2 Chronicles 3 The Voice (VOICE)
These foreigners are not paid day laborers; they are slaves forced to build a temple they may never enter. This scenario is similar to the Hebrews’ forced labor in Egypt and to the Israelites’ eventual forced labor in Babylonia. But one thing makes Solomon’s rule over them different: he presumably follows the laws of God regarding slaves (Leviticus 25:39–55). These laws specify that slaves may come from surrounding nations, must be treated fairly, and must be released in the jubilee year (a prescribed time every 50 years when debts are forgiven, seized land returns to its original owners, and slaves are freed).
3 1-2 Having assembled the materials and workers for the temple, Solomon began to build the Eternal’s temple on the second day in the second month of the fourth year of his reign. He built it in Jerusalem on Ornan the Jebusite’s threshing floor (which David had purchased and consecrated) on Mount Moriah (where Abraham had been willing to sacrifice Isaac to God generations before).
3 When Solomon prepared the plans of the True God’s temple, he modeled the design after temples in Syria and Canaan. The length was 90 feet and the width was 30 feet. 4 The length of the front porch was as wide as the temple (30 feet), and it was 30 feet[a] high. The rooms of the temple were highly ornamented. The porch was gilded inside. 5 The main room was paneled with gilded cypress wood and engraved with palm trees and ornamental chains. 6 The entire temple was decorated with precious stones and gilded with gold from Parvaim. 7-9 Even the supports and fasteners were gilded—the beams, the thresholds, the walls, the doors, and the nails (which weighed 20 ounces each). The walls were engraved with winged guardians, and the upper rooms were gilded.
The most holy place, which was located at the rear of the temple, was a 30-foot square room gilded with 23 tons of gold—the same amount that David paid for the temple site. 10 Inside the most holy place were two gilded, sculpted winged creatures, 11-12 each with a wingspan of 15 feet.
These fantastic creatures with bird wings, human faces, and animals’ body parts protect the covenant chest, and together they act as God’s footstool in the temple.
Each cherub touched one wing to the wall of the room and the other wing to the other cherub. 13 Together, their wings spanned across the room guarding the most holy place facing the main room and standing upright on their feet. 14 A veil of violet, purple, and crimson fabrics and fine linen, embroidered with winged creatures, covered the entrance to the most holy place.
15-17 Before the porch stood two columns, 52 feet high, crowned with 90-inch-high capitals. Solomon made decorative chains in the most holy place, adorned them with 100 pomegranates, and draped them on the tops of the columns. The column on the right was named Jachin, meaning “He establishes,” and the column on the left was named Boaz, meaning “He strengthens.”
2 Chronicles 3 New International Version (NIV)
Solomon Builds the Temple
3 Then Solomon began to build the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the Lord had appeared to his father David. It was on the threshing floor of Araunah[a] the Jebusite, the place provided by David. 2 He began building on the second day of the second month in the fourth year of his reign.
3 The foundation Solomon laid for building the temple of God was sixty cubits long and twenty cubits wide[b] (using the cubit of the old standard). 4 The portico at the front of the temple was twenty cubits[c] long across the width of the building and twenty[d] cubits high.
He overlaid the inside with pure gold. 5 He paneled the main hall with juniper and covered it with fine gold and decorated it with palm tree and chain designs. 6 He adorned the temple with precious stones. And the gold he used was gold of Parvaim. 7 He overlaid the ceiling beams, doorframes, walls and doors of the temple with gold, and he carved cherubim on the walls.
8 He built the Most Holy Place, its length corresponding to the width of the temple—twenty cubits long and twenty cubits wide. He overlaid the inside with six hundred talents[e] of fine gold. 9 The gold nails weighed fifty shekels.[f] He also overlaid the upper parts with gold.
10 For the Most Holy Place he made a pair of sculptured cherubim and overlaid them with gold. 11 The total wingspan of the cherubim was twenty cubits. One wing of the first cherub was five cubits[g] long and touched the temple wall, while its other wing, also five cubits long, touched the wing of the other cherub. 12 Similarly one wing of the second cherub was five cubits long and touched the other temple wall, and its other wing, also five cubits long, touched the wing of the first cherub. 13 The wings of these cherubim extended twenty cubits. They stood on their feet, facing the main hall.[h]
14 He made the curtain of blue, purple and crimson yarn and fine linen, with cherubim worked into it.
15 For the front of the temple he made two pillars, which together were thirty-five cubits[i] long, each with a capital five cubits high. 16 He made interwoven chains[j] and put them on top of the pillars. He also made a hundred pomegranates and attached them to the chains. 17 He erected the pillars in the front of the temple, one to the south and one to the north. The one to the south he named Jakin[k] and the one to the north Boaz.[l]