Solomon orders materials for his Temple. Solomon conscripts slaves.
VERSE 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, and Hiram had always loved David.
Hiram. He was the king of Tyre. He had been an ally and friend of King David. He had supplied materials and laborers to build David’s palace.
Tyre. It was an important port city on the Mediterranean Sea north of Israel. It was one of the chief cities of Phoenicia, and one of Israel’s friendly neighboring kingdoms.
VERSE 2. Solomon sent to Hiram, saying,
VERSE 3. “You know that David my father could not build a house for the name of the LORD his God because of the wars which were around him on every side, until the LORD put his enemies under the soles of his feet.
VERSE 4. But now the LORD my God has given me rest on every side. There is no enemy and no evil occurrence.
There is no enemy. Under the reign of king Solomon, it will be a time of peace.
VERSE 5. Behold, I intend to build a house for the name of the LORD my God, as the LORD spoke to David my father, saying, ‘Your son, whom I will set on your throne in your place shall build the house for my name.’
VERSE 6. Now therefore command that cedar trees be cut for me out of Lebanon. My servants will be with your servants; and I will give you wages for your servants according to all that you say. For you know that there is nobody among us who knows how to cut timber like the Sidonians.”
cedar trees be cut for me out of Lebanon. In those days, cedar trees grew on the western slopes of the Lebanon Mountains east of Tyre.
the Sidonians. They were highly skilled in felling timber.
VERSE 7. When Hiram heard the words of Solomon, he rejoiced greatly, and said, “Blessed is the LORD today, who has given to David a wise son to rule over this great people.”
Blessed is the LORD. Hiram king of Tyre has regard for the LORD God of Israel.
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VERSE 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 cypress timber.
VERSE 9. My servants will bring them down from Lebanon to the sea. I will make them into rafts to go by sea to the place that you specify to me, and will cause them to be broken up there, and you will receive them. You will accomplish my desire, in giving food for my household.”
giving food for my household. For providing all these best-in-the-world construction materials, king Hiram only asks for food for his royal household.
VERSE 10. So Hiram gave Solomon cedar timber and cypress timber according to all his desire.
VERSE 11. Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand cors of wheat for food to his household, and twenty cors of pure oil. Solomon gave this to Hiram year by year.
twenty thousand cors. That isabout 120,000 bushels or about 4.2 megaliters of wheat. It would weigh about 3,270 metric tons.
twenty cors. That is about 1,100 gallons or about 4220 liters.
VERSE 12. The LORD gave Solomon wisdom, as he promised him. There was peace between Hiram and Solomon, and the two of them made a treaty together.
raised a levy. Solomon conscripts a vast workforce of temporary slaves.
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VERSE 14. He sent them to Lebanon, ten thousand a month by courses: for a month they were in Lebanon, and two months at home; and Adoniram was over the men subject to forced labor.
for a month they were in Lebanon. Solomon’s laborers were part-time slaves. They had a month of slavery.
and two months at home. After their month of slavery, they were free for two months.
VERSE 15. Solomon had seventy thousand who bore burdens, and eighty thousand who were stone cutters in the mountains,
VERSE 16. besides Solomon’s chief officers who were over the work: three thousand three hundred who ruled over the people who labored in the work.
VERSE 17. The king commanded, and they cut out large stones, costly stones, to lay the foundation of the house with worked stone.
VERSE 18. Solomon’s builders and Hiram’s builders and the Gebalites cut them, and prepared the timber and the stones to build the house.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.