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1 Kings 5-6

Alliance with King Hiram

Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants to Solomon when he heard that they had anointed him king in place of his father, for Hiram had always been a friend of David. Then Solomon sent word to Hiram, saying, “You know that David my father could not build a house (temple) for the Name (Presence) of the Lord his God because of the wars which surrounded him, until the Lord put his enemies under his feet. But now that the Lord my God has given me rest [from war] on every side, there is neither adversary nor misfortune [confronting me]. Behold, I intend to build a house (temple) to the Name of the Lord my God, just as the Lord said to my father David: ‘Your son whom I will put on your throne in your place shall build the house for My Name and Presence.’ So now, command that they cut cedar trees from Lebanon for me, and my servants will join your servants, and I will give you whatever wages you set for your servants. For you know that there is no one among us who knows how to cut timber like the men of Sidon.”

When Hiram heard the words of Solomon, he rejoiced greatly and said, “Blessed be the Lord this day, who has given David a wise son [to be king] over this great people.” So Hiram sent word to Solomon, saying, “I have heard the message which you sent to me; I will do everything you wish concerning the cedar and cypress timber. My servants will bring the logs down from Lebanon to the [Mediterranean] sea, and I will have them made into rafts to go by sea to the place (port) that you direct me; then I will have them broken up there, and you shall carry them away. Then you shall return the favor by providing food for my household.” 10 So Hiram gave Solomon all the cedar and cypress timber he desired, 11 and Solomon gave Hiram 20,000 kors of wheat as food for his household, and 20 kors of pure [olive] oil. Solomon gave all these to Hiram each year. 12 The Lord gave Solomon wisdom, just as He promised him; and there was peace between Hiram and Solomon, and the two of them made a treaty.

Conscription of Laborers

13 King Solomon levied forced laborers from all Israel; and the forced laborers numbered 30,000 men. 14 He sent them to Lebanon, 10,000 a month in shifts; one month they were in Lebanon and two months at home. Adoniram was in charge of the forced laborers. 15 Solomon had 70,000 burden bearers (transporters) and 80,000 stonemasons in the hill country [of Judah], 16 besides Solomon’s 3,300 chief deputies who were in charge of the project and who were in charge of the people doing the work. 17 The king gave orders, and they quarried great stones, valuable stones, to lay the foundation of the house (temple) with cut stones. 18 So Solomon’s builders and Hiram’s builders and the men of Gebal cut and chiseled the stones, and prepared the timber and the stones to build the house (temple).

The Building of the Temple

Now it came about in the four hundred and eightieth year after the Israelites came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv (April-May) which is the second month, that he began to build the Lord’s house (temple). The length of the house which King Solomon built for the Lord was sixty cubits (90 ft.), its width twenty (30 ft.), and its height thirty cubits (45 ft.). The porch in front of the main room of the house (temple) was twenty cubits long, corresponding to the width of the house, and its depth in front of the house was ten cubits. He also made framed (artistic) window openings for the house. Against the wall of the house he built extensions around the walls of the house, around both the main room (Holy Place) and the Holy of Holies; and he made side chambers all around. The lowest story was five cubits wide, the middle was six cubits wide, and the third was seven cubits wide; for he made offsets (niches) in the walls all around on the outside of the house so that the supporting beams would not be inserted into the walls of the house.

While it was being built, the house was built of stone prepared and finished (precut) at the quarry, and no hammer, axe, or iron tool of any kind was heard in the house while it was under construction.

The entrance to the lowest side chamber was on the right [or south] side of the house; and they would go up winding stairs to the middle [level], and from the middle to the third. So Solomon built the house (temple) and finished it, and roofed the house with beams and boards of cedar. 10 Then he built the extensions [of rooms] against the entire house, each [story] five cubits high; and they were attached to the house with timbers of cedar.

11 Now the word of the Lord came to Solomon, saying, 12 Concerning this house which you are building, if you will walk in My statutes and execute My precepts and keep all My commandments by walking in them, then I will carry out My word (promises) with you which I made to David your father. 13 I will dwell among the sons (descendants) of Israel, and will not abandon My people Israel.”

14 So Solomon built the house (temple) and finished it. 15 He built the walls of the interior of the house [that is, the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies] with boards of cedar, from the floor of the house to the rafters of the ceiling. He overlaid the interior with wood, and he overlaid the floor of the house with boards of cypress. 16 He built twenty cubits on the rear of the house with boards of cedar from the floor to the ceiling; he built its interior as the [inner] sanctuary, the Holy of Holies. 17 The [rest of the] house, that is, the temple in front of the Holy of Holies, was forty cubits long. 18 The cedar on the house within had wood carvings in the shape of gourds and open flowers. Everything was cedar; no stone was visible. 19 Then he prepared the Holy of Holies within the house in order to put the ark of the covenant of the Lord there. 20 The Holy of Holies was twenty cubits in length, twenty cubits in width, and twenty cubits in height (a cube), and he overlaid it with pure gold. He also overlaid the cedar altar [with gold]. 21 Solomon overlaid the interior of the house with pure gold, and he drew chains of gold across the front of the Holy of Holies (inner sanctuary), and he overlaid it with gold. 22 Then he overlaid the entire house with gold, until the whole house was finished. He also overlaid the entire [incense] altar which was by the Holy of Holies with gold.

23 Within the Holy of Holies he made two cherubim (sculptured figures) of olive wood, each ten cubits high. 24 One wing of the cherub was five cubits long, and the other wing was also five cubits long; it was ten cubits from the tip of one wing to the tip of the other. 25 The [wingspan of the] other cherub was also ten cubits. The measurements and cut (shape) of the two cherubim were the same; 26 the height of the one cherub was ten cubits, as was the other. 27 He put the cherubim [above the ark] inside the innermost room of the house, and their wings were spread out so that the wing of the one touched one wall, and the wing of the other cherub was touching the other wall; and their inner wings were touching each other in the middle of the house. 28 Solomon also overlaid the cherubim with gold.

29 He carved all the walls of the house all around with carved engravings of cherubim, palm-shaped decorations, and open flowers, [both] the inner and the outer sanctuaries. 30 He overlaid the floor of the house with gold, [both] the inner and outer sanctuaries.

31 For the entrance of the Holy of Holies he made two [folding] doors of olive wood, the lintel (header above the door) and five-sided doorposts (frames). 32 So he made two doors of olive wood, and he carved on them carvings of cherubim, palm-shaped decorations, and open flowers; and overlaid them with gold; and he hammered out overlays of gold on the cherubim and palm decorations.

33 Also he made for the entrance of the [outer] sanctuary (the Holy Place) four-sided doorposts (frames) of olive wood 34 and two doors of cypress wood; the two leaves of the one door turned on pivots and were folding, and the two leaves of the other door also turned on pivots. 35 He carved cherubim, palm-shaped decorations, and open flowers on the doors, and overlaid them with gold evenly applied on the carved work. 36 He built the inner courtyard with three rows of cut stone and a row of cedar beams.

37 In the fourth year [of King Solomon’s reign] the foundation of the Lord’s house was laid, in the [second] month, Ziv (April-May). 38 In the eleventh year [of King Solomon’s reign] in the month of Bul (October-November), that is, the eighth month, the house was finished throughout all its parts and in accordance with all its specifications. So he built it in seven years.

Amplified Bible (AMP)Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Acts 7:1-29

Stephen’s Defense

Now the high priest asked [Stephen], “Are these charges true?”

And he answered, “Brothers and fathers, listen to me! The God of glory [the Shekinah, the radiance of God] appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran, and He said to him, ‘Leave your country and your relatives, and come to the land that I will show you.’ Then he left the land of the Chaldeans and settled in Haran. And from there, after his father died, God sent him to this country in which you now live. But He did not give him inheritable property, not even enough ground to take a step on, yet He promised that He would give it to Him as a possession, and to his descendants after him. And this is, in effect, what God spoke [to him]: That his descendants would be aliens (strangers) in a foreign land, and that they would be enslaved and mistreated for four hundred years. And I will judge any nation to whom they will be in bondage,’ said God, ‘and after that they will come out and serve Me [in worship] in this place.’ And God gave Abraham a covenant [a formal agreement to be strictly observed] of [which] circumcision [was the sign]; and so [under these circumstances] Abraham became the father of Isaac, and circumcised him on the eighth day; and Isaac [became the father] of Jacob, and Jacob [became the father] of the twelve patriarchs.

“The [ten elder] patriarchs, overwhelmed with jealousy, sold [their younger brother] Joseph into [slavery in] Egypt; but God was with him, 10 and He rescued him from all his suffering, and gave him favor and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and he made Joseph governor over Egypt and over his entire household.

11 “Now a famine came over all Egypt and Canaan, bringing great distress and our fathers could not find food [for their households and livestock]. 12 But when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent our fathers there the first time. 13 And on the second visit Joseph identified himself to his brothers, and Joseph’s family and background were revealed to Pharaoh. 14 Then Joseph sent and invited Jacob his father and all his relatives to come to him, seventy-five persons in all. 15 And Jacob (Israel) went down into Egypt, and there he died, as did our fathers; 16 and [from Egypt] their bodies were taken back to Shechem and placed in the tomb which Abraham had purchased for a sum of money from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.

17 “But as the time [for the fulfillment] of the promise which God had made to Abraham was approaching, the [Hebrew] people increased and multiplied in Egypt, 18 until [the time when] there arose another king over egypt who did not know joseph [nor his history and the merit of his service to Egypt]. 19 He shrewdly exploited our race and mistreated our fathers, forcing them to expose their [male] babies so that they would die. 20 It was at this [critical] time that Moses was born; and he was lovely in the sight of God, and for three months he was nourished in his father’s house. 21 Then when he was set outside [to die], Pharaoh’s daughter rescued him and claimed him for herself, and cared for him as her own son. 22 So Moses was educated in all the wisdom and culture of the Egyptians, and he was a man of power in words and deeds. 23 But when he reached the age of forty, it came into his heart to visit his brothers, the sons of Israel. 24 And when he saw one [of them] being treated unfairly, he defended the oppressed man and avenged him by striking and killing the Egyptian. 25 He expected his countrymen to understand that God was granting them freedom through him [assuming that they would accept him], but they did not understand. 26 Then on the next day he suddenly appeared to two of them as they were fighting, and he tried to reconcile them, saying, ‘Men, you are brothers; why do you wrong one another?’ 27 But the man who was injuring his neighbor pushed Moses away, saying, ‘Who appointed you ruler and judge over us? 28 Do you intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?’ 29 At this remark Moses fled and became an exile in the land of Midian, where he fathered two sons.

Amplified Bible (AMP)Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Psalm 127

Prosperity Comes from the Lord.

A Song of Ascents. Of Solomon.

127 Unless the Lord builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the Lord guards the city,
The watchman keeps awake in vain.

It is vain for you to rise early,
To retire late,
To eat the bread of anxious labors—
For He gives [blessings] to His beloved even in his sleep.


Behold, children are a heritage and gift from the Lord,
The fruit of the womb a reward.

Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.

How blessed [happy and fortunate] is the man whose quiver is filled with them;
They will not be ashamed
When they speak with their enemies [in gatherings] at the [city] gate.

Amplified Bible (AMP)Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 16:28-30

28 
A perverse man spreads strife,
And one who gossips separates intimate friends.
29 
A violent and exceedingly covetous man entices his neighbor [to sin],
And leads him in a way that is not good.
30 
He who [slyly] winks his eyes does so to plot perverse things;
And he who compresses his lips [as if in a secret signal] brings evil to pass.

Amplified Bible (AMP)Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

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