Solomon's laborers for the building of the temple, 1, 2, 17, 18. His sending to Huram for workmen and provision of stuff, 3-10. Huram sends him a kind answer, 11-16.
1 And Solomon determined to build a house for the name of the LORD and a house for his kingdom. 2 And Solomon numbered out seventy thousand men to bear burdens, eighty thousand to hew in the mountain, and three thousand and six hundred to oversee them.
3 And Solomon sent to Huram the king of Tyre, saying, "As you dealt with David my father and sent him cedars to build him a house to dwell in it, even so deal with me. 4 Behold, I build a house to the name of the LORD my God to dedicate it to him, to burn before him sweet incense, for the continual show-bread and for the burnt-offerings morning and evening, on the sabbaths, on the new moons, and on the solemn feasts of the LORD our God. This is an ordinance forever to Israel. 5 And the house which I build is great, for our God is great above all gods. 6 But who is able to build him a house, seeing the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain him? Who am I then that I should build him a house, except only to burn sacrifice before him? 7 Now send me therefore a man skillful to work in gold, in silver, in brass, in iron, in purple, crimson, and blue, and who has skill to engrave with the skillful men who are with me in Judah and in Jerusalem, whom David my father provided. 8 Send me also cedar trees, fir trees, and algum trees out of Lebanon, for I know that your servants have skill to cut timber in Lebanon. And behold, my servants shall be with your servants, 9 Even to prepare me timber in abundance, for the house which I am about to build shall be wonderfully great. 10 And behold, I will give to your servants, the hewers who cut timber, twenty thousand measures of beaten wheat, twenty thousand measures of barley, twenty thousand baths of wine, and twenty thousand baths of oil."
11 Then Huram the king of Tyre answered in writing, which he sent to Solomon, "Because the LORD has loved his people, he has made you king over them." 12 Huram said moreover, "Blessed be the LORD God of Israel who made heaven and earth, who has given to David the king a wise son, endued with prudence and understanding, who may build a house for the LORD and a house for his kingdom.
13 "And now I have sent a skillful man, endued with understanding, even Huram my chief workman, 14 The son of a woman of the daughters of Dan, and his father was a man of Tyre, skillful to work in gold, in silver, in brass, in iron, in stone, in timber, in purple, in blue, in fine linen, and in crimson, and also to engrave any manner of engraving, and to find out every device which shall be put to him, with your skillful men and with the skillful men of my lord David your father. 15 Now therefore, the wheat, the barley, the oil, and the wine which my lord has spoken of, let him send to his servants. 16 And we will cut wood out of Lebanon, as much as you shall need, and we will bring it to you in floats by sea to Joppa, and you may convey it to Jerusalem."
17 And Solomon numbered all the strangers who were in the land of Israel, after the numbering with which David his father had numbered them. And they were found one hundred and fifty-three thousand and six hundred. 18 And he set seventy thousand of them to be bearers of burdens, eighty thousand to be hewers in the mountain, and three thousand and six hundred overseers to set the people to work.
Matthew Henry Commentary - 2nd Chronicles, Chapter 2[➚]
[v.13] - "chief workman" - From the Pulpit Commentary: "It has been proposed to render it as a proper name Abi, or as an affix of honour, Ab, equal to 'master.' However, Gesenius... furnishes a signification, 'chief counsellor,' which (taking it to mean chief counsellor, or as it were expert, chief referee, or even only foreman in such matters as might be in question) would well suit all the passages, and remove all difficulty."