1 Kings 7:38
Then made he ten lavers of brass: one laver contained forty baths: and every laver was four cubits: and on every one of the ten bases one laver.
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1 Kings 7:38-39. He made ten lavers of brass — Which were to stand upon the bases before mentioned. One laver contained forty baths — See 1 Kings 7:26; from whence it will appear, that each of these lavers contained ten barrels of water. And every laver was four cubits — Some think they were of this height. But it is more likely that these words relate to the diameter of them, which was four cubits, and then their compass was twelve cubits. He put five bases on the right side — That is, on the south side. See 1 Kings 6:8. Of the house — Of the court where the priests ministered, and where, as occasion required, they washed either their hands or feet, or the parts of the sacrifices. Five on the left side of the house — That is, on the north side of that court, which is here opposed to the right or south side. Over against the south — That is, in the south-east part, where the offerings were prepared. So that, as soon as the priests entered, which they did at the east gate, they might have water to wash their hands and their feet.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.Every laver was four cubits - Assuming height to be intended, and taking the cubit at 20 inches, the entire height of the lavers as they stood upon their wheeled stands would seem to have been 13 ft. 9 in. It is evident, therefore, that the water must have been drawn from them, as from the "molten sea," through cocks or taps. 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]. Forty baths; ten barrels; of which See Poole "1 Kings 7:26". Then made he ten lavers of brass,.... There was but one in the tabernacle of Moses, and what became of that is not known: some Jewish writers (c) say it was placed in Solomon's temple, and these lavers, five on the right and five on the left of it; however, here were enough provided for the purpose for the priests to wash their burnt offerings in, 2 Chronicles 4:6 and were typical of the large provision made in the blood of Christ for the cleansing of his people; whose works, services, and sacrifices, as well as persons and garments, need continual washing in that blood; see Romans 12:1,

one laver contained forty baths; and a bath, according to Bishop Cumberland (d) held seven wine gallons, and two quarts and half a pint:

and every laver was four cubits: that is, square; this was the diameter of it:

and upon every of the ten bases one laver; for which they were made, even to set the lavers on, and were exactly of the same measure.

(c) Targum, Jarchi, and Kimchi, in 2 Chron. 6. (d) Scripture Weights and Measures, c. 3. p. 70, 71.

Then made he {s} 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.

(s) To keep waters for the use of the sacrifices.

38. Then made he] It is only the simple copulative And.Verse 38. - Then made he ten layers of brass: one laver contained forty baths [i.e., about 340 gals., if we accept the account of Josephus, Ant 8:2.9. But see on ver. 26]: and every laver was four cubits. [It is uncertain whether the height or the diameter is meant. Keil decides for the latter - and four cubits, the width of the sides of the stand, may well have been also the diameter of the basin - on the ground that as" the basins were set upon (עַל) the stands," it can hardly refer to the height. But it is worthy of remark that "the height of all the ether parts has been mentioned" (Rawlinson). See vers. 27, 32, 35, and without this particular we could not calculate the entire height, which, if the laver were four cubits, would be about thirteen feet. This surprising size is accounted for by remembering the height of the altar, to which the fat and other sacrificial portions had to be transferred from the laver]: and upon every one of the ten bases one laver. [Ten layers would not be at all too many when we remember the prodigious number of victims which were occasionally offered.] In 1 Kings 7:31 we have a description of the upper portion of the mechonah, which formed the pedestal for the basin, and therewith an explanation of לכּיּר מתּחת. "And the mouth of it (the basin) was within the crown and upwards with a cubit, and the mouth of it (the crown) was rounded, stand-work, a cubit and a half (wide), and on its mouth also there was engraved work, and its panels were square, not round." To understand this verse, we must observe that, according to 1 Kings 7:35, the mechonah chest was provided at the top with a dome-shaped covering, in the centre of which there was an elevation resembling the capital of a pillar (הכּתרת, the crown), supporting the basin, which was inserted into it by its lower rim. The suffix in פּיהוּ (its mouth) is supposed by Thenius to refer to the mechonah chest, and he questions the allusion to the basin, on the ground that this was so flat that a mouth-like opening could not possibly be spoken of, and the basins were never within the mechonah. But however correct these two remarks may be in themselves, they by no means demonstrate the necessity of taking פּיהוּ as referring to the mechonah chest. For פּה (the mouth) is not necessarily to be understood as denoting a mouth-like opening to the basin; but just as ראשׁ פּי in Exodus 28:32 signifies the opening of the clothes for the head, i.e., for putting the head through when putting on the clothes, so may פּיהוּ (its mouth) be the opening or mouth for the basin, i.e., the opening into which the basin fitted and was emptied, the water in the basin being let off into the mechonah chest through the head-shaped neck by means of a tap or plug. The mouth was really the lower or contracted portion of the shell-shaped basin, which was about a cubit in height within the neck and upwards, that is to say, in all, inasmuch as it went partly into the neck and rose in part above it. The פּיה (the mouth thereof) which follows is the (upper) opening of the crown-like neck of the lid of the mechonah. This was rounded, מעשׂה־כן, stand-work, i.e., according to De Wette's correct paraphrase, formed after the style of the foot of a pillar, a cubit and a half in diameter. "And also upon the mouth of it (the mechonah) was carved work." The גּם (also) refers to the fact that the sides of the mechonah were already ornamented with carving. מסגּרתיהם, the panels of the crown-like neck (כּתרת) and its mouth (פּיה) were square, like the panels of the sides of the mechonah chest. The fact that panels are spoken of in connection with this neck, may be explained on the assumption that with its height of one cubit and its circumference of almost five cubits (which follows from its having a diameter of a cubit and a half) it had stronger borders of brass to strengthen its bearing power, while between them it consisted of thinner plates, which are called fillings or panels. - In 1 Kings 7:32, 1 Kings 7:33, the wheels are more minutely described. Every stool had four wheels under the panels, i.e., not against the sides of the chest, but under them, and ידות, hands or holders of the wheels, i.e., special contrivances for fastening the wheels to the axles, probably larger and more artistically worked than the linch-pins of ordinary carriages. These ידות were only required when the wheels turned upon the axles, and not when they were fastened to them. The height of the wheel was a cubit and a half, i.e., not half the height, but the whole. For with a half height of a cubit and a half the wheels would have been three cubits in diameter; and as the chest was only four cubits long, the hinder wheels and front wheels would almost have touched one another. The work (construction) of the wheels resembled that of (ordinary) carriage wheels; but everything about them (holders, felloes, spokes, and naves) was cast in brass. - In 1 Kings 7:34 the description passes to the upper portion of the mechonah. "And he made four shoulder-pieces at the four corners of one (i.e., of every) stand; out of the stand were its shoulder-pieces." כּתפות are the shoulder-pieces already mentioned in 1 Kings 7:30, which were attached to the feet below, or which terminated in feet. They were fastened to the corners in such a way that they seemed to come out of them; and they rose above the corners with a slight inclination (curve) towards the middle of the neck or capital, till they came under the outer rim of the basin which rested upon the capital of the lid of the chest, so as to support the basin, which turned considerably outwards at the top.
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