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2 Chronicles 2Living Bible (TLB)

Solomon now decided that the time had come to build a temple for the Lord and a palace for himself. This required a force of 70,000 laborers, 80,000 stonecutters in the hills, and 3,600 foremen. Solomon sent an ambassador to King Hiram at Tyre, requesting shipments of cedar lumber such as Hiram had supplied to David when he was building his palace.

“I am about to build a temple for the Lord my God,” Solomon told Hiram. “It will be a place where I can burn incense and sweet spices before God, and display the special sacrificial bread, and sacrifice burnt offerings each morning and evening, and on the Sabbaths, and at the new moon celebration and other regular festivals of the Lord our God. For God wants Israel always to celebrate these special occasions. It is going to be a wonderful temple because he is a great God, greater than any other. But who can ever build him a worthy home? Not even the highest heaven would be beautiful enough! And who am I to be allowed to build a temple for God? But it will be a place to worship him.[a]

“So send me skilled craftsmen—goldsmiths and silversmiths, brass and iron workers; and send me weavers to make purple, crimson, and blue cloth; and skilled engravers to work beside the craftsmen of Judah and Jerusalem who were selected by my father David. Also send me cedar trees, fir trees, and algum trees from the forests of Lebanon, for your men are without equal as lumbermen, and I will send my men to help them. An immense amount of lumber will be needed, for the temple I am going to build will be large and incredibly beautiful. 10 As to the financial arrangements, I will pay your men 20,000 sacks of crushed wheat, 20,000 barrels of barley, 20,000 barrels of wine, and 20,000 barrels of olive oil.”

11 King Hiram replied to King Solomon: “It is because the Lord loves his people that he has made you their king! 12 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel who made the heavens and the earth and who has given to David such a wise, intelligent, and understanding son to build God’s Temple and a royal palace for himself.

13 “I am sending you a master craftsman—my famous Huramabi! He is a brilliant man, 14 the son of a Jewish woman from Dan in Israel; his father is from here in Tyre. He is a skillful goldsmith and silversmith, and also does exquisite work with brass and iron and knows all about stonework, carpentry, and weaving; and he is an expert in the dyeing of purple and blue linen and crimson cloth. He is an engraver besides, and an inventor! He will work with your craftsmen and those appointed by my lord David, your father. 15 So send along the wheat, barley, olive oil, and wine you mentioned, 16 and we will begin cutting wood from the Lebanon mountains, as much as you need, and bring it to you in log floats across the sea to Joppa, and from there you can take them inland to Jerusalem.”

17 Solomon now took a census of all foreigners in the country (just as his father David had done) and found that there were 153,600 of them. 18 He indentured 70,000 as common laborers, 80,000 as loggers, and 3,600 as foremen.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Chronicles 2:6 a place to worship him, literally, “a place to burn incense before him.”
Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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