1 Kings 7:36
For on the plates of the ledges thereof, and on the borders thereof, he graved cherubim, lions, and palm trees, according to the proportion of every one, and additions round about.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
7:13-47 The two brazen pillars in the porch of the temple, some think, were to teach those that came to worship, to depend upon God only, for strength and establishment in all their religious exercises. Jachin, God will fix this roving mind. It is good that the heart be established with grace. Boaz, In him is our strength, who works in us both to will and to do. Spiritual strength and stability are found at the door of God's temple, where we must wait for the gifts of grace, in use of the means of grace. Spiritual priests and spiritual sacrifices must be washed in the laver of Christ's blood, and of regeneration. We must wash often, for we daily contract pollution. There are full means provided for our cleansing; so that if we have our lot for ever among the unclean it will be our own fault. Let us bless God for the fountain opened by the sacrifice of Christ for sin and for uncleanness.According to the proportion of every one - i. e. "as large as the room left for them allowed," implying that the panels were smaller than those on the sides of the base, and allowed scant room for the representations. 27-39. he made ten bases of brass—These were trucks or four-wheeled carriages, for the support and conveyance of the lavers. The description of their structure shows that they were elegantly fitted up and skilfully adapted to their purpose. They stood, not on the axles, but on four rests attached to the axles, so that the figured sides were considerably raised above the wheels. They were all exactly alike in form and size. The lavers which were borne upon them were vessels capable each of holding three hundred gallons of water, upwards of a ton weight. The whole, when full of water, would be no less than two tons [Napier]. According to the proportion, or, empty place, i.e. according to the bigness of the spaces which were left empty for them, implying that they were smaller than those above mentioned. For on the plates of the ledges thereof, and on the borders thereof,.... In this, and the preceding verse, a different word is used, translated "ledges", from that in 1 Kings 7:28, the Targum renders it axle trees; as if the axle trees of the wheels, and the borders, circumferences, and rings of them, were meant, in which were the following engravings: it literally signifies hands or handles; and Procopius Gazaeus says, that the bases had, in the upper part of them, forms of hands holding a circle like a crown:

he graved cherubims, lions, and palm trees, according to the proportion of everyone; these figures were made as large as the plates of the ledges, and the borders, would allow room for:

and the addition round about; which were sloping shelves of brass around the base, 1 Kings 7:29 these were ornamented in like manner.

For on the plates of the ledges thereof, and on the borders thereof, he graved cherubim, lions, and palm trees, according to the proportion of every one, and additions round about.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
36. according to the proportion of every one, and additions round about] The word rendered ‘proportion’ means rather any ‘bare space.’ Hence the sense is that the graving was such as the space admitted. So, and to harmonize the final words with the previous verse, we should render ‘according to the space in every one, and with wreaths round about.’Verse 36. - For on the plates of the ledges [hands] thereof; and on the borders [sides, panels] thereof, he graved cherubims, lions, and palm trees, according to the proportion [Heb. nakedness, hence naked space, void. The meaning is that he filled all the spaces with carvings] of every one, and additions [wreaths, festoons] round about. "Every stool had four brazen wheels and brazen axles, and the four feet thereof had shoulder-pieces; below the basin were the shoulder-pieces cast, beyond each one (were) wreaths." The meaning is that the square chests stood upon axles with wheels of brass, after the style of ordinary carriage wheels (1 Kings 7:33), so that they could be driven or easily moved from one place to another; and that they did not rest directly upon the axles, but stood upon four feet, which were fastened upon the axles. This raised the chest above the rim of the wheels, so that not only were the sides of the chest which were ornamented with figures left uncovered, but, according to 1 Kings 7:32, the wheels stood below the panels, and not, as in ordinary carriages, at the side of the chest. With regard to the connection between the axles and the wheels, Gesenius (Thes. p. 972) and Thenius suppose that the axles were fastened to the wheels, as in the Roman plaustra and at the present day in Italy, so as to turn with them; and Thenius argues in support of this, that להם is to be connected not only with what immediately precedes, but also with נהשׁת סרני. But this latter is unfounded; and the idea is altogether irreconcilable with the fact that the wheels had naves (חשּׁקים, 1 Kings 7:33), from which we must infer that they revolved upon the axles. The words להם כּתפת פעמתיו וארבּעה are ambiguous.They may either be rendered, "and its four feet had shoulder-pieces," or, as Thenius supposes, "and its four feet served as shoulder-pieces." פּעמת means stepping feet, feet bent out as if for stepping (Exodus 25:12). The suffix attached to פעמתיו refers to מכונה, the masculine being often used indefinitely instead of the feminine, as in להם in 1 Kings 7:28. Thenius compares these feet to the ἁμαξόποδες of the Greeks, and imagines that they were divided below, like fork-shaped upright contrivances, in which, as in forks, the wheels turned with the axles, so that the axle-peg, which projected outwards, had a special apparatus, instead of the usual pin, in the form of a stirrup-like and on the lower side hand-shaped holder (יד), which was fastened to the lower rim of the מכונה, and descended perpendicularly so as to cover the foot, and the general arrangement of the wheels themselves received greater strength in consequence. These feet, which were divided in the shape of forks, are supposed to be called כּתפת (shoulders), because they were not attached underneath at the edge of the stand, but being cast with the corner rims passed down in the inner angles, so that their uppermost portion was under the basin, and the lowest portion was under the stand, which we are to picture to ourselves as without a bottom, and projecting as a split foot, held the wheel, and so formed its shoulder-pieces. But we cannot regard this representation as either in accordance with the text, or as really correct. Even if להם כּתפת could in any case be grammatically rendered, "they served them (the wheels and axles) as shoulders," although it would be a very questionable course to take להם in a different sense here from that which it bears in the perfectly similar construction in 1 Kings 7:28, the feet which carried the stand could not possibly be called the shoulders of the wheels and their axles, since they did not carry the wheels, but the מכונה. Moreover, this idea is irreconcilable with the following words: "below the basin were the shoulder-pieces cast." If, for example, as Thenius assumes, the mechonah head a cover which was arched like a dome, and had a neck in the centre into which the basin was inserted by its lower rim, the shoulder-pieces, supposing that they were cast upon the inner borders of the chest, would not be below the basin, but simply below the corners of the lid of the chest, so that they would stand in no direct relation whatever to the basin. We must therefore give the preference to the rendering, which is grammatically the most natural one, "and its feet had shoulder-pieces," and understand the words as signifying that from the feet, which descended of course from the four corner borders of the chest down to the axles, there ascended shoulder-pieces, which ran along the outside of the chest and reached to the lower part of the basin which was upon the lid of the chest, and as shoulders either supported or helped to support it. According to 1 Kings 7:34, these shoulder-pieces were so cast upon the four corners of the chest, that they sprang out of it as it were. ליות אישׁ מעבר, opposite to each one were wreaths. Where these festoons were attached, the various senses in which מעבר is used prevent our deciding with certainty. At any rate, we must reject the alternation proposed by Thenius, of ליות into לאחת, for the simple reason that לאחת אישׁ in the sense of "one to the other" would not be Hebraic.
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