SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:
2 Chronicles 1:1-6:11
1:1 Solomon son of David solidified his royal authority, for the Lord his God was with him and magnified him greatly.
2 Solomon addressed all Israel, including those who commanded units of a thousand and a hundred, the judges, and all the leaders of all Israel who were heads of families. 3 Solomon and the entire assembly went to the worship center in Gibeon, for the tent where they met God was located there, which Moses the Lord’s servant had made in the wilderness. 4 (Now David had brought up the ark of God from Kiriath Jearim to the place he had prepared for it, for he had pitched a tent for it in Jerusalem. 5 But the bronze altar made by Bezalel son of Uri, son of Hur, was in front of the Lord’s tabernacle. Solomon and the entire assembly prayed to him there.) 6 Solomon went up to the bronze altar before the Lord which was at the meeting tent, and he offered up 1,000 burnt sacrifices.
7 That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, “Tell me what I should give you.” 8 Solomon replied to God, “You demonstrated great loyalty to my father David and have made me king in his place. 9 Now, Lord God, may your promise to my father David be realized, for you have made me king over a great nation as numerous as the dust of the earth. 10 Now give me wisdom and discernment so I can effectively lead this nation. Otherwise no one is able to make judicial decisions for this great nation of yours.”
11 God said to Solomon, “Because you desire this, and did not ask for riches, wealth, and honor, or for vengeance on your enemies, and because you did not ask for long life, but requested wisdom and discernment so you can make judicial decisions for my people over whom I have made you king, 12 you are granted wisdom and discernment. Furthermore I am giving you riches, wealth, and honor surpassing that of any king before or after you.”
13 Solomon left the meeting tent at the worship center in Gibeon and went to Jerusalem, where he reigned over Israel.
14 Solomon accumulated chariots and horses. He had 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horses . He kept them in assigned cities and in Jerusalem. 15 The king made silver and gold as plentiful in Jerusalem as stones; cedar was as plentiful as sycamore fig trees are in the foothills. 16 Solomon acquired his horses from Egypt and from Que; the king’s traders purchased them from Que. 17 They paid 600 silver pieces for each chariot from Egypt and 150 silver pieces for each horse. They also sold chariots and horses to all the kings of the Hittites and to the kings of Syria.
2:1 (1:18) Solomon ordered a temple to be built to honor the Lord, as well as a royal palace for himself. 2 (2:1) Solomon had 70,000 common laborers and 80,000 stonecutters in the hills, in addition to 3,600 supervisors.
3 Solomon sent a message to King Huram of Tyre: “Help me as you did my father David, when you sent him cedar logs for the construction of his palace. 4 Look, I am ready to build a temple to honor the Lord my God and to dedicate it to him in order to burn fragrant incense before him, to set out the bread that is regularly displayed, and to offer burnt sacrifices each morning and evening, and on Sabbaths, new moon festivals, and at other times appointed by the Lord our God. This is something Israel must do on a permanent basis. 5 I will build a great temple, for our God is greater than all gods. 6 Of course, who can really build a temple for him, since the sky and the highest heavens cannot contain him? Who am I that I should build him a temple! It will really be only a place to offer sacrifices before him.
7 “Now send me a man who is skilled in working with gold, silver, bronze, and iron, as well as purple-, crimson-, and blue-colored fabrics, and who knows how to engrave. He will work with my skilled craftsmen here in Jerusalem and Judah, whom my father David provided. 8 Send me cedars, evergreens, and algum trees from Lebanon, for I know your servants are adept at cutting down trees in Lebanon. My servants will work with your servants 9 to supply me with large quantities of timber, for I am building a great, magnificent temple. 10 Look, I will pay your servants who cut the timber 20,000 cors of ground wheat, 20,000 cors of barley, 120,000 gallons of wine, and 120,000 gallons of olive oil.”
11 King Huram of Tyre sent this letter to Solomon: “Because the Lord loves his people, he has made you their king.” 12 Huram also said, “Worthy of praise is the Lord God of Israel, who made the sky and the earth! He has given King David a wise son who has discernment and insight and will build a temple for the Lord, as well as a royal palace for himself. 13 Now I am sending you Huram Abi, a skilled and capable man, 14 whose mother is a Danite and whose father is a Tyrian. He knows how to work with gold, silver, bronze, iron, stones, and wood, as well as purple, blue, white, and crimson fabrics. He knows how to do all kinds of engraving and understands any design given to him. He will work with your skilled craftsmen and the skilled craftsmen of my lord David your father. 15 Now let my lord send to his servants the wheat, barley, olive oil, and wine he has promised; 16 we will get all the timber you need from Lebanon and bring it in raft-like bundles by sea to Joppa. You can then haul it on up to Jerusalem.”
17 Solomon took a census of all the male resident foreigners in the land of Israel, after the census his father David had taken. There were 153,600 in all. 18 He designated 70,000 as common laborers, 80,000 as stonecutters in the hills, and 3,600 as supervisors to make sure the people completed the work.
3:1 Solomon began building the Lord’s temple in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the Lord had appeared to his father David. This was the place that David prepared at the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 2 He began building on the second day of the second month of the fourth year of his reign.
3 Solomon laid the foundation for God’s temple; its length (determined according to the old standard of measure) was 90 feet, and its width 30 feet. 4 The porch in front of the main hall was 30 feet long, corresponding to the width of the temple, and its height was 30 feet. He plated the inside with pure gold. 5 He paneled the main hall with boards made from evergreen trees and plated it with fine gold, decorated with palm trees and chains. 6 He decorated the temple with precious stones; the gold he used came from Parvaim. 7 He overlaid the temple’s rafters, thresholds, walls and doors with gold; he carved decorative cherubim on the walls.
8 He made the Most Holy Place; its length was 30 feet, corresponding to the width of the temple, and its width 30 feet. He plated it with 600 talents of fine gold. 9 The gold nails weighed 50 shekels; he also plated the upper areas with gold. 10 In the Most Holy Place he made two images of cherubim and plated them with gold. 11 The combined wing span of the cherubim was 30 feet. One of the first cherub’s wings was 7½ feet long and touched one wall of the temple; its other wing was also 7½ feet long and touched one of the second cherub’s wings. 12 Likewise one of the second cherub’s wings was 7½ feet long and touched the other wall of the temple; its other wing was also 7½ feet long and touched one of the first cherub’s wings. 13 The combined wingspan of these cherubim was 30 feet. They stood upright, facing inward. 14 He made the curtain out of blue, purple, crimson, and white fabrics, and embroidered on it decorative cherubim.
15 In front of the temple he made two pillars which had a combined length of 52½ feet, with each having a plated capital 7½ feet high. 16 He made ornamental chains and put them on top of the pillars. He also made 100 pomegranate-shaped ornaments and arranged them within the chains. 17 He set up the pillars in front of the temple, one on the right side and the other on the left. He named the one on the right Yakin and the one on the left Boaz.
4:1 He made a bronze altar, 30 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 15 feet high. 2 He also made the big bronze basin called “The Sea.” It measured 15 feet from rim to rim, was circular in shape, and stood 7½ feet high. Its circumference was 45 feet. 3 Images of bulls were under it all the way around, ten every 18 inches all the way around. The bulls were in two rows and had been cast with “The Sea.” 4 “The Sea” stood on top of twelve bulls. Three faced northward, three westward, three southward, and three eastward. “The Sea” was placed on top of them, and they all faced outward. 5 It was four fingers thick, and its rim was like that of a cup shaped like a lily blossom. It could hold 18,000 gallons. 6 He made ten washing basins; he put five on the south side and five on the north side. In them they rinsed the items used for burnt sacrifices; the priests washed in “The Sea.”
7 He made ten gold lampstands according to specifications and put them in the temple, five on the right and five on the left. 8 He made ten tables and set them in the temple, five on the right and five on the left. He also made 100 gold bowls. 9 He made the courtyard of the priests and the large enclosure and its doors; he plated their doors with bronze. 10 He put “The Sea” on the south side, in the southeast corner.
11 Huram Abi made the pots, shovels, and bowls. He finished all the work on God’s temple he had been assigned by King Solomon. 12 He made the two pillars, the two bowl-shaped tops of the pillars, the latticework for the bowl-shaped tops of the two pillars, 13 the 400 pomegranate-shaped ornaments for the latticework of the two pillars (each latticework had two rows of these ornaments at the bowl-shaped top of the pillar), 14 the ten movable stands with their ten basins, 15 the big bronze basin called “The Sea” with its twelve bulls underneath, 16 and the pots, shovels, and meat forks. All the items King Solomon assigned Huram Abi to make for the Lord’s temple were made from polished bronze. 17 The king had them cast in earth foundries in the region of the Jordan between Sukkoth and Zarethan. 18 Solomon made so many of these items they did not weigh the bronze.
19 Solomon also made these items for God’s temple: the gold altar, the tables on which the Bread of the Presence was kept, 20 the pure gold lampstands and their lamps which burned as specified at the entrance to the inner sanctuary, 21 the pure gold flower-shaped ornaments, lamps, and tongs, 22 the pure gold trimming shears, basins, pans, and censers, and the gold door sockets for the inner sanctuary (the Most Holy Place) and for the doors of the main hall of the temple. 5:1 When Solomon had finished constructing the Lord’s temple, he put the holy items that belonged to his father David (the silver, gold, and all the other articles) in the treasuries of God’s temple.
2 Then Solomon convened Israel’s elders—all the leaders of the Israelite tribes and families—in Jerusalem, so they could witness the transferal of the ark of the covenant of the Lord from the City of David (that is, Zion). 3 All the men of Israel assembled before the king during the festival in the seventh month. 4 When all Israel’s elders had arrived, the Levites lifted the ark. 5 The priests and Levites carried the ark, the tent where God appeared to his people, and all the holy items in the tent. 6 Now King Solomon and all the Israelites who had assembled with him went on ahead of the ark and sacrificed more sheep and cattle than could be counted or numbered.
7 The priests brought the ark of the covenant of the Lord to its assigned place in the inner sanctuary of the temple, in the Most Holy Place under the wings of the cherubim. 8 The cherubim’s wings extended over the place where the ark sat; the cherubim overshadowed the ark and its poles. 9 The poles were so long their ends extending out from the ark were visible from in front of the inner sanctuary, but they could not be seen from beyond that point. They have remained there to this very day. 10 There was nothing in the ark except the two tablets Moses had placed there in Horeb. (It was there that the Lord made a covenant with the Israelites after he brought them out of the land of Egypt.)
11 The priests left the Holy Place. All the priests who participated had consecrated themselves, no matter which division they represented. 12 All the Levites who were musicians, including Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, and their sons and relatives, wore linen. They played cymbals and stringed instruments as they stood east of the altar. They were accompanied by 120 priests who blew trumpets. 13 The trumpeters and musicians played together, praising and giving thanks to the Lord. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals, and other instruments, they loudly praised the Lord, singing: “Certainly he is good; certainly his loyal love endures!” Then a cloud filled the Lord’s temple. 14 The priests could not carry out their duties because of the cloud; the Lord’s splendor filled God’s temple.
6:1 Then Solomon said, “The Lord has said that he lives in thick darkness. 2 O Lord, I have built a lofty temple for you, a place where you can live permanently.” 3 Then the king turned around and pronounced a blessing over the whole Israelite assembly as they stood there. 4 He said, “The Lord God of Israel is worthy of praise because he has fulfilled what he promised my father David. 5 He told David, ‘Since the day I brought my people out of the land of Egypt, I have not chosen a city from all the tribes of Israel to build a temple in which to live. Nor did I choose a man as leader of my people Israel. 6 But now I have chosen Jerusalem as a place to live, and I have chosen David to lead my people Israel.’ 7 Now my father David had a strong desire to build a temple to honor the Lord God of Israel. 8 The Lord told my father David, ‘It is right for you to have a strong desire to build a temple to honor me. 9 But you will not build the temple; your very own son will build the temple for my honor.’ 10 The Lord has kept the promise he made. I have taken my father David’s place and have occupied the throne of Israel, as the Lord promised. I have built this temple for the honor of the Lord God of Israel 11 and set up in it a place for the ark containing the covenant the Lord made with the Israelites.”