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Solomon Gets Ready to Build the House of God

Solomon planned to build a house for the name of the Lord, and a king’s house for himself. So he picked 70,000 men to carry loads, 80,000 men to cut stones in the mountains, and 3,600 men to watch over these men. Then Solomon sent word to King Huram of Tyre, saying, “You sent my father David cedar trees to build him a house to live in. Do the same for me. See, I am about to build a house for the name of the Lord my God. I will set it apart for Him. There special perfume will be burned before Him. The holy bread will be there all the time. Burnt gifts will be given morning and evening, on Days of Rest, on new moons, and during the special suppers of the Lord our God. This is to be done forever in Israel. The house I am about to build will be great. For our God is greater than all the gods. But who is able to build a house for Him? For the heavens and the highest heavens are not big enough to hold Him. So who am I, that I should build a house for Him, except as a place to burn special perfume before Him? Now send me an able man to work with gold, silver, brass, iron, and purple, red and blue cloth who knows how to cut all kinds of pictures. He will work with the able men I have in Judah and Jerusalem, whom my father David gave me. Send me cedar, cypress and algum trees from Lebanon. I know you have able men who know how to do this work. My servants will work with your servants to cut many trees for me. For the house I am about to build will be very great and beautiful. 10 I will give to your servants who cut trees, 200,000 baskets of crushed grain, 200,000 baskets of barley, 200,000 bottles of wine, and 200,000 bottles of oil.”

11 Then King Huram of Tyre answered by letter to Solomon, “The Lord has made you king over His people because He loves them.” 12 Then Huram said, “Honor and thanks be to the Lord, the God of Israel. He has made heaven and earth. And He has given King David a wise son. Wisdom and understanding have been given to David’s son who will build a house for the Lord and a king’s house for himself. 13 Now I am sending Huram-abi, an able man of understanding. 14 He is the son of a Danite woman and a Tyrian father. He knows how to work with gold, silver, brass, iron, stone and wood and with purple, blue, and red cloth. He knows how to cut all kinds of pictures, any kind given him to do. He is to work with your able men, and with those of my lord David your father. 15 So now let my lord send the grain, barley, oil and wine to his servant, as he has said. 16 We will cut whatever trees you need in Lebanon, and bring them to you by ship to Joppa. Then you may carry them up to Jerusalem.”

17 Solomon numbered all those in Israel who were from other lands, using the number of them which his father David had taken. And 153,600 were found. 18 He picked 70,000 of them to carry loads, 80,000 to cut stones in the mountains, and 3,600 men to see that the people did their work.

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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