1 Kings 7:32
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.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
7:13-47 The two brazen pillars in the porch of the temple, some think, were to teach those that came to worship, to depend upon God only, for strength and establishment in all their religious exercises. Jachin, God will fix this roving mind. It is good that the heart be established with grace. Boaz, In him is our strength, who works in us both to will and to do. Spiritual strength and stability are found at the door of God's temple, where we must wait for the gifts of grace, in use of the means of grace. Spiritual priests and spiritual sacrifices must be washed in the laver of Christ's blood, and of regeneration. We must wash often, for we daily contract pollution. There are full means provided for our cleansing; so that if we have our lot for ever among the unclean it will be our own fault. Let us bless God for the fountain opened by the sacrifice of Christ for sin and for uncleanness.With the diameter (2 14 ft.) of the wheel here, may be compared that of the earliest Assyrian chariot-wheels, which was under 3 feet; and that of the front wheels seen in representations of Assyrian close carriages, which scarcely exceed 14th of the height of the entire vehicle. The wheels of these moveable lavers appear to have been a little less than 15th of the height of the whole structure. 27-39. he made ten bases of brass—These were trucks or four-wheeled carriages, for the support and conveyance of the lavers. The description of their structure shows that they were elegantly fitted up and skilfully adapted to their purpose. They stood, not on the axles, but on four rests attached to the axles, so that the figured sides were considerably raised above the wheels. They were all exactly alike in form and size. The lavers which were borne upon them were vessels capable each of holding three hundred gallons of water, upwards of a ton weight. The whole, when full of water, would be no less than two tons [Napier]. No text from Poole on this verse. And under the borders were four wheels,.... Not under the borders last mentioned, but those in 1 Kings 7:29,

and the axle trees of the wheels were joined to the base; to the four sides of it:

and the height of a wheel was a cubit and half a cubit; that is, from the plate of brass on which it stood, to the axis or semicircle of it; so that the highest part of the ring being also a cubit and an half, reached to the top of the base, it being but three cubits high, 1 Kings 7:27.

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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
32. And under the borders [panels] were four wheels] Better, ‘the four wheels.’ They were so fixed that they might not hide by their upper part any portion of the ornamental panels.

and the axletrees of the wheels were joined to the base] More literally, were in the base. That is they formed a portion of the casting. The Hebrew word here is different from that rendered ‘axles’ in 1 Kings 7:30. This word is literally ‘hands’ and no doubt signifies some kind of ‘holder’ or support by which the wheels were kept in place. If the ‘shoulders’ of 1 Kings 7:30 also belong to the wheels they must have been made doubly secure.Verse 32. - And under the borders [i.e., panels] were four [Heb. the four i.e., those mentioned in ver. 30] wheels ["The wheels reached no higher than that portion of the sides of the base which was ornamented with garlands" (Rawlinson). It would be more correct to say that the wheels did not cover any portion of the sides; they were under them]; and the axletrees [Heb. hands, as holding the wheel to the base or stand. Axletrees is altogether misleading. The hands were the parts connecting the wheels and axles] of the wheels were joined to [Heb. in, as marg.] the base: and the height of a wheel was a cubit and half a cubit. [i.e., 27 inches.] "And its thickness (i.e., the thickness of the metal) was a handbreadth" equals four finger-breadths, as in the case of the brazen pillars (see at 1 Kings 7:15), "and its upper rim like work of a goblet (or of a goblet-rim, i.e., bent outwards), lily-blossom," i.e., ornamented with lily-flowers. It held 2000 baths; according to the Chronicles, 3000 baths. The latter statement has arisen from the confusion of ג (3) with ב (2); since, according to the calculation of Thenius, the capacity of the vessel, from the dimensions given, could not exceed 2000 baths. This vessel, which took the place of the laver in the tabernacle, was provided for the priests to wash themselves (2 Chronicles 4:6), that is to say, that a supply of water might be kept in readiness to enable the priests to wash their hands and feet when they approached the altar to officiate, or were about to enter the Holy Place (Exodus 30:18.). There were no doubt taps by which the water required for this purpose was drawn off from the sea.

(Note: For the different conjectures on this subject, see Lundius, jud. Heiligthmer, p. 356. Thenius supposes that there was also a provision for filling the vessel, since the height of it would have rendered it a work of great labour and time to fill it by hand, and that there was probably a pipe hidden behind the figures of the oxen, since, according to Aristeas, histor. lxx Interp., Oxon. 1692, p. 32 (also Eusebii praep. evang. ix. 38), there were openings concealed at the foot of the altar, out of which water was allowed to run at certain seasons for the requisite cleansing of the pavement of the court from the blood of the sacrifices; and there is still a fountain just in the neighbourhood of the spot on which, according to 1 Kings 7:39, the brazen sea must have stood (see Schultz's plan); and in the time of the Crusaders there was a large basin, covered by a dome supported by columns (see Robinson, Pal. i. 446). But even if the later temple was supplied with the water required by means of artificial water-pipes, the Solomonian origin of these arrangements or designs is by no means raised even to the rank of probability.)

- The artistic form of the vessel corresponded to its sacred purpose. The rim of the basin, which rose upwards in the form of a lily, was intended to point to the holiness and loveliness of that life which issued from the sanctuary. The twelve oxen, on which it rested, pointed to the twelve tribes of Israel as a priestly nation, which cleansed itself here in the persons of its priests, to appear clean and holy before the Lord. Just as the number twelve unquestionably suggests the allusion to the twelve tribes of the covenant nation, so, in the choice of oxen or bullocks as supporters of the basin, it is impossible to overlook the significance of this selection of the first and highest of the sacrificial animals to represent the priestly service, especially if we compare the position of the lions on Solomon's throne (1 Kings 10:20).

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