December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the River to the land of the Philistines, down to the border of Egypt; they paid Solomon tribute and were his vassals as long as he lived.
- Solomon's supplies for each day were thirty kors of fine flour, sixty kors of meal,
- ten fatted oxen, twenty pasture-fed oxen, and a hundred sheep, not counting harts, gazelles, roebucks, and fatted fowl.
- He ruled over all the land west of the Euphrates, from Tiphsah to Gaza, and over all its kings, and he had peace on all his borders round about.
- Thus Judah and Israel lived in security, every man under his vine or under his fig tree from Dan to Beer-sheba, as long as Solomon lived.
- Solomon had four thousand stalls for his twelve thousand chariot horses.
- These commissaries, one for each month, provided food for King Solomon and for all the guests at the royal table. They left nothing unprovided.
- For the chariot horses and draft animals also, each brought his quota of barley and straw to the required place.
- Moreover, God gave Solomon wisdom and exceptional understanding and knowledge, as vast as the sand on the seashore.
- Solomon surpassed all the Cedemites and all the Egyptians in wisdom.
- He was wiser than all other men--than Ethan the Ezrahite, or Heman, Chalcol, and Darda, the musicians--and his fame spread throughout the neighboring nations.
- Solomon also uttered three thousand proverbs, and his songs numbered a thousand and five.
- He discussed plants, from the cedar on Lebanon to the hyssop growing out of the wall, and he spoke about beasts, birds, reptiles, and fishes.
- Men came to hear Solomon's wisdom from all nations, sent by all the kings of the earth who had heard of his wisdom.
- When Hiram, king of Tyre, heard that Solomon had been anointed king in place of his father, he sent an embassy to him; for Hiram had always been David's friend.
- Solomon sent back this message to Hiram:
- "You know that my father David, because of the enemies surrounding him on all sides, could not build a temple in honor of the LORD, his God, until such a time as the LORD should put these enemies under the soles of his feet.
- But now the LORD, my God, has given me peace on all sides. There is no enemy or threat of danger.
- So I purpose to build a temple in honor of the LORD, my God, as the LORD predicted to my father David when he said: 'It is your son whom I will put upon your throne in your place who shall build the temple in my honor.'
- Give orders, then, to have cedars from the Lebanon cut down for me. My servants shall accompany yours, since you know that there is no one among us who is skilled in cutting timber like the Sidonians, and I will pay you whatever you say for your servants' salary."
- When he had heard the words of Solomon, Hiram was pleased and said, "Blessed be the LORD this day, who has given David a wise son to rule this numerous people."
- Hiram then sent word to Solomon, "I agree to the proposal you sent me, and I will provide all the cedars and fir trees you wish.
- My servants shall bring them down from the Lebanon to the sea, and I will arrange them into rafts in the sea and bring them wherever you say. There I will break up the rafts, and you shall take the lumber. You, for your part, shall furnish the provisions I desire for my household."
- So Hiram continued to provide Solomon with all the cedars and fir trees he wished;
- while Solomon every year gave Hiram twenty thousand kors of wheat to provide for his household, and twenty thousand measures of pure oil.
- The LORD, moreover, gave Solomon wisdom as he promised him, and there was peace between Hiram and Solomon, since they were parties to a treaty.
- King Solomon conscripted thirty thousand workmen from all Israel.
- He sent them to the Lebanon each month in relays of ten thousand, so that they spent one month in the Lebanon and two months at home. Adoniram was in charge of the draft.
- Solomon had seventy thousand carriers and eighty thousand stonecutters in the mountain,
- in addition to three thousand three hundred overseers, answerable to Solomon's prefects for the work, directing the people engaged in the work.
- By order of the king, fine, large blocks were quarried to give the temple a foundation of hewn stone.
- Solomon's and Hiram's builders, along with the Gebalites, hewed them out, and prepared the wood and stones for building the temple.
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