1 Kings 4:1-7:26New Living Translation (NLT)
Solomon’s Officials and Governors
4 King Solomon now ruled over all Israel, 2 and these were his high officials:
Azariah son of Zadok was the priest.
7 Solomon also had twelve district governors who were over all Israel. They were responsible for providing food for the king’s household. Each of them arranged provisions for one month of the year. 8 These are the names of the twelve governors:
Ben-hur, in the hill country of Ephraim.
Solomon’s Prosperity and Wisdom
20 The people of Judah and Israel were as numerous as the sand on the seashore. They were very contented, with plenty to eat and drink. 21 [f]Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the Euphrates River[g] in the north to the land of the Philistines and the border of Egypt in the south. The conquered peoples of those lands sent tribute money to Solomon and continued to serve him throughout his lifetime.
22 The daily food requirements for Solomon’s palace were 150 bushels of choice flour and 300 bushels of meal[h]; 23 also 10 oxen from the fattening pens, 20 pasture-fed cattle, 100 sheep or goats, as well as deer, gazelles, roe deer, and choice poultry.[i]
24 Solomon’s dominion extended over all the kingdoms west of the Euphrates River, from Tiphsah to Gaza. And there was peace on all his borders. 25 During the lifetime of Solomon, all of Judah and Israel lived in peace and safety. And from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south, each family had its own home and garden.[j]
27 The district governors faithfully provided food for King Solomon and his court; each made sure nothing was lacking during the month assigned to him. 28 They also brought the necessary barley and straw for the royal horses in the stables.
29 God gave Solomon very great wisdom and understanding, and knowledge as vast as the sands of the seashore. 30 In fact, his wisdom exceeded that of all the wise men of the East and the wise men of Egypt. 31 He was wiser than anyone else, including Ethan the Ezrahite and the sons of Mahol—Heman, Calcol, and Darda. His fame spread throughout all the surrounding nations. 32 He composed some 3,000 proverbs and wrote 1,005 songs. 33 He could speak with authority about all kinds of plants, from the great cedar of Lebanon to the tiny hyssop that grows from cracks in a wall. He could also speak about animals, birds, small creatures, and fish. 34 And kings from every nation sent their ambassadors to listen to the wisdom of Solomon.
Preparations for Building the Temple
5 [m]King Hiram of Tyre had always been a loyal friend of David. When Hiram learned that David’s son Solomon was the new king of Israel, he sent ambassadors to congratulate him.
2 Then Solomon sent this message back to Hiram:
3 “You know that my father, David, was not able to build a Temple to honor the name of the Lord his God because of the many wars waged against him by surrounding nations. He could not build until the Lord gave him victory over all his enemies. 4 But now the Lord my God has given me peace on every side; I have no enemies, and all is well. 5 So I am planning to build a Temple to honor the name of the Lord my God, just as he had instructed my father, David. For the Lord told him, ‘Your son, whom I will place on your throne, will build the Temple to honor my name.’
6 “Therefore, please command that cedars from Lebanon be cut for me. Let my men work alongside yours, and I will pay your men whatever wages you ask. As you know, there is no one among us who can cut timber like you Sidonians!”
7 When Hiram received Solomon’s message, he was very pleased and said, “Praise the Lord today for giving David a wise son to be king of the great nation of Israel.” 8 Then he sent this reply to Solomon:
“I have received your message, and I will supply all the cedar and cypress timber you need. 9 My servants will bring the logs from the Lebanon mountains to the Mediterranean Sea[n] and make them into rafts and float them along the coast to whatever place you choose. Then we will break the rafts apart so you can carry the logs away. You can pay me by supplying me with food for my household.”
10 So Hiram supplied as much cedar and cypress timber as Solomon desired. 11 In return, Solomon sent him an annual payment of 100,000 bushels[o] of wheat for his household and 110,000 gallons[p] of pure olive oil. 12 So the Lord gave wisdom to Solomon, just as he had promised. And Hiram and Solomon made a formal alliance of peace.
13 Then King Solomon conscripted a labor force of 30,000 men from all Israel. 14 He sent them to Lebanon in shifts, 10,000 every month, so that each man would be one month in Lebanon and two months at home. Adoniram was in charge of this labor force. 15 Solomon also had 70,000 common laborers, 80,000 quarry workers in the hill country, 16 and 3,600[q] foremen to supervise the work. 17 At the king’s command, they quarried large blocks of high-quality stone and shaped them to make the foundation of the Temple. 18 Men from the city of Gebal helped Solomon’s and Hiram’s builders prepare the timber and stone for the Temple.
Solomon Builds the Temple
6 It was in midspring, in the month of Ziv,[r] during the fourth year of Solomon’s reign, that he began to construct the Temple of the Lord. This was 480 years after the people of Israel were rescued from their slavery in the land of Egypt.
2 The Temple that King Solomon built for the Lord was 90 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 45 feet high.[s] 3 The entry room at the front of the Temple was 30 feet[t] wide, running across the entire width of the Temple. It projected outward 15 feet[u] from the front of the Temple. 4 Solomon also made narrow recessed windows throughout the Temple.
5 He built a complex of rooms against the outer walls of the Temple, all the way around the sides and rear of the building. 6 The complex was three stories high, the bottom floor being 7 1⁄2 feet wide, the second floor 9 feet wide, and the top floor 10 1⁄2 feet wide.[v] The rooms were connected to the walls of the Temple by beams resting on ledges built out from the wall. So the beams were not inserted into the walls themselves.
7 The stones used in the construction of the Temple were finished at the quarry, so there was no sound of hammer, ax, or any other iron tool at the building site.
8 The entrance to the bottom floor[w] was on the south side of the Temple. There were winding stairs going up to the second floor, and another flight of stairs between the second and third floors. 9 After completing the Temple structure, Solomon put in a ceiling made of cedar beams and planks. 10 As already stated, he built a complex of rooms along the sides of the building, attached to the Temple walls by cedar timbers. Each story of the complex was 7 1⁄2 feet[x] high.
11 Then the Lord gave this message to Solomon: 12 “Concerning this Temple you are building, if you keep all my decrees and regulations and obey all my commands, I will fulfill through you the promise I made to your father, David. 13 I will live among the Israelites and will never abandon my people Israel.”
The Temple’s Interior
14 So Solomon finished building the Temple. 15 The entire inside, from floor to ceiling, was paneled with wood. He paneled the walls and ceilings with cedar, and he used planks of cypress for the floors. 16 He partitioned off an inner sanctuary—the Most Holy Place—at the far end of the Temple. It was 30 feet deep and was paneled with cedar from floor to ceiling. 17 The main room of the Temple, outside the Most Holy Place, was 60 feet[y] long. 18 Cedar paneling completely covered the stone walls throughout the Temple, and the paneling was decorated with carvings of gourds and open flowers.
19 He prepared the inner sanctuary at the far end of the Temple, where the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant would be placed. 20 This inner sanctuary was 30 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 30 feet high. He overlaid the inside with solid gold. He also overlaid the altar made of cedar.[z] 21 Then Solomon overlaid the rest of the Temple’s interior with solid gold, and he made gold chains to protect the entrance[aa] to the Most Holy Place. 22 So he finished overlaying the entire Temple with gold, including the altar that belonged to the Most Holy Place.
23 He made two cherubim of wild olive[ab] wood, each 15 feet[ac] tall, and placed them in the inner sanctuary. 24 The wingspan of each of the cherubim was 15 feet, each wing being 7 1⁄2 feet[ad] long. 25 The two cherubim were identical in shape and size; 26 each was 15 feet tall. 27 He placed them side by side in the inner sanctuary of the Temple. Their outspread wings reached from wall to wall, while their inner wings touched at the center of the room. 28 He overlaid the two cherubim with gold.
29 He decorated all the walls of the inner sanctuary and the main room with carvings of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers. 30 He overlaid the floor in both rooms with gold.
31 For the entrance to the inner sanctuary, he made double doors of wild olive wood with five-sided doorposts.[ae] 32 These double doors were decorated with carvings of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers. The doors, including the decorations of cherubim and palm trees, were overlaid with gold.
33 Then he made four-sided doorposts of wild olive wood for the entrance to the Temple. 34 There were two folding doors of cypress wood, and each door was hinged to fold back upon itself. 35 These doors were decorated with carvings of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers—all overlaid evenly with gold.
36 The walls of the inner courtyard were built so that there was one layer of cedar beams between every three layers of finished stone.
37 The foundation of the Lord’s Temple was laid in midspring, in the month of Ziv,[af] during the fourth year of Solomon’s reign. 38 The entire building was completed in every detail by midautumn, in the month of Bul,[ag] during the eleventh year of his reign. So it took seven years to build the Temple.
Solomon Builds His Palace
7 Solomon also built a palace for himself, and it took him thirteen years to complete the construction.
2 One of Solomon’s buildings was called the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon. It was 150 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high.[ah] There were four rows of cedar pillars, and great cedar beams rested on the pillars. 3 The hall had a cedar roof. Above the beams on the pillars were forty-five side rooms,[ai] arranged in three tiers of fifteen each. 4 On each end of the long hall were three rows of windows facing each other. 5 All the doorways and doorposts[aj] had rectangular frames and were arranged in sets of three, facing each other.
6 Solomon also built the Hall of Pillars, which was 75 feet long and 45 feet wide.[ak] There was a porch in front, along with a canopy supported by pillars.
7 Solomon also built the throne room, known as the Hall of Justice, where he sat to hear legal matters. It was paneled with cedar from floor to ceiling.[al] 8 Solomon’s living quarters surrounded a courtyard behind this hall, and they were constructed the same way. He also built similar living quarters for Pharaoh’s daughter, whom he had married.
9 From foundation to eaves, all these buildings were built from huge blocks of high-quality stone, cut with saws and trimmed to exact measure on all sides. 10 Some of the huge foundation stones were 15 feet long, and some were 12 feet[am] long. 11 The blocks of high-quality stone used in the walls were also cut to measure, and cedar beams were also used. 12 The walls of the great courtyard were built so that there was one layer of cedar beams between every three layers of finished stone, just like the walls of the inner courtyard of the Lord’s Temple with its entry room.
Furnishings for the Temple
13 King Solomon then asked for a man named Huram[an] to come from Tyre. 14 He was half Israelite, since his mother was a widow from the tribe of Naphtali, and his father had been a craftsman in bronze from Tyre. Huram was extremely skillful and talented in any work in bronze, and he came to do all the metal work for King Solomon.
15 Huram cast two bronze pillars, each 27 feet tall and 18 feet in circumference.[ao] 16 For the tops of the pillars he cast bronze capitals, each 7 1⁄2 feet[ap] tall. 17 Each capital was decorated with seven sets of latticework and interwoven chains. 18 He also encircled the latticework with two rows of pomegranates to decorate the capitals over the pillars. 19 The capitals on the columns inside the entry room were shaped like water lilies, and they were six feet[aq] tall. 20 The capitals on the two pillars had 200 pomegranates in two rows around them, beside the rounded surface next to the latticework. 21 Huram set the pillars at the entrance of the Temple, one toward the south and one toward the north. He named the one on the south Jakin, and the one on the north Boaz.[ar] 22 The capitals on the pillars were shaped like water lilies. And so the work on the pillars was finished.
23 Then Huram cast a great round basin, 15 feet across from rim to rim, called the Sea. It was 7 1⁄2 feet deep and about 45 feet in circumference.[as] 24 It was encircled just below its rim by two rows of decorative gourds. There were about six gourds per foot[at] all the way around, and they were cast as part of the basin.
25 The Sea was placed on a base of twelve bronze oxen,[au] all facing outward. Three faced north, three faced west, three faced south, and three faced east, and the Sea rested on them. 26 The walls of the Sea were about three inches[av] thick, and its rim flared out like a cup and resembled a water lily blossom. It could hold about 11,000 gallons[aw] of water.
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