2 Chronicles Chapter 4  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Bible: 2 Chronicles 4
 
2Ch 4:1

“20 cubits.” Most scholars think this is the standard cubit of 18 inches, which would make the bronze altar 30 feet by 30 feet (9 x 9 meters), and 15 feet (4.6 m) high. Although it was said to be made of bronze, it is unclear how much of it was bronze. The priests ministered in bare feet, so it seems clear that the top of it that had the perpetual fire could not have been bronze or the priests could not have walked there. Similarly, the ramp up to the top would not have been bronze or in the summer the Judean sun would have made the ramp too hot to walk on.

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2Ch 4:2

“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).

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2Ch 4:3

“oxen.” The Masoretic text reads “oxen,” but 1 Kings 7:24 says “gourds.” It is hard to say whether Kings or Chronicles is original. In Hebrew the words are very close and so at some point the text was miscopied.

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2Ch 4:4(top)
2Ch 4:5

“and held 3,000 baths.” See commentary on 1 Kings 7:26.

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2Ch 4:6

“five on the right hand and five on the left.” This verse would be in the normal perspective of looking east, so the right hand is the south side, and the left hand is the north side.

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2Ch 4:7

“five on the right hand and five on the left.” This verse would be in the normal perspective of looking east, so the right hand is the south side, and the left hand is the north side.

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2Ch 4:8

“five on the right hand and five on the left.” This verse would be in the normal perspective of looking east, so the right hand is the south side, and the left hand is the north side.

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2Ch 4:9

“he made the courtyard of the priests, and he made the great court.” This describes two courts. The inner court, the court of the priests, and outside of that the larger court for the people. The two words for “courtyard” and “court” are different. These two courts in 2 Chronicles 4:9 correspond to the two courts mentioned in Ezekiel 40, the outer court of Ezekiel 40:17-19 and the inner court of Ezekiel 40:44, and Herod’s Temple at the time of Christ also had these two courtyards but also a huge outer courtyard where all people, Jews and Gentiles, were allowed to go. The wall around the huge outer courtyard of Herod’s Temple enclosed about 37 acres of land.

The two courts were important for the function of the Temple, the inner court for the priests and all the work they did, and the outer court for the laypeople. In Ezekiel’s Temple the inner court is 100 cubits square (175 feet square) and had the altar of sacrifice in it (Ezek. 40:47). That inner court is the same “court of the priests” as is mentioned here in 2 Chronicles 4:9, and is also the courtyard that is in front of the Temple (the “house”) in 2 Chronicles 7:7 and 1 Kings 8:64.

“he overlaid their doors with bronze.” That the doors are “their doors” suggests that both courts had bronze doors.

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2Ch 4:10

“right side.” The orientation in the Bible was to the east, so the “right side” was the south side. “at the southeast corner” is more literally in the Hebrew text, “eastward, over against the south,” meaning on the southeast corner. So the great sea basin was at the southeast corner of the Temple.

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2Ch 4:11(top)
2Ch 4:12(top)
2Ch 4:13(top)
2Ch 4:14(top)
2Ch 4:15(top)
2Ch 4:16(top)
2Ch 4:17

“Zarethan.” The town is spelled differently in Kings, but it is undoubtedly the same town.

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2Ch 4:18(top)
2Ch 4:19(top)
2Ch 4:20(top)
2Ch 4:21(top)
2Ch 4:22

“the main hall of the temple.” This is the Holy Place.

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