Useful Bible Studies > 1 Kings Commentary > chapter 7

The two bronze columns

1 Kings 7:15-16

In 1 Samuel 7:12, God had acted powerfully to rescue Israel’s people in a battle. Samuel wanted Israel’s people always to remember how God had helped them. So he put up a great stone near that place. It was evidence of what God had done for them.

In a similar way, Solomon was very grateful that God had permitted him to complete the construction of the temple (God’s house in Jerusalem). So, he ordered his expert workman, Hiram, to make two great columns out of the metal called bronze. These columns stood in front of the temple. They were not part of the building and they did not support the building. Rather, they were separate columns that stood alone on each side of the entrance. There, they would stand for as long as the temple did (2 Kings 25:8-17). For four centuries, they stood as evidence of what God had done to make the construction of the temple possible.

These columns each stood about 27 feet (8 metres) high, their tops added about 7 feet (2 metres) to the height. They were hollow (Jeremiah 52:21), but still, the weight was immense. Nobody was ever able to weigh them. It seems likely that Hiram had to invent new techniques in order to make them. There is a description of how and where he did this in 1 Kings 7:46. It would have taken the effort of several hundred men to bring them to Jerusalem. Then, of course, it was necessary to stand them up and to fix them in the places where they would remain.

Next part: A description of the columns and their names: Jakin and Boaz (1 Kings 7:17-22)


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