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Bible Commentaries

Expositor's Dictionary of Texts

2 Chronicles 4

Verses 1-22

The Moulding of the Vessels

2 Chronicles 4:17

I. In that temple of Solomon's we have a double type.

1. Those great and costly stones those marble blocks which were squared and polished leagues away from Jerusalem, and not brought thither till actually needed: so that not one echo of the saw, not one stroke of the mallet, was heard over all the dedicated ground. Their adaptation was perfected at a distance, and then they were set in their glorious home.

2. The brass and silver and gold work, the capitals for the pillars, the rails for the cedar walls, the solid coverings for the doors. And these, too, were cast at a distance, in the clay ground by the Jordan.

The lesson? This That by affliction, and only by that, were the Saints made meet for their place, and you must be made meet for yours, in the Kingdom of Heaven. How was this brass, how was this gold procured? How, but by the slow agony of the furnace?

II. Out of the smelting furnace the metal runs bright, pure, strong, fit for any use; but only fit for it. It has not yet received the shape in which it is to do service for the Master. Prepared it is to be made useful to Him, but it is not really useful as yet. And then comes in the text: 'In the plain of Jordan did the king cast them, in the clay ground'. The moulds, then, that formed those glorious ornaments, that cast those shapes of beauty for the house which was to be 'exceeding magnificent,' which was to be 'wonderful great,' were made by the vilest and cheapest, and, in itself most impure of all materials, namely, clay.

And how is it that all of you are to be formed for being vessels unto honour, sanctified, meet for the Master's use, prepared unto every good work? Is it not by what the world calls the meanest, and poorest, and most despicable employments here?

III. Notice; they were not cast by chance; they did not come out by accident; it was not like Aaron's, 'Then I cast them into the fire, and there came out the calf. No; it was the king that did it; the King that continually does it; and not less the King, because not with His own hands, and not in His own immediate presence. We are not to suppose that Solomon went down into the clay ground, and there gave orders for the casting these temple vessels. No; he remained in his glory and peace at Jerusalem. And yet it is said, 'In the plain of Jordan did the king cast them'. And so it is with you. The King no more, as in former ages, walks the clay ground of this earth. But still, not the less, from that glorious Throne, He superintends, He appoints, He orders, for each of you the mould that is to stamp you for His service. Be it what it may, it comes from the wisdom that cannot be mistaken, it is approved by the love that cannot be quenched.

J. M. Neale, Occasional Sermons, p. 116.

Reference. IV. 21. H. W. Webb-Peploe, Calls to Holiness, p. 215.

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Bibliographical Information
Nicoll, William Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 4". Expositor's Dictionary of Text. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/edt/2-chronicles-4.html. 1910.