Keil and Delitzsch OT 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.2 Chronicles 4:1-6. The copper furniture of the court. 2 Chronicles 4:1. The altar of burnt-offering. Its preparation is passed over in 1 Kings 6 and 7, so that there it is only mentioned incidentally in connection with the consecration of the temple, 1 Kings 8:22, 1 Kings 8:54, and 1 Kings 9:25. It was twenty cubits square (long and broad) and ten cubits high, and constructed on the model of the Mosaic altar of burnt-offering, and probably of brass plates, which enclosed the inner core, consisting of earth and unhewn stones; and if we may judge from Ezekiel's description, Ezekiel 43:13-17, it rose in steps, as it were, so that at each step its extent was smaller; and the measurement of twenty cubits refers only to the lowest scale, while the space at the top, with the hearth, was only twelve cubits square; cf. my Bibl. Archaeol. i. S. 127, with the figure, plate iii. fig. 2.
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.The brazen sea described as in 1 Kings 7:23-26. See the commentary on that passage, and the sketch in my Archaeol. i. plate iii. fig. 1. The differences in substance, such as the occurrence of בּקרים and הבּקר, 2 Chronicles 4:3, instead of פּקעים and הפּקים, and 3000 baths instead of 2000, are probably the result of orthographical errors in the Chronicle. יכיל in 2 Chronicles 4:5 appears superfluous after the preceding מחזיק, and Berth. considers it a gloss which has come from 1 Kings to our text by mistake. But the expression is only pleonastic: "receiving baths, 3000 it held;" and there is no sufficient reason to strike out the words.
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.
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.The ten lavers which, according to 1 Kings 7:38, stood upon ten brazen stands, i.e., chests provided with carriage wheels. These stands, the artistic work on which is circumstantially described in 1 Kings 7:27-37, are omitted in the Chronicle, because they are merely subordinate parts of the lavers. The size or capacity of the lavers is not stated, only their position on both sides of the temple porch, and the purpose for which they were designed, "to wash therein, viz., the work of the burnt-offering (the flesh of the burnt-offering which was to be burnt upon the altar) they rinsed therein," being mentioned. For details, see in 1 Kings 7:38. and the figure in my Archaol. i. plate iii. fig. 4. Occasion is here taken to mention in a supplementary way the use of the brazen sea.
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.The golden furniture of the holy place and the courts. These three verses are not found in the parallel narrative 1 Kings 7, where in 1 Kings 7:39 the statement as to the position of the brazen sea (2 Chronicles 4:10) follows immediately the statement of the position of the stands with the lavers. The candlesticks and the table of the shew-bread are indeed mentioned in the summary enumeration of the temple furniture, 1 Kings 7:48 and 1 Kings 7:49, as in the corresponding passage of the Chronicle (2 Chronicles 4:19, 2 Chronicles 4:20) they again occur; and in 1 Kings 6:36 and 1 Kings 7:12, in the description of the temple building, the inner court is spoken of, but the outer court is not expressly mentioned. No reason can be given for the omission of these verses in 1 Kings 7; but that they have been omitted or have dropped out, may be concluded from the fact that not only do the whole contents of our fourth chapter correspond to the section 1 Kings 7:23-50, but both passages are rounded off by the same concluding verse (2 Chronicles 5:1 and 1 Kings 7:51).
He made ten golden candlesticks כּמשׁפּטם, according to their right, i.e., as they should be according to the prescript, or corresponding to the prescript as to the golden candlesticks in the Mosaic sanctuary (Exodus 25:31.). משׁפּט is the law established by the Mosaic legislation.
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.Ten golden tables, corresponding to the ten candlesticks, and, like these, placed five on the right and five on the left side of the holy place. The tables were not intended to bear the candlesticks (Berth.), but for the shew-bread; cf. on 2 Chronicles 4:19 and 1 Chronicles 28:16. And a hundred golden basins, not for the catching and sprinkling of the blood (Berth.), but, as their connection with the tables for the shew-bread shows, wine flagons, or sacrificial vessels for wine libations, probably corresponding to the מנקּיּות on the table of shew-bread in the tabernacle (Exodus 25:29). The signification, wine flagons, for מזרקים, is placed beyond a doubt by Amos 6:6.
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.The two courts are not further described. For the court of the priests, see on 1 Kings 6:36 and 1 Kings 7:12. As to the great or outer court, the only remark made is that it had doors, and its doors, i.e., the folds or leaves of the doors, were overlaid with copper. In 2 Chronicles 4:10 we have a supplementary statement as to the position of the brazen sea, which coincides with 1 Kings 7:39; see on the passage. In 2 Chronicles 4:11 the heavier brazen (copper) utensils, belonging to the altar of burnt-offering, are mentioned: סידות, pots for the removal of the ashes; יעים, shovels, to take the ashes out from the altar; and מזרקות, basins to catch and sprinkle the sacrificial blood. This half verse belongs to the preceding, notwithstanding that Huram is mentioned as the maker. This is clear beyond doubt, from the fact that the same utensils are again introduced in the summary catalogue which follows (2 Chronicles 4:16).
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;Summary catalogue of the temple utensils and furniture. - 2 Chronicles 4:11-18. The brass work wrought by Huram.
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;The golden furniture of the holy place and the gilded doors of the temple. This section is found also in 1 Kings 7:40-50. The enumeration of the things wrought in brass coincides to a word, with the exception of trifling linguistic differences and some defects in the text, with 1 Kings 7:40-47. In 2 Chronicles 4:12 והכּתרות הגּלּות is the true reading, and we should so read in 1 Kings 7:41 also, since the גּלּות, circumvolutions, are to be distinguished from the כּתרות, crowns; see on 2 Chronicles 3:16. In 2 Chronicles 4:14 the first עשׂה is a mistake for עשׂר, the second for עשׂרה, 1 Kings 7:43; for the verb עשׂה is not required nor expected, as the accusative depends upon לעשׂות, 2 Chronicles 4:11, while the number cannot be omitted, since it is always given with the other things. In 2 Chronicles 4:16 מזלנות is an orthographic error for מזרקות; cf. 2 Chronicles 4:11 and 1 Kings 7:44. ואת־כּל־כּליחם is surprising, for there is no meaning in speaking of the utensils of the utensils enumerated in 2 Chronicles 4:12-16. According to 1 Kings 7:45, we should read האלּה כּל־הכּלים את. As to אביו, see on 2 Chronicles 2:12. מרוּק נחשׁת is accusative of the material, of polished brass; and so also ממרט נח, 1 Kings 7:45, with a similar signification. In reference to the rest, see the commentary on 1 Kings 7:40.
In the enumeration of the golden furniture of the holy place, our text diverges somewhat more from 1 Kings 7:48-50. On the difference in respect to the tables of the shew-bread, see on 1 Kings 7:48. In 2 Chronicles 4:20 the number and position of the candlesticks in the holy place are not stated as they are in 1 Kings 7:49, both having been already given in 2 Chronicles 4:7. Instead of that, their use is emphasized: to light them, according to the right, before the most holy place (כּמּשׁפּט as in 2 Chronicles 4:7). As to the decorations and subordinate utensils of the candlesticks, see on 1 Kings 7:49. To זהב, 2 Chronicles 4:21 (accus. of the material), is added זהב מכלות הוּא, "that is perfect gold." מכלה, which occurs only here, is synonymous with מכלל, perfection. This addition seems superfluous, because before and afterwards it is remarked of these vessels that they were of precious gold (סגוּר זהב), and it is consequently omitted by the lxx, perhaps also because מכלות was not intelligible to them. The words, probably, are meant to indicate that even the decorations and the subordinate utensils of the candlesticks (lamps, snuffers, etc.) were of solid gold, and not merely gilded.
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.מזמּרות, knives, probably used along with the snuffers for the cleansing and trimming of the candlesticks and lamps, are not met with among the utensils of the tabernacle, but are here mentioned (Chr. and Kings), and in 2 Kings 12:14 and Jeremiah 52:18, among the temple utensils. Along with the מזרקות, sacrificial vessels (see on 2 Chronicles 4:8), in 1 Chronicles 28:17 מזלנות, forks of gold, are also mentioned, which are not elsewhere spoken of. Among the utensils of the tabernacle we find only מזלגות of brass, flesh-forks, as an appurtenance of the altar of burnt-offering (Exodus 27:3; Exodus 38:3; Numbers 4:14; cf. 1 Samuel 2:13.), which, however, cannot be intended here, because all the utensils here enumerated belonged to the holy place. What purpose the golden forks served cannot be determined, but the mention of golden knives might lead us to presuppose that there would be golden forks as well. That the forks are not mentioned in our verse does not render their existence doubtful, for the enumeration is not complete: e.g., the ספּות, 1 Kings 7:50, are also omitted. כּפּות, vessels for the incense, and מחתּות, extinguishers, as in 1 Kings 7:50. Instead of דּלתותיו הבּית וּפּתח הבּית , "and as regards the opening (door) of the house, its door-leaves," in 1 Kings 7:50 we have הבּית לדלתות והפּתת, "and the hinges of the door-leaves of the house." This suggests that פתח is only an orthographical error for פּתת; but then if we take it to be so, we must alter דּלתותיו into לדלתותיו. And, moreover, the expression הבּית פּתת, door-hinges of the house, is strange, as פּות properly denotes a recess or space between, and which renders the above-mentioned conjecture improbable. The author of the Chronicle seems rather himself to have generalized the expression, and emphasizes merely the fact that even the leaves of the doors in the most holy place and on the holy place were of gold; - of course not of solid gold; but they were, as we learn from 2 Chronicles 3:7, overlaid with gold. This interpretation is favoured by the simple זהב being used without the predicate סגוּר. To the sing. פּתח no objection can be made, for the word in its fundamental signification, "opening," may easily be taken collectively.