11Solomon, the son of King David, took firm control of the kingdom of Israel, and the LORD his God blessed him and made him very powerful.
2King Solomon gave an order to all the officers in charge of units of a thousand men and of a hundred men, all the government officials, all the heads of families, and all the rest of the people, 3commanding them to go with him to the place of worship at Gibeon. They went there because that was where the Tent of the LORD's presence was located, which Moses, the LORD's servant, had made in the wilderness. 4
(The Covenant Box, however, was in Jerusalem, kept in a tent which King David had set up when he brought the Box from Kiriath Jearim.) 5
The bronze altar which had been made by Bezalel, the son of Uri and grandson of Hur, was also in Gibeon in front of the Tent of the LORD's presence. King Solomon and all the people worshipped the LORD there. 6In front of the Tent the king worshipped the LORD by offering sacrifices on the bronze altar; he had a thousand animals killed and burnt whole on it.
7That night God appeared to Solomon and asked, “What would you like me to give you?”
8Solomon answered, “You always showed great love for my father David, and now you have let me succeed him as king. 9
O LORD God, fulfil the promise you made to my father. You have made me king over a people who are so many that they cannot be counted, 10so give me the wisdom and knowledge I need to rule over them. Otherwise, how would I ever be able to rule this great people of yours?”
11God replied to Solomon, “You have made the right choice. Instead of asking for wealth or treasure or fame or the death of your enemies or even for long life for yourself, you have asked for wisdom and knowledge so that you can rule my people, over whom I have made you king. 12I will give you wisdom and knowledge. And in addition, I will give you more wealth, treasure, and fame than any king has ever had before or will ever have again.”
13So Solomon left1.13 Some ancient translations left; Hebrew came to. the place of worship at Gibeon, where the Tent of the LORD's presence was, and returned to Jerusalem. There he ruled over Israel. 14
He built up a force of 1,400 chariots and 12,000 cavalry horses. Some of them he kept in Jerusalem, and the rest he stationed in various other cities. 15During his reign silver and gold became as common in Jerusalem as stone, and cedar was as plentiful as ordinary sycomore. 16
The king's agents controlled the export of horses from Musri1.16 Probable text Musri; Hebrew Egypt. and Cilicia,1.16 Musri and Cilicia: Two ancient countries in what is now south-east Turkey which were centres of horse breeding in Solomon's time. 17and the export of chariots from Egypt. They supplied the Hittite and Syrian kings with horses and chariots, selling chariots for 600 pieces of silver each and horses for 150 each.1.17 Verses 16–17 in Hebrew are unclear.
21King Solomon decided to build a temple where the LORD would be worshipped, and also to build a palace for himself. 2He put 70,000 men to work transporting materials, and 80,000 to work quarrying stone. There were 3,600 others responsible for supervising the work.
3Solomon sent a message to King Hiram of Tyre: “Do business with me as you did with my father, King David, when you sold him cedar logs for building his palace. 4I am building a temple to honour the LORD my God. It will be a holy place where my people and I will worship him by burning incense of fragrant spices, where we will present offerings of sacred bread to him continuously, and where we will offer burnt offerings every morning and evening, as well as on Sabbaths, New Moon Festivals, and other holy days honouring the LORD our God. He has commanded Israel to do this for ever. 5I intend to build a great temple, because our God is greater than any other god. 6
Yet no one can really build a temple for God, because even all the vastness of heaven cannot contain him. How then can I build a temple that would be anything more than a place to burn incense to God? 7Now send me a man with skill in engraving, in working gold, silver, bronze, and iron, and in making blue, purple and red cloth. He will work with the craftsmen of Judah and Jerusalem whom my father David selected. 8I know how skilful your woodmen are, so send me cedar, cypress, and juniper logs from Lebanon. I am ready to send my men to assist yours 9in preparing large quantities of timber, because this temple I intend to build will be large and magnificent. 10As provisions for your workmen, I will send you 2,000 tonnes of wheat, 2,000 tonnes of barley, 400,000 litres of wine, and 400,000 litres of olive oil.”
11King Hiram sent Solomon a letter in reply. He wrote, “Because the LORD loves his people, he has made you their king. 12Praise the LORD God of Israel, Creator of heaven and earth! He has given King David a wise son, full of understanding and skill, who now plans to build a temple for the LORD and a palace for himself. 13I am sending you a wise and skilful master craftsman named Huram. 14His mother was a member of the tribe of Dan and his father was a native of Tyre. He knows how to make things out of gold, silver, bronze, iron, stone, and wood. He can work with blue, purple, and red cloth, and with linen. He can do all sorts of engraving and can follow any design suggested to him. Let him work with your skilled workers and with those who worked for your father, King David. 15So now send us the wheat, barley, wine, and olive oil that you promised. 16In the mountains of Lebanon we will cut down all the cedars you need, bind them together in rafts, and float them by sea as far as Joppa. From there you can take them to Jerusalem.”
17King Solomon took a census of all the foreigners living in the land of Israel, similar to the census his father David had taken. There were 153,600 resident foreigners. 18He assigned 70,000 of them to transport materials and 80,000 to cut stones in the mountains, and appointed 3,600 supervisors to make sure the work was done.