Bible Society of South Africa

Bible Reading Plan – Day 127

Bible text(s)


1King Hiram of Tyre had always been a friend of David's, and when he heard that Solomon had succeeded his father David as king he sent ambassadors to him. 2Solomon sent back this message to Hiram: 3“You know that because of the constant wars my father David had to fight against the enemy countries all round him, he could not build a temple for the worship of the LORD his God until the LORD had given him victory over all his enemies. 4But now the LORD my God has given me peace on all my borders. I have no enemies, and there is no danger of attack. 5The LORD promised my father David, ‘Your son, whom I will make king after you, will build a temple for me.’ And I have now decided to build that temple for the worship of the LORD my God. 6So send your men to Lebanon to cut down cedars for me. My men will work with them, and I will pay your men whatever you decide. As you well know, my men don't know how to cut down trees as well as yours do.”

7Hiram was extremely pleased when he received Solomon's message, and he said, “Praise the LORD today for giving David such a wise son to succeed him as king of that great nation!” 8Then Hiram sent Solomon the following message: “I have received your message and I am ready to do what you ask. I will provide the cedars and the pine trees. 9My men will bring the logs down from Lebanon to the sea, and will tie them together in rafts to float them down the coast to the place you choose. There my men will untie them, and your men will take charge of them. On your part, I would like you to supply the food for my men.”

10So Hiram supplied Solomon with all the cedar and pine logs that he wanted, 11and Solomon provided Hiram with 2,000 tonnes of wheat and 400,000 litres of pure olive oil every year to feed his men.

12The LORD kept his promise and gave Solomon wisdom. There was peace between Hiram and Solomon, and they made a treaty with each other.

13King Solomon drafted 30,000 men as forced labour from all over Israel, 14and put Adoniram in charge of them. He divided them into three groups of 10,000 men, and each group spent one month in Lebanon and two months back home. 15Solomon also had 80,000 men in the hill country quarrying stone, with 70,000 men to carry it, 16and he placed 3,300 foremen in charge of them to supervise their work. 17At King Solomon's command they quarried fine large stones for the foundation of the Temple. 18Solomon's and Hiram's workmen and men from the city of Byblos prepared the stones and the timber to build the Temple.

Solomon Builds the Temple

1480 years after the people of Israel left Egypt, during the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the second month, the month of Ziv, Solomon began work on the Temple. 2Inside it was 27 metres long, nine metres wide, and 13.5 metres high. 3The entrance room was 4.5 metres deep and nine metres wide, as wide as the sanctuary itself. 4The walls of the Temple had openings in them, narrower on the outside than on the inside. 5Against the outside walls, on the sides and the back of the Temple, a three-storied annexe was built, each storey 2.2 metres high. 6Each room in the lowest storey was 2.2 metres wide, in the middle storey 2.7 metres wide, and in the top storey 3.1 metres wide. The temple wall on each floor was thinner than on the floor below so that the rooms could rest on the wall without having their beams built into it.

7The stones with which the Temple was built had been prepared at the quarry, so that there was no noise made by hammers, axes, or any other iron tools as the Temple was being built.

8The entrance to the lowest storey of the annexe was on the south side of the Temple, with stairs leading up to the second and third storeys. 9So King Solomon finished building the Temple. He put in a ceiling made of beams and boards of cedar. 10The three-storied annexe, each storey 2.2 metres high, was built against the outside walls of the Temple, and was joined to them by cedar beams.

11The LORD said to Solomon, 12“If you obey all my laws and commands, I will do for you what I promised your father David. 13I will live among my people Israel in this Temple that you are building, and I will never abandon them.”

14So Solomon finished building the Temple.

The Interior Furnishings of the Temple

(2 Chr 3.8–14)

15The inside walls were covered with cedar panels from the floor to the ceiling, and the floor was made of pine. 16An inner room, called the Most Holy Place, was built in the rear of the Temple. It was nine metres long and was partitioned off by cedar boards reaching from the floor to the ceiling. 17The room in front of the Most Holy Place was eighteen metres long. 18The cedar panels were decorated with carvings of gourds and flowers; the whole interior was covered with cedar, so that the stones of the walls could not be seen.

19In the rear of the Temple an inner room was built, where the LORD's Covenant Box was to be placed. 20This inner room was nine metres long, nine metres wide, and nine metres high, all covered with pure gold. The altar was covered with cedar panels. 21The inside of the Temple was covered with gold, and gold chains were placed across the entrance of the inner room, which was also covered with gold. 22The whole interior of the Temple was covered with gold, as well as the altar in the Most Holy Place.

23Two winged creatures were made of olive wood and placed in the Most Holy Place, each one 4.4 metres tall. 24-26Both were of the same size and shape. Each had two wings, each wing 2.2 metres long, so that the distance from one wing tip to the other was 4.4 metres. 27They were placed side by side in the Most Holy Place, so that two of their outstretched wings touched each other in the middle of the room, and the other two wings touched the walls. 28The two winged creatures were covered with gold.

29The walls of the main room and of the inner room were all decorated with carved figures of winged creatures, palm trees, and flowers. 30Even the floor was covered with gold.

31A double door made of olive wood was set in place at the entrance of the Most Holy Place; the top of the doorway was a pointed arch. 32The doors were decorated with carved figures of winged creatures, palm trees, and flowers. The doors, the winged creatures, and the palm trees were covered with gold. 33For the entrance to the main room a rectangular door-frame of olive wood was made. 34There were two folding doors made of pine 35and decorated with carved figures of winged creatures, palm trees, and flowers, which were evenly covered with gold.

36An inner court was built in front of the Temple, enclosed with walls which had one layer of cedar beams for every three layers of stone.

37The foundation of the Temple was laid in the second month, the month of Ziv, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign. 38In the eighth month, the month of Bul, in the eleventh year of Solomon's reign, the Temple was completely finished exactly as it had been planned. It had taken Solomon seven years to build it.

Solomon's Palace

1Solomon also built a palace for himself, and it took him thirteen years. 4In each of the two side walls there were three rows of windows. 5The doorways and the windows had rectangular frames, and the three rows of windows in each wall faced the opposite rows.

6The Hall of Columns was 22 metres long and 13.5 metres wide. It had a covered porch, supported by columns.

7The Throne Room, also called the Hall of Judgement, where Solomon decided cases, had cedar panels from the floor to the rafters.

8Solomon's own quarters, in another court behind the Hall of Judgement, were made like the other buildings. He also built the same kind of house for his wife, the daughter of the king of Egypt.

9All these buildings and the great court were made of fine stones from the foundations to the eaves. The stones were prepared at the quarry and cut to measure, with their inner and outer sides trimmed with saws. 10The foundations were made of large stones prepared at the quarry, some of them 3.5 metres long and others four metres long. 11On top of them were other stones, cut to measure, and cedar beams. 12The palace court, the inner court of the Temple, and the entrance room of the Temple had walls with one layer of cedar beams for every three layers of cut stones.

Huram's Task

13King Solomon sent for a man named Huram, a craftsman living in the city of Tyre, who was skilled in bronze work. 14His father, who was no longer living, was from Tyre, and had also been a skilled bronze craftsman; his mother was from the tribe of Naphtali. Huram was an intelligent and experienced craftsman. He accepted King Solomon's invitation to be in charge of all the bronze work.


15Huram cast two bronze columns, each one eight metres tall and 5.3 metres in circumference, and placed them at the entrance of the Temple. 16He also made two bronze capitals, each one 2.2 metres tall, to be placed on top of the columns. 17The top of each column was decorated with a design of interwoven chains, 18and two rows of bronze pomegranates.

19The capitals were shaped like lilies, 1.8 metres tall, 20and were placed on a rounded section which was above the chain design. There were 200 pomegranates in two rows round each capital.

21Huram placed these two bronze columns in front of the entrance of the Temple: the one on the south side was named Jachin, and the one on the north was named Boaz. 22The lily-shaped bronze capitals were on top of the columns.

And so the work on the columns was completed.


23Huram made a round tank of bronze, 2.2 metres deep, 4.4 metres in diameter, and 13.2 metres in circumference. 24All round the outer edge of the rim of the tank were two rows of bronze gourds, which had been cast all in one piece with the rest of the tank. 25The tank rested on the backs of twelve bronze bulls that faced outwards, three facing in each direction. 26The sides of the tank were 75 millimetres thick. Its rim was like the rim of a cup, curving outwards like the petals of a lily. The tank held about 40,000 litres.

The Bronze Carts

27Huram also made ten bronze carts; each was 1.8 metres long, 1.8 metres wide, and 1.3 metres high. 28They were made of square panels which were set in frames, 29with the figures of lions, bulls, and winged creatures on the panels; and on the frames, above and underneath the lions and bulls, there were spiral figures in relief. 30Each cart had four bronze wheels with bronze axles. At the four corners were bronze supports for a basin; the supports were decorated with spiral figures in relief. 31There was a circular frame on top for the basin. It projected upwards 45 centimetres from the top of the cart and eighteen centimetres down into it. It had carvings round it. 32The wheels were 66 centimetres high; they were under the panels, and the axles were of one piece with the carts. 33The wheels were like chariot wheels; their axles, rims, spokes, and hubs were all of bronze. 34There were four supports at the bottom corners of each cart, which were of one piece with the cart. 35There was a 22 centimetre band round the top of each cart; its supports and the panels were of one piece with the cart. 36The supports and panels were decorated with figures of winged creatures, lions, and palm trees, wherever there was space for them, with spiral figures all round. 37This, then, is how the carts were made; they were all alike, having the same size and shape.

38Huram also made ten basins, one for each cart. Each basin was 1.8 metres in diameter, and held about 800 litres. 39He placed five of the carts on the south side of the Temple, and the other five on the north side; the tank he placed at the south-east corner.

46The king had it all made in the foundry between Sukkoth and Zarethan, in the Jordan Valley. 47Solomon did not have these bronze objects weighed, because there were too many of them, and so their weight was never determined.

48Solomon also had gold furnishings made for the Temple: the altar, the table for the bread offered to God, 49the ten lampstands that stood in front of the Most Holy Place, five on the south side and five on the north; the flowers, lamps, and tongs; 50the cups, lamp snuffers, bowls, dishes for incense, and the pans used for carrying live coals; and the hinges for the doors of the Most Holy Place and of the outer doors of the Temple. All these furnishings were made of gold.

51When King Solomon finished all the work on the Temple, he placed in the temple storerooms all the things that his father David had dedicated to the LORD — the silver, gold, and other articles.

1 Kings 5:1-7:51GNBOpen in Bible reader
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