Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

II Chronicles 2-4

Chapter 2

Solomon ordered a temple to be built to honor the Lord, as well as a royal palace for himself. 2 Solomon had 70,000 common laborers and 80,000 stonecutters in the hills, in addition to 3,600 supervisors.

3 Solomon sent a message to King Huram of Tyre: “Help me as you did my father David, when you sent him cedar logs for the construction of his palace. 4 Look, I am ready to build a temple to honor the Lord my God and to dedicate it to him in order to burn fragrant incense before him, to set out the bread that is regularly displayed, and to offer burnt sacrifices each morning and evening, and on Sabbaths, new moon festivals, and at other times appointed by the Lord our God. This is something Israel must do on a permanent basis. 5 I will build a great temple, for our God is greater than all gods. 6 Of course, who can really build a temple for him, since the sky and the highest heavens cannot contain him? Who am I that I should build him a temple! It will really be only a place to offer sacrifices before him.

7 “Now send me a man who is skilled in working with gold, silver, bronze, and iron, as well as purple, crimson, and violet colored fabrics, and who knows how to engrave. He will work with my skilled craftsmen here in Jerusalem and Judah, whom my father David provided. 8 Send me cedars, evergreens, and algum trees from Lebanon, for I know your servants are adept at cutting down trees in Lebanon. My servants will work with your servants 9 to supply me with large quantities of timber, for I am building a great, magnificent temple. 10 Look, I will pay your servants who cut the timber 20,000 kors of ground wheat, 20,000 kors of barley, 120,000 gallons of wine, and 120,000 gallons of olive oil.”

11 King Huram of Tyre sent this letter to Solomon: “Because the Lord loves his people, he has made you their king.” 12 Huram also said, “Worthy of praise is the Lord God of Israel, who made the sky and the earth! He has given David a wise son who has discernment and insight and will build a temple for the Lord, as well as a royal palace for himself. 13 Now I am sending you Huram Abi, a skilled and capable man, 14 whose mother is a Danite and whose father is a Tyrian. He knows how to work with gold, silver, bronze, iron, stones, and wood, as well as purple, violet, white, and crimson fabrics. He knows how to do all kinds of engraving and understands any design given to him. He will work with your skilled craftsmen and the skilled craftsmen of my lord David your father. 15 Now let my lord send to his servants the wheat, barley, olive oil, and wine he has promised; 16 we will get all the timber you need from Lebanon and bring it in raft-like bundles by sea to Joppa. You can then haul it on up to Jerusalem.”

17 Solomon took a census of all the male resident foreigners in the land of Israel, after the census his father David had taken. There were 153,600 in all. 18 He designated 70,000 as common laborers, 80,000 as stonecutters in the hills, and 3,600 as supervisors to make sure the people completed the work.

Chapter 3

Solomon began building the Lord’s temple in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the Lord had appeared to his father David. This was the place that David prepared at the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 2 He began building on the second day of the second month of the fourth year of his reign.

3 Solomon laid the foundation for God’s temple; its length (determined according to the old standard of measure) was 90 feet, and its width 30 feet. 4 The porch in front of the main hall was 30 feet long, corresponding to the width of the temple, and its height was 30 feet. He plated the inside with pure gold. 5 He paneled the main hall with boards made from evergreen trees and plated it with fine gold, decorated with palm trees and chains. 6 He decorated the temple with precious stones; the gold he used came from Parvaim. 7 He overlaid the temple’s rafters, thresholds, walls and doors with gold; he carved decorative cherubim on the walls.

8 He made the most holy place; its length was 30 feet, corresponding to the width of the temple, and its width 30 feet. He plated it with 600 talents of fine gold. 9 The gold nails weighed 50 shekels; he also plated the upper areas with gold. 10 In the most holy place he made two images of cherubim and plated them with gold. 11 The combined wing span of the cherubs was 30 feet. One of the first cherub’s wings was seven and one-half feet long and touched one wall of the temple; its other wing was also seven and one-half feet long and touched one of the second cherub’s wings. 12 Likewise one of the second cherub’s wings was seven and one-half feet long and touched the other wall of the temple; its other wing was also seven and one-half feet long and touched one of the first cherub’s wings. 13 The combined wingspan of these cherubim was 30 feet. They stood upright, facing inward. 14 He made the curtain out of violet, purple, crimson, and white fabrics, and embroidered on it decorative cherubim.

15 In front of the temple he made two pillars which had a combined length of 52½ feet, with each having a plated capital seven and one-half feet high. 16 He made ornamental chains and put them on top of the pillars. He also made one hundred pomegranate-shaped ornaments and arranged them within the chains. 17 He set up the pillars in front of the temple, one on the right side and the other on the left. He named the one on the right Jachin, and the one on the left Boaz.

Chapter 4

He made a bronze altar, 30 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 15 feet high. 2 He also made the big bronze basin called “The Sea.” It measured 15 feet from rim to rim, was circular in shape, and stood seven and one-half feet high. Its circumference was 45 feet. 3 Images of bulls were under it all the way around, ten every eighteen inches all the way around. The bulls were in two rows and had been cast with “The Sea.” 4 “The Sea” stood on top of twelve bulls. Three faced northward, three westward, three southward, and three eastward. “The Sea” was placed on top of them, and they all faced outward. 5 It was four fingers thick and its rim was like that of a cup shaped like a lily blossom. It could hold 18,000 gallons. 6 He made ten washing basins; he put five on the south side and five on the north side. In them they rinsed the items used for burnt sacrifices; the priests washed in “The Sea.”

7 He made ten gold lampstands according to specifications and put them in the temple, five on the right and five on the left. 8 He made ten tables and set them in the temple, five on the right and five on the left. He also made one hundred gold bowls. 9 He made the courtyard of the priests and the large enclosure and its doors; he plated their doors with bronze. 10 He put “The Sea” on the south side, in the southeast corner.

11 Huram Abi made the pots, shovels, and bowls. He finished all the work on God’s temple he had been assigned by King Solomon. 12 He made the two pillars, the two bowl-shaped tops of the pillars, the latticework for the bowl-shaped tops of the two pillars, 13 the four hundred pomegranate-shaped ornaments for the latticework of the two pillars (each latticework had two rows of these ornaments at the bowl-shaped top of the pillar), 14 the ten movable stands with their ten basins, 15 the big bronze basin called “The Sea” with its twelve bulls underneath, 16 and the pots, shovels, and meat forks. All the items King Solomon assigned Huram Abi to make for the Lord’s temple were made from polished bronze. 17 The king had them cast in earthen foundries in the region of the Jordan between Succoth and Zarethan. 18 Solomon made so many of these items they did not weigh the bronze.

19 Solomon also made these items for God’s temple: the gold altar, the tables on which the Bread of the Presence was kept, 20 the pure gold lampstands and their lamps which burned as specified at the entrance to the inner sanctuary, 21 the pure gold flower-shaped ornaments, lamps, and tongs, 22 the pure gold trimming shears, basins, pans, and censers, and the gold door sockets for the inner sanctuary (the most holy place) and for the doors of the main hall of the temple.