2 Chronicles 2

Solomon begins to build the temple

1 Solomon decided to build a house for the Lord's name and a king's house for himself. 2 So Solomon chose 70,000 men to carry all the heavy things that he needed. And he had 80,000 men who cut big stones in the hills. And he chose 3,600 men to be over those workers.

Solomon asks Huram for help

3 Solomon wrote a letter to Huram, king of Tyre. It said, ‘Send to me the wood of cedar trees as you did for my father David. You sent it for him to build a house to live in. 4 Now I will build a house to honour the Lord my God. It will be a holy place for him. The people and I will burn oils with sweet smells for him. There we will offer special bread to him each day. And we will burn sacrifices to the Lord our God. We will do that every morning, every evening and on Sabbath days and New Moon days and on other holy days. This is a rule for Israel for all time.

5 The house that I will build for our God will be great. It will be great because he is greater than all gods. 6 But nobody can really build a house for our God because he is too great. The highest heavens above all the heavens, cannot contain him. I can only build for him a place to offer oils with sweet smells to him.

7 Now send to me a good worker who is able to make pictures on metal. He must be a man who can work with gold, silver, bronze and iron. And he must be able to work with dark red, purple and blue materials. He will work in Judah and in Jerusalem. He will work with the good workers that my father David chose for me.

8 And send to me also the wood of cedar, cypress and algum trees from Lebanon. I know that your servants know how to cut wood from there. And my servants will work with your servants. 9 I will need a lot of wood because I will build a large and beautiful temple. 10 I will pay your servants, the men who cut the wood. I will pay them 4,400 kilolitres (1,150,000 gallons) of wheat and 4,400 kilolitres of barley. Also, I will give to them 440 kilolitres (115,000 gallons) of wine and 440 kilolitres of olive oil.’

Huram replies to Solomon's letter

11 Huram, king of Tyre replied to Solomon with this letter. ‘Because the Lord loves his people, he has chosen you to be their king.’ 12 Huram also said, ‘Praise the Lord God of Israel who made heaven and earth. He has given a wise son to King David. This son is clever and he understands things well. And he will build a house for the Lord and a king's house for himself.

13 I have sent Huram-Abi to you. He is a clever man and he understands things well. 14 His mother came from Dan and his father came from Tyre. He has learnt to work with gold and silver, bronze, iron, stone and wood. He can also work with purple, blue and dark red materials and with linen cloth. He is able to make pictures on metal of any kind that you want. He will work with your good workers and with those of my lord David, your father.

15 So now send to us the wheat, barley, oil and wine that you promised. 16 Then we will cut the wood from Lebanon that you need. We will tie the trees together and we will send them like boats on the sea to Joppa. You can take them from there to Jerusalem.’

Solomon decides which men should build the temple

17 Solomon counted all the men in Israel from foreign countries as his father David had done. There were 153,600 of them. 18 And he chose 70,000 foreign men to carry things and 80,000 men to cut big stones in the hills. He chose 3,600 foreign men to be over the other men and to cause them to work well.