"Construction of the Altar and Temple Continued. "
Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's
II Chronicles 4:1 "Moreover he made an altar of brass, twenty cubits in length thereof, and twenty cubits the breadth thereof, and ten cubits the height thereof."
God gave the design of this altar to Solomon, and Solomon gave the detail of the altar to Hiram, the workman also named Hiram, who was skilled in the casting of brass. In the prior chapter we studied the construction of the Temple building itself, now in chapter 4, verses one through eleven we will look at the furniture that will be in the house of God. Verse nine will study the courts of the Temple.
II Chronicles 4:2 "Also he made a molten sea of ten cubits from brim to brim, round in compass, and five cubits in height thereof; and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about."
This vat that would hold the molten sea of metal that the altar would be cast out of was bowl shaped, about twenty feet high. This brasen sea of molten brass held was about sixty feet in diameter. From this massive amount of molten metal, these four oxen would be cast that would sit in front of the Temple.
II Chronicles 4:3 "And under it was a similitude of oxen, which did compass it round about: ten in a cubit, compassing the sea round about. Two rows of oxen were cast when it was cast."
To better understand what is said here, "in a cubit" means "to the height of the cubit;" and this height represents one fifth of the "brazen sea".
II Chronicles 4:4 "It stood upon twelve oxen, three looking toward the north, and three looking toward the west, and three looking toward the south, and three looking toward the east: and the seas was set above upon them, and all their hinder parts were inward."
Each of these brazen oxen was pointed in one of the four directions of the compass; north, south, east and west. Their tails were inward and their noses outward to the direction they were pointing.
II Chronicles 4:5 "And the thickness of it was an handbreadth, and the brim of it like the work of the brim of a cup, with flowers of lilies; and it received and held three thousand baths."
This verse is given by the prophet in I Kings 7:26; "And it was a hand breadth thick, and the brim thereof was wrought like the brim of a cup, with flowers of lilies: it contained two thousand baths." Here in I Kings 7:26 the "2000 baths" represent what is usually given, however the "3000 baths" is a reflection of what the number of baths container could actually hold. This is not a problem for no bath container that is given is filled to its full capacity. The measuring capacity of a "bath" is about eight gallons of liquid. This (2,000 baths X 8 into Gallons, or 16,000 gal.) again was the capacity required to make these four oxen that were made out of brass.
II Chronicles 4:6 "He made also ten lavers, and put five on the right hand, and five on the left, to wash in them: such things as they offered for the burnt offering they washed in them; but the sea was for the priests to wash in."
This skilled Kenite workman that was sent by the king of the Kenites also poured ten lavers, or wash basens of brass for the priests. He put five of the Lavens to the right side of the altar, and five to the left side of the altar. Of course they would be used after the priests would make the animal sacrifices, to clean up themselves.
II Chronicles 4:7 "And he made ten candlesticks of gold according to their form, and set them in the temple, five on the right hand, and five on the left."
These candlesticks were lamp stands.
II Chronicles 4:8 "He made also ten tables, and placed them in the temple, five on the right side, and five on the left. And he made an hundred basons of gold."
II Chronicles 4:9 "Furthermore he made the court of the priests, and the great court, and doors for the court, and overlaid the doors of them with brass."
The doors and their mountings for the court of the priests, and entry into the sanctuary, and all the doors into the court were overlaid with brass. Remember that these doors are for the new Temple, and not the tabernacle, which was movable and made as a tent.
II Chronicles 4:10 "And he set the sea on the right side of the east end, over against the south."
The "sea" is a large artificial basin that contained water.
II Chronicles 4:11 "And Huram [Hiram] finished the work that he was to make for king Solomon for the house of God;"
So this is a review of those things that Hiram made with the skills of his knowledge of his trade. God gave Hiram the skills to use his trade in the construction of the Temple, just as God prepared skilled men and women to do their job back in the wilderness at the foot of Mount Sinai some five hundred years prior. Before God gave Moses the details of the Tabernacle and all the furniture and instruments that would go into it, God had the necessary men and women trained to carry out each detail in those plans. Consider them gifts, and even today God gives each of us gifts to fulfill that part of service that God expects of us. The Temple that we are building today is the body of Christ, made up of all the believers.
Romans 12:4, 5 "For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:"  "So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another." 
Each of us are given a talent or gift for the use in the service of the body of Christ. Remember that the body of Christ is made up of all the believers that have come under the blood of Christ through repentance to receive eternal life.
Romans 12:6 - 8 "Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;"  "Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;"  "Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness." 
No, we are not going to all be that great minister, or singer, or rich guy that can out-give everyone else. But what God gives you, you are accountable for how you use that talent in the service of our Lord, to the betterment of the body of Christ. As each of us use the talent that we have, and are accountable as to how are we using it.
As we have seen the Temple of God that Solomon built going up, there was hundreds of thousands of people taking part in the construction of this Temple. How many stars in that project have we witnessed; you can count them on your hand, and then not one of them took the glory for himself. Even the Kenites that molded these great images, and place the gold overlay inside and out side the Temple were nameless. If you give that extra money in the plate, or help a brother in Christ, do you expect recognition for that act. If you do, that is your reward right here on earth. However those silent acts God will reward where it counts; for each of those acts or righteous deeds go to make up your eternal righteous robe in heaven. That's where it really counts. When you give the service with the gifts that God has given you, then you will be rewarded equally as that person that possesses many gifts and gives abundantly as God has blessed him here on earth.
As we read on to the end of this chapter, it is a summary of all the things that were made at the hand of both skilled and unskilled men and women to complete the Old Testament Temple of God. Remember that the New Testament Temple is made up you and I and each believer, no matter how rich or poor, or what gifts or talents they have, and our only talent may be the prayers, or your dropping seeds of the truth from God's holy Word, and if that's so, then do it cheerfully unto the Lord.
II Chronicles 4:12 "To wit, the two pillars, and the pommels, and the chapiters which were on the top of the two pillars, and the two wreaths to cover the two pommels of the chapiters which were on the top of the pillars;"
II Chronicles 4:13 "And four hundred pomegranates on the two wreaths; two rows of pomegranates on each wreaths to cover the two pommels of the chapiters which were on the top of the pillars;"
II Chronicles 4:14 "He made also bases, and lavers made he upon the bases;"
II Chronicles 4:15 "One sea, and twelve oxen under it."
II Chronicles 4:16 "The pots also, and the shovels, and the fleshhooks, and all their instruments, did Huram his father make to king Solomon for the house of the Lord of bright brass."
II Chronicles 4:17 "In the plain of Jordan did the king cast them, in the clay ground between Succoth and Zeredathah."
Succoth and Zeredathah are located east of the Jordan River, and were in the lands of the tribe of Gad. This tribe were the ones that had the brass foundries, and it was here that the Kenites came to make this enormous vat to create these oxen and other items for the temple.
II Chronicles 4:18 "Thus Solomon made all the vessels in great abundance: for the weight of the brass could not be found out."
No matter what was made for the temple, vessels, basins, lamp stands, or flesh hooks, many more than needed were produced because of the enormous supplies of metals and other items that were gathered for the construction of the Temple. That seems to be the way that our government today does their projects.
II Chronicles 4:19 "And Solomon made all the vessels that were for the house of God, the golden altar also, and the tablets whereon the shewbread was set."
II Chronicles 4:20 "Morover the candlesticks with their lamps, that they should burn after the manner before the oracle, of pure gold;"
II Chronicles 4:21 "And the flowers, and the lamps, and the tongs, made he of gold, and that perfect gold;"
II Chronicles 4:22 "And the snuffers, and the basons, and the spoons, and the censers, of pure gold: and the entry of the house, the inner doors thereof for the most holy place, and the doors of the house of the temple, were of gold.
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