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|This is the New King James text of the passages.|
I Kings 7; II Chronicles 4 Listen
Now, a house for Solomon (I Kings 7:1-12)
1 But Solomon took thirteen years to build his own house; so he finished all his house.
2 ¶ He also built the House of the Forest of Lebanon; its length was one hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits, with four rows of cedar pillars, and cedar beams on the pillars.
3 And it was paneled with cedar above the beams that were on forty-five pillars, fifteen to a row.
4 There were windows with beveled frames in three rows, and window was opposite window in three tiers.
5 And all the doorways and doorposts had rectangular frames; and window was opposite window in three tiers.
6 ¶ He also made the Hall of Pillars: its length was fifty cubits, and its width thirty cubits; and in front of them was a portico with pillars, and a canopy was in front of them.
7 ¶ Then he made a hall for the throne, the Hall of Judgment, where he might judge; and it was paneled with cedar from floor to ceiling.
8 ¶ And the house where he dwelt had another court inside the hall, of like workmanship. Solomon also made a house like this hall for Pharaoh’s daughter, whom he had taken as wife.
9 ¶ All these were of costly stones cut to size, trimmed with saws, inside and out, from the foundation to the eaves, and also on the outside to the great court.
10 The foundation was of costly stones, large stones, some ten cubits and some eight cubits.
11 And above were costly stones, hewn to size, and cedar wood.
12 The great court was enclosed with three rows of hewn stones and a row of cedar beams. So were the inner court of the house of the LORD and the vestibule of the temple.
In I Kings 5 and 6 (see notes), we see the work of the Temple being done. Here, in the first 12 verses of chapter 7, we take a little intermission from the building of the Temple to get an overview of the building of Solomon's palace. Now that's a big house...and a special house for his Egyptian wife, the daughter of Pharaoh. While the wording here seems to indicate that her house was on the same complex, it appears that Solomon also built her a house in Gezer, 20 miles from Jerusalem (see notes on I Kings 9:10-28; II Chronicles 8:1-18).
It appears in verses 2-8 that five separate buildings are described:
The palace portion of the structure itself is listed at approximately 180 feet by 90 feet and was approximately five stories high. That by itself is over 16,000 square feet. Add to the palace the "porch of pillars" of approximately 5,000 square feet, and you have a large building in Jerusalem. On the same complex was the porch or hall where Solomon's throne was located, his living quarters and the living quarters of his Egyptian wife. The palace itself was about four times larger than the house he built for God.
Lots of gold and brass (I Kings 7:13-51; II Chronicles 4)
I Kings 7
II Chronicles 4
|13 ¶ Now King Solomon sent and brought Huram from Tyre.
14 He was the son of a widow from the tribe of Naphtali, and his father was a man of Tyre, a bronze worker; he was filled with wisdom and understanding and skill in working with all kinds of bronze work. So he came to King Solomon and did all his work.
15 ¶ And he cast two pillars of bronze, each one eighteen cubits high, and a line of twelve cubits measured the circumference of each.
16 Then he made two capitals of cast bronze, to set on the tops of the pillars. The height of one capital was five cubits, and the height of the other capital was five cubits.
17 He made a lattice network, with wreaths of chainwork, for the capitals which were on top of the pillars: seven chains for one capital and seven for the other capital.
18 So he made the pillars, and two rows of pomegranates above the network all around to cover the capitals that were on top; and thus he did for the other capital.
19 ¶ The capitals which were on top of the pillars in the hall were in the shape of lilies, four cubits.
20 The capitals on the two pillars also had pomegranates above, by the convex surface which was next to the network; and there were two hundred such pomegranates in rows on each of the capitals all around.
21 ¶ Then he set up the pillars by the vestibule of the temple; he set up the pillar on the right and called its name Jachin, and he set up the pillar on the left and called its name Boaz.
22 The tops of the pillars were in the shape of lilies. So the work of the pillars was finished.
23 ¶ And he made the Sea of cast bronze, ten cubits from one brim to the other; it was completely round. Its height was five cubits, and a line of thirty cubits measured its circumference.
24 ¶ Below its brim were ornamental buds encircling it all around, ten to a cubit, all the way around the Sea. The ornamental buds were cast in two rows when it was cast.
25 It stood on twelve oxen: three looking toward the north, three looking toward the west, three looking toward the south, and three looking toward the east; the Sea was set upon them, and all their back parts pointed inward.
26 It was a handbreadth thick; and its brim was shaped like the brim of a cup, like a lily blossom. It contained two thousand baths.
27 ¶ He also made ten carts of bronze; four cubits was the length of each cart, four cubits its width, and three cubits its height.
28 And this was the design of the carts: They had panels, and the panels were between frames;
29 on the panels that were between the frames were lions, oxen, and cherubim. And on the frames was a pedestal on top. Below the lions and oxen were wreaths of plaited work.
30 Every cart had four bronze wheels and axles of bronze, and its four feet had supports. Under the laver were supports of cast bronze beside each wreath.
31 Its opening inside the crown at the top was one cubit in diameter; and the opening was round, shaped like a pedestal, one and a half cubits in outside diameter; and also on the opening were engravings, but the panels were square, not round.
32 Under the panels were the four wheels, and the axles of the wheels were joined to the cart. The height of a wheel was one and a half cubits.
33 The workmanship of the wheels was like the workmanship of a chariot wheel; their axle pins, their rims, their spokes, and their hubs were all of cast bronze.
34 And there were four supports at the four corners of each cart; its supports were part of the cart itself.
35 On the top of the cart, at the height of half a cubit, it was perfectly round. And on the top of the cart, its flanges and its panels were of the same casting.
36 On the plates of its flanges and on its panels he engraved cherubim, lions, and palm trees, wherever there was a clear space on each, with wreaths all around.
37 Thus he made the ten carts. All of them were of the same mold, one measure, and one shape.
38 ¶ Then he made ten lavers of bronze; each laver contained forty baths, and each laver was four cubits. On each of the ten carts was a laver.
39 And he put five carts on the right side of the house, and five on the left side of the house. He set the Sea on the right side of the house, toward the southeast.
40 ¶ Huram made the lavers and the shovels and the bowls. So Huram finished doing all the work that he was to do for King Solomon for the house of the LORD:
41 the two pillars, the two bowl-shaped capitals that were on top of the two pillars; the two networks covering the two bowl-shaped capitals which were on top of the pillars;
42 four hundred pomegranates for the two networks (two rows of pomegranates for each network, to cover the two bowl-shaped capitals that were on top of the pillars);
43 the ten carts, and ten lavers on the carts;
44 one Sea, and twelve oxen under the Sea;
45 the pots, the shovels, and the bowls. ¶ All these articles which Huram made for King Solomon for the house of the LORD were of burnished bronze.
46 In the plain of Jordan the king had them cast in clay molds, between Succoth and Zaretan.
47 And Solomon did not weigh all the articles, because there were so many; the weight of the bronze was not determined.
48 ¶ Thus Solomon had all the furnishings made for the house of the LORD: the altar of gold, and the table of gold on which was the showbread;
49 the lampstands of pure gold, five on the right side and five on the left in front of the inner sanctuary, with the flowers and the lamps and the wick-trimmers of gold;
50 the basins, the trimmers, the bowls, the ladles, and the censers of pure gold; and the hinges of gold, both for the doors of the inner room (the Most Holy Place) and for the doors of the main hall of the temple.
51 ¶ So all the work that King Solomon had done for the house of the LORD was finished; and Solomon brought in the things which his father David had dedicated: the silver and the gold and the furnishings. He put them in the treasuries of the house of the LORD.
|1 Moreover he made a bronze altar: twenty cubits was its length, twenty cubits its width, and ten cubits its height.
2 ¶ Then he made the Sea of cast bronze, ten cubits from one brim to the other; it was completely round. Its height was five cubits, and a line of thirty cubits measured its circumference.
3 And under it was the likeness of oxen encircling it all around, ten to a cubit, all the way around the Sea. The oxen were cast in two rows, when it was cast.
4 It stood on twelve oxen: three looking toward the north, three looking toward the west, three looking toward the south, and three looking toward the east; the Sea was set upon them, and all their back parts pointed inward.
5 It was a handbreadth thick; and its brim was shaped like the brim of a cup, like a lily blossom. It contained three thousand baths.
6 ¶ He also made ten lavers, and put five on the right side and five on the left, to wash in them; such things as they offered for the burnt offering they would wash in them, but the Sea was for the priests to wash in.
7 And he made ten lampstands of gold according to their design, and set them in the temple, five on the right side and five on the left.
8 He also made ten tables, and placed them in the temple, five on the right side and five on the left. And he made one hundred bowls of gold.
9 ¶ Furthermore he made the court of the priests, and the great court and doors for the court; and he overlaid these doors with bronze.
10 He set the Sea on the right side, toward the southeast.
11 ¶ Then Huram made the pots and the shovels and the bowls. So Huram finished doing the work that he was to do for King Solomon for the house of God:
12 the two pillars and the bowl-shaped capitals that were on top of the two pillars; the two networks covering the two bowl-shaped capitals which were on top of the pillars;
13 four hundred pomegranates for the two networks (two rows of pomegranates for each network, to cover the two bowl-shaped capitals that were on the pillars);
14 he also made carts and the lavers on the carts;
15 one Sea and twelve oxen under it;
16 also the pots, the shovels, the forks—and all their articles Huram his master craftsman made of burnished bronze for King Solomon for the house of the LORD.
17 ¶ In the plain of Jordan the king had them cast in clay molds, between Succoth and Zeredah.
18 And Solomon had all these articles made in such great abundance that the weight of the bronze was not determined.
19 ¶ Thus Solomon had all the furnishings made for the house of God: the altar of gold and the tables on which was the showbread;
20 the lampstands with their lamps of pure gold, to burn in the prescribed manner in front of the inner sanctuary,
21 with the flowers and the lamps and the wick-trimmers of gold, of purest gold;
22 the trimmers, the bowls, the ladles, and the censers of pure gold. As for the entry of the sanctuary, its inner doors to the Most Holy Place, and the doors of the main hall of the temple, were gold.
Here we have the continuation of the discussion regarding the building of the Temple. We took a brief intermission from this discussion in the first 12 verses of I Kings 7 to get an overview of Solomon's palace, but now we're back to the temple. The writer of I Chronicles doesn't deviate from the discussion of the Temple to describe Solomon's house - just the passage in I Kings. These two passages describe the special work done by a man named Hiram aka Huram. Regarding the pillars he made, since they were not included in the description of the structure in I Kings 6 (see notes), we assume that they were free standing and not supportive of the temple structure itself. How would you like to go into a building and virtually everything visible was made of brass, gold or silver? That was the sight you faced in Solomon's Temple. And what about those brass shovels? What were they used for? Those were the shovels used to remove the ashes. Before he was finished, Hiram had crafted hundreds of items used inside and outside the temple. He even had time to install two networks. What's a temple without connectivity to the Internet! Naaaaaw! Actually, these were ornamental lattice works.
All the structural measurements given are done so in "cubits."
Following is the definition of a "cubit" taken from Easton's Bible Dictionary:
Cubit: Heb. ammah; i.e., mother of the arm, the fore-arm, is a word derived from the Latin cubitus, the lower arm. It is difficult to determine the exact length of this measure, from the uncertainty whether it included the entire length from the elbow to the tip of the longest finger, or only from the elbow to the root of the hand at the wrist. The probability is that the longer was the original cubit. The common computation as to the length of the cubit makes it 20.24 inches for the ordinary cubit, and 21.888 inches for the sacred one. This is the same as the Egyptian measurements.
One liberally-minded commentator wrote that the giant pool close to the giant altar couldn't possibly hold as much water as was stated in this passage. That's true...if a cubit here is 18 inches as is generally estimated. However, at 21.888 inches, this "molten sea" holds exactly the volume of water stated. The priests washed in it before their sacred duties. Recreational swimming would have been mighty tempting. For some reason, that wicked king Ahaz later removed the brass oxen that formed the base and replaced them with a stone base in II Kings 16:17 (see notes). Presumably, he needed them for his pagan altar that he commissioned the priest to build for him.
Another interesting aspect of this large basin of water is the fact that it was elevated about 8 feet above ground level. Why? We assume this was for the purpose of providing running water under pressure to make it easier for the washing rituals.