He cast two bronze pillars, each eighteen cubits high and twelve cubits in circumference. He also made two capitals of cast bronze to set on the tops of the pillars; each capital was five cubits high. A network of interwoven chains adorned the capitals on top of the pillars, seven for each capital. He made pomegranates in two rows encircling each network to decorate the capitals on top of the pillars. He did the same for each capital. On the capitals of both pillars, above the bowl-shaped part next to the network, were the two hundred pomegranates in rows all around. He erected the pillars at the portico of the temple. The pillar to the south he named Jakin and the one to the north Boaz. The capitals on top were in the shape of lilies. And so the work on the pillars was completed. He made the Sea of cast metal, circular in shape, measuring ten cubits from rim to rim and five cubits high. It took a line of thirty cubits to measure around it. Below the rim, gourds encircled it—ten to a cubit. The gourds were cast in two rows in one piece with the Sea. The Sea stood on twelve bulls, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south and three facing east. The Sea rested on top of them, and their hindquarters were toward the center. It was a handbreadth in thickness, and its rim was like the rim of a cup, like a lily blossom. It held two thousand baths. – 1 Kings 7:15-18, 20-26
I am in Haiti at the moment exploring possibilities for bringing students to study down here. Since bandwidth is limited here, both internet and my own personal “bandwidth”, the posts for the next couple of days may be a bit terse.
Solomon is finishing the temple in style. He has enlisted the help of an expert bronze caster. The decorations sound truly amazing. In addition to numerous bronze objects Solomon commissioned a “bronze sea”. This swimming pool sized object was filled with water and is thought to symbolize the Red Sea that was parted to save the Israelites from the Egyptians — sort of an uber baptismal.
It is not entirely clear what this large container of water would be used for — perhaps it was just for decoration? Apparently the 12 bulls represent the twelve tribes of Israel. There is also some speculation about the symbolic connection between this body of water, present in the temple, and God’s presence in the temple. There is a way that the kingdom of God is like a sea and we, or at least our spirits, can join this sea when we choose to be with God.
Our “drop of soul” joins the great sea of God’s presence. What is amazing about this joining is that from what I have read and understand we remain distinct even though we join the great sea. God still loves all of the drops of soul.
Prayer: Thank you God that you love every drop of soul in the sea of your presence.