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Bible Commentaries
1 Kings 7

Kingcomments on the Whole BibleKingcomments

Verses 1-12


The previous chapter describes the temple as a building. In this chapter we hear about the bronze and golden objects of the temple, preceded by a description of the buildings of Solomon for himself.

The Buildings for Solomon Himself

We have a break in the description of the temple, because first the house of Solomon is described. That is because there is a close connection between the temple and the house of Solomon. Both houses speak of the church. The temple is the picture of the church as the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. God dwells in the church as His temple (1 Corinthians 3:16; Ephesians 2:21-Song of Solomon :). In the house of Solomon we see a picture of the church as the dwelling place of the Lord Jesus, whom He calls “My church” (Matthew 16:18). Solomon lives there with his family. The Lord Jesus is “Son over His house” (Hebrews 3:6) and as Son He is connected with sons. God said of Solomon that he would a son to Him (2 Samuel 7:12-2 Chronicles :; 1 Chronicles 17:13). In the church the Lord Jesus lives as Son together with those whom He has made sons of God.

Solomon’s house was probably a palace complex with several independent, but complementary buildings. There are public rooms and there is a private room. The house consists of cedar pillars, making it look like a forest. There is a hall of pillars and a hall of the throne. The hall of pillars can be seen as a kind of waiting room where people can wait until they can get to the king. Solomon is sitting in the hall of the throne. More in the middle of the complex is his house. There is also a separate house for his Egyptian wife.

The Lord Jesus will reign over the kingdom of peace from His house. The church is involved in His government. The Lord Jesus reigns also now in His realm over those who acknowledge His authority. All Christianity today is His realm, but He has a real relationship only with those who are connected with Him through faith as the Son. They are the house in the narrow sense in which He lives (1 Kings 7:8), the dwelling behind the hall of the throne, the dwelling place of the royal family.

The materials with which the house is built (1 Kings 7:9-2 Kings :) are the materials with which the temple is built. It is from stones taken from the rock, as the Lord Jesus says in Matthew 16 (Matthew 16:18). Every believer is a precious stone in the eyes of the Lord Jesus (1 Peter 2:5), because for every stone of which the church is composed, He has given His life. The foundation of 1 Kings 7:10 does not apply to Him as the foundation; for He is the cornerstone. Here is spoken of several large stones. That points to the apostles as the fundament, the foundation (Ephesians 2:20).

Verses 13-22

The Two Pillars

Here the description of the temple continues. Solomon called a stranger, “Hiram from Tyre”, to help build the temple. Hiram comes from a mixed marriage. Foreigners from the Gentiles have a special understanding of what the church is, we see in the New Testament. They are introduced into the mysteries of God. Are we such strangers who understand the things of the church? The majority of Christianity does not have this kind of understanding. What is known in general about a glorified Christ with Whom the church is made one?

Hiram has a special knowledge to work with bronze. Gold speaks of the glory of God. Bronze speaks of God’s glory in righteousness toward the sinner, not to judge him, but to save him and to have him in His presence. In 1 Chronicles 18 we read where the bronze comes from. It is material captured from the enemy (1 Chronicles 18:8).

Hiram is the son of a relation forbidden by God. But God’s grace can use him. He is a man “filled with wisdom and understanding and skill for doing any work in bronze” (1 Kings 7:14). Wisdom und understanding and skill or knowledge also occur in the New Testament, in letters about the church (Ephesians 1:8; Ephesians 1:17; Colossians 1:9). We need the spirit of wisdom, knowledge and understanding to get to know God’s thoughts about His church and to behave accordingly.

New in the temple compared to the tabernacle are the two pillars, each of eight meters high and a circumference of five and a half meters. With their capitals they are more than ten meters high. The pillars are separate from the temple. They are not used to support the temple. They stand before the temple, as a testimony of the security and power of God that will be revealed to the people for their benefit if they obey Him. When God sends His people into exile through the Babylonians because of their disobedience and this enemy robs the temple treasures, much attention is given to these two pillars (2 Kings 25:13; 2 Kings 25:17; Jeremiah 52:17; Jeremiah 52:20-Isaiah :).

The names show what they represent. “Jachin” means “He will confirm” and “Boaz” means “in Him is strength”. Their position in front of the temple reminds all who wish to worship at or in the temple that they should rely solely on God for confirmation and strength in their worship and not on anything within themselves.

Believers who have a special place in the church are called pillars (Galatians 2:9). It is possible for every believer to be a pillar, if the power that is in God is reflected in him (Revelation 3:12).

The lilies on top of the pillars are connected with pomegranates. Lilies represent the glory of the kingdom (Matthew 6:28-Joel :) and pomegranates are a symbol of fruit. The glory and the fruit of the kingdom are both thanks to Him of Whom the kingdom is, Who confirms and supports it.

Verses 23-26

The Casted Sea

The cast bronze sea is for the priests to wash themselves in before they can serve. They have to do this every time they go to the altar or enter the holy place. The application for us is that going through the world makes us unclean and that cleansing is necessary. This cleansing is done by reading God’s Word which is compared with water (John 15:3; Ephesians 5:26).

The sea stands on twelve oxen. Oxen are a picture of persevering service. The enduring service of the intercession of the Lord Jesus is the ground of our association. When we are in heaven, the sea is “a glass sea” (Revelation 15:2). The water there is no longer liquid, because the water is no longer needed for cleansing.

Verses 27-37

The Bronze Stands

To the sea ten stands connected. The tabernacle had no stands. The number ten is striking. It is the number of responsibility. It is about whether we can go from the level of the tabernacle to the level of the temple.

There are also lions, oxen and cherubim connected to it. We see them back in or they remind us of Revelation 4, where there is talk of the four living creatures (Revelation 4:6-Judges :). The picture in Revelation may be derived from the description here. They are the symbols of God’s judgment. The cherub then has the shape of a human being and its wings we see in the eagle.

Verses 38-47

The Bronze Objects

On the ten stands, ten basins are made. In it, the entrails and legs of the burnt offering are washed (Leviticus 1:9). The burnt offering speaks of the Lord Jesus in His complete and total surrender to God on the cross. The washing of the sacrifice, in the spiritual sense of the word, is not done to purify the burnt offering, but to prove that the water remains pure after the washing, because the sacrifice is perfectly pure. The pails and the shovels and the bowls, which are also made of bronze, are also mentioned. These are objects more closely related to the altar and the sacrifices (Exodus 38:3).

From 1 Kings 7:40 on there is a repetition of everything Hiram has made. This is not a useless repetition, but a sign of the value these things have for God. They are all made of polished bronze. The best material is used. Hiram makes everything, but he has no other material used than the material that Solomon has made available to him.

This material was shaped in the clay ground by Solomon in the plain of the Jordan. The Jordan River is the river of death. Everything that is made of bronze objects for the temple, which in the spiritual application speaks of the righteousness of God, is made by what speaks of what the Lord Jesus did on the cross. On the cross He was “in clay ground”. Out of hard work, out of depths, the righteousness of God has come up and been brought to light.

Verses 48-50

The Objects of Gold

The making of the objects of gold is attributed to Solomon personally. The altar, the table with the bread of the Presence and the ten lampstands come in the temple. Gold speaks of God’s glory. There is also talk of “the hinges … for the doors” that give access to the holy place and the most holy place. It is a brief description, because the main idea is government and not approaching to God. Yet it is mentioned here, because approaching to God belongs to it and it must be done in the awareness of God’s glory.

Verse 51

The Sanctified Gifts of David

When the house is finished, Solomon brings all the objects into the temple. There are also “the things dedicated by his father David” that have not been used. These may be for future repairs, for example. David gathered together gold, silver, and brass in abundance for the building of the temple (1 Chronicles 22:14; 1 Chronicles 22:161 Chronicles 29:2). He captured them on defeated enemies (2 Samuel 8:7; 2 Samuel 8:11-2 Kings :). In addition, there are the gifts from his private property (1 Chronicles 29:3-Numbers :) and the voluntary gifts of the superiors (1 Chronicles 29:7-1 Samuel :).

David is a picture of the Lord Jesus in His suffering. After all that has been used, there remains a fullness of glory. Everything that is in the temple is worked through Christ and His work on the cross. But there is even more glory connected with the work of Christ. That is all material for “the treasuries of the house of the LORD”.

Bibliographical Information
de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op 1 Kings 7". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/kng/1-kings-7.html. 'Stichting Titus' / 'Stichting Uitgeverij Daniël', Zwolle, Nederland. 2021.
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