, repeated for the sake of the ornament of them, as follows:

and he carved upon them carvings of cherubims, and palm trees, and open flowers; as upon the walls, 1 Kings 6:29;

and overlaid them with gold; the two doors:

and spread gold upon the cherubims, and upon the palm trees; thin plates of gold.


1 Kings 6:33   33 So for the door of the sanctuary he also made doorposts of olive wood, one-fourth of the wall.

   YLT  33And so he hath made for the opening of the temple, side-posts of the oil-tree, from the fourth.

So also made he for the door of the temple,.... The holy place:

posts of olive tree, a fourth part of the wall; which was five cubits, its breadth being twenty, 1 Kings 6:20; this door was a cubit wider than that into the most holy place, 1 Kings 6:31, more entering into the one than into the other; as more go into the church on earth than into the heavenly glory.


1 Kings 6:34   34 And the two doors were of cypress wood; two panels comprised one folding door, and two panels comprised the other folding door.

   YLT  34And the two doors [are] of fir-tree, the two sides of the one door are revolving, and the two hangings of the second door are revolving.

And the two doors were of fir tree,.... the posts were of olive, but the doors of fir, and they were both folding doors, as appears by what follows:

the two leaves of the one door were folding, and the two leaves of the other door were folding; which, taking up less room, made the passage wider, see Ezekiel 41:24.


1 Kings 6:35   35 Then he carved cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers on them, and overlaid them with gold applied evenly on the carved work.

   YLT  35And he hath carved cherubs, and palms, and openings of flowers, and overlaid with straightened gold the graved work.

And he carved thereon cherubims, and palm trees, and open flowers,.... As upon the doors of the most holy place, 1 Kings 6:32; see Ezekiel 41:25;

and covered them with gold, fitted upon the carved work; plates of gold were fitted, as to the dimensions of them, to the cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers.


1 Kings 6:36   36 And he built the inner court with three rows of hewn stone and a row of cedar beams.

   YLT  36And he buildeth the inner court, three rows of hewn work, and a row of beams of cedar.

And he built the inner court,.... The court of the priests, 2 Chronicles 4:9; so called to distinguish it from the outer court, where the people assembled: this was built

with three rows of hewed stone, and a row of cedar beams; the rows of stones were one upon another, topped with a row of cedar beams; or rather the cedar was a lining to the stones; and the whole is supposed to be about three cubits high, and was so low, that the people in the outward court might see priests ministering for them, and could converse with them; under the second temple, as MaimonidesF8Hilchot Beth Habechirah, c. 6. sect. 3. says, the court of the priests was higher than that of the court of Israel two cubits and an half, called the great court, for which doors were made, and those overlaid with brass, 2 Chronicles 4:9.


1 Kings 6:37   37 In the fourth year the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid, in the month of Ziv.

   YLT  37In the fourth year hath the house of Jehovah been founded, in the month Zif,

In the fourth year was the foundation of the house of the Lord laid,.... The fourth year of Solomon's reign:

in the month Zif; See Gill on 1 Kings 6:1.


1 Kings 6:38   38 And in the eleventh year, in the month of Bul, which is the eighth month, the house was finished in all its details and according to all its plans. So he was seven years in building it.

   YLT  38and in the eleventh year, in the month Bul -- [that is] the eighth month -- hath the house been finished in all its matters, and in all its ordinances, and he buildeth it seven years.

In the eleventh year,.... That is, of the reign of Solomon:

in the month Bul, which is the eighth month; from the month Abib or Nisan; this month answers to part of our October, and part of November; it is the same month sometimes called Marchesvan; it had the name of Bul, because of the rains which usually fell in this month, as Kimchi thinks, like a flood; and Noah's flood is called Mabbul, from the same rootF9נבל "concidit", Buxtorf. , and when all the fruits were withered, and the leaves were fallen from the trees; or, as Jarchi supposes, because the grass was consumed in the field, and they were obliged to mix provender for cattle, deriving the word from another rootF11בלה "consumpsit, vel" בלל "miscuit", ib. : in this month

was the house finished throughout all the parts thereof; the porch, the holy place, and holy of holies, with all the chambers and courts belonging to it:

and according to all the fashion of it; which David had given to Solomon, to frame it by:

so he was seven years in building it; and six months, which are not mentioned, only the round number is given, as appears by comparing it with 1 Kings 6:1.


──John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible


New King James Version (NKJV)


  1. 1 Kings 6:1 Following Masoretic Text, Targum, and Vulgate; Septuagint reads fortieth.
  2. 1 Kings 6:3 Hebrew heykal; here the main room of the temple, elsewhere called the holy place (compare Exodus 26:33 and Ezekiel 41:1)
  3. 1 Kings 6:3 Literally it
  4. 1 Kings 6:5 Hebrew debir; here the inner room of the temple, elsewhere called the Most Holy Place (compare verse 16)
  5. 1 Kings 6:8 Following Masoretic Text and Vulgate; Septuagint reads upper story; Targum reads ground story.
  6. 1 Kings 6:27 Literally house