2 Chronicles Chapter 4

As part of the building of the temple in Jerusalem, King Solomon needed to craft all of the sacred items for use in the temple. Chapter 4 tells of those items and how they were made.

1 Moreover he made an altar of brass, twenty cubits the length thereof, and twenty cubits the breadth thereof, and ten cubits the height thereof.

The items designed, included a brass altar, which was 20 cubits square and ten cubits high. This was patterned after the altar in the tabernacle, but made larger. With the need to carry the altar, the one created for the tabernacle had to be crafted at its smaller size. In the temple Solomon built, it was designed in a larger size meant to be both a permanent fixture and to allow for more sacrifices at one time.

2 Also he made a molten sea of ten cubits from brim to brim, round in compass, and five cubits the height thereof; and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.
3 And under it was the 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.
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 sea was set above upon them, and all their hinder parts were inward.
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.

The basin, or molten sea, was circular and ten cubits in diameter. It stood 5 cubits in height and was ornamented with lilies. It was placed on twelve oxen to represent the twelve tribes of Israel. Three oxen faced outward each direction: north, south, east, and west. (See also 1 Kings 7) This is the pattern for the baptismal fonts in temples of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints built today, which are circular as well, and rest on the backs of twelve oxen set in this same way.

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.
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.
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 basins of gold.

There were ten lavers, made for washing the offerings, while the larger basin was for the priests to wash. Ten golden candlesticks, or lamp stands, were made as had been for the tabernacle, and placed in the temple. These would be used to keep light continuously in the temple. Ten tables were made as well along with 100 golden basins.

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.
10 And he set the sea on the right side of the east end, over against the south.
11 And Huram made the pots, and the shovels, and the basins. And Huram finished the work that he was to make for king Solomon for the house of God;
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;
13 And four hundred pomegranates on the two wreaths; two rows of pomegranates on each wreath, to cover the two pommels of the chapiters which were upon the pillars.
14 He made also bases, and lavers made he upon the bases;
15 One sea, and twelve oxen under it.
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.
17 In the plain of Jordan did the king cast them, in the clay ground between Succoth and Zeredathah.
18 Thus Solomon made all these vessels in great abundance: for the weight of the brass could not be found out.

The court of the priests was made, as well as the great court with brass doors. The basin was placed in the south-east end of the temple. Huram, a metal-worker of Tyre, crafted the brass (or polished bronze) pots, shovels and basins. He also designed the ornaments of the pillars, bases for the lavers (washbasins), the basin and oxen, pots, shovels, flesh-hooks, and all the other various items to be used in the temple.

19 And Solomon made all the vessels that were for the house of God, the golden altar also, and the tables whereon the shewbread was set;
20 Moreover the candlesticks with their lamps, that they should burn after the manner before the oracle, of pure gold;
21 And the flowers, and the lamps, and the tongs, made he of gold, and that perfect gold;
22 And the snuffers, and the basins, 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.

Solomon had all the golden vessels made, such as the golden altar, tables for the shewbread, candlesticks, flowers, lamps, tongs, snuffers, basins, spoons, and censers. The entrance of the temple, doors of the holy place and the doors of the temple, were also made with gold.

The temple that Solomon built, was not just a building of beauty, but it was a building of purpose. It was created for the sacred worship of God through sacrifices and service. In order to perform the rites and rituals that had been established by the Lord, they needed all of these items that Solomon made. Each item had a dedicated purpose and a specific way they were to be used. This can be related as well, to our bodies, which are also a type of temple. In 1 Corinthians 3:17 we read, “If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” Additionally in chapter 6, verse 19, we read, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God…?” Our bodies are temples of out spirits and they are not just for beauty, but they are created for specific purposes designed by God. We worship God through the sacrifice and service of our own bodies. Each part has been created by God, with a specific purpose and use and we can choose to dedicate it to the Lord. I am forever grateful for the body I have been given and the things I am able to do with this gift. I pray each day that I might use it for good. Likewise, I am grateful for the temples of the Lord built today, and the service and covenants for which they are built. Temples are an evidence of the love we have for the Lord, and more importantly, the love God has for us. To have been given a place where we can commit ourselves more fully to Him, so that we can be made holy and complete, is a witness that God desires for us all to return to Him. Each temple is beautiful and glorious, as the temple of Solomon was in antiquity, but the blessing of the temple is so much more if we are willing to make the changes and sacrifices necessary to use it personally.

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