2 Chronicles 2The 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.
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