The Molten Sea or Brazen Sea was a large basin in the Temple in Jerusalem made by Solomon for ablution of the priests. It is described in and . It stood in the south-eastern corner of the inner court. According to the Bible it was 5 cubits high, 10 in diameter from brim to brim, and 30 in circumference. It was placed on the backs of twelve oxen, standing with their faces outward. It was capable of containing two or three thousand baths of water which was originally supplied by the Gibeonites, but was afterwards brought by a conduit from the pools of Bethlehem. It was made of "brass" (copper), which Solomon had taken from the captured cities of Hadarezer, the king of Zobah (). Ahaz later removed this laver from the oxen, and placed it on a stone pavement (). It was destroyed by the Chaldeans ().
The symbolism of the brazen sea is described in detail in the Midrash Tadshe. The sea represented the world; the ten ells of diameter corresponded to the ten Sefirot; and it was round at the top (according to the Talmud passage above cited) as the heavens are round. The depth of the sea was five ells, corresponding to the distance of five hundred years' journey between heaven and earth (compare Chagigah 13a). The band of thirty ells around it corresponded to the Ten Commandments, to the ten words of God at the creation of the world, and to the ten Sefirot: for the world can exist only when the Ten Commandments are observed; and the ten Sefirot as well as the ten words of God were the instruments of the Creation. The two rows of colocynths (knops) below the rim were symbolic of the sun and the moon, while the twelve oxen on which the sea rested represented the zodiac ("mazzalot"). It contained 2,000 baths (cubic measures), for the world will sustain him who keeps the Torah, which was created 2,000 years before the world (Midrash Tadshe ii., ed. Epstein, in "Mi-Ḳadmoniyot ha-Yehudim," xvi., xvii.; Yalḳuṭ, Kings, 185)
St. Paul Academy And Summit School / THEIR LOVE FOR PI IS IRRATIONAL, BUT REAL: At one St. Paul school, the never-ending math constant is a source of infinite fascination, so students and teachers aren't shy about celebrating 3.141592653589 ?
Mar 15, 2007; Byline: Doug Belden Mar. 15--On a day given over to celebrating pi, seventh-grader Drew Whitaker kicked things off at an assembly...