Sea, the Molten; Sea, the Brazen
mol'-t'n, or (yam mutsaq, yam hanechosheth): This was a large brazen (bronze) reservoir for water which stood in the court of Solomon's Temple between the altar and the temple porch, toward the South (1Ki 7:23-26; 2Ch 4:2-5,10). The bronze from which it was made is stated in 1Ch 18:8 to have been taken by David from the cities Tibhath and Cun. It replaced the laver of the tabernacle, and, like that, was used for storing the water in which the priests washed their hands and their feet (compare Ex 30:18; 38:8). It rested on 12 brazen (bronze) oxen, facing in four groups the four quarters of heaven. For particulars of shape, size and ornamentation, see TEMPLE. The "sea" served its purpose till the time of Ahaz, who took away the brazen oxen, and placed, the sea upon a pavement (2Ki 16:17). It is recorded that the oxen were afterward taken to Babylon (Jer 52:20). The sea itself shared the same fate, being first broken to pieces (2Ki 25:13,16).
W. Shaw Caldecott