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These foreigners are not paid day laborers; they are slaves forced to build a temple they may never enter. This scenario is similar to the Hebrews’ forced labor in Egypt and to the Israelites’ eventual forced labor in Babylonia. But one thing makes Solomon’s rule over them different: he presumably follows the laws of God regarding slaves (Leviticus 25:39–55). These laws specify that slaves may come from surrounding nations, must be treated fairly, and must be released in the jubilee year (a prescribed time every 50 years when debts are forgiven, seized land returns to its original owners, and slaves are freed).

1-2 Having assembled the materials and workers for the temple, Solomon began to build the Eternal’s temple on the second day in the second month of the fourth year of his reign. He built it in Jerusalem on Ornan the Jebusite’s threshing floor (which David had purchased and consecrated) on Mount Moriah (where Abraham had been willing to sacrifice Isaac to God generations before).

When Solomon prepared the plans of the True God’s temple, he modeled the design after temples in Syria and Canaan. The length was 90 feet and the width was 30 feet. The length of the front porch was as wide as the temple (30 feet), and it was 30 feet[a] high. The rooms of the temple were highly ornamented. The porch was gilded inside.

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Footnotes

  1. 3:4 Hebrew, 180 feet, which is unlikely

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