2 Chronicles 1-5
2 Chronicles starts with Solomon taking over as king. There’s a brief recap of his request for wisdom (see 1 Kings 3), followed by an itemized list of all his riches. Yawn….
Solomon proceeds with the plans for the temple and a palace for himself. “He enlisted a force of 70,000 laborers, 80,000 men to quarry stone in the hill country, and 3,600 foremen.” OK, I know the plans were elaborate, and that there were no building cranes back then, and that all the stones would have to be quarried by hand, but even so, doesn’t this sound a wee bit over the top for a building that was 30 X 90 feet in area? Wouldn’t the workers be tripping on each other?
The rest of the chapter describes Solomon bartering with King Hiram (or Huram) of Tyre to obtain the necessary building supplies (this would be beyond what David already gave him?). The chapter ends with “Solomon took a census of all foreigners in the land of Israel … and he counted 153,600. He assigned 70,000 of them as common laborers, 80,000 as quarry workers in the hill country, and 3,600 as foremen.” (NLT) “Foreigner” in the modern translations is “stranger” in the KJV. How do you read this passage? Sounds a lot to me like forced labor, or even slavery. Surely every foreigner didn’t just ‘volunteer’ to help build the temple.
Chapters 3 and 4
A review of all the details of the building process as previously described in 1 Kings 6 – 7. There are some contradictions between these chapters and the same story in Kings – who was Hiram, what Solomon gave to him, how many overseers were there, how high were the pillars, etc.
Rehashes the dedication of the temple.