2 Chronicles 3 Commentary

To go directly to that verse

The Kingdom of Israel
From Splendor to Disaster
Splendor Disaster
King Solomon
of Judah
2 Chronicles 1-9
Successive Kings
of Judah
2Chr 10-36
2Chr 10:1-19
Rulers of the Southern
Kingdom of Judah
After the Split
The Exile
of Judah
2Chr 36:17-23

2Chr 1:1-17

2Chr 2:1-7:22
2Chr 8:1-9:31
of the Temple
Decline & Destruction
of the Temple
~40 Years ~393 Years

Click chart to enlarge
Chart from Jensen's Survey of the OT - used by permission
Click Chart from Charles Swindoll









1Samuel 2 Samuel 1Kings 1Kings 2 Kings


1-4 5-10 11-20 21-24 1-11 12-22 1-17 18-25

1 Chronicles 10



2 Chronicles

2 Chronicles

2 Chronicles

Legend: B.C. dates at top of timeline are approximate. Note that 931BC marks the division of the Kingdom into Southern Tribes (Judah and Benjamin) and Ten Northern Tribes. To avoid confusion be aware that after the division of the Kingdom in 931BC, the Southern Kingdom is most often designated in Scripture as "Judah" and the Northern Kingdom as "Israel." Finally, note that 1 Chronicles 1-9 is not identified on the timeline because these chapters are records of genealogy.



2 Chronicles 3:1 Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the LORD had appeared to his father David, at the place that David had prepared on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.

Map of Jerusalem in 1925,
showing the location of Mount Moriah according to Jewish sources


Raymond Dillard: In light of the dominant role the temple plays in the Chronicler’s history the most striking feature of his account of the building of the temple is its brevity: forty-six verses in Kings (1 Kgs 6:1–38; 7:15–22) compared to seventeen in Chronicles. Much of the extensive detail regarding the architecture of the temple is omitted (2 Ch 6:4–19, 22, 26, 29–38; 7:15, 17b–20, 22), along with the description of Solomon’s palace (2Ch 7:1–12). The Chronicler adds only a few details not found in the parallel text (2Ch 3:1, 6, 8b–9, 14). At the very least the author is depending on the reader’s knowledge of the account in Kings, for without that information his description of the temple is relatively opaque.

John Olley -  David and Solomon’s preparations had reached their end; next, “Solomon began to build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem.” The account of preparation subsequent to God’s first announcement (1 Chron. 17:3–15) has been extensive (14 chapters), but the actual details of the buildings and its furnishings are given briefly. The Chronicler’s account (2 Chron. 3:1–5:1) is only half the length of that in 1 Kings 6:1–38; 7:13–51—and this includes places where he expands on that content. He focuses on details that are pertinent to the second temple and his hearers’ context.

Geoffrey Kirkland: Consider how the Chronicler acts as a sort of TOUR GUIDE to lead us (in 2 Chronicles 3)! - he starts with the PORCH (2Ch 3:3-4) o then the interior room - “the holy place” (2Ch 3:5-7)  then the Holiest of all, the Most Holy Place (2Ch 3:8-13)  then the VEIL of separation (2Ch 3:14) o then the PILLARS on the outside of symbolic praise (2Ch 3:15-17)

Mark Boda: Chapters 3 and 4 were compiled as a continuous section, as indicated by the regular use of the verb wayya’as (“and he made/did”) in 2Ch 3:8, 10, 14, 15, 16; 4:1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 18, 19. This becomes a “Leitmotif, lending the pericope a touch of uniformity” (Japhet 1993:563; cf. Williamson 1982:208). The section begins with a summary note (2Ch 3:1-2), a structuring signal that matches others found throughout the Chronicler’s account of the Temple building (2Ch 1:1; 2:1; 3:1-2; 5:1; 7:11; 8:1, 16). It then presents the building account in two parts: first, the construction of the building structures (2Ch 3:3-17) and, second, the fashioning of the furnishings and utensils within those structures (2Ch 4:1-22).

Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the LORD had appeared to his father David, at the place that David had prepared on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. Moriah, which the father of the faithful renamed "Yahweh-Yireh" 

Rose Guide to the Temple (see first chapter of this beautiful resource) -  The Site for the First Temple - The general identification of the place for the sanctuary in the Promised Land was given in the time of Abraham and Isaac with the erection of an altar and God's provision of a substitutionary sacrifice (Genesis 22:2, 13-14). This place was Mount Moriah in Jerusalem. God identified this chosen site more particularly in the time of King David as the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite (1 Chronicles 21:18-20). David purchased this site and built and altar, consecrating the site as the place for the future sanctuary. The identification of this site was made certain by connecting all of these previous revelations in the statement of 2 Chronicles 3:1: "Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the Lord had appeared to his father David, at the place that David had prepared, on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite."

Bob Utley on where the LORD had appeared to his father David - This event is recorded in 1 Chronicles 18. David is connected to the temple in several ways. He wanted to build the temple ‒ 2 Samuel 7. He designed the overall plan. He gathered the materials (using Hiram) He was directed by YHWH where to build it. Ornan the Jebusite In 2 Sam. 24:16 he is called "Araunah the Jebusite." However, in 1 Chr. 21:15,18-27,28, he goes by "Ornan". (See also  Who was Araunah the Jebusite? | GotQuestions.org)

August Konkel: Two designations are brought together: the threshing floor of Araunah, where the plague was stopped, and Mount Moriah, where Abraham offered Isaac to God (Gen 22:2).

Frederick Mabie: Moreover, the location of Mount Moriah connects with God’s provision of a substitutionary sacrifice for Abraham (Ge 22), after which the area was called the “mountain of the LORD” (Ge 22:14). The location at the threshing floor of Ornan (“Araunah” in 2Sa 24:18) the Jebusite adds a further level of significance to the site of the Jerusalem temple. This location hearkens back to David and reminds the reader that the chosen place for the temple connects with both divine grace (following David’s sin) and a divine encounter (via the angel of Yahweh). All told, careful narrative attention connects the temple location to Abraham, Moses, and David.

Yes Solomon built, but we must always remember the dual dynamic of God's Provision and Man's Responsibility as clearly shown in Psalm 127+ (notice who wrote this psalm!!! I think he knew this dual dynamic from experience!)

THOUGHT- What "edifice" (your job, your ministry, your marriage, etc) are you "building" in reliance on your strength and not on the Lord's? Now ponder the 2 conclusions recorded by Solomon...in vain!

(A Song of Ascents, of Solomon.)
Unless the LORD builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the LORD guards the city,
The watchman keeps awake in vain.

RON DANIEL: Location - The Lord's appearance to David should be fresh in your mind from 1Chronicles 21. David had bought the site of the threshing floor belonging to Ornan the Jebusite, built an altar, and sacrificed to the Lord. The Lord had then put an end to the judgment He was executing against Israel. David then and there had decided,

1Chr. 22:1 ..."This is the house of the LORD God, and this is the altar of burnt offering for Israel."

G Campbell Morgan - 2 Chron. 3.1
In this, Solomon was carrying out the instructions and intention of his father. The site chosen, as we observed in a previous note, was full of suggestiveness. In the place where judgment was merged in mercy, the House of God was to stand. In this chapter and the next, we have the account of the building and furnishing of the Temple. In all fundamental essentials, it was on the pattern of the Tabernacle which Moses had made according to the pattern given him by God. Its proportions and relations were identical, but it was larger. Its symbolism was exactly the same, though its material magnificence was far greater. Nothing of ornamentation was admitted which would have interfered with the express command that no attempt was to be made to make anything as a likeness of God. Its structure was representative of the way of man's ap-
froach to God, rather than revelative of is nature. That was a mystery beyond the comprehension of the finite mind, and it was a distinguishing element in the Hebrew religion that it made no attempt to explain. "When the fulness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman." Then, He explained Himself, for this Son was "the effulgence of His glory, and the very image of His sub-stance." In Him judgment merged in mercy. Thus He became all the Temple symbolized, and infinitely more than it was ever permitted to suggest. He is the way of approach to God, and the revelation of God.

James Butler - LOCATION OF THE TEMPLE 2 Chronicles 3:1 (Sermon Starters)

“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 Chronicles 3:1).

The place where Solomon built the Temple was a most significant place. Note three things about the place.


The mercy was that which God showed Israel after David’s sin of numbering the people. David was given three choices for his punishment (2 Samuel 24:13–15). He selected pestilence which brought death to thousands of Israelites. The death angel was about to come upon Jerusalem and God stopped the angel and the judgment at Mount Moriah known then as the “threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.” This was located just north of Jerusalem and later was incorporated into Jerusalem when the city grew. The place was a place of Divine mercy where God stopped the pestilence and spared rest of Israel from judgment which was for David’s numbering the people. This being a place of mercy was indeed a place where the Temple, which emphasized the mercy of God through the sacrifices, was to be built.


One of the significant things that happened at the threshingfloor, when David came to it to acknowledge the mercy of God in stopping the death angel from going any father with the pestilence, was David’s refusal to take free from Oman the things necessary to offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving to God. David said he would pay “full price” (1 Chronicles 21:24) for the things necessary for the sacrifice—altar, animal etc. David was not looking for a discount in the Lord’s work but was willing to pay the full price for his devotion to the Lord. Would that all believers were this way in their dedication to God. But so many are looking for ‘free’ handouts from God rather than showing their willingness to sacrifice for God. They are more interested in what the church can give them than in what they can give the church.


There were two important spiritual manifestations at this site.
• The manifestation of the Lord. “Where the LORD appeared unto David.” We do not appreciate as we ought the manifestation of God to mankind. Such a manifestation involves revelation of the Divine Word of God. In this case it made known to David his duties.
• The manifestation of the Lamb. Abraham in obedience to God’s order took Isaac to Moriah (Genesis 22:2) to sacrifice him. Just as Abraham was ready to plunge the knife into Isaac to kill the sacrifice, God stopped him and revealed to him a ram (male sheep/lamb) to offer instead of Isaac. What a fitting place for the Temple to be built that would through its sacrifices reveal the lamb of God (Genesis 22:8) which takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29).

Warren Wiersbe - What were David’s two greatest sins? Most people would reply, “His adultery with Bathsheba and his taking a census of the people,” and their answers would be correct. As a result of his sin of numbering the people, David purchased property on Mount Moriah where he built an altar and worshipped the Lord (2 Sam. 24). David married Bathsheba and God gave them a son whom they named Solomon (2 Sam. 12:24–25). Now we have Solomon building a temple on David’s property on Mount Moriah! God took the consequences of David’s two worst sins—a piece of property and a son—and built a temple! “But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more” (Ro 5:20 nkjv). This isn’t an encouragement for us to sin, because David paid dearly for both of those transgressions, but it is an encouragement to us go on serving God after we’ve repented and confessed our sins. Satan wants us to think that all is lost, but the God of all grace is still at work (1 Peter 5:10).

Matthew Henry Notes: Chapter: 3
It was a much larger and more particular account of the building of the temple which we had in the book of Kings than is here in this book of Chronicles. In this chapter we have,

I. The place and time of building the temple (v. 1, 2).

II. The dimensions and rich ornaments of it (v. 3-9).

III. The cherubim in the most holy place (v. 10-13). IV. The veil (v. 14). V. The two pillars (v. 15-17). Of all this we have already and an account, 1 Ki. 6, 7.

2Chr 3:1-9 Here is,

I. The place where the temple was built. Solomon was neither at liberty to choose nor at a loss to fix the place. It was before determined (1 Chr. 22:1), which was an ease to his mind.

1. It must be at Jerusalem; for that was the place where God had chosen to put his name there. The royal city must be the holy city. There must be the testimony of Israel; for there are set the thrones of judgment, Ps. 122:4, 5.

2. It must be on Mount Moriah, which, some think, was that very place in the land of Moriah where Abraham offered Isaac, Gen. 22:2. So the Targum says expressly, adding, But he was delivered by the word of the Lord, and a ram provided in his place. That was typical of Christ's sacrifice of himself; therefore fitly was the temple, which was likewise a type of him, built there.

3. It must be where the Lord appeared to David, and answered him by fire, 1 Chr. 21:18, 26. There atonement was made once; and therefore, in remembrance of that, there atonement was made once; and therefore, in remembrance of that, there atonement must still be made. Where God has met with me it is to be hoped that he will still manifest himself. 4. It must be in the place which David has prepared, not only which he had purchased with his money, but which he had purchased with his money, but which he had pitched upon divine direction. It was Solomon's wisdom not to enquire out a more convenient place, but to acquiesce in the appointment of God, whatever might be objected against it. 5. It must be in the threshold floor of Ornan, which, if (as a Jebusite) it gives encouragement to the Gentiles, obliges us to look upon temple-work as that which requires the labour of the mind, no less than threshing-work dos that of the body.

Smith's Dictionary - Mount Moriah . --The elevation on which Solomon built the temple, where God appeared to David "in the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite." it is the Eastern eminence of Jerusalem, separated from Mount Zion by the Tyropoeon valley. The tope was levelled by Solomon, and immense walls were built around it from the base to enlarge the level surface for the temple area. A tradition which first appears in a definite shape in Josephus, and is now almost universally accepted, asserts that the "Mount Moriah" of the Chronicles is identical with the "mountain" in "the land of Moriah" of Genesis, and that the spot on which Jehovah appeared to David, and on which the temple was built, was the very spot of the sacrifice of Isaac. (Smith, Stanley and Grove are, however, inclined to doubt this tradition.)


This term (Moriah, BDB 599, KB 635) has been translated many ways.

  1. the Vulgate and the Samaritan Pentateuch have "visions"
  2.  the Targums translate it as "worship"
  3.  the Septuagint has "high"
  4. the Peshitta has "of the Amonites"
  5. some scholars translate it as "shown of YHWH"
  6.  others "the chosen"
  7. still others "the place of appearing"

It seems that "the place of appearing" might be the best possible translation based on the other use of this term in 2 Chr. 3:1, which mentions that the temple was built on Mt. Moriah, the place where God appeared to David. This can either refer to 2 Sam. 24:16 or more probably, 1 Chr. 21:18-30. The mention of Abraham offering Isaac in that context is either omitted because it was so well known or it was unknown to the author of 1 Chronicles. Also, Moriah seems to relate to the city of Melchizedek, Salem (Gen. 14:18), later called Jebus, which became Jerusalem.

  1.  "Moriah" is linked to Abraham's offering of Isaac in Gen. 22:2, which later became the site of the temple (cf. 2 Chr. 3:1).
  2.  "Salem" (BDB 1024 II, KB 1539, cf. Gen. 14:18; Ps. 76:2; Heb. 7:1,2), the site of a Canaanite city of Melchizedek.
  3.  Later it became the Canaanite city of "Jebus" (BDB 101, KB 382, from "Jebusites," cf. Gen. 10:16; 15:21; Exod. 3:8,17; Jos. 18:16,18; Jdgs. 19:10-11), which was captured by David (cf. 1 Chr. 11:4-5).
  4.  The name was changed to "Jerusalem" (BDB 436, KB 437), probably after David's capture. It is difficult to be certain because the name is used in Joshua 10; 12; 15. The name "Jerusalem" has an uncertain etymology, possibly "possession of peace" or "foundation of peace."
  5.  Often the capital is designated "Zion" (BDB 851, KB 816), which was the name of one of the seven hills on which Jerusalem was built.  The title is used often in Psalms and Isaiah.  It became a way of referring to the Jewish people.

The term's meaning is uncertain but the suggestions are (AB, vol. 6, p. 1096):

  • Hebrew root – "to erect"
  • Hebrew root – "to be dry"
  • Hurrian root – "brook," "stream," "wadi"
  • Arabic root – "hill crest," "ridge"
  • hypothetical root from Hebrew "shield" – "fortress"

QUESTION - What is the significance of Mount Moriah in the Bible?

ANSWER - Mount Moriah in Old City Jerusalem is the site of numerous biblical acts of faith. It is also one of the most valuable pieces of real estate and one of the most hotly contested pieces of real estate on earth. This is a profoundly sacred area to Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Sitting atop Mount Moriah today is the Temple Mount, a 37-acre tract of land where the Jewish temple once stood. Several important Islamic holy sites are there now, including the Dome of the Rock – a Muslim shrine built thirteen hundred years ago – and the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Mount Moriah’s history begins in Genesis. In the twenty-second chapter, God commands Abraham, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I will tell you” (Genesis 22:2). The place God led Abraham was Mount Moriah. Abraham didn’t fully understand what God was asking him to do in light of God’s previous promise to establish an everlasting covenant with Isaac (Genesis 17:19); nonetheless, he trusted God and by faith offered Isaac as a sacrifice. Of course, God intervened and spared Isaac’s life by providing a ram instead. Abraham thereafter called this place “The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, ‘On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided’” (Genesis 22:14). Because of Abraham’s obedience on Mount Moriah, God told Abraham that his “descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed because you have obeyed me” (vv. 17, 18).

About a thousand years later at this very location, King David bought the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite and built an altar to the Lord so that a “plague may be held back from the people” (2 Samuel 24:18, 21). After David’s death, his son King Solomon built a glorious temple on the same site. Solomon’s temple lasted for over four hundred years until it was destroyed by King Nebuchadnezzar’s armies in 587/586 B.C.

Seventy years later the temple was rebuilt on the same site by the Jews who returned to Jerusalem following their Babylon captivity. Around the first century, King Herod made a significant addition to this structure, which then became known as Herod’s Temple. It was this temple that Jesus cleansed (John 2:15).

However, in A.D. 70, the Roman armies led by Titus, son of the Emperor Vespasian, once again destroyed the temple. All that remains of the Temple Mount of that era is a portion of a retaining wall known as the “Western Wall” or the “Wailing Wall.” It has been a destination for pilgrims and a site of prayer for Jews for many centuries.

The God who first called Abraham to Mount Moriah still has plans for that place. The Bible indicates that a third temple will be built on or near the site of Solomon’s temple (Daniel 9:27). This would seem to present a problem given the political obstacles that stand in the way: the religious activities on the Temple Mount are currently controlled by the Supreme Muslim Council (the Waqf). Yet nothing can put a wrinkle in God’s sovereign plans. Thus, Muslim control of this area simply fulfills the prophecy of Luke 21:24 that “Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” GotQuestions.org


2 Chronicles 3:2 He began to build on the second day in the second month of the fourth year of his reign.

  • in the second (KJV): 1Ki 6:1 

He began to build on the second day in the second month of the fourth year of his reign. April-May 966 B.C. 

Bob Utley thinks "The proposed date would be the spring of 966 b.c. (cf. 1 Kgs. 6:1). SPECIAL TOPIC: ANE CALENDARS

David Guzik: This was probably in the year 967 B.C. Connecting this with 1 Kings 6:1, this marking point shows just how long Israel lived in the Promised Land without a temple. The tabernacle served the nation well for more than 400 years. The prompting to build the temple was more at the direction and will of God than out of absolute necessity.

Frederick Mabie: The fact that Solomon did not begin the temple construction until his fourth year reflects the significant amount of preparation and planning that still needed to take place beyond that accomplished by David.

Matthew Henry Not that the first three years were trifled away, or spent in deliberating whether they should build the temple or no; but they were employed in the necessary preparations for it, wherein three years would be soon gone, considering how many hands were to be got together and set to work. Some conjecture that this was a sabbatical year, or year of release and rest to the land, when the people, being discharged from their husbandry, might more easily lend a hand to the beginning of this work; and then the year in which it was finished would fall out to be another sabbatical year, when they would likewise have leisure to attend the solemnity of the dedication of it.

2 Chronicles 3:3 Now these are the foundations which Solomon laid for building the house of God. The length in cubits, according to the old standard was sixty cubits, and the width twenty cubits.

  • Solomon (KJV): 1Ch 28:11-19 
  • instructed (KJV): Heb. founded
  • The length (KJV): 1Ki 6:2,3 
  • the first measure (KJV): It is supposed, with much probability, 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 these Books 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; which may serve to reconcile some variations in the historical books, with respect to numbers when applied to measures.

(facing eastward)

Now these are the foundations which Solomon laid for building the house of God. The length in cubits, according to the old standard was sixty cubits, and the width twenty cubits - The description of the temple here is a summary of 1 Kings 6-7. See NET Note on cubit which is assumed to be the "short cubit" which would make the Temple structure 90 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 45 feet high. At the front was a porch 30 feet wide and 15 feet deep stood with a courtyard for the priests surrounding the sanctuary. The doors of the Temple faced to the East, which was the same direction the gate of the Tabernacle faced.  See 8 page discussion of the Temple at Jerusalem in Ancient Israel: its life and institutions by Roland de Vaux, Roland, Volume 2, page 312 (BORROW)

NET NOTE on cubits - Assuming a length of 18 inches (45 cm) for the standard cubit (ED: in the ancient world this was known as a “short cubit” or “common cubit” in contrast to the “long cubit” of almost twenty-one inches.), the length of the foundation would be 90 feet (27 m) and its width 30 feet (9 m). 

RON DANIEL: 2Ch 3:3-17 The Structure These 15 verses describe for us the foundation's dimensions, and about how nearly every part of the structure was overlaid with gold. There are also some notable differences between Solomon's temple and Moses' tabernacle. The temple has a porch, upper rooms, pillars, and huge sculptured cherubim in the Holy of Holies with thirty-foot wingspans!

Frederick Mabie: The description of the temple is replete with notations of gold, both by type and amount of gold. Examples in the immediate context include “pure gold” (zāhāb ṭāhôr; 2Ch 3:4), “fine gold” (zāhāb ṭôb; 2Ch 3:5), gold from Parvaim (2Ch 3:6), and, in the broader context of Chronicles, “pure gold” (zāhāb sāgûr; e.g., 2Ch 4:20, 22), “beaten gold” (zāhāb šāḥûṭ; e.g., 2Ch 9:15–16), and gold from Ophir (2Ch 8:18; cf. David’s words in 1Ch 29:1–5). While the exact significance of each term (or geographic location) used in conjunction is not clear, the intended meaning and emphasis are clear—the temple built for Yahweh utilized top-quality gold sourced from locations known for special gold, reflecting the preciousness of God and the devotion of Solomon.

J.A. Thompson: It is evident that Israel used two standards for the cubit, a short cubit (17.4 inches) and a long cubit (20.4 inches), both based on an Egyptian dual standard of six and seven palms respectively (cf. Ezek 40:5; 45:13). It is not clear what the Chronicler meant by “the old standard,” but excavations at the temple of Arad yielded evidence of these two standards. The temple of the tenth century had a north-south measurement of nine meters (twenty short cubits) for its main hall while the ninthcentury temple had been lengthened to 10.5 meters (twenty long cubits). The latter measurement is exactly the same as that of the Jerusalem temple, that is, twenty cubits.

Matthew Henry: The dimensions of it, in which Solomon was instructed (2Chr 3:3), as he was in other things, by his father. This was the foundation (so it may be read) which Solomon laid for the building of the house. This was the rule he went by, so many cubits the length and breadth, after the first measure, that is, according to the measure first fixed, which there was no reason to make any alteration of when the work came to be done; for the dimensions were given by divine wisdom, and what God does shall be for ever; nothing can be put to it, or taken from it, Eccl. 3:14. His first measure will be the last.

2 Chronicles 3:4 The porch which was in front of the house was as long as the width of the house, twenty cubits, and the height 120; and inside he overlaid it with pure gold.

  • the porch (KJV): Joh 10:23 Ac 3:11 5:12 
  • an hundred and twenty (KJV): As the height of the temple was only thirty cubits, 120 seems too great a height for the porch; but the Syriac, Arabic, and the LXX. in the codex Alexandrinus, have only twenty, probably reading, instead of {maiah weesrim,} "one hundred and twenty," {ammoth esrim,} "twenty cubits;" which brings it within the proportion of the other measures.

The porch which was in front of the house was as long as the width of the house, twenty cubits, and the height 120; and inside he overlaid it with pure gold.

Believer's Study Bible - This is undoubtedly a later scribal inadvertency and should read "twenty cubits" in height instead of "one hundred and twenty" (cf. 1 Kin. 6:2, where the height of the entire building is given as 30 cubits).

Ryrie Study Bible- Some mss. read, as here, 120 cubits, making the tower about 180-209 ft (55-64 m) high. But some think this is a copyist's error and should read "twenty cubits" (30-35 ft, or #9-10.6 m) high. 


There are two cubits in the Bible. The regular cubit is the distance between an average man’s longest finger and his elbow, usually around 18 inches (e.g., Gen. 6:15; Exod. 25:10,17,23; 26:2,8,13,16; 27:1,9,12,13,14,16,18; Num. 35:4,5; Deut. 3:11). There is also a longer cubit (royal cubit) used in construction (i.e., Solomon’s temple), which was common in Egypt (i.e., 21 fingers), Palestine (i.e., 24 fingers), and sometimes Babylon (i.e., 30 fingers). It was 21 inches long (cf. 2 Chr. 3:3; Ezek. 40:5; 43:13).

The ancients used parts of the human body for measurement. The people of the Ancient Near East used:

1. out stretched arms

2. length from elbow to middle finger (cubit)

3. width from outstretched thumb to little finger (span, cf. Exod. 28:16; 39:9; 1 Sam. 17:4)

4. length between all four fingers of a closed hand (handbreadth, cf. Exod. 25:25; 37:12; 1 Kgs. 7:26; 2 Chr. 4:5)

5. length of middle joint of finger (fingerbreadth, Jer. 52:21)

Matthew Henry Notes: Chapter: 3 IV. The ornaments of the temple. The timber-work was very fine, and yet, within, it was overlaid with pure gold (2Chr 3:4), with fine gold (2Chr 3:5). and that embossed with palm-trees and chains. It was gold of Parvaim (2Chr 3:6), the best gold. The beams and posts, the walls and doors, were overlaid with gold, 2Chr 3:7. The most holy place, which was ten yards square, was all overlaid with fine gold (2Chr 3:8), even the upper chambers, or rather the upper floor or roof-top, bottom, and sides, were all overlaid with gold. Every nail, or screw, or pin, with which the golden plates were fastened to the walls that were overlaid with them, weighed fifty shekels, or was worth so much, workmanship and all. A great many precious stones were dedicated to God (1 Chr. 29:2, 8), and these were set here and there, where they would show to the best advantage. The finest houses now pretend to no better garnishing than good paint on the roof and walls; but the ornaments of the temple were most substantially rich. It was set with precious stones, because it was a type of the new Jerusalem, which has no temple in it because it is all temple, and the walls, gates, and foundations of which are said to be of precious stones and pearls, Rev. 21:18, 19, 21.

QUESTION - What was Solomon’s Porch?

ANSWER - Solomon’s Porch was the name of two porches associated with the temple in Jerusalem. The original temple, constructed by King Solomon, is described in 1 Kings: “As for the house which King Solomon built for the LORD, its length was sixty cubits [90 feet] and its width twenty cubits [30 feet] and its height thirty cubits [45 feet]. The porch in front of the nave of the house was twenty cubits [30 feet] in length, corresponding to the width of the house, and its depth along the front of the house was ten cubits [15 feet]” (1 Kings 6:2–3, NASB).

The reconstructed temple was later modified by King Herod, and it included an area also known as Solomon’s Porch (Acts 5:12, KJV), Solomon’s Portico (ESV), or Solomon’s Colonnade (NIV). This structure was on the east side of the temple and was covered with a roof, thus providing more protection from the weather than the temple courtyards. Passing west through Solomon’s Porch (toward the temple) would place one in the Court of the Gentiles.

The Jewish historian Josephus describes Solomon’s Porch this way: “There was a porch without the temple, overlooking a deep valley, supported by walls of four hundred cubits, made of four square stone, very white; the length of each stone was twenty cubits, and the breadth six; the work of king Solomon, who first founded the whole temple” (Antiquities l. 20. c. 8. sect. 7).

One winter, at the Festival of Dedication (or Hanukkah), Jesus was in Jerusalem, and John describes Him as “in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade” (John 10:23). The KJV says, “Solomon’s porch.” In Acts 5:12, Solomon’s Porch was the gathering place for believers in Jerusalem before the Diaspora. Earlier, in Acts 3:11, Peter and John had healed a lame man at Solomon’s Porch and preached to a large crowd that had gathered there.

Solomon’s Porch, along with the rest of Herod’s temple, was destroyed by the Romans in A.D. 70.GotQuestions.org

2 Chronicles 3:5 He overlaid the main room with cypress wood and overlaid it with fine gold, and ornamented it with palm trees and chains.

  • the greater (KJV): 1Ki 6:15-17,21,22 

He overlaid the main room with cypress wood and overlaid it with fine gold, and ornamented it with palm trees and chains - The main room is the Holy Place not the the Holy of Holies described in 2Ch 3:8.

Frederick Mabie: The palm tree was a common symbol of fertility, life, and agricultural bounty in the ancient Near East and symbolized God’s blessings on his people.

QUESTION - What were the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place in the temple / tabernacle?

ANSWER - The tabernacle built by Moses and, later, Solomon’s temple were divided into the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place (or Holy of Holies). To understand these places, it will help if we first understand the concept of “holy.” At its most basic meaning, holy simply means “set apart” or even “different.” God is holy because He is absolutely different, completely set apart from everything else. He is completely different from all other things that are called “gods.” He is also completely set apart from sin, which is probably the concept that most people associate with God’s holiness. This example may help explain the concept further: the word bible is simply from the Latin for “book.” Although the word Bible has become a technical (or semi-technical) term for the Word of God, the term itself just means “book.” There are many books in the world. That is why on the cover or the title page we often see the official title as “Holy Bible.” In other words, there are many bibles (books), but this Book (Bible) is holy; that is, it is different, set apart from all other books, because it is the Word of God.

The Holy Place and the Most Holy Place were first and foremost places that were set apart. They were completely different from any other place on Earth, because the presence of God was uniquely present there. The Israelites were forbidden from making any images to represent God (Exodus 20:4–5). However, human beings are physical and visual, so God did give the Israelites an object that would help them sense His presence among them—the tabernacle (a tent that served as a portable temple), which was later replaced by a grand temple in Jerusalem. The Holy Place and Most Holy Place function the same in both settings.

The whole tabernacle was holy in that it was set apart for worship and sacrifices to God. However, the tabernacle was separated into 3 areas, the Outer Court, the Holy Place, and the Most Holy Place (or Holy of Holies). Priests and Levites ministered in the Outer Court as they offered sacrifices for sin and guilt as well as the other sacrifices. In the center of the Outer Court was a tent that only the priests could enter. This place was set apart—it was holy.

The tabernacle had only one entrance. Upon entering, a priest would be in the Holy Place, where there were three articles of furniture. One was the golden lampstand, which was to be kept burning continually, giving light to the Holy Place. The second article of furniture in the Holy Place was the table for the bread of presence (or the table of showbread). This bread was baked fresh every week, and only the priests were allowed to eat of it as it was holy as well. Jesus claimed to be the fulfillment of both of these symbols as the Light of the World (John 8:12) and the Bread of Life (John 6:35). The final article in the Holy Place was the altar of incense. Special incense was to be burned each morning and evening as an offering to the Lord. The Holy Place was set apart (holy) because it was a special representation and reminder of the presence of God.

At the back of the Holy Place was a smaller chamber called the Holy of Holies or Most Holy Place. In this smaller room was the ark of the covenant. On top of the ark was a special area called the mercy seat. This was seen as the throne of God. While God is omnipresent, this location was seen as a special place for God to dwell in the middle of His people. This second chamber could only be entered by the high priest on one day of the year, the Day of Atonement, and only with a blood sacrifice. The high priest would enter the Most Holy Place with smoke (from the altar of incense) to help shield his view and sprinkle blood on the ark of the covenant to atone for the sins of the people. Anyone who entered this chamber when he was not supposed to would be killed.

The tabernacle and the temple emphasized the presence of God in the midst of His people. God was always there and accessible. At the same time, the Holy Place and Most Holy Place emphasized God’s holiness and His inaccessibility due to the sins of the people.

When Jesus died on the cross, three Gospels report that the curtain of the temple, that barrier between the Holy Place and Most Holy Place, was supernaturally torn in two (see Matthew 27:51; Mark 15:38; and Luke 23:45). The torn curtain symbolized that the way to God was now open to all through the death of Christ. The blood of an animal was no longer needed. Hebrews 10:19–22a explains, “Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings.”GotQuestions.org

2 Chronicles 3:6 Further, he adorned the house with precious stones; and the gold was gold from Parvaim.

  • garnished (KJV): Heb. covered
  • precious (KJV): 1Ch 29:2,8 Isa 54:11,12 Rev 21:18-21 
  • Parvaim (KJV): Parvaim is supposed by Calmet to be the same as Sepharvaim in Armenia or Media; Bochart is of opinion that it is Taprobanes, now the island of Ceylon, which he drives from {taph,} a border, and Parvan, i.e., "the coast of Parvan;" but the late Editor of Calmet thinks it the same as the Parvatoi mountains of Ptolemy, at the head of the Indus.

Further, he adorned the house with precious stones; and the gold was gold from Parvaim.

August Konkel: The building was ornate: the beams, doorposts, walls, and doors were overlaid or inlaid with gold and precious stones, depending on the feature intended (Dillard 1987: 28). The carefully carved figures of cherubim, palm trees, and chain festoons (curved lattices as if suspended from two points) were probably enhanced by gold and stone gems. The reliefs were possibly covered or embellished with gold, distinguishing them on the flat surface of the surrounding walls. The quality of materials increased in proximity to the most sacred spaces.

J.A. Thompson: The various areas that were covered with gold are listed—ceiling beams, door frames, walls, and doors. Cherubim were carved on the walls (cf. 1 Kgs 6:29).

Parvaim [EBD] the name of a country from which Solomon obtained gold for the temple (2 Chr. 3:6). Some have identified it with Ophir, but it is uncertain whether it is even the name of a place. It may simply, as some think, denote "Oriental regions."

2 Chronicles 3:7 He also overlaid the house with gold–the beams, the thresholds and its walls and its doors; and he carved cherubim on the walls.  

  • overlaid (KJV): Ex 26:29 1Ki 6:20-22,30 Eze 7:20 
  • graved cherubims (KJV): Ex 26:1 1Ki 6:35 

He also overlaid the house with gold–the beams, the thresholds and its walls and its doors; and he carved cherubim on the walls.

Related Resource: 

2 Chronicles 3:8 Now he made the room of the holy of holies: its length across the width of the house was twenty cubits, and its width was twenty cubits; and he overlaid it with fine gold, amounting to 600 talents.

  • the most holy (KJV): Ex 26:33 1Ki 6:19,20 Heb 9:3,9 10:19 

A model of the Tabernacle showing the holy place, and behind it the Holy of Holies

Now he made the room of the holy of holies: its length across the width of the house was twenty cubits, and its width was twenty cubits; and he overlaid it with fine gold, amounting to 600 talents.

Frederick Mabie: The weight of the gold nails or pegs (50 shekels) amounts to more than one pound each. If these are the same nails as the type mentioned at 1 Chronicles 22:3, then the nails were made of iron and coated with gold.

Talent NET Glossary: a measure of weight varying from about 57 to 79 lbs (26 to 36 kg); then a unit of coinage the value of which varied considerably in different times and places, but was always comparatively high (it also differed with the metal involved, which could be gold, silver, or copper); in the New Testament the estimated value was 6,000 drachmas or denarii to the Tyrian talent (Matt 18:24; 25:15-28)

Talent [EBD] of silver contained 3,000 shekels (Ex. 38:25, 26), and was equal to 94 3/7 lbs. avoirdupois. The Greek talent, however, as in the LXX., was only 82 1/4 lbs. It was in the form of a circular mass, as the Hebrew name kikkar denotes. A talent of gold was double the weight of a talent of silver (2 Sam. 12:30). Parable of the talents (Matt. 18:24; 25:15).

QUESTION - What was the Holy of Holies?

ANSWER - The room known as the Holy of Holies was the innermost and most sacred area of the ancient tabernacle of Moses and temple of Jerusalem. The Holy of Holies was constructed as a perfect cube. It contained only the Ark of the Covenant, the symbol of Israel’s special relationship with God. The Holy of Holies was accessible only to the Israelite high priest. Once a year, on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, the high priest was permitted to enter the small, windowless enclosure to burn incense and sprinkle the blood of a sacrificial animal on the mercy seat of the Ark. By doing so, the high priest atoned for his own sins and those of the people. The Holy of Holies was separated from the rest of the tabernacle/temple by the veil, a huge, heavy drape made of fine linen and blue, purple and scarlet yarn and embroidered with gold cherubim.

God said that He would appear in the Holy of Holies (Leviticus 16:2); hence, the need for the veil. There exists a barrier between man and God. The holiness of God could not be accessed by anyone but the high priest, and then only once a year. God’s “eyes are too pure to look on evil” (Habakkuk 1:13), and He can tolerate no sin. The veil and the elaborate rituals undertaken by the priest were a reminder that man could not carelessly or irreverently enter God’s awesome presence. Before the high priest entered the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement, he had to wash himself, put on special clothing, bring burning incense to let the smoke cover his eyes from a direct view of God, and bring sacrificial blood with him to make atonement for sins (Exodus 28; Hebrews 9:7).

The significance of the Holy of Holies to Christians is found in the events surrounding the crucifixion of Christ. When Jesus died, an amazing thing happened: “When Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom” (Matthew 27:50-51a). The veil was not torn in half by any man. It was a supernatural event done by the power of God to make a very specific point: because of the death of Christ on the cross, man was no longer separated from God. The Old Testament temple system was made obsolete as the New Covenant was ratified. No longer would we have to depend on priests to perform once-a-year sacrifices on our behalf. Christ’s body was “torn” on the cross, just as the veil was torn in the temple, and now we have access to God through Jesus: “we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body” (Hebrews 10:19-20).

The once-for-all-time sacrifice of Christ did away with the necessity of yearly sacrifices, which could never take away sins (Hebrews 10:11). Those sacrifices were merely a foreshadowing of the perfect sacrifice to come, that of the holy Lamb of God, slain for the sins of the world (John 1:29). The Holy of Holies, the very presence of God, is now open to all who come to Christ in faith. Where, before, there was an imposing barrier guarded by cherubim, God has opened a way by the shed blood of His Son. GotQuestions.org

2 Chronicles 3:9 The weight of the nails was fifty shekels of gold. He also overlaid the upper rooms with gold.

The weight of the nails was fifty shekels of gold. He also overlaid the upper rooms with gold.

2 Chronicles 3:10 Then he made two sculptured cherubim in the room of the holy of holies and overlaid them with gold.

  • two cherubims (KJV): 1Ki 6:23-28 
  • image work (KJV): or, as some think, of movable work

Then he made two sculptured cherubim in the room of the holy of holies and overlaid them with gold.

Frederick Mabie: The imagery of the expanse of the cherubim’s wingspan may reflect God’s comprehensive coverage (protection) over the ark, namely, his protective watching over his law delineating his covenantal relationship with Israel contained in the ark (cf. Ex 37:7–9; 1Ch 28:18; 2Ch 5:7–8). Moreover, the stationing of the cherubim facing the main temple hall suggests their fuller function as guardians of sacred space. Such a guardian role of cherubim is also reflected in Genesis 3:24, where these creatures guard the tree of life. In the biblical material, cherubim are associated with the context and imagery of God’s glory and majesty (cf. Ps 99:1; Eze 10:18–22). The imagery of fearsome supernatural creatures (referred to as sphinxes, griffins, and composite creatures) protecting the realm of deity and royalty is a common feature of temples and palaces from the biblical world. Within the broader motifs of the temple interior, the cherub, the sacred tree, and the lights conjure up images of the garden of Eden and the heavenly firmament.

John Olley - The description of their standing “on their feet, facing the nave” distinguishes them from the cherubim who formed the cover of the ark looking at each other and the cover (Ex. 25:17–22). Like the cherubim that guarded the “way to the tree of life” (Gen. 3:24) they protect the Most Holy Place, God’s throne. Other links between the Most Holy Place and Eden, places of God’s presence, can be seen in the gold (cf. Gen. 2:11–12) and the imagery of “palms” (2 Chron. 3:5) and, on the external pillars, “pomegranates,” a common symbol of fertility throughout the ancient Near East (v. 16; 4:13).

Matthew Henry Notes: Verses: 2Ch 3:10-17
Here is an account of

1. The two cherubim, which were set up in the holy of holies.

There were two already over the ark, which covered the mercy-seat with their wings; these were small ones. Now that the most holy place was enlarged, though these were continued (being appurtenances to the ark, which was not to be made new, as all the other utensils of the tabernacle were), yet those two large ones were added, doubtless by divine appointment, to fill up the holy place, which otherwise would have looked bare, like a room unfurnished. These cherubim are said to be of image-work (2Ch 3:10), designed, it is likely, to represent the angels who attend the divine Majesty. Each wing extended five cubits, so that the whole was twenty cubits (2Ch 3:12, 13), which was just the breadth of the most holy place, 2Ch 3: 8. They stood on their feet, as servants, their faces inward toward the ark (2Ch 3:13), that it might appear they were not set there to be adored (for then they would have been made sitting, as on a throne, and their faces towards their worshippers), but rather as themselves attendants on the invisible God. We must not worship angels, but we must worship with angels; for we have come into communion with them (Heb. 12:22), and must do the will of God as the angels do it. The thought that we are worshipping him before whom the angels cover their faces will help to inspire us with reverence in all our approaches to God. Compare 1 Co. 11:10 with Isa. 6:2.

Shekel NET Glossary: a unit of weight in the Old Testament the exact value of which varied somewhat in different times and places but was generally between 11 and 12.25 grams; later in the reign of Darius I silver shekel coins first appeared

Shekel [EBD] weight, the common standard both of weight and value among the Hebrews. It is estimated at 220 English grains, or a little more than half an ounce avoirdupois. The "shekel of the sanctuary" (Ex. 30:13; Num. 3:47) was equal to twenty gerahs (Ezek. 45:12). There were shekels of gold (1 Chr. 21:25), of silver (1 Sam. 9:8), of brass (17:5), and of iron (7). When it became a coined piece of money, the shekel of gold was equivalent to about 2 pound of our money. Six gold shekels, according to the later Jewish system, were equal in value to fifty silver ones.

The temple contribution, with which the public sacrifices were bought (Ex. 30:13; 2 Chr. 24:6), consisted of one common shekel, or a sanctuary half-shekel, equal to two Attic drachmas. The coin, a stater (q.v.), which Peter found in the fish's mouth paid this contribution for both him and Christ (Matt. 17:24, 27). A zuza, or quarter of a shekel, was given by Saul to Samuel (1 Sam. 9:8).

2 Chronicles 3:11 The wingspan of the cherubim was twenty cubits; the wing of one, of five cubits, touched the wall of the house, and its other wing, of five cubits, touched the wing of the other cherub.

Depiction of the "cherubim of glory shadowing the mercy seat" (Julius Bate, 1773)

The wingspan of the cherubim was twenty cubits; the wing of one, of five cubits, touched the wall of the house, and its other wing, of five cubits, touched the wing of the other cherub.

2 Chronicles 3:12 The wing of the other cherub, of five cubits, touched the wall of the house; and its other wing of five cubits was attached to the wing of the first cherub.

The wing of the other cherub, of five cubits, touched the wall of the house; and its other wing of five cubits was attached to the wing of the first cherub.

2 Chronicles 3:13 The wings of these cherubim extended twenty cubits, and they stood on their feet facing the main room.

  • inward (KJV): or, toward the house, Ex 25:20

The wings of these cherubim extended twenty cubits, and they stood on their feet facing the main room.

2 Chronicles 3:14 He made the veil of violet, purple, crimson and fine linen, and he worked cherubim on it.  

  • the veil (KJV): Ex 26:31-35 Mt 27:51 Heb 9:3 10:20 
  • wrought (KJV): Heb. caused to ascend

He made the veil of violet, purple, crimson and fine linen, and he worked cherubim on it.

Matthew Henry Notes: Verses: The veil that parted between the temple and the most holy place, 2Ch 3:14. This denoted the darkness of that dispensation, and the distance which the worshippers were kept at; but, at the death of Christ, this veil was rent; for through him we are made nigh, and have boldness not only to look, but to enter, into the holiest. On this he was wrought cherubim. Heb. he caused them to ascend, that is, they were made in raised work, embossed. Or he made them on the wing in an ascending posture, as the other two that stood on their feet in an attending posture, to remind the worshippers to lift up their hearts, and to soar upwards in their devotions.

2 Chronicles 3:15 He also made two pillars for the front of the house, thirty-five cubits high, and the capital on the top of each was five cubits.

  • two pillars (KJV): 1Ki 7:15-24 Jer 52:20-23 
  • thirty (KJV): The Syriac and Arabic have, agreeably to the parallel passage, "eighteen cubits high;" but the Septuagint, Chaldee, and Vulgate have "thirty and five cubits high."  See the Note on 1 Ki 7:15.
  • high (KJV): Heb. long

He also made two pillars for the front of the house, thirty-five cubits high, and the capital on the top of each was five cubits.

Believer's Study Bible - These giant bronze columns, called "Jachin" and "Boaz," stood before the temple or in the porch (probably freestanding) at the time of Solomon (cf. 1Ki 7:15-22). Jachin stood to the south of the entrance and Boaz to the north. They were not used in the second temple or in Herod's temple. The present text needs harmonization with the parallel account (1Ki 7:15, 16), which indicates that the height of the columns was 18 cubits instead of 35. The smaller measurement is confirmed by 2 Kin. 25:17 and Jer. 52:21. The symbols for 18 and 35 were sufficiently similar to allow for confusion in transmission of the text in Chronicles.

August Konkel: The two pillars naturally generate a great deal of interest, partly because they remain somewhat mysterious. They seem to be freestanding pillars in front of the porch, but what they represent is never explained. In a vision Zechariah sees chariots burst out from between two bronze mountains (Zech 6:1), which is the closest biblical reference that might be an analogy to the significance of the pillars. The prophet depicts a scene at the entrance to God’s divine council. The meaning of the pillars was probably not one simple analogy, but a way of representing the rule of the Creator over the earth. The cosmos can be described as resting on pillars (Job 26:11), and in the garden of Eden, life and knowledge of God were represented by trees (Gen 2–3). All of these concepts are related. The names of the pillars are equally ambiguous: Jakin (it is firm) might refer to the security of the divine promise; Boaz (with strength) might be testimony to the strength of God for his kingdom.

Raymond Dillard: Though there is no doubt that the pillars were a common architectural feature in ancient temples, little unanimity exists beyond this assertion. Difficulties attend their size, placement, names, and function. Various scholars have described them as fire cressets, cosmic pillars, maṣṣebôth, Egyptian obelisks, mythological mountains between which the sun (-god) appeared (cf. Zech 6:1), trees of paradise, means of determining the equinox, gateposts, etc. As much as they have kindled the interest of the modern reader, the Bible itself does not clearly articulate their function. . . On the basis of the evidence from most temples, the consensus among archeologists is that the pillars were freestanding; their function was symbolic and decorative rather than structural. . . The names of the pillars have also produced a wide variety of opinion, some transparently less probable than others; they have been viewed

(1) as the names of donors or builders;

(2) as a reference to other gods;

(3) as the names of maṣṣebôth that stood on the site prior to the time of David;

(4) as predicates of deity: “He is the one who establishes; in him is strength”;

(5) together as a verbal sentence, “he establishes in strength”;

(6) as opening words of two longer inscriptions in some way associated with dynastic oracles;

(7) as ancestral names of King Solomon.

David Guzik: The house of God was a place where people experienced what the pillars were all about. At that house, people were established in their relationship with God. At that house, people were given strength from the LORD. From this building, it should go out to the whole community: “Come here and get established. Come here and receive the strength of God.”

Geoffrey Kirkland: Why the pillars in front of the Temple complex?

1. The PILLARS are Monuments of God’s Majesty!

2. Also, they served to *REMIND* each generation of Israelites of the greatness and power of the One True and Living God, that they had the privilege of worshipping and coming to Him!

Matthew Henry Notes:  The two pillars which were set up before the temple. Both together were somewhat above thirty-five cubits in length (2Ch 3:15), about eighteen cubits high a-piece. See 1 Ki. 7:15, etc., where we took a view of those pillars, Jachin and Boaz, establishment and strength in temple-work and by it.

2 Chronicles 3:16 He made chains in the inner sanctuary and placed them on the tops of the pillars; and he made one hundred pomegranates and placed them on the chains.

  • chains (KJV): 1Ki 6:21 
  • an hundred (KJV): 1Ki 7:20

He made chains in the inner sanctuary and placed them on the tops of the pillars; and he made one hundred pomegranates and placed them on the chains.

Pomegranate [EBD] i.e., "grained apple" (pomum granatum), Heb. rimmon. Common in Egypt (Num. 20:5) and Palestine (13:23; Deut. 8:8). The Romans called it Punicum malum, i.e., Carthaginian apple, because they received it from Carthage. It belongs to the myrtle family of trees. The withering of the pomegranate tree is mentioned among the judgments of God (Joel 1:12). It is frequently mentioned in the Song of Solomon (Cant. 4:3, 13, etc.). The skirt of the high priest's blue robe and ephod was adorned with the representation of pomegranates, alternating with golden bells (Ex. 28:33,34), as also were the "chapiters upon the two pillars" (1 Kings 7:20) which "stood before the house."

2 Chronicles 3:17 He erected the pillars in front of the temple, one on the right and the other on the left, and named the one on the right Jachin and the one on the left Boaz.

  • reared up (KJV): 1Ki 7:21 
  • Jachin (KJV): that is, He shall establish
  • Boaz (KJV): that is, In it is strength

He erected the pillars in front of the temple, one on the right and the other on the left, and named the one on the right Jachin and the one on the left Boaz.

JACHIN [SMITH] (he shall establish). One of the two pillars which were set up "in the porch," (1 Kings 7:21) or before the temple. (2 Chronicles 3:17) of Solomon.

BOAZ = "fleetness" name of the left of two brazen pillars, 18 cubits high, erected in the porch of Solomon's temple. The name given (for what reason is unknown) to one of the two (the other was called Jachin) brazen pillars which Solomon erected in the court of the temple (1 Kings 7:21; 2 Chr. 3:17). These pillars were broken up and carried to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar.

F B Meyer - 2 Chronicles 3:17   He set ip the Pillars before the Temple,… Fachin and Boaz.

The meaning of these names is significant— He shall establish, and In it is strength. Each speaks of Him of whom the whole temple was a type. The Lord Jesus has established the work of redemption so that it shall never be removed; has established the covenant, ordered in all things and sure; has established His Church, so that the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it; has established us before the face of His Father forevermore.

There is much in the New Testament about the established life. It is the desire of Peter that the scattered saints should be perfected, stablished, and strengthened. Paul desires to see the Roman Christians, that he may impart some spiritual gift so that they may be established: he desires that the Colossians may be built up in Christ, and established in the faith. The Epistle to the Hebrews says that it is good for the heart to be established with grace. Let us ask that Jesus should establish us in the Divine life, rooting and grounding us in love and faith, so that we may not be moved away from the Gospel, but abound therein with thanksgiving.

It is only as we abide in Jesus, that we shall become steadfast, unmovable, and always abounding.

But Christ is also our strong Helper. We have no strength of our own; but He is strong; and in Him we have righteousness and strength. Let us make our refuge in Him, as the conies, who are a feeble folk, do in the rock. They who abide in Jesus derive from Him fresh supplies of strength for each moment’s need. They hear Him saying, “Fear not, I will strengthen, yea, I will help thee”; and they learn to say with Paul: “I can do all things in Christ that strengtheneth me.”

QUESTION - What are Jachin and Boaz?

ANSWER- Jachin and Boaz are the names of two bronze pillars erected at the entrance to the vestibule of Solomon’s temple, according to 1 Kings 7:21. Construction of the temple in Jerusalem began in 966 BC and was finished seven years later. The story of the building of the temple is found in 1 Kings 7 and 2 Chronicles 3.

In order to have the best possible fittings for the temple, Solomon hired a man named Hiram (or Huram) from Tyre to do the bronze work. Hiram was known for his wisdom, understanding, and skill in bronze working (1 Kings 7:13–14). Scripture gives much detail concerning the pillars Jachin and Boaz: “A network of interwoven chains adorned the capitals on top of the pillars, seven for each capital. [Hiram] made pomegranates in two rows encircling each network to decorate the capitals on top of the pillars. He did the same for each capital. The capitals on top of the pillars in the portico were in the shape of lilies . . . . On the capitals of both pillars, above the bowl-shaped part next to the network, were the two hundred pomegranates in rows all around” (verses 17–20).

Jachin and Boaz stood at the entrance to the temple’s vestibule or portico. Their dimensions indicate the extent of the work involved in creating them. Including the decorative tops of the pillars, Jachin and Boaz stood approximately thirty-five feet tall, with a circumference of eighteen feet (1 Kings 7:15–20). The brass used to make the twin pillars had been taken by King David from the king of Zobah as part of the spoils of war (1 Chronicles 18:8–9).

The pillar on the south of the entrance which was called Jachin, and one on the north named Boaz. Both 2 Chronicles and 1 Kings say that “he” set up the pillars and “he” named them Jachin and Boaz. Commentators are divided as to whether “he” refers to Hiram or Solomon. Whoever named them, their names are significant. Jachin (pronounced yaw-keen) means “he will establish,” and Boaz signifies “in him is strength.” Taken together, the names were a reminder that God would establish the temple and the worship of His name in strength.

The pillars Jachin and Boaz were destroyed along with the rest of the temple by the Chaldeans (Jeremiah 52:17), but the names’ meaning lives on in the spiritual kingdom of God. The names of the pillars represent the strength and stability of God’s promises of a kingdom that will last forever (Daniel 6:26; Luke 1:33; Hebrews 1:8; Revelation 11:15).GotQuestions.org



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