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I Kings 5-6; II Chronicles 2-3 Listen
Gonna build the Temple (I Kings 5; II Chronicles 2)
I Kings 5
II Chronicles 2
|1 And Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants unto Solomon; for he had heard that they had anointed him king in the room of his father: for Hiram was ever a lover of David.
2 And Solomon sent to Hiram, saying,
3 Thou knowest how that David my father could not build an house unto the name of the LORD his God for the wars which were about him on every side, until the LORD put them under the soles of his feet.
4 But now the LORD my God hath given me rest on every side, so that there is neither adversary nor evil occurrent.
5 And, behold, I purpose to build an house unto the name of the LORD my God, as the LORD spake unto David my father, saying, Thy son, whom I will set upon thy throne in thy room, he shall build an house unto my name.
6 Now therefore command thou that they hew me cedar trees out of Lebanon; and my servants shall be with thy servants: and unto thee will I give hire for thy servants according to all that thou shalt appoint: for thou knowest that there is not among us any that can skill to hew timber like unto the Sidonians.
7 And it came to pass, when Hiram heard the words of Solomon, that he rejoiced greatly, and said, Blessed be the LORD this day, which hath given unto David a wise son over this great people.
8 And Hiram sent to Solomon, saying, I have considered the things which thou sentest to me for: and I will do all thy desire concerning timber of cedar, and concerning timber of fir.
9 My servants shall bring them down from Lebanon unto the sea: and I will convey them by sea in floats unto the place that thou shalt appoint me, and will cause them to be discharged there, and thou shalt receive them: and thou shalt accomplish my desire, in giving food for my household.
10 So Hiram gave Solomon cedar trees and fir trees according to all his desire.
11 And Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand measures of wheat for food to his household, and twenty measures of pure oil: thus gave Solomon to Hiram year by year.
12 And the LORD gave Solomon wisdom, as he promised him: and there was peace between Hiram and Solomon; and they two made a league together.
13 And king Solomon raised a levy out of all Israel; and the levy was thirty thousand men.
14 And he sent them to Lebanon, ten thousand a month by courses: a month they were in Lebanon, and two months at home: and Adoniram was over the levy.
15 And Solomon had threescore and ten thousand that bare burdens, and fourscore thousand hewers in the mountains;
16 Beside the chief of Solomon’s officers which were over the work, three thousand and three hundred, which ruled over the people that wrought in the work.
17 And the king commanded, and they brought great stones, costly stones, and hewed stones, to lay the foundation of the house.
18 And Solomon’s builders and Hiram’s builders did hew them, and the stonesquarers: so they prepared timber and stones to build the house.
|1 And Solomon determined to build an house for the name of the LORD, and an house for his kingdom.
2 And Solomon told out threescore and ten thousand men to bear burdens, and fourscore thousand to hew in the mountain, and three thousand and six hundred to oversee them.
3 And Solomon sent to Huram the king of Tyre, saying, As thou didst deal with David my father, and didst send him cedars to build him an house to dwell therein, even so deal with me.
4 Behold, I build an house to the name of the LORD my God, to dedicate it to him, and to burn before him sweet incense, and for the continual shewbread, and for the burnt offerings morning and evening, on the sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the solemn feasts of the LORD our God. This is an ordinance for ever to Israel.
5 And the house which I build is great: for great is our God above all gods.
6 But who is able to build him an house, seeing the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain him? who am I then, that I should build him an house, save only to burn sacrifice before him?
7 Send me now therefore a man cunning to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in iron, and in purple, and crimson, and blue, and that can skill to grave with the cunning men that are with me in Judah and in Jerusalem, whom David my father did provide.
8 Send me also cedar trees, fir trees, and algum trees, out of Lebanon: for I know that thy servants can skill to cut timber in Lebanon; and, behold, my servants shall be with thy servants,
9 Even to prepare me timber in abundance: for the house which I am about to build shall be wonderful great.
10 And, behold, I will give to thy servants, the hewers that cut timber, twenty thousand measures of beaten wheat, and twenty thousand measures of barley, and twenty thousand baths of wine, and twenty thousand baths of oil.
11 Then Huram the king of Tyre answered in writing, which he sent to Solomon, Because the LORD hath loved his people, he hath made thee king over them.
12 Huram said moreover, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, that made heaven and earth, who hath given to David the king a wise son, endued with prudence and understanding, that might build an house for the LORD, and an house for his kingdom.
13 And now I have sent a cunning man, endued with understanding, of Huram my father’s,
14 The son of a woman of the daughters of Dan, and his father was a man of Tyre, skilful to work in gold, and in silver, in brass, in iron, in stone, and in timber, in purple, in blue, and in fine linen, and in crimson; also to grave any manner of graving, and to find out every device which shall be put to him, with thy cunning men, and with the cunning men of my lord David thy father.
15 Now therefore the wheat, and the barley, the oil, and the wine, which my lord hath spoken of, let him send unto his servants:
16 And we will cut wood out of Lebanon, as much as thou shalt need: and we will bring it to thee in floats by sea to Joppa; and thou shalt carry it up to Jerusalem.
17 And Solomon numbered all the strangers that were in the land of Israel, after the numbering wherewith David his father had numbered them; and they were found an hundred and fifty thousand and three thousand and six hundred.
18 And he set threescore and ten thousand of them to be bearers of burdens, and fourscore thousand to be hewers in the mountain, and three thousand and six hundred overseers to set the people a work.
Solomon knows where to go to get the best lumber at the best value...from a friend, of course. He goes to King Hiram of Tyre, a long-time family friend and cuts a deal for the massive amounts of lumber needed for the building of the temple.
David had done much of the planning for this temple project before his death. He would have built it himself, but was denied the privilege by God (II Samuel 7:1-17; I Chronicles 17:1-15 - see notes). Solomon explains that reality to King Hiram in verses 3-4; David was a warring king (by necessity) and because of that, was not permitted by God to build the house of God.
Those Sidonians are quite the lumberjacks, huh? They were descendants of Canaan's first son, Sidon; he was Noah's grandson. They were, thus, Canaanites, but were never driven from the land by Israel (Judges 1:31, see notes). They resided within the boundaries of the Tribe of Asher. In Israel's history during the period of the Judges, these Sidonians had shown hostility toward Israel (Judges 10:12, see notes), but now they turn out to be Solomon's best friends. Sidon itself was about 20 miles up the coast from Tyre. The two cities were big commerce port cities throughout the Old Testament. Location is everything.
What about the massive manpower needed to build the temple! Solomon assigned 150,000 workmen to the project as full-time, non-Hebrew slave laborers and 3,600 supervisors (I Kings says 3,300 but doesn't count the supervisors over the supervisors); that's big! These slave laborers were resident foreigners with another 250 Israelite managers over them according to II Chronicles 8:10 (see notes).
As mentioned, Solomon taps into the relationship his Dad had with the King of Tyre again for the wood. How much is wood? Here Solomon offers 120,000 bushels of crushed wheat, 120,000 bushels of barley, 120,000 gallons of wine and 120,000 gallons of oil; the King of Tyre accepts. They cut the wood in Lebanon and bring it down in barges along the sea shore (see map). For this project, they had a draft of Israelites - 30,000 of them. These worked in Lebanon one month at a time as timber jacks - 10,000 on each team. These Israelites, thus drafted, worked four months each year for Solomon and the remaining eight months each year on their own crops. The building of the temple was a massive undertaking.
Incidentally, Solomon's excessive use of conscripted Israeli labor would later become the stated reason for the split of his kingdom after his death. Jeroboam (superintendent of conscripted labor) later heads the movement (I Kings 12:1-15, see notes) to seek some reasonable relief from Solomon's labor expectations after his death, or they'll split and start their own country. Rehoboam (Solomon's son and King of Israel after his death) refuses the relief, resulting in the split of 10 tribes who follow Jeroboam in what becomes known as the Northern Kingdom. However, it should be noted, the real reason for the split of the kingdom was Solomon's tolerance of paganism brought about by his excessive marrying to heathen women as indicated by the prophet in I Kings 11 (see notes) - "excessive marrying" being based upon the premise that if one wife is sufficient and two is too many, then surely 1,000 is somewhere waaaaay over on the too-many-nuptials scale.
Let's get started (I Kings 6; II Chronicles 3)
I Kings 6
II Chronicles 3
|1 And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD.
2 And the house which king Solomon built for the LORD, the length thereof was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof twenty cubits, and the height thereof thirty cubits.
3 And the porch before the temple of the house, twenty cubits was the length thereof, according to the breadth of the house; and ten cubits was the breadth thereof before the house.
4 And for the house he made windows of narrow lights.
5 And against the wall of the house he built chambers round about, against the walls of the house round about, both of the temple and of the oracle: and he made chambers round about:
6 The nethermost chamber was five cubits broad, and the middle was six cubits broad, and the third was seven cubits broad: for without in the wall of the house he made narrowed rests round about, that the beams should not be fastened in the walls of the house.
7 And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building.
8 The door for the middle chamber was in the right side of the house: and they went up with winding stairs into the middle chamber, and out of the middle into the third.
9 So he built the house, and finished it; and covered the house with beams and boards of cedar.
10 And then he built chambers against all the house, five cubits high: and they rested on the house with timber of cedar.
11 And the word of the LORD came to Solomon, saying,
12 Concerning this house which thou art in building, if thou wilt walk in my statutes, and execute my judgments, and keep all my commandments to walk in them; then will I perform my word with thee, which I spake unto David thy father:
13 And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake my people Israel.
14 So Solomon built the house, and finished it.
15 And he built the walls of the house within with boards of cedar, both the floor of the house, and the walls of the cieling: and he covered them on the inside with wood, and covered the floor of the house with planks of fir.
16 And he built twenty cubits on the sides of the house, both the floor and the walls with boards of cedar: he even built them for it within, even for the oracle, even for the most holy place.
17 And the house, that is, the temple before it, was forty cubits long.
18 And the cedar of the house within was carved with knops and open flowers: all was cedar; there was no stone seen.
19 And the oracle he prepared in the house within, to set there the ark of the covenant of the LORD.
20 And the oracle in the forepart was twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in breadth, and twenty cubits in the height thereof: and he overlaid it with pure gold; and so covered the altar which was of cedar.
21 So Solomon overlaid the house within with pure gold: and he made a partition by the chains of gold before the oracle; and he overlaid it with gold.
22 And the whole house he overlaid with gold, until he had finished all the house: also the whole altar that was by the oracle he overlaid with gold.
23 And within the oracle he made two cherubims of olive tree, each ten cubits high.
24 And five cubits was the one wing of the cherub, and five cubits the other wing of the cherub: from the uttermost part of the one wing unto the uttermost part of the other were ten cubits.
25 And the other cherub was ten cubits: both the cherubims were of one measure and one size.
26 The height of the one cherub was ten cubits, and so was it of the other cherub.
27 And he set the cherubims within the inner house: and they stretched forth the wings of the cherubims, so that the wing of the one touched the one wall, and the wing of the other cherub touched the other wall; and their wings touched one another in the midst of the house.
28 And he overlaid the cherubims with gold.
29 And he carved all the walls of the house round about with carved figures of cherubims and palm trees and open flowers, within and without.
30 And the floor of the house he overlaid with gold, within and without.
31 And for the entering of the oracle he made doors of olive tree: the lintel and side posts were a fifth part of the wall.
32 The two doors also were of olive tree; and he carved upon them carvings of cherubims and palm trees and open flowers, and overlaid them with gold, and spread gold upon the cherubims, and upon the palm trees.
33 So also made he for the door of the temple posts of olive tree, a fourth part of the wall.
34 And the two doors were of fir tree: the two leaves of the one door were folding, and the two leaves of the other door were folding.
35 And he carved thereon cherubims and palm trees and open flowers: and covered them with gold fitted upon the carved work.
36 And he built the inner court with three rows of hewed stone, and a row of cedar beams.
37 In the fourth year was the foundation of the house of the LORD laid, in the month Zif:
38 And in the eleventh year, in the month Bul, which is the eighth month, was the house finished throughout all the parts thereof, and according to all the fashion of it. So was he seven years in building it.
|1 Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where the LORD appeared unto David his father, in the place that David had prepared in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.
2 And he began to build in the second day of the second month, in the fourth year of his reign.
3 Now these are the things wherein Solomon was instructed for the building of the house of God. The length by cubits after the first measure was threescore cubits, and the breadth twenty cubits.
4 And the porch that was in the front of the house, the length of it was according to the breadth of the house, twenty cubits, and the height was an hundred and twenty: and he overlaid it within with pure gold.
5 And the greater house he cieled with fir tree, which he overlaid with fine gold, and set thereon palm trees and chains.
6 And he garnished the house with precious stones for beauty: and the gold was gold of Parvaim.
7 He overlaid also the house, the beams, the posts, and the walls thereof, and the doors thereof, with gold; and graved cherubims on the walls.
8 And he made the most holy house, the length whereof was according to the breadth of the house, twenty cubits, and the breadth thereof twenty cubits: and he overlaid it with fine gold, amounting to six hundred talents.
9 And the weight of the nails was fifty shekels of gold. And he overlaid the upper chambers with gold.
10 And in the most holy house he made two cherubims of image work, and overlaid them with gold.
11 And the wings of the cherubims were twenty cubits long: one wing of the one cherub was five cubits, reaching to the wall of the house: and the other wing was likewise five cubits, reaching to the wing of the other cherub.
12 And one wing of the other cherub was five cubits, reaching to the wall of the house: and the other wing was five cubits also, joining to the wing of the other cherub.
13 The wings of these cherubims spread themselves forth twenty cubits: and they stood on their feet, and their faces were inward.
14 And he made the vail of blue, and purple, and crimson, and fine linen, and wrought cherubims thereon.
15 Also he made before the house two pillars of thirty and five cubits high, and the chapiter that was on the top of each of them was five cubits.
16 And he made chains, as in the oracle, and put them on the heads of the pillars; and made an hundred pomegranates, and put them on the chains.
17 And he reared up the pillars before the temple, one on the right hand, and the other on the left; and called the name of that on the right hand Jachin, and the name of that on the left Boaz.
After 4 years of preparation, Solomon begins the work on the temple. This is the Temple that God told David he could not build back in I Chronicles 17 (see notes). It took 7 years to build the Temple - 105 feet long by 35 feet wide. These two chapters give a construction overview along with the furnishings. Talk about a generous use of gold - here's a generous use of gold; virtually everything inside, including the walls, was overlaid with gold. It's no wonder Israel's enemies had their eye on Israel's temple!
I Kings 6:11-13 contains a conditional promise from God specifically to Solomon.
And the word of the LORD came to Solomon, saying, Concerning this house which thou art in building, if thou wilt walk in my statutes, and execute my judgments, and keep all my commandments to walk in them; then will I perform my word with thee, which I spake unto David thy father: And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake my people Israel.
This was a confirmation of the promise that God made to David back in II Samuel 7:12-16 (see notes). One distinction should be noted between this word to Solomon and the promise made to David which we know as the Davidic Covenant. There were no conditions prescribed for the fulfillment of the covenant God made with David; it was an unconditional covenant that has Messianic implications. (Click here to see the specifics of this promise we know as the Davidic Covenant.) This word to Solomon was limited in scope to the physical reign of Solomon.
We get an extremely significant chronological fix in I Kings 6:1, "And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomons reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD." By following the chronology of the Kings of Judah, we are able to fix the date of the beginning of Solomon's rule at 971 B.C. Therefore, four years after his reign began puts us at 967 B.C., which we are told in this verse is in the 480th year since Israel left Egyptian bondage - placing the exodus of Israel from Egypt at 1445/6 B.C. With this verse, we are also able to calculate the length of the period of the judges of Israel at 346 years (see notes on Judges 1 for more detail).