Haydock Catholic Bible Commentary
Altar of holocausts, much larger than that of Moses. The one which was built after the captivity, was a square of fifteen cubits. This of Solomon was only ten in height. A sloping ascent was made up to it, according to Josephus; (Jewish Wars vi. 5., or v. 14.) or the steps were closed in, if we believe others. See Exodus xxvii. 1., and xx. 26. It is thought (Calmet) that the inside of the altar was filled with earth, (Menochius) or with rough stones: (Exodus xx. 24.; Du Hamel) but that is not certain, with regard to the brazen altar. See 1 Machabees iv. 44, 47. (Calmet)
Sea, or great brazen vessel, and some other things that were not in the tabernacle of Moses, whose plan was followed, but with greater magnificence. (Worthington)
Oxen. In 3 Kings vii. 24., we read Hebrew, "knops," (Haydock) or "apples." --- Of ten. Hebrew, "ten in a cubit." Hence there must have been 600 heads of oxen, as the sea was thirty cubits in circumference, and there were two rows. (Calmet) --- Others suppose that here were only five in each row, or only one in each cubit. See Vatable and 3 Kings. The Septuagint and Syriac omit this verse. (Calmet) --- Yet it is found in the best editions of the Septuagint. (Haydock)
Cast. Hebrew adds, "when it (the sea) was cast." (Haydock) --- They were done at the same time, (Tirinus) and were perhaps intended to let out the water. The twelve oxen, which supported the sea, were not cast along with it. (Du Hamel)
Three. 3 Kings two, may specify the usual quantity that was contained, though the vessel would absolutely hold a thousand measures, or baths, more. (Haydock)
Holocaust, as well as all the necessary utensils. --- Priests. They did not bathe in the sea, but drew water into other vessels. The Chaldean supposes that the work of Beseleel was for the high priest alone. (Calmet)
Hall, (basilicam.) Septuagint use the same term (Greek: aule) as just before is rendered court; and the Protestants make no distinction, though the Hebrew terms be different. Septuagint render chatsar, "the court" of the people. There, we know, that Solomon had his tribune, chap. vi. 13. Ezechiel (xliii. 14.) distinguishes two; the great, lower or outward, (Calmet chatsar) or court, and that of the priests, (Haydock) which he styles the less, &c. The principal door lay to the east.
Right, though to the left of those who entered the temple.
Pommels, (epistylia.) Hebrew, "cordons," or rows of pomegranates, (3 Kings vii. 18.) each consisting of one hundred; so that at the two pillars were adorned with a double row, both together would have four hundred. (Calmet) --- The precise number is fixed at ninety-six for each row, Jeremias lii. 23. (Tirinus)
His father. Hebrew Abib, which is considered by some as a surname, (Menochius) or the title may be given to Hiram, on account of his skill. (Calmet) --- He is so called by the king of Tyre, (chap. ii. 13.) for having instructed him in the true faith. (Worthington)
Saredatha, or Sarthan, (3 Kings vii. 46.) not far from Bethsan, 3 Kings iv. 12. (Calmet)
Flowers. They represented lilies or other flowers (Tirinus) full-blown, when the lamps were burning. All the branches were of pure gold. (Calmet)
Mortars, to hold the fine flour. (Menochius) --- And thus. Here the fifth chapter commences, in Hebrew and Septuagint.