Bible: 2 Chron 2:1-7:22

Solomon Gathers Building Materials for the Temple

2:1 1  Solomon ordered a temple to be built to honor the Lord, as well as a royal palace for himself. 2  2:2 Solomon had 3  70,000 common laborers 4  and 80,000 stonecutters 5  in the hills, in addition to 3,600 supervisors. 6 

2:3 Solomon sent a message to King Huram 7  of Tyre: 8  “Help me 9  as you did my father David, when you sent him cedar logs 10  for the construction of his palace. 11  2:4 Look, I am ready to build a temple to honor 12  the Lord my God and to dedicate it to him in order to burn fragrant incense before him, to set out the bread that is regularly displayed, 13  and to offer burnt sacrifices each morning and evening, and on Sabbaths, new moon festivals, and at other times appointed by the Lord our God. This is something Israel must do on a permanent basis. 14  2:5 I will build a great temple, for our God is greater than all gods. 2:6 Of course, who can really build a temple for him, since the sky 15  and the highest heavens cannot contain him? Who am I that I should build him a temple! It will really be only a place to offer sacrifices before him. 16 

2:7Now send me a man who is skilled in working with gold, silver, bronze, and iron, as well as purple, crimson, and violet colored fabrics, and who knows how to engrave. He will work with my skilled craftsmen here in Jerusalem 17  and Judah, whom my father David provided. 2:8 Send me cedars, evergreens, and algum 18  trees from Lebanon, for I know your servants are adept 19  at cutting down trees in Lebanon. My servants will work with your servants 2:9 to supply me with large quantities of timber, for I am building a great, magnificent temple. 2:10 Look, I will pay your servants who cut the timber 20,000 kors 20  of ground wheat, 20,000 kors of barley, 120,000 gallons 21  of wine, and 120,000 gallons of olive oil.”

2:11 King Huram 22  of Tyre sent this letter to Solomon: “Because the Lord loves his people, he has made you their king.” 2:12 Huram also said, “Worthy of praise is the Lord God of Israel, who made the sky and the earth! He has given David a wise son who has discernment and insight and will build a temple for the Lord, as well as a royal palace for himself. 23  2:13 Now I am sending you Huram Abi, 24  a skilled and capable man, 2:14 whose mother is a Danite and whose father is a Tyrian. 25  He knows how to work with gold, silver, bronze, iron, stones, and wood, as well as purple, violet, white, and crimson fabrics. He knows how to do all kinds of engraving and understands any design given to him. He will work with your skilled craftsmen and the skilled craftsmen of my lord David your father. 2:15 Now let my lord send to his servants the wheat, barley, olive oil, and wine he has promised; 2:16 we will get all the timber you need from Lebanon 26  and bring it 27  in raft-like bundles 28  by sea to Joppa. You can then haul it on up to Jerusalem.”

2:17 Solomon took a census 29  of all the male resident foreigners in the land of Israel, after the census his father David had taken. There were 153,600 in all. 2:18 He designated 30  70,000 as common laborers, 31  80,000 as stonecutters 32  in the hills, and 3,600 as supervisors to make sure the people completed the work. 33 

The Building of the Temple

3:1 Solomon began building the Lord’s temple in Jerusalem 34  on Mount Moriah, where the Lord had appeared to his father David. This was the place that David prepared at the threshing floor of Ornan 35  the Jebusite. 3:2 He began building on the second day of the second month of the fourth year of his reign. 36 

3:3 Solomon laid the foundation for God’s temple; 37  its length (determined according to the old standard of measure) was 90 feet, and its width 30 feet. 38  3:4 The porch in front of the main hall was 30 feet long, corresponding to the width of the temple, 39  and its height was 30 feet. 40  He plated the inside with pure gold. 3:5 He paneled 41  the main hall 42  with boards made from evergreen trees 43  and plated it with fine gold, decorated with palm trees and chains. 44  3:6 He decorated the temple with precious stones; the gold he used came from Parvaim. 45  3:7 He overlaid the temple’s rafters, thresholds, walls and doors with gold; he carved decorative cherubim on the walls.

3:8 He made the most holy place; 46  its length was 30 feet, 47  corresponding to the width of the temple, and its width 30 feet. 48  He plated it with 600 talents 49  of fine gold. 3:9 The gold nails weighed 50 shekels; he also plated the upper areas with gold. 3:10 In the most holy place he made two images of cherubim and plated them with gold. 3:11 The combined wing span of the cherubs was 30 feet. 50  One of the first cherub’s wings was seven and one-half feet long and touched one wall of the temple; its other wing was also seven and one-half feet long and touched one of the second cherub’s wings. 51  3:12 Likewise one of the second cherub’s wings was seven and one-half feet long and touched the other wall of the temple; its other wing was also seven and one-half feet long and touched one of the first cherub’s wings. 52  3:13 The combined wingspan of these cherubim was 30 feet. 53  They stood upright, facing inward. 54  3:14 He made the curtain out of violet, purple, crimson, and white fabrics, and embroidered on it decorative cherubim.

3:15 In front of the temple he made two pillars which had a combined length 55  of 52½ feet, 56  with each having a plated capital seven and one-half feet high. 57  3:16 He made ornamental chains 58  and put them on top of the pillars. He also made one hundred pomegranate-shaped ornaments and arranged them within the chains. 3:17 He set up the pillars in front of the temple, one on the right side and the other on the left. 59  He named the one on the right Jachin, 60  and the one on the left Boaz. 61 

4:1 He made a bronze altar, 30 feet 62  long, 30 feet 63  wide, and 15 feet 64  high. 4:2 He also made the big bronze basin called “The Sea.” 65  It measured 15 feet 66  from rim to rim, was circular in shape, and stood seven and one-half feet 67  high. Its circumference was 45 feet. 68  4:3 Images of bulls were under it all the way around, ten every eighteen inches 69  all the way around. The bulls were in two rows and had been cast with “The Sea.” 4:4 The Sea” stood on top of twelve bulls. Three faced northward, three westward, three southward, and three eastward. “The Seawas placed on top of them, and they all faced outward. 70  4:5 It was four fingers thick and its rim was like that of a cup shaped like a lily blossom. It could hold 18,000 gallons. 71  4:6 He made ten washing basins; he put five on the south side and five on the north side. In them they rinsed the items used for burnt sacrifices; the priests washed in “The Sea.”

4:7 He made ten gold lampstands according to specifications and put them in the temple, five on the right and five on the left. 4:8 He made ten tables and set them in the temple, five on the right and five on the left. He also made one hundred gold bowls. 4:9 He made the courtyard of the priests and the large enclosure and its doors; 72  he plated their doors with bronze. 4:10 He put “The Seaon the south side, in the southeast corner.

4:11 Huram Abi 73  made the pots, shovels, and bowls. He finished all the work on God’s temple he had been assigned by King Solomon. 74  4:12 He made 75  the two pillars, the two bowl-shaped tops of the pillars, the latticework for the bowl-shaped tops of the two pillars, 4:13 the four hundred pomegranate-shaped ornaments for the latticework of the two pillars (each latticework had two rows of these ornaments at the bowl-shaped top of the pillar), 4:14 the ten 76  movable stands with their ten 77  basins, 4:15 the big bronze basin called “The Seawith its twelve bulls underneath, 4:16 and the pots, shovels, and meat forks. 78  All the items King Solomon assigned Huram Abi to make for the Lord’s temple 79  were made from polished bronze. 4:17 The king had them cast in earthen foundries 80  in the region of the Jordan between Succoth and Zarethan. 4:18 Solomon made so many of these items they did not weigh the bronze. 81 

4:19 Solomon also made these items for God’s temple: the gold altar, the tables on which the Bread of the Presence 82  was kept, 4:20 the pure gold lampstands and their lamps which burned as specified at the entrance to the inner sanctuary, 4:21 the pure gold flower-shaped ornaments, lamps, and tongs, 4:22 the pure gold trimming shears, basins, pans, and censers, and the gold door sockets for the inner sanctuary (the most holy place) and for the doors of the main hall of the temple. 5:1 When Solomon had finished constructing the Lord’s temple, he put the holy items that belonged to his father David (the silver, gold, and all the other articles) in the treasuries of God’s temple.

Solomon Moves the Ark into the Temple

5:2 Then Solomon convened Israel’s elders – all the leaders of the Israelite tribes and families – in Jerusalem, 83  so they could witness the transferal of the ark of the covenant of the Lord from the City of David 84  (that is, Zion). 85  5:3 All the men of Israel assembled before the king during the festival 86  in the seventh month. 87  5:4 When all Israel’s elders had arrived, the Levites lifted the ark. 5:5 The priests and Levites carried the ark, the tent where God appeared to his people, 88  and all the holy items in the tent. 89  5:6 Now King Solomon and all the Israelites who had assembled with him went on ahead of the ark and sacrificed more sheep and cattle than could be counted or numbered. 90 

5:7 The priests brought the ark of the covenant of the Lord to its assigned 91  place in the inner sanctuary of the temple, in the most holy place under the wings of the cherubs. 5:8 The cherubswings extended over the place where the ark sat; the cherubs overshadowed the ark and its poles. 92  5:9 The poles were so long their ends extending out from the ark were visible from in front of the inner sanctuary, but they could not be seen from beyond that point. 93  They have remained there to this very day. 5:10 There was nothing in the ark except the two tablets Moses had placed there in Horeb. 94  (It was there that 95  the Lord made an agreement with the Israelites after he brought them out of the land of Egypt.)

5:11 The priests left the holy place. 96  All the priests who participated had consecrated themselves, no matter which division they represented. 97  5:12 All the Levites who were musicians, including Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, and their sons and relatives, wore linen. They played cymbals and stringed instruments as they stood east of the altar. They were accompanied by 120 priests who blew trumpets. 5:13 The trumpeters and musicians played together, praising and giving thanks to the Lord. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals, and other instruments, they loudly praised the Lord, singing: 98  “Certainly he is good; certainly his loyal love endures!” Then a cloud filled the Lord’s temple. 99  5:14 The priests could not carry out their duties 100  because of the cloud; the Lord’s splendor filled God’s temple.

6:1 Then Solomon said, “The Lord has said that he lives in thick darkness. 6:2 O Lord, 101  I have built a lofty temple for you, a place where you can live permanently.” 6:3 Then the king turned around 102  and pronounced a blessing over the whole Israelite assembly as they stood there. 103  6:4 He said, “The Lord God of Israel is worthy of praise because he has fulfilled 104  what he promised 105  my father David. 6:5 He told David, 106  ‘Since the day I brought my people out of the land of Egypt, I have not chosen a city from all the tribes of Israel to build a temple in which to live. 107  Nor did I choose a man as leader of my people Israel. 6:6 But now I have chosen Jerusalem as a place to live, 108  and I have chosen David to lead my people Israel.’ 6:7 Now my father David had a strong desire to build a temple to honor the Lord God of Israel. 109  6:8 The Lord told my father David, ‘It is right for you to have a strong desire to build a temple to honor me. 110  6:9 But you will not build the temple; your very own son will build the temple for my honor.’ 111  6:10 The Lord has kept the promise he made. I have taken my father David’s place and have occupied the throne of Israel, as the Lord promised. I have built this temple for the honor of the Lord God of Israel 6:11 and set up in it a place for the ark containing the covenant the Lord made with the Israelites.”

6:12 He stood before the altar of the Lord in front of the entire assembly of Israel and spread out his hands. 6:13 Solomon had made a bronze platform and had placed it in the middle of the enclosure. It was seven and one-half feet 112  long, seven and one-half feet 113  wide, and four and one-half feet 114  high. He stood on it and then got down on his knees in front of the entire assembly of Israel. He spread out his hands toward the sky, 6:14 and prayed: 115  “O Lord God of Israel, there is no god like you in heaven or on earth! You maintain covenantal loyalty 116  to your servants who obey you with sincerity. 117  6:15 You have kept your word to your servant, my father David; 118  this very day you have fulfilled what you promised. 119  6:16 Now, O Lord God of Israel, keep the promise you made to your servant, my father David, when you said, ‘You will never fail to have a successor ruling before me on the throne of Israel, 120  provided that your descendants watch their step and obey my law as you have done.’ 121  6:17 Now, O Lord God of Israel, may the promise you made to your servant David be realized. 122 

6:18God does not really live with humankind on the earth! 123  Look, if the sky and the highest heaven cannot contain you, how much less this temple I have built! 6:19 But respond favorably to 124  your servant’s prayer and his request for help, O Lord my God. Answer 125  the desperate prayer 126  your servant is presenting to you. 127  6:20 Night and day may you watch over this temple, the place where you promised you would live. 128  May you answer your servant’s prayer for this place. 129  6:21 Respond to the requests of your servant and your people Israel for this place. 130  Hear from your heavenly dwelling place and respond favorably and forgive. 131 

6:22When someone is accused of sinning against his neighbor and the latter pronounces a curse on the alleged offender before your altar in this temple, 132  6:23 listen from heaven and make a just decision about your servantsclaims. Condemn the guilty party, declare the other innocent, and give both of them what they deserve. 133 

6:24If your people Israel are defeated by an enemy 134  because they sinned against you, then if they come back to you, renew their allegiance to you, 135  and pray for your help 136  before you in this temple, 6:25 then listen from heaven, forgive the sin of your people Israel, and bring them back to the land you gave to them and their ancestors. 137 

6:26The time will come when 138  the skies 139  are shut up tightly and no rain falls because your people 140  sinned against you. When they direct their prayers toward this place, renew their allegiance to you, 141  and turn away from their sin because you punish 142  them, 6:27 then listen from heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel. Certainly 143  you will then teach them the right way to live 144  and send rain on your land that you have given your people to possess. 145 

6:28The time will come when the land suffers from a famine, a plague, blight, and disease, or a locust 146  invasion, or when their enemy lays siege to the cities of the land, 147  or when some other type of plague or epidemic occurs. 6:29 When all your people Israel pray and ask for help, 148  as they acknowledge their intense pain 149  and spread out their hands toward this temple, 6:30 then listen from your heavenly dwelling place, forgive their sin, 150  and act favorably toward each one based on your evaluation of their motives. 151  (Indeed you are the only one who can correctly evaluate the motives of all people.) 152  6:31 Then they will honor 153  you by obeying you 154  throughout their lifetimes as 155  they live on the land you gave to our ancestors.

6:32Foreigners, who do not belong to your people Israel, will come from a distant land because of your great reputation 156  and your ability to accomplish mighty deeds; 157  they will come and direct their prayers toward this temple. 6:33 Then listen from your heavenly dwelling place and answer all the prayers of the foreigners. 158  Then all the nations of the earth will acknowledge your reputation, 159  obey 160  you like your people Israel do, and recognize that this temple I built belongs to you. 161 

6:34When you direct your people to march out and fight their enemies, 162  and they direct their prayers to you toward this chosen city and this temple I built for your honor, 163  6:35 then listen from heaven to their prayers for help 164  and vindicate them. 165 

6:36The time will come when your people 166  will sin against you (for there is no one who is sinless!) and you will be angry at them and deliver them over to their enemies, who will take them as prisoners to their land, whether far away or close by. 6:37 When your people 167  come to their senses 168  in the land where they are held prisoner, they will repent and beg for your mercy in the land of their imprisonment, admitting, ‘We have sinned and gone astray 169 , we have done evil!’ 6:38 When they return to you with all their heart and being 170  in the land where they are held prisoner and direct their prayers toward the land you gave to their ancestors, your chosen city, and the temple I built for your honor, 171  6:39 then listen from your heavenly dwelling place to their prayers for help, 172  vindicate them, 173  and forgive your sinful people.

6:40Now, my God, may you be attentive and responsive to the prayers offered in this place. 174  6:41 Now ascend, O Lord God, to your resting place, you and the ark of your strength! May your priests, O Lord God, experience your deliverance! 175  May your loyal followers rejoice in the prosperity you give! 176  6:42 O Lord God, do not reject your chosen ones! 177  Remember the faithful promises you made to your servant David!

Solomon Dedicates the Temple

7:1 When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven 178  and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the Lord’s splendor filled the temple. 7:2 The priests were unable to enter the Lord’s temple because the Lord’s splendor filled the Lord’s temple. 7:3 When all the Israelites saw the fire come down and the Lord’s splendor over the temple, they got on their knees with their faces downward toward the pavement. They worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying, 179  “Certainly he is good; certainly his loyal love endures!

7:4 The king and all the people were presenting sacrifices to the Lord. 7:5 King Solomon sacrificed 22,000 cattle and 120,000 sheep. Then the king and all the people dedicated God’s temple. 7:6 The priests stood in their assigned spots, along with the Levites who had the musical instruments used for praising the Lord. 180  (These were the ones King David made for giving thanks to the Lord and which were used by David when he offered praise, saying, “Certainly his loyal love endures.”) 181  Opposite the Levites, 182  the priests were blowing the trumpets, while all Israel stood there. 7:7 Solomon consecrated the middle of the courtyard that is in front of the Lord’s temple. He offered burnt sacrifices, grain offerings, 183  and the fat from the peace offerings there, because the bronze altar that Solomon had made was too small to hold all these offerings. 184  7:8 At that time Solomon and all Israel with him celebrated a festival for seven days. This great assembly included people from Lebo Hamath in the north to the Brook of Egypt in the south. 185  7:9 On the eighth day they held an assembly, for they had dedicated the altar for seven days and celebrated the festival for seven more days. 7:10 On the twenty-third day of the seventh month, Solomon 186  sent the people home. They left 187  happy and contented 188  because of the good the Lord had done for David, Solomon, and his people Israel.

The Lord Gives Solomon a Promise and a Warning

7:11 After Solomon finished building the Lord’s temple and the royal palace, and accomplished all his plans for the Lord’s temple and his royal palace, 189  7:12 the Lord appeared to Solomon at night and said to him: “I have answered 190  your prayer and chosen this place to be my temple where sacrifices are to be made. 191  7:13 When 192  I close up the sky 193  so that it doesn’t rain, or command locusts to devour the land’s vegetation, 194  or send a plague among my people, 7:14 if my people, who belong to me, 195  humble themselves, pray, seek to please me, 196  and repudiate their sinful practices, 197  then I will respond 198  from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land. 199  7:15 Now I will be attentive and responsive to the prayers offered in this place. 200  7:16 Now I have chosen and consecrated this temple by making it my permanent home; 201  I will be constantly present there. 202  7:17 You must serve me as your father David did. Do everything I commanded and obey my rules and regulations. 203  7:18 Then I will establish your dynasty, 204  just as I promised your father David, ‘You will not fail to have a successor ruling over Israel.’ 205 

7:19But if you people 206  ever turn away from me, fail to obey the regulations and rules I instructed you to keep, 207  and decide to serve and worship other gods, 208  7:20 then I will remove you 209  from my land I have given you, 210  I will abandon this temple I have consecrated with my presence, 211  and I will make you 212  an object of mockery and ridicule 213  among all the nations. 7:21 As for this temple, which was once majestic, 214  everyone who passes by it will be shocked and say, ‘Why did the Lord do this to this land and this temple?’ 7:22 Others will then answer, 215  ‘Because they abandoned the Lord God of their ancestors, 216  who led them out of Egypt. They embraced other gods whom they worshiped and served. 217  That is why he brought all this disaster down on them.’

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