Furnishings of The Temple

Did you ever hear of a man named Donald Wyman? You may have, but it’s been some years ago when he made the national news. Donald Wyman is from Pennsylvania and he was out in the woods, cutting trees and a tree fell on his leg, pinning him under it. Wyman laid there for an h … More

Purpose

We now move from a description of Solomon’s palace to a description of the temple and its’ furnishings. Bronze was used for the furnishing on the outside but the furniture on the inside was made of gold. The description of the bronze work of the temple makes it apparent that great quantities of this metal were used. Archaeologists have discovered several mines dating back to this period in the Jordan Valley about 35 miles north of the Dead Sea and east of the Jordan River. The smelting was carried out by making use of the strong winds blowing in that area. Droughts were built that led into the furnaces and research shows that the refining process was done in a highly technical manner.

We find two different Hiram’s in the history of Solomon. The first was the King of Tyre mentioned in 5:1. The second is the one we read about in these verses. He was a skilled craftsman who had a special talent in working with the bronze (a copper alloy) furnishings of the temple.

As mentioned above, the furnishings inside the temple were made of gold. The golden altar, the table of show bread, the 10 lampstands, and various pieces of furniture were all made of gold. Even the door sockets were gold. Added to this were the furnishings King David had prepared and dedicated for temple service (II Sam. 8:11; I Chron. 29:1-9).

Application

Hiram’s items of bronze would look strange in our churches today. At the same time, stained glass window, crosses, or a communion table from our churches would have looked strange in the temple.  We need to keep in mind the items of worship may change, but the purpose of our worship should never change, but always give honor and praise to God.

I Kings 7:27-51 (English Standard Version)

He also made the ten stands of bronze. Each stand was four cubits long, four cubits wide, and three cubits high. This was the construction of the stands: they had panels, and the panels were set in the frames, and on the panels that were set in the frames were lions, oxen, and cherubim. On the frames, both above and below the lions and oxen, there were wreaths of beveled work. Moreover, each stand had four bronze wheels and axles of bronze, and at the four corners were supports for a basin. The supports were cast with wreaths at the side of each. Its opening was within a crown that projected upward one cubit. Its opening was round, as a pedestal is made, a cubit and a half deep. At its opening there were carvings, and its panels were square, not round. And the four wheels were underneath the panels. The axles of the wheels were of one piece with the stands, and the height of a wheel was a cubit and a half. The wheels were made like a chariot wheel; their axles, their rims, their spokes, and their hubs were all cast. There were four supports at the four corners of each stand. The supports were of one piece with the stands. And on the top of the stand there was a round band half a cubit high; and on the top of the stand its stays and its panels were of one piece with it. And on the surfaces of its stays and on its panels, he carved cherubim, lions, and palm trees, according to the space of each, with wreaths all around. After this manner he made the ten stands. All of them were cast alike, of the same measure and the same form. And he made ten basins of bronze. Each basin held forty baths, each basin measured four cubits, and there was a basin for each of the ten stands. And he set the stands, five on the south side of the house, and five on the north side of the house. And he set the sea at the southeast corner of the house. Hiram also made the pots, the shovels, and the basins. So Hiram finished all the work that he did for King Solomon on the house of the LORD: the two pillars, the two bowls of the capitals that were on the tops of the pillars, and the two latticeworks to cover the two bowls of the capitals that were on the tops of the pillars; and the four hundred pomegranates for the two latticeworks, two rows of pomegranates for each latticework, to cover the two bowls of the capitals that were on the pillars; the ten stands, and the ten basins on the stands; and the one sea, and the twelve oxen underneath the sea. Now the pots, the shovels, and the basins, all these vessels in the house of the LORD, which Hiram made for King Solomon, were of burnished bronze. In the plain of the Jordan the king cast them, in the clay ground between Succoth and Zarethan. And Solomon left all the vessels unweighed, because there were so many of them; the weight of the bronze was not ascertained. So Solomon made all the vessels that were in the house of the LORD: the golden altar, the golden table for the bread of the Presence, the lampstands of pure gold, five on the south side and five on the north, before the inner sanctuary; the flowers, the lamps, and the tongs, of gold; the cups, snuffers, basins, dishes for incense, and fire pans, of pure gold; and the sockets of gold, for the doors of the innermost part of the house, the Most Holy Place, and for the doors of the nave of the temple. Thus all the work that King Solomon did on the house of the LORD was finished. And Solomon brought in the things that David his father had dedicated, the silver, the gold, and the vessels, and stored them in the treasuries of the house of the LORD.

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