When Hiram king of Tyre heard that Solomon had been anointed king to succeed his father David, he sent his envoys to Solomon, because he had always been on friendly terms with David.
Solomon sent back this message to Hiram:
"You know that because of the wars waged against my father David from all sides, he could not build a temple for the Name of the LORD his God until the LORD put his enemies under his feet.
But now the LORD my God has given me rest on every side, and there is no adversary or disaster.
I intend, therefore, to build a temple for the Name of the LORD my God, as the LORD told my father David, when he said, 'Your son whom I will put on the throne in your place will build the temple for my Name.'
"So give orders that cedars of Lebanon be cut for me. My men will work with yours, and I will pay you for your men whatever wages you set. You know that we have no one so skilled in felling timber as the Sidonians."
When Hiram heard Solomon's message, he was greatly pleased and said, "Praise be to the LORD today, for he has given David a wise son to rule over this great nation."
So Hiram sent word to Solomon: "I have received the message you sent me and will do all you want in providing the cedar and pine logs.
My men will haul them down from Lebanon to the sea, and I will float them in rafts by sea to the place you specify. There I will separate them and you can take them away. And you are to grant my wish by providing food for my royal household."
In this way Hiram kept Solomon supplied with all the cedar and pine logs he wanted,
and Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand cors of wheat as food for his household, in addition to twenty thousand baths of pressed olive oil. Solomon continued to do this for Hiram year after year.
The LORD gave Solomon wisdom, just as he had promised him. There were peaceful relations between Hiram and Solomon, and the two of them made a treaty.
King Solomon conscripted laborers from all Israel--thirty thousand men.
He sent them off to Lebanon in shifts of ten thousand a month, so that they spent one month in Lebanon and two months at home. Adoniram was in charge of the forced labor.
Solomon had seventy thousand carriers and eighty thousand stonecutters in the hills,
as well as thirty-three hundred foremen who supervised the project and directed the workmen.
At the king's command they removed from the quarry large blocks of quality stone to provide a foundation of dressed stone for the temple.
The craftsmen of Solomon and Hiram and the men of Gebal cut and prepared the timber and stone for the building of the temple.
In the four hundred and eightieth year after the Israelites had come out of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, the second month, he began to build the temple of the LORD.
The temple that King Solomon built for the LORD was sixty cubits long, twenty wide and thirty high.
The portico at the front of the main hall of the temple extended the width of the temple, that is twenty cubits, and projected ten cubits from the front of the temple.
He made narrow clerestory windows in the temple.
Against the walls of the main hall and inner sanctuary he built a structure around the building, in which there were side rooms.
The lowest floor was five cubits wide, the middle floor six cubits and the third floor seven. He made offset ledges around the outside of the temple so that nothing would be inserted into the temple walls.
In building the temple, only blocks dressed at the quarry were used, and no hammer, chisel or any other iron tool was heard at the temple site while it was being built.
The entrance to the lowest floor was on the south side of the temple; a stairway led up to the middle level and from there to the third.
So he built the temple and completed it, roofing it with beams and cedar planks.
And he built the side rooms all along the temple. The height of each was five cubits, and they were attached to the temple by beams of cedar.
The word of the LORD came to Solomon:
"As for this temple you are building, if you follow my decrees, carry out my regulations and keep all my commands and obey them, I will fulfill through you the promise I gave to David your father.
And I will live among the Israelites and will not abandon my people Israel."
So Solomon built the temple and completed it.
He lined its interior walls with cedar boards, paneling them from the floor of the temple to the ceiling, and covered the floor of the temple with planks of pine.
He partitioned off twenty cubits at the rear of the temple with cedar boards from floor to ceiling to form within the temple an inner sanctuary, the Most Holy Place.
The main hall in front of this room was forty cubits long.
The inside of the temple was cedar, carved with gourds and open flowers. Everything was cedar; no stone was to be seen.
He prepared the inner sanctuary within the temple to set the ark of the covenant of the LORD there.
The inner sanctuary was twenty cubits long, twenty wide and twenty high. He overlaid the inside with pure gold, and he also overlaid the altar of cedar.
Solomon covered the inside of the temple with pure gold, and he extended gold chains across the front of the inner sanctuary, which was overlaid with gold.
So he overlaid the whole interior with gold. He also overlaid with gold the altar that belonged to the inner sanctuary.
In the inner sanctuary he made a pair of cherubim of olive wood, each ten cubits high.
One wing of the first cherub was five cubits long, and the other wing five cubits--ten cubits from wing tip to wing tip.
The second cherub also measured ten cubits, for the two cherubim were identical in size and shape.
The height of each cherub was ten cubits.
He placed the cherubim inside the innermost room of the temple, with their wings spread out. The wing of one cherub touched one wall, while the wing of the other touched the other wall, and their wings touched each other in the middle of the room.
He overlaid the cherubim with gold.
On the walls all around the temple, in both the inner and outer rooms, he carved cherubim, palm trees and open flowers.
He also covered the floors of both the inner and outer rooms of the temple with gold.
For the entrance of the inner sanctuary he made doors of olive wood with five-sided jambs.
And on the two olive wood doors he carved cherubim, palm trees and open flowers, and overlaid the cherubim and palm trees with beaten gold.
In the same way he made four-sided jambs of olive wood for the entrance to the main hall.
He also made two pine doors, each having two leaves that turned in sockets.
He carved cherubim, palm trees and open flowers on them and overlaid them with gold hammered evenly over the carvings.
And he built the inner courtyard of three courses of dressed stone and one course of trimmed cedar beams.
The foundation of the temple of the LORD was laid in the fourth year, in the month of Ziv.
In the eleventh year in the month of Bul, the eighth month, the temple was finished in all its details according to its specifications. He had spent seven years building it.
Solomon gave orders to build a temple for the Name of the LORD and a royal palace for himself.
He conscripted seventy thousand men as carriers and eighty thousand as stonecutters in the hills and thirty-six hundred as foremen over them.
Solomon sent this message to Hiram king of Tyre: "Send me cedar logs as you did for my father David when you sent him cedar to build a palace to live in.
Now I am about to build a temple for the Name of the LORD my God and to dedicate it to him for burning fragrant incense before him, for setting out the consecrated bread regularly, and for making burnt offerings every morning and evening and on Sabbaths and New Moons and at the appointed feasts of the LORD our God. This is a lasting ordinance for Israel.
"The temple I am going to build will be great, because our God is greater than all other gods.
But who is able to build a temple for him, since the heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain him? Who then am I to build a temple for him, except as a place to burn sacrifices before him?
"Send me, therefore, a man skilled to work in gold and silver, bronze and iron, and in purple, crimson and blue yarn, and experienced in the art of engraving, to work in Judah and Jerusalem with my skilled craftsmen, whom my father David provided.
"Send me also cedar, pine and algum logs from Lebanon, for I know that your men are skilled in cutting timber there. My men will work with yours
to provide me with plenty of lumber, because the temple I build must be large and magnificent.
I will give your servants, the woodsmen who cut the timber, twenty thousand cors of ground wheat, twenty thousand cors of barley, twenty thousand baths of wine and twenty thousand baths of olive oil."
Hiram king of Tyre replied by letter to Solomon: "Because the LORD loves his people, he has made you their king."
And Hiram added: "Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, who made heaven and earth! He has given King David a wise son, endowed with intelligence and discernment, who will build a temple for the LORD and a palace for himself.
"I am sending you Huram-Abi, a man of great skill,
whose mother was from Dan and whose father was from Tyre. He is trained to work in gold and silver, bronze and iron, stone and wood, and with purple and blue and crimson yarn and fine linen. He is experienced in all kinds of engraving and can execute any design given to him. He will work with your craftsmen and with those of my Lord, David your father.
"Now let my Lord send his servants the wheat and barley and the olive oil and wine he promised,
and we will cut all the logs from Lebanon that you need and will float them in rafts by sea down to Joppa. You can then take them up to Jerusalem."
Solomon took a census of all the aliens who were in Israel, after the census his father David had taken; and they were found to be 153,600.
He assigned 70,000 of them to be carriers and 80,000 to be stonecutters in the hills, with 3,600 foremen over them to keep the people working.
Then Solomon began to build the temple of the LORD in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the LORD had appeared to his father David. It was on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite, the place provided by David.
He began building on the second day of the second month in the fourth year of his reign.
The foundation Solomon laid for building the temple of God was sixty cubits long and twenty cubits wide (using the cubit of the old standard).
The portico at the front of the temple was twenty cubits long across the width of the building and twenty cubits high. He overlaid the inside with pure gold.
He paneled the main hall with pine and covered it with fine gold and decorated it with palm tree and chain designs.
He adorned the temple with precious stones. And the gold he used was gold of Parvaim.
He overlaid the ceiling beams, doorframes, walls and doors of the temple with gold, and he carved cherubim on the walls.
He built the Most Holy Place, its length corresponding to the width of the temple--twenty cubits long and twenty cubits wide. He overlaid the inside with six hundred talents of fine gold.
The gold nails weighed fifty shekels. He also overlaid the upper parts with gold.
In the Most Holy Place he made a pair of sculptured cherubim and overlaid them with gold.
The total wingspan of the cherubim was twenty cubits. One wing of the first cherub was five cubits long and touched the temple wall, while its other wing, also five cubits long, touched the wing of the other cherub.
Similarly one wing of the second cherub was five cubits long and touched the other temple wall, and its other wing, also five cubits long, touched the wing of the first cherub.
The wings of these cherubim extended twenty cubits. They stood on their feet, facing the main hall.
He made the curtain of blue, purple and crimson yarn and fine linen, with cherubim worked into it.
In the front of the temple he made two pillars, which [together] were thirty-five cubits long, each with a capital on top measuring five cubits.
He made interwoven chains and put them on top of the pillars. He also made a hundred pomegranates and attached them to the chains.
He erected the pillars in the front of the temple, one to the south and one to the north. The one to the south he named Jakin and the one to the north Boaz.