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deserves consideration : and that is—Whether a vessel of the dimensions given, could really contain either the one quantity or the other? Of this we shall be convinced by the following particulars :

If a bath be equal to seven English gallons, four English pints, 15.2 cubic inches, as it is usually stated to be, then the cubic inches in a bath will stand thus :

Seven gallons, multiplied by two hundred and

thirty-one, the cubic inches in a gallon

come to


Four pints, multiplied by twenty-eight and

three-quarters, the cubic inches in a pint

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We have only to multiply these, therefore, by the number of baths said to be contained in the molten sea in order to find out its contents in cubic inches.

Thus, 1747.2 multiplied by 2000, gives 3494400,0; and by 3000, it gives 5241600,0.-Now let us measure the molten sea, as given in Scripture, and see how many solid inches it really contained, that we may observe how it coincides with, or differs from, the above measurement.

No particular form is given to it in Scripture; but let us suppose, for the ease of calculation, that it was a half globe, or in the form of a cup. The common way of measuring a half globe is to multiply the diameter into half the circumference for the superficial measure; and that by one sixth of the diameter for its solid contents. Let us adopt this rule-21.888, which are the inches in a cubit when multiplied by 10, or the diameter of the molten sea in cubits, make 218.880, as the inches in the diame

ter of the molten sea ; and 21.888 inches, multiplied by 15, or half the number of cubits in the circumference, give 328.320, as the inches in half the circumference of the molten sea. Multiply these together and you have 71862.681600 as the superficial measure; and then multiply this by one-sixth of the diameter, or 38.480, and you have 2621550.624768000, as the solid contents of the molten sea in cubic inches, according to the Scripture account. A sum, much less than we found to result from multiplying the cubic inches in a bath, either by the number 2000 or 3000. For the above sum of 2621550.624768000, when divided by 1747.2, the cubic inches in a bath, only give 1500.42984488, or 1500 baths nearly: a number far short of either 2000 or 3000.

How then are we to account for this deficiency? We answer, it may be accounted for on either of the following suppositions: First, that the molten sca was not a half globe, or cup, which was merely assumed for the ease of calculation, but in the form of a pot, swelling below and above the neck, but measured at it. This form might easily be constructed so as to hold two thousand baths below the neck, and one thousand above it. Secondly, The Jews endeavour to remove the difficulty by telling us, in their Talmudical writings, that the molten sea was square at the bottom for three cubits high, and that

every side of the square was ten cubits broad; while the two upper cubits contracted it into a circular form in the mouth, so as to make a line of thirty cubits to compass it round. This supposition, however, would give it but an awkward appearance; the more elegant form being that of a goblet or pot, which (we have seen) might be made so as to hold the specified quantity. After all, it may be worth our while, in the third place, to strike at the root of the difficulty, by doubting whether the contents of the Jewish bath that have been assigned by VOL. I.



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the moderns be not too great. For it will be noticed in the table of liquid measure, afterwards given from the Jewish writings, that the bath was four hundred and thirty-two egg-shells full. An egg-shell, indeed, like the barley-corns among them and among ourselves, is a very uncertain standard; for we are entirely unacquainted with the quantity that an egg-shell should contain. And, besides, by being so small, the error always increases as we advance; whereas, had they chosen a larger measure for the standard, the error would have diminished as we descended. But taking it as it is, imperfect as such a standard confessedly is, let us make a rude sketch how many English gallons the molten sea contained. By an accurate examination with several eggs, the medium number in an English pint was 9. Let us multiply, therefore, 432, or the number of egg-shells full in a bath, by 2000, and divide the quotient first by 9, to bring it into English pints, and then by 8, to bring it into English gallons, and we have 12000 gallons as the contents of the molten sea. Here, then, when multiplied by 2000, it contained 12000 English gallons; and by 3000,

s it contained 18000 English gallons : a quantity far less, as we conjectured, than the modern calculation of the bath has made it. For the modern calculation of a bath is 7 English gallons, 4 English pints, and 15.2 cubic inches ; which, altogether, are equal to 601 English pints. Multiply 60{ English pints by 2000, and divide it by 8 (the number of pints in a gallon,) and you have 15125 English gallons. And multiply 60į by 3000, and divide it by 8, and you have 22687 English gallons. The difference, therefore, between the ancient Jewish standard, and the modern computation will stand thus :

Two thousand baths, according to the ancient Jewish standard, are equal to 12000 English gallons; but, ac


cording to the modern computation, they are equal to 15125. And 3000 baths, according to the ancient Jewish standard, are equal to 18000 English gallons ; whereas, according to the modern computation, they are equal to 22687. In other words, the ancient Jewish standard is to the modern supposition as 12 to 151, or as 18 to 221. It is nowonder, then, amidst this uncertainty, that our calculations came short of what was expected. It will be noticed, however, that they agree much better with the first than with the last.

The molten sea was first disfigured by Ahaz, who removed it from the brazen oxen, and set it on a pavement of stones :* and then broken to pieces by the Chaldeans when they took Jerusalem, and the brass of it was carried by them to Babylon."

Before we conclude an account of this immense vessel we may remark, that the water which supplied it came from the draw-well room, on the opposite side of the Court, by means of subterraneous pipes.

But is it full time now to leave the north side of the altar, and turn to the south, that we may examine the various objects that were placed there. The first that presents itself is the ascent to the altar, which, as we formerly said, reached thirty-two cubits from north to south, and was sixteen cubits wide. Under this, on the east side, was a dark closet, into which they threw the offals of the birds that were offered, and the ashes of the incense and brazen altars, till otherwise disposed of: and, on the west, another closet of a similar kind, for keeping the birds that, on examination, were found unfit for sacrifice : while along the west side of the ascent there were two tables, one of silver (marked No. 22, in Plate II.), on which lay the vessels and other utensils

6 Jer, lii, 17.

• 2 Kings xvi, 17.


in ques

that were required during the service; and the other of marble (marked No. 23,) on which were placed the pieces of the sacrifice, previous to their being carried up to the altar. At the side of this table the priests stood when they sounded the trumpets during the service.

Let us now see what was beyond the ascent, or between it and the south side of the Court of the Priests

space of seventeen cubits. It was there that they killed the sacrifices that were accounted less holy-such as the thank-offerings, the ram appointed to be offered for the Nazarite, the peace-offerings, the firstlings, the tithe, &c. when these sacrifices were too numerous to be slain on the north side: but if they could accomplish it, all the sacrifices were commonly slain on the north of the altar. Yet to meet such emergencies, the space tion had hooks, tables, &c. although not so many as on the other side.

Thus have we traversed across the Court, examining the altar, and the objects in a line with it: let us now sum up the several particulars. From the north side of the Court to the place of the short pillars and hooks was four cubits; from thence to the marble tables, four more; the place of rings was twenty-four; from that to the north side of the altar eight; and from the north side of the altar to its centre sixteen; making a total of fifty-six cubits from the north side of the Court to the centre of the altar. The measures on the south side stand thus : from the outside of the Court to the foot of the ascent to the altar seventeen cubits, the ascent itself thirty-two, and the distance from the south side of the altar to its centre sixteen; consequently, the whole distance from the south side of the Court to the centre of the altar was sixty-five cubits. Let us now join the two šums, fifty-six and sixty-five, together, and we have one hundred and twenty-one as the width of the whole Court, which is


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