1 Kings 7:8-24
New American Bible (Revised Edition)
8 (A)The house in which he lived was in another court, set in deeper than the Porch and of the same construction. (Solomon made a house like this Porch for Pharaoh’s daughter, whom he had married.)[a] 9 All these buildings were of fine stones, hewn to size and trimmed front and back with a saw, from the foundation to the bonding course and outside as far as the great court. 10 The foundation was made of fine, large blocks, some ten cubits and some eight cubits. 11 Above were fine stones hewn to size, and cedar wood. 12 The great court had three courses of hewn stones all around and a course of cedar beams. So also were the inner court of the house of the Lord and its porch.
13 King Solomon brought Hiram[b] from Tyre. 14 He was a bronze worker, the son of a widow from the tribe of Naphtali; his father had been from Tyre. He was endowed with wisdom, understanding, and knowledge for doing any work in bronze. He came to King Solomon and did all his metal work.
15 [c](B)He fashioned two bronze columns, each eighteen cubits high and twelve cubits in circumference. 16 He also made two capitals cast in bronze, to be placed on top of the columns, each of them five cubits high. 17 There were meshes made like netting and braid made like chains for the capitals on top of the columns, seven for each capital. 18 [d]He also cast pomegranates, two rows around each netting to cover the capital on top of the columns. 19 The capitals on top of the columns (in the porch) were made like lilies, four cubits high. 20 And the capitals on the two columns, both above and adjoining the bulge where it crossed out of the netting, had two hundred pomegranates in rows around each capital. 21 He set up the columns at the temple porch; one he set up to the south, and called it Jachin, and the other to the north, and called it Boaz.[e] 22 The top of the columns was made like a lily. Thus the work on the columns was completed.
23 Then he made the molten sea;[f] it was made with a circular rim, and measured ten cubits across, five in height, and thirty in circumference. 24 Under the brim, gourds encircled it for ten cubits around the compass of the sea; the gourds were in two rows and were cast in one mold with the sea.Read full chapter
- 7:8 Solomon did not build the house for Pharaoh’s daughter until Temple and palace were finished (3:1). By mentioning this marriage, the narrator keeps before the reader a developing theme in the Solomon story: the king’s building activities for his foreign wives, which eventually implicate him in idolatry (3:1; 7:8; 9:24; 11:1–8).
- 7:13 Hiram: a craftsman, not the king of Tyre (5:15–26).
- 7:15 The two bronze columns were called Jachin and Boaz (v. 21; also 2 Chr 3:17); the significance of the names is unclear. The columns stood to the right and left of the Temple porch, and may have been intended to mark the entrance to the building as the entrance to God’s private dwelling. Their extraordinary size and elaborate decoration would have made them the most impressive parts of the Temple visible to the ordinary viewer, who was not permitted into the nave, let alone into the innermost sanctuary. According to Jer 52:21, the columns were hollow, the bronze exterior being “four fingers thick.”
- 7:18–20 The Hebrew text is corrupt in many places here, and alternative readings attested in the ancient versions are secondary attempts to make sense of the text. A clearer description of the columns and their decoration is found in vv. 41–42.
- 7:21 Jachin…Boaz: see note on 7:15.
- 7:23–26 The molten sea: this was a large circular tank containing about twelve thousand gallons of water.