The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Second Book of Paralipomena
A house Solomon would build, to be a shrine for the Lord’s name, and for himself a royal palace.
So he made a register of seventy thousand men that should carry burdens on their backs, and eighty thousand to quarry stone in the hills; of overseers, he would have three thousand six hundred.
And he sent a message to Hiram, king of Tyre: When my father David was building the palace in which he dwelt, thou didst send him planks of cedar.
Do as much for me, now that I would build a temple dedicated to the Lord, the God I worship; there to burn incense of rich spices, keep hallowed loaves set forth continually, offer sacrifice at morning and evening, at sabbath and at new moon, and on all the feasts our changeless rite enjoins in the Lord’s honour.
A great fabric it needs must be; great above all gods is the God we worship,
and to build a house worthy of him is indeed too high a task for man’s powers; who am I, that I should be his architect, whom heaven itself, and the heaven above the heavens, cannot contain? Yet into his presence we must come, to offer incense there.
A craftsman I would have of thee, that can work skilfully in gold and silver, bronze and iron, tapestry of purple and scarlet and blue; that can help the workmen my father David has left me, here in Jerusalem, carve the figures they would.
Send me planks, too, of cedar and juniper and pine; I know well how deftly thy men can fell trees on Lebanon; mine shall be apprenticed to them,
and cut me planks in abundance; it is a great temple, a famous temple, I would build.
Thy woodmen shall have for their maintenance forty thousand quarters of wheat, and as many of barley, of wine and of oil six hundred and forty tuns.
To this Hiram, prince of Tyre, wrote in answer, A loving Lord this people has, to give them such a king as thou art.
Blessed be the name of the Lord God of Israel, maker of heaven and earth, for giving David an heir so wise and so versed in affairs, so prudent and so discerning, fit to build a temple for the Lord, a palace for the king!
I am sending thee a wise man and a skilful, one Hiram, that is a master of his craft.
A woman of Dan was his mother, his father a Tyrian. Well he knows how to work in gold and silver, bronze and iron, in marble and in wood, in tapestry of purple and blue, lawn and scarlet thread; to carve what carving thou wilt, and devise all that needs devising, thy craftsmen to aid him, and the craftsmen the king’s grace, thy father, left thee.
For the rest, my lord, do thou send us wheat and barley, wine and oil, as thou hast promised,
and we will set about cutting the planks thou needest, on mount Lebanon. They shall be brought in rafts by sea to Joppe, and it shall be thy part to carry them to Jerusalem.
It was king Solomon, not content with the register his father David had made, who registered afresh all the aliens that dwelt in Israel; the number of these proved to be a hundred and fifty-three thousand six hundred;
seventy thousand to carry burdens on their backs, eighty thousand to quarry stone in the hills, and three thousand six hundred overseers.
The Holy Bible