2 Chronicles 2; 2 Chronicles 3; 2 Chronicles 4; 2 Chronicles 5; 2 Chronicles 6; 2 Chronicles 7

1 Solomon gave orders to begin construction on the house of worship in honor of God and a palace for himself. 2 Solomon assigned 70,000 common laborers, 80,000 to work the quarries in the mountains, and 3,600 foremen to manage the workforce. 3 Then Solomon sent this message to King Hiram of Tyre: "Send me cedar logs, the same kind you sent David my father for building his palace. 4 I'm about to build a house of worship in honor of God, a holy place for burning perfumed incense, for setting out holy bread, for making Whole-Burnt-Offerings at morning and evening worship, and for Sabbath, New Moon, and Holy Day services of worship - the acts of worship required of Israel. 5 "The house I am building has to be the best, for our God is the best, far better than competing gods. 6 But who is capable of building such a structure? Why, the skies - the entire cosmos! - can't begin to contain him. And me, who am I to think I can build a house adequate for God - burning incense to him is about all I'm good for! 7 I need your help: Send me a master artisan in gold, silver, bronze, iron, textiles of purple, crimson, and violet, and who knows the craft of engraving; he will supervise the trained craftsmen in Judah and Jerusalem that my father provided. 8 Also send cedar, cypress, and algum logs from Lebanon; I know you have lumberjacks experienced in the Lebanon forests. I'll send workers to join your crews 9 to cut plenty of timber - I'm going to need a lot, for this house I'm building is going to be absolutely stunning - a showcase temple! 10 I'll provide all the food necessary for your crew of lumberjacks and loggers: 130,000 bushels of wheat, 120,000 gallons of wine, and 120,000 gallons of olive oil." 11 Hiram king of Tyre wrote Solomon in reply: "It's plain that God loves his people - he made you king over them!" 12 He wrote on, "Blessed be the God of Israel, who made heaven and earth, and who gave King David a son so wise, so knowledgeable and shrewd, to build a temple for God and a palace for himself. 13 I've sent you Huram-Abi - he's already on his way - he knows the construction business inside and out. 14 His mother is from Dan and his father from Tyre. He knows how to work in gold, silver, bronze, iron, stone, and wood, in purple, violet, linen, and crimson textiles; he is also an expert engraver and competent to work out designs with your artists and architects, and those of my master David, your father. 15 "Go ahead and send the wheat, barley, olive oil, and wine you promised for my work crews. 16 We'll log the trees you need from the Lebanon forests and raft them down to Joppa. You'll have to get the timber up to Jerusalem yourself." 17 Solomon then took a census of all the foreigners living in Israel, using the same census-taking method employed by his father. They numbered 153,600. 18 He assigned 70,000 of them as common laborers, 80,000 to work the quarries in the mountains, and 3,600 as foremen to manage the work crews.
1 So Solomon broke ground, launched construction of the house of God in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, the place where God had appeared to his father David. The precise site, the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite, had been designated by David. 2 He broke ground on the second day in the second month of the fourth year of his rule. 3 These are the dimensions that Solomon set for the construction of the house of God: ninety feet long and thirty feet wide. 4 The porch in front stretched the width of the building, that is, thirty feet; and it was thirty feet high. 5 He paneled the main hall with cypress and veneered it with fine gold engraved with palm tree and chain designs. 6 He decorated the building with precious stones and gold from Parvaim. 7 Everything was coated with gold veneer: rafters, doorframes, walls, and doors. Cherubim were engraved on the walls. 8 He made the Holy of Holies a cube, thirty feet wide, long, and high. It was veneered with 600 talents (something over twenty-two tons) of gold. 9 The gold nails weighed fifty shekels (a little over a pound). The upper rooms were also veneered in gold. 10 He made two sculptures of cherubim, gigantic angel-like figures, for the Holy of Holies, both veneered with gold. 11 The combined wingspread of the side-by-side cherubim (each wing measuring seven and a half feet) stretched from wall to wall, thirty feet. 12 13 They stood erect facing the main hall. 14 He fashioned the curtain of violet, purple, and crimson fabric and worked a cherub design into it. 15 He made two huge free-standing pillars, each fifty-two feet tall, their capitals extending another seven and a half feet. 16 The top of each pillar was set off with an elaborate filigree of chains, like necklaces, from which hung a hundred pomegranates. 17 He placed the pillars in front of The Temple, one on the right, and the other on the left. The right pillar he named Jakin (Security) and the left pillar he named Boaz (Stability).
1 He made the Bronze Altar thirty feet long, thirty feet wide, and ten feet high. 2 He made a Sea - an immense round basin of cast metal fifteen feet in diameter, seven and a half feet high, and forty-five feet in circumference. 3 Just under the rim, there were two parallel bands of something like bulls, ten to each foot and a half. The figures were cast in one piece with the Sea. 4 The Sea was set on twelve bulls, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south, and three facing east. All the bulls faced outward and supported the Sea on their hindquarters. 5 The Sea was three inches thick and flared at the rim like a cup, or a lily. It held about 18,000 gallons. 6 He made ten Washbasins, five set on the right and five on the left, for rinsing the things used for the Whole-Burnt-Offerings. The priests washed themselves in the Sea. 7 He made ten gold Lampstands, following the specified pattern, and placed five on the right and five on the left. 8 He made ten tables and set five on the right and five on the left. He also made a hundred gold bowls. 9 He built a Courtyard especially for the priests and then the great court and doors for the court. The doors were covered with bronze. 10 He placed the Sea on the right side of The Temple at the southeast corner. 11 He also made ash buckets, shovels, and bowls. And that about wrapped it up: Huram completed the work he had contracted to do for King Solomon: 12 two pillars; two bowl-shaped capitals for the tops of the pillars; two decorative filigrees for the capitals; 13 four hundred pomegranates for the filigrees (a double row of pomegranates for each filigree); 14 ten washstands with their basins; 15 one Sea and the twelve bulls under it; 16 miscellaneous buckets, forks, shovels, and bowls. 17 The king had them cast in clay in a foundry on the Jordan plain between Succoth and Zarethan. 18 These artifacts were never weighed - there were far too many! Nobody has any idea how much bronze was used. 19 Solomon was also responsible for the furniture and accessories in The Temple of God: the gold Altar; the tables that held the Bread of the Presence; 20 the Lampstands of pure gold with their lamps, to be lighted before the Inner Sanctuary, the Holy of Holies; 21 the gold flowers, lamps, and tongs (all solid gold); 22 the gold wick trimmers, bowls, ladles, and censers; the gold doors of The Temple, doors to the Holy of Holies, and the doors to the main sanctuary.
1 That completed the work King Solomon did on The Temple of God. He then brought in the holy offerings of his father David, the silver and the gold and the artifacts. He placed them all in the treasury of God's Temple. Installing the Chest 2 Bringing all this to a climax, Solomon got all the leaders together in Jerusalem - all the chiefs of tribes and the family patriarchs - to move the Chest of the Covenant of God from Zion and install it in The Temple. 3 All the men of Israel assembled before the king on the feast day of the seventh month, the Feast of Booths. 4 When all the leaders of Israel were ready, the Levites took up the Chest. 5 They carried the Chest, the Tent of Meeting, and all the sacred things in the Tent used in worship. The priests, all Levites, carried them. 6 King Solomon and the entire congregation of Israel were there before the Chest, worshiping and sacrificing huge numbers of sheep and cattle - so many that no one could keep track. 7 The priests brought the Chest of the Covenant of God to its place in the Inner Sanctuary, the Holy of Holies, under the wings of the cherubim. 8 The outspread wings of the cherubim formed a canopy over the Chest and its poles. 9 The ends of the poles were so long that they stuck out from the entrance of the Inner Sanctuary, but were not noticeable further out - they're still there today. 10 There was nothing in the Chest itself but the two stone tablets that Moses had placed in it at Horeb where God made a covenant with Israel after bringing them up from Egypt. 11 The priests then left the Holy Place. All the priests there were consecrated, regardless of rank or assignment; 12 and all the Levites who were musicians were there - Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, and their families, dressed in their worship robes; the choir and orchestra assembled on the east side of the Altar and were joined by 120 priests blowing trumpets. 13 The choir and trumpets made one voice of praise and thanks to God - orchestra and choir in perfect harmony singing and playing praise to God: Yes! God is good! His loyal love goes on forever! 14 The priests couldn't even carry out their duties because of the cloud - the glory of God! - that filled The Temple of God.
1 Then Solomon said, God said he would dwell in a cloud, 2 But I've built a temple most splendid, A place for you to live in forever. 3 The king then turned to face the congregation that had come together and blessed them: 4 "Blessed be God, the God of Israel, who spoke personally to my father David. Now he has done what he promised when he said, 5 'From the day I brought my people Israel up from Egypt, I haven't set apart one city among the tribes of Israel in which to build a temple to honor my Name, or chosen one person to be the leader. 6 But now I have chosen both a city and a person: Jerusalem for honoring my Name and David to lead my people Israel.' 7 "My father David very much wanted to build a temple honoring the Name of God, the God of Israel, 8 but God told him, 'It was good that you wanted to build a temple in my honor - most commendable! 9 But you are not the one to do it. Your son, who will carry on your dynasty, will build it for my Name.' 10 "And now you see the promise completed. God has done what he said he would do; I have succeeded David my father and now rule Israel; and I have built a temple to honor God, the God of Israel, 11 and have secured a place for the Chest that holds the Covenant of God, the covenant he made with the people of Israel." 12 Before the entire congregation of Israel, Solomon took his position at the Altar of God and stretched out his hands. 13 Solomon had made a bronze dais seven and a half feet square and four and a half feet high and placed it inside the court; that's where he now stood. Then he knelt in full view of the whole congregation, stretched his hands to heaven, 14 and prayed: 15 You kept your word to David my father, your promise. You did exactly what you promised - every detail. The proof is before us today! 16 Keep it up, God, O God of Israel! Continue to keep the promises you made to David my father when you said, "You'll always have a descendant to represent my rule on Israel's throne, on the one condition that your sons are as careful to live obediently in my presence as you have." 17 O God, God of Israel, let this all happen - confirm and establish it! 18 Can it be that God will actually move into our neighborhood? Why, the cosmos itself isn't large enough to give you breathing room, let alone this Temple I've built. 19 Even so, I'm bold to ask: Pay attention to these my prayers, both intercessory and personal, O God, my God. Listen to my prayers, energetic and devout, that I'm setting before you right now. 20 Keep your eyes open to this Temple day and night, this place you promised to dignify with your Name. And listen to the prayers that I pray in this place. 21 And listen to your people Israel when they pray at this place. Listen from your home in heaven and when you hear, forgive. 22 When someone hurts a neighbor and promises to make things right, and then comes and repeats the promise before your Altar in this Temple, 23 Listen from heaven and act; judge your servants, making the offender pay for the offense And set the offended free, dismissing all charges. 24 When your people Israel are beaten by an enemy because they've sinned against you, but then turn to you and acknowledge your rule in prayers desperate and devout in this Temple, 25 Listen from your home in heaven; forgive the sin of your people Israel, return them to the land you gave to them and their ancestors. 26 When the skies shrivel up and there is no rain because your people have sinned against you, but then they pray at this place, acknowledging your rule and quit their sins because you have scourged them, 27 Listen from your home in heaven, forgive the sins of your servants, your people Israel. Then start over with them; train them to live right and well; Send rain on the land you gave as inheritance to your people. 28 When disasters strike, famine or catastrophe, crop failure or disease, locust or beetle, or when an enemy attacks their defenses - calamity of any sort - 29 any prayer that's prayed from anyone at all among your people Israel, their hearts penetrated by disaster, hands and arms thrown out for help to this Temple, 30 Listen from your home in heaven, forgive and reward us: reward each life and circumstance, For you know each life from the inside, (you're the only one with such inside knowledge!), 31 So they'll live before you in lifelong reverence and believing obedience on this land you gave our ancestors. 32 And don't forget the foreigner who is not a member of your people Israel but has come from a far country because of your reputation - people are going to be attracted here by your great reputation, your wonderworking power - and who come to pray to this Temple. 33 Listen from your home in heaven and honor the prayers of the foreigner, So that people all over the world will know who you are and what you're like, And live in reverent obedience before you, just as your own people Israel do, So they'll know that you personally make this Temple that I've built what it is. 34 When your people go to war against their enemies at the time and place you send them and they pray to God toward the city you chose and The Temple I've built to honor your Name, 35 Listen from heaven to what they pray and ask for and do what is right for them. 36 When they sin against you - and they certainly will; there's no one without sin! - and in anger you turn them over to the enemy and they are taken off captive to the enemy's land, whether far or near, 37 but then repent in the country of their captivity and pray with changed hearts in their exile, "We've sinned; we've done wrong; we've been most wicked," 38 and they turn back to you heart and soul in the land of the enemy who conquered them, and pray to you toward their homeland, the land you gave their ancestors, toward the city you chose, and this Temple I have built to the honor of your Name, 39 Listen from your home in heaven to their prayers desperate and devout; Do what is best for them. Forgive your people who have sinned against you. 40 And now, dear God, be alert and attentive to prayer, all prayer, offered in this place. 41 Up, God, enjoy your new place of quiet repose, you and your mighty covenant Chest; Dress your priests up in salvation clothes, let your holy people celebrate goodness. 42 And don't, God, back out on your anointed ones, keep in mind the love promised to David your servant.
1 When Solomon finished praying, a bolt of lightning out of heaven struck the Whole-Burnt-Offering and sacrifices and the Glory of God filled The Temple. 2 The Glory was so dense that the priests couldn't get in - God so filled The Temple that there was no room for the priests! 3 When all Israel saw the fire fall from heaven and the Glory of God fill The Temple, they fell on their knees, bowed their heads, and worshiped, thanking God: Yes! God is good! His love never quits! 4 Then the king and all Israel worshiped, offering sacrifices to God. 5 King Solomon worshiped by sacrificing 22,000 cattle and 120,000 sheep at the dedication of The Temple. 6 The priests were all on duty; the choir and orchestra of Levites that David had provided for singing and playing anthems to the praise and love of God were all there; across the courtyard the priests blew trumpets. All Israelites were on their feet. 7 Solomon set apart the central area of the courtyard in front of God's Temple for sacred use and there sacrificed the Whole-Burnt-Offerings, Grain-Offerings, and fat from the Peace-Offerings - the Bronze Altar was too small to handle all these offerings. 8 This is how Solomon kept the great autumn Feast of Booths. For seven days there were people there all the way from the far northeast (the Entrance to Hamath) to the far southwest (the Brook of Egypt) - a huge congregation. 9 They started out celebrating for seven days, and then did it for another seven days, a week for dedicating the Altar and another for the Feast itself - two solid weeks of celebration! 10 On the twenty-third day of the seventh month Solomon dismissed his congregation. They left rejoicing, exuberant over all the good God had done for David and Solomon and his people Israel. God's Confirmation 11 Solomon completed building The Temple of God and the royal palace - the projects he had set his heart on doing. Everything was done - success! Satisfaction! 12 God appeared to Solomon that very night and said, "I accept your prayer; yes, I have chosen this place as a temple for sacrifice, a house of worship. 13 If I ever shut off the supply of rain from the skies or order the locusts to eat the crops or send a plague on my people, 14 and my people, my God-defined people, respond by humbling themselves, praying, seeking my presence, and turning their backs on their wicked lives, I'll be there ready for you: I'll listen from heaven, forgive their sins, and restore their land to health. 15 From now on I'm alert day and night to the prayers offered at this place. 16 Believe me, I've chosen and sanctified this Temple that you have built: My Name is stamped on it forever; my eyes are on it and my heart in it always. 17 As for you, if you live in my presence as your father David lived, pure in heart and action, living the life I've set out for you, attentively obedient to my guidance and judgments, 18 then I'll back your kingly rule over Israel - make it a sure thing on a sure foundation. The same covenant guarantee I gave to David your father I'm giving to you, namely, 'You can count on always having a descendant on Israel's throne.' 19 "But if you or your sons betray me, ignoring my guidance and judgments, taking up with alien gods by serving and worshiping them, 20 then the guarantee is off: I'll wipe Israel right off the map and repudiate this Temple I've just sanctified to honor my Name. And Israel will be nothing but a bad joke among the peoples of the world. 21 And this Temple, splendid as it now is, will become an object of contempt; tourists will shake their heads, saying, 'What happened here? What's the story behind these ruins?' 22 Then they'll be told, 'The people who used to live here betrayed their God, the very God who rescued their ancestors from Egypt; they took up with alien gods, worshiping and serving them. That's what's behind this God-visited devastation.'"
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