Reading 118/341, 2 Chronicles 2-5

...2 Chronicles...

Now Solomon purposed to build a house for the name of the Lord, and a house for his kingdom. Solomon counted out seventy thousand men to bear burdens, and eighty thousand men who were stone cutters in the mountains, and three thousand and six hundred to oversee them. Solomon sent to Huram the king of Tyre, saying, As you dealt with David my father, and sent him cedars to build him a house in which to dwell, so deal with me. Behold, I am about to build a house for the name of the Lord my God, to dedicate it to him, and to burn before him incense of sweet spices, and for the continual bread of the Presence, and for the burnt offerings morning and evening, on the Sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the set feasts of the Lord our God. This is an ordinance forever to Israel. The house which I build is great; for great is our God above all gods. But who is able to build him a house, seeing heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain him? who am I then, that I should build him a house, save only to burn incense before him? Now therefore send me a man skillful to work in gold, and in silver, and in bronze, and in iron, and in purple, and crimson, and blue, and who knows how to engrave all manner of engravings, to be with the skillful men who are with me in Judah and in Jerusalem, whom David my father did provide. Send me also cedar trees, fir trees, and algum trees, out of Lebanon; for I know that your servants know how to cut timber in Lebanon, and behold, my servants shall be with your servants, to prepare me timber in abundance; for the house which I am about to build shall be great and wonderful. Behold, I will give to your servants, the cutters who cut timber, twenty thousand measures of beaten wheat, and twenty thousand measures of barley, and twenty thousand baths of wine, and twenty thousand baths of oil. Then Huram the king of Tyre answered in writing, which he sent to Solomon, "Because the Lord loves his people, he has made you king over them." Huram continued, "Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, that made heaven and earth, who has given to David the king a wise son, endowed with discretion and understanding, that should build a house for the Lord, and a house for his kingdom. Now I have sent a skillful man, endowed with understanding, of Huram my father's, the son of a woman of the daughters of Dan, and his father was a man of Tyre, skillful to work in gold, and in silver, in bronze, in iron, in stone, and in timber, in purple, in blue, and in fine linen, and in crimson, also to engrave any manner of engraving, and to devise any device; that there may be a place appointed to him with your skillful men, and with the skillful men of my lord David your father. Now therefore the wheat and the barley, the oil and the wine, which my lord has spoken of, let him send to his servants, and we will cut wood out of Lebanon, as much as you shall need, and we will bring it to you in floats by sea to Joppa, and you shall carry it up to Jerusalem." Solomon numbered all the immigrants who were in the land of Israel, after the numbering with which David his father had numbered them, and they were found one hundred fifty-three thousand six hundred. He set seventy thousand of them to bear burdens, and eighty thousand who were stone cutters in the mountains, and three thousand six hundred overseers to set the people at work. Then Solomon began to build the house of the Lord at Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the Lord appeared to David his father, which he made ready in the place that David had appointed, in the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. He began to build in the second day of the second month, in the fourth year of his reign. Now these are the foundations which Solomon laid for the building of the house of God. The length by cubits after the first measure was sixty cubits, and the width twenty cubits. The porch that was before the house, the length of it, according to the width of the house, was twenty cubits, and the height one hundred twenty, and he overlaid it within with pure gold. The greater house he made a ceiling with fir wood, which he overlaid with fine gold, and ornamented it with palm trees and chains. He garnished the house with precious stones for beauty, and the gold was gold of Parvaim. He overlaid also the house, the beams, the thresholds, and the walls of it, and the doors of it, with gold, and engraved cherubim on the walls. He made the Most Holy house, the length of it, according to the width of the house, was twenty cubits, and the width of it twenty cubits, and he overlaid it with fine gold, amounting to six hundred talents. The weight of the nails was fifty shekels of gold. He overlaid the upper chambers with gold. In the Most Holy house he made two cherubim of image work, and they overlaid them with gold. The wings of the cherubim were twenty cubits long, the wing of the one cherub was five cubits, reaching to the wall of the house, and the other wing was likewise five cubits, reaching to the wing of the other cherub. The wing of the other cherub was five cubits, reaching to the wall of the house, and the other wing was five cubits also, joining to the wing of the other cherub. The wings of these cherubim spread themselves forth twenty cubits, and they stood on their feet, and their faces were toward the house. He made the veil of blue, and purple, and crimson, and fine linen, and ornamented it with cherubim. Also he made before the house two pillars of thirty-five cubits high, and the capital that was on the top of each of them was five cubits. He made chains in the oracle, and put them on the tops of the pillars, and he made one hundred pomegranates, and put them on the chains. He set up the pillars before the temple, one on the right hand, and the other on the left, and called the name of that on the right hand Jachin, and the name of that on the left Boaz. Then he made an altar of bronze, twenty cubits the length of it, and twenty cubits the width of it, and ten cubits the height of it. Also he made the molten sea of ten cubits from brim to brim, round in compass, and the height of it was five cubits, and a line of thirty cubits compassed it round about. Under it was the likeness of oxen, which did compass it round about, for ten cubits, compassing the sea round about. The oxen were in two rows, cast when it was cast. It stood on twelve oxen, three looking toward the north, and three looking toward the west, and three looking toward the south, and three looking toward the east, and the sea was set on them above, and all their hinder parts were inward. It was a handwidth thick, and the brim of it was worked like the brim of a cup, like the flower of a lily, it received and held three thousand baths. He made also ten basins, and put five on the right hand, and five on the left, to wash in them; such things as belonged to the burnt offering they washed in them; but the sea was for the priests to wash in. He made the ten lampstands of gold according to the ordinance concerning them, and he set them in the temple, five on the right hand, and five on the left. He made also ten tables, and placed them in the temple, five on the right side, and five on the left. He made one hundred basins of gold. Furthermore he made the court of the priests, and the great court, and doors for the court, and overlaid the doors of them with bronze. He set the sea on the right side of the house eastward, toward the south. Huram made the pots, and the shovels, and the basins. So Huram made an end of doing the work that he did for king Solomon in the house of God, the two pillars, and the bowls, and the two capitals which were on the top of the pillars, and the two networks to cover the two bowls of the capitals that were on the top of the pillars, and the four hundred pomegranates for the two networks; two rows of pomegranates for each network, to cover the two bowls of the capitals that were on the pillars. He made also the bases, and the basins made he on the bases; one sea, and the twelve oxen under it. The pots also, and the shovels, and the forks, and all the vessels of it, did Huram his father make for king Solomon for the house of the Lord of bright bronze. In the plain of the Jordan did the king cast them, in the clay ground between Succoth and Zeredah. Thus Solomon made all these vessels in great abundance, for the weight of the bronze could not be found out. Solomon made all the vessels that were in the house of God, the golden altar also, and the tables with the bread of the Presence on them, and the lampstands with their lamps, to burn according to the ordinance before the oracle, of pure gold, and the flowers, and the lamps, and the tongs, of gold, and that perfect gold, and the snuffers, and the basins, and the spoons, and the fire pans, of pure gold, and as for the entry of the house, the inner doors of it for the Most Holy place, and the doors of the main hall of the temple were of gold. Thus all the work that Solomon did for the house of the Lord was finished. Solomon brought in the things that David his father had dedicated, the silver, and the gold, and all the vessels, and put them in the treasuries of the house of God. Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the princes of the fathers' houses of the children of Israel, to Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord out of the city of David, which is Zion. And all the men of Israel assembled themselves to the king at the feast, which was in the seventh month. All the elders of Israel came, and the Levites took up the ark, and they brought up the ark, and the tent of meeting, and all the holy vessels that were in the Tent; these did the priests the Levites bring up. King Solomon and all the congregation of Israel, that were assembled to him, were before the ark, sacrificing sheep and oxen, that could not be counted nor numbered for multitude. The priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the Lord to its place, into the oracle of the house, to the Most Holy place, under the wings of the cherubim. For the cherubim spread forth their wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubim covered the ark and the poles of it above. The poles were so long that the ends of the poles were seen from the ark before the oracle; but they were not seen outside, and there it is to this day. There was nothing in the ark save the two tables which Moses put there at Horeb, when the Lord made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of Egypt. It happened, when the priests were come out of the holy place, (for all the priests who were present had sanctified themselves, and did not keep their divisions; also the Levites who were the singers, all of them, Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, and their sons and their brothers, arrayed in fine linen, with cymbals and stringed instruments and harps, stood at the east end of the altar, and with them one hundred twenty priests sounding with trumpets;) it happened, when the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord, and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the Lord, saying, For he is good; for his loving kindness endures forever; that then the house was filled with a cloud, the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God.

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