Solomon has new furnishings made for the new Temple. The original furnishings of the Tabernacle were not big enough to handle the volume that would pass through the Temple.
We heard this story when we were in 1 Kings 7. In the earlier story the writer focused quite a bit on the stands that held the 10 basins. The basins are mentioned today but not the stands. The purpose of the basins is covered today too and it makes a LOT of sense to me.
The smaller basins were for washing the meat as it was cut up for the sacrifice and the utensils used. The priests probably also washed their bloody hands here. The ceremonial cleaning were reserved for the Bronze Sea. This water would need to be changed often. The smaller basins allowed for this to happen. If all the washing took place in the large basin there would be no way for the priests, or the sacrifices for that matter, to ever be clean. The smaller basins were able to be dumped where the Bronze Sea wasn’t. Can you imagine trying to pick up that swimming pool sized bowl to dump it?! I wonder if it had a plug in it where they could periodically empty it.
When we looked at this story the first time we compared the size of the original items to the new items, especially the altar. The new furnishings had to be more abundant because of the increased population that would use it and the increased size of the Temple over the Tabernacle. It would have looked really strange to furnish the Temple with exactly the same number of pieces as the Tabernacle contained. Now instead of one table and one lampstand there were ten of each.
There were also new bowls, forks, tongs, and all other sorts of implements needed cast for the new Temple. The number of tables required that a number of utensils to be available on each.
Something that leaves me speechless is the fact that all these items were cast “In the plain of the Jordan the king cast them, in the clay between Succoth and Zeredah” (verse 17). Does this include the Bronze Sea and the 12 bulls holding it? I was already thinking about the work needed to make molds for all these items. Now we see that those molds are made directly in the ground. It would be amazing to see today if those molds were still there today. I guess I will have to wait for the ‘scrapbook’ in Heaven to see it. Until then, artist renditions will have to do.
Solomon spent more time on embellishments than Moses did. The original furnishings were decorative but the new furnishings and building itself went FAR beyond what was originally created. I wonder where the inspiration for those embellishments came from. Was it already in David’s plans? Was it something that God worked into the craftsman’s mind? However it came about it must have been beautiful!
Father God, thank You for the descriptions You provided. My mind’s eye is not good enough to picture it. I’m hoping You will show me one day, in Heaven possibly, the splendor of Your House. I’m curious, were there more people coming to Your Temple than to Your Tabernacle? If so was it because of location? Did the people go to the Tent with Your Ark in it instead? Soon it would be all together and there would only be one place to go. With the world’s population now, I doubt those who worship You would fit in one place. We are also pretty scattered about the globe. I’m SO glad You allow me to come to You without requiring me to come to a specific physical spot. My heart is Your home now. NEVER let me forget that!