Chapiter (ַראשׁ , rosh, head, as it is usually rendered; but in the account of the Temple it is translated "top," as 1Ki 7:16, etc.), or CAPITAL, as it is called in modern architecture, is the upper or ornamental part of a column (Ex 26:37; Ex 38:17,19,28), in which passages those of the Tabernacle are spoken of as being overlaid with gold. SEE TABERNACLE. In 1 Kings, 7:19, the chapiters on the tops of the pillars were formed of "lily work." SEE JACHIN. By comparing these descriptions with the re- mains of ancient temples in Egypt, we find that it was the practice to gild and paint the columns of various colors. The lotus or lily ornament was also a. favorite in Egyptian architecture. SEE PILLAR. A more distinctive term thus rendered is צֶפֶת(tse´pheth, literally something overlaid), which occurs in 2Ch 3:15, evidently in this sense. In all other passages the Hebrews word thus rendered is the specific one כֹּתֶרֶת (kothe´reth, literally a coronet), which in the case of the Sanctuary was of brass, and in some instances decorated with artificial pomegranates (Jer 52:22). SEE ARCHITECTURE. "The prevalent idea of the Hebrew term is the roundness of the forms which characterized the capitals of the Egyptian and Assyrian columns (First, Hebr. Wört. p. 643). The kothereth consisted of two portions, the crown or ledge (in which sense it is applied to the laver [q.v.],1Ki 7:31), and the 'pommel' or turban-shaped bowl beneath (גֻּלָּה). According to R. Levi ben-Gershom, this chapiter rather resembled a pair of crowns or caps, so joined as to form an oval figure of five cubits high, bulging out all around beyond the breadth of the column which it surmounted, not unlike, as we may suppose, the truncated lotus- bud capitals of the grand pillars of the Memnonium, Thebes (see Frith's Egypt and Palestine Photographed, vol. 1, pl. 35). Lightfoot, who adopts Gershom's view (Descriltio Templi, 13:2, 3), reconciles the discrepancy between 1Ki 7:16, and 2Ki 25:17, as to the height of the chapiters, by observing that the three cubits contained the sculpture or "wreathenwork" mentioned in the same verse, whereas the other passage included two belts or necks of plain space of two more cubits below the ornamental portion. The chapiters were festooned with 'nets of checker- work and wreaths of chain-work,' with sculptured 'pomegranates,' forming an ornate group similar to that which still adorns the columns of the beautiful temple ruins of Wady Kardassy in Nubia (Frith, 2, pl. 4). Lightfoot (ut supra) translates thus: 'The chapiters upon the top of the pillars possessed lily-work of four cubits over the porch,' and supposes that the lily-work surrounded the column under and not around the chapiter; the lily-leaf not enveloping the chapiter, which had its ornaments already, but curving laterally over the space of the porch, and occupying four cubits of the column below the chapiter. The more natural view, however, is that the lily-leaves or lotus ornaments formed the capital itself. A vast amount of learned information, from ancient and modern sources, is accumulated on the subject in Plesken's Dissertation Philologica de Colummnis AEneis (Vitemb. 1719)." SEE COLUMN.

Bible concordance for CHAPITER.

Definition of chapiter

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