Solomon's Agreement with King Huram
2 1 Solomon gave orders to begin construction on the house of worship in honor of God and a palace for himself. 2 Solomon assigned 70,000 common laborers, 80,000 to work the quarries in the mountains, and 3,600 foremen to manage the workforce. 3 Then Solomon sent this message to King Hiram of Tyre: "Send me cedar logs, the same kind you sent David my father for building his palace. 4 I'm about to build a house of worship in honor of God, a holy place for burning perfumed incense, for setting out holy bread, for making Whole-Burnt-Offerings at morning and evening worship, and for Sabbath, New Moon, and Holy Day services of worship - the acts of worship required of Israel. 5 "The house I am building has to be the best, for our God is the best, far better than competing gods. 6 But who is capable of building such a structure? Why, the skies - the entire cosmos! - can't begin to contain him. And me, who am I to think I can build a house adequate for God - burning incense to him is about all I'm good for! 7 I need your help: Send me a master artisan in gold, silver, bronze, iron, textiles of purple, crimson, and violet, and who knows the craft of engraving; he will supervise the trained craftsmen in Judah and Jerusalem that my father provided. 8 Also send cedar, cypress, and algum logs from Lebanon; I know you have lumberjacks experienced in the Lebanon forests. I'll send workers to join your crews 9 to cut plenty of timber - I'm going to need a lot, for this house I'm building is going to be absolutely stunning - a showcase temple! 10 I'll provide all the food necessary for your crew of lumberjacks and loggers: 130,000 bushels of wheat, 120,000 gallons of wine, and 120,000 gallons of olive oil."
11 Hiram king of Tyre wrote Solomon in reply: "It's plain that God loves his people - he made you king over them!" 12 He wrote on, "Blessed be the God of Israel, who made heaven and earth, and who gave King David a son so wise, so knowledgeable and shrewd, to build a temple for God and a palace for himself. 13 I've sent you Huram-Abi - he's already on his way - he knows the construction business inside and out. 14 His mother is from Dan and his father from Tyre. He knows how to work in gold, silver, bronze, iron, stone, and wood, in purple, violet, linen, and crimson textiles; he is also an expert engraver and competent to work out designs with your artists and architects, and those of my master David, your father. 15 "Go ahead and send the wheat, barley, olive oil, and wine you promised for my work crews. 16 We'll log the trees you need from the Lebanon forests and raft them down to Joppa. You'll have to get the timber up to Jerusalem yourself." 17 Solomon then took a census of all the foreigners living in Israel, using the same census-taking method employed by his father. They numbered 153,600. 18 He assigned 70,000 of them as common laborers, 80,000 to work the quarries in the mountains, and 3,600 as foremen to manage the work crews.
Solomon Builds the House of the LORD
3 1 So Solomon broke ground, launched construction of the house of God in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, the place where God had appeared to his father David. The precise site, the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite, had been designated by David. 2 He broke ground on the second day in the second month of the fourth year of his rule. 3 These are the dimensions that Solomon set for the construction of the house of God: ninety feet long and thirty feet wide. 4 The porch in front stretched the width of the building, that is, thirty feet; and it was thirty feet high. 5 He paneled the main hall with cypress and veneered it with fine gold engraved with palm tree and chain designs. 6 He decorated the building with precious stones and gold from Parvaim. 7 Everything was coated with gold veneer: rafters, doorframes, walls, and doors. Cherubim were engraved on the walls. 8 He made the Holy of Holies a cube, thirty feet wide, long, and high. It was veneered with 600 talents (something over twenty-two tons) of gold. 9 The gold nails weighed fifty shekels (a little over a pound). The upper rooms were also veneered in gold.
10 He made two sculptures of cherubim, gigantic angel-like figures, for the Holy of Holies, both veneered with gold. 11 The combined wingspread of the side-by-side cherubim (each wing measuring seven and a half feet) stretched from wall to wall, thirty feet. 12 13 They stood erect facing the main hall. 14 He fashioned the curtain of violet, purple, and crimson fabric and worked a cherub design into it.
The Two Pillars
15 He made two huge free-standing pillars, each fifty-two feet tall, their capitals extending another seven and a half feet. 16 The top of each pillar was set off with an elaborate filigree of chains, like necklaces, from which hung a hundred pomegranates. 17 He placed the pillars in front of The Temple, one on the right, and the other on the left. The right pillar he named Jakin (Security) and the left pillar he named Boaz (Stability).