Building and dedication of the Jerusalem temple
Solomon asks Hiram to help build the temple
(1 Kings 5.1–12)
1Solomon decided to build a temple where the Lord would be worshipped, and also to build a palace for himself. 2He assigned seventy thousand men to carry building supplies and eighty thousand to cut stone from the hills. And he chose three thousand six hundred men to supervise these workers.
3Solomon sent the following message to King Hiram of Tyre:
Years ago, when my father David was building his palace, you supplied him with cedar logs. Now will you send me supplies? 4I am building a temple where the Lord my God will be worshipped. Sweet-smelling incense will be burnt there, and sacred bread will be offered to him. Worshippers will offer sacrifices to the Lord every morning and evening, every Sabbath, and on the first day of each month, as well as during all our religious festivals. These things will be done for all time, just as the Lord has commanded.
5This will be a great temple, because our God is greater than all other gods. 6#1 King 8.272 Chron 6.18No one can ever build a temple large enough for God—even the heavens are too small a place for him to live in! All I can do is build a place where we can offer sacrifices to him.
7Send me a worker who can not only carve, but who can work with gold, silver, bronze, and iron, as well as make brightly-coloured cloth. The person you send will work here in Judah and Jerusalem with the skilled workers that my father has already hired.
8I know that you have workers who are experts at cutting timber in Lebanon. So would you please send me some cedar, pine, and juniper logs? My workers will be there to help them, 9because I'll need a lot of timber to build such a large and glorious temple. 10I will pay your woodcutters two thousand tonnes of wheat, the same amount of barley, four hundred thousand litres of wine, and that same amount of olive oil.
11Hiram sent his answer back to Solomon:
I know that the Lord must love his people, because he has chosen you to be their king. 12Praise the Lord God of Israel who made heaven and earth! He has given David a son who is not only wise and clever, but who has the knowledge to build a temple for the Lord and a palace for himself.
13I am sending Huram Abi to you. He is very bright. 14His mother was from the Israelite tribe of Dan, and his father was from Tyre. Not only is Huram an expert at working with gold, silver, bronze, iron, stone, and wood, but he can also make coloured cloth and fine linen. And he can carve anything if you give him a pattern to follow. He can help your workers and those hired by your father King David.
15Go ahead and send the wheat, barley, olive oil, and wine you promised to pay my workers. 16I will tell them to start cutting down trees in Lebanon. They will cut as many as you need, then tie them together into rafts, and float them down along the coast to Joppa. Your workers can take them to Jerusalem from there.
Solomon's work force
17Solomon counted all the foreigners who were living in Israel, just as his father David had done when he was king, and the total was 153,600. 18He assigned 70,000 of them to carry building supplies and 80,000 of them to cut stone from the hills. He chose 3,600 others to supervise the workers and to make sure the work was completed.