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SUPPOSED FORM OF THE BRASEN SEA.-AFTER BERNARD LAMY

CHAPTER VII.

of Lebanon; the length thereof was an hunThe buiiding of Solomon's house. 2 Of the house dred cubits, and the breadth thereof fifty of Lebanon. 6 of the porch of pillars. 7 of the cubits, and the height thereof thirty cubits, porch of judgment. 8 Of the house for Pharaoh's upon four rows of cedar pillars, with cedar daughter. 13 Hiram's work of the two pillars. beams

upon

the pillars. 23 of the molten sea. 27 of the ten bases. 383 And it was covered with cedar above Of the ten lavers, 40 and all the vessels.

upon the 'beams, that lay on forty five pilBor Solomon was building his own house lars, fifteen in a row. thirteen years, and he finished all his 4 And there were windows in three rows, house.

and "light was against light in three ranks. 2 He built also the house of the forest 5 And all the doors and posts were squaro, 1 Chap. 9. 10.

8 Heb. sight against sights * Or, spaces and pillars were square in prospect.

? Heb. ribs.

with the windows: and light was against the chapiters that were upon the top, with light in three ranks.

pomegranates: and so did he for the other 6 1 And he made a porch of pillars; the chapiter. length thereof was fifty cubits, and the 19 And the chapiters that were upon the breadth thereof thirty cubits: and the porch top of the pillars were of lily work in the was 'before them: and the other pillars and porch, four cubits. the thick beam were before them.

20 And the chapiters upon the two pil7 q.Then he made a porch for the throne lars had pomegranates also above, over where he might judge, even the porch of judg- against the belly which was by the network: ment: and it was covered with cedar from and the pomegranates were two hundred one side of the floor to the other.

in rows round about upon the other cha8 1 And his house where he dwelt had piter. another court within the porch, which was 21 "And he set up the pillars in the of the like work. Solomon made also an porch of the temple: and he set up the house for Pharaoh's daughter, 'whom he right pillar, and called the name thereof had taken to wife, like unto this porch. 12 Jachin : and he set up the left pillar, and

9 All these were of costly stones, accord. called the name thereof 'Boaz. ing to the measures of hewed stones, sawed 22 And upon the top of the pillars was with saws, within and without, even from lily work: so was the work of the pillars the foundation unto the coping, and so on finished. the outside toward the great court.

23 | And he made a molten sea, ten cu. 10 And the foundation was of costly stones, bits "from the one brim to the other: it was even great stoncs, stones of ten cubits, and round all about, and his height was five stones of eight cubits.

cubits : and a line of thirty cubits did com11 And above were costly stones, after pass it round about. the measures of hewed stones, and cedars. 24 And under the brim of it round about

12 And the great court round about was there were knops compassing it, ten in a with three rows of hewed stones, and a row cubit, compassing the sea round about : of cedar beams, both for the inner court of the kuops were cast in two rows, when it was the house of the Lord, and for the porch of cast. the house.

25 It stood upon twelve oxen, three look13 9 And king Solomon sent and fetched ing toward the north, and three looking Hiram out of Tyre.

toward the west, and three looking toward 14 He was 'a widow's son of the tribe of the south, and three looking toward the Naphtali, and his father was a man of Tyre, east: and the sca was set above upon

them, a worker in brass: and he was filled with and all their hinder parts were inward. wisdom, and understanding, and cunning to 26 And it was an hand breadth thick, and work all works in brass. And he came to the brim thereof was wrought like the brim king Solomon, and wrought all his work. of a cup, with flowers of lilics: it contained

15 For he cast two pillars of brass, of two thousand baths. eighteen cubits high apiece: and a line of 27 And he made ten bases of brass ; twelve cubits did compass either of them four cubits was the length of one base, and about.

four cubits the breadth thereof, and three 16 And he made two chapiters of molten cubits the height of it. brass, to set upon the tops of the pillars :

28 And the work of the bases was on this the height of the one chapiter was five cu- manner: they had borders, and the borders bits, and the height of the other chapiter were between the ledges : was five cubits:

29 And on the borders that were between 17 And nets of checker work, and wreaths the ledges were lions, oxen, and cherubims: of chain work, for the chapiters which were and upon the ledges there was a base above: upon the top of the pillars : seven for the and beneath the lions and oxen were certain one chapiter, and seven for the other cha- additions made of thin work. piter.

30 And every base had four brasen wheels, 18 And he made the pillars, and two rows and plates of brass: and the four corners round about upon the one network, to cover thereof had undersetters: under the laver

7 Heb. from foor to poor. 8 Chap 3.1. . Heb. the son of a widow wokas. 10 Xeb, fushioned.

13 That is, in it is strength. 14 leb. from his brim to his brim.

- Or, according to them.

6 Or, according to them.

11 2 Chron. 3. 17.

12 That is, he shall establish.

159 Chron. 13

were undersetters molten, at the side of every | the chapiters that were on the top of the addition.

two pillars; and the two networks, to cover 31 And the mouth of it within the chapi- the two bowls of the chapiters which were ter and above was a cubit: but the mouth upon the top of the pillars; thereof was round after the work of the base, 42 And four hundred pomegranates for a cubit and an half: and also upon the the two networks, even two rows of pomemouth of it were gravings with their borders, granates for one network, to cover the two foursquare, not round.

bowls of the chapiters that were upon the 32 And under the borders were four pillars; wheels; and the axletrees of the wheels 43 And the ten bases, and ten lavers on rere joined to the base: and the height of the bases; a whcel was a cubit and half a cubit.

44 And one sea, and twelve oxen under 33 And the work of the wheels was like the sea; the work of a chariot wheel : their axletrees, 45 And the pots, and the shovels, and and their naves, and their felloes, and their the basons: and all these vessels, which spokes, were all molten.

Hiram made to king Solomon for the house 34 And there were four undersetters to the LORD, were of bright brass. the four corners of one base: and the un- 46 In the plain of Jordan did the king dersetters were of the very base itself. cast them, "in the clay ground between Suc

35 And in the top of the base was there coth and Zarthan. a round compass of half a cubit high: and 47 And Solomon left all the vessels unon the top of the base the ledges thereof weighed, because they were exceeding and the borders thereof were of the same. many: neither was the weight of the brass

36 For on the plates of the ledges thereof, found out. and on the borders thereof, he graved che- 48 And Solomon made all the vessels rubims, lions, and palm trees, according to that pertained unto the house of the Lord: the 'proportion of every one, and additions the 'altar of gold, and the table of gold, round about.

whereupon the shewbread was, 37 After this manner he made the ten 49 And the candlesticks of pure gold, bases: all of them had one casting, one five on the right side, and five on the left, measure, and one size.

before the oracle, with the flowers, and the 38 | Then made he ten lavers of brass : lamps, and the tongs of gold, one laver contained forty baths : and every 50 And the bowls, and the snufsers, and laver was four cubits: and upon every one the basons, and the spoons, and the ocensers of the ten bases one laver.

of pure gold; and the hinges of gold, both 39 And he put five bases on the right for the doors of the inner house, the most løside of the house, and five on the left side holy place, and for the doors of the house, of the house: and he set the sea on the to uit, of the temple. right side of the house eastward over against 51 So was ended all the work that king the south.

Solomon made for the house of the LORD. 40 | And Hiram made the lavers, and And Solomon brought in the things which the shovels, and the basons. So Hiram David his father had dedicated, even the made an end of doing all the work that he silver, and the gold, and the vessels, did he made king Solomon for the house of the put among the treasures of the house of the LORD:

LORD. 41 The two pillars, and the two bowls of * Heb. in the base.

19 Heb. upon the face of the pillars. 20 Heb. made bright, or scoured. 21 Heb. in the thickness of the ground. Heb. for the exceeding multitude.

** Heb. ash-pans. » Heb. holy things of David. 25 2 Chron. 5. 1. Verse 2. “The house of the forest of Lebanon."_Not that this house was in Mount Lebanon, but apparently so termed because of the great number of cedar trees employed in its construction, or perhaps with a particular reference to the large number of cedar columns, which might, not inaptly, be compared to a forest of cedars. It is not very clear whether this was Solomon's palace in Jerusalem, or a sort of country residence at no great distance from the city. Josephus seems to understand the former, and the Targum the latter. The idea to be formed of this palace is probably that the house of the forest of Lebanon, the house wherein the king dwelt, and the house of Pharaoh's daughter, were only different parts of the same large building. This is the notion of Lamy; and as it agrees well with the arrangement exhibited in Oriental palaces, we are disposed to concur in it. According to this view, the palace stood in the centre of a large oblong square, against the enclosing walls of which were built the necessary offices and apartments of the officers of the court. The palace itself was also, on the whole, an oblong mass, consisting of two hollow squares, one on each side of a great central oblong hall and portico. This central hall, one hundred cubits long by fifty broad, was perhaps, in a

17 Heb. nakedness,

18 Heb. shoulder.

23 Heb, searched.

more particular sense, the house of the forest of Lebanon, on account of the forty-five cedar pillars which supported its ceiling of cedar. This would seem to have been the grand royal hall of the palace. In front of this hall was the grand porch of judgment, the particular mention of which illustrates the ideas given in a note to 2 Sam. xv., and is obviously analogous to the gate of judgment of the Alhambra at Granada. This central porch and great hall seem to have been devoted to public affairs. On the right is the king's house, being a square court surrounded on all sides by a colonnade in front of the buildings which compose the house, except on the side next the wall, where there are no buildings, but only the colonnade. On the other side of the great hall was a nearly similar house for Pharaoh's daughter, or, in other words, the haram or house for that princess and her female establishment; both the explanation of the text and Lamy's idea founded on it, being in strict accordance with existing usages, under which the females, both in royal and private establishments, occupy a building quite distinct from that of the men. In reality, this division of a mansion into three parts, one for the public, a second for the male part of the family, and a third for the females, still prevails in the East, where a mansion consists of what we should consider two or three houses, distinct, but adjoining and connected by doors and passages. It might be difficult to substantiate from the text every detail in this account; but we think that, as a probable approximation, it will be found as good an illustration as can be given of the indications which the text affords.

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10. “ Stones of ten cubits, and stones of eight cubits.”—These stones being called “ great," as indeed they were, lead us to suppose that those similarly denominated in chap. v. 17 (see the note there), may have been about the same size. Josephus, speaking of the present stones, observes that some parts of the fabric were built of stones of ten cubits, the walls being wainscoted with sawn slabs of great value—"such as are dug out of the earth for the ornament of temples and palaces, and which make famous the quarries from which they are taken.". Many of the stones in the existing walls of Jerusalem are fifteen or sixteen feet long, by four high and four deep; and it is remarkable that these dimensions, as to length, correspond to those given in the text.

12. “ For the inner court of the house of the Lord.”—The description refers to Solomon's palace, not to the Temple: we may therefore either conclude, with Boothroyd, that the name of the Lord has been erroneously introduced by some copyist ; or else that comparison only is to be understood, and that we should read~"like the inner court of the Lord's house." We prefer the last explanation, as it only requires the change of a single letter, , for 1, in the word which

ולחצר-now stands

14. His father was a man of Tyre, a worker in brass.”—Thus it would seem that there were not among the Hebrews any who could undertake the ornamental finishings of the Temple and the palace-particularly in metal. It is indeed doubtful whether Solomon could have completed his famous works without foreign assistance. Yet it will be recollected that when the Israelites had recently left Egypt, there were men quite competent to undertake the various rich and finished works in jewellery and metal, which were required for the tabernacle-such as the pillars, the rich curtains the ark with its hovering cherubs, the altars, the candelabrum, the table of shew-bread, and the priestly dress with its jewelled ornaments. It would indeed have been strange, if, in so large a host fresh from Egypt, some few had not been found who were skilled in the arts of that country ; but from the present circumstance it would seem that the skill brought from Egypt had not been preserved. Nor is this wonderful, when we consider that the Israelites, as an agricultural and pastoral people, frequently under the oppression of their neighbours, and engaged in continual wars, were not in a state favourable to the cultivation, or even to the preservation of the arts of luxury and ornament. The fame of the Phænicians for their skill in such arts has already been explained in the note to Josh. xix. 28.

16. “ Five cubits.”—“Three cubits” in 2 Kings xxv. 17. Perhaps they were abridged in the subsequent repairs of the Temple. We have mentioned these pillars in the general description of the Temple. They must have been very valuable, as well from their material as workmanship, since Nebuchadnezzar thought it worth while to transport them to Babylon. The English reader may be disposed to feel some surprise to discover brass so profusely employed in the most splendid ancient works, considering the comparatively low value it now bears. But we are to recollect that the denomination “ brass” comprehended copper and all metals compounded with copper, some of which were obtained with great labour and expense, and were in consequence highly valued. It is impossible to say what quality of brass is intended wben that metal is merely named; but there were certainly some kinds considered much more precious than silver. This appears from the remark of Homer upon the exchange which Glaucus made of his golden armoar for the brazen annour of Diomede :

“ Then Jove so blinded Glaucus, that for brass

He barter'd gold: gave armour such as cost

A hundred oxen for the cost of nine.”—CowPER. It thus appears that, at the time of the Trojan war, the value of gold compared with brass was but one hundred to nine. At present, silver does not bear near so high a relative value to gold as this. The calculation indeed supposés that the armour of each was of nearly equal weight, which, as they belonged to men of equal strength, seems not an unreasonable supposition.

21. " Jachin... Boaz.”—The two names together form a kind of sentence, as the marginal interpretation reads ; or it may be otherwise rendered - Jachin, it shall stand-Boaz, in strength. There have been various mystical speculations about these pillars and their names. The authors of the Universal History offer the conjecture that there was perhaps an inscription upon the base of each pillar, and that the names were respectively taken from the word with which each of the inscriptions commenced, according to the practice to which we have had several occasions to refer, several of the Old Testament books being denominated from the initial word. This conjecture is at least ingenious.

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23. * Molten sea."-We have already had occasion to observe that the Hebrews called all large collections of Fater, " seas," of which the present is a striking instance. There have been various representations of this famous vessel

, most of them distinguished rather for elegance of taste than for conformity to the text. Whatever be its agreement with the Scripture, no objection from elegance of taste can apply to the explanation of the Rabbins, who conceive that the vessel was round for the two upper cubits of its height, and square below. This seems to have been devised for

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