2 Chronicles 2-5 The Message Bible

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).

The Furnishings for the Temple

4 1  He made the Bronze Altar thirty feet long, thirty feet wide, and ten feet high. 2  He made a Sea - an immense round basin of cast metal fifteen feet in diameter, seven and a half feet high, and forty-five feet in circumference. 3  Just under the rim, there were two parallel bands of something like bulls, ten to each foot and a half. The figures were cast in one piece with the Sea. 4  The Sea was set on twelve bulls, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south, and three facing east. All the bulls faced outward and supported the Sea on their hindquarters. 5  The Sea was three inches thick and flared at the rim like a cup, or a lily. It held about 18,000 gallons. 6  He made ten Washbasins, five set on the right and five on the left, for rinsing the things used for the Whole-Burnt-Offerings. The priests washed themselves in the Sea. 7  He made ten gold Lampstands, following the specified pattern, and placed five on the right and five on the left. 8  He made ten tables and set five on the right and five on the left. He also made a hundred gold bowls. 9  He built a Courtyard especially for the priests and then the great court and doors for the court. The doors were covered with bronze. 10  He placed the Sea on the right side of The Temple at the southeast corner.

11  He also made ash buckets, shovels, and bowls. And that about wrapped it up: Huram completed the work he had contracted to do for King Solomon: 12  two pillars; two bowl-shaped capitals for the tops of the pillars; two decorative filigrees for the capitals; 13  four hundred pomegranates for the filigrees (a double row of pomegranates for each filigree); 14  ten washstands with their basins; 15  one Sea and the twelve bulls under it; 16  miscellaneous buckets, forks, shovels, and bowls. 17  The king had them cast in clay in a foundry on the Jordan plain between Succoth and Zarethan. 18  These artifacts were never weighed - there were far too many! Nobody has any idea how much bronze was used. 19  Solomon was also responsible for the furniture and accessories in The Temple of God: the gold Altar; the tables that held the Bread of the Presence; 20  the Lampstands of pure gold with their lamps, to be lighted before the Inner Sanctuary, the Holy of Holies; 21  the gold flowers, lamps, and tongs (all solid gold); 22  the gold wick trimmers, bowls, ladles, and censers; the gold doors of The Temple, doors to the Holy of Holies, and the doors to the main sanctuary.

5 1  That completed the work King Solomon did on The Temple of God. He then brought in the holy offerings of his father David, the silver and the gold and the artifacts. He placed them all in the treasury of God's Temple. Installing the Chest

Solomon Brings the Ark into the Temple

2  Bringing all this to a climax, Solomon got all the leaders together in Jerusalem - all the chiefs of tribes and the family patriarchs - to move the Chest of the Covenant of God from Zion and install it in The Temple. 3  All the men of Israel assembled before the king on the feast day of the seventh month, the Feast of Booths. 4  When all the leaders of Israel were ready, the Levites took up the Chest. 5  They carried the Chest, the Tent of Meeting, and all the sacred things in the Tent used in worship. The priests, all Levites, carried them. 6  King Solomon and the entire congregation of Israel were there before the Chest, worshiping and sacrificing huge numbers of sheep and cattle - so many that no one could keep track. 7  The priests brought the Chest of the Covenant of God to its place in the Inner Sanctuary, the Holy of Holies, under the wings of the cherubim. 8  The outspread wings of the cherubim formed a canopy over the Chest and its poles. 9  The ends of the poles were so long that they stuck out from the entrance of the Inner Sanctuary, but were not noticeable further out - they're still there today. 10  There was nothing in the Chest itself but the two stone tablets that Moses had placed in it at Horeb where God made a covenant with Israel after bringing them up from Egypt.

11  The priests then left the Holy Place. All the priests there were consecrated, regardless of rank or assignment; 12  and all the Levites who were musicians were there - Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, and their families, dressed in their worship robes; the choir and orchestra assembled on the east side of the Altar and were joined by 120 priests blowing trumpets. 13  The choir and trumpets made one voice of praise and thanks to God - orchestra and choir in perfect harmony singing and playing praise to God: Yes! God is good! His loyal love goes on forever! 14  The priests couldn't even carry out their duties because of the cloud - the glory of God! - that filled The Temple of God.

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