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Bible Commentaries

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

1 Kings 6



Verse 7


‘The house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer nor ax nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building.’

1 Kings 6:7

The building of the Temple on Mount Moriah is a parable of the present world. St. Paul applies the simile of the text to the building of the Church of God when, in the Epistle to the Ephesians, he says that this Church is built upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets, and that it groweth with a noiseless growth into a holy temple for the Lord. The text is a revelation of the twofold condition of the life of the Church of Christ as it is to-day.

I. There are three conditions of the Church’s life: two present, one future.—The Church is militant on earth; the Church is expectant in Paradise; the Church shall be glorified in Jesus Christ when He comes and she passes into Paradise. However chequered may be the Church’s course on earth, within the veil Jesus is realising His thought of His Church, not in the transitory conditions of time, but under abiding conditions in eternity. Jesus is the Builder of His Church in Paradise, for He is the true Solomon.

II. When Solomon built his Church, the first thing he did was to dig deep, that his foundations might rest upon a rock.—Christ lays the foundations of His Church deep in His own wounded form. Upon the person of Jesus, as the crucified Redeemer, do the foundations of the Church rest.

III. Solomon laid the foundation stones of the Temple.—The Bible tells us that the foundation stones of the Church are the twelve Apostles. Their influence is a living power with us to-day.

IV. We are not as yet in Jerusalem; we are in Lebanon.—God’s great work is going on age after age; the purpose of the Church is to be the school of heaven, the place where men and women are made ready for eternity.

—Canon Body.


What Lebanon was to Zion, this world is to heaven. This world is the quarry and the work-field, heaven the temple. Gradually in its calm magnificence, far out of sight, that temple in Zion is rising and stretching on, in its preordained proportions, to its vast circumference. Another and another stone is being added to it, but not one that has not been hewn and fitted here.

I. God sends His stone-squarers to His children; afflictions ply their hammers, and unkind men their sharp chisels, until the heart, measured as with a plumb-line, is set to the whole will of God, and we are conformed to the heavenly and made correspondent to the Divine.

II. Here on earth the stones lie disjointed and isolated; they are good stones, but they want union. There, in that great spiritual structure, all will be gathered into a perfect oneness, and each shall bear his own proper and necessary part in the temple.

—Rev. James Vaughan.


(1) ‘Building of character is the great work of life. This goes on best in the quiet. A man who had been himself occupied in business for a great while, with scarcely a day’s rest or pause, was stricken down with a partial paralysis. He was compelled to lie still for months. His mind was clear and active while his body was inactive. One day he said to his pastor, “I have grown more in these quiet months than I did in all my long years of rushing activity.” He was now really building up the temple of God in his own soul. We ought not to wait for idleness to compel us to be still, we should get the quiet into our life even in our busiest times. We must have a restful spirit if we would build up the inner temple. There should be “silent times” in every day’s life. The secret of Daniel’s noble character, while carrying a great part of the burden of the kingdom of Babylon, was that he never forsook the quiet place of prayer. Not even fear of the lions’ den could make him neglect the season of devotion. There is no other secret of a true and noble life amid the world’s strifes and trials. We must keep quiet within, that we may build up in our hearts the temple of God.’

(2) ‘Building with us is noisy work. But there was neither hammer, nor axe, nor any tool of iron heard in the house while it was building. It went up as a tree grows—silently. Very beautiful and impressive that, for it was the silence of worship. As his servants moved about him silently, because of the reverence they had for him, so would he serve God silently, as knowing that God was a great King above all kings. Let us learn the lesson. Work should be worship. Do all in the Name.’

(3) ‘The silent building of the Temple suggests also that all truest and most beautiful work goes on silently. The greatest forces in nature operate without noise. The sun lifts billions of tons of water into the air, but there is no rattle of pumps. The force of gravitation holds worlds in their place, and yet there is no clatter of chains or machinery. Along telegraph and telephone wires flash messages all over the world, but no one hears even a whisper in the silent wires. The angels minister everywhere continually, and yet no one ever hears voice or footstep. The Holy Spirit works mightily in all the world, but His working is noiseless. Jesus was a quiet worker. His voice was not heard in the streets. The Christians who make the greatest impression upon the world are the quietest in their movements.’


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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on 1 Kings 6:4". Church Pulpit Commentary. 1876.

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