1 Kings 9:15 Here is the account of the forced labor King Solomon conscripted to build the Lord’s temple, his own palace, the terraces,[f] the wall of Jerusalem, and Hazor, Megiddo and Gezer. 16 (Pharaoh king of Egypt had attacked and captured Gezer. He had set it on fire. He killed its Canaanite inhabitants and then gave it as a wedding gift to his daughter, Solomon’s wife. 17 And Solomon rebuilt Gezer.) He built up Lower Beth Horon, 18 Baalath, and Tadmor[g] in the desert, within his land, 19 as well as all his store cities and the towns for his chariots and for his horses[h]—whatever he desired to build in Jerusalem, in Lebanon and throughout all the territory he ruled.

20 There were still people left from the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites (these peoples were not Israelites). 21 Solomon conscripted the descendants of all these peoples remaining in the land—whom the Israelites could not exterminate[i]—to serve as slave labor, as it is to this day. 22 But Solomon did not make slaves of any of the Israelites; they were his fighting men, his government officials, his officers, his captains, and the commanders of his chariots and charioteers. 23 They were also the chief officials in charge of Solomon’s projects—550 officials supervising those who did the work.

24 After Pharaoh’s daughter had come up from the City of David to the palace Solomon had built for her, he constructed the terraces.

25 Three times a year Solomon sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings on the altar he had built for the Lord, burning incense before the Lord along with them, and so fulfilled the temple obligations.

26 King Solomon also built ships at Ezion Geber, which is near Elath in Edom, on the shore of the Red Sea.[j] 27 And Hiram sent his men—sailors who knew the sea—to serve in the fleet with Solomon’s men. 28 They sailed to Ophir and brought back 420 talents[k] of gold, which they delivered to King Solomon.


f. 1 Kings 9:15 Or the Millo; also in verse 24
g. 1 Kings 9:18 The Hebrew may also be read Tamar.
h. 1 Kings 9:19 Or charioteers
i. 1 Kings 9:21 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them.
j. 1 Kings 9:26 Or the Sea of Reeds
k. 1 Kings 9:28 That is, about 16 tons or about 14 metric tons

We must be getting to the bottom of these expense records. Solomon is offering up his payroll and shipping documents. There were no excavators or bulldozers. There were no power tools. There were not tools perfect for hauling all that lumber and those huge blocks of rock. All the wood had to be cut to size off-site. All the stones had to be cut, ground, and shaped by hand off-site. They couldn't go to Lowes or Sneades to get the door pulls. They had to be made by hand. All of this required labor and a lot of it. It required materials and a lot of it. The materials for the construction of the Temple and the king's house and buildings had to be purchased and brought in. There was no Amazon. On top of that.... Solomon had other projects going on at the same time. During this massive building campaign... Solomon was also building three fortified cities. It looks like he had gardens and terraces for his wife as well. He was doing all this and making sure the sacrifices were made as well.

This is from the easy English site.

This section tells us about how Solomon carried out his schemes for buildings. It says that only foreigners were slaves. But the Israelites had to work as well. They also paid big taxes. These were two of the reasons why the kingdom divided after Solomon’s death. Note that Solomon built God’s house first, then his own house. Afterwards, he built the one for his wife. He also built defences for Jerusalem city.

Three times a year Solomon offered sacrifices to God on the altar. This would be the Festival of bread that would not rise. It would also be the Festival of Weeks and the Festival of Shelters.

Hiram’s workers built the ships and his sailors operated them. Many people think that Ophir was in Southern Arabia. Some people think that it was Sri Lanka. The gold was worth many millions of pounds or dollars in today’s money.

Solomon had become a very wealthy and powerful king.

On an interesting note... I found this at bibletrack.org.

The King of Egypt (whose daughter was married to Solomon) gave him the whole city of Gezer (about 20 miles from Jerusalem) as a dowry for his daughter. It's interesting that, while Gezer was located in Israel, it had not been previously purged of Canaanites. The Tribe of Ephraim failed to do so in Joshua 16:10, and David failed to do so again centuries later (II Samuel 5:25; I Chronicles 14:16,). Pharaoh comes up out of Egypt to do the job - nothing too good for his daughter. Notice II Chronicles 8:11, "And Solomon brought up the daughter of Pharaoh out of the city of David unto the house that he had built for her: for he said, My wife shall not dwell in the house of David king of Israel, because the places are holy, whereunto the ark of the LORD hath come." So, his Egyptian wife doesn't just have her own bedroom; she has her own house..her own city! Why? Because Solomon's house apparently adjoined the temple, and he didn't want her heathen hands touching temple stuff. What a husband! He obviously deviated from those convictions during the last 20 years of his rule. It's not known whether her house in Gezer was a temporary home, vacation home or permanent home; we see in I Kings 7:1-12 that he apparently had built her another house in Jerusalem near his own.

So that's the last of the bookkeeping for a while. It was enjoyable. I'm glad I wasn't a bookkeeper back then... I wouldn't have a computer to make things easier. I wonder... could I have used an abacus back then? Guess not... I googled it... the abacus was invented about 500 BC. I would have to wait another 400 years to use an abacus. All this building.... no printers, no computer layout, no computer generated cut list, definitely no 3D printers to help with the models and tiny parts. No wonder they needed all that labor.