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I am very excited to do a blog, and I hope that this can be a format where some of the problems we have in our Bible study can be addressed. I believe that one of the biggest handicaps we have is a total lack of understanding concerning the Temple. Most people just read scriptures without stopping to contemplate what is being said. You can never do this in the Temple. This is the place that Hashem has for you to learn the maximum concerning Him. I would like to take the subject of the Kior or Laver and develop this over several days. It will take time as we have a foundation of information to lay first. In this period we will lay down different principles that will be applied over and over on virtually every aspect of the Temple and its ceremonies. The bonus is that these same principles will then apply to all of your Bible studies.

The question under discussion is the Laver of the Temple. In Hebrew the Laver is known as the Kior. During the First Temple the Kior was called the Yam or the Sea.. The initial instruction concerning the Kior is found in the Torah in the book of Shemot (Exodus).

The Kior in the Mishkan

Thou shalt also make a laver of brass, and the base thereof of brass, whereat to wash; and thou shalt put it between the tent of meeting and the altar, and thou shalt put water therein. And Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet thereat; when they go into the tent of meeting, they shall wash with water, that they die not; or when they come near to the altar to minister, to cause an offering made by fire to smoke unto the L-RD; so they shall wash their hands and their feet, ; and it shall be a statute for ever to them, even to him and to his seed throughout their generations.’ (Exo 30:18-21 JPS).

Note in the above passage there is a reference to the Tent of Meeting (Ohel Moed). Initially Moses sat this tent up outside the camp of Israel. He would go out to the tent to meet with Hashem and the people would come out to this location to hear the word of Hashem. When the Mishkan (Tabernacle) was built and placed within the middle of the camp, the Ohel Moed (Tent of Meeting) became the haKodesh (the Holy Place), this is the room in front of the Kodesh haKodashim (the Holy of Holies) that contained the seven branched Menorah, the Golden Altar of Incense, the Shulchan Lechem haPanim (the Table of the Bread of the Face). Note also that before a kohen (Priest) can enter this room he must wash (later it will be established that he must wash both his hands and his feet). This is also true in the case of approaching the Altar. This is a perpetual command. The penalty for not washing the hands and the feet before entering the Ohel Moed/haKodesh or ascending the Altar is death.

And thou shalt anoint therewith the tent of meeting, and the ark of the testimony, and the table and all the vessels thereof, and the candlestick and the vessels thereof, and the altar of incense, and the altar of burnt-offering with all the vessels thereof, and the laver (Kior) and the base thereof.  And thou shalt sanctify them, that they may be most holy; whatsoever toucheth them shall be holy. (Exo 30:26-29 JPS)

There are two levels of Sanctification or kedusha in the Inner courtyard. Most Holy is known as Kodshai Kodashim. Understanding Kedusha is one of the most important keys to understanding the Temple and the Bible. Note that whoever touches the Kior receives a kedusha just by the contact.

And thou shalt set the laver (kior) between the tent of meeting (Ohel Moed) and the altar, and shalt put water therein. (Exo 40:7 JPS)

Note that the Kior is set between the Ohel Moedand the Altar.

And thou shalt anoint the laver (kior) and its base, and sanctify it. And thou shalt bring Aaron and his sons unto the door of the tent of meeting (Ohel Moed), and shalt wash them with water (from the Kior). And thou shalt put upon Aaron the holy garments; and thou shalt anoint him, and sanctify him, that he may minister unto Me in the priest’s office. And thou shalt bring his sons, and put tunics upon them. And thou shalt anoint them, as thou didst anoint their father, that they may minister unto Me in the priest’s office; and their anointing shall be to them for an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations.’ Thus did Moses; according to all that the L-RD commanded him, so did he. (Exo 40:11-16 JPS)

Note: This set a precedent. Before the kohen put on his priestly garments as he came on duty for the week he was required to wash his hands and feet at the Kior first.

And he set the laver (Kior) between the tent of meeting (Ohel Moed) and the altar, and put water therein, wherewith to wash; that Moses and Aaron and his sons might wash their hands and their feet thereat; when they went into the tent of meeting (Ohel Moed) , and when they came near unto the altar, they should wash; as the L-RD commanded Moses. (Exo 40:30-32 JPS)

And Moses took the anointing oil, and anointed the tabernacle (Mishkan) and all that was therein, and sanctified them. And he sprinkled thereof upon the altar seven times, and anointed the altar and all its vessels, and the laver (Kior)  and its base, to sanctify them. And he poured of the anointing oil upon Aaron’s head, and anointed him, to sanctify him. And Moses brought Aaron’s sons, and clothed them with tunics, and girded them with girdles, and bound head-tires upon them; as the LORD commanded Moses. (Lev 8:10-13 JPS)

The Sea in the First Temple

And he made the molten sea (Yam) of ten cubits from brim to brim, round in compass, and the height thereof was five cubits; and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about. And under the brim of it round about there were knops which did compass it, for ten cubits, compassing the sea round about; the knops were in two rows, cast when it was cast. It stood upon twelve oxen, three looking toward the north, and three looking toward the west, and three looking toward the south, and three looking toward the east; and the sea was set upon them above, and all their hinder parts were inward. And it was a hand-breadth thick; and the brim thereof was wrought like the brim of a cup, like the flower of a lily; it held two thousand baths. (1Ki 7:23-26 JPS)

We will talk about the arrangement of the Yam later (Oxen, knops, etc.

And he set the bases, five 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, toward the south. (1Ki 7:39 JPS)

This location will be very important. Note this for now. More text will be added later that will make this extremely important.

Also he made the molten sea of ten cubits from brim to brim, round in compass, and the height thereof was five cubits; and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about. And under it was the similitude of oxen, which did compass it round about, for ten cubits, compassing the sea round about. The oxen were in two rows, cast when it was cast. It stood upon twelve oxen, three looking toward the north, and three looking toward the west, and three looking toward the south, and three looking toward the east; and the sea was set upon them above, and all their hinder parts were inward. And it was a handbreadth thick; and the brim thereof was wrought like the brim of a cup, like the flower of a lily: it received and held three thousand baths. (2Ch 4:2-5 JPS)

And he set the sea on the right side of the house eastward, toward the south. (2Ch 4:10 JPS)

Note the same expression as above from the Kings.

We will add more tomorrow but I want to make sure everyone gets the key information here. Important phrases and my commentary are either totally in bold or as in the case of my commentary introduced in bold.

I look forward to your interaction.

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