Josephus, Antiquities, The Davidic Covenant (7.334-342)

334 Now when King David saw that God had heard his prayer, and had graciously accepted of his sacrifice, he resolved to call that entire place The Altar of all the People, and to build a temple to God there; which words he uttered very appositely to what was to be done afterward; for God sent the prophet to him, and told him that there should his son build for him an altar,--that son who was to take the kingdom after him.

335 After the delivery of this prophecy, the king commanded the strangers to be numbered, and they were found to be one hundred and eighty thousand; of these he appointed eighty thousand to be hewers of stone, and the rest of the multitude to carry the stones, and of them he set over the workmen three thousand and five hundred. He also prepared a great quantity of iron and brass for the work, with many (and those exceedingly large) cedar trees, the Tyrians and Sidonians sending them to him, for he had sent to them for a supply of those trees; 336 and he told his friends that these things were now prepared, that he might leave materials ready for the building of the temple for his son, who was to reign after him, and that he might not have them to seek them, when he was very young, and by reason of his age, unskilful in such matters, but might have them lying by him, and so might the more readily complete the work. 337 So David called his son Solomon, and charged him, when he had received the kingdom, to build a temple to God; and said,

“I was willing to build God a temple myself, but he prohibited me, because I was polluted with blood and wars; but he has foretold that Solomon, my youngest son, should build for him a temple, and should be called by that name; over whom he has promised to take the like care as a father takes over his son; and that he would make the country of the Hebrews happy under him, and that, not only in other respects, but by giving it peace, and freedom from wars, and from internal seditions, which are the greatest of all blessings. 338 Since, therefore,” says he, “you were ordained king by God himself before you were born, endeavour to render yourself worthy of his providence, as in other instances, so particularly in being religious, and righteous, and courageous. Keep also his commands and his laws, which he has given us by Moses, and do not permit others to break them. 339 Be zealous also to dedicate to God a temple, which he has chosen to be built under your reign; nor be frightened by the vastness of the work, nor set about it timorously, for I will make all things ready before I die; 340 and take notice, that there are already ten thousand talents of gold and a hundred thousand talents of silver collected together. I have also laid together brass and iron without number, and an immense quantity of timber and of stones. Moreover, you have many ten thousand stone cutters and carpenters; and if you shall need anything further, add some of your own. Therefore, if you perform this work, you will be acceptable to God, and have him for your patron.”

341 David also further exhorted the rulers of the people to assist his son in this building, and to attend to the divine service, when they should be free from all their misfortunes, for that they by this means should enjoy, instead of them, peace, and a happy settlement, with which blessings God rewards such men as are religious and righteous. 342 He also gave orders, that when the temple should be once built, they should put the ark therein, with the holy vessels; and he assured them, that they ought to have had a temple long ago, if their fathers had not been negligent of God's commands, who had given it in charge, that when they had the possession of this land, they should build him a temple. Thus did David discourse to the governors, and to his son.