And he put five bases on the right side of the house
On 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 Exodus 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.