2 Chronicles 4

CHAPTER IV

The brazen altar, 1.

Molten sea, and its supporters, 2-5.

The ten lavers, 6.

Ten golden candlesticks, 7.

Ten tables, the hundred golden basons, and the priests'

court, 8-10.

The works which Huram performed, 11-17.

Solomon finishes the temple, and its utensils, 18-22.

NOTES ON CHAP. IV

Verse 3. Under it was the similitude of oxen] In 1Ki 7:24,

instead of oxen, bekarim, we have knops,

pekaim; and this last is supposed by able critics to be the

reading which ought to be received here. What we call knops may

signify grapes, mushrooms, apples, or some such ornaments placed

round about under the turned over lip or brim of this caldron. It

is possible that bekarim, oxen, may be a corruption of

pekaim, grapes, as the pe might be mistaken for a beth,

to which in ancient MSS. it has often a great resemblance, the dot

under the top being often faint and indistinct; and the ain, on

the same account might be mistaken for a resh. Thus grapes

might be turned into oxen. Houbigant contends that the words in

both places are right; but that bakar does not signify ox

here, but al large kind of grape, according to its meaning in

Arabic: and thus both places will agree. But I do not find that

[Arabic] bakar, or [Arabic] bakarat, has any such meaning in

Arabic. He was probably misled by the following, in the Arabic

Lexicon, Camus, inserted under [Arabic] bakara, both by Giggeius

and Golius, [Arabic] aino albikri, ox-eye, which is interpreted

Genus uvae nigrae ac praeprandis, incredibilis dulcedinis. In

Palaestina autem pro prunis absolute usurpatur. "A species of

black grape, very large, and of incredible sweetness. It is used

in Palestine for prune or plum." What is called the Damascene

plum is doubtless meant; but bekarim, in the text, can never

have this meaning, unless indeed we found it associated with

ayin, eye, and then eyney bekarim might, according to

the Arabic, be translated plums, grapes, sloes, or such like,

especially those of the largest kind, which in size resemble the

eye of an ox. But the criticism of this great man is not solid.

The likeliest method of reconciling the two places is supposing a

change in the letters, as specified above. The reader will at once

see that what are called the oxen, 2Ch 4:3, said to be round

about the brim, are widely different from those 2Ch 4:4, by which

this molten sea was supported.

Verse 5. It-held three thousand baths.] In 1Ki 7:26, it is said

to hold only two thousand baths. As this book was written after

the Babylonish captivity, it is very possible that reference is

here made to the Babylonish bath which might have been less than

the Jewish. We have already seen that the cubit of Moses, or of

the ancient Hebrews, was longer than the Babylonish by one palm;

see on 2Ch 3:3. It might be the same with the measures of

capacity; so that two thousand of the ancient Jewish baths might

have been equal to three thousand of those used after the

captivity. The Targum cuts the knot by saying, "It received three

thousand baths of dry measure, and held two thousand of liquid

measure."

Verse 6. He made also ten lavers] The lavers served to wash the

different parts of the victims in; and the molten sea was for the

use of the priests. In this they bathed, or drew water from it for

their personal purification.

Verse 8. A hundred basons of gold] These were doubtless a sort

of paterae or sacrificial spoons, with which they made libations.

Verse 9. He made the court of the priests] This was the inner

court.

And the great court] This was the outer court, or place for the

assembling of the people.

Verse 16. Huram his father] ab, father, is often used in

Hebrew to signify a master, inventor, chief operator, and is very

probably used here in the former sense by the Chaldee: All these

Chiram his master made for King Solomon; or Chiram Abi, or rather

Hiram, made for the king.

Verse 17. In the clay ground ] See on 1Ki 7:46. Some suppose

that he did not actually cast those instruments at those places,

but that he brought the clay from that quarter, as being the most

proper for making moulds to cast in.

Verse 21. And the flowers, and the lamps] Probably each branch

of the chandelier was made like a plant in flower, and the opening

of the flower was either the lamp, or served to support it.

Verse 22. The doors-were of gold.] That is, were overlaid with

golden plates, the thickness of which we do not know.

THAT every thing in the tabernacle and temple was typical or

representative of some excellence of the Gospel dispensation may

be readily credited, without going into all the detail produced by

the pious author of Solomon's Temple Spiritualized. We can see the

general reference and the principles of the great design, though

we may not be able to make a particular application of the knops,

the flowers, the pomegranates, the tongs, and the snuffers,

to some Gospel doctrines: such spiritualizing is in most cases

weak, silly, religious trifling; being ill calculated to produce

respect for Divine revelation.

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