Bible Society of South Africa

To The Word – Day 144

2 Chronicles 1–5, Psalm 72

Bible text(s)

King Solomon Prays for Wisdom

(1 Kgs 3.1–15)

1Solomon, the son of King David, took firm control of the kingdom of Israel, and the LORD his God blessed him and made him very powerful.

2King Solomon gave an order to all the officers in charge of units of a thousand men and of a hundred men, all the government officials, all the heads of families, and all the rest of the people, 3commanding them to go with him to the place of worship at Gibeon. They went there because that was where the Tent of the LORD's presence was located, which Moses, the LORD's servant, had made in the wilderness. 4(The Covenant Box, however, was in Jerusalem, kept in a tent which King David had set up when he brought the Box from Kiriath Jearim.) 5The bronze altar which had been made by Bezalel, the son of Uri and grandson of Hur, was also in Gibeon in front of the Tent of the LORD's presence. King Solomon and all the people worshipped the LORD there. 6In front of the Tent the king worshipped the LORD by offering sacrifices on the bronze altar; he had a thousand animals killed and burnt whole on it.

7That night God appeared to Solomon and asked, “What would you like me to give you?”

8Solomon answered, “You always showed great love for my father David, and now you have let me succeed him as king. 9O LORD God, fulfil the promise you made to my father. You have made me king over a people who are so many that they cannot be counted, 10so give me the wisdom and knowledge I need to rule over them. Otherwise, how would I ever be able to rule this great people of yours?”

11God replied to Solomon, “You have made the right choice. Instead of asking for wealth or treasure or fame or the death of your enemies or even for long life for yourself, you have asked for wisdom and knowledge so that you can rule my people, over whom I have made you king. 12I will give you wisdom and knowledge. And in addition, I will give you more wealth, treasure, and fame than any king has ever had before or will ever have again.”

King Solomon's Power and Wealth

(1 Kgs 10.26–29)

13So Solomon left the place of worship at Gibeon, where the Tent of the LORD's presence was, and returned to Jerusalem. There he ruled over Israel. 14He built up a force of 1,400 chariots and 12,000 cavalry horses. Some of them he kept in Jerusalem, and the rest he stationed in various other cities. 15During his reign silver and gold became as common in Jerusalem as stone, and cedar was as plentiful as ordinary sycomore. 16The king's agents controlled the export of horses from Musri and Cilicia, 17and the export of chariots from Egypt. They supplied the Hittite and Syrian kings with horses and chariots, selling chariots for 600 pieces of silver each and horses for 150 each.

2 Chronicles 1GNBOpen in Bible reader

Preparations for Building the Temple

(1 Kgs 5.1–18)

1King Solomon decided to build a temple where the LORD would be worshipped, and also to build a palace for himself. 2He put 70,000 men to work transporting materials, and 80,000 to work quarrying stone. There were 3,600 others responsible for supervising the work.

3Solomon sent a message to King Hiram of Tyre: “Do business with me as you did with my father, King David, when you sold him cedar logs for building his palace. 4I am building a temple to honour the LORD my God. It will be a holy place where my people and I will worship him by burning incense of fragrant spices, where we will present offerings of sacred bread to him continuously, and where we will offer burnt offerings every morning and evening, as well as on Sabbaths, New Moon Festivals, and other holy days honouring the LORD our God. He has commanded Israel to do this for ever. 5I intend to build a great temple, because our God is greater than any other god. 6Yet no one can really build a temple for God, because even all the vastness of heaven cannot contain him. How then can I build a temple that would be anything more than a place to burn incense to God? 7Now send me a man with skill in engraving, in working gold, silver, bronze, and iron, and in making blue, purple and red cloth. He will work with the craftsmen of Judah and Jerusalem whom my father David selected. 8I know how skilful your woodmen are, so send me cedar, cypress, and juniper logs from Lebanon. I am ready to send my men to assist yours 9in preparing large quantities of timber, because this temple I intend to build will be large and magnificent. 10As provisions for your workmen, I will send you 2,000 tonnes of wheat, 2,000 tonnes of barley, 400,000 litres of wine, and 400,000 litres of olive oil.”

11King Hiram sent Solomon a letter in reply. He wrote, “Because the LORD loves his people, he has made you their king. 12Praise the LORD God of Israel, Creator of heaven and earth! He has given King David a wise son, full of understanding and skill, who now plans to build a temple for the LORD and a palace for himself. 13I am sending you a wise and skilful master craftsman named Huram. 14His mother was a member of the tribe of Dan and his father was a native of Tyre. He knows how to make things out of gold, silver, bronze, iron, stone, and wood. He can work with blue, purple, and red cloth, and with linen. He can do all sorts of engraving and can follow any design suggested to him. Let him work with your skilled workers and with those who worked for your father, King David. 15So now send us the wheat, barley, wine, and olive oil that you promised. 16In the mountains of Lebanon we will cut down all the cedars you need, bind them together in rafts, and float them by sea as far as Joppa. From there you can take them to Jerusalem.”

Construction of the Temple Begins

(1 Kgs 6.1–38)

17King Solomon took a census of all the foreigners living in the land of Israel, similar to the census his father David had taken. There were 153,600 resident foreigners. 18He assigned 70,000 of them to transport materials and 80,000 to cut stones in the mountains, and appointed 3,600 supervisors to make sure the work was done.

2 Chronicles 2GNBOpen in Bible reader

1King David, Solomon's father, had already prepared a place for the Temple. It was in Jerusalem, on Mount Moriah, where the LORD appeared to David, the place which Araunah the Jebusite had used as a threshing place. King Solomon began the construction 2in the second month of the fourth year that he was king. 3The Temple which King Solomon built was 27 metres long and nine metres wide. 4The entrance room was the full width of the Temple, nine metres, and was 54 metres high. The inside of the room was overlaid with pure gold. 5The main room was panelled with cedar and overlaid with fine gold, in which were worked designs of palm trees and chain patterns. 6The king decorated the Temple with beautiful precious stones and with gold imported from the land of Parvaim. 7He used the gold to overlay the temple walls, the rafters, the thresholds, and the doors. On the walls the workers carved designs of winged creatures. 8The inner room, called the Most Holy Place, was nine metres long and nine metres wide, which was the full width of the Temple. Over twenty tonnes of gold were used to cover the walls of the Most Holy Place; 9570 grammes of gold were used for making nails, and the walls of the upper rooms were also covered with gold.

10The king also ordered his workers to make two winged creatures out of metal, cover them with gold, and place them in the Most Holy Place, 11-13where they stood side by side facing the entrance. Each had two wings, each wing 2.2 metres long, which were spread out so that they touched each other in the centre of the room and reached the wall on either side of the room, stretching across the full width of about nine metres. 14A curtain for the Most Holy Place was made of linen and of other material, which was dyed blue, purple, and red, with designs of the winged creatures worked into it.

The Two Bronze Columns

(1 Kgs 7.15–22)

15The king made two columns, each one 15.5 metres tall, and placed them in front of the Temple. Each one had a capital 2.2 metres tall. 16The tops of the columns were decorated with a design of interwoven chains and 100 bronze pomegranates. 17The columns were set at the sides of the temple entrance: the one on the south side was named Jachin, and the one on the north side was named Boaz.

2 Chronicles 3GNBOpen in Bible reader

Equipment for the Temple

(1 Kgs 7.23–51)

1King Solomon had a bronze altar made, which was nine metres square and 4.5 metres high. 2He also made a round tank of bronze, 2.2 metres deep, 4.5 metres in diameter, and 13.2 metres in circumference. 3All round the outer edge of the rim of the tank were two rows of decorations, one above the other. The decorations were in the shape of bulls, which had been cast all in one piece with the rest of the tank. 4The tank rested on the backs of twelve bronze bulls that faced outwards, three facing in each direction. 5The sides of the tank were 75 millimetres thick. Its rim was like the rim of a cup, curving outwards like the petals of a flower. The tank held about 60,000 litres. 6They also made ten basins, five to be placed on the south side of the Temple and five on the north side. They were to be used to rinse the parts of the animals that were burnt as sacrifices. The water in the large tank was for the priests to use for washing.

7-8They made ten gold lampstands according to the usual pattern, and ten tables, and placed them in the main room of the Temple, five lampstands and five tables on each side. They also made a hundred gold bowls.

9They made an inner courtyard for the priests, and also an outer courtyard. The doors in the gates between the courtyards were covered with bronze. 10The tank was placed near the south-east corner of the Temple.

11-16Huram also made pots, shovels, and bowls. He completed all the objects that he had promised King Solomon he would make for the Temple:

    The two columns
    The two bowl-shaped capitals on top of the columns
    The design of interwoven chains on each capital
    The 400 bronze pomegranates arranged in two rows round the design of each capital
    The ten carts
    The ten basins
    The tank
    The twelve bulls supporting the tank
    The pots, shovels, and forks.

Huram the master craftsman made all these objects out of polished bronze, as King Solomon had commanded, for use in the Temple of the LORD.

17The king had them all made in the foundry between Sukkoth and Zeredah in the Jordan Valley. 18So many objects were made that no one determined the total weight of the bronze used.

19King Solomon also had gold furnishings made for the Temple: the altar and the tables for the bread offered to God; 20the lampstands and the lamps of fine gold that were to burn in front of the Most Holy Place, according to plan; 21the flower decorations, the lamps, and the tongs; 22the lamp snuffers, the bowls, the dishes for incense, and the pans used for carrying live coals. All these objects were made of pure gold. The outer doors of the Temple and the doors to the Most Holy Place were overlaid with gold.

2 Chronicles 4GNBOpen in Bible reader

1When 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.

The Covenant Box is Brought to the Temple

(1 Kgs 8.1–9)

2Then King Solomon summoned all the leaders of the tribes and clans of Israel to assemble in Jerusalem, in order to take the LORD's Covenant Box from Zion, David's City, to the Temple. 3They all assembled at the time of the Festival of Shelters. 4When all the leaders had gathered, then the Levites lifted the Covenant Box 5and carried it to the Temple. The priests and the Levites also moved the Tent of the LORD's presence and all its equipment to the Temple. 6King Solomon and all the people of Israel assembled in front of the Covenant Box and sacrificed a large number of sheep and cattle — too many to count. 7Then the priests carried the Covenant Box of the LORD into the Temple and put it in the Most Holy Place, beneath the winged creatures. 8Their outstretched wings covered the Box and the carrying poles. 9The ends of the poles could be seen by anyone standing directly in front of the Most Holy Place, but from nowhere else. (The poles are still there today.) 10There was nothing inside the Covenant Box except the two stone tablets which Moses had placed there at Mount Sinai, when the LORD made a covenant with the people of Israel as they were coming from Egypt.

The Glory of the Lord

11-14All the priests present, regardless of the group to which they belonged, had consecrated themselves. And all the Levite musicians — Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun, and the members of their clans — were wearing linen clothing. The Levites stood near the east side of the altar with cymbals and harps, and with them were 120 priests playing trumpets. The singers were accompanied in perfect harmony by trumpets, cymbals, and other instruments, as they praised the LORD, singing:

“Praise the LORD, because he is good,

And his love is eternal.”

As the priests were leaving the Temple, it was suddenly filled with a cloud shining with the dazzling light of the LORD's presence, and they could not continue the service of worship.

2 Chronicles 5GNBOpen in Bible reader

A Prayer for the King

1Teach the king to judge with your righteousness, O God;

share with him your own justice,

2so that he will rule over your people with justice

and govern the oppressed with righteousness.

3May the land enjoy prosperity;

may it experience righteousness.

4May the king judge the poor fairly;

may he help the needy

and defeat their oppressors.

5May your people worship you as long as the sun shines,

as long as the moon gives light, for ages to come.

6May the king be like rain on the fields,

like showers falling on the land.

7May righteousness flourish in his lifetime,

and may prosperity last as long as the moon gives light.

8His kingdom will reach from sea to sea,

from the Euphrates to the ends of the earth.

9The peoples of the desert will bow down before him;

his enemies will throw themselves to the ground.

10The kings of Spain and of the islands will offer him gifts;

the kings of Sheba and Seba will bring him offerings.

11All kings will bow down before him;

all nations will serve him.

12He rescues the poor who call to him,

and those who are needy and neglected.

13He has pity on the weak and poor;

he saves the lives of those in need.

14He rescues them from oppression and violence;

their lives are precious to him.

15Long live the king!

May he be given gold from Sheba;

may prayers be said for him at all times;

may God's blessings be on him always!

16May there be plenty of corn in the land;

may the hills be covered with crops,

as fruitful as those of Lebanon.

May the cities be filled with people,

like fields full of grass.

17May the king's name never be forgotten;

may his fame last as long as the sun.

May all nations ask God to bless them

as he has blessed the king.

18Praise the LORD, the God of Israel!

He alone does these wonderful things.

19Praise his glorious name for ever!

May his glory fill the whole world.

Amen! Amen!

20This is the end of the prayers of David son of Jesse.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.16.20
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