Solomon Assembles the Labor and Materials for the Temple—1
Kings 5:1–18; 7:13–14
1 Solomon gave orders to begin building the temple for the Lord’s name and a royal palace for himself.
2 Solomon drafted 70,000 men to carry heavy loads, 80,000 to quarry stones in the mountains, and 3,600 foremen. 3 Solomon sent word to King Huram of Tyre by saying, “Do what you did for my father David. You sent him cedar so that he could build a palace to live in. 4 I want to build the temple for the name of the Lord my God. I want to dedicate it to him, burn sweet-smelling incense in his presence, and have rows of bread there continually. I want to ⌊sacrifice⌋ burnt offerings every morning and evening, on weekly worship days, New Moon Festivals, and during the annual festivals appointed by the Lord our God. (⌊These festivals⌋ are always to be celebrated by Israel.) 5 The temple I am building will be great because our God is greater than all other gods. 6 But who is able to build him a temple when heaven itself, the highest heaven, cannot hold him? Who am I to build him a temple except as a place to sacrifice in his presence?
7 “Send me a man who has the skill to work with gold, silver, bronze, and iron as well as purple, dark red, and violet cloth. He should know how to make engravings with the skilled men whom my father David provided for me in Judah and Jerusalem. 8 Send me cedar, cypress, and sandalwood from Lebanon. I know that your servants are skilled Lebanese lumberjacks. My workers will work with your workers. 9 They’ll prepare plenty of lumber for me, because the temple I want to build will be large and astonishing. 10 I will give your lumberjacks 120,000 bushels of ground wheat, 120,000 bushels of barley, 200,000 gallons of wine, and 200,000 gallons of olive oil.”
11 Then King Huram of Tyre responded to Solomon by sending a letter that said, “Because the Lord loves his people, he made you their king.” 12 Huram added, “May the Lord God of Israel be praised. He made the heavens and the earth and has given King David a wise son who has insight and intelligence and can build the Lord’s temple and a royal palace. 13 And now, I’m sending a man with skill and intelligence—Huram Abi. 14 He was the son of a woman from the tribe of Dan, and his father is a native of Tyre. Huram knows how to work with gold, silver, bronze, iron, stone, wood, purple, violet, and dark red cloth, and linen. He also knows how to make all kinds of engravings and follow any set of plans that will be given to him. ⌊He can work⌋ with your skilled workmen and the skilled workmen of His Majesty David, your father. 15 Your Majesty may now send the wheat, barley, olive oil, and wine he promised the workers. 16 We will cut all the lumber you need in Lebanon. Then we will make rafts out of it and send them to you in Joppa by sea. You can take it ⌊from there⌋ to Jerusalem.”
17 Solomon counted all the men who were foreigners in the land of Israel, as his father David had counted them. Solomon counted 153,600 foreigners. 18 He made 70,000 of them carry heavy loads, 80,000 of them quarry stone in the mountains, and 3,600 of them supervise the work as foremen.