1 Kings 6:23

23 And within the oracle he made two cherubims of olive[a] tree, each ten cubits high.

1 Kings 6:23 Meaning and Commentary

1 Kings 6:23

And within the oracle he made two cherubim [of] olive tree,
&c.] Or of the oil tree, as in ( Isaiah 41:19 ) ; see ( Nehemiah 8:15 ) ; for there are other trees besides olives, out of which oil is pressed, as pine trees, cypress trees and which some think are here meant; though the Targum interprets it of the olive tree: these cherubim are different from those made by Moses, and were besides them; these were larger than they; these were made of olive wood, they of gold; these stood on the floor of the house, they at the two ends of the mercy seat, and were made out of it, and were with it in this holy place in Solomon's temple: these two cherubim may be emblems of the angels in their greatness and glory, who are always in the presence of God, behold his face, and wait to do his will; or it may be rather of the two witnesses, said to be the two olive trees standing before the God of the whole earth, ( Revelation 11:3 Revelation 11:4 ) ; who have boldness to enter into the holiest of all, and have sight and knowledge of the mysteries of the ark and mercy seat; have their commission from heaven, and speak according to the oracles of God; these are said to be of image work, ( 2 Chronicles 3:10 ) ; that is, of various forms, as the thee of a man, a lion, an ox, and eagle, ( Ezekiel 1:10 ) . Dr. Lightfoot thinks F7 they resembled the two Testaments, which in their beginning and end reach the two sides of the world, the creation and the last judgment, and in the middle do sweetly join the one to the other:

[each] ten cubits high;
half as high as the most holy place; emblems either of the high angels, those thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers, or of men of uncommon size as to their gifts and grace.


FOOTNOTES:

F7 Prospect of the Temple, c. 15. sect. 4.

1 Kings 6:23 In-Context

21 So Solomon overlaid the house within with pure gold: and he made a partition by the chains of gold before the oracle; and he overlaid it with gold.
22 And the whole house he overlaid with gold, until he had finished all the house: also the whole altar that was by the oracle he overlaid with gold.
23 And within the oracle he made two cherubims of olive tree, each ten cubits high.
24 And five cubits was the one wing of the cherub, and five cubits the other wing of the cherub: from the uttermost part of the one wing unto the uttermost part of the other were ten cubits.
25 And the other cherub was ten cubits: both the cherubims were of one measure and one size.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. olive: or, oily: Heb. trees of oil