Solomon’s Letter to Hiram 2 1[H]Solomon decided to build a temple for the name of Yahweh and a royal palace for himself, 2[I]so he assigned 70,000 men as porters, 80,000 men as stonecutters in the mountains, and 3,600 as supervisors over them. 3Then Solomon sent word to King Hiram[J] of Tyre: Do for me what you did for my father David. You sent him cedars to build him a house to live in. 4Now I am building a temple for the name of Yahweh 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 forever. 5The temple that I am building will be great, for our God is greater than any of the gods. 6But 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? 7Therefore, send me a craftsman 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 craftsmen who are with me in Judah and Jerusalem, appointed by my father David. 8Also, send me cedar, cypress, and algum[K] 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 9to prepare logs for me in abundance because the temple I am building will be great and wonderful. 10I will give your servants, the woodcutters who cut the trees, 100,000 bushels[L] of wheat flour, 100,000 bushels[M] of barley, 110,000 gallons[N] of wine, and 110,000 gallons[O] of oil. Hiram’s Reply 11Then King Hiram of Tyre wrote a letter[P] and sent it to Solomon: Because the Lord loves His people, He set you over them as king. 12Hiram also said: May the Lord God of Israel, who made the heavens and the earth, be praised! 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. 13I have now sent Huram-abi,[Q] a skillful man who has understanding. 14He 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 craftsmen and the craftsmen of my lord, your father David. 15Now, let my lord send the wheat, barley, oil, and wine to his servants as promised. 16We 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. Solomon’s Work Force 17Solomon took a census of all the foreign men in the land of Israel, after the census that his father David had conducted, and the total was 153,600. 18Solomon made 70,000 of them porters, 80,000 stonecutters in the mountains, and 3,600 supervisors to make the people work.
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