The brazen altar, 2 Chronicles 4:1. Molten sea, and its supporters, 2 Chronicles 4:2-5. The ten lavers, 2 Chronicles 4:6. Ten golden candlesticks, 2 Chronicles 4:7. Ten tables, the hundred golden basons, and the priests' court, 2 Chronicles 4:8-10. The works which Huram performed, 2 Chronicles 4:11-17. Solomon finishes the temple, and its utensils, 2 Chronicles 4:18-22.
Moreover he made an altar of brass, twenty cubits the length thereof, and twenty cubits the breadth thereof, and ten cubits the height thereof.
Also he made a molten sea of ten cubits from brim to brim, round in compass, and five cubits the height thereof; and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.
And under it was the similitude of oxen, which did compass it round about: ten in a cubit, compassing the sea round about. Two rows of oxen were cast, when it was cast.Under it was the similitude of oxen - In 1 Kings 7:24, instead of oxen, בקרים bekarim, we have knops, פקעים pekaim; and this last is supposed by able critics to be the reading which ought to be received here. What we call knops may signify grapes, mushrooms, apples, or some such ornaments placed round about under the turned over lip or brim of this caldron. It is possible that בקרים bekarim, oxen, may be a corruption of פקעים pekaim, grapes, as the פ pe might be mistaken for a ב beth, to which in ancient MSS. it has often a great resemblance, the dot under the top being often faint and indistinct; and the ע ain, on the same account might be mistaken for a ר resh. Thus grapes might be turned into oxen. Houbigant contends that the words in both places are right; but that בקר bakar does not signify ox here, but al large kind of grape, according to its meaning in Arabic: and thus both places will agree. But I do not find that bakar, or bakarat, has any such meaning in Arabic. He was probably misled by the following, in the Arabic Lexicon, Camus, inserted under bakara, both by Giggeius and Golius, aino albikri, ox-eye, which is interpreted Genus uvae nigrae ac praeprandis, incredibilis dulcedinis. In Palaestina autem pro prunis absolute usurpatur. "A species of black grape, very large, and of incredible sweetness. It is used in Palestine for prune or plum." What is called the Damascene plum is doubtless meant; but בקרים bekarim, in the text, can never have this meaning, unless indeed we found it associated with עין ayin, eye, and then עיני בקרים eyney bekarim might, according to the Arabic, be translated plums, grapes, sloes, or such like, especially those of the largest kind, which in size resemble the eye of an ox. But the criticism of this great man is not solid. The likeliest method of reconciling the two places is supposing a change in the letters, as specified above. The reader will at once see that what are called the oxen, 2 Chronicles 4:3, said to be round about the brim, are widely different from those 2 Chronicles 4:4, by which this molten sea was supported.
It stood upon twelve oxen, three looking toward the north, and three looking toward the west, and three looking toward the south, and three looking toward the east: and the sea was set above upon them, and all their hinder parts were inward.
And the thickness of it was an handbreadth, and the brim of it like the work of the brim of a cup, with flowers of lilies; and it received and held three thousand baths.It - held three thousand baths - In 1 Kings 7:26, it is said to hold only two thousand baths. As this book was written after the Babylonish captivity, it is very possible that reference is here made to the Babylonish bath which might have been less than the Jewish. We have already seen that the cubit of Moses, or of the ancient Hebrews, was longer than the Babylonish by one palm; see on 2 Chronicles 3:3 (note). It might be the same with the measures of capacity; so that two thousand of the ancient Jewish baths might have been equal to three thousand of those used after the captivity. The Targum cuts the knot by saying, "It received three thousand baths of dry measure, and held two thousand of liquid measure.
He made also ten lavers, and put five on the right hand, and five on the left, to wash in them: such things as they offered for the burnt offering they washed in them; but the sea was for the priests to wash in.He made also ten lavers - The lavers served to wash the different parts of the victims in; and the molten sea was for the use of the priests. In this they bathed, or drew water from it for their personal purification.
And he made ten candlesticks of gold according to their form, and set them in the temple, five on the right hand, and five on the left.
He made also ten tables, and placed them in the temple, five on the right side, and five on the left. And he made an hundred basons of gold.A hundred basons of gold - These were doubtless a sort of paterae or sacrificial spoons, with which they made libations.
Furthermore he made the court of the priests, and the great court, and doors for the court, and overlaid the doors of them with brass.He made the court of the priests - This was the inner court.
And the great court - This was the outer court, or place for the assembling of the people.
And he set the sea on the right side of the east end, over against the south.
And Huram made the pots, and the shovels, and the basons. And Huram finished the work that he was to make for king Solomon for the house of God;
To wit, the two pillars, and the pommels, and the chapiters which were on the top of the two pillars, and the two wreaths to cover the two pommels of the chapiters which were on the top of the pillars;
And four hundred pomegranates on the two wreaths; two rows of pomegranates on each wreath, to cover the two pommels of the chapiters which were upon the pillars.
He made also bases, and lavers made he upon the bases;
One sea, and twelve oxen under it.
The pots also, and the shovels, and the fleshhooks, and all their instruments, did Huram his father make to king Solomon for the house of the LORD of bright brass.Huram his father - אב ab, father, is often used in Hebrew to signify a master, inventor, chief operator, and is very probably used here in the former sense by the Chaldee: All these Chiram his master made for King Solomon; or Chiram Abi, or rather Hiram, made for the king.
In the plain of Jordan did the king cast them, in the clay ground between Succoth and Zeredathah.In the clay ground - See on 1 Kings 7:46 (note). Some suppose that he did not actually cast those instruments at those places, but that he brought the clay from that quarter, as being the most proper for making moulds to cast in.
Thus Solomon made all these vessels in great abundance: for the weight of the brass could not be found out.
And Solomon made all the vessels that were for the house of God, the golden altar also, and the tables whereon the shewbread was set;
Moreover the candlesticks with their lamps, that they should burn after the manner before the oracle, of pure gold;
And the flowers, and the lamps, and the tongs, made he of gold, and that perfect gold;And the flowers, and the lamps - Probably each branch of the chandelier was made like a plant in flower, and the opening of the flower was either the lamp, or served to support it.
And the snuffers, and the basons, and the spoons, and the censers, of pure gold: and the entry of the house, the inner doors thereof for the most holy place, and the doors of the house of the temple, were of gold.The doors - were of gold - That is, were overlaid with golden plates, the thickness of which we do not know.
That every thing in the tabernacle and temple was typical or representative of some excellence of the Gospel dispensation may be readily credited, without going into all the detail produced by the pious author of Solomon's Temple Spiritualized. We can see the general reference and the principles of the great design, though we may not be able to make a particular application of the knops, the flowers, the pomegranates, the tongs, and the snuffers, to some Gospel doctrines: such spiritualizing is in most cases weak, silly, religious trifling; being ill calculated to produce respect for Divine revelation.