|Why did it take so long to build the Temple?|
1 Kings 5:15-16 Solomon had seventy thousand carriers and eighty thousand stonecutters in the hills, as well as thirty-three hundred foremen who supervised the project and directed the workmen.
1 Kings 6:38 In the eleventh year in the month of Bul, the eighth month, the temple was finished in all its details according to its specifications. He had spent seven years building it.
1 Kings 6:2 The temple that King Solomon built for the LORD was sixty cubits long, twenty wide and thirty high.
Converting the latter to modern dimensions of 96 X 32 X 48 feet, one Skeptic sarcastically comments upon the number of men needed and the length of time the project took.
He first fails to note that in 1 Kings 5:14 it is added that Solomon sent his workers to Lebanon in shifts "of ten thousand a month, so that they spent one month in Lebanon and two months at home." The same was probably done with the other workers as well, so that those numbers relative to the number of men working at one time should be reduced by a third.
Even so, one may ask whether any Skeptic has investigated as to whether this was indeed a reasonable number of men and amount of time in the context of an age when most building labor was done by HAND - and when there were no climate-controlled construction cranes to hoist the heavy stones and lumber. Rain, snow, high wind, or excessive heat -- without slave labor to force the issue -- would easily put a stop to construction.
We can also add that thanks to the Sabbath, 1/7 of that time was already out of bounds. Add to that the amount of detail-work that was needed for carvings and woodwork, and you have plenty of reason for people to be occupied for seven years. Those who know the ANE do not consider these numbers excessive at all.