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The temple altar was bronze and incredibly large—30 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 15 feet high.

2-5 A large basin, called “the sea,” was cast—15 feet in diameter, 90 inches deep, 45 feet in circumference, and 3 inches thick. The brim was shaped like a lily blossom or like the lip of a cup with figures[a] cast in two rows all around it, 10 figures every 18 inches, and held 18,000 gallons.[b] The basin was supported by a rectangular stand made of 15-foot-tall statues resembling oxen. The 12 oxen were in two rows, three facing each direction with their hind ends at the center of the stand, all cast in one piece. The priests used the sea to cleanse themselves, but offerings were washed in other basins. Ten smaller basins flanked the sea, five on the right and five on the left, and the burnt offerings were cleansed in those before they were sacrificed. 10 The sea stood on the right side of the house, facing southeast.[c]

Ten golden lampstands were cast according to God’s requirements, and they were in the temple, five on the right and five on the left. Next to the lampstands were ten tables, five on the right and five on the left, and the temple was stocked with 100 golden bowls. Then the court of the priests, the great court, and its bronzed doors were built.

11 Huram, who was sent by the king of Tyre to help Solomon, made the pails, shovels, and bowls. When he finished his duties for the construction of the temple, he had made 12 the two columns, their capitals, the globes of the capitals, and the two networks of decorative chains covering the two globes of the capitals. 13 On the chains were 400 pomegranates—two rows of pomegranates on each network that covered the globes of the capitals on the pillars. 14-15 He had also made the sea with the twelve oxen underneath, the basins, and their stands. 16 Huram-abi used polished bronze for the pails, shovels, forks, and all other utensils commissioned by King Solomon and used in the Eternal’s house. 17-18 Great quantities were cast in the clay molds on the banks of the Jordan River between the cities of Succoth and Zeredah with an immeasurable amount of bronze.

The magnificence of the temple is reflected in the amount of gold Solomon used.

19 He made everything inside the house of the True God, including the golden altar; the tables (which displayed the unleavened bread); 20 the golden lampstands (which burned in front of the most holy place as required); 21 the flowers, the lamps, and the tongs (all of pure gold); 22 the snuffers, the bowls, the spoons, and the fire pans (all of solid gold); and the entrance to the house, the inner doors accessing the most holy place, and the doors of the main room (all of gold).


  1. 4:2-5 Literally, gourds, possibly oxen
  2. 4:2–5 1 Kings 7:26 “12,000 gallons”
  3. 4:10 Verse 10 was moved forward to help retain the continuity of the description.

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