Solomon Will Build a Temple and Palace
2 [a]Now Solomon [b]decided to build a house for the name of the Lord and a [c]royal palace for himself. 2 [d]So Solomon [e]assigned 70,000 men to carry loads and 80,000 men to quarry stone in the mountains and 3,600 to supervise them.
3 Then Solomon sent word to [f]Huram the king of Tyre, saying, “As you dealt with David my father and sent him cedars to build him a house to dwell in, so do for me. 4 Behold, I am about to build a house for the name of the Lord my God, dedicating it to Him, to burn fragrant incense before Him and to set out the showbread continually, and to offer burnt offerings morning and evening, on sabbaths and on new moons and on the appointed feasts of the Lord our God, this being required forever in Israel. 5 The house which I am about to build will be great, for greater is our God than all the gods. 6 But who is able to build a house for Him, for the heavens and the highest heavens cannot contain Him? So who am I, that I should build a house for Him, except to [g]burn incense before Him? 7 Now send me a skilled man to work in gold, silver, brass and iron, and in purple, crimson and violet fabrics, and who knows how to make engravings, to work with the skilled men [h]whom I have in Judah and Jerusalem, whom David my father provided. 8 Send me also cedar, cypress and algum timber from Lebanon, for I know that your servants know how to cut timber of Lebanon; and indeed my servants will work with your servants, 9 to prepare timber in abundance for me, for the house which I am about to build will be great and wonderful. 10 Now behold, I will give to your servants, the woodsmen who cut the timber, 20,000 [i]kors of crushed wheat and 20,000 [j]kors of barley, and 20,000 baths of wine and 20,000 baths of oil.”
Huram to Assist
11 Then Huram, king of Tyre, [k]answered in a letter sent to Solomon: “Because the Lord loves His people, He has made you king over them.” 12 Then Huram [l]continued, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who has made heaven and earth, who has given King David a wise son, [m]endowed with discretion and understanding, who will build a house for the Lord and a [n]royal palace for himself.
13 “Now I am sending Huram-abi, a skilled man, [o]endowed with understanding, 14 the son of a [p]Danite woman and [q]a Tyrian father, who knows how to work in gold, silver, bronze, iron, stone and wood, and in purple, violet, linen and crimson fabrics, and who knows how to make all kinds of engravings and to [r]execute any design which may be assigned to him, to work with your skilled men and with [s]those of my lord David your father. 15 Now then, let my lord send to his servants wheat and barley, oil and wine, of which he has spoken. 16 We will cut whatever timber you need from Lebanon and bring it to you on rafts by sea to Joppa, so that you may carry it up to Jerusalem.”
17 Solomon numbered all the aliens who were in the land of Israel, following the [t]census which his father David had [u]taken; and 153,600 were found. 18 He appointed 70,000 of them to carry loads and 80,000 to quarry stones in the mountains and 3,600 supervisors to make the people work.
I love Solomon’s attitude in building the temple, as he says “for greater is our God than all the gods… the heavens and the highest heavens cannot contain Him”. Solomon’s perspective is right on, and in all we do, this truth ought to be evident. When we do God’s will, and the incredible things that follow… it is not we who do any of it, but God in us who makes it so.
Solomon had all the best craftsmen in all Israel, and yet to honor our unsearchable and unfathomable God, he goes one step further. He asks Huram to send his best craftsman to work with all those from Israel. Solomon knew that whatever he would build would still be as nothing compared to the real nature of God. But regardless, he wanted to make sure it showed the nations how amazing God is.
What is even more amazing is that God sends His Spirit to dwell within those who believe and trust in Him. Though Solomon’s temple was but a “place to burn incense” because God could not be contained within it, God lowers himself to dwell within his own creation, and that is an awesome fact and a humbling honor beyond anything else in this universe.