Old Testament Commentary - 2 Chronicles 4

by Don R. Hender

Scriptural Text [& Editorial]
Commentary & Explanation
Footnotes ~ References ~ JST
              CHAPTER 4                 

Solomon makes the molten sea (baptismal font) and places it on twelve oxen—They make the altar and basons and pots and various items.

 1 MOREOVER he made an altar of abrass, twenty cubits the length thereof, and twenty cubits the breadth thereof, and ten cubits the height thereof.
 2 ¶ Also he made a molten asea of ten cubits from brim to brim, round in bcompass, and five cubits the height thereof; and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round abouta.
 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.
 4 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.
 5 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 athousand baths.
 2a thirty cubits did compass it round about The ratio of 3 to 1 in diameter and circumfrence does approximatly relate the 'pi' relationship of 1 to 3.14 and it should end there rather than to attempt to over engineer the molten sea. Certainly there ought not be any issure between mathmatical exactness and scriptural reporting of such matters as some like to pretend to by making the sea hexagon or octagon shape when the scriptures clearly state that is was 'round' especially sence the brim width was a 'handbreadth' itself and may account for any such measuing diference.
 6 ¶ He made also ten alavers, and put five on the right hand, and five on the left, to bwash in them: such things as they offered for the burnt offering they cwashed in them; but the sea was for the priests to wash ina.
 7 And he made ten acandlesticksa of gold according to their form, and set them in the temple, five on the right hand, and five on the left.
 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.
 6a the sea was for the priests to wash in The 10 lavers were used to wash 'utinsils' in and the sea was to for the priest to 'wash in'. This would seem to indicate the whole body washing as the Essenes did and John and the baptisms of Jesus did. This would mean that the sea would need steps up and into as the mordern LDS temple baptismal fonts do have rather than just a very large round pot as most artist concepts of the molten sea have represented. I don't expect that any temple priest could high jump about 7.5 feet into and out of a bath unless they polevaulted which is absurd?

 6a ten candlsticks It is interesting that Solomon's temple had 10 menorahs as compared to the one menorah of the wilderness tabernacle or the single menorah of the Herod temple and likely the 'second temple'. Certainly Solomon's temple was an overstatement of the simple tabernacle of Moses.

 9 ¶ 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.
 10 And he set the asea on the right side of the east enda, over against the south.
 10a he set the seaon the right side of the east end This places the 'cleasing sea' on the Jachin or covenant pillar side and ties it closer into that representation of being so associated with being of the covenant just as John's and Jesus' baptismal ' ordinances so do in the Christian church today.
 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;
 12 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;
 13 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.
 14 He made also bases, and alavers made he upon the bases;
 15 One asea, and twelve oxen under it.
 16 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 abright brass.
 17 In the plain of Jordan did the king cast them, in the clay ground between Succoth and Zeredathah.
 18 Thus Solomon made all these vessels in great abundance: for the weight of the brass could not be found out.
 19 ¶ 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;
 20 Moreover the candlesticks with their lamps, that they should burn after the manner before the oracle, of pure gold;
 21 And the flowers, and the lamps, and the tongs, made he of gold, and that perfect gold;
 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.