2 Chronicles 2 The Voice (VOICE)
2 Having amassed his wealth, Solomon fulfilled God’s prediction that David’s son would build His house. Solomon decided to build a house honoring the reputation of the Eternal, a temple, and a house for himself, a palace. 2 First Solomon procured the stone: 80,000 men would quarry it in the mountains, 70,000 men would carry it, and 3,600 men would supervise them. 3 Then Solomon wrote to Huram, king of Tyre, asking for cedar.
Solomon: I come to ask for your fine cedarwood, just as my father David did so he could build his royal palace. Please do the same for me.
4 I am preparing to build a temple honoring the reputation of the Eternal One my God. It will be dedicated to Him and will be the site of our religious practices. There we will perform all the duties He perpetually requires of Israel: burning fragrant incense before Him, preparing the unleavened bread continually, and giving burnt offerings each morning and evening, on Sabbaths, new moons, and appointed feasts of the Eternal One our God. 5 This temple must be great because our True God is more powerful than all the other gods. 6 Though no one can build a house for Him because He inhabits the heavens and beyond, I am humbly building a place where we can encounter Him and burn incense before Him.
This temple on the elevated area overlooking the city of Jerusalem is truly remarkable. Moving from the outer court area, one observes a massive 15 by 30 foot altar to ritually sacrifice clean land animals and a huge “sea” or wash container 7½ by 15 feet to ceremonially wash the priests before they enter the next two areas: the holy place and the most holy place.
Moving into the actual temple structure is similar to being transported into the heavens. One passes between two larger-than-life tree-like columns and then into a brilliant golden room decorated with trees, pomegranates, winged creatures, and jewels. Upon entering the holy place during the eastern sunrise, one would be blinded as though looking into the sun. Then as the worshiper ascends the stairs, the most holy place has two enormous winged creatures flanking the Eternal’s temple footstool, the covenant chest. This room images the very heavenly throne room. To visualize and enter Solomon’s temple is to visualize and enter the heavens.
7 To this end, send me a man who can work gold, silver, brass, and iron; sew with purple, crimson, and violet fabrics; and engrave. Your servant will aid the skilled men whom David, my father, provided for me in Judah and Jerusalem. 8 Send me cedar, cypress, and algum timber from Lebanon, for I know your servants can skillfully cut timber from Lebanon; My servants will work with your servants 9 to prepare an abundance of timber for me to use in the temple, which will be great and wonderful. 10 I will pay your servants, the carpenters, 125,000 bushels of crushed wheat, 125,000 bushels of barley, 116,000 gallons of wine, and 116,000 gallons of oil.
Huram (in a letter answering Solomon): 11 Because the Eternal loves His people, He has made you their king. 12 The Eternal One, the God of Israel, creator of heaven and earth, is to be praised for giving King David such a wise son, endowed with discretion and understanding, who will build houses for both the Eternal and for himself.
13-14 I am sending Huram-abi, a discerning man skilled in gold, silver, bronze, iron, stone, and wood; in purple, violet, and crimson linen and other fabrics; in engravings; and in executing any design. He is the son of an Israelite woman (from the tribe of Dan) and a Tyrian father, so he will work well with your skilled men and with those of my lord David, your father. 15-16 In addition to sending workers, we will cut the timber you need from Lebanon and float it down the coast to Joppa, so that you then may transport it up to Jerusalem. When the men and supplies arrive at Joppa, please send your servants, my countrymen, the wheat, barley, oil, and wine you have promised them.
17 In preparation for the building projects, Solomon ordered a census to count only the foreigners residing in Israel. This census differed from his father’s census, which counted everyone in the nation. There were 153,600 foreigners living in Israel: 18 80,000 men would quarry stone in the mountains, 70,000 men would carry it, and 3,600[a] men would supervise their work.
2 Chronicles 2 New International Version (NIV)
Preparations for Building the Temple
2 [a]Solomon gave orders to build a temple for the Name of the Lord and a royal palace for himself. 2 He conscripted 70,000 men as carriers and 80,000 as stonecutters in the hills and 3,600 as foremen over them.
3 Solomon sent this message to Hiram[b] king of Tyre:
“Send me cedar logs as you did for my father David when you sent him cedar to build a palace to live in. 4 Now I am about to build a temple for the Name of the Lord my God and to dedicate it to him for burning fragrant incense before him, for setting out the consecrated bread regularly, and for making burnt offerings every morning and evening and on the Sabbaths, at the New Moons and at the appointed festivals of the Lord our God. This is a lasting ordinance for Israel.
5 “The temple I am going to build will be great, because our God is greater than all other gods. 6 But who is able to build a temple for him, since the heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain him? Who then am I to build a temple for him, except as a place to burn sacrifices before him?
7 “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, whom my father David provided.
8 “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 9 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.”
11 Hiram king of Tyre replied by letter to Solomon:
“Because the Lord loves 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! 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, a man of great skill, 14 whose mother was from Dan and whose father was from Tyre. He is trained to work in gold and silver, bronze and iron, stone and wood, and with purple and blue 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 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. You can then take them up to Jerusalem.”
17 Solomon took a census of all the foreigners residing in Israel, after the census his father David had taken; and they were found to be 153,600. 18 He assigned 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.