New International Reader's Version

2 Chronicles 2

Solomon Prepares to Build the Temple

1Solomon gave orders to build a temple. That’s where the Lord would put his Name. Solomon also gave orders to build a royal palace for himself. He chose 70,000 men to carry things. He chose 80,000 to cut stones in the hills. He put 3,600 men in charge of them.

Solomon sent a message to Hiram. Hiram was king of Tyre. Solomon said,

“Send me cedar logs, just as you did for my father David. You sent him cedar to build a palace to live in. Now I’m about to build a temple. The Name of the Lord my God will be there. I’ll set the temple apart for him. Sweet-smelling incense will be burned in front of him there. The holy bread will be set out at regular times. Burnt offerings will be sacrificed there every morning and evening. They will be sacrificed every Sabbath day. They will be sacrificed at every New Moon feast. And they will be sacrificed at every yearly appointed feast of the Lord our God. That’s a law for Israel that will last for all time to come.

“The temple I’m going to build will be beautiful. That’s because our God is greater than all other gods. So who is able to build a temple for him? After all, the heavens can’t hold him. In fact, not even the highest heavens can hold him. So who am I to build a temple for him? It will only be a place to burn sacrifices in front of him.

“Send me a man skilled at working with gold, silver, bronze and iron. He must also be able to work with purple, blue and bright red yarn. He must be skilled in the art of carving. Send him to work in Judah and Jerusalem with my skilled workers. My father David provided them to help me.

“Also send me cedar, juniper and algum logs from Lebanon. I know that your servants are skilled in cutting wood there. My servants will work with yours. They’ll provide me with plenty of lumber. That’s because the temple I’m building must be large and beautiful. 10 I’ll pay your servants. They will cut the wood. I’ll pay them 3,600 tons of wheat that has been ground up. I’ll pay them 3,000 tons of barley. I’ll also pay them 120,000 gallons of wine and 120,000 gallons of olive oil.”

11 King Hiram of Tyre replied to Solomon. He wrote a letter to him. In it Hiram said,

“The Lord loves his people. That’s why he has made you their king.”

12 Hiram continued,

“I praise the Lord. He is the God of Israel. He made heaven and earth. He has given King David a wise son. You have good sense. You understand what is right. You will build a temple for the Lord. You will also build a palace for yourself.

13 “I’m sending Huram-Abi to you. He is very skillful. 14 His mother was from Dan. His father was from Tyre. He is trained to work with gold, silver, bronze and iron. He knows how to work with stone and wood. He can also work with purple, blue and bright red yarn and fine linen. He’s skilled in all kinds of carving. He can follow any pattern you give him. He’ll work with your skilled workers. He’ll also work with those of your father David. David was my master.

15 “Now please send us what you promised. Send us the wheat, barley, olive oil and wine. 16 And we’ll cut all the logs from Lebanon that you need. We’ll make rafts out of them. We’ll float them by sea down to Joppa. Then you can take them up to Jerusalem.”

17 Solomon counted all the outsiders who were living in Israel. He did it after his father David had counted them. There were 153,600 of them. 18 He chose 70,000 to carry things. He chose 80,000 to cut stones in the hills. He put 3,600 men in charge of the people to keep them working.