Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 7

Ten stands to support basins of water

1 Kings 7:27-29

Leviticus 1:9 tells the priests to wash the inner parts of the animals that they offered as sacrifices (gifts to God). 1 Kings 7:27-39 explains where they kept the water for this task (2 Chronicles 4:6).

Hiram made ten large basins out of the metal called bronze. Each of these was 6 feet (2 metres) across. The intention was that these should not remain in one particular place; the priests should be able to move them. Therefore, the basins were each on top of a stand at about four and a half feet (one and a half metres) above the ground. It is probably clearer to describe the stands as a type of cart, as they had wheels. The stands were also bronze. They had to be strong, as they were carrying a great weight of water.

The stands had flat sides, and Hiram designed pictures for these sides (7-29). There were pictures of the farm animals called oxen. Then, there were pictures of the bold wild animals called lions. Also, there were pictures of cherubim, a kind of angels, servants of God that act as guards of God’s holy things.

It is interesting to think about where these images appear elsewhere in Solomon’s designs. There were models of 12 oxen below the pool called the Sea (7:25). That may remind us of the 12 tribes (family groups) in Israel. There were models of lions on Solomon’s throne (royal seat) in 1 Kings 10:18-20. There were models and pictures of cherubim in the temple (God’s house). So these pictures together may remind us of the relationship between Israel’s people, their king, and God.

Next part: A description in detail of the ten stands (1 Kings 7:30-36)


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