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Benson Joseph
2 Chronicles 2

1. And Solomon said that he would build a house to the name of the Lord, and a house for his kingdom.

2. And Solomon gathered seventy thousand men that bore burdens, and eighty thousand hewers of stone in the mountain, and there were three thousand six hundred superintendents over them.

3. And Solomon sent to Hiram king of Tyre, saying, Whereas you dealt favorably with David my father, and sent him cedars to build for himself a house to dwell in,

4. behold, I also his son am building a house to the name of the Lord my God, to consecrate it to Him, to burn incense before Him, and to offer showbread continually, and to offer up whole burnt offerings continually morning and evening, and on the Sabbaths, and at the new moons, and at the feasts of the Lord our God: this is a perpetual statute for Israel.

5. And the house which I am building is to be great: for the Lord our God is great beyond all gods.

6. And who will be able to build Him a house? For the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain His glory. And who am I, that I should build Him a house, except only to burn incense before Him?

7. And now send me a man wise and skilled to work in gold, and in silver, and in bronze, and in iron, and in purple, and in scarlet, and in blue, and one that knows how to grave together with the craftsmen who are with me in Judah and in Jerusalem, which materials my father David prepared.

8. And send me from Lebanon cedar wood, and wood of juniper, and pine; for I know that your servants are skilled in cutting timber in Lebanon: and behold, your servants shall go with my servants,

9. to prepare timber for me in abundance; for the house which I am building must be great and glorious.

10. And behold, I have given freely to your servants that work and cut the wood, grain for food, even twenty thousand measures of wheat, and twenty thousand measures of barley, and twenty thousand measures of wine, and twenty thousand measures of oil.

11. And Hiram king of Tyre answered in writing, and sent to Solomon, saying, Because the Lord loved His people, He made you king over them.

12. And Hiram said, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who made heaven and earth, who has given to King David a wise son, and one endowed with knowledge and understanding, who shall build a house for the Lord, and a house for his kingdom.

13. And now I have sent you a wise and understanding man who belonged to Hiram my father,

14. (his mother was of the daughters of Dan, and his father was a Tyrian), skilled to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in iron, and in stones and wood; and to weave with purple, and blue, and fine linen, and scarlet; and to engrave, and to understand every device, whatsoever you shalt give him to do with your craftsmen, and the craftsmen of my lord David your father.

15. And now, the wheat and the barley and the oil and the wine, which my lord mentioned, let him send to his servants.

16. And we will cut timber out of Lebanon according to all your needs, and we will bring it on rafts to the Sea of Joppa, and you shall bring it to Jerusalem.

17. And Solomon gathered all the foreigners that were in the land of Israel, after the numbering with which David his father numbered them; and there were found a hundred and fifty-three thousand six hundred.

18. And he made of them seventy thousand burden-bearers, and eighty thousand hewers of stone, and three thousand six hundred taskmasters over the people.

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2 Chronicles 2

2Ch 2:1. And a house for his kingdom — A royal palace for himself and his successors. The substance of this whole chapter is contained in 1 Kings 5., and is explained in the notes there, and the seeming differences between the contents of this and it reconciled.


2Ch 2:3. And Solomon sent to Huram — Or Hiram, as he is called in the first book of Kings where we learn that he first sent to Solomon to congratulate him on his accession to the throne, and then Solomon sent to him.


2Ch 2:4. To dedicate it to him — To his honour and worship. For the continual show-bread — So called here and Num 4:7, because it stood before the Lord continually, by a constant succession of new bread, when the old was removed. See Exo 25:30; Lev 24:8.


2Ch 2:5. The house which I build is great — Though the temple, strictly so called, was small, yet the buildings belonging to it were large and numerous. For great is our God above all gods — Above all idols, above all princes. Idols are nothing, princes are little, and both are under the control of the God of Israel. Therefore the house must be great; not indeed in proportion to the greatness of that God to whom it is to be dedicated, for between finite and infinite there can be no proportion; but in some proportion to the exalted conceptions we have of him, and the great esteem we have for him.


2Ch 2:6. But who is able to build him a house — No house, be it ever so great, can be a habitation for him. Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain him — Nor does he, like the gods of the nations, dwell in temples made with hands. When, therefore, I speak of building a great house for the great God, let none be so foolish as to imagine that I mean to include or comprehend God within it, for he is infinite. Who am I, then, that I should build him a house — He looked upon himself, though a mighty prince, as utterly unworthy of the honour of being employed in this great work. Save only to burn sacrifice before him — As if he had said, We have not such low notions of our God as to suppose we can build a house that will contain him: we only intend it for the convenience of his priests and worshippers, that they may have a suitable place wherein to assemble and offer sacrifices and prayers, and perform other religious duties to him. Thus Solomon guards Hiram against any misapprehension concerning God, which his speaking of building him a house might otherwise have occasioned. And it is one part of the wisdom wherein we ought to walk toward them that are without, in a similar manner carefully to guard against all misapprehension which anything we may say or do may occasion concerning any truth or duty of religion.


2Ch 2:7. Send me therefore a man cunning to work in gold, &c. — There were admirable artists, in all the works here referred to, at Tyre; some of whom Solomon desired to be sent to him, that they might assist those whom David had provided, but who were not so skilful as those of Tyre.


2Ch 2:10. Behold, I will give thy servants twenty thousand measures of beaten wheat, &c. — Solomon would not feed his workmen with bread and water, but with plenty of provisions, and of the best kind. They that employ labourers ought to take care that they be not only well paid, but well provided for, with sufficient of that which is wholesome and proper for them. Let rich masters do for their poor servants and workmen as they would be done by it the tables were turned.


2Ch 2:11. Huram answered, Because the Lord loved his people, &c. — Thus he congratulates the happiness of Israel in having such a king as Solomon was. And certainly a wise and good government is a great blessing to a people, and may well be accounted a singular token of God’s favour. He does not say, Because he loved thee he made thee king, (though that also was true,) but because he loved his people. Princes must look upon themselves as preferred for the public good, not for their own personal satisfaction, and should rule so as to evidence they were given to their people in love, not in anger.


2Ch 2:12. Blessed be the Lord that made heaven and earth — It seems Huram was not only a friend to the Jewish nation, but a proselyte to their religion, and that he worshipped Jehovah, the God of Israel, (who was now known by that name to the neighbour nations,) as the God that made heaven and earth, and the fountain of power as well as of being.


2Ch 2:14. The son of a woman — of Dan, and his father a man of Tyre — A good omen of uniting Jew and Gentile in the gospel temple. With the cunning men of my lord David — So he calls David here, and Solomon in the next verse, either out of singular respect to their greatness and worth, or because he was indeed tributary to them: or, at least, his country was nourished by their country, as it was afterward, Act 12:20.


2Ch 2:17. Solomon numbered all the strangers — For David had not only numbered his own people, but afterward the strangers, that Solomon might have a true account of them, and employ them about his buildings. Yet Solomon numbered them again, because death might have made a considerable alteration among them since David’s numbering.


2Ch 2:18. To be hewers in the mountain — He would not employ the free- born Israelites in this drudgery, but the strangers that were proselytes, who, having no lands, applied themselves to trades, and got their living by their industry or ingenuity.



The Complete Apostles' Bible

Translated by Sir Lancelot C.L. Brenton. Revised and Edited by Paul W. Esposito, and, The English Majority Text Version (EMTV) of the Holy Bible, New Testament. Copyright © 2002-2004 Paul W. Esposito.



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