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2 Chronicles 4


(LXX versing)
Furnishings of the Temple Furnishings of the Temple The Temple Equipment Equipment for the Temple
4:1-6 4:1-5 4:1-6 4:1-6 4:1-5
4:6-8 4:6-8
4:7-10 4:7-10 4:7-8
4:9-10 4:9-10 4:9-10
4:11-18 4:11-18 4:11-18 4:11-16 4:11-15a
4:19-22 4:19-5:1 4:19-22 4:19-5:1 4:19-5:1

READING CYCLE THREE (see "Bible Interpretation Seminar")


This is a study guide commentary, which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

Read the chapter in one sitting. Identify the subjects. Compare your subject divisions with the five translations above. Paragraphing is not inspired, but it is the key to following the original author's intent, which is the heart of interpretation. Every paragraph has one and only one subject.

  1. First paragraph
  2. Second paragraph
  3. Etc.


1Then he made a bronze altar, twenty cubits in length and twenty cubits in width and ten cubits in height. 2Also he made the cast metal sea, ten cubits from brim to brim, circular in form, and its height was five cubits and its circumference thirty cubits. 3Now figures like oxen were under it and all around it, ten cubits, entirely encircling the sea. The oxen were in two rows, cast in one piece. 4It stood on twelve oxen, three facing the north, three facing west, three facing south and three facing east; and the sea was set on top of them and all their hindquarters turned inwards. 5It was a handbreadth thick, and its brim was made like the brim of a cup, like a lily blossom; it could hold 3,000 baths. 6He also made ten basins in which to wash, and he set five on the right side and five on the left to rinse things for the burnt offering; but the sea was for the priests to wash in.

4:1 "a bronze altar" Surprisingly, this altar is not mentioned in 1 Kings 6-7.



4:2 "the cast metal sea" See SPECIAL TOPIC: THE LAVER OF BRONZE.

4:3 The description in 1 Kgs. 7:24 mentions "gourds" (BDB 825) surrounding the brim (cf. REB; so too Ginsburg). The NRSV leaves out the word "oxen" (BDB 133) in 2 Chr. 4:3.

4:4 "twelve" See SPECIAL TOPIC: TWELVE.

The oxen are the sturdy stand for the laver/bronze sea. It was very heavy (cf. 2 Chr. 4:5).

4:5 "handbreadth thick" This was the length of all four fingers of a closed hand (cf. Exod. 25:25; 37:12; 1 Kgs. 7:26).

"baths" The parallel account in 1 Kgs. 7:26 has 2,000 baths instead of the 3,000 here.


4:6 There was a large water container called "the laver of bronze" in Exod. 30:18-21. It was for the priests to wash their hands and feet. This was important (i.e., ceremonial cleansing). If it was ignored, death would occur (cf. 2 Chr. 4:21).

The smaller basins were for washing the sacrifices before they were placed on the altar (cf. Ezek. 40:38).

7Then he made the ten golden lampstands in the way prescribed for them and he set them in the temple, five on the right side and five on the left. 8He also made ten tables and placed them in the temple, five on the right side and five on the left. And he made one hundred golden bowls. 9Then he made the court of the priests and the great court and doors for the court, and overlaid their doors with bronze. 10He set the sea on the right side of the house toward the southeast.

4:7 "lampstands" The tabernacle had only one but Solomon increased the number and size of everything. The tabernacle had to be light to be carried but the temple was stationary.


"in the way prescribed for them" The first mention of the details of YHWH's special worship tent is found in Exod. 25:9; 26:30 (cf. Acts 7:44; Heb. 8:5). These plans for the tabernacle were extended and expanded in Solomon's temple (cf. 1 Kgs. 6:38; 1 Chr. 28:11-19).

This same phrase is repeated in 2 Chr. 4:20.

11Huram also made the pails, the shovels and the bowls. So Huram finished doing the work which he performed for King Solomon in the house of God: 12the two pillars, the bowls and the two capitals on top of the pillars, and the two networks to cover the two bowls of the capitals which were on top of the pillars, 13and the four hundred pomegranates for the two networks, two rows of pomegranates for each network to cover the two bowls of the capitals which were on the pillars. 14He also made the stands and he made the basins on the stands, 15and the one sea with the twelve oxen under it. 16The pails, the shovels, the forks and all its utensils, Huram-abi made of polished bronze for King Solomon for the house of the Lord. 17On the plain of the Jordan the king cast them in the clay ground between Succoth and Zeredah. 18Thus Solomon made all these utensils in great quantities, for the weight of the bronze could not be found out.

4:12-13 "the two pillars" These are described in 2 Chr. 3:15-17.

"the two networks" This term (BDB 959) is used in three senses in the OT.

  1. window, lattice ‒ 2 Kgs. 1:2
  2. animal trap made of interwoven branches ‒ Job 18:8
  3. interwoven chains on the tops of the two bronze pillars in front of the inner shrine of Solomon's temple ‒ 1 Kgs. 7:17-18,41-42; 2 Kgs. 25:17; Jer. 52:22-23

4:17 The metal utensils for the temple were made in clay molds (cf. 1 Kgs. 7:46).

19Solomon also made all the things that were in the house of God: even the golden altar, the tables with the bread of the Presence on them, 20the lampstands with their lamps of pure gold, to burn in front of the inner sanctuary in the way prescribed; 21the flowers, the lamps, and the tongs of gold, of purest gold; 22and the snuffers, the bowls, the spoons and the firepans of pure gold; and the entrance of the house, its inner doors for the holy of holies and the doors of the house, that is, of the nave, of gold.

4:19 "the golden altar" See SPECIAL TOPIC: ALTAR OF INCENSE.

"the tables with the bread of the Presence on them" See SPECIAL TOPIC: THE SHOW BREAD OF THE PRESENCE.

4:20-22 Like 2 Chr. 3:4-9, there are several kinds of gold mentioned.

  1. pure gold ‒ 2 Chr. 4:20,22
  2. purest gold ‒ 2 Chr. 4:21
  3. gold ‒ 2 Chr. 4:22

How these are distinguished is uncertain.

4:20 "the lampstands" See note at 2 Chr. 4:7.

4:22 "the snuffers" These were used to trim or extinguish the olive oil wicks (cf. 1 Kgs. 7:50; 2 Kgs. 12:14; 25:14; Jer. 52:18).

"the inner doors for the holy of holies" See note at 2 Chr. 3:14 (cf. 1 Kgs. 6:31-32; 2 Chr. 3:7).

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