Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 7

The difficulties to make these bronze objects

1 Kings 7:46-47

We have a brief account here of how Hiram made the bronze objects for God’s house, the temple. These objects were for the priests to use in the inner court (yard) that surrounded the temple. The priests only used gold objects inside the temple itself.

It astonishes us to think of the great task to make just these bronze objects. Bronze is an alloy (or mixture) of two metals: copper and tin. Solomon’s workmen could obtain rocks that contained copper from Israel’s hills (Deuteronomy 8:9). They would then use a hot fire to obtain the copper. However, it seems likely that they had to import the tin by sea.

All the metal weighed more than anyone could measure. The workmen brought it to the valley of the Jordan river. That was because the clay (a type of soft earth) was suitable there to form the shapes for Hiram’s designs. The workmen melted the metal in a furnace (an extremely hot fire), then poured it into the clay models. This task was hot and difficult, and it needed great skill.

When Hiram had completed these objects to his satisfaction, one extremely difficult task still remained. It was necessary to take these objects, some of which were extremely heavy, to Jerusalem. Succoth and Zarethan, where Hiram made the objects, were about 40 miles (60 kilometres) from Jerusalem. Succoth and Zarethan are in a deep valley, and Jerusalem is high in the hills. There were, of course, no modern machines or vehicles to assist the workmen. It may have needed several hundred men to move these objects by physical effort.

Next part: The gold altar and the gold table for the holy place (1 Kings 7:48)


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