1 Kings 7:13-51

More work on the temple

13 King Solomon sent men to Tyre to fetch a man called Hiram. 14 Hiram was the son of a widow from the tribe of Naphtali. His father was a worker who knew how to use bronze to make things. He lived in Tyre. Hiram also had special skills. He knew how to use bronze to make many kinds of things. So he came to work for King Solomon. He did all the work that Solomon asked him to do.

7:14The tribe of Naphtali was in the north of Israel, near to Tyre.

15 Hiram made two bronze pillars. Each pillar was 8.2 metres high and 5.5 metres around the outside. The metal itself was about 7 centimetres thick. 16 He also used bronze to make a top for each pillar. Each piece was 2.3 metres high. 17 Each piece had pictures like rows of chains that joined together. There were seven pictures like this on the top of each pillar. 18 Hiram also made pictures of two rows of pomegranates around the chains. They covered the tops of the pillars. 19 The tops of the two pillars were in the shape of flowers called lilies. Each one was 1.8 metres high. 20 There were pictures of 200 pomegranates in two rows all around the top of each pillar. They were next to the chains above the round shape at the top of the pillar.

21 Hiram put these two pillars at the entrance room of the temple, in front of the big hall, the hall of pillars in the temple. He called the pillar on the south side ‘Jakin’. He called the pillar on the north side ‘Boaz’. 22 The tops of the pillars were in the shape of flowers called lilies. Hiram finished the work on the two bronze pillars.

23 Hiram also used bronze to make a big bath which they called ‘the Sea’. It was in the shape of a circle 4.5 metres across. It was 2.3 metres deep. It was 14 metres around the outside. 24 All around its edge, below the top, there were two rows of round shapes. They were pictures of fruits called gourds. They were all part of the same piece of bronze as ‘the Sea’. There were 20 gourds for every metre around the edge. 25 Hiram fixed ‘the Sea’ on top of 12 bronze bulls. Three pointed north, three pointed west, three pointed south and three pointed east. Their backs were towards the middle of ‘the Sea’. 26 The walls of ‘the Sea’ were 7½ centimetres thick. Its top edge was like a cup in the shape of a lily flower. ‘The Sea’ contained about 40,000 litres of water.

7:23The Sea was something special. It was full of water. The priests used this to wash themselves when they went into the temple.

27 Hiram also made ten bronze carts to carry water. Each one was 1.8 metres long, 1.8 metres wide and 1.3 metres deep. 28 This is how he made the water carts: He made them with bronze sides, which he fixed to bronze bars at the edges. 29 There were pictures of lions, bulls and cherubs on the bars and on the edges. There were shapes like leaves above and below the lions and the bulls. 30 Each cart had four bronze wheels fixed to bronze axles. The axles were fixed under each cart at four places. These places had shapes like leaves on each side. 31 On the top of the cart there was a round piece which held a bowl. This piece was 50 centimetres deep and 75 centimetres across. Hiram cut pictures into the metal all around it. The bronze sides of the carts were square. They were not round.

7:27They used the carts to take water to fill the Sea.
7:30An axle is the long bar or stick that joins two wheels on a cart.

32 There were four wheels under each cart. They were fixed to axles. The axles and the cart joined together in one piece. Each wheel was 70 centimetres high. 33 The wheels were like the wheels of a chariot. Hiram used bronze to make the axles and all the parts of the wheels. 34 Each cart had four handles. There was one handle on each side, joined to the cart as one piece. 35 There was a piece of metal round the top of each cart. It was 23 centimetres deep. It was fixed at each corner of the cart with pieces of bronze. These pieces and the sides of each cart were all joined together. 36 Hiram cut pictures of cherubs, lions and palm trees on the sides of each cart and on the handles. He cut pictures where there was a space for them. There were also shapes of leaves all around. 37 Hiram used bronze to make the ten carts so that they all had the same size and shape.

7:33Hiram made the bronze very hot. Then he poured it into shapes to make the axles and the parts of the wheels. When the metal became cold, it became hard again, in the right shape.

38 And Hiram also made ten bronze buckets. Each bucket contained about 800 litres. Each bucket was 1.8 metres across. There was one bucket for each of the ten carts. 39 Hiram put five of the carts on the south side of the temple. He put the other five carts on the north side of the temple. He put ‘the Sea’ on the south side of the temple, at the south-east corner.

40 Hiram also made dishes to carry ashes, small tools and bowls.

So Hiram finished all the work in the Lord's temple that King Solomon had asked him to do. He made these things:

  • 41 Two pillars.
  • Two pieces for the top of each pillar, with the shape of big bowls.
  • Rows of chains on the tops of the pillars.
  • 42 400 images of pomegranates for the two groups of chains. (There were two rows of these images around the piece at the top of each pillar, which had the shape of a bowl.)
  • 43 Ten carts with the ten buckets that were on them.
  • 44 The big bath called ‘the Sea’ and the 12 bulls under it.
  • 45 The dishes, small tools and bowls.
  • King Solomon asked Hiram to make all these things for the Lord's temple. Hiram used bright bronze to make all these things. 46 The king told his workers to pour the hot bronze into shapes in the ground. They did that at a special place in the region of the Jordan Valley, between Succoth and Zarethan. 47 Solomon did not weigh any of these things, because there were so many of them. No one ever knew the weight of the bronze.

    48 Solomon also made all these things for the Lord's temple:

  • The gold altar.
  • The gold table which had the special bread on it.
  • 49 The pure gold lampstands. There were five lampstands on one side of the door to the Most Holy Place and five on the other side.
  • The gold images of flowers.
  • The lamps.
  • The small tools that held things for the altar.
  • 50 The pure gold bowls.
  • The small tools that they used for the lamps.
  • The bowls for water.
  • The dishes for ashes.
  • The baskets that carried hot coals.
  • The gold pieces that held the doors of the Most Holy Place.
  • The gold pieces that held the doors of the temple's big hall.
  • 51 King Solomon finished all the work for the Lord's temple. Then he brought into it all the holy things that belonged to his father, David. He stored all the valuable things in a safe place in the Lord's temple. They included silver things and gold things.