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Bible Commentaries
2 Chronicles 4

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - UnabridgedCommentary Critical Unabridged

Verse 1

Moreover he made an altar of brass, twenty cubits the length thereof, and twenty cubits the breadth thereof, and ten cubits the height thereof.

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 (Exodus 20:26) after the introduction of an official costume for the priests (Exodus 28:42). It measured 35 feet by 35, and in height 17 1/2 feet. The thickness of the metal used for this altar is nowhere given; but supposing it to have been 3 inches, the whole weight of the metal would not be under 200 tons (Napier, 'Workers in Ancient Metals,' p. 107). It was larger than the altar in the old tabernacle (Exodus 27:1), but was itself destined to be supplanted in the second temple by one twice its dimensions. 'The smaller of the one described by Ezekiel (Ezekiel 43:13-17) may be explained by supposing it to relate to the brasen part; the larger in this passage to the whole rock or stonework,' (Stanley, 'Lectures on the Jewish Church,' second series, lect. 27:)

Verse 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.

He made a molten sea - (see the notes at 1 Kings 7:23-26, 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.)

Verse 3

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.

Two rows of oxen were cast, when it was cast - the meaning of which is, that the circular basin and the brasen 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 1 Kings 7:26 it is said that 2,000 baths of water could be contained in it, in this passage no less than 3,000 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 1 Kings 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 3,000 baths; but the sea exclusively held only 2,000 baths, when its contents were restricted to those of the circular basin. It received and held 3,000 baths (Calmet's 'Fragments').

Verses 4-5

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.

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 6

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.

Ten lavers - (see the notes at 1 Kings 7:27-39.) 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.

Verse 7

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.

Ten candlesticks - (see the note at 1 Kings 7:49.) The increased number was not only in conformity with the characteristic splendour of the edifice, but to be a standing emblem to the Hebrews that the growing light of the Word was necessary to counteract the growing darkness in the world.

Verse 8

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.

He made also ten tables - i:e., of show-bread for the temple.

Verses 9-10

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.

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 11

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;

Huram made - (see the notes at 1 Kings 7:40-45.)

Verses 12-21

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;

No JFB commentary on these verses.

Verse 22

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.

The snuffers, [ hamªzamrowt (H4212)]. The Targumists, considering this word derived from Zamar, suppose it denotes musical instruments. Such meaning does not suit the context; and yet it is evident that nothing resembling our snuffers can be referred to, because these were unknown in ancient times. The probability is that they denote tweezers, because drawing up the wick of a lamp.

Basons, [ hamizraaqowt (H4219)] - vases, sacrificial bowls, from which the blood of victims was sprinkled (cf. Amos 6:9).

And the spoons, [ wªhakapowt (H3709)] - the pan, dishes.

Censers, [ hamachtowt (H4289)] - the censers for coals or incense (Leviticus 24:7; Numbers 7:14).

Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfu/2-chronicles-4.html. 1871-8.
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