Solomon prepares for two construction projects.
a house for the LORD’s name. Solomon prepares to build a temple. It will be quite small, compared with the palace he will build for himself.
And the temple will be hidden away, in his own back yard, where few people can see it.
a house for his kingdom. Solomon prepares to build a mighty palace for himself.
It will be a giant structure. It will be located so everyone will see it. It will impose itself over Jerusalem.
These two buildings reveal to us the massive ego of Solomon:
- His mighty palace makes himself the center of attention
- His small temple puts the LORD God in the back yard and unseen
VERSE 2. Solomon counted out seventy thousand men to bear burdens, eighty thousand men who were stone cutters in the mountains, and three thousand six hundred to oversee them.
VERSE 3. Solomon sent to Huram the king of Tyre, saying, “As you dealt with David my father, and sent him cedars to build him a house in which to dwell, so deal with me.
VERSE 4. Behold, I am about to build a house for the name of the LORD my God, to dedicate it to him, to burn before him incense of sweet spices, for the continual show bread, and for the burnt offerings morning and evening, on the Sabbaths, on the new moons, and on the set feasts of the LORD our God. This is an ordinance forever to Israel.
Behold. The Hebrew word is הִנֵּה. It means look at, take notice, observe, see, or gaze at. It is often used as an interjection.
VERSE 5. “The house which I am building will be great, for our God is greater than all gods.
VERSE 6. But who is able to build him a house, since heaven and the heaven of heavens can’t contain him? Who am I then, that I should build him a house, except just to burn incense before him?
heaven and the heaven of heavens can’t contain him. No building can contain the LORD God.
Yet we humans always build majestic temples and cathedrals. And we assume the LORD God is contained within their walls.
VERSE 7. “Now therefore send me a man skillful to work in gold, in silver, in bronze, in iron, and in purple, crimson, and blue, and who knows how to engrave engravings, to be with the skillful men who are with me in Judah and in Jerusalem, whom David my father provided.
VERSE 8. “Send me also cedar trees, cypress trees, and algum trees out of Lebanon, for I know that your servants know how to cut timber in Lebanon. Behold, my servants will be with your servants,
VERSE 9. even to prepare me timber in abundance; for the house which I am about to build will be great and wonderful.
VERSE 10. Behold, I will give to your servants, the cutters who cut timber, twenty thousand cors of beaten wheat, twenty thousand baths of barley, twenty thousand baths of wine, and twenty thousand baths of oil.”
twenty thousand cors. One cor is the same as a homer, or about 55.9 U. S. gallons (liquid) or 211 liters or 6 bushels, so 20,000 cors of wheat would weigh about 545 metric tons.
twenty thousand baths. One bath is one tenth of a cor, or about 5.6 U. S. gallons or 21 liters or 2.4 pecks. 20,000 baths of barley would weigh about 262 metric tons.
VERSE 11. Then Huram the king of Tyre answered in writing, which he sent to Solomon, “Because the LORD loves his people, he has made you king over them.”
VERSE 12. Huram continued, “Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who made heaven and earth, who has given to David the king a wise son, endowed with discretion and understanding, who would build a house for the LORD and a house for his kingdom.
Huram-abi. Or “Huram, my father.”
Later he is referred to simply as Huram:
2 Chronicles 4:11. Huram made the pots, the shovels, and the basins. So Huram finished doing the work that he did for king Solomon in God’s house:
VERSE 14. the son of a woman of the daughters of Dan; and his father was a man of Tyre. He is skillful to work in gold, in silver, in bronze, in iron, in stone, in timber, in purple, in blue, in fine linen, and in crimson, also to engrave any kind of engraving and to devise any device, that there may be a place appointed to him with your skillful men, and with the skillful men of my lord David your father.
VERSE 15. “Now therefore, the wheat, the barley, the oil, and the wine which my lord has spoken of, let him send to his servants;
VERSE 16. and we will cut wood out of Lebanon, as much as you need. We will bring it to you in rafts by sea to Joppa; then you shall carry it up to Jerusalem.”
VERSE 17. Solomon counted all the foreigners who were in Eretz-Israel, after the census with which David his father had counted them; and they found one hundred fifty-three thousand six hundred.
VERSE 18. He set seventy thousand of them to bear burdens, eighty thousand who were stone cutters in the mountains, and three thousand six hundred overseers to assign the people their work.
He set seventy thousand of them to bear burdens. That is, Solomon made them slaves.
Solomon conscripts 70,000 slaves.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.