1 Kings 7: the House of the LORD (pt. 2)

Aside from the building work in 1 Kings 6, we are now brought to see the remaining building work of Solomon’s houses and the remaining additions to the Temple in chapter 7, already started in the previous chapter.  See the overview of the Temple grounds below:

In this overview we see the following items:

  • 1 ‘Great Court’
  • 2 ‘Second Court’
  • 3 ‘Court of the Temple’
  • 4 House of the forest of Lebanon
  • 5 Hall of Pillars
  • 6 Hall of Judgement
  • 7 Royal Palace
  • 8 Harem
  • 9 Temple
  • 10 Altar

Or, for a more modern rendition of the placement of these items:

The Temple is the same House of the LORD spoken of in chapter 6 – and now, we see a brief brush of Solomon’s own house (v.1), the House of the Forest of Lebanon (v.2-5), the Hall of Pillars (v.6), the Hall of the Throne (v.7), a house for Pharoah’s daughter similar to his own – both similar to the Hall of the Throne (v.8):

Solomon’s own house

1Solomon was(A) building his own house thirteen years, and he finished his entire house.

House of the Forest of Lebanon

2He built(B) the House of the Forest of Lebanon. Its length was a hundred cubits[a] and its breadth fifty cubits and its height thirty cubits, and it was built on four[b] rows of cedar pillars, with cedar beams on the pillars. 3And it was covered with cedar above the chambers that were on the forty-five pillars, fifteen in each row. 4There were window frames in three rows, and window opposite window in three tiers. 5All the doorways and windows[c] had square frames, and window was opposite window in three tiers.

Hall of Pillars

6And he made(C) the Hall of Pillars; its length was fifty cubits, and its breadth thirty cubits. There was a porch in front with pillars, and(D) a canopy in front of them.

Hall of the Throne

7And he made the Hall of the Throne where he was to pronounce judgment, even the Hall of Judgment.(E) It was finished with cedar from floor to rafters.[d]

Pharoah’s daughter’s house

8His own house where he was to dwell, in the other court back of the hall, was of like workmanship. Solomon also made a house like this hall for Pharaoh’s daughter(F) whom he had taken in marriage.

Note that excellent care and attention was similarly given to these items aside from the House of the LORD:

9All these were made of costly stones, cut according to measure, sawed with saws, back and front, even from the foundation to the coping, and from the outside to the great court. 10The foundation was of costly stones, huge stones, stones of eight and ten cubits. 11And above were costly stones, cut according to measurement, and cedar. 12(G) The great court had three courses of cut stone all around, and a course of cedar beams; so had the inner court of the house of the LORD and(H) the vestibule of the house.

Though the structures themselves are beautiful, with the House of the Forest of Lebanon receiving most description, it is clear that the same materials used to build the foundation and the court of the Temple are similarly used here.  It is undoubtedly the case that our focus should never shift away from the Temple, and that these buildings surrounding the Temple are but the Temple’s furnishings – not once are we to assume that the Temple’s spotlight has been taken away, and nor should we believe that we are now in a type of interlude from describing the building of the Temple.  Instead, what we understand is that the House of the Forest of Lebanon (as the armoury – 2 Chronicles 9:16-20), the Hall of Pillars and Hall of Throne all have their meaning stem from the Temple of the LORD which sits at the highest height of Mount Moriah, immobile (unlike the tabernacle tent which moved in the wilderness) waiting for the day when the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world would be sacrificed here as prophesied in Genesis 22.  These side houses are but branches of the root in this Temple, for they are never again mentioned in detail in Scripture – save the Temple, which receives its due Christological significance in 1 Kings 8 onwards, and in 2 Chronicles 5-8, with the inclusion of the building of the pillars and the other Temple items in a smooth flow from 2 Chronicles 3-4.  So now, we are brought to the remaining pillars (v.15-22; 2 Chronicles 3), sea of cast metal (v.23-26; 2 Chronicles 4), ten stands of bronze (v.27-37), ten basins of bronze (v.38), and the pots, the shovel and the basins (v.40) – all made by Hiram, born from the tribe of Naphtali and also from Tyre, much like Obed, the son of Ruth and Boaz and grandfather of King David – Hiram (“highborn, exaltation of life, noble”) who was full of wisdom, understanding, and skill for making any work in bronze (v.13-14).  Note Matthew Henry’s observation of the inclusion of Tyre in the building of the Temple:

“The brasier whom Solomon employed to preside in this part of the work was Hiram, or Huram (2 Chron. iv. 11), who was by his mother’s side an Israelite, of the tribe of Naphtali, by his father’s side a man of Tyre, v. 14. If he had the ingenuity of a Tyrian, and the affection of an Israelite to the house of God (the head of a Tyrian and the heart of an Israelite), it was happy that the blood of the two nations mixed in him, for thereby he was qualified for the work to which he was designed. As the tabernacle was built with the wealth of Egypt, so the temple with the wit of Tyre. God will serve himself by the common gifts of the children of men.”

Yet, note that it was Solomon who was given the ultimate honour (2 Chronicles 4:18), though Hiram be the one who had the skill for making any work in bronze.

13And King Solomon sent and brought(I) Hiram from Tyre. 14He was the son of a widow of the tribe of Naphtali, and his father was a man of Tyre, a worker in bronze. And(J) he was full of wisdom, understanding, and skill for making any work in bronze. He came to King Solomon and did all his work.

In particular, this Hiram who makes the temple furnishings is not the same Hiram spoken of in chapter 5.  It is clear that this Hiram, unlike the king spoken of in chapter 5, is born of one Israelite parent, and not a simple Gentile – and like Bezalel son of Uri, the craftsmanship is a result of being full of wisdom, understand and skill (Exodus 31:1-11, 35:30-35 compare with v.14).  Yet, with the precursor of chapters 3 and 4 where we are invited to the Solomon who is filled with extraordinary spiritual wisdom, it is undoubtedly the reason why Solomon receives the true and final glory as the builder of the temple.

Pillars of bronze (v.15-22)


15(K) He cast(L) two pillars of bronze.(M) Eighteen cubits was the height of one pillar, and a line of twelve cubits measured its circumference. It was hollow, and its thickness was four fingers. The second pillar was the same.[e] 16He also made two capitals of cast bronze to set on the tops of the pillars. The height of the one capital was five cubits, and(N) the height of the other capital was five cubits. 17There were lattices of checker work with wreaths of chain work for the capitals on the tops of the pillars, a lattice[f] for the one capital and a lattice for the other capital. 18Likewise he made pomegranates[g] in two rows around the one latticework to cover the capital that was on the top of the pillar, and he did the same with the other capital. 19Now the capitals that were on the tops of the pillars in the vestibule were of lily-work, four cubits. 20The capitals were on the two pillars and also above the rounded projection which was beside the latticework. There were(O) two hundred pomegranates in two rows all around, and so with the other capital. 21(P) He set up the pillars at the vestibule of the temple. He set up the pillar on the south and called its name Jachin, and he set up the pillar on the north and called its name Boaz. 22And on the tops of the pillars was lily-work. Thus the work of the pillars was finished.

It is only at this stage that we are brought to the building of the pillars; given that they are hollow and built later procedurally, it is unlikely that they are built as supports to the vestibule.  Instead, it is clear from their names that they bear symbolic import – the southern pillar Jachin (he shall establish) and northern pillar Boaz (strength) are both named after important men in David’s time – Jachin who is the head of the twenty-first course of priests (1 Chronicles 9:10, 24:17) and Boaz, who is David’s great grandfather (Ruth 4:1) and his typological action as kinsman-redeemer is but a continuation of the theology of the global church beyond that of the confines of Israel.  It is indeed important for us to perceive that these important men of David’s period is the symbolic support of the temple – for it is David’s preparation, Solomon’s execution, and finally Christ’s fulfillment that we see a grand continuation of the picture of the Father’s covenant with us through Christ, through the Shechinah glory in the Temple, in the Tabernacle, and back to the garden of Eden.  Once again, Matthew Henry provides Spirit-led insight:

“Two brazen pillars, which were set up in the porch of the temple (v. 21), whether under the cover of the porch or in the open air is not certain; it was between the temple and the court of the priests. These pillars were neither to hang gates upon nor to rest any building upon, but purely for ornament and significancy. (1.) What an ornament they were we may gather from the account here given of the curious work that was about them, chequer-work, chain-work, net-work, lily-work, and pomegranates in rows, and all of bright brass, and framed no doubt according to the best rules of proportion, to please the eye. (2.) Their significancy is intimated in the names given them (v. 21): Jachinhe will establish; and Boazin him is strength. Some think they were intended for memorials of the pillar of cloud and fire which led Israel through the wilderness: I rather think them designed for memorandums to the priests and others that came to worship at God’s door, [1.] To depend upon God only, and not upon any sufficiency of their own, for strength and establishment in all their religious exercises. When we come to wait upon God, and find our hearts wandering and unfixed, then by faith let us fetch in help from heaven: JachinGod will fix this roving mind. It is a good thing that the heart be established with grace. We find ourselves weak and unable for holy duties, but this is our encouragement: Boazin him is our strength, who works in us both to will and to do. I will go in the strength of the Lord God. Spiritual strength and stability are to be had at the door of God’s temple, where we must wait for the gifts of grace in the use of the means of grace. [2.] It was a memorandum to them of the strength and establishment of the temple of God among them. Let them keep close to God and duty, and they should never lose their dignities and privileges, but the grant should be confirmed and perpetuated to them. The gospel church is what God will establish, what he will strengthen, and what the gates of hell can never prevail against. But, with respect to this temple, when it was destroyed particular notice was taken of the destroying of these pillars (2 Kings xxv. 13, 17), which had been the tokens of its establishment, and would have been so if they had not forsaken God.”

Indeed, such a message is amplified by the pomegranate rows and the lily-work at the top of each pillar; the former fruit also used on the robe of the priest (Exodus 28:33, 39:24-25) and described as a fruit desired in the wilderness (Numbers 13:23, 20:5); and the latter described as a blossoming flower in the midst of Israel’s redemption from Assyria, its restoration once again to days of glory (Hosea 14).

Bronze altar (2 Chronicles 4:1)


What is noticeable about the deuteronomist description of the Temple, as already mentioned, is that it is a strikingly historical rendition of the architectural blueprint.  This explains why the chronicler would include the bronze altar for this is a crucial aspect of the Temple as made of an altar of worship made of “uncut” stone.  According to rabbinic tradition, it is absolutely significant that this bronze altar is included in the design of Solomon’s Temple, for this is the same place as where the Angel of the LORD stayed His hand and where David had built the altar at the threshing floor (2 Samuel 24:24-25), ending the prophetic account of David’s reign as king of Israel.

“The elevation on which Solomon built the temple, where God appeared to David “in the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” it is the Eastern eminence of Jerusalem, separated from Mount Zion by the Tyropoeon valley. The tope was levelled by Solomon, and immense walls were built around it from the base to enlarge the level surface for the temple area. A tradition which first appears in a definite shape in Josephus, and is now almost universally accepted, asserts that the “Mount Moriah” of the Chronicles is identical with the “mountain” in “the land of Moriah” of Genesis, and that the spot on which Jehovah appeared to David, and on which the temple was built, was the very spot of the sacrifice of Isaac. (Smith, Stanley and Grove are, however, inclined to doubt this tradition.)” – Easton dictionary

Let us not forget the similarities between the mobile Tabernacle and the Temple which is now set in stone in Jerusalem, awaiting the day of Lamb who takes away the sins of the world (c.f. Genesis 22). The bronze altar was also made back in Exodus 27:1-8, for the purpose of shedding our sins – the four corners of horns (akin to the image here, though not explicitly mentioned in the account of Chronicles and only alluded to in the new creation temple of Ezekiel 43) explained in Revelation 9:13-20 –

13Then the sixth angel blew his trumpet, and I heard a voice from(V) the four horns of the golden altar before God, 14saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release(W) the four angels who are bound at(X) the great river Euphrates.” 15So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour, the day, the month, and the year, were released(Y) to kill a third of mankind. 16The number of(Z) mounted troops was(AA) twice ten thousand times ten thousand;(AB) I heard their number. 17And this is how I saw the horses in my vision and those who rode them: they wore breastplates the color of fire and of sapphire[c] and of sulfur, and the heads of the horses were(AC) like lions’ heads, and fire and smoke and sulfur came out of their mouths. 18By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed, by the fire and smoke and sulfur coming out of their mouths. 19For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails, for their tails are like serpents with heads, and by means of them they wound.

20The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues,(AD) did not repent of(AE) the works of their hands nor give up worshiping(AF) demons(AG) and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk, 21nor did they repent of their murders or their(AH) sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.

As explained in my notes on the bronze altar in Exodus 27, the four horns seem to relate directly to the four angels.  How fitting it is then that the bronze altar has these details:

3You shall make pots for it to receive its ashes, and shovels and basins and(BB) forks and fire pans. You shall make all its utensils of bronze.

Fire, ashes… these are marks of one of the few plagues in Revelation, and seems to speak a lot about punishment.  Indeed, this is an altar of offering, and the similar punishment is re-enacted on the sacrificial offering; but it helps to understand the detail of such a sacrificial offering, how it comes around and how God puts into practice these judgments by His four angels – and that these sacrificial offerings, which don’t SAVE us, but point to the Christ who is the full meaning of the true Sacrificial Offering once and for all.

How fitting it is that the Brazen Altar is in the Courtyard, rather than in the Tabernacle?  Indeed, we can only enter the new creation Temple by the sacrifice of the Lamb in our world (symbolized by the Temple/Tabernacle court), redeeming all of creation, before we can be brought into the golden city of new Jerusalem.

Sea (v.23-26)


23(Q) Then he made(R) the sea of cast metal. It was round, ten cubits from brim to brim, and five cubits high, and a line of thirty cubits measured its circumference. 24Under its brim were(S) gourds, for ten cubits, compassing the sea all around. The gourds were in two rows, cast with it when it was cast. 25It stood on(T) twelve oxen, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south, and three facing east. The sea was set on them, and all their rear parts were inward. 26Its thickness was a handbreadth,[h] and its brim was made like the brim of a cup, like the flower of a lily. It held two thousand baths.[i]

Akin to the basin of bronze in Exodus 30:18, 40:11, so also the basin of bronze here holds water for the priests to wash in and supported by twelve oxen in sets of three, facing north east south and west, akin to the face of the angelic living creatures in Ezekiel 1:10, such sent ones being the foundation of the cleansing water, held inside a basin formed like the blossoming lily at the top of Jachin/Boaz.  Just as the bronze altar was outside the tabernacle for propitiation before entrance into the Holy Place (similarly emulated in the Temple court), so also the bronze basin which was placed between the tent of meeting and the altar (Exodus 40:30) for the purpose of washing (c.f. Titus 3:5-7), is similarly placed in the Temple court.

Ten stands of bronze (v.27-37)


27He also made the(U) ten stands of bronze. Each stand was four cubits long, four cubits wide, and three cubits high. 28This was the construction of the stands: they had panels, and the panels were set in the frames, 29and on the panels that were set in the frames were lions, oxen, and cherubim. On the frames, both above and below the lions and oxen, there were wreaths of beveled work. 30Moreover, each stand had four bronze wheels and axles of bronze, and at the four corners were supports for a basin. The supports were cast with wreaths at the side of each. 31Its opening was within a crown that projected upward one cubit. Its opening was round, as a pedestal is made, a cubit and a half deep. At its opening there were carvings, and its panels were square, not round. 32And the four wheels were underneath the panels. The axles of the wheels were of one piece with the stands, and the height of a wheel was a cubit and a half. 33The wheels were made like a chariot wheel; their axles, their rims, their spokes, and their hubs were all cast. 34There were four supports at the four corners of each stand. The supports were of one piece with the stands. 35And on the top of the stand there was a round band half a cubit high; and on the top of the stand its stays and its panels were of one piece with it. 36And on the surfaces of its stays and on its panels, he carved cherubim, lions, and palm trees, according to the space of each, with wreaths all around. 37After this manner he made(V) the ten stands. All of them were cast alike, of the same measure and the same form.

How unlikely a combination of such decoration – lions and oxen and cherubim together on the same panel – yet such an imagery is not alien to prophet Isaiah, for this is the hope we look forward to (Isaiah 65:25), that both lions and oxen co-exist peacefully before the cherubim; and like the angelic living creature of Ezekiel 1 mentioned for the bronze basin, so also these ten stands of bronze bear the same imagery which Ezekiel (chapter 1) undoubtedly drew from:

4 As I looked, behold, a stormy wind came out of the north, and a great cloud, with brightness around it, and fire flashing forth continually, and in the midst of the fire, as it were gleaming metal.

5 And from the midst of it came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: they had a human likeness,

6 but each had four faces, and each of them had four wings.

7 Their legs were straight, and the soles of their feet were like the sole of a calf’s foot. And they sparkled like burnished bronze.

8 Under their wings on their four sides they had human hands. And the four had their faces and their wings thus:

9 their wings touched one another. Each one of them went straight forward, without turning as they went.

10 As for the likeness of their faces, each had a human face. The four had the face of a lion on the right side, the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and the four had the face of an eagle.

11 Such were their faces. And their wings were spread out above. Each creature had two wings, each of which touched the wing of another, while two covered their bodies.

12 And each went straight forward. Wherever the spirit would go, they went, without turning as they went.

13 As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches moving to and fro among the living creatures. And the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning.

14 And the living creatures darted to and fro, like the appearance of a flash of lightning.

15 Now as I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the earth beside the living creatures, one for each of the four of them.

16 As for the appearance of the wheels and their construction: their appearance was like the gleaming of beryl. And the four had the same likeness, their appearance and construction being as it were a wheel within a wheel.

17 When they went, they went in any of their four directions without turning as they went.

18 And their rims were tall and awesome, and the rims of all four were full of eyes all around.

19 And when the living creatures went, the wheels went beside them; and when the living creatures rose from the earth, the wheels rose.

20 Wherever the spirit wanted to go, they went, and the wheels rose along with them, for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.

21 When those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; and when those rose from the earth, the wheels rose along with them, for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.

Such a combination of wheels, face of lion, oxen, men, (and finally that of an eagle, though not included here) is touched upon by these ten stands of bronze.  Yet, these ten stands of bronze match the number of basins and candlesticks within the Temple.  Why ten, and not twelve, or seven?  E.W. Bullinger in his “Numbers in Scripture” provides a comprehensive analysis:

“It has been already pointed out that ten is one of the perfect numbers, and signifies the perfection of Divine order, commencing, as it does, an altogether new series of numbers. The first decade is the representative of the whole numeral system, and originates the system of calculation called “decimals,” because the whole system of numeration consists of so many tens, of which the first is a type of the whole.

Completeness of order, marking the entire round of anything, is, therefore, the ever-present signification of the number ten. It implies that nothing is wanting; that the number and order are perfect; that the whole cycle is complete…

NOAH

completed the antediluvian age in the tenth generation from God…

THE REDEMPTION MONEY

was ten gerahs, and thus was acknowledged both what God claimed, and what man was responsible to give. Now ten gerahs was half a shekel (Exo 30:12-16; Num 3:47). Every male that was numbered, over 20 years of age, must pay this sum and meet God’s claim. *

* When David numbered the people (2 Sam 24 and 1 Chron 21), this payment was not made and God’s claim was not met. Hence the judgment which followed.

But the first-born were to pay ten times as much; for when God took the Levites instead of the first-born of Israel, there were found 22,273 first-born males, but only 22,000 Levites. So that 273 had to pay the ransom money, which amounted to ten times ten gerahs. Thus, though the five shekels looked like a variation, the significance of ten is sustained, for the five shekels were ten times the “half shekel.” (See Numbers 3:12,13,40-51)…

TEN NATIONS

imply the whole of the nations which are to be the scene of Abraham’s covenant possessions (Gen 15:19)…

THE SILVER SOCKETS

which formed the foundation of the Tabernacle were 10 x 10 (Exo 38:27). These were made of silver, and silver is significant of redemption (1 Peter 1:18,19). *

* Ten also completed the number of the curtains (Exo 26:1)…

…[and] Ten instances in the Old Testament of younger sons being preferred before the elder:—Abel, Shem, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, Joseph, Ephraim, Moses, David…”

Note from Bullinger’s analysis that the number ten is indeed a number of divine order (in comparison to 12, which intimates divine government; or seven, which intimates new creation rest and Sabbath); as noted in its inclusion in the timing of the flood, the ordering of the ten nations, the silver sockets of the tabernacle as foundation, the redemption money, and finally the ten instances of the sons being preferred before the elder – all of these are instances of God’s sovereignty, order and His will in election through Christ.  It is therefore no different that the cleansing utensils and the lamps bear the same number to indicate that such sovereignty, ordering and election is borne perfectly out of the washing and moving of the unpredictable and uncontrollable wind and Spirit (ruah) of the Father and the Son (the lamp and lampstands representing the Spirit explained in my tabernacle notes for Exodus 25:31-40).

Ten basins of bronze (v.38-39; 2 Chronicles 4:6)

38And he made(W) ten basins of bronze. Each basin held forty baths, each basin measured four cubits, and there was a basin for each of the ten stands. 39And he set the stands, five on the south side of the house, and five on the north side of the house. And he set the sea at the southeast corner of the house.

II Chronicles 4:6: He also made ten basins in which to wash, and set five on the south side, and five on the north side. In these they were to rinse off what was used for the burnt offering, and the sea was for the priests to wash in.

… and the pots, the shovels, and the basins – all items made in burnished bronze (v.40)

40(X) Hiram also made(Y) the pots, the shovels, and the basins. So Hiram finished all the work that he did for King Solomon on the house of the LORD: 41the two pillars, the two bowls of the capitals that were on the tops of the pillars, and the two(Z) latticeworks to cover the two bowls of the capitals that were on the tops of the pillars; 42and the(AA) four hundred pomegranates for the two latticeworks, two rows of pomegranates for each latticework, to cover the two bowls of the capitals that were on the pillars; 43the ten stands, and the ten basins on the stands; 44and(AB) the one sea, and the twelve oxen underneath the sea.

45Now(AC) the pots, the shovels, and the basins, all these vessels in the house of the LORD, which Hiram made for King Solomon, were of burnished bronze. 46In the plain of the Jordan the king cast them, in the clay ground between(AD) Succoth and(AE) Zarethan. 47And Solomon left all the vessels unweighed, because there were so many of them;(AF) the weight of the bronze was not ascertained.

Finally, we come to the end of Hiram’s contribution to the Temple – his contribution all made of burnished bronze – the picture amplified by Ezekiel, Daniel and John’s (Ezekiel 1:7; Daniel 10:6; Revelation 1:15-16) visions of the living creatures and the Christ, all of whom had a combination of arms, legs and/or bodies of burnished bronze – refined in a furnace; the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze (Revelation 2:18, being a new addition to Daniel 10:6), having been refined through hell, the fiery furnace (Daniel 3; Matthew 13:42-50), and returning being purified in the Holy of Holies of the third heaven.  Such is the beauty of burnished bronze, that is has stood the test of time, trial and endured the process to being purified – all symbolized by the work done by Hiram for the utensils primarily all outside of the Temple (c.f. the court of the priests, great court and doors for the court overlaid with bronze).

Even the focus on the ten stands, basins, and the one sea – with the twelve oxen underneath the sea – all represent the judgment (represented by the sea – c.f. fish in the sea in Habakkuk 1:14, sea water again fresh water in Ezekiel 47:8-12 and the passing away of the sea in Revelation 21:1), which shall pass away and thus lead is into the golden holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband (Revelation 21:2) – naturally leading us to the description of the golden vessels.

Golden vessels – and from Creation to Redemption (v.48-51; 2 Chronicles 4:7-8)


48So Solomon made all the vessels that were in the house of the LORD:(AG) the golden altar,(AH) the golden table for(AI) the bread of the Presence, 49(AJ) the lampstands of pure gold, five on the south side and five on the north, before the inner sanctuary;(AK) the flowers, the lamps, and the tongs, of gold; 50the cups, snuffers, basins, dishes for incense, and(AL) fire pans, of pure gold; and the sockets of gold, for the doors of the innermost part of the house,(AM) the Most Holy Place, and for the doors of the nave of the temple.

II Chronicles 4:7: And he made ten golden lampstands as prescribed, and set them in the temple, five on the south side and five on the north.

II Chronicles 4:8: He also made ten tables and placed them in the temple, five on the south side and five on the north. And he made a hundred basins of gold.

It is therefore unsurprising for us to finally conclude the building of the Temple with the focus on the golden vessels (though not all the vessels were necessarily made of new gold):

“All within doors was gold, and all made new (except the ark, with its mercy-seat and cherubim), the old being either melted down or laid by—the golden altar, table, and candlestick, with all their appurtenances. The altar of incense was still one, for Christ and his intercession are so: but he made ten golden tables, 2 Chron. iv. 8 (though here mention is made of that one only on which the show-bread was, v. 48, which we may suppose was larger than the rest and to which the rest were as side-boards), and ten golden candlesticks (v. 49), intimating the much greater plenty both of spiritual food and heavenly light which the gospel blesses us with than the law of Moses did our could afford. Even the hinges of the door were of gold (v. 50), that every thing might be alike magnificent, and bespeak Solomon’s generosity. Some suggest that every thing was made thus splendid in God’s temple to keep the people from idolatry, for none of the idol-temples were so rich and fine as this: but how little the expedient availed the event showed.” – Matthew Henry

From the framework of the Temple made of beautiful wood overlaid with gold, to the buildings outside of the Temple made of similar beautiful wood (but not overlaid with gold), and closing into the works of Hiram of burnished bronze in the inner court of the Temple, leading us back into the golden utensils in the Holy Place and Holy of Holies of the Temple, the progression from wood to gold (in the creation of the Temple framework) to the wood (of Solomon’s House of the Forest of Lebanon), to the burnished bronze of the Temple utensils to the golden utensils (and the pinnacle of the inauguration of the Temple by the inclusion of the ark in 1 Kings 8).  This progression from wood to gold is the glory of the man of dust to the refined new God-man (1 Corinthians 15:47-49) – from creation to redemption / re-capitulation (in Irenaeus’ terms):

“For as by one man’s disobedience sin entered, and death obtained [a place] through sin; so also by the obedience of one man, righteousness having been introduced, shall cause life to fructify in those persons who in times past were dead.3736 And as the protoplast himself Adam, had his substance from untilled and as yet virgin soil (“for God had not yet sent rain, and man had not tilled the ground”3737), and was formed by the hand of God, that is, by the Word of God, for “all things were made by Him,”3738 and the Lord took dust from the earth and formed man; so did He who is the Word, recapitulating Adam in Himself, rightly receive a birth, enabling Him to gather up Adam [into Himself], from Mary, who was as yet a virgin. If, then, the first Adam had a man for his father, and was born of human seed, it were reasonable to say that the second Adam was begotten of Joseph. But if the former was taken from the dust, and God was his Maker, it was incumbent that the latter also, making a recapitulation in Himself, should be formed as man by God, to have an analogy with the former as respects His origin. Why, then, did not God again take dust, but wrought so that the formation should be made of Mary? It was that there might not be another formation called into being, nor any other which should [require to] be saved, but that the very same formation should be summed up [in Christ as had existed in Adam], the analogy having been preserved… – Chapter XXI Book III “Against Heresies”

… But the apostle himself also, being one who had been formed in a womb, and had issued thence, wrote to us, and confessed in his Epistle to the Philippians that “to live in the flesh was the fruit of [his] work;”4538 thus expressing himself. Now the final result of the work of the Spirit is the salvation of the flesh.4539 For what other visible fruit is there of the invisible Spirit, than the rendering of the flesh mature and capable of incorruption? If then [he says], “To live in the flesh, this is the result of labour to me,” he did not surely contemn the substance of flesh in that passage where he said, “Put ye off the old man with his works;”4540 but he points out that we should lay aside our former conversation, that which waxes old and becomes corrupt; and for this reason he goes on to say, “And put ye on the new man, that which is renewed in knowledge, after the image of Him who created him.” In this, therefore, that he says, “which is renewed in knowledge,” he demonstrates that he, the selfsame man who was in ignorance in times past, that is, in ignorance of God, is renewed by that knowledge which has respect to Him. For the knowledge of God renews man. And when he says, “after the image of the Creator,” he sets forth the recapitulation of the same man, who was at the beginning made after the likeness of God.” – Chapter XII Book V “Against Heresies” – Irenaeus

51Thus all the work that King Solomon did on the house of the LORD was finished. And Solomon brought in(AN) the things that David his father had dedicated, the silver, the gold, and the vessels, and stored them in the treasuries of the house of the LORD.

Thus, all the work is finished – and likely that none of David’s dedicated elements of silver and gold and the vessels were used:

“It has been a question whether Solomon, in the structure of the temple, used any of the gold and silver which David had provided? And here it seems answered in the negative; for after the house was finished, with all its utensils and ornaments, with its immense profusion of gold, it is here said that Solomon brought in the silver, and the gold, and the vessels, which David his father had dedicated.

It appears therefore that Solomon had employed four years to make preparation for the work before it was begun. During the whole time of the building, he was no doubt still appropriating a part of the public revenue for this purpose; and the provision made by his father he placed among the treasures of the house; but the temple was truly Solomon’s, as he had provided all its materials, and borne every expense.

As the temple was built in some measure on the model of the tabernacle, and dedicated to the same use, I wish to refer the reader to the description of the former, in Exod. 25-27, and 35-39…” – Adam Clarke

Yet, though none of the vessels, silver and gold were used, it is clear that David’s preparation and direction led to the successful fulfillment of the building of the Temple; just as Moses’ direction had led Joshua to victory in Jericho and Canaan despite Moses never stepping foot in the Promised Land.  It is important that Solomon is the sole builder and David the prophet; so also Yeshua the sole victor and Moses the foreteller of the true leader to come (Deuteronomy 18:15) – explained ever more clearly in the coming chapters (and 2 Chronicles 5-8).

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1 Kings 7: the House of the LORD (pt. 2)

One thought on “1 Kings 7: the House of the LORD (pt. 2)

  1. According to Ellicot’s comentary the animals were first plunged in the ten tanks by the priests before being sacrifuced. (2.Chronicles 4:6)

    After the Lord jesus was plunged in the Jordan by the priest – John the Immerser – he was decaliered to be the Lamb of God whoh takes away the sin ofthe world. So John prepared him for sacrifice. in this way they did everything that was right. “fulfilled all righteausness”

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