Friday, April 17, 2009

Solomon's Ten Lavers

In I Kings 7:27-39 we find the following text:

27And he made ten bases of brass; four cubits was the length of one base, and four cubits the breadth thereof, and three cubits the height of it.

28And the work of the bases was on this manner: they had borders, and the borders were between the ledges:

29And on the borders that were between the ledges were lions, oxen, and cherubim: and upon the ledges there was a base above: and beneath the lions and oxen were certain additions made of thin work.

30And every base had four brazen wheels, and plates of brass: and the four corners thereof had undersetters: under the laver were undersetters molten, at the side of every addition.

31And the mouth of it within the chapiter and above was a cubit: but the mouth thereof was round after the work of the base, a cubit and a half: and also upon the mouth of it were gravings with their borders, foursquare, not round.

32And under the borders were four wheels; and the axletrees of the wheels were joined to the base: and the height of a wheel was a cubit and half a cubit.

33And the work of the wheels was like the work of a chariot wheel: their axletrees, and their naves, and their felloes, and their spokes, were all molten.

34And there were four undersetters to the four corners of one base: and the undersetters were of the very base itself.

35And in the top of the base was there a round compass of half a cubit high: and on the top of the base the ledges thereof and the borders thereof were of the same.

36For on the plates of the ledges thereof, and on the borders thereof, he graved cherubims, lions, and palm trees, according to the proportion of every one, and additions round about.

37After this manner he made the ten bases: all of them had one casting, one measure, and one size.

38Then made he ten lavers of brass: one laver contained forty baths: and every laver was four cubits: and upon every one of the ten bases one laver.

39And he put five bases on the right side of the house, and five on the left side of the house: and he set the sea on the right side of the house eastward over against the south.

The ten lavers of brass sat upon ten bases of brass. Five of these lavers were on the south side of the Courtyard and five lavers were on the north side of the Courtyard, near enough to work in conjunction with the Altar of Burnt Offering. Each of the bases, supporting the lavers, was square, 4 cubits long, 4 cubits wide and 3 cubits high. That is equivalent to 6ft long, 6-ft wide, and 4.5 feet high. These bases sat on wheels that were chariot like wheels 2.25 feet high. So that would make the total height of the base approximately 5.6 feet high, and then the laver would set on top of the base, which would add another several feet to the overall height.

Each laver, and its base, was available to the priests to wash the sacrifices from any defilement and make the sacrifices ready for burning on the altar. The Molten Sea was to be used exclusively for the cleansing of the priests as they entered into the Holy Places, and not for the washing of sacrifices.

Each base was like a cabinet and had panels around the sides on which were depicted engravings of lions, oxen, cherubim, and palm trees. For this writer these emblems were symbols of the lion for aggressive warfare for God, the oxen for service and sacrifice for God, the cherubim to share the messages of God to the world, and finally to have peace and victory as symbolized by the palm trees.

Again we must remember that all of the equipment, and activities of the Temple were symbols to communicate various ideas of spiritual activities to those who participated in the Temple services. So the Lavers, and their bases, were also to communicate these ideas at many levels. In a previous study we talked about the Sea that it was a symbol of Christ’s ministry to the world through the waters of life. So with the lavers one of the messages is that being on wheels they were to go to various places to carry the message of the gospel and be a fountain of water to all who wanted to be refreshed. "But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." John 4:14 This thought was followed up by Jesus in this additional statement: "In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)" John 7:37-39

The lavers convey the concept of cleansing of the sacrifice and the New Testament writers also had this idea as well and apply it to the cleansing of the church by the sacrifice of Jesus. "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word…" Ephesians 5:25-26. Jesus extends the idea further by stating "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour…" Titus 3:5-6

The Holy Word of God extends this cleansing thought to His faithful followers. He recognizes the need of cleansing of even the most sincere of His flock. Jesus states that He wants to wash for our idols (Ezekiel 36:25) He wants to birth us again through the water and the Spirit (John 3:5) and this water is His Word (John 15:3; Ephesians 5:26) and that when we are washed, even if it is only our feet we are clean every whit. (John 13:9-10)

Thus the service of the lavers has its literal cleansing of animal sacrifices in the OT service, but it also has its spiritual application that has been available by faith to each and every sinner since the beginning of sin in Eden. I pray that today you will accept this cleansing from Jesus your High Priest by faith. You may not be able to feel this process, but by faith you can accept the process because God has spoken it and He can not lie to you. Even if you have accepted God as the Leader in your life and you have had problems with sin, come again and wash your sacrifice at the laver, and then go to the sea and be cleansed again.

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