1Solomon ordered the building of a Temple to honor the Lord and a royal palace for himself.
2He allocated 70,000 men as laborers, 80,000 as stone cutters in the mountains, and 3,600 as foremen.
3Solomon sent a message to Hiram, king of Tyre, telling him,
4“Please do as you did with my father David when you sent him cedar timber for him to build a palace to live in. I'm about to start building a Temple to honor the Lord my God, dedicated to him, where he will be offered sweet-smelling incense, where the showbread will be always set out in rows, and where burnt offerings will be made every morning and evening, on the Sabbaths, at new moon festivals, and at the feasts of the Lord our God—this to be done forever in Israel.
5This Temple I am about to build must be impressive, because our God is greater than all gods.
6But who can build a Temple for him to live in, for the heavens, even highest heaven, cannot contain him, and who am I that I should dare to build him a house, except to burn incense to him?
7So please send me a master craftsman who is skilled in working with gold, silver, bronze, and iron; and in purple, scarlet, and blue fabrics. He must also know how to engrave, working together with my expert craftsmen from Judea and Jerusalem provided by my father David.
8Also send me cedar, cypress, and algum timber from Lebanon, for I know that your workers are skillful in cutting down the trees of Lebanon. I will send men to help your workers
9to produce a large quantity of timber because the Temple I'm building will be really large and very impressive.
10I will pay your workers, the wood-cutters, 20,000 cors of crushed wheat, 20,000 cors of barley, 20,000 baths of wine, and 20,000 baths of olive oil.”
11King Hiram of Tyre responded to Solomon by letter: “It's because the Lord loves his people that he has made you their king.”
12Hiram went on, “Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, who made the heavens and the earth! He has given King David a wise son with insight and understanding who is going to build a Temple for the Lord and a royal palace for himself.
13I'm sending you Hiram-Abi, a master craftsman who knows and understands what he's doing.
14His mother is from the tribe of Dan and his father is from Tyre. He's an expert in working with gold and silver, bronze and iron, stone and wood, purple, blue, and crimson fabric, and fine linen. He can do all kinds of engraving and can make any design he's given. He'll work with your craftsmen and with the craftsmen of my lord, your father David.
15Now my lord, please send to us his servants the wheat, barley, olive oil, and wine he spoke about.
16We will cut all timber you need from Lebanon and take it to you by sea in rafts to Joppa. From there you can transport it to Jerusalem.”
17Solomon had a census taken of all the foreigners in the land of Israel, like the census his father David had conducted, and found there were 153,600.
18He allocated 70,000 as laborers, 80,000 as stonecutters in the mountains, and 3,600 as foremen.