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.
King David, Solomon's father, had already prepared a place for the Temple. It was in Jerusalem, on Mount Moriah, where the LORD appeared to David, the place which Araunah the Jebusite had used as a threshing place. King Solomon began the construction 2in the second month of the fourth year that he was king. 3The Temple which King Solomon built was 27 metres long and nine metres wide. 4The entrance room was the full width of the Temple, nine metres, and was 54 metres high. The inside of the room was overlaid with pure gold. 5The main room was panelled with cedar and overlaid with fine gold, in which were worked designs of palm trees and chain patterns. 6The king decorated the Temple with beautiful precious stones and with gold imported from the land of Parvaim. 7He used the gold to overlay the temple walls, the rafters, the thresholds, and the doors. On the walls the workers carved designs of winged creatures.3.7 winged creatures: See Word List. 8
The inner room, called the Most Holy Place, was nine metres long and nine metres wide, which was the full width of the Temple. Over twenty tonnes of gold were used to cover the walls of the Most Holy Place; 9570 grammes of gold were used for making nails, and the walls of the upper rooms were also covered with gold.
The king also ordered his workers to make two winged creatures out of metal, cover them with gold, and place them in the Most Holy Place, 11-13where they stood side by side facing the entrance. Each had two wings, each wing 2.2 metres long, which were spread out so that they touched each other in the centre of the room and reached the wall on either side of the room, stretching across the full width of about nine metres. 14
A curtain for the Most Holy Place was made of linen and of other material, which was dyed blue, purple, and red, with designs of the winged creatures worked into it.
15The king made two columns, each one 15.5 metres tall, and placed them in front of the Temple. Each one had a capital 2.2 metres tall. 16The tops of the columns were decorated with a design of interwoven chains and 100 bronze pomegranates.3.16 Verse 16 in Hebrew is unclear. 17The columns were set at the sides of the temple entrance: the one on the south side was named Jachin,3.17 Jachin: This name sounds like the Hebrew for “he (God) establishes”. and the one on the north side was named Boaz.3.17 Boaz: This name sounds like the Hebrew for “by his (God's) strength”.
King Solomon had a bronze altar made, which was nine metres square and 4.5 metres high. 2He also made a round tank of bronze, 2.2 metres deep, 4.5 metres in diameter, and 13.2 metres in circumference. 3All round the outer edge of the rim of the tank4.3 Probable text All round… tank; Hebrew unclear. were two rows of decorations, one above the other. The decorations were in the shape of bulls, which had been cast all in one piece with the rest of the tank. 4The tank rested on the backs of twelve bronze bulls that faced outwards, three facing in each direction. 5The sides of the tank were 75 millimetres thick. Its rim was like the rim of a cup, curving outwards like the petals of a flower. The tank held about 60,000 litres. 6
They also made ten basins, five to be placed on the south side of the Temple and five on the north side. They were to be used to rinse the parts of the animals that were burnt as sacrifices. The water in the large tank was for the priests to use for washing.
They made ten gold lampstands according to the usual pattern, and ten tables, and placed them in the main room of the Temple, five lampstands and five tables on each side. They also made a hundred gold bowls.
9They made an inner courtyard for the priests, and also an outer courtyard. The doors in the gates between the courtyards were covered with bronze. 10The tank was placed near the south-east corner of the Temple.
11-16Huram also made pots, shovels, and bowls. He completed all the objects that he had promised King Solomon he would make for the Temple:
The two columns
The two bowl-shaped capitals on top of the columns
The design of interwoven chains on each capital
The 400 bronze pomegranates arranged in two rows round the design of each capital
The ten4.11–16 Probable text (see 1 Kgs 7.40–45) ten; Hebrew he made. carts
The ten basins
The twelve bulls supporting the tank
The pots, shovels, and forks.Huram the master craftsman made all these objects4.11–16 One ancient translation all these objects; Hebrew all their objects. out of polished bronze, as King Solomon had commanded, for use in the Temple of the LORD.
17The king had them all made in the foundry between Sukkoth and Zeredah4.17 Zeredah; or Zarethan (see 1 Kgs 7.46). in the Jordan Valley. 18So many objects were made that no one determined the total weight of the bronze used.
19King Solomon also had gold furnishings made for the Temple: the altar and the tables for the bread offered to God; 20the lampstands and the lamps of fine gold that were to burn in front of the Most Holy Place, according to plan; 21the flower decorations, the lamps, and the tongs; 22the lamp snuffers, the bowls, the dishes for incense, and the pans used for carrying live coals. All these objects were made of pure gold. The outer doors of the Temple and the doors to the Most Holy Place were overlaid with gold.