“The captain of the guard
They took away
All the vessels of bronze
Used in the temple service.
The captain of the guard
The small bowls,
The fire pans,
The lamp stands,
The bowls for libation.
He took both
Those of gold
With those of silver.”
This is slightly more detailed than the listing found in 2 Kings, chapter 25. The captain of the guard took these Temple vessels that were used in the worship services, although it is not clear whether he did this before he burned the Temple or after the burning. Nevertheless he took pots, shovels, snuffers, basins, ladles, and all the bronze vessels used in the Temple service. He also took away the small bowls, the fire pans, the pots, the lamp stands, and the bowls for libation, whether they were gold or silver.
“Now some of the heads of the ancestral houses contributed to the work. The governor gave to the treasury one thousand darics of gold, fifty basins, and five hundred thirty priests’ robes. Some of the heads of the ancestral houses gave into the building fund twenty thousand darics of gold and two thousand two hundred minas of silver. What the rest of the people gave was twenty thousand darics of gold, two thousand minas of silver, and sixty-seven priests’ robes.”
In the story in Ezra, chapter 2, this happened when they arrived in Jerusalem. There in Ezra was no mention of any gifts or money from the governor, who seems very generous here. This unnamed governor gave 1,000 gold darics and 530 priestly robes. Where did he get them? However, both books agree that the ancestral heads of families got together a free will offering to start a building fund for the Temple. There is no mention of the site here in Nehemiah as there was in Ezra, chapter 2. This was a substantial collection. The contributions amounts are different from Ezra. However, they only had the Persia daric gold coins and Babylonian silver minas to contribute. The gold coins were named after the Persian King Darius I. They were used for a couple of hundred years until the Greek King Alexander abolished them around 330 BCE. Here they got 40,000 darics of gold and 4,200 minas of silver. This was probably worth about a half a million USA dollars. In Ezra, they received 61,000 gold darics and 5,000 silver minas. Here they received over 530 priest robes as opposed to a mere 100 in Ezra. Apparently someone had taken these priestly robes into captivity with them, but where were they kept for 60 years?.
“King Solomon made all the things that were in the house of God. He made the golden altar, the tables for the bread of the Presence, the lamp stands, and their lamps of pure gold to burn before the inner sanctuary, as prescribed. He made the flowers, the lamps, and the tongs of purest gold. He made the snuffers, basins, dishes for incense, and fire pans of pure gold. As for the entrance to the temple, the inner doors to the most holy place and the doors of the nave of the temple were of gold.”
As in 1 Kings, chapter 7, almost word for word, King Solomon made all the golden vessels. This is very reminiscent of Exodus, chapter 25, when they got ready the sanctuary for the Ark of the Covenant. Everything had to be gold plated, the altars, the lamp stands, and all the small utensils. He made the golden altar for the bread as well as the golden lamp stands. All the utensils were gold. Everything was gold plated including the doors.
“King Solomon made ten golden lamp stands as prescribed. He set them in the temple, five on the south side and five on the north side. He also made ten tables. He placed them in the temple, five on the right side and five on the left side. He made a hundred basins of gold. He made the court of the priests, and the great court, and doors for the court. He overlaid their doors with bronze. He set the sea at the southeast corner of the house.”
This is a summary of the work in 1 Kings, chapter 7, about furnishing the Temple. The 10 golden lamp stands are the same with 5 on the south side and 5 on the north side. The 10 other tables are to the right and left rather than south and north. However, there was no mention of 100 golden basins since most of the basins were made of bronze in 1 Kings. The court of the priests was in the interior of the Temple reserved for priests only. The doors were overlaid with bronze. The bronze sea with its 12 bulls holding it up was on the southeast corner of the Temple.