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2 Chronicles 2


(LXX versing)
Solomon Will Build a Temple and Palace Solomon Prepares to Build the Temple Solomon Prepares to Build the Temple Preparations for Building the Temple The Final Preparations. Huram of Tyre
2:1-2 2:1-10 2:1-2 2:1-2
2:3-10 2:3-10 2:3-10
Huram to Assist 2:10-13
2:11-16 2:11-16 2:11-12 2:11-16
Construction of the Temple Begins 2:16-17
2:17-18 2:17-18 2:17-18 2:17-18

READING CYCLE THREE (see "Bible Interpretation Seminar")


This is a study guide commentary, which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

Read the chapter in one sitting. Identify the subjects. Compare your subject divisions with the five translations above. Paragraphing is not inspired, but it is the key to following the original author's intent, which is the heart of interpretation. Every paragraph has one and only one subject.

  1. First paragraph
  2. Second paragraph
  3. Etc.


1Now Solomon decided to build a house for the name of the Lord and a royal palace for himself. 2So Solomon assigned 70,000 men to carry loads and 80,000 men to quarry stone in the mountains and 3,600 to supervise them.

2:1 Solomon desired to build two royal houses.

  1. one for the true King, YHWH (i.e., 1 Sam. 8:7)
  2. one for His representative (i.e., Solomon, cf. 2 Chr. 7:11; 8:1; 9:11)

Chronicles wants to emphasize the priority of the temple.

"the name of the Lord" This is repeated in 2 Chr. 2:4.


2:2 These laborers are said to be resident aliens in v. 17 (this was started by David in 1 Chr. 22:2). At this point, Solomon did not use forced laborers from the tribes of Israel (cf. 2 Chr. 8:8-9). However, the parallel in 1 Kgs. 5:13-18 does not mention "alien" workers. For a good brief discussion of "forced labor" see Roland deVaux, Ancient Israel, pp. 141-142.

3Then Solomon sent word to Huram the king of Tyre, saying, "As you dealt with David my father and sent him cedars to build him a house to dwell in, so do for me. 4Behold, I am about to build a house for the name of the Lord my God, dedicating it to Him, to burn fragrant incense before Him and to set out the showbread continually, and to offer burnt offerings morning and evening, on sabbaths and on new moons and on the appointed feasts of the Lord our God, this being required forever in Israel. 5The house which I am about to build will be great, for greater is our God than all the gods. 6But who is able to build a house for Him, for the heavens and the highest heavens cannot contain Him? So who am I, that I should build a house for Him, except to burn incense before Him? 7Now send me a skilled man to work in gold, silver, brass and iron, and in purple, crimson and violet fabrics, and who knows how to make engravings, to work with the skilled men whom I have in Judah and Jerusalem, whom David my father provided. 8Send me also cedar, cypress and algum timber from Lebanon, for I know that your servants know how to cut timber of Lebanon; and indeed my servants will work with your servants, 9to prepare timber in abundance for me, for the house which I am about to build will be great and wonderful. 10Now behold, I will give to your servants, the woodsmen who cut the timber, 20,000 kors of crushed wheat and 20,000 kors of barley, and 20,000 baths of wine and 20,000 baths of oil."

2:3 "Huram" In 1 Kgs. 5:18 and 1 Chr. 14:1 he is called "Hiram" (the LXX, Peshitta, and Vulgate have "Hiram" here). He was friendly to David and now to David's son. We are never told that he was a worshiper of YHWH but this is implied.

There are many differences in the details of Solomon's agreement with the king of Tyre between 1 Kings 5; 7 and 2 Chronicles 2.

2:4 "the Lord my God" This is the covenant title for Deity, YHWH, plus the SINGULAR form of Elohim, Eloah (cf. 2 Chr. 2:12).


This verse lists many of the aspects of tabernacle worship.

  1. incense ‒ Exod. 30:1-7
  2. showbread ‒ Exod. 25:30; 40:23; Lev. 24:5-9
  3. burnt offerings each morning and evening (the continual) ‒ Exod. 29:38-42; Num. 28:3-31; 29:6-30
  4. offerings on the sabbaths ‒ Num. 28:9,10; 1 Chr. 23:31
  5. offerings on the new moon ‒ Num. 28:11-15; 1 Chr. 23:3
  6. the appointed feasts ‒ Exod. 23:14-17; 34:22-24; Leviticus 23; Deut. 16:16; 1 Chr. 23:31

All of these were meant to be permanent.

2:5 "for greater is our God than all the gods" The title Elohim (BDB 43) is used twice.

  1. once for YHWH, Gen. 2:4
  2. once for
    1. pagan gods, Exod. 15:11; 1 Chr. 16:25
    2. angels of the heavenly council, Ps. 89:7


YHWH is "greater" than all gods (cf. Exod. 12:12; 15:11; 18:11; 1 Chr. 16:25-26; Ps. 95:3; 96:4; 97:9; 135:5; 136:2). There are some texts that assert

  1. YHWH is greater than. . . (henotheism)
  2. YHWH is the only God. . . (monotheism)

2:6 "the heavens and the highest heavens" See Special Topics:

  1. HEAVEN (OT)

"cannot contain Him" YHWH is "spirit" and is present throughout the created order, cf. 1 Kgs. 8:27; Ps. 139:7-12; Jer. 23:24.


2:7 "send me" This VERB (BDB 1018, KB 1511, Qal IMPERATIVE) is used in verses 7 and 8 (i.e., an IMPERATIVE OF REQUEST). It is also found in 2 Chronicles as a Qal IMPERFECT used in a JUSSIVE sense.

Huram/Hiram had sent skilled workers (i.e., "wise," BDB 314, cf. 2 Chr. 2:7,12,13; 1 Chr. 22:15) to help David (cf. 1 Chr. 14:1), so now, Solomon. In many ways the author of Chronicles sets up a parallel between David and Solomon.

"purple, crimson and violet" Exodus 25:4; 26:1,31; 28:5,6,8,15; 35:6,35; 36:8,25,37 list several colored, woven materials (possibly a canopy over the ark, cf. Exod. 26:31-35; 2 Chr. 3:10-14).

  1. purple (BDB 71; NIDOTTE, vol. 1, p.498) ‒ 2 Chr. 2:7,14; 3:14
  2. scarlet (BDB 502) ‒ 2 Chr. 2:7,13; 3:14
  3. blue or violet (BDB 1067) ‒ 2 Chr. 2:7,14

However, these colors are not found in the description of Solomon's temple in 1 Kings.


2:8 There are several trees mentioned as prized lumber found in Lebanon.

  1. cedar (BDB 72) ‒ 1 Kgs. 5:8,10; 6:9,10,15,16,18,20,36; 7:2,3,7,11,12; 9:11; 1 Chr. 14:1; 17:1,6; 22:4; see USB, Fauna and Flora of the Bible, p. 108
  2. cypress (BDB 141) ‒ see UBS, Fauna and Flora of the Bible, pp. 115-116
  3. algum (BDB 38) ‒ 2 Chr. 2:8; 9:10-11; 1 Kgs. 10:11; see UBS, Fauna and Flora of the Bible, p. 164; some call it "sandal-wood"; it was used for temple furniture and musical instruments

The UBS says, "There is great confusion in all versions, ancient and modern, over the identity of evergreens in the Bible" p. 116. All of these woods were

  1. beautiful to the sight
  2. easy to work with
  3. long lasting
  4. the timber of choice for temples and palaces

From 1 Chr. 22:4, it becomes apparent that much of the material for the temple was stockpiled during David's reign.

"how to cut" This VERB (BDB 310, KB 306, Qal ACTIVE PARTICIPLE) is used in two senses.

  1. here, of master craftsmen who harvested, transported, and formed lumber, cf. Ps. 144:12
  2. of slave laborers who prepared and hauled firewood for Israel, cf. Deut. 29:11; Josh. 9:21,23,27

2:10 This would be Huram/Hiram's compensation (cf. 2 Chr. 2:15).


NASB, NRSV, JPSOA  "crushed"
NKJV  "ground"
TEV, NJB, REB  "wheat (with no ADJECTIVE)"
LXX  "grain as food"
Peshitta  "will give provisions"

The problem is the rare use of a NOUN (BDB 646), which usually means "blow," "wound," or "slaughter." This is the only time it is used of grain. The Syriac and Latin versions follow the LXX.

2:10-12 Huram/Hiram seems to be a follower of YHWH.

  1. He cooperated with David and Solomon. He was not threatened by their power, wealth, and proximity.
  2. He acknowledges YHWH's character and plan for Israel. See Special Topics:
  3. He blesses the God of creation.
  4. He sends his choice materials and workmen (i.e., Israel's temple has much in common with Tyrian temples of the day).
  5. See Josephus' comments in Antiq. 8.2.6-9.

11Then Huram, king of Tyre, answered in a letter sent to Solomon: "Because the Lord loves His people, He has made you king over them." 12Then Huram continued, "Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who has made heaven and earth, who has given King David a wise son, endowed with discretion and understanding, who will build a house for the Lord and a royal palace for himself. 13Now I am sending Huram-abi, a skilled man, endowed with understanding, 14the son of a Danite woman and a Tyrian father, who knows how to work in gold, silver, bronze, iron, stone and wood, and in purple, violet, linen and crimson fabrics, and who knows how to make all kinds of engravings and to execute any design which may be assigned to him, to work with your skilled men and with those of my lord David your father. 15Now then, let my lord send to his servants wheat and barley, oil and wine, of which he has spoken. 16We will cut whatever timber you need from Lebanon and bring it to you on rafts by sea to Joppa, so that you may carry it up to Jerusalem."

2:13-14 "Huram-abi" In the parallel of 1 Kgs. 7:13-14, he is called "Hiram" and his mother is from the tribe of Naphtali, not Dan. His father was from Tyre.

Why the difference is uncertain. Possibly two different traditions or records. Unbelievers often point to differences like this to assert errors in the Bible. This kind of historical detail does not affect the theological issue of inspiration. See John H. Walton and D. Brent Sandy, The Lost World of Scripture, which describes how oral cultures passed on their traditions.

2:14 "fabrics" This word (BDB 101) does not appear in 2 Chr. 2:7, but is assumed. It refers to a fine, white Egyptian linen cloth (cf. 2 Chr. 3:14; Ezek. 27:16). It was a fabric used for royalty (cf. 1 Chr. 15:27; Esther 1:6; 8:15) and priests (cf. 2 Chr. 5:12). Here, it refers to decorations of Solomon's temple.

2:16 "Joppa" It is the only natural harbor on the Mediterranean coast of Canaan.

17Solomon numbered all the aliens who were in the land of Israel, following the census which his father David had taken; and 153,600 were found. 18He appointed 70,000 of them to carry loads and 80,000 to quarry stones in the mountains and 3,600 supervisors to make the people work.

2:17 See note at 2 Chr. 2:2.

2:18 The number of "supervisors" in 1 Kgs. 5:16 is 3,300, but the LXX supports the MT's "3,600." The LXX used a different Hebrew textual tradition than the MT. However, it must be added that the LXX usually agrees with Samuel and Kings against Chronicles; not so here.


This is a study guide commentary which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

These discussion questions are provided to help you think through the major issues of this section of the book. They are meant to be thought-provoking, not definitive.

  1. How does 2 Chr. 2:2 relate to vv. 17-18? Does this forced labor include men from the tribes of Israel?
  2. Is 2 Chr. 2:5 an affirmation of monotheism or henotheism?
  3. Was Huram/Hiram a believer in YHWH?
  4. Does the colored fabric of 2 Chr. 2:7,14 function as a veil or canopy?
  5. Why is Huram-abi said to have a Danite mother here but a Naphtalite mother in 1 Kgs. 7:14?

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