Preparations for building the temple
1 Solomon ordered that a temple should be built where Yahweh would be worshiped and also that a palace should be for himself. 2 He selected 70,000 men to carry the building supplies and 80,000 men to cut stones from ◄quarries/walls of rock► in the hills. He also chose 3,600 men to supervise them.
3 Solomon sent this message to King Hiram of Tyre city:
Many years ago when my father David was building his palace, you sent to him cedar logs. Will you send me cedar logs, too?
4 We are about to build a temple where we will worship Yahweh our God. We want to dedicate it to be a place where we will burn fragrant incense to honor him, and a place to put loaves of sacred bread, and for making sacrifices every morning and every evening and every Sabbath day, and to celebrate on the day of every new moon and at other special religious festivals to honor Yahweh our God. We want to do those things forever, like Yahweh has commanded. 5 We want this temple to be a great temple, because our God is greater than all other gods. 6 But no one can really build a temple that would be big enough for God to live in, even the highest heavens are not big enough for him. And I am worthy only to build a place where we can burn sacrifices to him.
7 Therefore, please send me a man who knows well how to make things from gold and silver and bronze and iron, and to make things from purple and red and blue cloth. He should also know well how to engrave designs. I want him to work in Jerusalem and in other places in Judah with my skilled craftsmen, the ones whom my father David appointed.
8 I know that your workers are skilled in cutting timber, so also please send me cedar logs, pine logs, and juniper logs from the Lebanon mountains. My workers will work with your workers. 9 In that way, they will provide me with plenty of lumber. We will need plenty, because I want the temple that we will build to be large and beautiful. 10 I will pay to your workers, the men who cut the logs, 100,000 bushels of ground wheat, 100,000 bushels of barley, 110,000 gallons of wine, and 110,000 gallons of olive oil.
11 When Hiram received that message, he replied by sending this message to Solomon:
“Because Yahweh loves his people, he has appointed you to be their king.”
12 And Hiram added:
Praise Yahweh, the God to whom the Israeli people belong, the one who created the sky and the earth! He has given King David a wise son, one who is very smart/intelligent and who has good skill and understanding. He wants to build a temple for Yahweh and a palace for himself.
13 I will be sending to you Huram-Abi, a man who is very skilled. 14 His mother was from the tribe of Dan, and his father was from here in Tyre. He is very able to make things from gold and silver and bronze and iron and stone and wood, but he also makes nice things from purple and blue and red cloth, and he does all kinds of engraving. He can make things using any design/pattern that you give to him. He will work with your craftsmen, and the craftsmen who did work for your father, King David.
15 Now please send us the wheat and barley and olive oil and wine that you promised to send to us. 16 When you do that, my workers will cut from trees in the Lebanon mountains all the logs that you need and bring them down to the sea. Then we will tie the logs together to form rafts with them, and float them in the sea to Joppa city. From there, you can arrange for them to be taken up to Jerusalem.
17 Solomon told his workers to count all the people from other countries who were living in Israel, similar to what his father David had done. There were 153,600 of them. 18 Solomon assigned 70,000 of them to carry materials, and 80,000 to cut stone from quarries in the hills, and 3,600 of them to supervise the others and be sure that they worked steadily.