7 1It took Solomon another thirteen years to finish building his own palace complex. 2He built the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon a hundred and fifty feet long, seventy–five feet wide, and forty–five feet high. 3There were four rows of cedar columns supporting forty–five cedar beams, fifteen in each row, and then roofed with cedar. 4Windows in groupings of three were set high in the walls on either side. 5All the doors were rectangular and arranged symmetrically. 6He built a colonnaded courtyard seventy–five feet long and forty–five wide. It had a roofed porch at the front with ample eaves. 7He built a court room, the Hall of Justice, where he would decide judicial matters, and paneled it with cedar. 8He built his personal residence behind the Hall on a similar plan. Solomon also built another one just like it for Pharaoh’s daughter, whom he had married. 9No expense was spared—everything here, inside and out, from foundation to roof was constructed using high–quality stone, accurately cut and shaped and polished. 10The foundation stones were huge, ranging in size from twelve to fifteen feet, and of the very best quality. 11The finest stone was used above the foundation, shaped to size and trimmed with cedar. 12The courtyard was enclosed with a wall made of three layers of stone and topped with cedar timbers, just like the one in the porch of The Temple of God. 13King Solomon sent to Tyre and asked Hiram (not the king; another Hiram) to come. 14Hiram’s mother was a widow from the tribe of Naphtali. His father was a Tyrian and a master worker in bronze. Hiram was a real artist—he could do anything with bronze. He came to King Solomon and did all the bronze work. 15First he cast two pillars in bronze, each twenty–seven feet tall and eighteen feet in circumference. 16He then cast two capitals in bronze to set on the pillars; each capital was seven and a half feet high 1718192017-20 and flared at the top in the shape of a lily. Each capital was dressed with an elaborate filigree of seven braided chains and a double row of two hundred pomegranates, setting the pillars off magnificently. 21He set the pillars up in the entrance porch to The Temple; the pillar to the south he named Security (Jachin) and the pillar to the north Stability (Boaz). 22The capitals were in the shape of lilies. When the pillars were finished, 23Hiram’s next project was to make the Sea—an immense round basin of cast metal fifteen feet in diameter, seven and a half feet tall, and forty–five feet in circumference.24Just under the rim there were two bands of decorative gourds, ten gourds to each foot and a half. The gourds were cast in one piece with the Sea. 25The Sea was set on twelve bulls, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south, and three facing east; the bulls faced outward supporting the Sea on their hindquarters. 26The Sea was three inches thick and flared at the rim like a cup, or like a lily. It held about 11,500 gallons. 27Hiram also made ten washstands of bronze. Each was six feet square and four and a half feet tall. 28They were made like this: Panels were fastened to the uprights. 29Lions, bulls, and cherubim were represented on the panels and uprights. Beveled wreath–work bordered the lions and bulls above and below. 30Each stand was mounted on four bronze wheels with bronze axles. The uprights were cast with decorative relief work. 31Each stand held a basin on a circular engraved support a foot and a half deep set on a pedestal two and a quarter feet square. The washstand itself was square. 32The axles were attached under the stand and the wheels fixed to them. The wheels were twenty–seven inches in diameter; 33they were designed like chariot wheels. Everything—axles, rims, spokes, and hubs—was of cast metal. 34There was a handle at the four corners of each washstand, the handles cast in one piece with the stand. 35At the top of the washstand there was a ring about nine inches deep. The uprights and handles were cast with the stand. 36Everything and every available surface was engraved with cherubim, lions, and palm trees, bordered by arabesques. 37The washstands were identical, all cast in the same mold. 38He also made ten bronze washbasins, each six feet in diameter with a capacity of 230 gallons, one basin for each of the ten washstands. 39He arranged five stands on the south side of The Temple and five on the north. The Sea was placed at the southeast corner of The Temple. 40Hiram then fashioned the various utensils: buckets and shovels and bowls. Hiram completed all the work he set out to do for King Solomon on The Temple of God: 41two pillars; two capitals on top of the pillars; two decorative filigrees for the capitals; 42four hundred pomegranates for the two filigrees (a double row of pomegranates for each filigree); 43ten washstands each with its washbasin; one Sea; 44twelve bulls under the Sea; 45miscellaneous buckets, shovels, and bowls. All these artifacts that Hiram made for King Solomon for The Temple of God were of burnished bronze. 46He cast them in clay in a foundry on the Jordan plain between Succoth and Zarethan. 47These artifacts were never weighed—there were far too many! Nobody has any idea how much bronze was used. 48Solomon was also responsible for all the furniture and accessories in The Temple of God: the gold Altar; the gold Table that held the Bread of the Presence; 49the pure gold candelabras, five to the right and five to the left in front of the Inner Sanctuary; the gold flowers, lamps, and tongs; 50the pure gold dishes, wick trimmers, sprinkling bowls, ladles, and censers; the gold sockets for the doors of the Inner Sanctuary, the Holy of Holies, used also for the doors of the Main Sanctuary. 51That completed all the work King Solomon did on The Temple of God. He then brought in the items consecrated by his father David, the silver and the gold and the artifacts. He placed them all in the treasury of God’s Temple.
The Message® / © 2002 Eugene H. Peterson About