But Solomon was building his own house thirteen years, and he finished all his house.
He built also the house of the forest of Lebanon; the length thereof was an hundred cubits, and the breadth thereof fifty cubits, and the height thereof thirty cubits, upon four rows of cedar pillars, with cedar beams upon the pillars.
And it was covered with cedar above upon the beams, that lay on forty five pillars, fifteen in a row.
And there were windows in three rows, and light was against light in three ranks.
light was against light
Heb. sight against sight.
And all the doors and posts were square, with the windows: and light was against light in three ranks.
doors and posts were square, with the windows
or, spaces and pillars were square in prospect.
And he made a porch of pillars; the length thereof was fifty cubits, and the breadth thereof thirty cubits: and the porch was before them: and the other pillars and the thick beam were before them.
or, according to them. before them. or, according to them.
Then he made a porch for the throne where he might judge, even the porch of judgment: and it was covered with cedar from one side of the floor to the other.
for the throne
from one side of the floor to the other
Heb. from floor to floor.
And his house where he dwelt had another court within the porch, which was of the like work. Solomon made also an house for Pharaoh's daughter, whom he had taken to wife, like unto this porch.
All these were of costly stones, according to the measures of hewed stones, sawed with saws, within and without, even from the foundation unto the coping, and so on the outside toward the great court.
And the foundation was of costly stones, even great stones, stones of ten cubits, and stones of eight cubits.
stones of ten cubits
Reckoning the cubit at 21 inches, the ten cubits are 17 feet and a half, and the eight cubits are 14 feet. The magnitude of these stones was certainly extraordinary; but let us hear M. Volney, and our surprise will no longer be fixed on these stones, but transferred from Solomon's house to the ruins of Balbec: "What is still more astonishing is the enormous stones which compose the sloping wall. To the west, the second layer is formed of stones which are from 28 to 35 feet long, by about 9 in height. Over this layer, at the north-west angle, there are three stones, which alone occupy a space of 175 feet and a half; viz. the first, 58 feet 7 inches; the second, 58 feet 11 inches; and the third, exactly 58 feet; and each of these is 12 feet thick. These stones are of white granite, with large shining flakes, like gypsum: there is a quarry of this kind of stone under the whole city, and another in the adjacent mountains, which is open in several places. On the right, as we approach the city, there is still lying there a stone hewn on three sides, which is 69 feet 2 inches long, 12 feet 10 inches broad, and 13 feet 3 inches in thickness.
And above were costly stones, after the measures of hewed stones, and cedars.
And the great court round about was with three rows of hewed stones, and a row of cedar beams, both for the inner court of the house of the LORD, and for the porch of the house.
And king Solomon sent and fetched Hiram out of Tyre.
He was a widow's son of the tribe of Naphtali, and his father was a man of Tyre, a worker in brass: and he was filled with wisdom, and understanding, and cunning to work all works in brass. And he came to king Solomon, and wrought all his work.
a widow's son
Heb. the son of a widow woman. tribe. The mother of Hiram (not the Tyrian king mentioned before, but an intelligent coppersmith, of Jewish extraction by his mother's side) in Chronicles, is said to have been of "the daughters of Dan;" and she might have been of Naphtali by her father, and of Dan by her mother; or she might originally be of the tribe of Dan, and have been first married to a man of the tribe of Naphtali; and, in either case, she might be indifferently called "of the tribe of Naphtali," or of "the daughters of Dan."
he was filled
For he cast two pillars of brass, of eighteen cubits high apiece: and a line of twelve cubits did compass either of them about.
Heb. fashioned. two pillars.
That is, nearly thirty feet, English measure. But in the parallel place in Chronicles, these pillars are said to thirty-five cubits high. Tremellius reconciles this difference by observing, that the common cubit was but one-half of the cubit of the sanctuary; so that eighteen of the one would make thirty-six of the other; from which, if we deduct one cubit for the base, there will remain thirty-five. Notwithstanding the names of these pillars, they seem to have supported no part of the building, and appear to have been formed for ornament; and were no doubt also emblematical. The right pillar was called Jachin, which signifies, "He will establish;" while that on the left was named Boaz, "In it is strength." Some think they were intended for memorials of the pillars and cloud of fire, which led Israel through the wilderness; but Henry supposes them designed for memorandums to the priests and others that came to worship at God's door. 1st. To depend upon God only, and not upon any sufficiency of their own, for strength and establishment in all their religious exercises. 2nd. It was a memorandum to them of the strength and establishment of the temple of God among them. When the temple was destroyed, particular notice is taken of the breaking up and carrying away of these brazen pillars, 2 Ki 25:13, 17, which had been the tokens of its establishment, and would have been still so, if they had not forsaken God.
And he made two chapiters of molten brass, to set upon the tops of the pillars: the height of the one chapiter was five cubits, and the height of the other chapiter was five cubits:
And nets of checker work, and wreaths of chain work, for the chapiters which were upon the top of the pillars; seven for the one chapiter, and seven for the other chapiter.
And he made the pillars, and two rows round about upon the one network, to cover the chapiters that were upon the top, with pomegranates: and so did he for the other chapiter.
And the chapiters that were upon the top of the pillars were of lily work in the porch, four cubits.
And the chapiters upon the two pillars had pomegranates also above, over against the belly which was by the network: and the pomegranates were two hundred in rows round about upon the other chapiter.
and the pomegranates
And he set up the pillars in the porch of the temple: and he set up the right pillar, and called the name thereof Jachin: and he set up the left pillar, and called the name thereof Boaz.
And he set
And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.
a molten sea
the one brim to the other
Heb. his brim to his brim.
And under the brim of it round about there were knops compassing it, ten in a cubit, compassing the sea round about: the knops were cast in two rows, when it was cast.
compassing the sea
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 it was an hand breadth thick, and the brim thereof was wrought like the brim of a cup, with flowers of lilies: it contained two thousand baths.
an hand breadth
This immense laver, called a sea from it magnitude, held, at a moderate computation, 16,000 gallons. Besides this great brazen laver, there were in the temple ten lavers of brass of a less size, which moved on wheels, and were ornamented with the figures of various animals, having, probably, always some relation to the cherubim. These lavers were to hold water for the use of the priests in their sacred office, particularly to wash the victims that were to be offered as a burnt offering, as we learn from 2 Ch 4:6; but the brazen sea was for the priests to wash in. The knops are supposed to have been in the form of an ox's head, (2 Ch 4:3;) and some think the water flowed out at their mouths.
And he made ten bases of brass; four cubits was the length of one base, and four cubits the breadth thereof, and three cubits the height of it.
These highly ornamental bases appear to have been square stands, or immense pedestals, for the purpose of supporting the lavers.
And the work of the bases was on this manner: they had borders, and the borders were between the ledges:
bases was on
It seems evident that these bases or pedestals rose with steps, and that the ornaments mentioned in the next verse appeared in front, forming so many entablatures. But the description of these bases is very difficult to comprehend: many of the original words are seldom, if at all, used elsewhere; and it would be impossible to give an explanation of each particular, without a labour and prolixity disproportioned to its importance to us.
And on the borders that were between the ledges were lions, oxen, and cherubims: and upon the ledges there was a base above: and beneath the lions and oxen were certain additions made of thin work.
And every base had four brasen wheels, and plates of brass: and the four corners thereof had undersetters: under the laver were undersetters molten, at the side of every addition.
It is probable that these undersetters were so many strong legs, somewhat shorter than the wheels, and were intended to prevent the laver from tilting, or falling, in case of any accident.
And under the borders were four wheels; and the axletrees of the wheels were joined to the base: and the height of a wheel was a cubit and half a cubit.
joined to the base
Heb. in the base.
And the work of the wheels was like the work of a chariot wheel: their axletrees, and their naves, and their felloes, and their spokes, were all molten.
For on the plates of the ledges thereof, and on the borders thereof, he graved cherubims, lions, and palm trees, according to the proportion of every one, and additions round about.
Then made he ten lavers of brass: one laver contained forty baths: and every laver was four cubits: and upon every one of the ten bases one laver.
And he put five bases on the right side of the house, and five on the left side of the house: and he set the sea on the right side of the house eastward over against the south.
Heb. shoulder. he set.
And Hiram made the lavers, and the shovels, and the basons. So Hiram made an end of doing all the work that he made king Solomon for the house of the LORD:
The two pillars, and the two bowls of the chapiters that were on the top of the two pillars; and the two networks, to cover the two bowls of the chapiters which were upon the top of the pillars;
And four hundred pomegranates for the two networks, even two rows of pomegranates for one network, to cover the two bowls of the chapiters that were upon the pillars;
Heb. the face of the pillars.
And the ten bases, and ten lavers on the bases;
And one sea, and twelve oxen under the sea;
And the pots, and the shovels, and the basons: and all these vessels, which Hiram made to king Solomon for the house of the LORD, were of bright brass.
Heb. brass made bright, or scoured.
In the plain of Jordan did the king cast them, in the clay ground between Succoth and Zarthan.
the clay ground
Heb. the thickness of the ground. Succoth.
Zarthan is supposed to have been situated in the tribe of Manasseh, west of Jordan, near Jezreel and Bethshan or Scythopolis, and not far from the Jordan. Succoth we know was situated east of Jordan, in the tribe of Gad, and according to Jerome, in the district of Scythopolis: hence the "plain of Jordan," where Hiram cast the brazen vessels, must be the plain in which that river runs, Zarthan and Succoth being probably nearly opposite each other; but whether the precise spot of his operations was on this side or the other side, is uncertain. In this place he found that particular clay that was proper for his purpose; and it being a considerable distance from Jerusalem, that city would not be annoyed by the smoke and noxious vapours necessarily occasioned by the process.
And Solomon left all the vessels unweighed, because they were exceeding many: neither was the weight of the brass found out.
because they were exceeding many
Heb. for the exceeding multitude.
And Solomon made all the vessels that pertained unto the house of the LORD: the altar of gold, and the table of gold, whereupon the shewbread was,
And the candlesticks of pure gold, five on the right side, and five on the left, before the oracle, with the flowers, and the lamps, and the tongs of gold,
before the oracle
And the bowls, and the snuffers, and the basons, and the spoons, and the censers of pure gold; and the hinges of gold, both for the doors of the inner house, the most holy place, and for the doors of the house, to wit, of the temple.
Heb. ash pans.
So was ended all the work that king Solomon made for the house of the LORD. And Solomon brought in the things which David his father had dedicated; even the silver, and the gold, and the vessels, did he put among the treasures of the house of the LORD.
things which David his father had dedicated
Heb. holy things of David.