1 Kings 7:3 MEANING

1 Kings 7:3
Verse 3. - And it was covered [or roofed] with cedar above [cf. 6:9, 15] upon the beams [צְלָעות lit., ribs, the word used in 1 Kings 6:5 of the side chambers, and in 1 Kings 6:34 (in the masculine) of the leaves of the doors], that lay on forty-five pillars, fifteen in a row. [Rawlinson, al. are much exercised to reconcile this statement with that of ver. 2, which speaks of four rows, But the explanation is very simple, viz., that the "forty-five, fifteen in a row" does not refer to the pillars but to the side chambers or compartments (A.V., "beams"). The description is so very loose and general that positive statements are out of place, but the meaning certainly appears to be this, that there was a roofing of cedar over the side chambers (which rested upon the pillars mentioned in ver. 2) forty-five in number, fifteen in a row. It is true the Masoretic punctuation is against this view. It is also clear that the LXX. understood the numbers forty-five and fifteen to refer to the pillars, for they have essayed to cut the knot by reading three rows instead of "four rows," in ver. 2. Similarly the Arab. in ver. 3 reads sixty instead of forty-five; obviously another desperate attempt to solve the difficulty by a corruption of the text. But the solution suggested above is so simple and natural that we can hardly be wrong in adopting it. Bahr says positively that forty-five pillars could not have supported a structure 100 cubits by 50 cubits, "nor could the building have been named ' forest of Lebanon' from forty-five scattered pillars." It would follow hence, that there were side chambers only on three sides of the building, as was the case in the temple. And if (as has been inferred from vers. 4, 5) a three-storied structure is here described; if, that is to say, the forty-five chambers were divided fifteen to a tier or story, it is highly probable that they would be distributed six to each long side and three to the rear (Bahr). This arrangement - a court surrounded by a colonnade and galleries - is still found in the East; as all travellers know. And in its favour it may be said that it is such as to have been suggested by the plan of the temple. The ground plan is the same, with this difference, that a courtyard occupies the place of the temple proper.]

7:1-12 All Solomon's buildings, though beautiful, were intended for use. Solomon began with the temple; he built for God first, and then his other buildings. The surest foundations of lasting prosperity are laid in early piety. He was thirteen years building his house, yet he built the temple in little more than seven years; not that he was more exact, but less eager in building his own house, than in building God's. We ought to prefer God's honour before our own ease and satisfaction.And it was covered with cedar above the beams, that lay on forty five pillars, fifteen in a row. On the second floor were three rows of pillars, fifteen in a row, which made forty five, that stood to east, north, and south; and upon these pillars beams, which were the floor of the third story, over which was a roof of cedar wood.
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