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2Ch 2:1 Now Solomon purposed to build a house for the name of Yahweh, and a house for his kingdom-
"The royal house" of Esther 1:9 is literally "the house of the kingdom", the term used for the temple in 2 Chron. 2:1,12. This extends the  impression discussed on Esther 1:7 that we have here a fake, imitation temple of Yahweh. Remember that Chronicles is history written up for the encouragement of the exiles. The perceptive amongst the exiles would have seen the similarity between Solomon's buildings and those of their captors.

Solomon states these words as his own in 1 Kings 5:5. Again this is a spin; because it was David who had purposed to build the temple, and had prepared for it. And again we see Solomon assuming that the promises of 2 Sam. 7 were totally fulfilled in him; whereas being the Messianic son of David was conditional. And the house to be built was more essentially the house of God's family which God was to build for David rather than any physical temple. But Solomon totally missed all this. 

2Ch 2:2 Solomon counted out seventy thousand men to bear burdens, and eighty thousand men who were stone cutters in the mountains, and three thousand six hundred to oversee them-
1 Kings 5:13-16 reveals that Solomon had 153,000  full  time  and  90,000  part  time male servants. Israel's  complaint  that  Solomon  had  whipped them implies  that  he  treated them like slaves, with himself as the slave-driver. 600,000  adults came out of Egypt (Ex. 12:37), and assuming  the  population only  rose  slightly over the next 550 years, we  have  the picture of an Israel where almost half the males  (i.e. probably the majority of the working population) were pressganged into slavery to a despotic King Solomon.

This huge number of men involved in quarrying and transportation of the stones was because of the obsession with building projects which Solomon admits he had in Ecclesiastes. Just as Solomon's abundance of wives led to having a few thousand mouths to feed, and Israel needed to provide for that; so his obsession with thousands of horses meant that there was a need for a huge amount of fodder for them (1 Kings 4:28). And all Israel had to provide this- all for the sake of Solomon's obsessive desires. That he reigned for as long as he did was truly a sign of God's grace to him for the sake of his father David, and is a tacit reflection of how much God loved David despite all his failures.  

The huge amount of labour required- 80,000 men hewing stone alone- was nothing more than Solomon acting like Pharaoh, using taskmasters to trample down / rule over the people to achieve his quotas and enable his building fantasies to become reality. The Hebrew word translated "bear rule over' (Heb. 'to trample down') in 1 Kings 5:16 is that which we find in the Law's prohibition of this in Lev. 25:46: "But over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule over one another with rigour". Solomon knew the Law, and he rambles on in Proverbs about the need to read, love and obey that law. And yet he thought that he could give that one a miss, 'because I am doing God's work and building His house'. And how many a believer has ended up missing the entire point of God's law, the very essence of Christianity, because of their obsession with serving God in a form which is effectively merely serving themselves, excusing their fantasies in the name of doing God service. It's the process of Solomon's apostacy which is so instructive; for he justified himself by saying that he was doing God's work. He didn't simply quit on God.

2Ch 2:3 Solomon sent to Huram the king of Tyre saying, As you dealt with David my father, and sent him cedars to build him a house in which to dwell, so deal with me-
Solomon was obsessed with living out the image of his father. As Hiram had sent messengers to David (2 Sam. 5:11), so Solomon sends to Hiram.

2Ch 2:4 Behold, I am about to build a house for the name of Yahweh my God, to dedicate it to Him, and to burn before Him incense of sweet spices, and for the continual showbread, and for the burnt offerings morning and evening, on the Sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the set feasts of Yahweh our God. This is an ordinance forever to Israel-
Solomon reasons as if all these Mosaic rituals required a temple in which to perform them. But the Mosaic laws about the tabernacle required just a tent, and not at all the grandiose religious system which David had become so obsessed with designing. It could be that Hiram was some kind of proselyte, and therefore all the information about the Mosaic rituals was meaningful to him.

2Ch 2:5 The house which I build is great; for our God is great above all gods-
The deeper our realization of God's greatness, the higher our response. "My utmost for His highest". Thus Solomon built a "great" house for Yahweh, "for great is our God above all gods" (2 Chron. 2:5 AV). Israel prayed to God but without meaning, "though they called them to the most High, none at all would exalt him" (Hos. 11:7). They theoretically knew Him as "the most High" but in their hearts they failed to exalt Him. And so their prayers remained as empty words. And Solomon missed entirely the response of God to David's original desire to build this temple. God didn't want human works, but rather faith in His gracious desire to build David a house, through the work of His Spirit in human hearts. 

2Ch 2:6 But who is able to build Him a house, since heaven and the heaven of heavens can’t contain Him? Who am I then, that I should build Him a house, except just to burn incense before Him?-
"Who am I?" is a quotation of David's words about the temple in 1 Chron. 29:14: "But who am I..?". But this in turn had been David's response when God first told him that He didn't want a temple, but rather would build a house for David from his descendants. David totally misrepresented God's response as saying that He did in fact welcome the idea of a grandiose physical temple, and so by repeating his response at the time, he is surely guilty of a false humility. Solomon quotes these words of apparent humility and applies them to himself. But just as we cannot sing words of humility in a Christian song or hymn and thereby be humble, Solomon failed to realize that humility is not a bought or inherited position. It has to come from the heart. And he had no sense of personal sin or possibility of failure, and therefore no humility.

2Ch 2:7 Now therefore send me a man talented to work in gold, silver, brass, iron, purple, crimson and blue, and who knows how to produce engravings, to be with the talented men who are with me in Judah and in Jerusalem, whom David my father provided-
The impression David had given in his closing speech to Israel was that he had provided absolutely every resource, human and material, required to realize his temple plans. But this was evidently not the case, as Solomon has to order more materials and skilled labour to complete it. I noted on 1 Chron. 28,29 the hollowness and exaggeration in David's words at that point.  

2Ch 2:8 Send me also cedar trees, fir trees, and algum trees, out of Lebanon; for I know that your servants know how to cut timber in Lebanon. My servants shall be with your servants-
Perhaps this was connected with the Divine wisdom about cedar trees which God had given Solomon (1 Kings 4:33). "Fir" is LXX "pine", which would have created a pleasant smell in the temple.

2Ch 2:9 even to prepare me timber in abundance; for the house which I am about to build shall be great and wonderful-
The greatness and wonder of the house was a big theme with David and Solomon. But God's response to David's initial suggestion of a temple was that He is a humble God, and doesn't like grandiose structures; rather does He wish above all for men to allow Him to work according to His grace in building a house for His glory made out of contrite, responsive hearts. Form eclipsed content for Solomon, religion overtook spirituality, as has happened constantly in the history of God's people. "Great and wonderful" is a Hebrew phrase consistently used about what God does for men by His grace; and not what man can do for God (Job 5:9; 9:10; 37:5; Ps. 86:10; 136:4; Jer. 32:17). In a time of greater humility, David had vowed not to exercise himself in this great and wonderful (s.w. Ps. 131:1). But now, Solomon is seeking to build a great and wonderful place for God, rather than allowing God to build that great and wonderful house of humbled human hearts.

2Ch 2:10 Behold, I will give to your servants, the cutters who 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-
The different figures in 1 Kings 5:11 cp. 2 Chron. 2:10 could be because part of the amount was for Tyre generally, and part for Hiram's personal household. Twenty measure of pure oil (1 Kings 5:11) appears relatively small; but it is the same word used for the oil of the tabernacle rituals (Ex. 27:20), and as a proselyte Hiram may well have built his own kind of tabernacle system. I suggest on Ez. 28:14 that he indeed did so, but it turned into apostacy.

2Ch 2:11 Then Huram the king of Tyre answered in a writing which he sent to Solomon, Because Yahweh loves His people, therefore He has made you king over them-
These are identical words as in 1 Kings 10:9, of the queen of Sheba's response. We are given the impression that they became proselytes because they used the Yahweh Name; although polytheists could take the name of other gods, such as Yahweh, without it meaning they had accepted them as their own gods. 

2Ch 2:12 Huram continued, Blessed be Yahweh, the God of Israel that made heaven and earth, Who has given to David the king a wise son, endowed with discretion and understanding, that should build a house for Yahweh, and a house for His kingdom-
This statement of faith that Yahweh was creator of heaven and earth would imply Hiram truly was a proselyte. For all the other nations had their various theories as to how their gods created heaven and earth. Hiram is repeating what Solomon had told him, in saying that this temple was a "house for Yahweh, and... His Kingdom". God had made it clear that He could not be contained in a house, and His Kingdom "rules over all" and was not so geographically and spatially limited. The temple obsession was really bringing God down to a very human, limited level. 

2Ch 2:13 Now I have sent a talented man endowed with understanding, of Huram my fathers-
This shows that there was more than one Hiram; it was likely a generic kingly name, like Pharaoh. However, we must compare this with 1 Kings 7:13: "King Solomon sent and fetched Hiram out of Tyre". This contrasts with how Solomon's communications with Hiram regarding the temple had been by messenger. But for the matters of building his own house, he wants him present in person. Again we see how more effort was put into Solomon's own house than God's house.

However I suggest that the actual Hiram king of Tyre is not necessarily in view, but a man called Huram (2 Chron. 4:11), of similar spelling, who is described as a "father" to Hiram the king (2 Chron. 2:13); in the sense in which Joseph was a father to Pharaoh (Gen. 45:8), his leading official. Thus we read in 2 Chron. 4:16 that "the vessels thereof did Huram his father make for king Solomon". However the point is established that a leading political figure within Tyre, who was known for his craftsmanship, was summoned personally to work on Solomon's own house, whereas this wasn't done for the work of God's house.

Another possibility is that this craftsman was Hiram's own representative, and is therefore spoken of as being "Hiram".

2Ch 2:14 the son of a woman of the daughters of Dan; and his father was a man of Tyre, talented to work in gold, silver, brass, iron, stone, timber, purple, blue, fine linen and crimson, also to engrave any kind of engraving, and to devise any device. Let there be a place appointed to him with your talented men, and with the talented men of my lord David your father-
2 Chron. 2:14 says "Hiram" was "son of a woman of the daughters of Dan", whereas 1 King 7:14 says he was "the son of a widow of the tribe of Naphtali". Dan may refer to the town called Dan or Laish which was in the territory of Naphtali, but inhabited by Danites (Josh. 18:27; 19:47; Jud. 18:7). Here we see how an apparent discrepancy on a surface level reveals a deep evidence of the way the records do not contradict but dovetail perfectly, as we would expect of a Divinely inspired writing. But this is only apparent to those who respectfully search the entire scriptures, rather than bandying around a surface level contradiction with an eagerness which speaks more of their own fears the Bible is inspired than of deep factual persuasion.    

2Ch 2:15 Now therefore the wheat and the barley, the oil and the wine, which my lord has spoken of, let him send to his servants-
Tyre as a small island state had a major problem in obtaining enough food for their affluent population, so these basic food supplies were valuable to them.

2Ch 2:16 and we will cut wood out of Lebanon, as much as you shall need. We will bring it to you in floats by sea to Joppa; and you shall carry it up to Jerusalem-
1 Kings 5 says it was "fir", or LXX "pine", which would have created a pleasant smell throughout the temple.

2Ch 2:17 Solomon numbered all the foreigners who were in the land of Israel, after the numbering with which David his father had numbered them; and they were found one hundred and fifty-three thousand six hundred-
This may connect with the 153 fishes which were caught in Jn. 21:11, representing the ingathering of the Gentiles to the people of God (see note there). But despite the typical significance, Solomon was clearly abusing Gentile labour in order to satisfy his own obsession for architecture and building work. He admits in Ecc. 2 that he had such an obsession, and indulged it in his search for meaning in his own life. But it was at a terrible cost to those thousands of individuals made to serve it. Instead of Israel being a blessing to the Gentiles, Solomon made them a huge disadvertisment for Israel's God. See on :18. David claimed to have already prepared all the resources necessary for the building of the temple. So this massive number of men involved in quarrying (:18) was an outcome of Solomon's obsession with architecture and building, rather than a genuine desire to glorify God.

2Ch 2:18 He set seventy thousand of them to bear burdens, and eighty thousand to be stone cutters in the mountains, and three thousand six hundred overseers to set the people to work
1 Kings 5:16 has "three thousand and three hundred". The word for three in Hebrew, 'sls', can easily be confused with that for "six" ['ss']. The same confusion is found in 2 Chron. 8:10 cp. 1 Kings 9:23. This would appear to be one of the copying errors in these Divinely inspired records. 

This levy of labour was evidently one of the reasons which led the next generation to complain that Solomon had chastised the people with whips (1 Kings 12:11; the happiness of the people which the Queen of Sheba observed in 1 Kings 10:8 was therefore just an impression Solomon arranged for her to receive). Yet "this is the reason of the levy which king Solomon raised: in order to build the house of the Lord, and his own house..." (1 Kings 9:15). Solomon justified his zest for power and control by saying it was in order to do the Lord's work, to build His house... and yet had he listened to God's word more carefully, he would have realized that the true house of Yahweh was in fact people... yet Solomon abused people in order to build a visible house for God. And so very often religious people have gone down the same path- devaluing the meaning and value of persons, because they want to be seen as achieving something visible for God, no matter how many people they abuse on the way. The ends simply don't justify the means; Solomon told himself that they did, and he ended up as bad as Saul and Pharaoh, who are alluded to in the records of his levy of slaves from Israel. And yet the 1 Kings record gives the impression of all happily working together to create a great temple for God. When we probe deeper, we find this was far from the case.

David had prophesied that his great son would "have dominion from sea to sea" (Ps. 72:8). 'Have dominion' is  the Hebrew word translated 'oversee' here, or 'rule over' in 1 Kings 5:15. David's vision of his Messianic son having a world-wide Kingdom, in which all people blessed him for his grace and beneficence, was abused by Solomon into justifying 'having dominion' over people as his personal slaves; and they certainly didn't bless him for it but rather complained (1 Kings 12:11). It's as if Solomon grabbed the word 'rule over / have dominion', wrenched it out of context, and used it to justify his actions, giving a quasi-Biblical justification to his pure selfishness. This is where knowledge of God's word can be a dangerous thing; leading people into a stronger self-justification than they would otherwise have had if they were guided by self-recognized greed alone.

This suggests that Solomon made the same mistake as Israel in earlier days- he was a satisficer, he himself married into those tribes, and he wasn’t obedient to the clear covenant of the land which was binding upon him. Solomon's motivation for now bringing the Canaanites into servitude was not spiritual. Rather, as with his borrowing of money from Hiram (see on 2 Chron. 8:2), his obsession with his building plans was such that he needed huge amounts of money and resources to carry them through. And so he colonized the Canaanite areas and made them send him slaves to work on his quarrying and building projects (2 Chron. 8:2).