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Also he made a “sea” of cast metal, ten cubits from brim to brim, round in compass, and its height was five cubits and a line of thirty cubits encircled it. Bible

“a ‘sea’ of cast metal.” Solomon’s bronze laver was so large it was referred to as the “sea.” It was in the southeast corner of the Temple (1 Kings 7:39), and was 45 feet in circumference (14 meters), 15 feet (4.6 m) from brim to brim, and 7 ½ feet (2.3 m) high. It was mounted on a base of 12 bronze oxen, but there is no explanation for the oxen, although there is no shortage of theories about what they represented. How much water the sea held is problematic because 1 Kings 7:26 says “2,000 baths” (roughly 11,000 gallons, 41,600 liters) and 2 Chronicles 4:5 says “3,000 baths.” It is possible that the 3,000 was the full capacity but the 2,000 was what was normally kept in it, but there may have also been a copyist’s error as to the capacity of the sea (a “bath” was a liquid measure roughly equivalent to but a little less than six gallons (about 22 liters).


Commentary for: 2 Chronicles 4:2