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1 Kings 5:1-6:38; Acts 7:1-29; Psalms 127:1-5; Proverbs 16:28-30 (New English Translation)

1 Kings 5-6

Solomon Gathers Building Materials for the Temple

(5:15) King Hiram of Tyre sent messengers to Solomon when he heard that he had been anointed king in his father’s place. (Hiram had always been an ally of David.) Solomon then sent this message to Hiram: “You know that my father David was unable to build a temple to honor the Lord his God, for he was busy fighting battles on all fronts while the Lord subdued his enemies. But now the Lord my God has made me secure on all fronts; there is no adversary or dangerous threat. So I have decided to build a temple to honor the Lord my God, as the Lord instructed my father David, ‘Your son, whom I will put on your throne in your place, is the one who will build a temple to honor me.’ So now order some cedars of Lebanon to be cut for me. My servants will work with your servants. I will pay your servants whatever you say is appropriate, for you know that we have no one among us who knows how to cut down trees like the Sidonians.”

When Hiram heard Solomon’s message, he was very happy. He said, “The Lord is worthy of praise today because he has given David a wise son to rule over this great nation.” Hiram then sent this message to Solomon: “I received the message you sent to me. I will give you all the cedars and evergreens you need. My servants will bring the timber down from Lebanon to the sea. I will send it by sea in raft-like bundles to the place you designate. There I will separate the logs and you can carry them away. In exchange you will supply the food I need for my royal court.”

10 So Hiram supplied the cedars and evergreens Solomon needed, 11 and Solomon supplied Hiram annually with 20,000 cors of wheat as provision for his royal court, as well as 120,000 gallons of pure olive oil. 12 So the Lord gave Solomon wisdom, as he had promised him. And Hiram and Solomon were at peace and made a treaty.

13 King Solomon conscripted work crews from throughout Israel, 30,000 men in all. 14 He sent them to Lebanon in shifts of 10,000 men per month. They worked in Lebanon for one month, and then spent two months at home. Adoniram was supervisor of the work crews. 15 Solomon also had 70,000 common laborers and 80,000 stonecutters in the hills, 16 besides 3,300 officials who supervised the workers. 17 By royal order they supplied large valuable stones in order to build the temple’s foundation with chiseled stone. 18 Solomon’s and Hiram’s construction workers, along with men from Byblos, did the chiseling and prepared the wood and stones for the building of the temple.

The Building of the Temple

In the four hundred and eightieth year after the Israelites left Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, during the month Ziv (the second month), he began building the Lord’s temple. The temple King Solomon built for the Lord was 90 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 45 feet high. The porch in front of the main hall of the temple was 30 feet long, corresponding to the width of the temple. It was 15 feet wide, extending out from the front of the temple. He made framed windows for the temple. He built an extension all around the walls of the temple’s main hall and holy place and constructed side rooms in it. The bottom floor of the extension was seven and a half feet wide, the middle floor nine feet wide, and the third floor ten and a half feet wide. He made ledges on the temple’s outer walls so the beams would not have to be inserted into the walls. As the temple was being built, only stones shaped at the quarry were used; the sound of hammers, pickaxes, or any other iron tool was not heard at the temple while it was being built. The entrance to the bottom level of side rooms was on the south side of the temple; stairs went up to the middle floor and then on up to the third floor. He finished building the temple and covered it with rafters and boards made of cedar. 10 He built an extension all around the temple; it was seven and a half feet high and it was attached to the temple by cedar beams.

11 The Lord said to Solomon: 12 “As for this temple you are building, if you follow my rules, observe my regulations, and obey all my commandments, I will fulfill through you the promise I made to your father David. 13 I will live among the Israelites and will not abandon my people Israel.”

14 So Solomon finished building the temple. 15 He constructed the walls inside the temple with cedar planks; he paneled the inside with wood from the floor of the temple to the rafters of the ceiling. He covered the temple floor with boards made from the wood of evergreens. 16 He built a wall 30 feet in from the rear of the temple as a partition for an inner sanctuary that would be the most holy place. He paneled the wall with cedar planks from the floor to the rafters. 17 The main hall in front of the inner sanctuary was 60 feet long. 18 The inside of the temple was all cedar and was adorned with carvings of round ornaments and of flowers in bloom. Everything was cedar; no stones were visible.

19 He prepared the inner sanctuary inside the temple so that the ark of the covenant of the Lord could be placed there. 20 The inner sanctuary was 30 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 30 feet high. He plated it with gold, as well as the cedar altar. 21 Solomon plated the inside of the temple with gold. He hung golden chains in front of the inner sanctuary and plated the inner sanctuary with gold. 22 He plated the entire inside of the temple with gold, as well as the altar inside the inner sanctuary.

23 In the inner sanctuary he made two cherubim of olive wood; each stood 15 feet high. 24 Each of the first cherub’s wings was seven and a half feet long; its entire wingspan was 15 feet. 25 The second cherub also had a wingspan of 15 feet; it was identical to the first in measurements and shape. 26 Each cherub stood 15 feet high. 27 He put the cherubim in the inner sanctuary of the temple. Their wings were spread out. One of the first cherub’s wings touched one wall and one of the other cherub’s wings touched the opposite wall. The first cherub’s other wing touched the second cherub’s other wing in the middle of the room. 28 He plated the cherubim with gold.

29 On all the walls around the temple, inside and out, he carved cherubim, palm trees, and flowers in bloom. 30 He plated the floor of the temple with gold, inside and out. 31 He made doors of olive wood at the entrance to the inner sanctuary; the pillar on each doorpost was five-sided. 32 On the two doors made of olive wood he carved cherubim, palm trees, and flowers in bloom, and he plated them with gold. He plated the cherubim and the palm trees with hammered gold. 33 In the same way he made doorposts of olive wood for the entrance to the main hall, only with four-sided pillars. 34 He also made two doors out of wood from evergreens; each door had two folding leaves. 35 He carved cherubim, palm trees, and flowers in bloom and plated them with gold, leveled out over the carvings. 36 He built the inner courtyard with three rows of chiseled stones and a row of cedar beams.

37 In the month Ziv of the fourth year of Solomon’s reign the foundation was laid for the Lord’s temple. 38 In the eleventh year, in the month Bul (the eighth month) the temple was completed in accordance with all its specifications and blueprints. It took seven years to build.

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Acts 7:1-29

Stephen’s Defense Before the Council

Then the high priest said, “Are these things true?” So he replied, “Brothers and fathers, listen to me. The God of glory appeared to our forefather Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he settled in Haran, and said to him, ‘Go out from your country and from your relatives, and come to the land I will show you.’ Then he went out from the country of the Chaldeans and settled in Haran. After his father died, God made him move to this country where you now live. He did not give any of it to him for an inheritance, not even a foot of ground, yet God promised to give it to him as his possession, and to his descendants after him, even though Abraham as yet had no child. But God spoke as follows: ‘Your descendants will be foreigners in a foreign country, whose citizens will enslave them and mistreat them for four hundred years. But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves,’ said God, ‘and after these things they will come out of there and worship me in this place.’ Then God gave Abraham the covenant of circumcision, and so he became the father of Isaac and circumcised him when he was eight days old, and Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob of the twelve patriarchs. The patriarchs, because they were jealous of Joseph, sold him into Egypt. But God was with him, 10 and rescued him from all his troubles, and granted him favor and wisdom in the presence of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who made him ruler over Egypt and over all his household. 11 Then a famine occurred throughout Egypt and Canaan, causing great suffering, and our ancestors could not find food. 12 So when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent our ancestors there the first time. 13 On their second visit Joseph made himself known to his brothers again, and Joseph’s family became known to Pharaoh. 14 So Joseph sent a message and invited his father Jacob and all his relatives to come, seventy-five people in all. 15 So Jacob went down to Egypt and died there, along with our ancestors, 16 and their bones were later moved to Shechem and placed in the tomb that Abraham had bought for a certain sum of money from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.

17 “But as the time drew near for God to fulfill the promise he had declared to Abraham, the people increased greatly in number in Egypt, 18 until another king who did not know about Joseph ruled over Egypt. 19 This was the one who exploited our people and was cruel to our ancestors, forcing them to abandon their infants so they would die. 20 At that time Moses was born, and he was beautiful to God. For three months he was brought up in his father’s house, 21 and when he had been abandoned, Pharaoh’s daughter adopted him and brought him up as her own son. 22 So Moses was trained in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was powerful in his words and deeds. 23 But when he was about forty years old, it entered his mind to visit his fellow countrymen the Israelites. 24 When he saw one of them being hurt unfairly, Moses came to his defense and avenged the person who was mistreated by striking down the Egyptian. 25 He thought his own people would understand that God was delivering them through him, but they did not understand. 26 The next day Moses saw two men fighting, and tried to make peace between them, saying, ‘Men, you are brothers; why are you hurting one another?’ 27 But the man who was unfairly hurting his neighbor pushed Moses aside, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and judge over us? 28 You don’t want to kill me the way you killed the Egyptian yesterday, do you? 29 When the man said this, Moses fled and became a foreigner in the land of Midian, where he became the father of two sons.

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Psalm 127

Psalm 127

A song of ascents, by Solomon.

If the Lord does not build a house,
then those who build it work in vain.
If the Lord does not guard a city,
then the watchman stands guard in vain.
It is vain for you to rise early, come home late,
and work so hard for your food.
Yes, he can provide for those whom he loves even when they sleep.
Yes, sons are a gift from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb is a reward.
Sons born during one’s youth
are like arrows in a warrior’s hand.
How blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!
They will not be put to shame when they confront enemies at the city gate.

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Proverbs 16:28-30

28 A perverse person spreads dissension,
and a gossip separates the closest friends.
29 A violent person entices his neighbor,
and leads him down a path that is terrible.
30 The one who winks his eyes devises perverse things,
and one who compresses his lips brings about evil.

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New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.

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