1Solomon planned to build a temple to give honor to the Lord’s name. Solomon also planned to build a king’s house for himself. 2Solomon got 70,000 laborers and 80,000 stonemasons to cut stones in the mountains. Solomon chose 3,600 foremen to supervise the workers. 3Then Solomon sent a message to Hiram. Hiram was the king of the city of Tyre. Solomon said, “Help me like you helped my father David. You sent wood to him from cedar trees so he could build a house for himself to live in. 4I will build a temple to honor the name of the Lord my God. At the temple we will burn incense in front of the Lord, and we will always put the holy bread on the special table. We will offer burnt offerings every morning and evening, every Sabbath day, every New Moon, and on the other feast days that the Lord our God has commanded us to celebrate. This is a rule for the people of Israel to obey forever. 5“Our God is greater than all the other gods. So I will build a great temple for him. 6No person can really build a house to put our God in. Not even heaven can hold God—no not even the universe can hold our God! So I cannot build a temple for God. I can only build a place to burn incense to honor him. 7“Now, I would like you to send me a man who is skilled in working with gold, silver, bronze, and iron. That man must know how to work with purple, red, and blue cloth. That man will work here in Judah and Jerusalem with the craftsmen my father chose. 8Also send me wood from cedar trees, pine trees, and algum trees from the country of Lebanon. I know your servants are experienced at cutting down trees from Lebanon. My servants will help your servants. 9I will need lots of wood because the temple I am building will be very large and beautiful. 10This is what I will pay for your servants to cut down the trees for wood. I will give them 125,000 bushels of wheat for food, 125,000 bushels of barley, 115,000 gallons of wine, and 115,000 gallons of oil.” 11Then Hiram answered Solomon. Hiram sent a message to Solomon. This is what that message said: “Solomon, the Lord loves his people. That is why he chose you to be their king.” 12Hiram also said, “Praise the Lord God of Israel! He made heaven and earth. He gave a wise son to King David. Solomon, you have wisdom and understanding. You are building a temple for the Lord. You are also building a king’s house for yourself. 13I will send you a skilled craftsman named Huram Abi. 14His mother was from the family group of Dan. And his father was from the city of Tyre. Huram Abi has skill in working with gold, silver, bronze, iron, stone, and wood. Huram Abi also has skill in working with purple, blue, and red cloth and expensive linen. Huram Abi can design and build anything you tell him. He will work with your craftsmen and with the craftsmen of your father King David. 15“Now, Sir, you offered to give us wheat, barley, oil, and wine. Give those things to my servants. 16And we will cut wood from the country of Lebanon. We will cut as much wood as you need. We will tie the logs together and float them by sea to the town of Joppa. Then you can carry the wood to Jerusalem.” 17Then Solomon counted all the strangers living in the country of Israel. This was after the time when David counted the people. David was Solomon’s father. They found 153,600 strangers in the country. 18Solomon chose 70,000 strangers to carry things. Solomon chose 80,000 strangers to be cutters of stone in the mountains. And Solomon chose 3,600 strangers to be the supervisors to keep the people working.
2 Chronicles 2