Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 7

The bronze objects outside the temple

1 Kings 7:39-45

The metal objects for use in the temple, God’s house, were all gold (7:48-50). Solomon chose gold for that very holy place because gold is a pure metal, and not a mixture. Only what is pure and perfect, is good enough for God (Malachi 3:1-3; 1 Corinthians 3:12-15).

The sacred work of the priests was to deal with people’s broken relationship with God. To do this, they offered sacrifices (animals that they offered to God by fire) in the temple’s inner court. The inner court was a yard that surrounded the temple. People have ruined their relationship with God by their evil deeds (Isaiah 59:2) - and we are all guilty (Ecclesiastes 7:29; Romans 3:23).

Of course, the priests were guilty of wrong and evil acts, even as the people were. Only God is perfect. So, the priests distinguished between objects for their own use, and objects for God’s use. Inside the temple, everything should be gold. Outside, even in the inner court, nothing that the priests used was gold. There, everything was bronze - a brown metal that is an alloy (mixture) of copper and tin.

Many of these bronze objects were very beautiful - Hiram, who made them, was a great artist. His workmen polished the bronze well, because these objects were for the priests’ use in God’s work. Hiram wanted to offer for God the best things that he could make. However these objects were still bronze - and, of course, bronze is not gold. In the same way, nothing that people can do, ever satisfies God’s perfect standards. Only God himself can truly mend people’s broken relationship with him.

Next part: The difficulties to make these bronze objects (1 Kings 7:46-47)


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