INTRODUCTION TO 2 Chronicles 3 & 4
These two chapters give an account of the building of the temple, of the materials, parts, and form of it, and of things belonging to it, and which agrees with 1 Kings 6:1 see the notes there; only here, 1 Chronicles 3:1, mention is made of the particular place where it was built, Mount Moriah; of which see the notes on Genesis 22:2. The dimensions of the house, as the Targum rightly explains, 2 Chronicles 3:3, are said to be after the first measure, either of that of the tabernacle by Moses, or rather of that of the pattern David gave to Solomon, 1 Chronicles 28:11, though some understand it of the greater cubit: the holy place is called the greater house, 2 Chronicles 3:5, being twice as long as the holy of holies; in 2 Chronicles 3:6, we are informed what the precious stones were for, which David and his princes gave for the temple, 1 Chronicles 29:2, that they were to decorate the house; and also what sort of gold was used in overlaying it, gold of Parvaim, which some interpret of Peru (h), in America; but it is a question whether that was then known, or, if it was, must go by another name, since Peru is a late name given by the Spaniards, at their conquest of it. Bochart (i) takes it to be Taprobane, an island in the Indian sea, as if it was Taph Parvan or Provan, the shore of Parvan. Kircher (k) is of opinion it is the same with Javaim, the isles of Java in the same sea, from whence was gold, which is not very likely. Waserus (l) thinks Parvaim is the name of a town which is by Pliny (m) corruptly called Parbacia, which was in the land of Havilah, or the kingdom of the Charazenes, where was the best gold, Genesis 2:11 though others suppose it to be the same with Ophir, by removing the first letter of the word, to which Pfeiffer (n) inclines, and is as probable as any; and much more probable than what the Jews (o) say, that this gold was so called, because it was red like the blood of "parim", oxen: in 2 Chronicles 3:8, the quantity of gold, with which the most holy place was overlaid, is given, six hundred talents: of which See Gill on 1 Kings 6:21, In 2 Chronicles 3:9 we read of the nails with which the plates of gold were fastened to the boards, nowhere else mentioned, except in the Vulgate Latin version of 1 Kings 6:21, "he fastened the plates with golden nails"; which version perhaps is most correct; the weight of which were fifty shekels of gold; that is, according to the Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions, each nail weighed so much, which amounted to seventy five pounds of our money (p). Eupolemus, an Heathen writer (q) speaks of these nails, which he makes to be silver ones; and says they were of the weight of a talent, in the form of a woman's breast, and in number four, with which the plates of gold were fastened, which were of five cubits; I suppose he means there were four of these nails in every plate of five cubits: in 2 Chronicles 4:1 an account is given of an "altar of brass", made by Solomon, we have not elsewhere, only referred to 1 Kings 8:64 whether this was only covered with brass, as that made by Moses was, as some (r) think; or whether of massy brass, as Dr. Lightfoot (s) because not to be removed as that was, is not certain; the altar of the second temple was of stones unpolished, according to the Misnah (t), with which agrees"46 And laid up the stones in the mountain of the temple in a convenient place, until there should come a prophet to shew what should be done with them. 47 Then they took whole stones according to the law, and built a new altar according to the former;'' (1 Maccabees 4)and so Philo (u): "twenty cubits was the length thereof, and twenty cubits the breadth thereof, and ten cubits the height thereof"; it was four times as big in its square as that of Moses, and three times higher, and a cubit over, See Gill on Exodus 27:1. Hecataeus (w), an Heathen writer, speaks of this altar as four square, and made of whole and unpolished stones, each side of which was twenty cubits, but the height of it he makes to be twelve cubits, in which he mistakes. It weighed, according to Jacob Leon (x) 7000 arobas of brass, each aroba containing twenty five pounds. The rest of the chapter agrees with the account in the book of Kings. (h) Erasm. Schmid. de America Orat. ad Calc. Pindar. p. 261. Montani Phaleg. in Calc. Jac. Capellus in loc. (i) Phaleg. l. 2. c. 27. & Canaan, l. 1. c. 46. col. 692. Braunius de Vest. Sacred. Heb. p. 221. (k) Prodrom. Copt. c. 4. p. 119. (l) De Antiqu. Num. Heb. l. 1. c. 6. (m) Nat. Hist l. 6. c. 28. (n) Difficil. Script. Sacr. cent. 3. loc. 16. p. 247. (o) T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 45. 1. Hieros. Yoma, fol. 41. 4. Shemot Rabba, sect. 39. fol. 136. 4. (p) Brerewood de Ponder. &c. c. 5. (q) Apud Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 9. c. 34. p. 450. (r) Cunaeus de Rep. Heb. l. 2. c. 5. (s) Prospect of the Temple, ch. 34. p. 2029. So Villalpandus. (t) Middot, c. 3. sect. 4. (u) De Victimis, p. 850. (w) Apud Euseb. Evangel. Praepar. l. 9. c. 4. p. 408. (x) Relation of Memorable Things in the Temple, ch. 4. p. 20.