Verse 16. Three thousand &c. - Whereof three thousand were set over the fifteen hundred thousand, expressed ver. 15, each of these, over fifty of them, and the odd three hundred were set over these three thousand, each of these to have the oversight of ten of them, to take an account of the work for them. But in 2 Chron. ii, 18, these overseers are said to be thirty-six hundred. The three thousand added in 2 Chron. ii, 2, might be a reserve, to supply the places of the other three thousand: yea, or of the thirty-three hundred, as any of them should be taken off from the work by death, or sickness, or weakness, or necessary occasions; which was a prudent provision, and not unusual in like cases. And so there were thirty-six hundred commissioned for the work, but only thirty-three hundred employed at one time; and therefore both computations fairly stand together.
Verse 17. Great and costly - Marble and porphyry, or other stones of great size and value. The foundation - Where they could not afterward be seen: and therefore that this was done, is mentioned only as a point of magnificence, except it was intended for a type, or mystical signification of the preciousness of Christ, who is the foundation of the true temple, the church of God.
Verse 18. Stone-squarers - Hebrew. the Giblites, the inhabitants of Gebel, a place near Zidon, famous for artificers and architects, Josh. xiii, 5. These are here mentioned apart, distinct from the rest of Hiram's builders, as the most eminent of them.