Solomon determines to build a temple, 2 Chronicles 2:1. The number of his workmen, 2 Chronicles 2:2. Sends to Huram for artificers and materials, 2 Chronicles 2:3-10. Huram sends him a favorable answer, and makes an agreement with him concerning the labor to be done, and the wages to be paid to his men, 2 Chronicles 2:11-16. The number of strangers in the land, and how employed, 2 Chronicles 2:17, 2 Chronicles 2:18.
And Solomon determined to build an house for the name of the LORD, and an house for his kingdom.A house for the name of the Lord - A temple for the worship of Jehovah.
A house for his kingdom - A royal palace for his own use as king of Israel.
And Solomon told out threescore and ten thousand men to bear burdens, and fourscore thousand to hew in the mountain, and three thousand and six hundred to oversee them.
And Solomon sent to Huram the king of Tyre, saying, As thou didst deal with David my father, and didst send him cedars to build him an house to dwell therein, even so deal with me.Solomon sent to Huram - This man's name is written חירם Chiram in Kings; and in Chronicles, חורם Churam: there is properly no difference, only a י yod and a ו vau interchanged. See on 1 Kings 5:2 (note).
Behold, I build an house to the name of the LORD my God, to dedicate it to him, and to burn before him sweet incense, and for the continual shewbread, and for the burnt offerings morning and evening, on the sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the solemn feasts of the LORD our God. This is an ordinance for ever to Israel.
And the house which I build is great: for great is our God above all gods.
But who is able to build him an house, seeing the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain him? who am I then, that I should build him an house, save only to burn sacrifice before him?Seeing the heaven and heaven of heavens - "For the lower heavens, the middle heavens, and the upper heavens cannot contain him, seeing he sustains all things by the arm of his power. Heaven is the throne of his glory, the earth his footstool; the deep, and the whole world, are sustained by the spirit of his Word, [ברוח מימריה beruach meqmereih]. Who am I, then, that I should build him a house?" - Targum.
Save only to burn sacrifice - It is not under the hope that the house shall be able to contain him, but merely for the purpose of burning incense to him, and offering him sacrifice, that I have erected it.
Send me now therefore a man cunning to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in iron, and in purple, and crimson, and blue, and that can skill to grave with the cunning men that are with me in Judah and in Jerusalem, whom David my father did provide.Send me - a man cunning to work - A person of great ingenuity, who is capable of planning and directing, and who may be over the other artists.
Send me also cedar trees, fir trees, and algum trees, out of Lebanon: for I know that thy servants can skill to cut timber in Lebanon; and, behold, my servants shall be with thy servants,
Even to prepare me timber in abundance: for the house which I am about to build shall be wonderful great.
And, behold, I will give to thy servants, the hewers that cut timber, twenty thousand measures of beaten wheat, and twenty thousand measures of barley, and twenty thousand baths of wine, and twenty thousand baths of oil.
Then Huram the king of Tyre answered in writing, which he sent to Solomon, Because the LORD hath loved his people, he hath made thee king over them.Answered in writing - Though correspondence among persons of distinction was, in these early times, carried on by confidential messengers, yet we find that epistolary correspondence did exist, and that kings could write and read in what were called by the proud and insolent Greeks and Romans barbarous nations. Nearly two thousand years after this we find a king on the British throne who could not sign his own name. About the year of our Lord 700, Withred, king of Kent, thus concludes a charter to secure the liberties of the Church: Ego Wythredus rex Cantiae haec omnia suprascripta et confirmavi, atque, a me dictata propria manu signum sanctae crucis pro ignorantia literarum espressi; "All the above dictated by myself, I have confirmed; and because I cannot write, I have with my own hand expressed this by putting the sign of the holy cross +." - See Wilkins' Concilta.
Huram said moreover, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, that made heaven and earth, who hath given to David the king a wise son, endued with prudence and understanding, that might build an house for the LORD, and an house for his kingdom.
And now I have sent a cunning man, endued with understanding, of Huram my father's,I have sent a cunning man - His name appears to have been Hiram, or Hiram Abi: see the notes on 1 Kings 7:13, 1 Kings 7:14.
The son of a woman of the daughters of Dan, and his father was a man of Tyre, skilful to work in gold, and in silver, in brass, in iron, in stone, and in timber, in purple, in blue, and in fine linen, and in crimson; also to grave any manner of graving, and to find out every device which shall be put to him, with thy cunning men, and with the cunning men of my lord David thy father.
Now therefore the wheat, and the barley, the oil, and the wine, which my lord hath spoken of, let him send unto his servants:
And we will cut wood out of Lebanon, as much as thou shalt need: and we will bring it to thee in floats by sea to Joppa; and thou shalt carry it up to Jerusalem.In floats by sea to Joppa - See the note on 1 Kings 5:9, and on the parallel places, for other matters contained in this chapter.
And Solomon numbered all the strangers that were in the land of Israel, after the numbering wherewith David his father had numbered them; and they were found an hundred and fifty thousand and three thousand and six hundred.
And he set threescore and ten thousand of them to be bearers of burdens, and fourscore thousand to be hewers in the mountain, and three thousand and six hundred overseers to set the people a work.