Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Moreover he made an altar of brass, twenty cubits the length thereof, and twenty cubits the breadth thereof, and ten cubits the height thereof.
2Ch 4:1. Altar of Brass.
1. he made an altar of brass—Steps must have been necessary for ascending so elevated an altar, but the use of these could be no longer forbidden (Ex 20:26) after the introduction of an official costume for the priests (Ex 28:42). It measured thirty-five feet by thirty-five, and in height seventeen and a half feet. The thickness of the metal used for this altar is nowhere given; but supposing it to have been three inches, the whole weight of the metal would not be under two hundred tons [Napier].
Also he made a molten sea of ten cubits from brim to brim, round in compass, and five cubits the height thereof; and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.
2Ch 4:2-5. Molten Sea.
2. he made a molten sea—(See on 1Ki 7:23), as in that passage "knops" occur instead of "oxen." It is generally supposed that the rows of ornamental knops were in the form of ox heads.
And under it was the similitude of oxen, which did compass it round about: ten in a cubit, compassing the sea round about. Two rows of oxen were cast, when it was cast.
3. Two rows of oxen were cast, when it was cast—The meaning is, that the circular basin and the brazen oxen which supported it were all of one piece, being cast in one and the same mould. There is a difference in the accounts given of the capacity of this basin, for while in 1Ki 7:26 it is said that two thousand baths of water could be contained in it, in this passage no less than three thousand are stated. It has been suggested that there is here a statement not merely of the quantity of water which the basin held, but that also which was necessary to work it, to keep it flowing as a fountain; that which was required to fill both it and its accompaniments. In support of this view, it may be remarked that different words are employed: the one in 1Ki 7:26 rendered contained; the two here rendered, received and held. There was a difference between receiving and holding. When the basin played as a fountain, and all its parts were filled for that purpose, the latter, together with the sea itself, received three thousand baths; but the sea exclusively held only two thousand baths, when its contents were restricted to those of the circular basin. It received and held three thousand baths [Calmet, Fragments].
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 the thickness of it was an handbreadth, and the brim of it like the work of the brim of a cup, with flowers of lilies; and it received and held three thousand baths.
He made also ten lavers, and put five on the right hand, and five on the left, to wash in them: such things as they offered for the burnt offering they washed in them; but the sea was for the priests to wash in.
2Ch 4:6-18. The Ten Lavers, Candlesticks, and Tables.
6. ten lavers—(See on 1Ki 7:27). The laver of the tabernacle had probably been destroyed. The ten new ones were placed between the porch and the altar, and while the molten sea was for the priests to cleanse their hands and feet, these were intended for washing the sacrifices.
And he made ten candlesticks of gold according to their form, and set them in the temple, five on the right hand, and five on the left.
7. ten candlesticks—(See on 1Ki 7:49). The increased number was not only in conformity with the characteristic splendor of the edifice, but also a standing emblem to the Hebrews, that the growing light of the word was necessary to counteract the growing darkness in the world [Lightfoot].
He made also ten tables, and placed them in the temple, five on the right side, and five on the left. And he made an hundred basons of gold.
Furthermore he made the court of the priests, and the great court, and doors for the court, and overlaid the doors of them with brass.
And he set the sea on the right side of the east end, over against the south.
And Huram made the pots, and the shovels, and the basons. And Huram finished the work that he was to make for king Solomon for the house of God;
11. Huram made—(See on 1Ki 7:40).
To wit, the two pillars, and the pommels, and the chapiters which were on the top of the two pillars, and the two wreaths to cover the two pommels of the chapiters which were on the top of the pillars;
And four hundred pomegranates on the two wreaths; two rows of pomegranates on each wreath, to cover the two pommels of the chapiters which were upon the pillars.
He made also bases, and lavers made he upon the bases;
One sea, and twelve oxen under it.
The pots also, and the shovels, and the fleshhooks, and all their instruments, did Huram his father make to king Solomon for the house of the LORD of bright brass.
In the plain of Jordan did the king cast them, in the clay ground between Succoth and Zeredathah.
Thus Solomon made all these vessels in great abundance: for the weight of the brass could not be found out.
And Solomon made all the vessels that were for the house of God, the golden altar also, and the tables whereon the shewbread was set;
Moreover the candlesticks with their lamps, that they should burn after the manner before the oracle, of pure gold;
And the flowers, and the lamps, and the tongs, made he of gold, and that perfect gold;
And the snuffers, and the basons, and the spoons, and the censers, of pure gold: and the entry of the house, the inner doors thereof for the most holy place, and the doors of the house of the temple, were of gold.