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2 Chronicles 1-5 Common English Bible (CEB)

Solomon first meets God

Solomon, David’s son, was securely established over his kingdom because the Lord his God was with him and made him very great. Solomon summoned all Israel, including the officers of the army,[a] the judges, and every Israelite leader who was the head of a family. Then Solomon, accompanied by the whole assembly, went to the shrine at Gibeon because that is where God’s meeting tent was, the tent that the Lord’s servant Moses had made in the wilderness. Now David had already brought God’s chest from Kiriath-jearim to the place he had prepared for it because he had pitched a tent for the chest in Jerusalem. But the bronze altar that Bezalel, Uri’s son and Hur’s grandson, had made was there in front of the Lord’s dwelling, so that is where Solomon and the assembly worshipped. Solomon went there to the bronze altar in the Lord’s presence at the meeting tent and offered a thousand entirely burned offerings upon it.

That night God appeared to Solomon and said, “Ask whatever you wish, and I will give it to you.”

“You showed so much kindness to my father David,” Solomon replied to God, “and you have made me king in his place. Now, Lord God, let your promise to my father David be fulfilled because you have made me king over a people as numerous as the earth’s dust. 10 Give me wisdom and knowledge so I can lead this people, because no one can govern this great people of yours without your help.”

11 God said to Solomon, “Since this is what you wish, and because you’ve asked for wisdom and knowledge to govern my people over whom I’ve made you king—rather than asking for wealth, riches, fame, victory over those who hate you, or even a long life— 12 your request for wisdom and knowledge is granted. But I will also give you wealth, riches, and fame beyond that of any king before you or after you.” 13 Then Solomon went from[b] the shrine in Gibeon, from the meeting tent to Jerusalem where he ruled over Israel.

Solomon’s wealth

14 Solomon acquired more and more chariots and horses until he had fourteen hundred chariots and twelve thousand horses, which he stationed in chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem. 15 In Jerusalem, the king made silver and gold as common as stones, and cedar as plentiful as sycamore trees that grow in the foothills. 16 Solomon’s horses were imported from Egypt and Kue, purchased from Kue by the king’s agents at the going price. 17 They would import a chariot from Egypt for six hundred pieces of silver and a horse for one hundred fifty, and then export them to all the Hittite and Aramean kings.

Solomon prepares to build the temple

[c] Solomon gave orders to build a temple for the Lord’s name and to build a royal palace for himself. [d] To work in the highlands, Solomon drafted 70,000 laborers, 80,000 stonecutters, and 3,600 supervisors. Solomon sent the following message to King Huram[e] of Tyre:

When my father David was building his palace, you sent him cedar logs. Now as his son[f] I am about to build a temple in the name of the Lord my God. I will dedicate it to him to burn fragrant incense before him, to set out the bread that is regularly displayed, and to offer entirely burned offerings every morning and evening, on the sabbaths, the first of every month, and the festivals of the Lord our God, as Israel has been commanded to do forever. The temple I am about to build must be magnificent, because our God is greater than all other gods. But who is able to build such a temple when even the highest heaven can’t contain God? And who am I that I should build this temple for God, except as a place to burn incense in his presence? So now send me a craftsman skilled in gold, silver, bronze, and iron, as well as in purple, crimson, and violet yarn—someone also experienced as an engraver. He will work with my craftsmen in Judah and Jerusalem who were provided by my father David. Also send me cedar, cypress, and sandalwood logs from Lebanon. I know your servants know how to cut Lebanese timber, so my servants will work with your servants to prepare plenty of timber for me, because the temple that I am about to build will be magnificent and amazing. 10 I will pay the woodcutters twenty thousand kors[g] of crushed wheat, twenty thousand kors of barley, twenty thousand baths[h] of wine, and twenty thousand baths of olive oil.

11 Tyre’s King Huram replied in a letter that he sent to Solomon:

The Lord must love his people Israel because he has made you their king! 12 Bless the Lord, Israel’s God, who made heaven and earth. He gave King David a wise son who possesses the knowledge and understanding to build a temple for the Lord and a royal palace for himself. 13 I’m sending you a skilled and experienced craftsman, Huram-abi, 14 whose mother is from the tribe of Dan and whose father is from Tyre. He’s skilled in working with gold, silver, bronze, iron, stone, and wood, as well as purple, violet, and crimson yarn, and fine linen. He can do any kind of engraving and make any design given to him with the assistance of your craftsmen and the craftsmen of my master, your father David. 15 So once my master sends the wheat, barley, olive oil, and wine he has promised, 16 we will cut as much timber as you need from Lebanon and bring it by raft on the sea to you at Joppa, where you can take it up to Jerusalem.

17 Then Solomon counted all the immigrants in the land of Israel, as his father David had done, and the total was 153,600. 18 He made 70,000 of these immigrants laborers, 80,000 of them stonecutters in the highlands, and 3,600 of them supervisors to keep the people working.

Solomon builds the temple

Solomon began to build the Lord’s temple in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the Lord[i] had appeared to his father David, on the place David had prepared at the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. He began building in the second month[j] of the fourth year of his rule. Solomon laid the foundations[k] for these structures in order to build the temple of God. The length according to the old standard of measurement was ninety feet and the width thirty feet. Across the front of the temple[l] was a porch as long as the temple was and thirty feet wide, and thirty feet[m] high. He covered the inside walls with pure gold. He paneled the walls of the main room with pine, covered them with fine gold, and decorated them with palm trees and chains. He studded the room with precious stones for beauty; the gold was from Parvaim. He covered the room, its beams, doorframes, walls, and doors with gold, and carved images of winged creatures on the walls. Then he made the most holy place. It was as long as the temple was wide, thirty feet long and thirty feet wide. He covered it with six hundred kikkars of fine gold. The gold nails weighed fifty shekels.[n] He also covered the upper rooms with gold.

10 In the most holy place he formed two statues of winged creatures and covered them with gold. 11 Together the wingspan of these creatures was thirty feet. One of the first creature’s wings was seven and a half feet long and touched the temple wall, while the other wing was seven and a half feet long, touching the wing of the other creature. 12 Similarly, one wing of the other creature was seven and a half feet long and touched the temple wall, while the other wing was seven and a half feet long and touched the other creature. 13 The wings of these creatures extended thirty feet. They stood on their feet facing the main room.

14 Then he made the curtain out of fine linen and violet, purple, and crimson yarn, weaving winged creatures into it. 15 Then he made two columns in front of the temple, fifty-two and a half feet high, with a seven and a half foot cap on top of each. 16 Then he made chains like a necklace[o] and placed them on the tops of the columns. He made a hundred pomegranates and placed them into the chains. 17 Then he set up the pillars in front of the sanctuary, one on the south, the other on the north. The one on the south he named Jachin, and the one on the north he named Boaz.

Solomon’s temple equipment

He[p] also made a bronze altar thirty feet long, thirty feet wide, and fifteen feet high. Then he made a tank of cast metal called the Sea. It was circular in shape, fifteen feet from rim to rim, seven and a half feet high, and forty-five feet in circumference. Under the rim were two rows of oxlike figures completely encircling it, ten every eighteen inches, each cast in its mold. The Sea rested on twelve oxen with their backs toward the center, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south, and three facing east. The Sea was as thick as the width of a hand. Its rim was shaped like a cup or an open lily blossom. It could hold three thousand baths.[q] He also made ten washbasins and put five on the south and five on the north. The items used for the entirely burned offerings were rinsed in these. The priests washed in the Sea. He made ten gold lampstands as prescribed and put them in the sanctuary, five on the south and five on the north. He also made ten tables and put them in the sanctuary, five on the south and five on the north, as well as a hundred gold bowls. He made the courtyard of the priests and the great courtyard, with doors covered with bronze for the courtyard. 10 He placed the Sea at the southeast corner.

11 Huram made the pots, the shovels, and the bowls. So Huram finished all his work on God’s temple for King Solomon:

12 two columns;

two circular capitals on top of the columns;

two networks adorning the two circular capitals on top of the columns;

13 four hundred pomegranates for the two networks, with two rows of pomegranates for each network that adorned the two circular capitals on top of the columns;

14 ten[r] stands with ten[s] basins on them;

15 one Sea;

twelve oxen beneath the Sea;

16 and the pots, the shovels, and the meat forks.

All the things that Huram-abi made for King Solomon for the Lord’s temple were made of polished bronze. 17 The king cast them in clay molds in the Jordan Valley between Succoth and Zarethan.[t] 18 Due to the very large number of objects, Solomon didn’t even try to weigh the bronze. 19 Solomon also made all the equipment for God’s temple: the gold altar; the tables for the bread of the presence; 20 the lampstands with their lamps, all of pure gold, to burn before the inner sanctuary as prescribed; 21 the flowers, the lamps, and the tongs of pure gold; 22 and the wick trimmers, bowls, ladles, and censers of pure gold. As for the temple entrance, the inner doors to the most holy place as well as the doors to the main hall were made of gold.

When all of Solomon’s work on the Lord’s temple was finished, he brought the silver, gold, and all the objects his father David had dedicated and put them in the treasuries of God’s temple.

Solomon dedicates the temple

Then Solomon assembled Israel’s elders, all the tribal leaders, and the clan chieftains of Israel at Jerusalem to bring up the chest containing the Lord’s covenant from Zion, David’s City. Everyone in Israel assembled before the king in the seventh month,[u] during the festival. When all Israel’s elders had arrived, the Levites picked up the chest. They brought the chest, the meeting tent, and all the holy objects that were in the tent. The priests and[v] the Levites brought them up, while King Solomon and the entire Israelite assembly that had joined him before the chest sacrificed countless sheep and oxen. The priests brought the chest containing the Lord’s covenant to its designated spot beneath the wings of the winged creatures in the inner sanctuary of the temple, the most holy place. The winged creatures spread their wings over the place where the chest rested, covering the chest and its carrying poles. The carrying poles were so long that their tips could be seen from the holy place[w] in front of the inner sanctuary, though they weren’t visible from outside. They are still there today. 10 Nothing was in the chest except the two stone tablets Moses placed there while at Horeb, where the Lord made a covenant with the Israelites after they left Egypt.

11 Then the priests left the holy place. All the priests who were present had sanctified themselves, regardless of their divisions. 12 All the levitical musicians—Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, and their families and relatives—were dressed in fine linen and stood east of the altar with cymbals, harps, and zithers, along with one hundred twenty priests blowing trumpets. 13 The trumpeters and singers joined together to praise and thank the Lord as one. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals, and other musical instruments, they began to sing, praising the Lord:

Yes, God is good!
    Yes, God’s faithful love lasts forever!

Then a cloud filled the Lord’s temple.[x] 14 The priests were unable to carry out their duties on account of the cloud because the Lord’s glory filled God’s temple.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Chronicles 1:2 Or officers over thousands and hundreds
  2. 2 Chronicles 1:13 LXX, Vulg; MT to
  3. 2 Chronicles 2:1 1:18 in Heb
  4. 2 Chronicles 2:2 2:1 in Heb
  5. 2 Chronicles 2:3 1 Kings spells the king's name as Hiram.
  6. 2 Chronicles 2:4 LXX; MT lacks his son.
  7. 2 Chronicles 2:10 One kor is equivalent to a homer and is possibly equal to fifty gallons of grain.
  8. 2 Chronicles 2:10 One bath is approximately twenty quarts or five gallons.
  9. 2 Chronicles 3:1 LXX; MT lacks the Lord.
  10. 2 Chronicles 3:2 LXX; MT adds on the second (day).
  11. 2 Chronicles 3:3 Syr the measurements
  12. 2 Chronicles 3:4 LXX; cf 1 Kgs 6:3
  13. 2 Chronicles 3:4 LXX, Syr; MT one hundred eighty feet
  14. 2 Chronicles 3:9 Or approximately thirty ounces
  15. 2 Chronicles 3:16 Heb adds in the inner room.
  16. 2 Chronicles 4:1 Solomon or Huram; this ambiguity with the pronoun continues in the following verses, but compare 2 Chron 3:1, 3; 4:11. If Huram is meant, this is a worker whose name is spelled Hiram in 1 Kgs 7:13-14.
  17. 2 Chronicles 4:5 One bath is approximately twenty quarts or five gallons.
  18. 2 Chronicles 4:14 LXX and 1 Kgs 7:43; MT he made
  19. 2 Chronicles 4:14 1 Kgs 7:43; MT he made
  20. 2 Chronicles 4:17 With 1 Kgs 7:46; Heb Zeredah
  21. 2 Chronicles 5:3 September–October, Tishrei
  22. 2 Chronicles 5:5 LXX; MT the levitical priests
  23. 2 Chronicles 5:9 LXX; MT the chest
  24. 2 Chronicles 5:13 Cf LXX; MT the temple, the Lord’s temple
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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