2-3Forest Hall was the largest room in the palace. It was 44 meters long, 22 meters wide, and 13.5 meters high, and was lined with cedar from Lebanon. It had 4 rows of cedar pillars, 15 in a row, and they held up 45 cedar beams. The ceiling was covered with cedar. 4Three rows of windows on each side faced each other, 5and there were three doors on each side near the front of the hall.
6Pillar Hall was 22 meters long and 13.5 meters wide. A covered porch supported by pillars went all the way across the front of the hall.
7Solomon's throne was in Justice Hall, where he judged cases. This hall was completely lined with cedar.
8 The section of the palace where Solomon lived was behind Justice Hall and looked exactly like it. He had a similar place built for his wife, the daughter of the king of Egypt.
9From the foundation all the way to the top, these buildings and the courtyard were made out of the best stones carefully cut to size, then smoothed on every side with saws. 10The foundation stones were huge, good stones—some of them four and a half meters long and others three and a half meters long. 11The cedar beams and other stones that had been cut to size were on top of these foundation stones. 12The walls around the palace courtyard were made out of three layers of cut stones with one layer of cedar beams, just like the front porch and the inner courtyard of the temple.
Hiram Makes the Bronze
(2 Chronicles 3.15-17; 4.1-10)
13-14Hiram was a skilled bronze worker from the city of Tyre. His father was now dead, but he also had been a bronze worker from Tyre, and his mother was from the tribe of Naphtali.
King Solomon asked Hiram to come to Jerusalem and make the bronze furnishings to use for worship in the Lord's temple, and he agreed to do it.
15Hiram made two bronze columns eight meters tall and almost two meters across. 16For the top of each column, he also made a bronze cap just over two meters high. 17The caps were decorated with seven rows of designs that looked like chains, 18with two rows of designs that looked like pomegranates.
19The caps for the columns of the porch were almost two meters high and were shaped like lilies.
20The chain designs on the caps were right above the rounded tops of the two columns, and there were 200 pomegranates in rows around each cap. 21Hiram placed the two columns on each side of the main door of the temple. The column on the south side was called Jachin, and the one on the north was called Boaz.
22The lily-shaped caps were on top of the columns.
This completed the work on the columns.
23Hiram also made a large bowl called the Sea. It was just over two meters deep, about 4.5 meters across, and 13.5 meters around. 24Two rows of bronze gourds were around the outer edge of the bowl, ten gourds to every 45 centimeters. 25The bowl itself sat on top of twelve bronze bulls with three bulls facing outward in each of four directions. 26The sides of the bowl were 75 millimeters thick, and its rim was like a cup that curved outward like flower petals. The bowl held about 40,000 liters.
27Hiram made ten movable bronze stands, each one over a meter high, almost two meters long, and almost two meters wide. 28-29The sides were made with panels attached to frames decorated with flower designs. The panels themselves were decorated with figures of lions, bulls, and winged creatures. 30-31Each stand had four bronze wheels and axles and a round frame 68 centimeters across, held up by four supports 45 centimeters high. A small bowl rested in the frame. The supports were decorated with flower designs, and the frame with carvings.
The side panels of the stands were square, 32and the wheels and axles were underneath them. The wheels were about 68 centimeters high 33and looked like chariot wheels. The axles, rims, spokes, and hubs were made out of bronze.
34-35Around the top of each stand was a 22-centimeter strip, and there were four braces attached to the corners of each stand. The panels and the supports were attached to the stands, 36and the stands were decorated with flower designs and figures of lions, palm trees, and winged creatures. 37Hiram made the ten bronze stands from the same mold, so they were exactly the same size and shape.
38 Hiram also made ten small bronze bowls, one for each stand. The bowls were almost two meters across and could hold about 800 liters.
39He put five stands on the south side of the temple, five stands on the north side, and the large bowl at the southeast corner of the temple.
40Hiram made pans for hot ashes, and also shovels and sprinkling bowls.
A List of Everything
(2 Chronicles 4.11—5.1)
This is a list of the bronze items that Hiram made for the Lord's temple: 41two columns; two bowl-shaped caps for the tops of the columns; two chain designs on the caps; 42400 pomegranates for the chain designs; 43ten movable stands; ten small bowls for the stands; 44a large bowl; twelve bulls that held up the bowl; 45pans for hot ashes, and also shovels and sprinkling bowls.
Hiram made these bronze things for Solomon 46near the Jordan River between Succoth and Zarethan by pouring melted bronze into clay molds.
47There were so many bronze things that Solomon never bothered to weigh them, and no one ever knew how much bronze was used.
48 Solomon gave orders to make the following temple furnishings out of gold: the altar; the table that held the sacred loaves of bread; 49 ten lampstands that went in front of the most holy place; flower designs; lamps and tongs; 50cups, lamp snuffers, and small sprinkling bowls; dishes for incense; fire pans; and the hinges for the doors to the most holy place and the main room of the temple.
51 After the Lord's temple was finished, Solomon put into its storage rooms everything that his father David had dedicated to the Lord, including the gold and the silver.
We’ve just read in chapter 6 how Solomon spared no expense in building a house for “The Name.” Now we see no expense spared in building a house for himself. “Costly stones” seems to be the theme of the construction. A huge thirteen year project costing in the tens of millions of today’s dollars. But there is a life lesson here we shouldn’t miss.
Solomon strove for excellence, both for God and himself. He had a high view of God, and a high view of himself. Before we get too pious here and say it’s not commendable to see oneself “more highly than we ought…” let’s not forget that Jesus said we’re to love God and neighbour ” as ourselves ” (Mark 12: 29-31). We are of terrific value. That’s why God sent his son Jesus into our world to die for our sins. It may be a new idea to some, but God has a high view of US! He has created us in his “image” to live forever in fellowship with him. He LOVES us! How amazing is that?
This is why, over the centuries, artists like Christopher Wren designed the “frozen poetry” of Westminster Abbey in London, or a Michelangelo painted the ceiling of the classic Sistine Chapel in Rome. Countless works of art on a biblical theme grace the museums and art galleries of the world. It seems that when the creative heart of man connects with the majestic, loving heart of God, timeless beauty results. We want to give our utmost for him who has given the best for us.
Forgive my mediocrity, Father, in my “giving” to you. Help me to give my best.