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Bible Commentaries

L. M. Grant's Commentary on the Bible

2 Chronicles 4

 

 

Verses 1-22

FURNISHINGS OF THE TEMPLE

(vv.1-22)

Some of the furnishings for the temple were placed on the outside, others inside. The bronze altar (v.1) was of course outside, and much larger than that made for the tabernacle, in fact 20 by 20 cubits, and 10 cubits high, - about 30 feet square and 15 feet high. Bronze (or copper) speaks of the holiness of God, so that the bronze altar emphasises the holy judgment of God borne by His holy Son as the one sacrifice for sin. Thus, we must meet God at the cross before there is any possibility of entering His temple.

The Sea answers to the laver of the tabernacle, but again how much higher! It was 10 cubits in diameter (about 15 feet) and its height 5 cubits (7 112 feet) (v.2). It was supported by 12 bronze oxen, all facing outward, three toward each direction of the compass. The 12 tribes of Israel are thus represented. The oxen speak of lowly, patient service. The priests washed in the Sea (v.6), symbolising moral cleansing necessary for carrying out their service. The sea contained 3,000 baths of water (v.5), which amounts to over 12,600 gallons. Being a hand-breadth thick (about 4 inches), its weight must have been great.

Solomon also made ten lavers, their size not noted, putting five on the right side and five on the left of the Sea (v 6). The lavers were for washing the burn offerings before offering them. The sacrifice had to be clean as symbolising the perfect purity of Christ. He required no cleansing, but if the animal was to picture Him, the animal must be cleansed.

The tabernacle had only one golden lampstand, but the temple had ten, five of them being on each side of the outer sanctuary (v.7). Each of these no doubt had seven branches. The lampstands speak of Christ as the Sustainer of testimony, and being ten reminds us that all the claims of the law are fulfilled in this One whose testimony is perfection, including His great sacrifice by which He has fulfilled the law on behalf of others.

Similarly, though the tabernacle had only one table, the temple had ten, with five on each side of the outer sanctuary. The table pictures Christ as the Sustainer of communion. A mere legal covenant would only hinder communion, for the law could not bring anyone near to God. But the number ten again shows that Christ has fulfilled all the law's requirements. Israel will understand this in the millennium, to which the temple has special application, so that nothing will be present to hinder the precious flow of fellowship based on the person of the Lord Jesus.

It seems difficult to understand what purpose 100 golden bowls would serve in the temple, though we may be sure that God has a spiritual reason for this. These things in verses 7 and 8 were inside the outer sanctuary.

The court of the priests would be close to the temple and the great courts on the outside of that (v.9). The doors (or gates) were overlaid with bronze, emphasising the holiness that is necessary for any entering of the temple area.

Pots, shovels and bowls are mentioned in verse 11, and in verse 16 these are said to be made of burnished bronze (or copper), so that they were used outside the temple in connection with the sacrifices and the fire provided for the sacrifices. The furniture inside the temple was either of gold or covered with gold.

The list of things Huram provided is seen from verse 11 to verse 16. Added to what was previously mentioned are carts (v.14) that carried the lavers. It may be that the carts were made in order that the lavers could be moved to the location where the animal of sacrifice was brought. The amount of bronze used in connection with the temple was so great that its weight was not determined (v.18).

Verses 19 to 22 recount the furnishings inside the holy place (not the most holy); the golden incense altar, the tables of showbread, the lampstands with their flowers and lamps of pure gold, wick trimmers, bowls, ladles and censers. Wicks themselves are not mentioned, for they do not speak of the Lord Jesus, but of believers who bear testimony, but must be trimmed, for the testimony of one day cannot avail for the next day. No matter how brightly we may have shone for the Lord at one time, the burnt wick must be removed, so that we may continue to shine with new energy. Forgetting the things that are past, we should press forward with constantly renewed desire for the honour of the Lord Jesus.

Inner doors leading in to the most holy place were gold. Thus, there were both doors and a veil separating the two sanctuaries. The doors of the main hall also, that is, apparently the doors of the entry into the outer sanctuary were of gold. It is said they were gold, not overlaid with gold, so their value must have been great indeed. Gold speaks of the glory of God, so that the very entrance into the holy place was to be for the glory of God, not for the blessing of the one who entered, though if God is glorified, there cannot but be blessing for the entrant. There may have been a curtain also, as there was in the tabernacle, but this is not said.

 


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Bibliography Information
Grant, L. M. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 4:4". L.M. Grant's Commentary on the Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/lmg/2-chronicles-4.html. 1897-1910.

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