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Adam Clarke Commentary

2 Chronicles 3

Introduction

Solomon begins to build the temple in the fourth year of his reign on Mount Moriah, 2 Chronicles 3:1 , 2 Chronicles 3:2 . Its dimensions, ornaments, and pillars, 2 Chronicles 3:3 -17.

Verse 1

In Mount Moriah - Supposed to be the same place where Abraham was about to offer his son Isaac; so the Targum: "Solomon began to build the house of the sanctuary of the Lord at Jerusalem, in the place where Abraham had prayed and worshipped in the name of the Lord. This is the place of the earth where all generations shall worship the Lord. Here Abraham was about to offer his son Isaac for a burnt-offering; but he was snatched away by the Word of the Lord, and a ram placed in his stead. Here Jacob prayed when he fled from the face of Esau his brother; and here the angel of the Lord appeared to David, at which time David built an altar unto the Lord in the threshing-floor which he bought from Araunah the Jebusite."

Verse 3

The length - after the first measure was threescore cubits - It is supposed that the first measure means the cubit used in the time of Moses, contradistinguished from that used in Babylon, and which the Israelites used after their return from captivity; and, as the books of Chronicles were written after the captivity, it was necessary for the writer to make this remark, lest it should be thought that the measurement was by the Babylonish cubit, which was a palm or one-sixth shorter than the cubit of Moses. See the same distinction observed by Ezekiel, Ezekiel 40:5 (note); Ezekiel 43:13 (note).

Verse 4

The height was a hundred and twenty - Some think this should be twenty only; but if the same building is spoken of as in 1 Kings 6:2 , the height was only thirty cubits. Twenty is the reading of the Syriac, the Arabic, and the Septuagint in the Codex Alexandrinus. The MSS. give us no help. There is probably a mistake here, which, from the similarity of the letters, might easily occur. The words, as they now stand in the Hebrew text, are מאה ואשרים meah veesrim, one hundred and twenty. But probably the letters in מאה meah, a hundred, are transposed for אמה ammah, a cubit, if, therefore, the א aleph be placed after the מ mem, then the word will be מאה meah one hundred; if before it the word will be אמה ammah, a cubit; therefore אמה עשרים ammah esrim will be twenty cubits; and thus the Syriac, Arabic, and Septuagint appear to have read. This will bring it within the proportion of the other measures, but a hundred and twenty seems too great a height.

Verse 6

Gold of Parvaim - We know not what this place was; some think it is the same as Sepharvaim, a place in Armenia or Media, conquered by the king of Assyria, 2 Kings 17:24 , etc. Others, that it is Taprobane, now the island of Ceylon, which Bochart derives from taph, signifying the border, and Parvan, i.e., the coast of Parvan. The rabbins say that it was gold of a blood-red color, and had its name from פרים parim, heifers, being like to bullocks' blood.The Vulgate translates the passage thus: Stravit quoque pavimentum templi pretiosissimo marmore, decore multo; porro aurum erat probatissimum; "And he made the pavement of the temple of the most precious marble; and moreover the gold was of the best quality," etc.

Verse 9

The weight of the nails was fifty shekels - Bolts must be here intended, as it should be preposterous to suppose nails of nearly two pounds' weight.The supper chambers - Probably the ceiling is meant.

Verse 17

He reared up the pillars - "The name of that on the right hand was Jachin, because the kingdom of the house of David was established; and the name of the left was Boaz, from the name of Boaz the patriarch of the family of Judah, from whom all the kings of the house of Judah have descended." - Targum. See on 1 Kings 7:21 (note); and see the parallel places for other matters contained in this chapter.

2 Chronicles 3


  1 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 And he began to build in the second day of the second month, in the fourth year of his reign.
  3 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.
  4 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.
  5 And the greater house he ceiled with fir tree, which he overlaid with fine gold, and set thereon palm trees and chains.
  6 And he garnished the house with precious stones for beauty: and the gold was gold of Parvaim.
  7 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.
  8 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.
  9 And the weight of the nails was fifty shekels of gold. And he overlaid the upper chambers with gold.
  10 And in the most holy house he made two cherubims of image work, and overlaid them with gold.
  11 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.
  12 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.
  13 The wings of these cherubims spread themselves forth twenty cubits: and they stood on their feet, and their faces were inward.
  14 And he made the veil of blue, and purple, and crimson, and fine linen, and wrought cherubims thereon.
  15 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.
  16 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.
  17 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.

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