2 Chronicles 4 (New Living Translation)
Furnishings for the Temple
Solomon also made a bronze altar 30 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 15 feet high.
The altar is huge and high — the first thing one would see. Here the priests killed and burned the sacrificial animals.
2 Then he cast a great round basin, 15 feet across from rim to rim, called the Sea. It was 7½ feet deep and about 45 feet in circumference. 3It was encircled just below its rim by two rows of figures that resembled oxen. There were about six oxen per foot all the way around, and they were cast as part of the basin.
4 The Sea was placed on a base of twelve bronze oxen, all facing outward. Three faced north, three faced west, three faced south, and three faced east, and the Sea rested on them. 5 The walls of the Sea were about three inches thick, and its rim flared out like a cup and resembled a water lily blossom. It could hold about 16,500 gallons of water.
The water in the Sea is used by the priests themselves for ceremonial washing.
6 He also made ten smaller basins for washing the utensils for the burnt offerings. He set five on the south side and five on the north. But the priests washed themselves in the Sea.
7 He then cast ten gold lampstands according to the specifications that had been given, and he put them in the Temple. Five were placed against the south wall, and five were placed against the north wall.
8 He also built ten tables and placed them in the Temple, five along the south wall and five along the north wall. Then he molded 100 gold basins.
The tabernacle from Moses’s day had only one lampstand for light and only one table for showbread.
9 He then built a courtyard for the priests, and also the large outer courtyard. He made doors for the courtyard entrances and overlaid them with bronze. 10 The great bronze basin called the Sea was placed near the southeast corner of the Temple.
11 Huram-abi also made the necessary washbasins, shovels, and bowls.
So at last Huram-abi completed everything King Solomon had assigned him to make for the Temple of God:
12 the two pillars;
the two bowl-shaped capitals on top of the pillars;
the two networks of interwoven chains that decorated the capitals;
13 the 400 pomegranates that hung from the chains on the capitals (two rows of pomegranates for each of the chain networks that decorated the capitals on top of the pillars);
Pomegranates were used by the Israelites as a sign of the fertility of the promised land under the blessing of God. Chains of pomegrantes decorated the capitals of the pillars flanking the entrance to the temple. They also hung from the hem of the high priest’s robes (Exodus 28:33).
14 the water carts holding the basins;
15 the Sea and the twelve oxen under it;
16 the ash buckets, the shovels, the meat hooks, and all the related articles.
Huram-abi made all these things of burnished bronze for the Temple of the Lord, just as King Solomon had directed. 17 The king had them cast in clay molds in the Jordan Valley between Succoth and Zarethan. 18 Solomon used such great quantities of bronze that its weight could not be determined.
19 Solomon also made all the furnishings for the Temple of God:
the gold altar;
the tables for the Bread of the Presence;
20 the lampstands and their lamps of solid gold, to burn in front of the Most Holy Place as prescribed;
21 the flower decorations, lamps, and tongs—all of the purest gold;
22 the lamp snuffers, bowls, dishes, and incense burners—all of solid gold;
the doors for the entrances to the Most Holy Place and the main room of the Temple, overlaid with gold.
1 So Solomon finished all his work on the Temple of the Lord. Then he brought all the gifts his father, David, had dedicated—the silver, the gold, and the various articles—and he stored them in the treasuries of the Temple of God.
from Peculiar Treasures,
by Frederick Buechner
Solomon put up a Temple in Jerusalem that had to be seen to be believed. It stood three stories high, and you entered it through a soaring porch of Egyptian design that was flanked by two thirty-foot free-standing bronze columns with carved lilies on top. It had cedar ceilings, cypress floors, and olivewood doors, and the amount of gold they used to trim it inside and out would have bankrupted Fort Knox.
God is worthy of all the gold, all the excellence, all the time and effort. I think of the magnificence of the temple — what it said to poor people like Joseph and Mary when they came to worship. Surely they were amazed and awestruck: Our God is Mighty! Our God is Wonderful! Or as Juanita Bynum sings HERE, “You Are Worthy.”
New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.