Solomon’s Request for Wisdom
1 Solomon son of David strengthened his hold on his kingdom. The Lord his God was with him and highly exalted him. 2 Then Solomon spoke to all Israel, to the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, to the judges, and to every leader in all Israel—the family heads. 3 Solomon and the whole assembly with him went to the high place that was in Gibeon because God’s tent of meeting, which the Lord’s servant Moses had made in the wilderness, was there. 4 Now David had brought the ark of God from Kiriath-jearim to the place he had set up for it, because he had pitched a tent for it in Jerusalem, 5 but he put the bronze altar, which Bezalel son of Uri, son of Hur, had made, in front of the Lord’s tabernacle. Solomon and the assembly inquired of him there. 6 Solomon offered sacrifices there in the Lord’s presence on the bronze altar at the tent of meeting; he offered a thousand burnt offerings on it.
7 That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him: “Ask. What should I give you?”
8 And Solomon said to God: “You have shown great and faithful love to my father David, and you have made me king in his place. 9 Lord God, let your promise to my father David now come true. For you have made me king over a people as numerous as the dust of the earth. 10 Now grant me wisdom and knowledge so that I may lead these people, for who can judge this great people of yours?”
11 God said to Solomon, “Since this was in your heart, and you have not requested riches, wealth, or glory, or for the life of those who hate you, and you have not even requested long life, but you have requested for yourself wisdom and knowledge that you may judge my people over whom I have made you king, 12 wisdom and knowledge are given to you. I will also give you riches, wealth, and glory, unlike what was given to the kings who were before you, or will be given to those after you.” 13 So Solomon went to Jerusalem from the high place that was in Gibeon in front of the tent of meeting, and he reigned over Israel.
Solomon’s Horses and Wealth
14 Solomon accumulated 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horsemen, which he stationed in the chariot cities and with the king in Jerusalem. 15 The king made silver and gold as common in Jerusalem as stones, and he made cedar as abundant as sycamore in the Judean foothills. 16 Solomon’s horses came from Egypt and Kue. The king’s traders would get them from Kue at the going price. 17 A chariot could be imported from Egypt for fifteen pounds of silver and a horse for nearly four pounds. In the same way, they exported them to all the kings of the Hittites and to the kings of Aram through their agents.
Solomon’s Letter to Hiram
2 Solomon decided to build a temple for the name of the Lord and a royal palace for himself, 2 so he assigned 70,000 men as porters, 80,000 men as stonecutters in the mountains, and 3,600 as supervisors over them.
3 Then Solomon sent word to King Hiram of Tyre:
Do for me what you did for my father David. You sent him cedars to build him a house to live in. 4 Now I am building a temple for the name of the Lord my God in order to dedicate it to him for burning fragrant incense before him, for displaying the rows of the Bread of the Presence continuously, and for sacrificing burnt offerings for the morning and the evening, the Sabbaths and the New Moons, and the appointed festivals of the Lord our God. This is ordained for Israel permanently. 5 The temple that I am building will be great, for our God is greater than any of the gods. 6 But who is able to build a temple for him, since even heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain him? Who am I then that I should build a temple for him except as a place to burn incense before him? 7 Therefore, send me an artisan who is skilled in engraving to work with gold, silver, bronze, and iron, and with purple, crimson, and blue yarn. He will work with the artisans who are with me in Judah and Jerusalem, appointed by my father David. 8 Also, send me cedar, cypress, and algum logs from Lebanon, for I know that your servants know how to cut the trees of Lebanon. Note that my servants will be with your servants 9 to prepare logs for me in abundance because the temple I am building will be great and wondrous. 10 I will give your servants, the woodcutters who cut the trees, one hundred thousand bushels of wheat flour, one hundred thousand bushels of barley, one hundred ten thousand gallons of wine, and one hundred ten thousand gallons of oil.
11 Then King Hiram of Tyre wrote a letter and sent it to Solomon:
Because the Lord loves his people, he set you over them as king.
12 Hiram also said:
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who made the heavens and the earth! He gave King David a wise son with insight and understanding, who will build a temple for the Lord and a royal palace for himself. 13 I have now sent Huram-abi, a skillful man who has understanding. 14 He is the son of a woman from the daughters of Dan. His father is a man of Tyre. He knows how to work with gold, silver, bronze, iron, stone, and wood, with purple, blue, crimson yarn, and fine linen. He knows how to do all kinds of engraving and to execute any design that may be given him. I have sent him to be with your artisans and the artisans of my lord, your father David. 15 Now, let my lord send the wheat, barley, oil, and wine to his servants as promised. 16 We will cut logs from Lebanon, as many as you need, and bring them to you as rafts by sea to Joppa. You can then take them up to Jerusalem.
17 Solomon took a census of all the resident alien men in the land of Israel, after the census that his father David had conducted, and the total was 153,600. 18 Solomon made 70,000 of them porters, 80,000 stonecutters in the mountains, and 3,600 supervisors to make the people work.
Building the Temple
3 Then Solomon began to build the Lord’s temple in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah where the Lord had appeared to his father David, at the site David had prepared on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 2 He began to build on the second day of the second month in the fourth year of his reign. 3 These are Solomon’s foundations for building God’s temple: the length was ninety feet, and the width thirty feet. 4 The portico, which was across the front extending across the width of the temple, was thirty feet wide; its height was thirty feet; he overlaid its inner surface with pure gold. 5 The larger room he paneled with cypress wood, overlaid with fine gold, and decorated with palm trees and chains. 6 He adorned the temple with precious stones for beauty, and the gold was the gold of Parvaim. 7 He overlaid the temple—the beams, the thresholds, its walls and doors—with gold, and he carved cherubim on the walls.
The Most Holy Place
8 Then he made the most holy place; its length corresponded to the width of the temple, 30 feet, and its width was 30 feet. He overlaid it with forty-five thousand pounds of fine gold. 9 The weight of the nails was twenty ounces of gold, and he overlaid the ceiling with gold.
10 He made two cherubim of sculptured work, for the most holy place, and he overlaid them with gold. 11 The overall length of the wings of the cherubim was 30 feet: the wing of one was 7½ feet, touching the wall of the room; its other wing was 7½ feet, touching the wing of the other cherub. 12 The wing of the other cherub was 7½ feet, touching the wall of the room; its other wing was 7½ feet, reaching the wing of the other cherub. 13 The wingspan of these cherubim was 30 feet. They stood on their feet and faced the larger room.
14 He made the curtain of blue, purple, and crimson yarn and fine linen, and he wove cherubim into it.
The Bronze Pillars
15 In front of the temple he made two pillars, each 27 feet high. The capital on top of each was 7½ feet high. 16 He had made chainwork in the inner sanctuary and also put it on top of the pillars. He made a hundred pomegranates and fastened them into the chainwork. 17 Then he set up the pillars in front of the sanctuary, one on the right and one on the left. He named the one on the right Jachin and the one on the left Boaz.