The Completion of Solomon’s Buildings

Scripture Passage: 
1 Kings 7:1-51

INTRODUCTION: The building efforts continue as another house is constructed along with several items for the temple. The details to each give insight into the beauty and detail of Solomon’s work. It is no wonder that the “ancient men” in Ezra’s day wept when they remembered the temple of Solomon (Ezra 3:12).

  1. OTHER STRUCTURES BUILT BY SOLOMON (1 Kings 7:1-12)
    1. The Time Consumed in Building (1 Kings 7:1)
      1. Seven years in building the house of the Lord (1 Kings 6:38); seven is the number that indicates the perfect work of God.
      2. Thirteen years in building Solomon’s house; thirteen indicates rebellion, so this does not forebode well for the latter part of Solomon’s reign.
    2. The House of the Forest of Lebanon (1 Kings 7:2-5)
      1. Its dimensions (1 Kings 7:2); over four times the floor space as the temple
        1. 100 cubits long
        2. 50 cubits wide
        3. 30 cubits high
        4. NOTE: Noah’s ark was the same width and height, but was three times as long (Genesis 6:15).
      2. Built with beams and coverings of cedar (1 Kings 7:2-3)
        1. This building evidently served as an armory (1 Kings 10:17; Isaiah 22:8).
        2. NOTE: 1 Kings 7:2 mentions four rows of cedar pillars, while 1 Kings 7:3 mentions three rows of fifteen pillars each. 1 Kings 7:3 must be referring to an additional structure connected with the building such as a walkway with rows of columns.
        3. Three rows of windows in the house (1 Kings 7:4); probably one row on top of another (1 Kings 7:4-5 – “three ranks”)
        4. Square posts, doors, and windows (1 Kings 7:5)
    3. The Structures Making Up the Complex (1 Kings 7:6-8)
      1. A porch of pillars (1 Kings 7:6)
        1. 50 cubits long
        2. 30 cubits wide
      2. The porch of judgment (1 Kings 7:7)
        1. Location of Solomon’s throne
        2. Place where judgment was made
      3. The house where Solomon lived (1 Kings 7:8)
      4. The house for Pharaoh’s daughter (1 Kings 7:8)
    4. The Materials for the Buildings (1 Kings 7:9-12)
      1. The stones of the buildings (1 Kings 7:9-11)
        1. Hewed stones (1 Kings 7:9)
        2. Great stones of eight and ten cubits (1 Kings 7:10)
        3. Costly stones (1 Kings 7:11)
      2. Borders around the inner court of the temple and the porch of the house (1 Kings 7:12)
        1. Three rows of hewed stones
        2. One row of cedar beams
  2. THE TWO PILLARS OF BRASS (1 Kings 7:13-22)
    1. The Master Craftsman, Hiram (1 Kings 7:13-14)
      1. Hiram of Tyre (1 Kings 7:13); not to be confused with the king (1 Kings 5:1)
      2. His mother was of the tribe of Naphtali (1 Kings 7:14).
      3. His father was a man of Tyre and a worker in brass (1 Kings 7:14).
      4. Hiram had great skill in working with brass (1 Kings 7:14).
    2. The Casting of the Two Pillars (1 Kings 7:15)
      1. The pillars were 18 cubits high apiece.
      2. The circumference of the pillars was 12 cubits.
    3. The Two Chapiters on the Pillars (1 Kings 7:16-20)
      1. The chapiters of the pillars are their capitals, the decorative top portion of a column.
      2. The chapiters were five cubits high in addition to the height of the pillar (1 Kings 7:16); this made the entire column 23 cubits high.
      3. The chapiters were elaborately decorated (1 Kings 7:17-20).
    4. The Setting Up of the Pillars (1 Kings 7:21-22)
      1. They were set up in the porch of the temple (1 Kings 7:21).
      2. They were given names (1 Kings 7:21).
        1. Jachin
          1. The right pillar
          2. Means “the Lord establishes”
          3. The name of one of the sons of Simeon (Genesis 46:10) and the name of a priest who was the head of one of the 21st course of the priests as set up by David (1 Chronicles 24:17)
        2. Boaz
          1. The left pillar
          2. Means “in Him is strength”
          3. The name of the great-grandfather of David who married Ruth (Ruth 4:21-22)
      3. They were finished with lily work on top (1 Kings 7:22).
  3. THE MOLTEN SEA (1 Kings 7:23-26)
    1. Its Dimensions (1 Kings 7:23)
      1. Ten cubits across from brim to brim
      2. Completing a circle of thirty cubits
      3. NOTE: Critics have often made light of the mathematical inaccuracy of this description.
        1. The length of the circumference (30 cubits) should be the diameter (10 cubits) times pi (3.14).
        2. According to these figures, the temple math of Solomon would be off by almost a cubit and a half (over 2 feet), not very accurate in building.
        3. However, the answer is found in the thickness of the brim. It is said to be a handbreadth thick (1 Kings 7:26).
        4. The ten-cubit diameter goes from brim to brim, but the circumference refers to the circle inside the bowl.
        5. A common measure of a handbreadth is four inches.
        6. For our calculation, change 10 cubits to 15 feet and consider the 30-foot circumference as 45 feet. Subtract 8 inches from the diameter (4 inches on each side) for a diameter of 14.33 feet. Multiply this by the value of pi (3.14). The answer is 45.00 feet.
        7. Remember, God’s word is always right.
      4. The molten sea was used for the washing of the priests (2 Chronicles 4:6).
    2. The Knops under the Brim (1 Kings 7:24)
      1. A knop was similar to a knob. These were in the shape of oxen (2 Chronicles 4:3).
      2. Knops compassed the molten sea.
      3. Ten knops covered a cubit.
      4. The knops were cast in two rows.
    3. The Base of Oxen (1 Kings 7:25)
      1. The molten sea rested upon twelve oxen. Note: The number twelve is strongly connected to the nation of Israel.
      2. Three oxen faced each direction, and the hinder parts were inward.
    4. The Brim of the Sea (1 Kings 7:26)
      1. It was a handbreadth thick.
      2. It was wrought like the brim of a cup, with flowers of lilies.
      3. It contained two thousand baths, although full capacity was three thousand baths (2 Chronicles 4:5).
  4. THE TEN LAVERS ON THEIR BASES (1 Kings 7:27-39)
    1. Ten Brass Bases with Wheels (1 Kings 7:27-37)
      1. The size of each base (1 Kings 7:27)
        1. Four cubits long
        2. Four cubits wide
        3. Three cubits high
      2. The borders (1 Kings 7:28-29)
        1. They were between the ledges (1 Kings 7:28).
        2. On the borders were lions, oxen and cherubims (1 Kings 7:29).
      3. The ledges (1 Kings 7:29)
        1. Upon the ledges there was a base above.
        2. Beneath the lions and oxen were additions made of thin work.
      4. Additional features (1 Kings 7:30-36)
        1. Wheels
          1. Four brasen wheels (1 Kings 7:30)
          2. Under the borders (1 Kings 7:32)
          3. The axletrees were joined to the base (1 Kings 7:32).
          4. The height of the wheel was one-and-a-half cubits (1 Kings 7:32).
          5. The work of the wheels was like the work of a chariot wheel (1 Kings 7:33).
        2. Plates of brass (1 Kings 7:30, 36)
        3. Undersetters
          1. Under the four corners (1 Kings 7:30, 34)
          2. Under the laver (1 Kings 7:30)
      5. Each base made after the same manner (1 Kings 7:37)
    2. Ten Lavers Placed in the Ten Bases (1 Kings 7:38-39)
      1. The composition of the lavers – made of brass (1 Kings 7:38)
      2. The contents of the lavers – “forty baths” (1 Kings 7:38)
      3. The size of the lavers – “four cubits” (1 Kings 7:38)
      4. The location of the lavers (1 Kings 7:38-39)
        1. Each was placed on its base (1 Kings 7:38).
        2. Five bases were placed on the right side of the house (1 Kings 7:39).
        3. Five bases were placed on the left side of the house (1 Kings 7:39).
  5. THE WORKS FOR THE TEMPLE SERVICE (1 Kings 7:40-51)
    1. The Brass Work Done by Hiram (1 Kings 7:40-46)
      1. The pieces he made (1 Kings 7:40-45)
        1. The lavers (1 Kings 7:40)
        2. The shovels (1 Kings 7:40)
        3. The basons (1 Kings 7:40)
        4. The two pillars (1 Kings 7:41-42)
          1. With the two bowls of the chapiters (1 Kings 7:41)
          2. With the two networks to cover the bowls (1 Kings 7:41)
          3. With the four hundred pomegranates for the two networks (1 Kings 7:42)
        5. The ten bases and ten lavers (1 Kings 7:43)
        6. The sea with the twelve oxen under the sea (1 Kings 7:44)
        7. Pots, shovels and basons (1 Kings 7:45)
      2. The resource used in his work – “bright brass” (1 Kings 7:45)
      3. The location of his work – “in the plain of Jordan” (1 Kings 7:46)
    2. Not Weighed Because of Their Great Number (1 Kings 7:47)
      1. Solomon left all the vessels unweighed because they were exceeding many.
      2. The weight of brass was not able to be found out.
    3. The Work of Gold (1 Kings 7:48-50)
      1. The altar (1 Kings 7:48)
      2. The table (1 Kings 7:48)
      3. The candlesticks (1 Kings 7:49)
      4. Other miscellaneous items (1 Kings 7:50)
    4. The End of the Work (1 Kings 7:51)
      1. All the work that Solomon made for the house of the Lord was complete.
      2. Solomon brought in the things which David his father had dedicated and put them among the treasures of the house of the Lord.
        1. The silver
        2. The gold
        3. The vessels

CONCLUSION: The task was great, but the work is brought to a close. In the next chapter Solomon will dedicate the finished product to the Lord. No matter how hard we work, all is vain unless the Lord blesses the efforts.

David Reagan and Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 18:13

He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.