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.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)1Kings 7:28), with panels on each side (“borders” in 1Kings 7:28), ornamented with “lions, oxen, and cherubims,” below which hung festoons of thin metal-work—(“certain additions made of thin work,” in 1Kings 7:29). Each base was set on four brazen wheels with brazen axles (“plates” in 1Kings 7:30) only 27 inches high, and with naves, felloes, and spokes, all cast in brass. On each base was a convex circular stand (1Kings 7:35), with a “mouth,” or circular opening (apparently “the chapiter” of 1Kings 7:31), upon which, or over which, the laver stood. This was nine inches high, ornamented with carvings of “cherubims, lions, and palm-trees.” From the four corners of the upper surface of the base sprang “undersetters,” apparently brackets helping to support the laver, which rested above the “mouth” of the convex stand, and to keep it fast in its place (1Kings 7:30; 1Kings 7:34). The laver was 6 feet in diameter, and held 40 baths, or about 360 gallons. The whole stood high, no doubt to bring it nearly on a level with the brazen altar, which was 15 feet high. In form, perhaps, each laver was a smaller copy of the molten sea. Of the whole a conjectural description and sketch are given in the Dictionary of the Bible, art. LAVERS.1 Kings 7:27-29. He made ten bases of brass — Upon which stood ten lavers mentioned below, (1 Kings 7:38,) in which they washed the parts of the sacrifices, 2 Chronicles 4:6. They had borders — Broad brims, possibly for the more secure holding of the lavers. Upon the ledges there was a base above — This is very obscurely expressed; hut probably by the base above is meant the uppermost part of the base; which, though it was above, yet was a base to the laver, which stood upon it. Certain additions —
Either as bases for the feet of the said lions and oxen, or only as further ornaments.1 Kings 7:38. See 2 Chronicles 4:6). In general terms the bases were square stands, 6 feet each way, and 4 12 feet high, elaborately ornamented on their four sides, and resting upon four wheels, 2 14 feet in diameter. Each stand supported a laver 6 feet high, which contained 40 baths 1 Kings 7:38, or about 340 gallons. He made ten bases; upon which stood the ten lavers mentioned below, 1 Kings 7:38, in which they washed the parts of the sacrifices, 2 Chronicles 4:6.
four cubits was the length of one base, and four cubits the breadth thereof; as broad as it was long, and so a square, that the laver might stand firm upon it: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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)27–39. Of the ten bases, and the lavers upon them (2 Chronicles 4:6)
27. ten bases of brass] These were stands for the ten lavers mentioned below. See 1 Kings 7:38.Verse 27. - And he made ten bases [or stands, מְכונות, from כּוּן, erectus stetit. The description of both the bases and the layers which they supported (vers. 27-39) is extremely obscure. We know, however, that the bases (as the name implies) were simply stands or pediments for the lavers] of brass; four cubits was the length of one base and four cubits the breadth thereof; and three cubits the height of it [they were rectangular, or box shaped, six feet square and four and a half feet high. 2 Chronicles 3:15 הבּית לפני, and in 2 Chronicles 3:17 ההיכל על־פּני, "before the house," "before the Holy Place." This unquestionably implies that the two brazen pillars stood unconnected in front of the hall, on the right and left sides of it, and not within the hall as supporters of the roof. Nevertheless many have decided in favour of the latter view. But of the four arguments used by Thenius in proof that this was the position of the pillars, there is no force whatever in the first, which is founded upon Amos 9:1, unless we assume, as Merz and others do, that the words of the prophet, "Smite the capital, that the thresholds may shake, and break them (the capitals of the pillars), that they may fall upon the head of all," refer to the temple at Jerusalem, and not, as Thenius and others suppose, to the temple erected at Bethel for the calf-worship. For even if the temple at Bethel had really had a portal supported by pillars, it would by no means follow that the pillars Jachin and Boaz in Solomon's temple supported the roof of the hall, as it is nowhere stated that the temple of Jeroboam at Bethel was an exact copy of that of Solomon. And even with the only correct interpretation, in which the words of Amos are made to refer to the temple at Jerusalem, the argument founded upon them in support of the position of the pillars as bearers of the hall rests upon the false idea, that the ספּים, which are shaken by the smiting of the capital, are the beams lying upon the top of the pillars, or the superliminaria of the hall. It is impossible to prove that סף has any such meaning. The beam over the entrance, or upon the doorposts, is called משׁקוף in Exodus 12:7, Exodus 12:22-23, whereas סף denotes the threshold, i.e., the lower part of the framework of the door, as is evident from Judges 19:27. The words of the prophet are not to be interpreted architecturally, but to be taken in a rhetorical sense; "so that by the blow, which strikes the capital, and causes the thresholds to tremble, such a blow is intended as shakes the temple in all its joints" (Baur on Amos 9:1). "הכּפתּור, a kind of ornament at the top of the pillars, and הסּפּים, the thresholds, are opposed to one another, to express the thought that the building is to be shaken and destroyed a summo usque ad imum, a capite ad calcem" (Hengstenberg, Chrisol. i. p. 366 transl.). The other arguments derived from Ezekiel 40:48 and Ezekiel 40:49, and from Josephus, Ant. viii. 3, 4, prove nothing at all. From the words of Josephus, τούτων τῶν κιόνων τὸν μέν ἕτερον κατὰ τὴν δεξιὰν ἔστησε τοῦ προπυλαίου παραστάδα...τὸν δὲ ἕτερον κ.τ.λ., it would only follow "that the pillars (according to the view of Josephus) must have stood in the doorway," if it were the case that παραστάς had no other meaning than doorpost, and προπύλαιον could be understood as referring to the temple-hall generally. But this is conclusively disproved by the fact that Josephus always calls the temple-hall πρόναον (l.c., and viii. 3, 2 and 3), so that προπύλαιον can only denote the fore-court, and παραστάς a pillar standing by itself. Consequently Josephus regarded the pillars Jachin and Boaz as propylaea erected in front of the hall. We must therefore adhere to the view expressed by Bhr (d. Tempel, p. 35ff.), that these pillars did not support the roof of the temple-hall, but were set up in front of the hall on either side of the entrance. In addition to the words of the text, this conclusion is sustained (1) by the circumstance that the two pillars are not mentioned in connection with the building of the temple and the hall, but are referred to for the first time here in the enumeration of the sacred vessels of the court that were made of brass. "If the pillars had formed an essential part of the construction and had been supporters of the hall, they would certainly have been mentioned in the description of the building, and not have been placed among the articles of furniture" (Schnaase); and moreover they would not have been made of metal like the rest of the vessels, but would have been constructed of the same building materials as the hall and the house, namely, of stone or wood (Bhr). And to this we may add (2) the monumental character of the pillars, which is evident from the names given to them. No architectural portion of the building received a special name.
(Note: Stieglitz (Gesch. der Baukunst, p. 127) aptly observes in relation to this: "The architect cannot subscribe to Meyer's view (that the pillars were supporters of the hall), since it was only through their independent position that the pillars received the solemn character intended to be given to them, and by their dignity subserved the end designed, of exalting the whole building and calling attention to the real purpose of the whole.")
Jachin (יכין): "he establishes," stabiliet templum (Simonis Onom. p. 430); and Boaz (בּעז), ex עז בּו in illo, sc. Domino, robur (Sim. p. 460). Kimchi has correctly interpreted the first name thus: "Let this temple stand for ever;" and the second, "Solomon desired that God would give it strength and endurance." The pillars were symbols of the stability and strength, which not only the temple as an outward building, but the kingdom of God in Israel as embodied in the temple, received from the Lord, who had chosen the temple to be His dwelling-place in the midst of His people.
(Note: There is no necessity to refute the fanciful notion of Ewald, that these pillars, "when they were erected and consecrated, were certainly named after men who were held in estimation at that time, probably after the younger sons of Solomon," and that of Thenius, that בּעז יכין, "He (the Lord) establishes with strength," was engraved upon them as an inscription.)
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