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Passage: 2 Chronicles 2:1-18

2 Chronicles 2:1-18 – Initial Preparations for the Temple

Summary

Solomon's preparations for the construction of the temple, as described in correspondence between Solomon and Hiram/Huram, complete the extensive preparations initiated by his father, David, in 1 Chronicles 22.

Analysis

The construction of the temple dominates the Chronicler's presentation of Solomon. The many alterations in the source material (1 Kings 5) are designed to present Solomon as the chosen temple builder (1 Chronicles 28:6, 10; 29:1) in complete control of the temple's construction. The most important alterations, additions, and omissions would include:

  • In Kings, Hiram the king of Tyre contacts Solomon after hearing of his anointing (1 Kings 5:1). Here, Solomon immediately contacts Huram following worship at Gibeon and the recruitment of the temple workers. Nothing is more important than building the temple.
  • In Kings, Hiram initiates contact with Solomon, probably in order to continue the profitable trade relations already established with David (1 Kings 5:1). Here, Solomon, the chosen temple builder, needs no such prompting and so makes the first move (2 Chronicles 2:3).
  • In Kings, Hiram sets the terms in an arrangement that is completely businesslike. Here, Solomon dictates the terms (2:7-10) to a religiously motivated (though Gentile) Huram (vv. 11-12).
  • In Kings, Solomon pays on the installment plan "year by year" (1 Kings 5:11). Here, Solomon pays a lump sum (2 Chronicles 2:10).
  • In Kings, Solomon's description of the temple is terse (1 Kings 5:5). Here, it resonates with glory and grandeur, and incorporates the cultic functions of the priests (vv. 3-5).
  • In 1 Kings, the correspondence is a businesslike affair between equals (compare the "treaty" in 5:12, omitted in Chronicles). Here, Huram deferentially refers to both David and Solomon as "my lord" (2:13-14).
  • In Kings, the treaty between Hiram and Solomon is the stated reason for God's bestowal of wisdom upon Solomon (v. 12). Here, mention of the treaty and bestowal of wisdom are omitted lest they detract from God's bestowal of wisdom upon Solomon for his dedication to the temple.