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Solomon Assembles the Labor and Materials for the Temple(A)

[a]Solomon gave orders to begin building the temple for the Lord’s name and a royal palace for himself.

Solomon drafted 70,000 men to carry heavy loads, 80,000 to quarry stones in the mountains, and 3,600 foremen. Solomon sent word to King Huram of Tyre by saying, “Do what you did for my father David. You sent him cedar so that he could build a palace to live in. I want to build the temple for the name of the Lord my God. I want to dedicate it to him, burn sweet-smelling incense in his presence, and have rows of bread there continually. I want to sacrifice burnt offerings every morning and evening, on weekly days of rest—holy days, New Moon Festivals, and during the annual festivals appointed by the Lord our God. (These festivals are always to be celebrated by Israel.) The temple I am building will be great because our God is greater than all other gods. But who is able to build him a temple when heaven itself, the highest heaven, cannot hold him? Who am I to build him a temple except as a place to sacrifice in his presence?

“Send me a man who has the skill to work with gold, silver, bronze, and iron as well as purple, dark red, and violet cloth. He should know how to make engravings with the skilled men whom my father David provided for me in Judah and Jerusalem. Send me cedar, cypress, and sandalwood from Lebanon. I know that your servants are skilled Lebanese lumberjacks. My workers will work with your workers. They’ll prepare plenty of lumber for me, because the temple I want to build will be large and astonishing. 10 I will give your lumberjacks 120,000 bushels of ground wheat, 120,000 bushels of barley, 200,000 gallons of wine, and 200,000 gallons of olive oil.”

11 Then King Huram of Tyre responded to Solomon by sending a letter that said, “Because the Lord loves his people, he made you their king.” 12 Huram added, “May the Lord God of Israel be praised. He made the heavens and the earth and has given King David a wise son who has insight and intelligence and can build the Lord’s temple and a royal palace. 13 And now, I’m sending a man with skill and intelligence—Huram Abi. 14 He was the son of a woman from the tribe of Dan, and his father is a native of Tyre. Huram knows how to work with gold, silver, bronze, iron, stone, wood, purple, violet, and dark red cloth, and linen. He also knows how to make all kinds of engravings and follow any set of plans that will be given to him. He can work with your skilled workmen and the skilled workmen of His Majesty David, your father. 15 Your Majesty may now send the wheat, barley, olive oil, and wine he promised the workers. 16 We will cut all the lumber you need in Lebanon. Then we will make rafts out of it and send them to you in Joppa by sea. You can take it from there to Jerusalem.”

17 Solomon counted all the men who were foreigners in the land of Israel, as his father David had counted them. Solomon counted 153,600 foreigners. 18 He made 70,000 of them carry heavy loads, 80,000 of them quarry stone in the mountains, and 3,600 of them supervise the work as foremen.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Chronicles 2:1 2 Chronicles 2:1–18 in English Bibles is 2 Chronicles 1:18–2:17 in the Hebrew Bible.

Preparations for Building the Temple(A)

[a]Solomon gave orders to build a temple(B) for the Name of the Lord and a royal palace for himself.(C) He conscripted 70,000 men as carriers and 80,000 as stonecutters in the hills and 3,600 as foremen over them.(D)

Solomon sent this message to Hiram[b](E) king of Tyre:

“Send me cedar logs(F) as you did for my father David when you sent him cedar to build a palace to live in. Now I am about to build a temple(G) for the Name of the Lord my God and to dedicate it to him for burning fragrant incense(H) before him, for setting out the consecrated bread(I) regularly, and for making burnt offerings(J) every morning and evening and on the Sabbaths,(K) at the New Moons(L) and at the appointed festivals of the Lord our God. This is a lasting ordinance for Israel.

“The temple I am going to build will be great,(M) because our God is greater than all other gods.(N) But who is able to build a temple for him, since the heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain him?(O) Who then am I(P) to build a temple for him, except as a place to burn sacrifices before him?

“Send me, therefore, a man skilled to work in gold and silver, bronze and iron, and in purple, crimson and blue yarn, and experienced in the art of engraving, to work in Judah and Jerusalem with my skilled workers,(Q) whom my father David provided.

“Send me also cedar, juniper and algum[c] logs from Lebanon, for I know that your servants are skilled in cutting timber there. My servants will work with yours to provide me with plenty of lumber, because the temple I build must be large and magnificent. 10 I will give your servants, the woodsmen who cut the timber, twenty thousand cors[d] of ground wheat, twenty thousand cors[e] of barley, twenty thousand baths[f] of wine and twenty thousand baths of olive oil.(R)

11 Hiram king of Tyre replied by letter to Solomon:

“Because the Lord loves(S) his people, he has made you their king.”

12 And Hiram added:

“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who made heaven and earth!(T) He has given King David a wise son, endowed with intelligence and discernment, who will build a temple for the Lord and a palace for himself.

13 “I am sending you Huram-Abi,(U) a man of great skill, 14 whose mother was from Dan(V) and whose father was from Tyre. He is trained(W) to work in gold and silver, bronze and iron, stone and wood, and with purple and blue(X) and crimson yarn and fine linen. He is experienced in all kinds of engraving and can execute any design given to him. He will work with your skilled workers and with those of my lord, David your father.

15 “Now let my lord send his servants the wheat and barley and the olive oil(Y) and wine he promised, 16 and we will cut all the logs from Lebanon that you need and will float them as rafts by sea down to Joppa.(Z) You can then take them up to Jerusalem.”

17 Solomon took a census of all the foreigners(AA) residing in Israel, after the census(AB) his father David had taken; and they were found to be 153,600. 18 He assigned(AC) 70,000 of them to be carriers and 80,000 to be stonecutters in the hills, with 3,600 foremen over them to keep the people working.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Chronicles 2:1 In Hebrew texts 2:1 is numbered 1:18, and 2:2-18 is numbered 2:1-17.
  2. 2 Chronicles 2:3 Hebrew Huram, a variant of Hiram; also in verses 11 and 12
  3. 2 Chronicles 2:8 Probably a variant of almug
  4. 2 Chronicles 2:10 That is, probably about 3,600 tons or about 3,200 metric tons of wheat
  5. 2 Chronicles 2:10 That is, probably about 3,000 tons or about 2,700 metric tons of barley
  6. 2 Chronicles 2:10 That is, about 120,000 gallons or about 440,000 liters

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