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In scripture different "materials" are often used in prophecy dreams and visions to convey meaning. Additionally different materials were also used for constructing different aspects of the tabernacle and temple - again this seemed to be linked to the meaning or role of that part of the temple with it being built according to the pattern seen in heaven.

Within this context I'm specifically interested in the meaning behind the use of the matieral "Bronze". Is there an understood "shared/common" meaning behind its symbology ? Potentially linked to Timothy 2 regarding "Vessels of honour"

My feeling based on reading through its usage is that potentially Bronze is a pointer to the "physical" or "earthly" realm (Gods footstool) and also a certain level of "purification" through earthly sacrifices. This allows followers into the "outer court" of the temple - but no further into the holy places where higher levels of purification are required represented by silver and Gold. Curious to see if anyone has a deeper understanding of this symbology in scripture.

Edit: Its been noted that in the prophetic imagery the meaning can vary based on the properties of the metal that are being emphasised (color, strength, purity). As such I would be primarily interested in hearing opinions of the meaning in the specific context of the temple/tabernacle construction. THNX

EG: Bronze use in Temple Construction

Bronze Laver / Molten Sea. Exodus 30:18

Brazen Altar (for burnt offerings) Exodus 27:1

Bronze Utensils Exodus 27:3

Bronze Pillars in Solomons Temple Kings 7:14

Bronze use in Prophetic imagery (many additional examples not listed)

Numbers 21:9

So Moses made a bronze serpent and put it on the flag pole; and it came about, that if a serpent bit someone, and he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.

Isaiah 48:4

“Because I know that you are obstinate, And your neck is an iron sinew And your forehead bronze,

Zecharia 6:1

And again I lifted up my eyes and saw four chariots coming out from between two mountains of bronze.

Revelation 2:18

These are the words of the Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze.

Job 37:18 Verse Concepts

“Can you, with Him, spread out the skies, Strong as a molten mirror?

Job 41:27

“He regards iron as straw, Bronze as rotten wood.

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    Each example is different and exploits a different feature of the metal such as relative cost, colour, etc.
    – Dottard
    Oct 25 '21 at 10:16
  • @Dottard ok thanks. Perhaps I should narrow the parameters a little then. Perhaps to the specific case of its use in the temple construction. I might look at updating the question.
    – Marshall
    Oct 25 '21 at 10:22
  • Interesting that נחש also means divination, serpent as well as brass [bronze]. The one without love is like the tinkling serpent. James suggests that when we are tempted it is by our own flesh, so the serpent takes on the roll of the flesh, one might think bronze has the same meaning. The serpent lifted up in the wilderness was a symbol of Christ (in the flesh) bearing our sin on the cross. When I get time I will see how it plays out across the verses cited.
    – Bob Jones
    Oct 27 '21 at 16:45
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There's an interesting point gleaned from the prophetic statement in Revelation 8:1-5. It deals with the prayers of the suffering saints on earth causing heaven to be silent for about half an hour. But before their prayers for vengeance receive heaven's response of judgments poured out on to the earth, John saw an angel which came and stood at heaven's altar, having a golden censer:

"And there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which is before the throne" Rev. 8:3. This is not the brazen altar which stood in the court. This is the golden altar which was before the veil in the inner sanctuary. The brazen altar received the sacrifices. But the golden altar received the incense." (The Revelation of Jesus Christ, John Metcalfe, p216)

Hebrews chapters 8 & 9 show how the earthly tabernacle and sacrificial system were patterns of spiritual, heavenly realities.

But as for 2 Timothy 2:20-21, it makes no mention of bronze (brazen) vessels. It reads:

"But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of weed and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, prepared unto every good work."

Then Paul adds in 2 Cor.4:7 that Christians are earthen vessels that contain God's treasure. God does not require golden vessels; just clean ones. Christians who are sanctified are clean, earthen vessels, and it is faith in the sacrifice of Christ on that spiritual bronze altar that purifies them.

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2 Kings 25 mentions bronze 8 times:

1 So in the ninth year of Zedekiah’s reign, on the tenth day of the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon marched against Jerusalem with his whole army. He encamped outside the city and built siege works all around it.

God used Nebuchadnezzar to judge Jerusalem.

7 They killed the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes. Then they put out his eyes, bound him with bronze shackles and took him to Babylon.

Bronze symbolizes God’s righteous judgment.

13 The Babylonians broke up the bronze pillars, the movable stands and the bronze Sea

The bronze Sea contained water for cleansing.

that were at the temple of the Lord and they carried the bronze to Babylon. 14They also took away the pots, shovels, wick trimmers, dishes and all the bronze articles used in the temple service. 15The commander of the imperial guard took away the censers and sprinkling bowls—all that were made of pure gold or silver.

16The bronze from the two pillars, the Sea and the movable stands, which Solomon had made for the temple of the Lord, was more than could be weighed. 17Each pillar was eighteen cubits high. The bronze capital on top of one pillar was three cubits f high and was decorated with a network and pomegranates of bronze all around. The other pillar, with its network, was similar.

Indeed, lots of bronze were present in the temple. In this chapter, bronze symbolizes judgment and cleansing.

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