Site Under Construction

Imagine driving into, or around, town one day. You see in the center of town that cranes are going up, and there’s of lots of dust. You soon come upon detour signs taking you the long way to work. Down a street you see a group of cranes moving a giant piece of stone into its final resting place. Then you also see lines of semis lined up for blocks in all directions full or redwood looking trees. Now you also see on one street it is full of mini, one man saw mills sending sawdust everywhere as the trees are cut into boards. Wondering what is going on, you turn on the talk radio station to learn about a new temple being built by the Jewish community.

Now in Solomon’s day they didn’t have radio, TV, or other modern technologies, but you can bet the word was out far and wide about this new temple. Most of 1 Kings 5 involves King Solomon and King Hiram from Tyre. And most of this chapter is done by messenger and letters. Solomon requests from Hiram that the Cedars of Lebanon be cut down, and shipped to him in Jerusalem so that he may be the House of the Lord God. He even says that he will be pay wages of the workers whatever that may be. As we see, Solomon sent 20,000 kors (1 kor=220 liters of dry weight) of wheat, and 20 kors (1kor=58 gallons of liquid) of pressed oil. I don’t know about you, but that’s a lot of bread, cakes, and other food. Not too mention, where do you store that much oil and wheat? I would have to build a larger garage.

Hiram, rejoices in the request from Solomon to build the temple. He agrees to supply the Cedars from Lebanon, and to send cypress logs as well. He is going to float the materials to Solomon, and have his workers mill the wood for final delivery. Today, we would use trucks and mills. However, back then, people used their hands for just about everything because the technology may not have been there. Imagine cutting trees all day with hand saws. I can feel the blisters already. Ouch!

This project also bring about a period of peace in the region. Solomon has no major battles like David did, and King Hiram and King Solomon made a treaty for peace. Pretty cool that they could find a common denominator to work together on.

Solomon then raises an army of a workforce. The force that went to Lebanon was 30,000 men on a rotating monthly schedule of 10,000 at a time. That way no one missed their family too much. One month away working. Two months home with family. That would be a pretty nice gig. The temple was also built with stones that needed to be quarried. These stones were quarried using a workforce of at least 80,000 men, and 70,000 to do the carrying of the trees and stones. Can you imagine the noise in the region? Oh man! You would have to wear to bed just to try to sleep. There were 3,300 supervisors over the project. All told there are roughly 163,300 people working out in the field to gather the necessary materials for the temple. Only the size of a small city.

(Small side note: If there were 163,300 men working in shifts on the materials, let’s make some assumptions. Each man is married, and they have two children. If each person is married that doubles the number of people: 326,600. Then two children each that is a fourfold increase to the number which will roughly come to 1,306,400. {Please check my math.} That’s a lot of direct, and indirect, help for the temple project. This is just shy of the Austin, TX metropolitan area population.)

Maybe a little more impressive, at least to me, is that this has all taken place in the first two years of Solomon’s reign. It isn’t until the third year of his reign that he begins to build the temple. Someone must be working with Solomon to get the job done. God gives Solomon the wisdom to make the process of building the temple peaceable between nations.

In the next post we see the temple being built. This is one beautiful construction project. Please read 1 Kings 6.


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