2 Chronicles 2

2 Chronicles 2 has Solomon beginning the work of building.  “Solomon purposed to build a temple for the name of the Lord, and a royal palace for himself”.  He doesn’t just take on the assignment God gave him through his father David to build the Temple.  He also decides to build a palace for himself.  Either would be a huge task, but doing both is really large.  Solomon assigns a number of men to the crew:

  • 70,000 to carry things
  • 80,000 to cut rock in the quarry
  • 3600 to be supervisors

That’s a significant work force, but it won’t be all before things are done.

Solomon “sent word to Hiram the king of Tyre” to let him know of the building process and to ask for cedar to use in the construction just as David had done previously.  Solomon asks for a working relationship with Hiram and explains in his message that he is building a temple for the Lord.  He also asks for a “man skilled to work in gold, silver, bronze, and iron, and in purple, crimson, and blue fabrics, trained also in engraving, to be with the skilled workers who are with me”.  Solomon asks for the best.  He wasn’t going to be content with the best in his own land.  He wants to bring in a superstar craftsman to oversee and direct his local workers.  Nothing short of the absolute best will be good enough for him.  So he asks for the best.

He also requests much lumber and offers to send money to hire local woodsmen to work alongside the men he will send there.  Hiram received the request and answered in a letter.  “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who made heaven and earth, who has given King David a wise son, who has discretion and understanding, who will build a temple for the Lord and a royal palace for himself”.  It’s a favorable response, and Hiram also agrees to send Huram-abi over as a master craftsman to oversee those working on the Temple and palace construction.  They trade food and other items for the lumber and wages, and the work begins.  Hiram is providing lumber to Solomon just like he did for David years earlier. It’s a positive relationship .

But how do you move timber in those days.  No trucks or tractors or any other equipment like that.  And they were moving a lot of timber since 70,000 men were assigned to that part of the project.  Hiram has a plan to “cut whatever timber you need from Lebanon and bring it to you in rafts by sea to Joppa, so that you may take it up to Jerusalem”.  It is still obviously a whole lot of work, but the water will make the transportation a bit simpler and more feasible.  Solomon is taking action to do what his father David had asked of him.  He’s putting the workforce in place and making treaties with those who can supply the materials.  So far he’s doing the right things as the new king.  Solomon counted all the resident aliens in the land, and there were 153,600.  That divides nicely to the 70K, 80K and 3600 that were assigned to the hard labor.    The building is about to begin!

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