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Bible Commentaries

L. M. Grant's Commentary on the Bible

1 Kings 7

 

 

Verses 1-51

THREE MORE HOUSES

(vs.1-12)

Only one verse speaks of Solomon's own house, which took 13 years to build. However, the order of that house is seen in chapter 10:4-5. This is typical of the Church of God today, of which the Lord says, "On this Rock I will build My Church" (Matthew 16:18). It is interesting that when Solomon's house is spoken of in 1 Kings 10:4-5, there is special mention made of "his ascent by which he went up to the house of the Lord" (KJV). This speaks symbolically of the Rapture, when the Lord will take the Church from her present circumstances in "the house of God" to the Father's house in glory.

However, "the house of the forest of Lebanon" is described for us in detail. It was much larger than the temple, though not as elaborate and costly. This house was the place of judgment and administration of Solomon's kingdom. It therefore speaks of the administration of the earthly kingdom of the Lord Jesus in the millennium, the 1000 years of His reign of righteousness and peace.

This building was not overlaid with gold, for gold speaks of the nature of God, and the house of the forest of Lebanon speaks of the government of God. Thus, cedar wood was prominent in this (vs.2-3) for cedar is an enduring wood, telling us therefore that the government of the Lord Jesus will be stable and enduring throughout the entire 1000 years. Many pillars were in this house, though only 2 are seen at the entrance of the temple.

There were windows in this building (vs.4-5), though not in the temple, for government looks out to consider the welfare of the people, while in the temple everything speaks of God's glory, with no outward vision at all. In this house of the forest of Lebanon a hall called the Hall of Judgment was built, where Solomon's throne was set (v.7). This was totally paneled with cedar.

It is briefly mentioned in verse 8 that the house Solomon had built for himself to dwell in had a court inside the hall similar to that in the house of the forest of Lebanon. If government is emphasized in the house of the forest of Lebanon as applying to the millennial kingdom of the Lord Jesus, there is also government necessary in connection with the house of God, the Church, today. Thus, 1 Peter 4:17 tells us, "The time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?"

Another house also is mentioned in verse 8. Solomon made this for Pharaoh's daughter whom he married. This was the beginning of Solomon's downfall as regards his relationship with women, for he soon married many others (ch.11:1-3). Yet God used even Solomon's failure to illustrate the blessing of Gentiles in the millennial kingdom of the Lord Jesus. The house built for Pharaoh's daughter reminds us that in that kingdom the submissive Gentile nations will have dwelling too.

All of these houses were built of costly stones (v.9), illustrating the great cost to the Lord Jesus to bring Gentiles to Himself as well as Israel, by means of His great sacrifice at Calvary. The foundation was of hewn stones and the court was enclosed with these also. Being hewn speaks of the work of the Spirit of God in separating people from the caverns of sin in which they were in bondage and cutting them down to a suitable size to fit into God's building. We today need this purging work of the Spirit of God; Israel and believing Gentiles in the Millennium will need it too.

THE MASTER CRAFTSMAN

(vs.13-14)

The Lord had prepared an appropriate overseer for the work Solomon required. His father was of Tyre, but he was the son of an Israelitish woman of the tribe of Naphtali. King Solomon sent and brought this man, Huram, from Tyre (v.13). His name was the same as the King of Tyre. In verse 24 we are told only that he was a skilled worker in bronze, or copper. In 2 Chronicles 2:13-14 much more is said about him as being "skilled to work in gold and silver, bronze and iron, stone and wood, purple and blue, fine linen and crimson, and to make any engraving and to accomplish any plan that may be given him."

We sometimes hear of a man who is "a jack of all trades, master of none," but here was a man who was a master of all trades. Certainly there would be nobody else who could approach his capabilities. God had specially prepared him for the purpose of building the temple. We surely see in him a picture of the Holy Spirit of God who is perfectly skilled in every detail of the work of building God's house.

TWO COPPER PILLARS

(vs.15-22)

The magnificence of the temple was enhanced by two great pillars of copper at the entrance, each measuring 18 cubits (27 feet) high and 12 cubits (18 feet) in circumference (v.15). If these were solid copper their weight must have been tremendous. In fact, they would be remarkably strong if they were hollow with only 4 inch thick walls. But nothing is said concerning this. Even the capitals placed on top of the pillars were 5 cubits (7.5 feet) high, and these were ornamented with a lattice network of chains (v.17). Besides this two rows of pomegranates formed of copper were used as ornaments, and the capitals were in the shape of lilies. The pomegranates (full of seeds) speak of the abundant fruitfulness of the work of God, while the lilies speak of the beauty of God's work (vs.18-20).

The pillars were named Jachin (on the right) and Boaz (on the left) of the entry (v.21). Jachin means "He shall establish." This is a promise that God will eventually establish His house for it was not to be established then. Indeed, that house was later destroyed because of Israel's unfaithfulness, but God's promise as to the future remains. Boaz means "in Him is strength." If the weakness of Israel led to ruin and failure, the Lord Jesus is still the strong One who will accomplish the will of God in perfection. This work of erecting the pillars was no small project, and must have occupied some time.

THE COPPER SEA

(vs.23-26)

The Sea was a large pool made of cast copper, ten cubits (15 feet) in diameter. This took the place of the laver in the tabernacle service (Exodus 30:17-21). It was 5 cubits high as well as being placed on 12 oxen, evidently of copper also, three facing in each direction, with their backs pointed inwards (vs.23-25). Thus, if the oxen were 4 or 5 feet in height, the top of the sea would be 11 or 12 feet high. This was placed outside the temple between the large copper altar and the temple door. It contained 3000 baths (about 8000 gallons) of water (2 Chronicles 4:5), and was used by the priests for washing in (2 Chronicles 4:6). There must have been steps up to the Sea, but nothing is said about this.

The copper altar tells us there must be cleansing by the blood of Christ from the guilt of sin before one can enter the temple; but the Sea adds to this the cleansing by water, speaking of moral cleansing by the application of God's Word to our hearts and consciences.

CARTS AND LAVERS

(vs.27-39)

The priests washed their hands and feet in the Sea, but there were also ten carts which each sustained a laver for washing the animals of sacrifice. These could be moved around, but five carts were on the right side of the temple and live on the left side. The carts were made of copper also, thus the holiness of God being emphasized in all the outside furnishings, while the inside emphasized the glory of God (the gold).

On the panels of the carts were lions, oxen and cherubim (v.29). In Revelation 4:7 we read of four living creatures, one like a lion, another like a calf (or ox), one having the face of a man and the last like a flying eagle. In our chapter the cherubim takes the place of man and the flying eagle is omitted. This is likely because the eagle speaks of the swift execution of God's judgment, and there will be no such thing in the millennial kingdom. The lion speaks of strength, the ox, of service and the cherubim of intelligent government, all of these being important in the future kingdom of Christ.

The number of carts with these lavers [10] was necessary for the large number of animals that must be washed before being offered. At the dedication of the temple, 22,000 bulls and 120,000 sheep were offered! (ch.8:63). How good it is to know that the offering of the Lord Jesus has canceled all those Old Testament offerings (Hebrews 10:1-14). But those many offerings do draw attention to the fact that an infinitely great sacrifice must eventually be offered if the sins of mankind were to be atoned for.

The number 10 speaks of human responsibility (as the 10 commandments), and man's ability or responsibility is today set aside by God's sovereign work in the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. The four wheels on each cart (v.30) speak of what is earthly and transitory, four being the number of earth's directions, north, east, west and south.

All the sacrificial animals needed washing to symbolize the purity of the Lord Jesus. He was absolutely pure in His nature and needed no washing. He "offered Himself without spot to God" (Hebrews 9:14). Wonderful sacrifice indeed!

RECAP OF TEMPLE FURNISHINGS

(vs.40-51)

In 2 Chronicles, though Hiram is said to be an expert in all manner of work, it is Solomon, not Hiram, who is given the credit for all the building of the temple. Here in 2 Kings 7:40-45 the work is said to be that of Hiram, at least all the bronze (or copper) work. Whether this is implied from verse 48 to 51 does not seem clear, but the summary of all the copper work in verses 40-47 impresses us with the great value of all this. The weight of the copper was not even determined because it was so great (v.47). Indeed) who can put any estimation on the holiness of God?

From verse 48 to 50 the inner furnishings are spoken of, all of which were either pure gold or covered with gold. The incense altar and the table were evidently the same as in the tabernacle, but instead of only one lampstand with seven lamps on the left side of the outer sanctuary, there were five lampstands on the right and five on the left. How many lamps each of these held we are not told. But at least this signifies that the light will be greatly multiplied in the Father's house.

When the work was finished, then Solomon had the many things David had dedicated brought into the treasuries of the house of the Lord (v.51). David had been a sufferer, reminding us of the sufferings of the Lord Jesus before the day of His reigning in glory. The remembrance of those days of His suffering will never be forgotten when we enjoy the glorious circumstances of the Father's house. We shall always have fond remembrance of the entire path of the Lord Jesus on earth and of His marvelous sacrifice of Calvary.

 


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Bibliography Information
Grant, L. M. "Commentary on 1 Kings 7:4". L.M. Grant's Commentary on the Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/lmg/1-kings-7.html. 1897-1910.

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