1-Kings - 5:1-18

Solomon's Temple-The Building and Dedication

      1 Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants to Solomon; for he had heard that they had anointed him king in the place of his father: for Hiram was ever a lover of David. 2 Solomon sent to Hiram, saying, 3 "You know how that David my father could not build a house for the name of Yahweh his God for the wars which were about him on every side, until Yahweh put them under the soles of his feet. 4 But now Yahweh my God has given me rest on every side. There is neither adversary, nor evil occurrence. 5 Behold, I purpose to build a house for the name of Yahweh my God, as Yahweh spoke to David my father, saying, 'Your son, whom I will set on your throne in your place, he shall build the house for my name.' 6 Now therefore command that they cut me cedar trees out of Lebanon. My servants shall be with your servants; and I will give you wages for your servants according to all that you shall say. For you know that there is not among us any who knows how to cut timber like the Sidonians." 7 It happened, when Hiram heard the words of Solomon, that he rejoiced greatly, and said, "Blessed is Yahweh this day, who has given to David a wise son over this great people." 8 Hiram sent to Solomon, saying, "I have heard the message which you have sent to me. I will do all your desire concerning timber of cedar, and concerning timber of fir. 9 My servants shall bring them down from Lebanon to the sea. I will make them into rafts to go by sea to the place that you shall appoint me, and will cause them to be broken up there, and you shall receive them. You shall accomplish my desire, in giving food for my household." 10 So Hiram gave Solomon timber of cedar and timber of fir according to all his desire. 11 Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand measures of wheat for food to his household, and twenty measures of pure oil. Solomon gave this to Hiram year by year. 12 Yahweh gave Solomon wisdom, as he promised him; and there was peace between Hiram and Solomon; and they two made a treaty together. 13 King Solomon raised a levy out of all Israel; and the levy was thirty thousand men. 14 He sent them to Lebanon, ten thousand a month by courses; a month they were in Lebanon, and two months at home; and Adoniram was over the men subject to forced labor. 15 Solomon had seventy thousand who bore burdens, and eighty thousand who were stone cutters in the mountains; 16 besides Solomon's chief officers who were over the work, three thousand and three hundred, who bore rule over the people who labored in the work. 17 The king commanded, and they cut out great stones, costly stones, to lay the foundation of the house with worked stone. 18 Solomon's builders and Hiram's builders and the Gebalites did fashion them, and prepared the timber and the stones to build the house.

Chapter In-Depth

Explanation and meaning of 1-Kings 5.

Historical Commentaries

Scholarly Analysis and Interpretation.

Hiram, king of Tyre, sends to congratulate Solomon on his accession to the kingdom, 1-Kings 5:1. Solomon consults him on building a temple for the Lord, and requests his assistance, 1-Kings 5:2-6. Hiram is pleased and specifies the assistance which he will afford, 1-Kings 5:7-9. He sends cedars and fir trees, 1-Kings 5:10. The return made by Solomon, 1-Kings 5:11. They form a league, 1-Kings 5:12. Solomon makes a levy of men in Israel to prepare wood and stones, 1-Kings 5:13-18.

This chapter relates Solomon's preparation for building the temple: on Hiram, king of Tyre, sending a congratulatory letter to him, he returned another to him, signifying his intention to build an house for God, and requesting him to supply him with timber, and men to work it, 1-Kings 5:1; to which Hiram readily agreed, and sent him cedar and fir, and Solomon in return sent him food for his household; and things went on very amicably between them, 1-Kings 5:7; the chapter concludes with an account of Solomon's workmen, where, how, and in what they were employed, 1-Kings 5:13.

(1-Kings 5:1-9) Solomon's agreement with Hiram.
(1-Kings 5:10-18) Solomon's workmen for the temple.

Preparations for Building the Temple - 1 Kings 5
Immediately after the consolidation of his kingdom, Solomon commenced the preparations for the building of a temple, first of all by entering into negotiations with king Hiram of Tyre, to procure from him not only the building materials requisite, viz., cedars, cypresses, and hewn stones, but also a skilled workman for the artistic work of the temple (1-Kings 5:1-12); and, secondly, by causing the number of workmen required for this great work to be raised out of his own kingdom, and sending them to Lebanon to prepare the materials for the building in connection with the Tyrian builders (1-Kings 5:13-18). - We have a parallel passage to this in 2 Chron 2, which agrees with the account before us in all the leading points, but differs in many of the details, omitting several things which were not essential to the main fact, and communicating others which are passed over in our account, e.g., Solomon's request that a Tyrian workman might be sent. This shows that the two accounts are extracts from a common and more elaborate source, the historical materials being worked up in a free and independent manner according to the particular plan adopted by each of the two authors. (For further remarks on the mutual relation of the two narratives, see my apologetischer Versuch ber die Bcher der Chronik, pp. 216ff.)

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