Reading 94/341, 1 Kings 4-7.12

[A] Solomon begins building. Some call him the first king of Israel, because he is the first one to live like a king. Saul and David were more like chieftains than kings. Solomon has built a palace and does not fight wars personally.
[B] The description of his building projects, the temple and the palace, reminds one of Exodus and the building of the Tent.

...1 Kings...

King Solomon was king over all Israel. These were the officials whom he had: Azariah the son of Zadok, was the priest; Elihoreph and Ahijah, the sons of Shisha, scribes; Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud, the recorder, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the army, and Zadok and Abiathar were priests, and Azariah the son of Nathan was over the officers, and Zabud the son of Nathan was chief minister and the king's friend, and Ahishar was over the household, and Adoniram the son of Abda was over the men subject to forced labor. Solomon had twelve officers over all Israel, who provided food for the king and his household, each man had to make provision for one month in the year. These are their names: Ben Hur, in the hill country of Ephraim; Ben Deker, in Makaz, and in Shaalbim, and Beth Shemesh, and Elon Beth Hanan; Ben Hesed, in Arubboth (to him pertained Socoh, and all the land of Hepher); Ben Abinadab, in all the height of Dor (he had Taphath the daughter of Solomon as wife); Baana the son of Ahilud, in Taanach and Megiddo, and all Beth Shean which is beside Zarethan, beneath Jezreel, from Beth Shean to Abel Meholah, as far as beyond Jokmeam; Ben Geber, in Ramoth Gilead (to him belonged the towns of Jair the son of Manasseh, which are in Gilead; to him pertained the region of Argob, which is in Bashan, sixty great cities with walls and bronze bars); Ahinadab the son of Iddo, in Mahanaim; Ahimaaz, in Naphtali (he took Basemath the daughter of Solomon as wife); Baana the son of Hushai, in Asher and Bealoth; Jehoshaphat the son of Paruah, in Issachar; Shimei the son of Ela, in Benjamin; Geber the son of Uri, in the land of Gilead, the country of Sihon king of the Amorites and of Og king of Bashan, and there was one governor who was over the land.

Judah and Israel were as many as the sand which is by the sea in multitude, eating and drinking and making merry. Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the River to the land of the Philistines, and to the border of Egypt. They brought tribute, and served Solomon all the days of his life. Solomon's provision for one day was thirty measures of fine flour, and sixty measures of meal, ten fat oxen, and twenty oxen out of the pastures, and one hundred sheep, besides harts, and gazelles, and roebucks, and fattened fowl. For he had dominion over all the region on this side of the River, from Tiphsah to Gaza, over all the kings on this side the River, and he had peace on all sides round about him. Judah and Israel lived safely, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, from Dan to Beersheba, all the days of Solomon. Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen. Those officers provided food for King Solomon, and for all who came to King Solomon's table, every man in his month; they let nothing be lacking. Barley also and straw for the horses and swift steeds they brought to the place where the officers were, every man according to his charge.

God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceedingly, and very great understanding, as the sand that is on the seashore. Solomon's wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east, and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all men, than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, and Calcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol, and his fame was in all the nations round about. He spoke three thousand proverbs, and his songs were one thousand and five. He spoke of trees, from the cedar that is in Lebanon to the hyssop that springs out of the wall; he spoke also of animals, and of birds, and of creeping things, and of fish. People of all nations came to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, who had heard of his wisdom.

Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants to Solomon, for he had heard that they had anointed him king in place of his father, for Hiram always loved David. Solomon sent to Hiram, saying, “You know how David my father could not build a house for the name of the Lord his God because of the wars which were about him on every side, until the Lord put them under the soles of his feet. But now the Lord my God has given me rest on every side; there is neither adversary nor misfortune. Behold, I intend to build a house for the name of the Lord my God, as the Lord spoke to David my father, saying, ‘Your son, whom I will set on your throne in your place shall build the house for my name. Now therefore command that the cedar trees of Lebanon be cut for me, and my servants shall be with your servants, and I will give you hire for your servants according to all that you shall say, for you know that there is no one among us who knows how to cut timber like the Sidonians.” It happened, when Hiram heard the words of Solomon, that he rejoiced greatly, and said, “Blessed be the Lord this day, who has given to David a wise son over this great people.” Hiram sent to Solomon, saying, “I have heard the message which you have sent to me. I will do all your desire concerning timber of cedar, and concerning timber of fir. My servants shall bring them down from Lebanon to the sea, and I will make them into rafts to go by sea to the place that you shall appoint me, and will cause them to be broken up there, and you shall receive them, and you shall accomplish my desire, in giving food for my household.” So Hiram gave Solomon timber of cedar and timber of fir according to all his desire. Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand measures of wheat for food to his household, and twenty measures of pure oil. Thus gave Solomon to Hiram year by year. The Lord gave Solomon wisdom, as he promised him, and there was peace between Hiram and Solomon, and the two made a league together. King Solomon raised a levy out of all Israel, and the levy was thirty thousand men. He sent them to Lebanon, ten thousand a month by turns: a month in Lebanon, and two months at home, and Adoniram was over the men subject to forced labor. Solomon had seventy thousand who bore burdens, and eighty thousand who were stone cutters in the mountains, besides Solomon's 3300 chief officers who were over the work, who bore rule over the people who labored in the work. The king commanded, and they hewed out great stones, costly stones, to lay the foundation of the house with worked stone. Solomon's builders and Hiram's builders and the Gebalites fashioned them, and prepared the timber and the stones to build the house.

It happened in the 480th year after the children of Israel had come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month Ziv, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the Lord. The house which King Solomon built for the Lord was sixty cubits long, twenty cubits wide, and thirty cubits tall. The porch before the temple of the house was twenty cubits long, according to the width of the house, and ten cubits was the width of it before the house. For the house he made windows with recessed frames. Against the wall of the house he built stories round about, against the walls of the house round about, both of the nave and of the sanctuary, and he made side chambers round about. The lowest story was five cubits broad, and the middle was six cubits broad, and the third was seven cubits broad, for on the outside he made offsets in the wall of the house round about, that the beams should not be inserted into the walls of the house. The house, when it was built, was built of stone made ready at the quarry, and there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building. The door for the middle side chambers was in the right side of the house, and they went up by winding stairs into the middle story, and out of the middle into the third. So he built the house, and finished it, and he made the ceiling of the house with beams and planks of cedar. He built the stories against the whole house, each five cubits high, and they rested on the house with timber of cedar. The word of the Lord came to Solomon, saying, “Concerning this house which you are building, if you will walk in my statutes, and execute my ordinances, and keep all my commandments to walk in them, then will I establish my word with you, which I spoke to David your father. I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake my people Israel.”

So Solomon built the house, and finished it. He built the walls of the house within with boards of cedar. From the floor of the house to the walls of the ceiling, he covered them on the inside with wood, and he covered the floor of the house with boards of cypress. He built twenty cubits on the hind part of the house with boards of cedar from the floor to the walls of the ceiling. He built this as a sanctuary, for the Most Holy place. The house, that is, the nave before the inner sanctuary, was forty cubits long. There was cedar on the house within, carved with buds and open flowers, all was cedar; there was no stone seen. He prepared a sanctuary in the midst of the house within, to set there the ark of the covenant of the Lord. Within the sanctuary was a space of twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in width, and twenty cubits in height, and he overlaid it with pure gold, and he covered the altar with cedar. So Solomon overlaid the house within with pure gold, and he drew chains of gold across before the sanctuary, and he overlaid it with gold. The whole house he overlaid with gold, until all the house was finished, also the whole altar that belonged to the sanctuary he overlaid with gold. In the sanctuary he made two cherubim of olive wood, each ten cubits high. Five cubits was the one wing of the cherub, and five cubits the other wing of the cherub, from the tip of one wing to the tip of the other was ten cubits. The other cherub was ten cubits, both the cherubim were of the same measure and form. The height of the one cherub was ten cubits, and so was it of the other cherub. He set the cherubim within the inner house, and the wings of the cherubim were stretched forth, so that the wing of the one touched the one wall, and the wing of the other cherub touched the other wall, and their wings touched one another in the midst of the house. He overlaid the cherubim with gold. He carved all the walls of the house round about with carved figures of cherubim and palm trees and open flowers, inside and outside. The floor of the house he overlaid with gold, inside and outside. For the entrance of the sanctuary he made doors of olive wood, the lintel and door posts were five sided. So he made two doors of olive wood, and he carved on them carvings of cherubim and palm trees and open flowers, and overlaid them with gold, and he spread the gold on the cherubim, and on the palm trees. So also he made for the entrance to the nave, door posts of olive wood, four-sided, and two doors of cypress wood. The two leaves of the one door were folding, and the two leaves of the other door were folding. He carved on them cherubim and palm trees and open flowers, and he overlaid them with gold evenly laid on the engraved work. He built the inner court with three courses of hewn stone, and a course of cedar beams.

In the fourth year the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid, in the month Ziv. In the eleventh year, in the month Bul, which is the eighth month, the house was finished in all the parts of it, and according to all the specifications of it. So was he seven years in building it. Solomon was building his own house thirteen years, and he finished all his house. For he built the house of the forest of Lebanon: the length of it was one hundred cubits, and the width of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits, on four rows of cedar pillars, with cedar beams on the pillars. It was covered with cedar above over the forty-five beams, that were on the pillars; fifteen in a row. There were window frames in three rows, and window opposite window in three ranks. All the doors and windows had square frames, and window was opposite window in three ranks. He made the hall of pillars; the length of it was fifty cubits, and the width of it thirty cubits, and a porch before them, and pillars and a threshold before them. He made the hall of the throne where he was to judge, the hall of judgment, and it was covered with cedar from floor to floor. His house where he was to dwell, the other court within the hall, was of the like workmanship. He made also a house for Pharaoh's daughter (whom Solomon had taken as wife), like this hall. All these were of costly stones, of hewn stone, according to measure, sawed with saws, inside and outside, from the foundation to the coping, and so on the outside to the great court. The foundation was of costly stones, great stones, stones of ten cubits, and stones of eight cubits. Above were costly stones, hewn stone, according to measure, and cedar wood. The great court round about had three courses of hewn stone, and a course of cedar beams, like the inner court of the house of the Lord, and the porch of the house.

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