The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible1 Kings 7:39
And he put five bases on the right side of the house…
the south side, which is commonly understood; that is, of the courts of
the priests, where they were placed for their use: and five on the left
side of the house; on the north, as it must be, if the south is on the
right; though as the entrance into the temple was at the east, when a
man went in, the north must be on the right, and the south on the left;
and this seems to be the position by what follows:
and he set the sea on the right side of the house eastward, over
against the south;
and therefore the right side must be the north,
which is opposite to the south; the sea seems to have stood northeast,
which was for the priests to wash in before they entered on divine
service, (See Gill on 30:20) hence it became customary with the
Heathens to wash before they performed any religious worship F5,
particularly the hands and feet F6.
F5 Vid. Virgil. Bucolic. Eclog. 8. "affer aquam"… Aeneid. 2.
"attrectare nefas"… Macrob. Saturnal. l. 3. c. l.
F6 Vid. Sperling de Bapt. Ethnic. p. 88, 89, 101.