1 Kings 6:5 MEANING

1 Kings 6:5
(5-10) The general meaning of these verses is clear, though some of the words are doubtful. Round three sides of the Temple was built a kind of aisle, opening, however, outwards and not into the Temple, having three storeys of low chambers (each only five cubits high), so arranged that the beams of their roofs were supported on rests on the outside of the wall (each rest being a cubit wide), leaving the wall itself intact. Thus the chambers of the lowest storey were narrowest--five cubits broad; the second storey six cubits, and the highest storey seven cubits broad. The higher storeys (see 1 Kings 6:8), in which the chambers no doubt opened into one another, were approached by a staircase, having an external entrance on the right side of the building; the chambers of the lowest storey probably had external doors of their own. Above the highest storey were still five cubits of wall, which would give room for the windows (like clerestory windows) previously mentioned. Nothing is said of the use of these chambers; but they would be, no doubt, for residence of the priests, stores for the Temple, and furniture.

The word rendered "chambers" in the former part of 1 Kings 6:5 is a singular noun, signifying the whole of this aisle or side building; the "chambers" in the latter part of the verse--properly, "side pieces." or "ribs denote the separate apartments, or perhaps each of the storeys of the building.

Verse 5. - And against [or upon, עַל; they rested on the wall] the wall of the house [here meaning both temple and oracle: see below] he built chambers [Marg. floors. The Orig. is יָצוּעַ (Keri, יָצִיעַ) singular = stratum (תךשׁארתס יָצַע, spread out). Symm. translates κατάστρωμα. Gesenius remarks that the word is used here and in ver. 10 in the masculine of the whole of the side structure, while in ver. 6 it is used in the feminine of the single stories. The floors bore this name, יָצוּע, because they were spread upon, not inserted into the walls. Rawlinson has evidently confounded this word with צֵלָע (see below) when he says, "The Hebrew word here used would be best translated a lean to." Both words are translated alike "chambers" in the Authorized Version, but the first means stories or floors; the second may, perhaps, signify lean tos] round about, against [It is doubtful whether אֶת is here, as commonly, merely the sign of the accusative, or is the preposition "with," meaning "in connexion with," cum parietibus (Seb. Schmidt), in which case its meaning would approach very closely to that of עַל above. Bahr remarks that עַל and אֶת are used elsewhere as almost synonymous, and refers to Psalm 4:7 in connexion with Psalm 67:2. Keil translates, "As for the walls" (Anlangend die Wande), but this gives us an unfinished sentence. It is probably an accusative, explicative of the preceding clause = "I mean the walls," etc., the singular, wall, having being used above. This additional clause] the walls of the house round about [would then mean that the term "house" is to be understood as including both temple and oracle (and excluding porch), as the next words define it], both of the temple and of the oracle [The floors, i.e., ran round the south, west, and north sides of the building. Stanley aptly compares them to the little shops which nestle under the continental cathedrals; though the side aisles of some Gothic churches, viewed externally, would perhaps better represent their proportions] and he made chambers [צְלָעעות, literally, ribs, beams, (Gesenius); Rippen (Bahr). The design of the word is clearly to convey that the floors were "divided by partitions into distinct compartments" (Merz). According to Ezekiel 41:6 (where, however, the reading is doubtful) there were thirty-three of these side chambers; according to Josephus (Ant. 8:08. 2) thirty. Thenius is probably not so far wrong when he sees in these chambers bedrooms. A sort of monastery would seem to have been attached to the temple. So many chambers could hardly have been required for the "preservation of temple stores and utensils" (Keil), or of offerings (Ewald). Whatever their use, we can hardly suppose that they were wholly without light, though nothing is said about windows. They may have had "fixed lattices." It is to be re. membered that the priests and Levites ministered "by night in the house of the Lord" (Psalm 134:1)] round about.

6:1-10 The temple is called the house of the Lord, because it was directed and modelled by him, and was to be employed in his service. This gave it the beauty of holiness, that it was the house of the Lord, which was far beyond all other beauties. It was to be the temple of the God of peace, therefore no iron tool must be heard; quietness and silence suit and help religious exercises. God's work should be done with much care and little noise. Clamour and violence often hinder, but never further the work of God. Thus the kingdom of God in the heart of man grows up in silence, Mr 5:27.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" it (p); 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 says (q) 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 say (r), 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 temples (s): 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.

(p) "super parietem", V. L. Montanus. (q) Antiqu. l. 8. c. 3. sect. 2.((r) Misn. Middot, c. 4. sect. 3.((s) Pausan. Laconic. sive. l. 3. p. 190.

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