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[81] He also made ten brazen bases for so many quadrangular lavers; the length of every one of these bases was five cubits, and the breadth four cubits, and the height six cubits. This vessel was partly turned, and was thus contrived: There were four small quadrangular pillars that stood one at each corner; these had the sides of the base fitted to them on each quarter; they were parted into three parts; every interval had a border fitted to support [the laver]; upon which was engraven, in one place a lion, and in another place a bull, and an eagle. The small pillars had the same animals engraven that were engraven on the sides. The whole work was elevated, and stood upon four wheels, which were also cast, which had also naves and felloes, and were a foot and a half in diameter. Any one who saw the spokes of the wheels, how exactly they were turned, and united to the sides of the bases, and with what harmony they agreed to the felloes, would wonder at them. However, their structure was this: Certain shoulders of hands stretched out held the corners above, upon which rested a short spiral pillar, that lay under the hollow part of the laver, resting upon the fore part of the eagle and the lion, which were adapted to them, insomuch that those who viewed them would think they were of one piece: between these were engravings of palm trees. This was the construction of the ten bases. He also made ten large round brass vessels, which were the lavers themselves, each of which contained forty baths; 1 for it had its height four cubits, and its edges were as much distant from each other. He also placed these lavers upon the ten bases that were called Mechonoth; and he set five of the lavers on the left side of the temple 2 which was that side towards the north wind, and as many on the right side, towards the south, but looking towards the east; the same [eastern] way he also set the sea Now he appointed the sea to be for washing the hands and the feet of the priests, when they entered into the temple and were to ascend the altar, but the lavers to cleanse the entrails of the beasts that were to be burnt-offerings, with their feet also.

1 The round or cylindrical lavers of four cubits in diameter, and four in height, both in our copies, 1 Kings 7:38, 39, and here in Josephus, must have contained a great deal more than these forty baths, which are always assigned them. Where the error lies is hard to say: perhaps Josephus honestly followed his copies here, though they had been corrupted, and he was not able to restore the true reading. In the mean time, the forty baths are probably the true quantity contained in each laver, since they went upon wheels, and were to be drawn by the Levites about the courts of the priests for the washings they were designed for; and had they held much more, they would have been too heavy to have been so drawn.

2 Here Josephus gives us a key to his own language, of right and left hand in the tabernacle and temple; that by the right hand he means what is against our left, when we suppose ourselves going up from the east gate of the courts towards the tabernacle or temple themselves, and so vice versa; whence it follows, that the pillar Jachin, on the right hand of the temple was on the south, against our left hand; and Booz on the north, against our right hand. Of the golden plate on the high priest's forehead that was in being in the days of Josephus, and a century or two at least later, seethe note on Antiq. B. III. ch. 7. sect. 6.

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