2 Chronicles 2:1-2, Solomon Builds the Temple

Solomon gave orders to build a temple for the Name of the LORD and a royal palace for himself. He conscripted seventy thousand men as carriers and eighty thousand as stonecutters in the hills and thirty-six hundred as foremen over them.

//“Conscripted.” It means to draft, or compel, someone into service.

Where did Solomon find all these workers? 153,600 of them? I never wondered, because I had always read the story of the construction of God’s Holy Temple in the book of Kings, rather than the book of Chronicles. Reading the same story in Chronicles, though, we uncover an interesting tidbit. Want to know how many foreigners were living in Israel? That’s recorded in the book of Chronicles, too:

Solomon took a census of all the aliens who were in Israel, after the census his father David had taken; and they were found to be 153,600.

Can’t be coincidence. Here we find what sounds like the greatest slave-labor project ever, the construction of the Holy Temple, using about six times as many workers as were required to build the pyramids of Giza.*

(* Note: Most scholars now believe the pyramid construction employed little or no slaves.)

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