Solomon begins to build the temple in the fourth year of his reign on Mount Moriah, 1,2. Its dimensions, ornaments, and pillars, 3-17.
Notes on Chapter 3
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."
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;; 43:13.
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 meah veesrim, one hundred and twenty. But probably the letters in mead, a hundred, are transposed for ammah, a cubit, if, therefore, the aleph be placed after the mem, then the word will be meah one hundred; if before it the word will be ammah, a cubit; therefore 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.
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, 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 colour, and had its name from 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,"
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.
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; and see the parallel places for other matters contained in this chapter.